October 19, 2014

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La Asociación de Bomberos de North Hudson


Who We Are,What We Do
The North Hudson Firefighters Association

In 1999 when the five municipalities consisting of Guttenberg, North Bergen, Weehawken, West New York and Union City unilaterally decided to merge their individual fire departments into a single department under the newly created North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, they disrupted long term collective bargaining groups and firefighter international and fraternal organizations.

In direct response to this, the firefighter organizations of West New York/Guttenberg IAFF Local 620, Weehawken FMBA Local 26, Union City FMBA Local 12 and North Bergen IAFF Local 1387 formed a singular organization to protect its members from any forms of injustice; to secure just compensation for their services and equitable settlement of their grievances; to promote the establishment of just and reasonable working conditions and strive constantly for their improvement; to improve the efficiency of its members; and to cultivate friendship and fellowship among its members. Hence, the North Hudson FireFighters Association was established.

We are affiliated with the following organizations:

Coming Events

October 27, 2014 - Monday - 2:00 PM - North Hudson Regional Fire Rescue Management Committe Meeting - Township of Weehawken Township Hall - Council Chambers, 400 Park Avenue, Weehawken, NJ

November 17, 2014 - Monday - 2:00 PM - North Hudson Regional Fire Rescue Management Committe Meeting - Town of Guttenberg Town Hall - Council Chambers, 6808 Park Avenue, Guttenberg, NJ

December 8, 2014 - Monday - 7:00 PM - General Membership Meeting - St. Rocco's Social Center, 4201 JFK Blvd., North Bergen

December 14, 2014 - Sunday - 12:00 PM - 15th Annual Santa Parade - Kicks off from Bergenline & 85th & continues to Bergenline & 32nd. **Note New Day & Time! (Pending Municipal Approvals)

December 19, 2014 - Friday - 6:00 PM - Family Wrapping Party - Our Lady of Fatima Church Hall - CLICK HERE for more info.

December 22, 2014 - Monday - 2:00 PM - North Hudson Regional Fire Rescue Management Committe Meeting - City of Union City City Hall - Council Chambers, 3715 Palisades Avenue, Union City, NJ

N.J. Union Targets Christie Adviser With Ethics Complaint Over Pension Investments
New Jersey’s biggest labor union plans to file a complaint with the State Ethics Commission against a key adviser to Gov. Chris Christie who is in charge of the agency that oversees pension investments.

In an 11-page letter to the ethics commission, New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said that the chair of the State Investment Council, Robert Grady, “has violated the Division's own rules barring politics in the selection and retention of such funds and investments, and has further created an appearance of impropriety.”

When 9/11 Arrives, Remember the Living
NY Daily News - September 01, 2014
by Richard Alles, James Slevin

Thousands Still Suffer

On September 11, 2014 we will mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In New York, the names of those killed in the attacks will be read aloud by their family members, friends and coworkers. Across the country, Americans will gather at memorials to honor the memories of those who died.

As a nation, we rightly resolved to never forget the attacks. But the truth is, we haven’t entirely kept that promise.

What many Americans may not know is that as the nation recovered, a public health disaster was just beginning to unfold. Thousands are sick because of the attacks, as well as the rescue and recovery operations that continued for months afterward.

In the days approaching this Sept. 11 and on the day itself, we ask Americans to remember all the victims of that terrible day — those who lost their lives, and the thousands of living victims who are sick and dying from illnesses and injuries, some of which have taken years to fully manifest.

We all know the outlines of the story. After 9/11, Americans from all 50 states rushed to Ground Zero to help in any way they could. Thousands of people worked in extremely hazardous conditions, often without proper protective equipment.

As they labored, the site smoldered, and rescue and recovery workers breathed in a toxic stew of chemicals, asbestos, pulverized cement and other health hazards released into the air when the towers fell.

The dust cloud that so unforgettably rolled through lower Manhattan after the attacks settled in homes, offices, buildings and elsewhere — exposing tens of thousands more to the same toxins.

Thirteen years later, more than 30,000 9/11 responders, as well as survivors of the attacks and area residents and workers, have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness.

Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease, to name but a few.

Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. At least 2,800 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by the aftermath of the attacks, a number that is sure to grow in the years to come.

More than 800 New York Fire Department members and more than 550 New York Police Department personnel are struggling with serious 9/11-related illnesses, many of them cancers, and have had to retire from their jobs for health reasons.

That is in addition to the more than 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers who have died from their 9/11-related illnesses.

Memorials and monuments to our losses continue to be built across the country in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and elsewhere. This outpouring of commemoration — not just in metal and stone, but in solemn ceremonies and prayer vigils, stair climbs and other events — is important to the American spirit. It is a source of comfort for those who lost loved ones and shows that the nation truly remembers those who lost their lives.

But sadly, there is still little mention that 9/11 is, on a daily basis, impacting the health of thousands of living Americans every day. That needs to change.

This Sept. 11, as Americans gather to honor and remember those who lost their lives that day, we are calling on the organizers of these memorials — governors, mayors, city councils and neighborhood and civic groups throughout America — to recognize the living victims of the attacks as well.

As your town or neighborhood holds a 9/11 remembrance, we hope you will remember and mention the thousands who struggle every day with illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks. These heroes need your support, too.

Alles is national legislative director with the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. Slevin is vice president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Both are members of the 9/11 Health Watch board of directors

September 11, 2001
-Never Forget-


There are two very important deadlines approaching.  For all our Brothers and Sisters who came to the WTC site and volunteered on 9/11 and the days after, you may be entitled to benefits and health care for those diseases and Cancers deemed caused by your exposure.  The ONLY way to qualify is to have registered with the NYS Workers Compensation Board and provide necessary proof of service.  It is important to remember that you do NOT have to currently be sick or receiving treatment to register.  Registering is the ONLY way to protect you and your family’s future, should something unfortunate happen due to your exposure.  Be careful to read and understand all the requirements on the WTC-12 form below.  It must be notarized and received by the NYS Workers Compensation Board by this Thursday, September 11th.  Sending it registered mail, with a return receipt will help you provide proof of timely filing.  THIS IS YOUR FINAL CHANCE!


The second deadline is for those who are registered, and who have already been diagnosed with Cancer. October 12th, 2014 is the last day to register a claim with the Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund for those with a certified Cancer.  Additional information can be found on the IAFF web site at  http://wtc.iaff.org/.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Additionally, it is to everyone who volunteers benefit to be part of the World Trade Center Health Program.  It provides medical monitoring and treatment for all eligible responders and survivors who are certified (or approved) for treatment of a condition.  The Program also provides medical care, testing, and prescription drugs for all certified conditions.  To enroll, you should call 1-888-982-4748.  It is important to remember that this is also a National Program where treatment can be authorized in your area should the need arise. 

Please pass this on to your membership and thank you for looking out for your members! 

Bill Romaka
IAFF 1st District Vice President

Opinion: Christie Broke Promises To Police, Firefighters, N.J. Voters
By Bill Romaka and Ed Brannigan

If a man is only as good as his word, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie breaks his word to first responders, what does that say about the character of a man who is trying to position himself as the next U.S. president?

It says Gov. Christie does not care much about the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep New Jersey safe. It says he is not to be trusted.

Back in 2009, when Christie was running for office, he promised New Jersey police and firefighters: “The claim that any harm would come to your pension when I’m elected governor is absolutely untrue. It is a 100 percent lie. Your pension will be protected when I am elected governor.” He further stated: “It is a sacred trust. Nothing will change for the pensions of current officers, future officers or retirees in a Christie administration.”

But once in the governor’s office, Christie launched a cynical campaign attacking public employees and claiming the state cannot afford the retirement security police officers and firefighters were promised.

In 2011, Christie signed pension reform, forcing public employees to pay more for their pensions, compelling them to work longer and cutting their cost-of-living increases. As part of this bipartisan deal he signed with state lawmakers, Christie agreed to make regularly scheduled payments for seven years until the pension system regains balance.

Now, however, Christie is traveling around the state as part of his “No pain, no gain” campaign claiming, “We have made promises we cannot keep.”

A sacred trust? The only thing sacred to Christie seems to be his political future.

But if breaking the promises made to first responders and to voters is not enough to get our attention, Christie’s fiscal mismanagement should cause alarm not just in New Jersey, but across the nation he claims to have the character to lead.

Under his watch, New Jersey’s bond rating has fallen five times. That’s Wall Street rendering its verdict on Christie’s brand of leadership.

Christie’s budget projections have been erroneous. And rather than foster a business climate beneficial to all of New Jersey, Christie has lavished subsidies (more than $4 billion since 2010) on the false promise of more jobs.

The only thing those subsidies have accomplished is lining the campaign coffers of the Republican Governors Association, which Christie chairs, with checks written by those who benefit from the subsidies. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s unemployment rate remains among the worst in the nation.

Rather than own up to his dismal fiscal stewardship, Christie is once again on the campaign trail blaming New Jersey’s hard-working police officers, firefighters and teachers for economic problems he should have fixed already.

Rather than honoring his promise to pay what is owed to bring the retirement system into balance, Christie once again is scapegoating public employees and raiding their paychecks.

Police officers and firefighters are not lazy and undeserving, as Christie seems to want us all to believe. They put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of this great state. They are our neighbors and hard-working taxpayers. They spend their money right here in New Jersey and help keep the economy strong.

Police officers and firefighters don’t get lavish economic development subsidies or corporate tax breaks. They are not sports team ownership groups that receive sweetheart taxpayer-funded deals for stadiums and other facilities (the Philadelphia 76ers recently received an $82 million subsidy for the construction of a practice facility in Camden from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority).

The people of New Jersey – and the American people, for that matter – have seen enough of Chris Christie’s brand of leadership. There’s no need to continue the nonstop campaign tour. Christie has broken his word to New Jersey’s first responders. He is shortchanging the state’s public retirement system while throwing billions of dollars at those he expects to help him politically. And he has failed to improve New Jersey’s economy.

New Jersey deserves better. And the nation deserves better than what Chris Christie has to offer.

Ed Brannigan is national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police. Bill Romaka is 1st District vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

IAFF Calls Out Looters Of Public Pensions
Across America, state budgets are being balanced on the backs of current and former public employees by breaking commitments to fund their defined-benefit retirement plans. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is the latest to go this route, recently warning his state’s fire fighters, police officers, teachers and other public employees that he’ll propose skipping a couple (more) yearly installments against the state’s pension liability due to an unexpected revenue shortfall.

‘Hiring Our Heroes’: NJ Fire Department Hires 32 Vets
New Jersey's North Hudson Fire department puts veterans on the top of their hiring list as more employers
find it pays to turn to those who’ve carried the load in the past. NBC News’ Katy Tur reports.

Study: Firefighters Have Higher Rates of Cancer

Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Family and Friends of
Captain Kevin Jackson

September 5, 2013
-Photo Courtesy of Ron Jeffers-

Kevin began his career with the North Bergen Fire Department and then became part of the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue in 1999 when North Bergen merged with the Guttenberg, Union City, Weehawken & West New York Fire Departments.  

Kevin was promoted to Captain on November 19, 2012. He was Company Commander of Engine 9 on the Second Platoon.

On Monday, September 23, 2013, our Brother, Captain Kevin Jackson, unexpectedly died.

Brother Jackson worked faithfully and proudly for the residents and guests of the North Hudson jurisdiction, and for that we honor him.

Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Family & Friends of
Battalion Chief Robert J. Agostini

-Photo courtesy of Ron Jeffers-

Robert began his career as a Firefighter with the Union City Fire Department in 1989 until 1999 when Guttenberg, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken & West New York merged fire departments and became North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue.

On July 9, 2001, Robert was promoted to the rank of Captain and was assigned to Ladder 1 in Union City where he remained until he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief on June 24, 2010. After a short time being assigned to administrative duties, Robert was transferred to Battalion 1, covering Union City and downtown North Bergen.

In the days preceding 9/11/01, Robert worked alongside many North Hudson Members, Firefighters and Police Officers from around the country assisting in the search and rescue operations of Ground Zero. Shortly after his actions on those days, he developed breathing problems which eventually led to cancer.

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, our Brother, Battalion Chief Robert Agostini succumb to his injuries sustained on 9/11. 

Brother Agostini worked faithfully and proudly for the people of Union City and North Hudson, and for that, we honor him.

NJ Firefighters Told They Can’t Wear Pink T-Shirts In Public For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

North Hudson Firefighters Seeing Red After Told They Can't Wear Pink T-shirts to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Public
North Hudson firefighters are seeing red after being told they can't be seen at a fire wearing the pink T-shirts they purchased to participate in this month's Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

North Hudson Firefighters Association

Standing Up for America's Firefighters

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NIST Report Shows Crew Size Matters
Study compared how long it took crews of three, four and five to handle the same tasks.

FIREHOUSE.COM - April 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - For years, firefighters across the nation have touted the importance of having enough crew members when they start to attack a fire.

Now, they have scientific research to back up their claim that size does matter when it comes to saving people from fires as well as making sure they go home after their shift.

On Wednesday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released the results of an extensive study that used technology to determine how long it took for crews of two, three, four and five to handle the same 22 tasks.

"Four- and five- person crews were able to complete the 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks in a residential setting 30 percent faster than the two-person crew and 25 percent faster than the three-person crews," said Jason Averill, NIST fire protection engineer and the project manager.

NIST announced the findings of the study to members of the fire service attending the annual Congressional Fire Services Institute event in Washington, D.C.

Tasks included stopping at the hydrant, positioning the engine, conducting scene size-up, engaging pump, establish 2 in/2 out etc.

The data also showed that the largest crew was able to apply water to the fire 22 percent faster than two-person crews.

The small crew also encountered a much larger fire upon arrival than the five person team.

NIST also used its fire dynamic simulator to determine slow, medium, and fast-growth fires and estimate how the crew sizes would affect the exposure of occupants to toxic gases.

"Two-person crews arriving later (than the larger ones) would also likely find a significant portion of the general public incapacitated by the time of the rescue," Averill said about his findings.

IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger lauded the research, saying it will be used as a tool for fire officers across the country as they educate public officials.

"This is an extremely important document," he said. "Now, we have the technology and research to back up what we've been telling politicians who are cutting budgets..."

He said the research validates NFPA recommendations regarding crew size. Schaitberger said while he understands the tough economic hardships, reducing the number of firefighters, stations or apparatus is not the answer.

In addition to firefighter safety, the public welfare is at risk, he said, when small crews are involved.

NIST received a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant to fund the project that involved only career firefighters. Researchers said the results could be similar for combination or volunteer fire departments that have crews in their stations.

USFA Administrator Kelvin Cochran said the document will be utilized by those who need justification for additional personnel, equipment or training. This will give officers something to back up their requests.

"We now have the technology, the science to prove what we've known for a long time -- it's very dangerous for a small crew to attempt an attack," he said.

A 2,000-square-foot, two-story building was specifically constructed for the study on the grounds of Montgomery County, Md. Fire Rescue training center.

Rooms contain cameras as well as instruments to measure toxic gases and temperatures The data is recorded on computers and other monitoring equipment located in a separate section of the building.

Each assignment included a truck and three engines.

"Our study is the fist to quantify fire service lifesaving and firefighting operations for a low-hazard residential structure including the effects of changes in crew size, arrival time and stagger on rescue and suppression effectiveness," Averill explained to the crowd.

Dennis Compton, chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, called it a landmark study. "This can really help everyone," he said.

"It will benefit local decision makers tremendously as they work to determine and provide the resources necessary to adequately protect their communities from fire and other life safety emergencies," Compton said.

Watch some footage from the experiments. Credit: International Association of Fire Fighters

© Copyright 2014, North Hudson Professional Firefighters Association, All Rights Reserved.