We Are, What We Do
The North Hudson Firefighters
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:
Accidents and vehicles stuck in the snow can block fire, emergency medical service and rescue units from reaching emergency scenes.
Please make every effort to stay off the roads during the snow.
Winter is here and temperatures are dipping outside.
Home owners are using a variety of sources to keep their places warm this winter, but they should also think about putting their safety first. According to the National Protection Fire Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the month of December, January, and February.
The US Fire Administration (USFA) statistics reveal home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest points during the summer months for June to August during the years of (2010 to 2012).
Many people will do whatever it takes to stay warm during these cold months, but they should follow these safety tips to decrease any chance of having a home fire.
• Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces professionally inspected once a year
• Never use a stove or oven to heat the home
• Never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended
• Place a space heater on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away.
• Be sure to turn off any portable heater when exiting a room or before heading to bed and look for a space heater model that shuts off automatically if the heater were to fall over.
• When using a fireplace, use a glass or metal screen large enough to keep the sparks or from entering the room
• Keep all flammable materials such as newspapers, matches, bedding, clothing, carpets and rugs at least three feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and stoves
• Specific to fuel-laden space heaters or heating equipment, always use the appropriate fuel specified by the manufacturer and appropriately vent to the outside to avoid the potential for CO2 poisoning
• Test smoke alarms monthly
• Blow candles out before exiting a room or heading to bed and avoid the use of candles in an area which may be used for sleep purposes. It is recommended to use LED candles in place of actual flame candles
• If the unthinkable were to occur, make sure everyone in the household is well aware of the applicable emergency escape routes within the home
In the debate over whether New Jersey should pass a ballot question this year to require the state to fulfill its obligation to fund public-worker pensions, the answer to one extremely important question has been spun by politicians in a variety of directions: What happens if the state continues to follow Gov. Chris Christie’s current path and doesn’t pay the required amount and lets the pension funds run out money? Kept in mind that actuaries agree this will begin to happen in six short years when the PERS pension system hits its depletion date in 2022.
The Truth About N.J.'s Pension Crisis And How To Fix It | Opinion NJ.COM - Next November, New Jerseyans will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment to require the state government to make regular quarterly pension payments, which would put the state's pension system — and the state of New Jersey itself — on the road to fiscal solvency within six years.
The biggest winners, if the constitutional amendment passes, are not public employees — who will get their pensions anyway — but all of New Jersey's taxpayers.
State laws, Supreme Court rulings and legal opinions have already established that public employees are entitled to the vested pension benefits they have earned.
The dirty little secret Gov. Chris Christie is not telling you is that the state ultimately will have to pay the bill – whether the money comes out of pension funds or directly out of the state budget – and that the cost goes up exponentially every year we fail to act.
That is why Senate President Stephen Sweeney introduced legislation to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to require the state to make pension payments on a regular schedule that makes fiscal sense and saves taxpayers billions.
Early Withdrawal Penalty for Retirement Accounts Eliminated
After several years of gridlock, Congress enacted legislation in 2015 to correct inequities and close loopholes in the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Specifically, early withdrawal penalties for employer-based retirement savings for many fire fighters will be eliminated as of January 1, 2016.
Under the Defending Public Safety Employees Retirement Act of 2015, public safety officers who separate from service at age 50 can immediately begin withdrawing funds from all employer sponsored retirement savings— both defined benefit and deferred compensation — without penalty.
Learn more about which retirement accounts are affected with the new online training course, RETIREMENT FUND PENALTIES ELIMINATED.
The IAFF is pleased to announce the premiere episode of the Kitchen Table, a new program presented by the IAFF, which has been formatted to replicate the station visits that IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger makes as he travels across North America.
The pilot episode features a discussion on how generational differences, technology and social media have changed the way IAFF members want to receive information from their union.
IAFF Dispatch - Episode 3
This episode highlights the federal grants available through the IAFF to improve fire fighter and public safety, looks at the increasingly complex wildland fire fighting environment and shows how who sits in the highest office in the land affects the everyday work-lives of IAFF members.
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Important Information on Supreme Court Health Care Decision
As many of you are aware, recently the Supreme Court handed down another landmark decision addressing the president’s controversial health care law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case of King v. Burwell, the court was charged with determining if individuals purchasing health care through the federal exchange were permitted to receive tax subsidies. Since the court’s ruling, we have received numerous questions regarding the impact of the ruling on our members and their health plans. Generally speaking, there is no immediate effect on IAFF members or their plans. To help our IAFF members to better understand the ruling, we have prepared the following supplemental materials:
Regardless how the Supreme Court ruled, we have a major concern over the portion of the ACA which imposes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans beginning in 2018. The IAFF has taken a leading role in a coalition of labor and corporate interests in trying to repeal the excise tax. Current legislation (H.R. 2050) to repeal the tax has been introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), a bipartisan bill with more than115 co-sponsors. We will continue our fight to repeal this provision of the ACA and work to ensure that the benefits our members and their families enjoy will not be diminished. I hope the information proves helpful. As always, I appreciate your hard work and leadership.
Harold A. Schaitberger
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.
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.
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