August 20, 2014

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Lt. Francis O. Richardson
Sisters and Brothers,
      It is with deep regret we report the recent death of Lt. Francis O. "Rich" Richardson (SPFD Ret.) Brother Richardson had a long and storied career as a dedicated and pioneering union member here in Maine, for his Local, the IAFF and the PFFM. Rich was a Charter Member of Local 1476, worked to ensure firefighters had collective bargaining rights in Maine, was a driving force behind the creation of what is now the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine and serving as it's President. He saw the wisdom in being politically involved and was behind the passage and our heart and lung legislation.
    Below is the information about the wake and services that will be held over the next couple of days. Class A uniforms will be the dress code when attending events. If your Local is interested in helping with the Color Guard arrangements please contact DVP Williams whose contact info is attached.
    Words cannot soften the loss of Brother Richardson for his family, friends and loved ones. His work and beliefs as a union firefighter many years ago laid the ground work for what all of here in Maine know enjoy as far as pensions, collective bargaining and legislation that protects our health and safety. It was not an easy thing to do in that time period with many obstacles he and others had to overcome to ensure our basic rights as firefighters. We all owe him a debt of gratitude that will be hard to repay. Please keep Brother Richardson's family in your thoughts and prayers and I hope that a representative from your Local can make one of the planned events. Thank you.
Lieutenant Francis O. "Rich" Richardson (SPFD Ret.) passed away during the early morning hours on August 17, 2014.  Rich Joined the South Portland Fire Department as a call company member in 1956 and took a career position in 1960.  Rich was one of the original founding and charter members of South Portland Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1476 in 1963. Rich would serve this new local as a union officer from 1966 to 1976 and served as Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer and finally as President.
Rich was also instrumental in founding the Maine's IAFF State Association and worked hard with IAFF 3rd District Vice President Howie MaClennan to create the Maine State Council of Uniformed Fire Fighters in 1976 which would later be known as the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine.  Rich served as the State Association's president for 9 years and was active in all legislative issue both locally and at the state level to help improve the lives and safety of our fire fighters.
His dedication to the union continued will after his retirement in 1984.
Predeceased by his son Brian Richardson, Rich is survived by his loving wife Shirley; daughter Anita Ratigan and her husband Paul; six grandchildren, Vicky, Derick and Cassandra Ratigan and Britney, Brooke and Caleb Richardson; three stepchildren, Kristen, Kellie and Fred Myers Jr.; several step grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine. 
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at Hobbs Funeral Home, with a reception at the V.F.W. on Perry Terrace in South Portland. Committal will be at Steep Falls Cemetery after the reception. 
Memorial donations can be made in Rich's name to: South Portland Fireman's Relief Fund 180 Evans Street South Portland, Maine 04106 Francis O. 'Rich' Richardson, Jr.
IAFF Local 1476 President Josh Probrislo is looking for casket guards for the wake on the 19th, class A uniforms preferred.  If you would like to help with this, please contact Josh Perry at 522-2446  After the service on the 20th there will be a procession with the casket and Engine 6 to the VFW were transfer will be made to a hearse.  After the reception the family, Honor Guard, and those who wish to attend will make the trip to Steep Falls Cemetery for the internment.  Any additional local Honor Guard/ Color Guards who are available and wish to participate, it is asked that you contact L1476 Color Guard Director Jon Perry at 837-1262.
Important Notice From local 1476

As many of you are  aware Lt. Rich Richardson lost his long time battle with cancer this morning.  To fill in some of the new members on this list Lt. Richardson was [one of] the founders of L1476 and instrumental in the forming of what is now the Professional Firefighters of Maine.  Shirley, Lt. Urban, Howard, and Jon Perry and been working on plans for this week which are as follows:

Hobbs Funeral Home -30 Cottage Rd, South Portland

VFW Post 832 - 50 Peary Terrace, South Portland

Wake at Hobbs: August 19th at 16:00- 19:00

Service at Hobbs: August 20th at 10:00

Reception at VFW: August 20th following service

  After the service on the 20th there will be a procession with the casket and Engine 6 to the VFW were transfer will be made to a hearse.  After the reception the family, Honor Guard, and those who wish to attend will make the trip to Steep Falls Cemetery for the internment. 

Portland Stair Climb

The Innagural 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb will commemorate the 343 FDNY Firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11/2001, will be held on September 14th. One hundred percent of funds raised through the 110 story climb will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to support families whose loved ones have died in the line of duty.

For more information download the flyer below.

MDA July Newsletter

Download: MDA of Maine July Newsletter.pdf
Last Alarm for Captain Mike Kucsma
More than 300 firefighters gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on Saturday to sound the “last alarm” for Michael C. Kucsma Jr., who died of a heart attack while scuba diving Monday. Read More...
Cancer Risks for Firefighters: More Than You May Realize
Two years ago, 43-year-old Maine firefighter Mike Nixon was diagnosed with malignant melanoma — the most dangerous form of skin cancer. “I had a spot develop in a weird place on my ear,” he says. “It wasn’t on top where you’d think people would get skin cancer, where there is sun exposure. Read More...
Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's called the silent killer. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it. Carbon monoxide kills an average of 160 people a year in this country.

Under Maine law apartment buildings now must have carbon monoxide detectors. So do long term rentals but older hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, those built before 2009, do not.

Backers say hotels need to install carbon monoxide detectors, not just to safeguard Maine's vital tourism industry against damning disaster -- but to save lives.

Senators Carper & Collins Introduce Federal Firefighters Fairness Act
WASHINGTON- Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Sen. Read More...
Download: Senstor Collins April 2014.pdf
Urge Congress to Co-Sponsor Federal Fire Fighter Trade Time Bill
 Support the Federal Fire Fighter Flexibility and Fairness Act

The IAFF’s federal fire fighters are engaged in a big push to garner support and co-sponsors for HR 1141 (Representative Sarbanes (D-MD).

This cost-neutral federal legislation, also known as the Federal Firefighter Flexibility and Fairness Act, resolves trade time inequities for our nation’s federal fire fighters. Specifically, the bill ensures that federal fire fighters have trade time parameters similar to those provided for municipal fire fighters under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations.

Currently, 34 members of Congress have signed on to HR 1141 as co-sponsors, but more are needed in order to keep this bill alive and moving this year.To make this happen, federal fire fighters need your help!

Click here

Please take a moment to send your congressional member an email urging them to support and cosponsor HR 1141 - CLICK HERE or click the button above to take action!

Maine Scientist to Study Link Between Fire Fighters and Cancer
Firefighters risk their lives daily for those in the community. A scientist says there are many health risks involved and what protects them is part of the problem. Caitlin Burchill explains. ==== The Orrington Fire Chief wants to protect his crew at all costs. Read More...
Bunker Gear - Does it Fit Right?
 When I began a career in the fire service, it was a common practice in many fire departments to be issued hand me down bunker gear.  I remember once where I had to repair my helmet to make it somewhat useful.  Most firefighters entering the fire service over 20-30 years ago had to earn the right to wear new or slightly used bunker gear due, in part, to economics. Read More...
How to Become a Professional Fire Fighter
The IAFF has released a new online resource on How to Become a Professional Fire Fighter for affiliates to use in recuitment campaigns or for individuals and organizations interested in learning more about how to pursue a career as a professional fire fighter/paramedic. Read More...
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Updated: Aug. 20 (07:10)

IAFF Motorcycl Group 2014 Ntional Rally Flagstaff Arizona
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