November 28, 2014

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Have a Happy Holiday Season

The Executive Board of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you, your families and friends a safe and joyous holiday season.

Many of us honor the meaning behind this time of year in different ways, but in the end it is about being thankful for what we have and reflection on the events of the past year.

Over these past months we have lost to many of our sisters and brothers through Line of Duty Deaths. Here in Maine we saw the tragic loss of Captain Mike Kucsma of Portland Local 740 at such a young age. We are seeing to many of our members succumbing to the effects of cancer caused by our exposure to flame retardants and toxic chemicals. We know our job has risks, but that doesn’t make it any easier when a sister or brother has died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who lost a loved one during this past year.

Doing our job each day, we have the opportunity to help so many different kinds of people from many walks of life. It should give us pause to reflect on how fortunate some us really are. That at the end of the day we may realize how good some of us really have it.

We hope that as you gather with your family and friends over these next few weeks your time together is joyous and that it gives you happiness to be together. All of us know that things can change in a heartbeat and that our time with those we care about is to be cherished.

Be thankful for what we have, think of those that are less fortunate and try to help where you can. It can make a difference in the life of someone who is struggling.

Please travel safe on your way to family gatherings and the PFFM is proud to serve all those who ride the trucks each day. Be well and be safe.

John Martell - President

Save the Date for the 2015 Legislative Conference
IAFF Legislative Conference Returns to Capitol Hill!

Mark your calendars for the 2015 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference, scheduled for March 8-11, 2015, in Washington, DC.

The Conference is returning to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, and will once again feature the annual Congressional Reception attended by dozens of U.S. representatives and senators.

At the IAFF Legislative Conference, attendees will learn about pressing national issues, hear from major political figures and network with IAFF leaders from across the country. Participants will also have the unique opportunity to meet and strengthen relationships with their elected representatives through face-to-face lobbying visits.

The IAFF Legislative Conference has long been the cornerstone of the IAFF’s legislative efforts. Over the years, we have won significant legislative victories – from establishing the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program to build and sustain safe staffing, to the Health Care Enhancement for Local Public Safety Officers (HELPS) benefit that enables retired fire fighters to afford health insurance – in large part due to the work of local IAFF leaders at this Conference.

Please make plans to attend March 8-11, 2015, in Washington, DC. Online registration opens in January 2015.

Fiscal Year 2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program FOA Release

This serves as notification that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fiscal Year 2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) will open on Monday, November 3, 2014 at 8:00 am eastern time. The application period for the FY 2014 AFG program closes on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm eastern time.

The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014  (Pub. L. 113-76) provides $340,000,000 in AFG funding to assist fire departments and nonaffiliated ambulance and emergency medical service organizations meet their firefighting and emergency response needs.  The AFG Program enables these organizations to obtain the tools and resources necessary to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel.

Grant guidance for this program will be available at, and at  Also the “Get ready Guide”, available at, may also be useful for potential applicants and is provided to answer questions and to help prepare grant applications.

For additional information, please visit

Download: FY2014 AFG_Fact_Sheet_October_2014.pdf
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. Read More...
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...
Study: Exposure to flame retardant chemicals means firefighters face higher cancer risk than previously thought
Study: Exposure to flame retardant chemicals means firefighters face higher cancer risk than previously thought  ELLSWORTH, Maine — New research by a Blue Hill scientist shows that during a fire, firefighters are exposed to dangerous levels of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals created when commercial flame retardants burn. Read More...
IAFF Local Newswire
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Updated: Nov. 28 (01:59)

New Brother
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Allen Park Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedic
Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union
Have a Happy Holiday Season
Professional Firefighters of Maine
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