Pittsburgh Firefighters

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Since medical marijuana passed in Pennsylvania in 2016, only one labor union has come to an agreement with the city to allow employees to obtain medical marijuana cards: Pittsburgh firefighters.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On a Monday morning in February, people packed the Pittsburgh mayor’s conference room to witness the city’s successful transition to financial independence — an event lauded as a turning point for the city’s future.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A year after seven firefighters were forced to bail out of a second-story window during a house fire in Wilkinsburg, Chief Darryl Jones said he’s reviewing recommendations for how to prevent a similar situation.

Pittsburgh and Firefighters Reach Contract Deal

Mar 6, 2015
http://www.pittsburghpa.gov

The city of Pittsburgh and its firefighters have finalized a new contract. The four-year agreement with the International Association of Firefighters Local No. 1 includes a wage freeze in 2015 and increases of 1% in 2016 and 2% in both 2017 and 2018.

“The city is still dealing with financial problems but [this deal] still maintains the safety necessary for the residents as well as our firefighters,” said Ralph Sicuro, president of IAFF Local No. 1. 

When an emergency strikes a skyscraper the pressure is on for the in-house safety workers to act quickly, but if the building’s security officers don’t even know where the elevator keys are, first responders could remain stuck on the first floor looking for keys.

On Wednesday, security officers from several downtown Pittsburgh buildings rallied outside of the PPG building with paramedics, elected officials, clergy, and firefighters to encourage unionization.

National Night Out Set for Tuesday

Aug 4, 2014
Kaye Burnet / WESA

For 30 years the City of Pittsburgh has joined other communities across the country in celebrating National Night Out Against Crime, and this year the city is expanding its activities to get residents involved in their neighborhoods to make them safer and help deter crime.

“National Night Out started as the nation’s night out against crime, an opportunity for neighbors to get together, to know each other, to help each other out,” says Liz Style, coordinator for the Department of Public Safety's "Safer Together" outreach program.

Firefighters are responsible for keeping the public safe from a variety of hazards, but how do these emergency responders keep themselves safe?

The city of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Fire was recently awarded a $571,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Authority to further train the city’s firefighters.

The money will be used to bring every firefighter in the bureau up to the same level of safety training, said Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

Fight a Fire, Get a Tax Break

Apr 18, 2014

To attract more volunteer firefighters and emergency response volunteers across Pennsylvania, two state senators have introduced a bill that would offer a new incentive.

The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Sean Wiley (D-Erie) and Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), would give municipalities the power to give volunteer first responders a credit on their local earned income tax.

Each municipality would be allowed to determine the amount of the tax credit and guidelines of the program, including the number of calls a volunteer must answer and the level of training they must have.

Pittsburgh firefighters are asking state lawmakers to ban chemicals found in flame-retardant furniture.

According to Pittsburgh Firefighters Deputy Chief Frank Large, studies have found that these chemicals increase the number of cancer deaths in firefighters inhaling the chemicals. Flame-retardant materials that are found in 85 percent of couches in American homes become carcinogens when ignited in a house fire.

Large says firefighters are given state of the art technology to filter the smoke they breathe in, but that isn’t enough to protect them from these chemicals.