IAFC at 140: Engaged to Politics, No Matter the Party

Since the IAFC was formed in 1873, the United States has had 27 presidents: 17 republicans and 10 democrats.

In 1955, Vice President Richard Nixon—later the 37th president—attended and addressed our annual conference; President Dwight Eisenhower wrote a letter of support and recognition of the association. Both were republicans.

Current vice president Joe Biden was a major player in passing the legislation that enabled the creation of a public-safety broadband network; President Barack Obama supported the cause. Both are democrats.

President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933, Republican) served as the honorary chair of the IAFC-sponsored Home Inspection Program that began in 1955. The program—in which firefighters inspected homes and gave safety tips—was credited “with bringing about a substantial reduction in fire losses for the first time in a decade and a corresponding reduction in loss of life.” IAFC presented Hoover with an award in 1960 “for his outstanding contribution to the nations’ fire safety.”

No matter what political party is in office, one thing has remained constant throughout our years in service: the IAFC remains committed to helping our members. The one thing that matters to us and to the people we serve is that the industry is represented fully, with the best interests of the American citizens in mind.

During convention debate in 1882, an IAFC member said, “Politics are the greatest evil ever to enter the fire service.”

We disagree. Only by being engaged in Washington and in your state and local governments can you enact the change needed to protect your firefighters and your communities.

Hundreds of millions of people rely on first responders to be prepared to protect and maintain their safety through any condition. We understand this and take the same focus to our role in advocating for the service. No matter the political climate, our focus remains steadfast and focused on representing the best interests of our fearless fire and emergency service members that we’ve been proud to serve for 140 years.

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