Attention all Connecticut Fire Chiefs, CSFA Members and friends of the Fire Service: Please read and share the following URGENT MESSAGE from our President:
Greetings to all,
The Governor’s proposed 2017 budget was released shortly after his speech last week. This budget proposal zeroed out the operating funds for the regional fire training schools and “consolidated” the benefit funds. Consolidated means it is no longer a line item earmarked solely for the benefits of injured, disabled, or families of Firefighters killed in the line of duty. Currently, funds are being sent to 5 children and 7 Firefighters who are permanently disabled using this benefit funding source. These benefits will most likely cease if the budgeted line item is not restored back to the CSFA benefit account.
This year is more important to show our strength. For the first time the Administration has infringed upon our benefit funding, they are cutting the benefit to our injured Firefighters; our permanently disabled by virtue of their job; spouses of Line of Duty Death (LODD) Firefighters; dependent children of LODD or permanently Disabled Firefighters. We need to be their voice.
On Tuesday February 9, 2016 at 4:00 PM at the Legislative Office Building, in hearing room 2C, there will be an opportunity to speak at a public session for the proposed budget and its affects. This date and time is set for the Department of Emergency Service and Public Protection (DESPP) portion of the budget only. It’s time that we “rally the troops” as we did last year. Last year we started out with nothing in the Regional Fire School operating funds and ended up 70% restored, thanks to the support of Firefighters across the state who appeared at the public hearing. But, here we are at zero all over again.
I believe we need to respond in force in opposition to this proposal. These topics are important to us, we are being denied, we must make our needs known. This is our only option to collectively address the legislative branch with a show of force. After the public session it will be up to Ted Schroll and Leon Collins to represent us in the many meetings and deliberations that will be held. I have confidence that they will do their best, but we need to show them our support and the strength of the Fire Service in Connecticut.
I know this is last minute, the Fire Service deserves to be represented appropriately. If you are able to appear to show strength and support for firefighter training and benefits, appear in a Firefighter uniform or Firefighter attire. Speakers have been selected – we need to show their support.
Thank You in advance for your commitment to the Fire Service in Connecticut,
CSFA Online 2016