Harold A. Schaitberger, who was re-elected today for the fifth time by acclamation at the IAFF 53rd Convention, will lead this union for another four years alongside newly elected General-Secretary Treasurer Edward Kelly, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts. Schaitberger and Kelly were elected by acclamation and with a massive show of support and confidence by delegates at the 53rd Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Schaitberger and Kelly raised their arms triumphantly on stage, accepting the honor with humility and a deep commitment to continue to serve the International and its 302,000 members.
Taking the microphone, Schaitberger said, “Edzo, we are going to some great work together. Congratulations on your election.”
Noting that the IAFF is stronger than any other union, Schaitberger said, “I know that we have made a difference. But no matter how strong we get, I have vowed to never put this union in neutral. We always need to be faster and stronger. The 302,000 members of this union deserve the very best.”
Schaitberger was nominated by Fairfax County, VA Local 2068 President John Niemiec. The nomination was seconded by CAL FIRE Local 2881 President Mike Lopez and Toronto, ON Local 3888 President Frank Ramagnano.
“I am honored by the faith you have put in me to serve as General Secretary-Treasurer of this great union,” said Kelly, accepting the honor after thunderous applause from delegates. “I am looking forward to working with the greatest labor leader in our union – Harold Schaitberger – and standing together to serve our great union and our members who have elected us to protect and fight for them.”
Kelly was nominated by Chicago Local 2 member Marc McDermott. The nomination was seconded by Edmonton, AB Local 209 Secretary Bradley Hoekstra and Los Angeles City, LA Local 112 President Frank Lima.
Schaitberger, the 9th General President in the IAFF’s 98-year history, was first elected General President in 2000. Beginning his career in 1966 as a professional fire fighter in Fairfax County, Virginia, he quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant, organized and served as president of Fairfax County Local 2068 and was elected president of the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, all before he had seven years on the job. He has taken everything the IAFF does to a new level – from the programs and services the IAFF provides directly to affiliates, to the IAFF Financial Corporation and E-18 Media, to the IAFF Charitable Foundation and charity work of the IAFF through MDA.
The son, grandson, brother, nephew and cousin of fire fighters, Kelly joined the Boston Fire Department as a fire fighter/EMT in 1997. He was elected president of Boston, MA Local 718 in 2005 and in 2011 was elected president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts.