May 6, 2004
We rewrite, you decide, Vol. 3


From "Remarks by the Vice President to the 16th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner", Hilton Washington, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2004, 7:12 P.M. EDT:

"Tonight, we honor firefighters and emergency personnel in communities across America, who are the first line of defense against all hazards...As you meet your responsibilities, the federal government must do its part in providing the resources that our firefighters need. The past year brought many successes on Capitol Hill, thanks to the leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. These successes include robust funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which received nearly $750 million this fiscal year for direct grants to local fire departments and to support to fire safety programs. (Applause.) This funding is on top of the more than $8 billion that the Department of Homeland Security has allocated or awarded to state and local governments under a variety of domestic preparedness grant programs, many that directly bolster the capabilities of first responders including firefighters. In addition, Congress reauthorized the United States Fire Administration, passed the Firefighting Research and Coordination Act, to develop new safety standards, and passed the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act. And all of these measures were proudly signed into law by President George W. Bush. (Applause.)"

Earlier...from "Union delegates denounce government hypocrisy over September 11", 21 August 2002:

Delegates to the convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), representing more than 240,000 professional firefighters and emergency medical personnel in the US and Canada, voted August 14 for the union to boycott an upcoming appearance by President George W. Bush at a memorial honoring firefighters killed in the September 11 attacks. The president has been invited to address the October 6 annual ceremony of the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation in Washington DC, which will pay tribute to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City, as well as more than 100 additional firefighters killed responding to other emergencies.


The unanimous vote by the 2,000 union officials at the IAFF's annual convention in Las Vegas came the day after Bush announced his rejection of $5.1 billion of supplemental spending that included some $340 million for fire department funding. Congress had voted for $90 million for long-term monitoring of the health of rescue and recovery personnel at the World Trade Center site, where workers were exposed to intense toxic fumes and dust. It also voted for $100 million to improve emergency communications systems, whose failures were blamed for as many as 200 of the 343 deaths of firefighters on September 11, and $150 million for equipment and training for 18,000 fire departments nationwide.

And more recently...from "No permit for protest at GOP convention",, April 29, 2004:

Separately, a coalition of unions representing police officers and firefighters has requested permits to demonstrate during the four-day convention, beginning Aug. 30. Union members claim they are underpaid compared to their counterparts in other cities and are underfunded for fighting terrorism complaints they plan to voice when Republican come to town.
Posted in a Grave fashion.

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