Iqaluit firefighters join International Association of Fire Fighters, extending union’s reach across Canada

May 2, 2024

Iqaluit firefighters affiliate with IAFF, enhancing union representation in Nunavut

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has welcomed 20 new members from Iqaluit, Nunavut, marking a significant extension of the union’s reach in Canada.

This new affiliation not only brings local fire fighters into the fold but also highlights IAFF’s commitment to improving firefighter and public safety across all Canadian territories.

IAFF achieves presence in all Canadian provinces and territories

The inclusion of Iqaluit firefighters has allowed the IAFF to establish a presence in every province and territory in Canada, showcasing a consistent expansion across the country.

The new members from Iqaluit have joined with associate status, which enables them to retain their bargaining rights through the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) while benefiting from specific IAFF services crucial for their unique needs in the remote Baffin Island community.

Local fire services and resources in Iqaluit

Iqaluit Local 5473, under the presidency of Alex Storring, has been keen on affiliating with the IAFF to leverage specialized services such as advanced training, mental health support, and technical services like GIS analysis.

Storring expressed his enthusiasm about the affiliation: “It took several years of determination to secure IAFF affiliation, and we are optimistic about the enhanced support and resources it will bring to our team.”

He also mentioned the challenges faced by the local fire department, which operates the sole fire station and provides ambulance-based EMS, handling over 4,000 calls annually, mostly medical emergencies.

Enhanced support for fire and EMS operations

Fred LeBlanc, IAFF 13th District Vice President, orchestrated the new affiliation, noting that it exemplifies how collaborative efforts can substantially benefit our members, especially in terms of operational support in remote areas like Iqaluit.

He also highlighted the ongoing efforts to improve critical health coverage for firefighters in the territory.

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