IAFF Ethics: Harold, Ed and the Silent Picket Line

When ODL Looks the Other Way

Our Dear Leader (ODL)

Our Dear Leader (ODL)

A previous post here discussed the IAFF Executive Board fourth district race and how General President Schaitberger, a.k.a., Our Dear Leader (ODL) was perhaps laying the groundwork for a surprise pre-convention election.  In that scenario, Bill Taylor would step down early, allowing for a snail mail election with rules set by ODL.

Is it a given these days that the fourth district, or any district, for that matter, no longer chooses their vice-president, but rather they are chosen for them by ODL?

ODL is not interested in specific district matters or building a board for the future; he is interested in “yes” votes on the executive board so that he can do as he wishes.

ODL currently wields absolute power and “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Ironically, it is the board who should control him but he owns them.

There are or have been (at least) four qualified candidates for the fourth district seat which ODL has summarily dismissed in favor of one with some very shaky credentials.

Here they are:

Art Martynuska

Mike Mohler

John Neimeic

Andy Pantelis

Two-Hatting in the Fourth District

IAFF members volunteering in jurisdictions with either IAFF locals or a call volume where there should be either a local or more firefighters and paramedics is a persistent and serious problem.

Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware and especially Maryland are affected.

These “two-hatters” make life unbearable for brother and sister firefighters by sabotaging their attempts to create safe staffing protections and decent pay and benefits.

Two-hatting is all the worse when these off-duty IAFF members assume leadership positions in those  fire departments and then “lord it over” fellow union members or take actions that materially weaken job protections, pay and safety.

Every time they do, they cross a silent picket line becoming a scab in fact if not in name.

Ground Zero

dcfems

Ground Zero for “two-hatting” offenders is Washington, DC, IAFF Local-36, led by Ed Smith, ODL’s anointed choice for the fourth district board seat.

And Ed Smith is the ultimate “two-hatter” in a jurisdiction with an IAFF local, Prince George’s County, Maryland.

For 18 years (1992-2010) he was two-hatting in Prince George’s County where he rose to the rank of Volunteer Deputy Fire Chief of the notorious Kentland VFD. 

In 2009, Smith was inducted into the Prince George’s County Volunteer Hall of Fame and is a life member of the Kentland Volunteers.

In 2008, Kentland volunteers even named a pumper after Smith in recognition of his service.

During this period, IAFF members  (predominantly Local 36) back-filled positions as volunteers in various Prince George’s fire companies, including Kentland, while IAFF Local 1619 members were furloughed for 20 days.

So much for union solidarity.

But, That Was Then

The Ed Smith Engine

The Ed Smith Engine

That’s what ODL will say.

That may work for him but it shouldn’t work for us.

The reason it shouldn’t work is that two-hatting by Local 36 members is a serious problem in the fourth district to this day.

How serious?

Here’s just the list of volunteer chief positions in Local 1619’s area currently filled by DC Local 36 members:

Deputy Chief – Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Branchville Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Fire Chief – Branchville Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Boulevard Heights Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Glenn Dale Volunteer Fire Association

Deputy Chief – Bowie Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Bowie Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Oxon Hill Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Clinton Volunteer Fire Department

Assistant Chief – Clinton Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Morningside Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department

Deputy Chief – Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Kentland Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Chief – Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Department

As I said, this is just the chiefs–forget the “braves”–that list is much too long to include.

Ed Smith has more volunteers under him now than he ever did at Kentland.

And, this is all OK with both ODL and Ed who aren’t doing a damn thing about it.

ODL’s World

If Our Dear Leader really gets to “hand pick” the IAFF executive board is this the best he can do?

Is Ed Smith his idea of a leader for the fourth district?

If so, it speaks volumes about Harold Schaitberger and how he is now fixated more than ever on retaining iron-fisted control rather than building a strong IAFF for the challenges which surely lie ahead.

Union members in the fourth should elect a district vice-president who doesn’t actively or passively support scabbing.

We can do much better than that.

And we should.

[A brief note at 10pm on February 25th.  It’s heartwarming to see that General President Schaitberger as so many staunch defenders in the volunteer ranks.]

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78 Comments

  • Bill Hand says:

    Eric,
    I am guessing that you did not get a Christmas card from Harold this year…Thanks for your insight on topics that most IAFF members are not aware of. Not that it will change anything, but thanks anyway.

  • Mike Mohler says:

    It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Thank you Eric for your valuable service to OUR IAFF.

  • Sean Gilligan says:

    Please do a fact check on this, there are inaccurate depictions. The Fire Chief of Bowie is a Federal employee and only one DFC in Bowie is an active L36 member. The letter resonates with the facts that are true and to have incorrect data makes it look like you will say anything to win your point.

  • Chuck says:

    You might want to check on your information about the Volunteer Chief you listed because your facts are sadly mistaken

  • Chuck says:

    A majority of that list of volunteer Chiefs I’m not going to do the research for you but more then half is wrong

  • Sherlock Holmes says:

    If we are going to state facts and accurate data here, let us not forget to include that Andy Pantelis was an active member of the Branchville VFD (11) (inside of IAFF Local 1619’s area), to include being a live-in member there…. Complete with a still unconfirmed (by photos) “Branchville Volunteers” tattoo.

    BUT THAT WAS THEN…

  • Sean Gilligan says:

    Riverdale’s Chief is not a L36 member- Marlboro Asst Chief is not a L36 member- No West Lanham Chief is a L36 member

  • John V Pignataro says:

    Dude deep breath did you want the spot is that what your panties are up in a bunch about? Ed whether you like his history or not is very attentive to the needs of the members of Local 36. He is extremely intelligent and Local 36 Officers whom are active still respond to emergencies therefore they know and live what the average fireman is going through on the streets, he is a member of the DC Police and Fire Retirement Board which is one of the most viable retirement systems in the Country…. As I told 1664 many, many moons ago if you just wait the Volunteer forces will slowly die why spend all this money time and attention to get your hackles up and them digging in their heels because you are you believe it is wrong. Everyone begins their career in the fire service somewhere and it is hard to leave what you consider a comfort zone. So before you trash someone who has spent much of his career looking out for his fellow firemen show all the facts not just the ones you cherry pick. Oh by the way Local 36 members have minds of their own as I hope your brothers and sisters do so let me help you their is only so much control which the Local or the International have over members… Choice is the Internationals do you want the membership dues which those individuals provide or do you end up losing funds because another firefighters feelings are hurt!
    Thank you from an old Retired DCFD and still dues paying Local 36 member

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You said, “As I told 1664 many, many moons ago if you just wait the Volunteer forces will slowly die.”

      You were wrong then and you are wrong now.

  • John V Pignataro says:

    Why should anyone correct your errors if you are sure of your facts stand by them … It is your responsibility to put forth credible and factual information you already admitted to several being incorrect dude….

    • Eric Lamar says:

      This may seem like rocket science to you but if you want to say I am incorrect, then prove it. That’s how the world works, even in retirement.

    • Chris says:

      Just to fact check Pignataro. When the Federal government handed over “Home Rule” to DC, they had to fully fund all aspects of the DC government including the Fire Police Pension. To attribute that to Ed Smith is irresponsible.

  • Chuck says:

    Well I’m going to leave with this we all know who is pushing this because they did not get picked. Ed and all the members of local 36 has done a outstanding job not only for the local but also for the IAFF as a whole and the retirement board

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You have failed to answer in sum or substance any of the entirely legitimate labor/union concerns I have raised and you are already leaving the field.

  • Sean Gilligan says:

    If we took a holistic look at this, all locals in the DC/ Balto/ NOVA have two hatters in PG, MoCo, AA, Balto Co. L36 is the biggest union so proportionately would have higher numbers, each local contributes to the two hatter issue. To pick apart Ed Smith after he was challenged before he could even become president seems to be slanted. Via IAFF bylaws and Local 36 acceptance of said laws if he volunteers he can be sanctioned AND not hold any executive post. He and 1619’s president used to volunteer “that was then”. This article reeks of 1619 favoritism and by sheer numbers not counting the members of other locals who two hat seem like an agenda based attack on Ed Smith…just sayin

  • Sean Gilligan says:

    I did the work for Chuck in my earlier post: Riverdale’s Chief is not a L36 member- Marlboro Asst Chief is not a L36 member- No West Lanham Chief is a L36 member –

  • John V Pignataro says:

    First and foremost put out correct facts and no one will dispute them sir…

    Secondly what are the credentials which you say are shaky on the part of Ed Smith other then just your one issue of his history and what makes these others you so kindly listed so much greater? It is your opinion and we know that opinions are like my friend they are like assholes everyone has them and some are bigger then others…

    Finally what do you think Local 36 can or cannot do to members whom continue to volunteer?

    FYI Local 36 has over 1700 members it is one of the largest in District 4 and is run efficiently by Ed Smith and the Officers whom are so elected. Feel free to dispute anything I have just written

  • Brian says:

    What about all your Local members who volunteer in other counties? Where are their names? Its easy to talk about one department because you have a problem with them and you wish you worked for an all career department but the reality is you don’t. You knew the system before you chose to fill out an application to work there. Deal with your choices.
    This list is skewed just as bad as the one was back in the year 2000.
    Before you ask, no I do not volunteer in PG. I have not for over a decade, but I do know you obviously got your feelings hurt and are lashing out like a baby as your Local is known to do.
    Local 36 may have more two hatters than Local 1619, but in a ratio we have many more members than your departments. Until you have NO members two hatting please shut up and fix your house first.

  • Justin Beard says:

    Not Lamar it’s not rocket science. It seems the facts that you have are false and must be being fed to you by someone who doesn’t obviously know the truth or the facts. And as for the list of potential candidates you listed, be happy that they aren’t running for 4th District. Maybe you should speak to other locals before you put a bunch of names out.

  • Jim says:

    Geez, I hate to hijack this thread but after 40 years of hearing the same crap year after year, doesn’t some of these crybabies get tierd of complaining about the same thing over and over again?

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Actually, you have it (ALL) wrong. My point is that Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith is a haven for two-hatters who screw over other IAFF members.

      I have no idea what you are referring to.

      Please try to stay on topic.

      Thank you.

  • Scott Creelman says:

    I have been volunteering in my community for 28 years. I have been in the DCFD and member of local 36 for almost 23 years. This is where my love for this career began. As with many others and myself included I have not forgotten where I came from and got my start. There are people within the IAFF that “2 hat” in other careers and jobs. Electricians painters construction mechanics and the list goes on. Point being that you are throwing stones at a very small group. Do you really want to open this can of worms ?

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Once again:

      My point is that Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over other IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time.

      I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect.

      Eric

  • Justin Beard says:

    Mr Lamar if you would step out of your pretend world you would see that this happens all over the country. It’s not just Local 36 members. Obviously you have altered views on Local 36 or you simply are just using them to blame for your downfalls. Maybe you should try to stop two hatting in your own local before you worry about someone else’s local.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Justin:

      My focus is on Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith. It is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over brother and sister IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time they “two-hat.”.

      I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect.

      Thank you for writing.

      Eric

  • Eric Lamar says:

    By the way, as I said to someone earlier today, I live in DCFD E-21’s first due.

    What would Local-36 members think if I went over and bumped the engine officer for a few hours tonight?

    There would be hell to pay.

    (And, I am not anti-volunteer; in fact, I was one. It’s not volunteering that is the problem, it is where and under what circumstances.)

  • Kevin Anderson says:

    Fact check : 29 yrs and counting as a volunteer
    14 yrs with DCFD/L36 and counting
    Tomorrow is my 2nd day off, thinks me might spend the day riding fire trucks for free !!!!!

  • Brian says:

    Eric I welcome you to try it. See the big difference is we are an all career department which is something you can’t relate too. You want to be but are not and CANNOT be one for many years past your retirement date. You county does not have the $$$$$ to do it.

    I applaud you for attempting to stand tall for your membership. Its actually admirable. However attacking someone because you didn’t get your way is very childish.
    As has been said before by many, until you have zero L1619 members volunteering in other locals your points are mute. An example would be several L1619 members volunteering with MPD, or in Calvert County which runs mutual aid to PG, or in Montgomery and Frederick Co’s.
    Fix your issues then you may have some credit in your argument.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Brian-

      Your head is rather large.

      DCFEMS is a medium fish in a small pond.

      About the whole fact check thing, check your’s.

      I retired 16 years ago.

      By the way, as I said to someone earlier today, I live in DCFD E-21′s first due.

      What would Local-36 members think if I went over and bumped the engine officer for a few hours tonight?

      There would be hell to pay.

      Finally, My focus is on Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith.

      It is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over brother and sister IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time they “two-hat.”.

      I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect.

      Thank you for writing.

      Eric

  • Justin Beard says:

    I don’t think your being fair by putting this on Ed Smith. Yes he is the president of Local 36 but he can’t control nor mandate what his members do off duty. I think your reason for him not being 4th District VP is invalid. If that’s all you have on Ed Smith than let’s put him in office. We have bigger fish to fry than worry about one fault of someone.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Actually, Justin, it’s on Harold Schaitberger.

      In the current environment Ed is apparently beloved as a local leader.

      Let’s keep him there and elect someone who will build a strong fourth district.

      Then we keep everyone happy or at least happier.

      Eric

    • Sam says:

      So I guess the right person is you? It’s funny reading the posts and you saying it’s not personal towards Ed Smith but then you badh him saying he doesn’t have what it takes to build a strong 4th district. Your department you retired from has a boat load of two hatters as well, but your a better choice than Ed in your mind. Isn’t you department in a right to work state? So basically you have never delt with collective bargaining, and all of the issues that vomes with it. Basically your folks pay money into the international to and you union has no power. I agree with Scott, before you go throwing stones at or about Ed all of your scabs involved in construction, electrical, ect. On their day off taking union jobs accounts for the same thing as a person who volunteers where there is a union. “Scabs” is what you called my brothers in DCFD and I don’t volunteer anywhere nor have I ever in PG. You have not commented on the points brought out about your union members, you just keep avoiding them.

  • It's me again says:

    I don’t understand… Nearly every comment had some type of reply from the blog writer/manager, but not the one posted earlier that said:

    “If we are going to state facts and accurate data here, let us not forget to include that Andy Pantelis was an active member of the Branchville VFD (11) (inside of IAFF Local 1619′s area), to include being a live-in member there…. Complete with a still unconfirmed (by photos) “Branchville Volunteers” tattoo.

    BUT THAT WAS THEN…”

    Why aren’t we being fair across the board and mentioning the past (scabbing, two hating, volunteering, etc) of all the running candidates? Especially when we are talking about Local 1619 and their President is in the running as well? I realize what your posting is about and I saw exactly what your reasoning was for blogging about said topic. So, no need to copy and paste that again. I also realize that you are friends with some of the other candidates and probably don’t want to tarnish that friendship, but what’s fair is fair….

    I can positively tell you that when you were in a leadership position within the Fairfax County IAFF Local and participated on a high level within the Virginia State IAFF, you had hundreds and then thousands of the same two-hatters under your leadership. I just don’t see how hypocrisy seems ok as the article was written.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      First, I am not friends with any of the candidates, period.

      Mike Mohler, whom I have known the longest, said recently, “nobody will ever confuse Lamar and I as friends.”

      So, you are wrong there.

      About my time as a local president and VPFF president, I always consistently spoke out against volunteering in IAFF locals and where there could be a career service.

      So, you are wrong there, too.

      This is about Local-36 because Schaitberger wants (wanted?) Ed Smith to run even though he well knows how many L-36 members are actively disrespecting other IAFF members by not only volunteering but leading these departments and destroying their chance for decent staffing, job security, pay and benefits.

      Three strikes and you’re out.

      Eric

      PS- I have no idea what Pantelis’s volly history is or was. Why would I?

  • It's me again says:

    Eric,
    I know you’re being bombarded with comments, but perhaps you skimmed through mine a bit too fast. Thus handing out too many “strikes” as you put it.

    A. I didn’t say anything about you speaking out or not speaking out against volunteering during your time with the VPFF. I was simply stating that In your case, you had thousands of two hatters under your leadership. Essentially the same issue you have with Ed Smith.

    B. You may not profess to be friends with anyone, but you sure are getting some of your information from a source or sources that would only know certain facts if they were intimately involved with the PGFD.

    C. If you have no reason to know about Andy Pantelis’ Volly history, then why do you feel the need to know so much about Ed Smiths? I realize Harold didn’t endorse Andy, but they are both running (or were).

    I’m not going to get into the BS, back and forth, age old arguments such as stayed in prior comments. All I will say is that you could not have found out half of the information on Ed Smith that you did, without getting fed from a person or persons from Local 1619. Especially in reference to his exact years of being active. This is a biased attack/opinion, fueled by the “brotherhood”. Politics as usual…

  • Scott Creelman says:

    Local 36 members do not cross any picket lines as you state. If the volunteer departments all closed the doors where would the career personnel ride. PG county cannot afford a fully staffed fully equipped service. You have no argument there. Staffing on PG career apparatus is an absolute joke. A total of 2 persons on a heavy rescue is unacceptable. You should be thanking people who do it for free! So as union members I’m sure ALL of the 1619 members ALL hold cards for the respective part time jobs they work in. A losing battle for the IAFF. IF they choose to enforce this it’s money out of their pocket. A member thrown out of a union does not pay dues or pay the per-capita base. And please don’t go over to E-21 to bump the OIC….. The fire truck wouldn’t leave quarters due to lack of respect!

  • Chris says:

    Scot Creelman, you should hand in your union card And take those stickers off your Geo Metro.

  • Brian says:

    Scott I welcome the attempt actually……lol

    I’m done with this guy. He is a hypocrite trolling on the internet. Let him stew in his hate and choke on it. Who gives a damn what he thinks.

    Like I’ve said before, until his house is clean he has NO valid points in the argument.

  • Eric…since you’re the one who wrote this, why would you ask someone else to check what you deem is factual ? Other than he was a former member of L2068, I don’t know much about the IAFF President, but after reading about other issues on your blog, I’m sure you have legitimate concerns about the role he plays and maybe the lifestyle he lives…with that said…you call L36 President Ed Smith a scab or the ultimate two hatter, because of his faithful dedication to CO.33 in PG County, while at the sametime he was a member of L36…Besides your main focus on Ed, is your other concerns primarily on L36 members who volunteer in PG County and did you do the same half ass stats with your former department to see how many of them still volunteer ?

    Does it bother you to know end that some of these fireman are dedicated to serving their respective communities ? Have you ever volunteered in your community and not just the fire department ? If you have or still do, do you believe your taking something away from someone who is paid to do the same thing ? Can you provide specific examples in Fairfax County where volunteers hinder the progress of career firefighters and prevent them from getting raises, promotions etc…

    I can assure you Ed Smith has served the members of L36 and has gone to bat for each and every member and the department as a whole, that was affected by the previous administration…..I’m positive if Ed was chosen to be the 4th District President, he’d continue to do the great job he’s been doing for the members of L36. I’m not sure if its jealousy, hurt feelings etc., however, I don’t see anything of fact in what you wrote and honestly believe your just upset that Fairfax County did not name one of their engines the Eric Lamar, after you retired…seriously..it doesn’t flow as good as Ed Smith does…

  • Sid Polish says:

    Lamar. Go to E-21 and try and bump the OIC. Let’s see what happens then.

    Sid

  • One more thing Eric…since you retired from a right to work state, why are so concerned about L36 members crossing a picket line or anyone for that matter, crossing a picket line ? Last I checked…those who work in right to work states cannot strike with Virginia being one of them…i know plenty of red stickers like a Red Sox sticker you can buy for less than $10…sounds alot better than paying $700-800 a year for one…but hey…your the one who chose to work in the State of Virginia…now go back to your pity party and stab your IAFF President troll doll with a needle, because your delusional and bring nothing to the discussion except a 3 year olds temper tantrum…

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You are managing to be totally incoherent, illogical and irrational, but carry on.

      My focus is on Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith.

      It is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over brother and sister IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time they “two-hat.”.

      I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect.

      Thank you for writing.

      Eric

  • Scott Creelman says:

    Sorry Chris. Must of hit your soft spot. No stickers for me. No worries though. I’ll leave a box of Kleenex for ya at the watch desk

  • John Pignataro says:

    So you have one issue that you say should disqualify Ed Smith yet it has nothing to do whether or not he is truly qualified to perform that job. Again you wingnut breakdown why he is lesser quality then the other gentlemen you “Think” are more qualified. State fact not your opinion quit dodging this question. If all you have is that Local 36 has as you call them 2 hatters then so did Fairfax, 1669 as well as 1664 please feel free to LIST FACTS not your beliefs or opinions do you think you can handle this challange

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You are managing to be totally incoherent, illogical and irrational, but carry on.

      As I continue to reiterate, my focus is on Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith.

      It is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over brother and sister IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time they “two-hat.”

      That charge IS borne out by the facts.

      The number of L-36 members in volunteer leadership positions in Pennsylvania and Maryland FDs especially is appalling.

      A real union firefighter would be couldn’t dead doing that.

      I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect.

      Thank you for writing.

      Eric

  • Sid Polish says:

    The amount of great work done by Ed Smith and our entire Local 36 governing body is only a small testament of how incredible Ed would do for the entire IAFF. Eric…..Come down to “U” street and try and bump me off my Truck. I am excited to meet you.

    Sid

    • Brian says:

      I sure wish he would hurry up and bump me off 21. My kids are off from school today and I would love nothing more than to be with them while they play in the snow.
      I figured he would be a late reliever but this is ridiculous.

      • Eric Lamar says:

        Your smug trash talk just proves how completely out of touch you and others are about the effect of two-hatting on brother and sisters.

        But, of course, when Mayor Bowser jams you up you will expect the IAFF to be right there.

        Now, THAT’s hypocrisy.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      At the end of the day it’s not what he has done for L-36 but the condoning of two-hatting that disqualifies him from the VP spot though I have to admit that General President Schaitberger is not bothered by it.

  • Eric.. you’ve invited the “smug trash talk” all by your lonesome..you brought up a subject with little to no facts behind it and probably relied on google and various PG Volunteer websites (some may be out of date) to make your argument or in this particular case, lack of.

    Since this is your blog, one would expect a meaningful discussion from you about what you’ve brought to light, however, all you have shown is your inability to have a meaningful discussion, as there’s absolutely zero substance to back your statements up, except to say the same thing over and over like a little girl in grade school.

    You’re upset about the many L36 members two hatting, as they continue to serve their respective communities, but focus only on that, because in your lone opinion, Ed Smith allows this and this gets your thong jammed up in your pretty place. Do you have the statistics that all L36 members in Md, Va, Pa etc., are taking Union jobs away from anyone or the call volume in those jurisdictions is not being handled by the volunteers. If this was the case, you act as if these communities should implement career staffing, but don’t list which jurisdictions those L36 members volunteer in. Along with that, you don’t have a clue what those jurisdictions budget is like, if in fact they did need career staffing. So here you open up a can of worms by making false statements about Ed Smith allowing or condoning L36 members to be two hatters, but that’s all you say and say it with nothing to back your argument up.. WHY? because you have none…That’s like me saying, Eric Lamar has a vagina, but I don’t know if he does, but ill say it anyways..btw…do you have a vagina ?

  • Brian says:

    Maybe if your cut and paste comment was

    “I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect AS WELL AS EQUALITY IN JUGDEMENT”

    You would have a shot at L36 members listening to your pleas. Instead you condemn one Local leader who is in the same position as all other surrounding Locals INCLUDING PG COUNTY.

    Like most of have said several times, clean out your own closet or whomever you are speaking for and being fed information from and then come at us (Ed Smith). You wont get sympathy from us until your chosen one is guilt free of the SAME thing you are accusing Ed Smith of. There is not one Local in the area that does not have Two Hatters. Prove me wrong and I will drive over to your house in Adams Morgan and personally apologize to your face.

  • Brian…ill comment for Eric…lol
    My focus is on Schaitberger’s selection of Ed Smith. It is a poor choice because L-36, as led by Smith, is a haven for two-hatters who screw over brother and sister IAFF members by effectively crossing a picket line every time they “two-hat.”. I am focused on building a strong union and treating fellow union members with dignity and respect. Thank you for writing. Eric – See more at: http://www.turnoutblog.com/2015/02/25/iaff-harold-ed-and-the-silent-picket-line/#sthash.xg9Pxzea.dpuf

  • BTW…what is a real Union Firefighter ????…my guess would be one that does his job as a career firefighter, works with local jurisdictions, whether all volunteer, paid/combination, paid on call etc., to effect one common goal..To provide the best service to the citizens and visitors of those respective communities.

    There’s good reason why a Union, at least in Virginia, is ineffective in their goal to constantly push the we don’t like our members volunteering in other Locals or volunteering in general. I’m sure that Local 2068 has done good things for its members and non members, because in a right to work state, you can enjoy the benefits (if any) without joining, but the issues they have with volunteers will never go away. Your approach towards those who volunteer in communities where you feel they cannot handle the call volume, therefore, implanting a career staff is a priority, is and will continue to not work. Sorry Eric, but not all jurisdictions can do this for a number of reasons and the biggest of them being, they don’t have the budgets to do this even if it was mutually agreed to implement career staffing or at the very least, supplement career personnel to fill the gaps in the volunteer system. Loudoun County is a perfect example of how they implemented career staffing and individual companies/corporations like Leesburg, who at one time paid an individual to be at the firehouse as a driver to make sure the apparatus got out the door…I believe that person was a career or maybe retired FFX County firefighter.

    I understand it takes both sides to realize when you can no longer handle the call volume because of growth, but if the volunteers have adequate staffing 24/7 365 days a year like some PG County stations do, then there’s no need to fix something that’s not broken. Why would you push an agenda on a volunteer organization, especially a place like Kentland, where they not only have a high call volume, but staff all their apparatus.

    Which leaves me and probably others to wonder why your vajayjay is so sore about Ed Smith and your false allegations, that he allows his members to volunteer where IAFF members work. For starters..how about naming the jurisdictions in Pennsylvania where Local 36 members volunteer at. Do you have the call volume statistics in each of those jurisdictions where you again claim, without zero facts, they’re volunteering where IAFF members work and that many are in leadership positions ? So other than just saying the number of L36 members in volunteer leadership positions is appalling, where is your factual information to back up your statements ? A REAL BLOGGER WOULD ANSWER THIS

  • Roger says:

    Obviously this was written by Andrew Pantelis the former “Volunteer for Life tattoo guy” who is running for the 4th District VP.

    Why did you not give him credit?

  • Bill says:

    Eric,

    Internet muscles are fantastic aren’t they! Stop beating around the bush and tell us all why you and Harold are not so friendly anymore? Obviously your pain runs much deeper than you are willing to admit. The slant on that article is very interesting as I’m sure that could have been written about any one of the candidates, as I am sure you are aware of Andy’s union hating rants when he was “the man” in the Branchville volunteer fire department. Even you make note of how you only “made noise” about the two hatters in your organization when you led it, yet did nothing to fix the problem, hypocritical on all fronts. And if we are going to talk about “two hatting” or taking union brothers jobs lets not forget about all our brothers that work in the building trades, and various other union trades. I am sure you are well aware that Fairfax if wrought with union job stealing “brothers” but I’m confident you did nothing to “fix” those members when you were the man in VA. Hell I bet you had some of them perform work at your house over the years! All in all no one in the IAFF is perfect, not just the 4th district, so please stop beating around the bush, let everyone know what transpired that made Harold kick you to the curb, as that seems to be the catalyst for the majority of your rants.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Internet muscles. L-O-L. At least when I flex mine I am not anonymous like so many of you are.

      I feel for you guys having to drag in all the other superfluous junk about me, other jurisdictions, etc.

      You just can’t get the fact that this is about the president of an international union recruiting a candidate who is effectively ineligible because of the flagrant historical and on-going volunteering by L-36 members in locations with IAFF locals.

      That’s it, it’s very simple.

      If you are a union member and you are volunteering in one of these places you are screwing over your brothers and sisters every time you do it.

      Ed may be a super local prez for 36 but he does not belong on the IAFF board where we need leaders who will fight for jobs, not give them away.

      Attacking me won’t change the simple facts.

      By the way, it is my experience that people do not share posts they don’t agree with and 1,180 have shared this one in a little over 24 hours.

      That’s another inconvenient fact.

      You and yours can continue to lob in fringe arguments, nonsense and personal trash but the truth is the truth.

  • Roger says:

    Eric,

    Please acknowledge the nature of your relationship with Andy Pantelis of Local 1619?

    • Eric Lamar says:

      No relationship with any of the candidates, announced or unannounced or previously thrown to the wayside.

      Feel better?

  • Scab for life says:

    #scabforlife #what’sunionbrotherhood

  • Richard Peterson says:

    “By the way, it is my experience that people do not share posts they don’t agree with and 1,180 have shared this one in a little over 24 hours.”

    We all know that statement is BS. People share posts all the time on subjects they don’t agree with…it starts dialogue and that can make for entertainment and constructive (and destructive) arguments. I shared because once again, this issue gets raised. An old retired guy commented on my Facebook that when he became a DC fireman in 1969, this issue was being raised then. It’s the same stuff, different decade. My share got 5 or 6 other shares, mostly from guys like me: “two-hatters.” The station at which I volunteer, however, had the paid men removed because PG county couldn’t afford to keep them there. I never did agree with IAFF 36 members staffing their firehouses on VSU days, but let’s be realistic: no one is going to stop them. Local 36 has much larger fights to pick.
    As for Ed being a superb leader, no one can compete with him for having a set of stones and his sheer intimidation when it comes down to it. It also helps that Local 36 is one of the largest and oldest IAFF unions as well (note: I didn’t say THE largest).
    In the end, I completely understand that this is your blog and you’re more than welcome to post whatever you want. I knew that sharing it would stir emotions, but at the same time, I also comprehend this is an opinion piece. Unfortunately, some don’t seem to grasp that concept and think that what you preach is some sort of gospel and want to keep you from your opinion. It’s not hard to find my re-post of your blog and the commentary underneath it. While I don’t agree with everything posted, it’s their right to post it, much like your ability to blog about it. I enjoy a healthy discussion of events, but I DO know how firemen get and it’s surely not for the squeamish.

  • In the meantime…Eric Lamar still does not engage in meaningful conversation nor can he refute any of the comments here…Its obvious that you have a history with the IAFF President and maybe its warranted..however, because you do not like the man..don’t bad mouth his choice for the 4th District President…..coming from a right to work state you act as if your this big powerful union guy from Boston…Detroit…DC etc.,..hate to burst your ego,,but your not…in Virginia you can rant and rave all you want but at the end of the day you get what your employer gives you…a little bit different in DC…we have a leader in Ed Smith and he’s only going to raise the bar if he’s chosen as the 4th District President….your picking when you attack him and make false statements about what he allows his members to do..like Richard said..this is your blog, but if your going to raise an issue, at least back it up with something credible..so far you’ve failed miserably to do that..as for your sharing statistics..have you considered that maybe 1180 people shared this to show others what a d-bag you are…ok..ill give you 50, but that still leaves 1130…

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Thanks for once again dragging in all the extraneous nonsense but this is all very simple.

      Harold Schaitberger attempted to recruit a candidate who has (at least) 20 members serving as volunteer chiefs in just one jurisdiction.

      That’s extraordinary and it flies in the face of protecting the rights of brother and sister firefighters or building a strong union.

      The president of the IAFF should be bitterly opposed to such a situation yet he is silent.

      Heave in all the garbage you want but the facts are the facts.

      This is about what is happening right here and right now.

      It has nothing to do with other states, other locals.

      I’d say the same exact thing about any candidate with that kind of baggage.

      As far as hypocrisy goes, it’s the two-hatters spouting the firefighter brotherhood BS that take the cake.

      I have responsibly addressed every worthy comment, excuse me if I ignore the nonsense and personal attacks.

      Cheers.

  • UnionFire43 says:

    You guys are amazing….
    I’m going to ignore the fact that most of you have missed Eric’s point completely, that he was making a statement directly at Schaitberger hand-picking a new district VP that would be more of a yes man, and speak to the “two-hatting”. It is amazing that we have so many hypocrites in the IAFF who feel it is acceptable to be both an IAFF fire fighter and volunteer someplace else, against the IAFF’s C&B. Any IAFF member who is currently volunteering should have his union card yanked…period. I started over 30 years ago as a volunteer. When I became a career IAFF fire fighter 28 years ago I gave up the volunteer side. Ironically, not because of the union, as I was unaware of the conflict then, but due more to the possibility of injury at a volunteer department not covering the job I had that supported my family. Now with cancer presumption, only an idiot would risk volunteering in a CP state. But, then again, after reading the posts…
    Eric, I may not always agree with your assessments, but I appreciate your taking the time to research the issues you do, and giving us information to consider.

  • Roger says:

    UnionFire43
    You make some good points and strongly agree on your point regarding health. However I feel you have also missed the true intent of this blog which is two-fold.

    1. Roger has yet to reveal his source for the information found in this blog. Additionally he will not address his personal or professional relationship with Andy Pantellis.

    2. As you may or may not know, Andy Pantellis from Prince George’s County is running for 4th District VP and Roger is simply carrying his water to achieve HIS overarching goal to smear Harold. I know for a fact that Andy has access to this information and has it readily available to share to anyone and everyone to deflect away from his own activities as a volunteer.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Roger-

      I’m not Roger, you are.

      Please get in the game.

      I have no personal or professional relationship with any candidate.

      My info on scabbed-out volunteers is available on this thing called the “internet.”

      You should check it out.

      Harold picked a fourth district candidate who is immersed in volunteer culture; an odd choice for a labor union president.

      Cheers!

      Eric

  • 102 says:

    Just want to know what’s your problem with Harold. The way you talk about him, he must have stuck it up your ass pretty good. Others want to know how Harold really stuck it to the “1” who has all the answers for the IAFF.

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