IAFF-MDA: The Shakedown, Believe it or Not


I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that a few folks actually can’t bring themselves to believe that the IAFF Executive Board shakes down MDA for just about $1.4 million dollars each year.

One commenter suggested it must be for banners, bags and buttons.


$1.4M is a lot of money.

I bet IAFF leaders can’t even figure out where to put it all as there is no way the IAFF could possibly justify taking that kind of money.

(To be clear, they shouldn’t take a single nickel.)

It still amazes me that one non-profit (IAFF) would shakedown another non-profit (MDA) because they help them raise money for their cause.

It’s especially tragic that a few IAFF members are ready to defend the practice of skimming nickels meant for sick children.

That takes a very hard heart.

One leader wrote:

“Since virtually all of the fundraising is done by on duty FD personnel using all of the physical  assets and infrastructure of their departments, it follows that the taxpayers are in actual fact underwriting these efforts.

They are paying their employees to fundraise rather than doing whatever else they might be doing while on duty.

(Since it is a holiday weekend you can bet there are many who are making OT to do it.)

In many (most?) jurisdictions where this takes place these firefighters are getting a legal ‘pass’ from local anti-panhandling laws and ordinances.

Few if any other organizations are allowed to wade into traffic to collect money from persons in motor vehicles.

In addition, the helmets, hi-viz vests, radios, uniforms, firetrucks, etc. all signify that this fundraising is taking place under color of governmental authority.

Because of all of this, the IAFF’s skim is all the more objectionable.

Many, I for one, have no problem supporting the MDA and/or the efforts of local firefighters, but I’m not interested in supporting Shaitberger and his cronies.

It is a great cause, but it has been corrupted.”

Finding Out Where the Money Goes

The IAFF should publicly disclose all of the details of their financial relationship with MDA.

Publish the IAFF/MDA contract if there is one.

Provide a dollar by dollar accounting of how $1.4M is expended.

Good luck, of course, with any of that.

Another direct and very effective option to find out is for IAFF members to simply text or call their IAFF District Vice-President and ask the same questions of them.

Do not allow the IAFF Executive Board to hide behind Harold Schaitberger.

Don’t have your DVP’s number?

Here they are:

1st District- Romaka (917) 834-1414
2nd District- Woolbright  (314) 393-9755
 3rd District- Mullane (617) 543-0580
4th District- Taylor (443) 324-2529
5th District- Thornberg  (612) 222-5706
6th District- West (604) 868-8730
7th District- Walsh (509) 999-3090
8th District- Hufnagel (517) 281-2832
9th District- Rahne (303) 619-2462
10th District- Ferguson (415) 760-8063
11th District- McGhee (918) 855-8228
12th District- Osborne (904) 219-8656
13th District- LeBlanc (613) 328-2195
14th District- Todd (901) 409-6549
 15th District- Burry (709) 689-7574
16th District- Johnson 937-470-4340
In 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, Harold Schaitberger spent $120,000 of IAFF money for fancy meals, many costing thousands apiece.
The Shakedown of MDA is just one of the many ways he pays for it.
When is enough, enough?
Care About Ethics?
Then “Share” this Post.
Stop the Schaitberger Corruption.
Be a part of Saving Our Union.
Send some version of the sentence below, even a cut and paste, to the address just beneath it.
“I am a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and I am requesting that the US DOL immediately begin to investigate allegations of corruption including illegal compensation and reckless and destructive spending by International Officers.  
Thank you.”
Email to the US Department of Labor at:  olms-public@dol.gov



  • Marvin Wilson says:

    This was reported to the membership by Vinnie Bollon some years ago in the newsletter. NOW… If the purveyors of this information and intended take down of HAS with all the innuendos, I say now, if you have evidence of criminal doings, as a member you can “File Charges” This is called manning up!!

    if not. work on something positive.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Hey Marvin, I don’t know what Vinny reported in the magazine, but it wasn’t 1.4 million. Have a nice day.

  • William Bailey says:

    I have no problem with MDA funding the firefighters efforts on their behalf. If I had to raise dues to buy all the posters, stickers and etc, I would think our members would not be as positive about the effort. Frankly, 1.4 million is a good investment given the nation wide success of the MDA and IAFF team effort and return on investment rate. And many IAFF locals are prohibited from collecting on duty using city equipment and assets. JMO:Don’t broad brush the efforts.

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