August 29, 2007  
CONTACT: Bill Glanz
                     David Roscow

Fire Fighters Endorse Sen. Chris Dodd,
Prepare Early-State Blitz

Dodd Offers Proven Leadership to Keep America Safe
and Middle Class Families Secure

WASHINGTON – Presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) won the prized endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the union that pushed Sen. John Kerry to the Democratic nomination four years ago, because of the proven leadership he offers to keep the country safe and America’s middle class secure.

Invoking the nation’s lack of disaster preparedness on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s assault on the Gulf Coast, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger lamented, “Our President failed us then and continues to fail us today. The fire fighters of this nation believe we need a candidate with the leadership and experience to get this nation back on track.”

Although Dodd is not among the front-runners for the nomination, Schaitberger pointed out that the IAFF four years ago decided to support Kerry when he was trailing badly in the polls. With fire fighters gathering “carloads of Kerry” supporters for Iowa’s caucuses and going door to door in neighborhoods in New Hampshire, Kerry vaulted to the head of the Democratic pack and cruised to victory.

“Today we begin another challenge and exciting political journey,” said Schaitberger, who was preparing to join Dodd on trips this week to Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada to rally fire fighters.

Sen. Dodd, appearing with Schaitberger, thanked the union for its endorsement.

“I am honored that America’s fire fighters have put their trust in my leadership the keep America ready and keep their families secure,” Sen. Dodd said.

Describing the IAFF process that weighed the opinions of leaders and members across the country, Schaitberger said the final decision came down to the capacity to lead and protect the nation. “We think that if the citizens of this country don’t feel a candidate will keep them safe and secure, the other issues won’t matter.”

Dodd has been an ardent advocate for community safety throughout his terms in the House and Senate. He authored two key laws to provide resources and manpower for first responders – the FIRE Act grants and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act. He also helped lead the effort in Congress to implement all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report. As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dodd has played a central role in nearly every foreign policy debate over the past 25 years, working with six presidents and fostering relationships with many of today’s most important world figures.

“Chris Dodd has a wealth of experience and record of leadership on national and homeland security matters, and he is a proven leader who can bring our nation together,” the IAFF said in an emailed announcement to members. “With the boldest plans to make health insurance, college tuition and energy more affordable, we know that Chris Dodd will continue to fight for the middle class as President.”

The IAFF has a strong record of helping candidates in national, state and local levels – from both political parties. In March, the union hosted the nation’s first bipartisan presidential forum, drawing most of the major Republican and Democratic candidates.

The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 281,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics in every state in the United States and in Canada.  More information is available at and at


Editor’s note:

Fire Fighters Endorsement Tour

Thursday, August 30 – Iowa. Iowa City 9 a.m., Des Moines 1 p.m., Council Bluffs 4:30 p.m.

Friday, August 31 – New Hampshire. Manchester 10 a.m.

Saturday, September 1 – Nevada. Reno 9 a.m., Las Vegas 2 p.m.