President's Message

The Fire Lines

On Thursday, March 22nd, around 11:00pm, a fire broke out in a Harlem building that was the set for an Edward Norton movie 'Motherless Brooklyn'. Firefighter Michael Davidson, 37, from Engine Company 69 was assigned the nozzle. Davidson was separated from his unit and was found unconscious by other firefighters. He was taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Davidson served the FDNY for 15 years and is the 1,150th member of the FDNY to make the Supreme Sacrifice while serving the City of New York. Davidson is survived by his wife Eileen, and four children. His funeral was held on Tuesday, March 27th at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Thousands of firefighters, uniformed personnel, and mourners attended the funeral to honor their fallen brother and support his young family during this difficult time.

Our hearts break for FF Michael R. Davidson's wife, Eileen; his four children; his brother UFA Delegate Eric, E 88; his father Robert, Ret. L 28; and his brothers at Engine 69 and Ladder 28, and all of our FDNY family. Firefighter Davidson is a hero, and in his death embodies the title of 'Bravest'. His death is a reminder of the dangerous work New York City firefighters do every day in our city. Firefighter Michael R. Davidson's sacrifice will never be forgotten. Davidson was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on March 22, 2018.

This spring has been especially tragic as we also lost Master Sergeant Christopher Raguso and Captain Christopher T. Zanetis both of whom were serving in the military and died in a helicopter crash in Iraq. Tragically FDNY members continue to die from 9/11-related illnesses. Since the terrorist attacks, the toll continues upward as we have already lost over 175 members due to 9/11-related illnesses.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Update
On December 4th, 2017 the Board of Trustees of the Fire Pension Fund of the City of New York announced that 'retired members currently receiving a World Trade Center disability pension will be permitted to refile WTC re-classification applications for additional qualifying medical conditions'.

Challenges Ahead
Big challenges are ahead in 2018 and the UFA is up for the task. The top priority is negotiating a new contract with the City. To stay current on the progress in negotiations, stay connected to your Delegates.

Janus Case
The UFA is also very concerned about the Janus case that is currently under review before the Supreme Court. Specifically, if the court decides that the mandatory collection of agency fees from workers is no longer enforceable, it could have a devastating affect on union labor. As I've said repeatedly, unions have set the pattern for wages both inside and outside of the union movement despite the persistent erosion of the labor movement the last thirty years. Dismantling unions by making membership elective would be a severe blow to workers everywhere. I'm confident, however, that UFA members are very aware of the gains won for them. Last year, we celebrated our centennial and our history is a litany of rights and gains won for firefighters in the City of New York. Recognizing this, I believe our members would support the UFA knowing that there is great strength in numbers. Refer to UFA Vice President LeRoy McGinnis' Legislative Update for more information relating to the Janus Case.

In May, the UFA will be conducting its Delegate Education Seminar in Atlantic City. I hope to see many of you at this annual event. Stay tuned to www.ufanyc.org for the most current updates.

Be well and stay safe!

Gerard Fitzgerald
UFA President