by Pam Zubeck
Candidates for six Springs City Council district seats in the April 2 election who hoped for formal backing from some of the most honored among us — firefighters — would have been disappointed yesterday.
The Colorado Springs Professional Fire Fighters Local 5 announced it wouldn't officially support anyone, due to "the condensed nature of this election cycle."
In 2011, firefighters endorsed Richard Skorman for mayor instead of Steve Bach. Bach, who soundly bested Skorman, recently proposed firefighters, along with cops, get a healthy raise to put them on par with their counterparts in other cities. He's also revisiting the city's participation in the emergency ambulance contract that serves all of El Paso County, a process that could lead to firefighters picking up that duty.
Here's the firefighters' statement:
Your Colorado Springs Professional Fire fighters have made the decision to not endorse any of the potential seat holders for City Council for the 2013 City Council election. Due to the condensed nature of this election cycle, we feel the time and resources of our members would be more responsibly spent by continuing to work with and further educate all candidates, as well as citizens, rather than endorse any individual.
The Colorado Springs Professional Fire fighters value any opportunity to educate policy makers about matters of public safety, and believe it is critical to safeguarding our community. We rely on our elected officials to have a thorough understanding of issues related to fire and EMS, and to facilitate the conversation publicly. We are confident, as the political history of our organization would demonstrate, that we can forge relationships and work collaboratively with whomever should be successful in their bid for public office. Local 5 will continue to work with the current and soon to be elected Council Members in striving to provide the best service to the citizens of Colorado Springs while ensuring the safety of its’ firefighters.
Colorado Springs Professional Fire Fighters, Local 5, is a union-based organization that represents the majority of active line personnel on the Colorado Springs Fire Department. With an emphasis on firefighter safety and the fair treatment of its members, Local 5 works with fire department administration, city elected officials, and other public safety entities to effectively provide the citizens of Colorado Springs with professional fire, rescue and emergency medical care services. Founded in 1918, Local 5 is a charter member of The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the IAFF represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who provide emergency medical response to 80 percent of
the population in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit www.iafflocal5.com.