of Fire Fighters
Local No. 3
The earliest formation of fire unions in the United States came at the turn of the century. Prior to this time, members of the fire departments were wholly dependant to the good will of the municipal officials for salaries, working conditions, and other benefits. The continuous duty system in the early years allowed firefighters to leave the station only three times per day to obtain meals. They may have received one day per month off. The concept of pensions, insurance and other basic benefits was unheard of. Vacations were available, but if a manpower shortage existed, vacations were cancelled. Promotions were made almost wholly upon the political pull of a firefighter and his friends.
It was because of these conditions that the birth seed of fire unions was planted.
Pueblo Firefighters organized as the City Firemen's Union No. 14339 on October 12, 1912, and was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, the Colorado State Federation of Labor, the Pueblo Trades & Labor Assembly, and the Colorado State Firemen's Association 6 years before the formation of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), in February of 1918.
The First 5 Locals of the IAFF:
Pittsburgh, PA #1
Chicago, IL #2
Pueblo, CO #3
Des Moines, IA #4
Colorado Springs, CO #5