The IAFF Executive Board has voted unanimously to conduct an all-virtual Emergency Convention based on the authority provided in the IAFF Constitution, Article IV, Section 12, with the Convention still occurring January 25-28, 2021. Learn More



January 25-28, 2021

GREETINGS! You are hereby notified that, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the 55th Convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters will be held virtually beginning Monday, January 25, 2021, and will remain in session day-to-day until the business of the Convention is completed.

REPRESENTATION: Local unions with a membership of 100 or less shall be entitled to one delegate. Locals with a membership exceeding 100 shall be entitled to delegates as follows:

101 – 250 = 2
251 – 500 = 3
501 – 750 = 4
751 – 1000 = 5
1001 – 1250 = 6
1251 – 1500 = 7
1501 – 1750 = 8
1751 – 2000 = 9
2001 + =10

State or provincial associations or joint councils duly chartered by this Association shall be entitled to two delegates at International Conventions provided any per capita tax or portion of fees due at the International on individual members admitted to such subordinate unions is current as required by Article XIV, Section 4.

To be entitled to representation of its delegates at convention, a local union must pay its per capita tax on its full membership as required by the International Constitution and By-Laws, Article XIII, Section 2.

However, representation and voting strength of the local union shall be allocated on the basis of the average amount of per capita tax paid monthly by the local from April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020.

Local unions not in existence for the full 12 months preceding March 31, 2020, per capita tax paid will be averaged over the period of their existence on a monthly basis.

All per capita tax and EDF loans must be paid in full through November 2020 in order to be entitled to representation at Convention.

ONLINE ONLY – Credential and Registration Process!

DELEGATE CREDENTIALS: Access to the online credential and registration process will be available to affiliate presidents, secretaries and secretary-treasurers beginning Monday, September 21, 2020, for all locals that have paid per capita through August 2020. Look for an email advising that credentials have opened.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR AFFILIATE OFFICERS TO COMPLETE THE CREDENTIAL PROCESS PRIOR TO LOGGING IN TO THE VIRTUAL CONVENTION PLATFORM. Failure to do so could result in a significant delay in your delegation being able to register and receive credentials. If a delegate/alternate delegate does not have their credentials, they are not permitted to be seated online.


WHO CAN BE A DELEGATE AND ALTERNATE: Delegates and Alternates to International Conventions must be members in good standing of the local union or other subordinate body represented.

Local unions are reminded that the International Constitution and By-Laws requires that the credentials presented by the delegates and alternates must certify that they have been elected by secret ballot vote of the members in good standing of the local (Article XIII, Section 15).
In the case of all state or provincial associations or joint councils, an option is provided by the International Constitution and By-Laws (Article IV, Section 4). If the delegates or alternates are elected by secret ballot of the MEMBERS in good standing of all the local unions comprising the state or provincial associations or joint councils, such delegates are entitled to voice and vote and full participation in the Convention proceedings including the nomination and election of International officers. If, however, the delegates and alternates are elected by secret ballot of the local union delegates to the state or provincial associations or joint councils, such delegates are entitled to voice and vote in all convention proceedings except the right to participate in the nomination and election of International officers. This is a requirement of law under the Landrum-Griffin Act and also applies to our International officers who are delegates-at-large. ALL DELEGATE CREDENTIALS MUST CERTIFY BY WHICH METHOD THE DELEGATES WERE ELECTED.

The IAFF urges advanced registration payments to avoid delays in accessing this all-virtual emergency convention.

All registered delegates and alternates must log in to the virtual convention platform by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, January 25, 2021, to be credentialed. Past this deadline, a floor vote by the delegates is required before a delegate may be seated.

ALTERNATE CREDENTIALS: If an affiliate elects to send alternate delegates to the Convention, only one alternate per delegate is permitted.



PROXY: Local unions of 100 members or less who do not send a delegate to the Convention may be represented by a delegate by giving its proxy to that delegate. In addition, such local union may also select an alternate delegate to carry the proxy in the event the first delegate is unable to attend.

The following conditions must be observed if the proxy method is to be used:

  1. A local union granting a proxy and the delegate from the local union accepting the proxy must be in the same IAFF district;
  2. If a local union granting a proxy also wishes to select an alternate delegate, both the delegate and the alternate delegate must come from the same local union accepting the proxy; and
  3. A proxy may be authorized only after nomination and election by secret ballot among the members of the local union granting the proxy.

The procedures for authorizing a proxy apply to the selection of a principal delegate as well as to the selection of a second alternate delegate, (if any). Nominees must be named delegates of another local union in the District which has already elected such delegates to go to the Convention. Nominations may be made at any meeting of the local union but a notice of when nominations will be held must be given and notice of the date, time, and place of election must be mailed to its membership at least 15 days in advance of such election. Nominations and elections may be held at the same meeting provided the notice has been sent. The election must be conducted by secret ballot, but if only one delegate is nominated to carry the proxy (and if only one delegate is nominated as an alternate delegate to carry the proxy) it is not necessary to conduct the election. No local union delegate may accept proxies to represent membership in excess of 100 and provided, further, that in no event shall the total of proxy votes carried by all delegates within a local union exceed 200. Proxy voting shall be permitted only in a roll call vote and in the election of officers and shall be cast by the delegate carrying the proxy. (Article IV, Section 2, IAFF Constitution and By-Laws).

DEADLINE: ALL PROXY CREDENTIALS MUST BE COMPLETED (approved by both affiliate officers) online by 5:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

IMPORTANT: In order to be selected to carry a proxy for another local, the proxy carrier MUST be credentialed and registered (paid) for Convention.


REGISTRATION FEES: Advance payment of registration fees is encouraged when completing the credentialing process. The following charges will be levied as registration fees.

$100 (U.S.) Each Delegate and Alternate Delegate

Guests: To ensure a secure online event, the Executive Board has decided that we will not have guests at this all-virtual Emergency Convention. All guest fees that have already been paid will be refunded.



CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS AMENDMENTS AND CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS: Amendments to the International Constitution and By-Laws or resolutions for convention action may be submitted only by local unions, state and provincial associations or joint councils of this Association, or by its International officers or the Executive Board, or by the delegates at International Conventions as hereafter provided.

Amendments or resolutions proposed by a local union, state, provincial association, joint council or by International officers or by the Executive Board shall be subject to adoption by a majority vote of the delegates present and voting at a biennial convention.

Other than censure resolutions, all resolutions to be considered by any convention of this Association must be received by the International General Secretary-Treasurer no later than 50 days (Monday, December 7, 2020) immediately preceding the opening of the Convention. Resolution 16, adopted at the 2000 Convention, also allows affiliates to submit copies of resolutions by email (strongly encouraged). Any resolutions received not complying with these deadlines will be returned. If you wish to email your resolution, please forward to [email protected]. In emergency situations, defined as a situation occurring between the 50-day period immediately preceding the Convention and the Convention itself, including the days during which it is in session, emergency resolutions may be received only upon unanimous consent of the Convention delegates.

All resolutions, accompanied by a cost factor summary statement – if applicable – prepared by the General Secretary-Treasurer, will be made available to the membership electronically prior to Convention.



CENSURE RESOLUTIONS: Any resolution that seeks to censure, condemn or otherwise criticize any person, including fire department personnel, or entity, must be submitted in draft form at least 60 days (Monday, November 30, 2020) prior to the Convention for review by the General President, who shall, if deemed necessary, rewrite the draft resolution to remove any language therein that may be considered defamatory or libelous and, who shall return the resolution as modified to the affiliate for its review and approval, and any resolution that is modified in this manner shall be submitted for consideration and action by the Convention delegates only if the sponsoring affiliate first approves of the resolution in its modified form. A certain time is set aside at the Convention for discussion and voting by the Convention delegates on the censure motions, and this time shall be included in the Rules of Order.

All amendments shall become operative immediately upon their adoption by the delegates unless otherwise expressly provided.



HEADQUARTERS AND HOTEL RESERVATIONS: N/A – emergency virtual Convention


Harold A. Schaitberger
General President

Edward A. Kelly
General Secretary-Treasurer

James M. Slevin, 1st District Vice President
Mark S. Woolbright, 2nd District Vice President
Jay T. Colbert, 3rd District Vice President
Andrew K. Pantelis, 4th District Vice President
Thomas A. Thornberg, 5th District Vice President
J. Michael Carter, 6th District Vice President
Ricky J. Walsh, 7th District Vice President
Mark A. Sanders, 8th District Vice President
Ray R. Rahne, 9th District Vice President
Frank V. Lima, 10th District Vice President
Roy L. “Sandy” McGhee, 11th District Vice President
Walter J. Dix, 12th District Vice President
Fred LeBlanc, 13th District Vice President
Danny L. Todd, 14th District Vice President
David Burry, 15th District Vice President
James B. Johnson, 16th District Vice President