JULY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News
Scranton firefighters hit lowest number ever at 117
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION- June 30th- The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Union Local 60 in Scranton, which represents the fire personnel of the City of Scranton, currently represents only 117 firefighters. Scranton has the largest Fire Department in the region and the city is the third biggest land mass municipality in Pennsylvania at 27 square miles. Only the Cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have more square miles.
IAFF Local 60 represented approximately 121 Scranton firefighters for several years. More than twenty-five years ago the Union represented more than 200 members of the Scranton Fire Department. However, over the past two decades the IAFF has agreed to eliminate positions to help the municipality save costs.
According to David Gervasi, Greivance Chairman of Local 60, which was chartered by the IAFF to represent the Scranton Fire Department more than 80 years ago, the department has decreased by two positions recently with the retirement of several firefighters including himself. Mr. Gervasi previously was President of Local 60 and has been a activist for the Union, often speaking at weekly meetings of the Scranton City Council.
Mr. Gervasi retired as a active Scranton fire-fighter in June and his position has not yet been filled. However, Mr. Gervasi stated that current Scranton Mayor William Courtright will soon hire several new firefighters.
The IAFF gives local union numbers in the order for which they are chartered, meaning Local 60 was the sixtieth local union chartered by the labor organization. For several decades the Scranton IAFF Local Union was 669, however they returned to Local 60 in the 1990’s.
Mr. Gervasi told the newspaper the current number of 117 firefighters may be the lowest in Scranton’s history.