PFFPNC Convention 2023, day 1

The first day of the 2023 PFFPNC Convention in Carolina Beach is now at recess following an excellent day of speakers, discussion and training.

The morning opened with the Presentation of Colors by members of the New Hanover County and Wilmington fire departments. We were welcomed by PFFPNC S/T and New Hanover Local 4576 President Ben Bobzien, Wilmington Local 129 President Alex Fantuzzi, Wilmington Fire Chief Jon Mason and New Hanover County Vice Chair LeAnn Pierce.

PFFPNC President Scott Mullins then gave a state of the union address. He touched on some of legislative accomplishments, such as cancer legislation. But he also focused on what we face ahead. We want to push for expanded cancer legislation. We want to push for state-wide cancer screenings, and we are going to continue to go after these chemical companies who know of the hazardous found in turnout gear that is leading to fire fighters getting and dying of cancer.

He ended by encouraging us to celebrate the victories, be prepared for the challenges ahead and stand on the beacon of strength within this union to fight for not only our members but also those we serve.

That was followed by a 12th District report from District VP Walt Dix. He was very informative, touching on 12th District membership, which is more than 40,000 in more than 230 Locals. That’s the third largest district out of 16 in the IAFF. His goal is to become the second largest. He also encouraged Locals to have their Constitution and Bylaws reviewed every four years, regardless of changes or not. He also had an update on the IAFF’s footprint in cancer research, cancer legislation and the IAFF’s efforts to also fight these chemical companies.

Our keynote speaker was supporter and NC State Senator Todd Johnson. He has been a big champion in getting cancer legislation passed and signed into law. He also has our back in our opinion that the state fire marshal should not only be a fire fighter but also be separated from insurance commission. “I believe a state fire marshal should be a fire fighter.” He pledged to continue to have our back, especially on expanding cancer legislation.

Sen. Johnson was followed by fellow legislator House Rep. Jon Hardister, who touched on impacts made recently in legislation. He spoke on the fight to get due process in a civil service review passed into law for the counties that include two of our biggest Locals, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. He too touched on the importance of continuing to fight for LODD benefits expansion and cancer legislation expansion. Hardister, who has been a long-time supporter of PFFPNC and Greensboro Local, also talked about what his plans are in his next journey in his run for NC Labor Commissioner.

Following a working lunch, we heard from PFFPNC Lobbyist Dylan Reel. He laid out the road map for next year’s elections in the state House and Senate, as well as the Governor’s race.

Our final session before Business began was a training session with Tory Fatjo on the role of the secretary/treasurer and practices all Locals should be following.

Business included nominations for our e-board. All were elected by acclamation and include:

  • President: Scott Mullins
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Ben Bobzien
  • DVP1: Jeff Tracey
  • DVP2: David Pollard
  • DVP3: Jason Davis
  • DVP4: Christian Stenurson
  • Trustees: Jerry Wiggins, Anthony Evans and Timothy Karp

PFFPNC President Scott Mullins also made a point to say thank you to Keith Wilder who has served as DVP3 for more than 10 years and has been dedicated to serving this union and its members.

Business concluded and we recessed until 9 a.m. Tuesday.