Monday, January 21, 2008

IAFF: ‘Fire Brigade’ Descends Upon Orlando

‘Rudy Lied, Fire Fighters Died on 9/11’

IAFF ‘Fire Brigade’ Descends Upon Orlando
More Than 100 Fire Fighters Rally Against Giuliani

11:30 am, Tuesday, Jan. 22
Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Avenue Orlando , Florida

Media Contacts: Bill Glanz 202 824-1566,202 329-5856 (cell)
David Roscow 703-276-2772 x21

9/11 FDNY Veteran Fire Fighters Fault Giuliani for Lack of Preparedness

Orlando – More than 100 Orlando fire fighters will join the International
Association of Fire Fighters “Fire Brigade” to protest former New York Mayor
Rudy Giuliani’s presidential candidacy at a demonstration outside of Orlando
City Hall. The “Fire Brigade,” a group of retired New York City fire fighters
and family members of fire fighter victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on
the World Trade Center will expose Giuliani’s trumped up 9/11 credentials as a

Prior to the demonstration the Orlando fire fighters will gather at a rally at
10 am at the Fire Fighters Council of Central Florida, 4005 North Blossom Trail
in Orlando.

“This is about the judgment of our country’s next President,” said IAFF General
President Harold A. Schaitberger. “Voters in Florida, where Rudy has pinned his
hopes for his election, need to know Giuliani’s record of poor judgment so they
understand why we don’t believe he’s nearly qualified to be our next President
of the United States.”

Jim Riches, a newly retired Deputy Chief of the Fire Department of New York,
has been leading the IAFF “Fire Brigade.” Riches has trailed the Giuliani
campaign over the last week protesting at events in Titusville, Sun City
Center, Celebration, Coral Springs, and other sites.

“No one knows better than fire fighters who were at the World Trade Center that
Giuliani failed to prepare first responders before 9/11 and that he is totally
unprepared to become our commander-in-chief,” said Riches, who responded on
9/11 and lost his fire fighter son, Jimmy Riches, at Ground Zero. “We object to
Giuliani using 9/11 as his calling card in this campaign. He and his campaign
cronies say New York City fire fighters love him, but that is far from the
truth. We despise him. Giuliani’s failure on 9/11, and in the days and months
leading up to the attack prove he is unfit to serve as President.”

The first event was held in Jacksonville on Thursday, where he met with members
of Jacksonville Fire Fighters Local 122, retired and active, to discuss
Giuliani’s record.

To explain Giuliani’s failed leadership, the IAFF created a 13-minute video,
which can be viewed at, and on YouTube, where with
more than 380,000 views it has become one of the most popular video in the news
and politics category on the video sharing Web site. The IAFF is funding and
assisting the “Fire Brigade” as it crisscrosses Florida.

“Rudy doesn’t know anything about fighting terrorism, as far as we are
concerned he has terrible judgment,” Riches said. “He couldn’t even protect his
own fire fighters, forcing us to use radios that didn’t work, placing the
emergency command center in a known terrorist target that collapsed on 9/11 and
then disrespecting fire fighters and families when he cut short the recovery
effort and began scooping and dumping bodies in a trash dump.”

“I was in FDNY for more than 40 years, and was the Chief of Safety, so I know
that Giuliani did nothing for fire fighters,” said Al Santora, a retired Deputy
Chief who lost his fire fighter son, Christopher Santora, on 9/11. “His actions
at the time and leading up to the attack, and during the day itself, showed a
tremendous lack of judgment, and failure of leadership.”

“Rudy talks a big game about 9/11, but the fact is he was on the street that
day, not in a controlled place making command decisions, because he had placed
his emergency command center at 7 World Trade Center – the number one terrorist
target in the world, which collapsed on 9/11,” Santora said. “That video that
everyone has in their heads of Giuliani on the streets is him running away from
the scene because he had nowhere to go because of his bad decisions.”

“Rudy continues to lie about his role on 9/11, but we’re not going to let him
get away with it,” Riches said. “The IAFF and our Fire Brigade are going to be
the conscience of 9/11, haunting Giuliani’s footsteps in this campaign. We will
not forget his failures, and we want the American people to remember, as well.”

The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington,
DC, represents more than 287,000 full-time professional fire fighters and
paramedics who protect 80 percent of the nation’s population. More information
is available at

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