Remembering The Blackharts


One year ago tonight, on January 20th, 2021, the members of IAFF Local 1636 were part of a large public safety contingent that responded to Mendon for the crash of a Rochester-based NY Army Reserve National Guard Blackhawk helicopter. In a sequence of events reminiscent of the Mohawk Airlines crash, several off-duty Firefighters were at the firehouse due to an Alert 2 that had concluded just minutes before. In 1963, a false alarm brought many personnel to the firehouse shortly before the worst aviation accident in local history occurred. Both times, an immediate response followed with more manpower than would normally have been available. Unfortunately, the accident was not survivable and all three soldiers on board were killed, but amazingly there were no injuries on the ground.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Denounce Governor’s Veto of Retirement Bill


Recently, NY State Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed Senate bill S4859 which would have created a 25 year retirement plan for Firefighters within the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA). This bill was unanimously passed by members of both the State Senate and Assembly, along with each of the committees assigned to research its impact. We are unsure as to why she vetoed the bill, but the Governor will not feel the ramifications of her action - our brother and sister firefighters will. While firefighters assigned to airports and military bases typically do not experience the same call volume as other municipal Fire Departments - due largely to the highly controlled environments we protect - we still face the same dangers as all other career departments. For that reason alone, DMNA Firefighters should be afforded comparable retirements.

Continue reading

Last shift for Jeff Prince


Congratulations to Airport Firefighter and Local 1636 member Jeff Prince as he transfers from the Rochester Airport Fire-Rescue to the Henrietta Fire District. Jeff joined our ranks just over one year ago in August 2020, and worked his final shift on Group 2 over the weekend. He has been a solid contributor since day one and while his work ethic is tough to beat, it will be even harder to replace. We wish him the best and know that he will be a positive addition to both the Henrietta Fire District and IAFF Local 3738.

Continue reading

ROC Airport Firefighters support Maffucci for Monroe County LD 10


IAFF Local 1636 members support and endorse Howard Maffucci!

October 28, 2021

The Rochester Airport Professional Firefighters have endorsed Howard Maffucci for a third term representing Monroe County Legislature District 10. Howard has demonstrated support for public safety and labor throughout his tenure as a County Legislator. We have had multiple interactions and projects with Howard that has had a positive impact on our members and the Rochester Airport community. We are confident in our continued relationship when Howard is re-elected. As always, we take very serious our endorsements and we only support candidates that we believe will have a positive impact on our community.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters endorse John Baynes for LD 18


Throughout his first term as a County Legislator, John Baynes has demonstrated his leadership and established a conservative fiscal record. These are traits our community needs and we feel strongly that he represents the best interests of the residents of Monroe County. For these reasons, we look forward to working with him going forward.

Continue reading

Local 1636 Supports Baxter for Sheriff


Airport Firefighters stand with Baxter!!

October 20, 2021

Although he is running unopposed, IAFF Local 1636 is proud to continue supporting Todd Baxter for Monroe County Sheriff. Todd has a history of leadership and service to our region that goes well beyond his election to Sheriff in 2017. His stature and experience are a beacon of strength in the community, and he has been at the forefront of many of the issues impacting public safety in Western NY. With his proven leadership and professionalism, we know we can rely on him to get the job done while watching out for the interests of Monroe County residents and the brave men and women of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. It stands to reason that we look forward to continue working with Sheriff Baxter for the next 4 years and beyond.

Continue reading

Local 1636 Endorses Sherita Traywick for Monroe County LD-19


Sherita has shown her desire to be a public servant as a Greece School Board Member to protect and help further education for the children and families of Greece NY. She is a strong family woman and we believe that she will be a great addition to the Monroe County Legislature in the upcoming election. Our members don’t choose our endorsed candidates strictly because of party affiliation and we expect our candidates to work with the same bi-partisan mindset. We look forward to working with Sherita in the future.


Continue reading

Local 1636 Chooses Sean McCabe for Monroe County Legislature


Sean has fought for public safety and for the many students and families in the Greece School District as the President of the school board.  His resolve will continue for the residents of Greece but also the larger Monroe County community.  Sean understands the importance and specialized nature of our profession and we think he is the best candidate to move Monroe County forward.  This choice has been made in line with our Association’s practice of endorsing the best candidate, regardless of their party affiliation.




Continue reading

Airport Firefighters endorse Dondorfer


Local 1636 will once again endorse Paul Dondorfer

The Members of IAFF Local 1636 have once again chosen to support and endorse Paul Dondorfer for Monroe County Legislative District 9. Paul has proven his commitment to the citizens of Monroe County and the Greater Rochester area over the course of the last two years as a Monroe County Legislator. Paul was instrumental in passing bi-partisan legislation to provide the Rochester Airport Firefighters with a utility vehicle to enhance our operational readiness and serve the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region more efficiently.

Continue reading

September 11th, 2021


“20 years now, Where'd they go?”

Bob Seger posed that question 35 years ago and it has likely been asked today by every adult old enough to have witnessed the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. For all of us involved in public safety, this is a day we remember every single year, and for Firefighters in particular, we recall the 343 FDNY Firefighters that were killed when the World Trade Center towers came down. Not counted in the 343 is Patrolman Keith Roma, of the NY Fire Patrol (an organization similar to Rochester’s own Protectives) who was also killed while rescuing multiple people from the towers. According to the NYC Fire Wire, in the 20 years since, at least 279 other NYC Firefighters have died due to illnesses contracted while working ‘The Pile’.

Six hundred and twenty-three.

Continue reading

Aircraft Diverts to ROC With Major Fuel Leak


August 1, 2021 - Rochester Airport Firefighters responded for an Alert 2 after being notified of a CRJ-7 diverting to ROC reporting a fuel leak with 54 souls on board, and 2,100 pounds of fuel remaining - incorrectly relayed as 21,000 pounds. As Firefighters positioned along the runway to await the its arrival, ROC’s Air Traffic Controllers guided the aircraft to land on Runway 4. As the pilots began their final approach, it became obvious that the leak was a significant one due to the fuel spilling out of the left engine giving the aircraft what looked like a long vapor trail.

Upon landing safely and stopping on the runway, the professional Firefighters of ROC airport immediately surrounded the aircraft to protect the passengers and crew on board. In order to prevent a fire, the crew was told to shut down both engines as there was still a significant amount of fuel spilling onto the runway. Unfortunately, the APU also needed to be shut down meaning comfort controls were powered down with it, likely causing some uncomfortable conditions onboard the aircraft. Due to temperatures at the time, the decision was made to hold off on covering the fuel with AFFF foam and instead cover it with absorbent material including dry sand provided by Airport Operations.

Continue reading

Statement on Appointment of Airport Fire Chief


In spite of what many people have heard or been led to believe, the Firefighters and Fire Captains that this Union represents have been working without the guidance of a Fire Chief at the Frederick-Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport since March 2020. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the responsibilities a Fire Chief is supposed to handle instead fell largely on the shoulders of the junior Captains and even on the Union leadership. We have remained quiet on this matter publicly in order to try and maintain a working relationship with the Airport Director, and later the airport’s Special Projects Manager Dave Young, whom was appointed as our administrative liaison. While there were some obvious growing pains, the consensus among our membership is that morale has greatly improved and the efficiency of the unit as a whole has increased during these last 16 months despite the hiring of seven new Firefighters during that time.

Continue reading

Two Airport Firefighters Retired This Week


Two of our members reached the pinnacle of their careers this week, representing a combined 48 years of experience. They are the 6th and 7th retirements in the last 16 months, and bring us to 10 members (out of 21) that have either retired or transferred in just under two years!

Continue reading

L1636 Member's Family Suffers House Fire


One week ago on June 18th, Afton Lathigee, the daughter of Rochester Airport Firefighter and Local 1636 Sergeant-at-Arms Bob Blank experienced a garage fire that extended into the living areas of the house. Thankfully, all of the family members that were home were able to self-evacuate and were not injured, however, the home suffered extensive damage. Adding insult to injury, the house was broken into following the fire and many salvageable belongings were stolen leaving the family with almost no possessions.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Thank M&T Bank For Assisting MDA Fundraising Efforts

M&T Fill the Boot

Rochester, NY, February 15, 2021 - The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 would like to publicly acknowledge the support rendered by the M&T Bank location in Gates. Located at 1955 Buffalo Rd., their assistance was vital in the tallying and transfer of funds directly to MDA. This year, our Fill the Boot collection boxes were greatly impacted by the reduction of travelers due to COVID-19 but still raised nearly $1,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Announce Endorsements for IAFF Elections


Rochester, NY, January 19, 2021 - The International Association of Fire Fighters has long been one of the most respected Unions in existence, earning a reputation for supporting its allies and never backing down from a fight. Over the past several years, however, actions at the top have brought the integrity of our entire organization into question and led to some negative attention from outsiders. While investigations are underway to discover and address any malfeasance, it is clear that the appearance of impropriety has led to a lack of confidence in some of the current leadership at IAFF headquarters. Our own experience has also taught us that the darkest secrets are often protected by the strongest opposition. After evaluating all of the candidates, the members of the Monroe County Airport Firefighters Association -IAFF Local 1636 are proud to endorse Ed Kelly for General President, and Jake Lemonda for General Secretary/Treasurer.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Support Vacca for Monroe County Court

The Members of IAFF Local 1636 once again support Meredith Vacca, this time for Monroe County Court. Her dedication, understanding and fairness to the people of Monroe County is unmatched. Get out and #votevacca on November 3.


Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Support Missick for NY-55


The Members of IAFF Local 1636 are proud to support Chris Missick in his run for New York's 55th Senate District.  A district that stretches from the finger lakes region to Irondequoit, we believe Chris has what it takes to be the strong voice for all of his constituents.  Chris has expressed that public safety is a high priority for him and that he wants to make sure that our communities are safe.

Continue reading

Statement on the Passing of Richard ‘Dick’ Ziegler

Dick Ziegler (Photo by Spencerport Fire District) Dick Ziegler (Photo by Spencerport Fire District)

As we approach the anniversary of the deadliest airliner crash in local history, the Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 is saddened to announce the passing of Richard ‘Dick’ Ziegler. Dick is believed to be the last surviving responder to the Mohawk Airlines crash at KROC on July 2, 1963 where he was credited with saving at least a dozen lives.

Dick was one of several airport mechanics that were cross-trained as a firefighter to supplement the ‘crash crew’ before he transferred to Pure Waters, where he eventually retired. According to a statement from the Spencerport Fire District, Dick was in the company of his wife and children when he passed away yesterday morning at the age of 83. He was a Spencerport volunteer firefighter since 1962, serving in many roles throughout the years.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Association Welcomes 3 New Members


The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association welcomed 3 new members last week. Probationary Firefighters Daniel Maggio, Justin McGory, and Patrick Spear were all hired as Airport Firefighters recently, and all three made the decision to support the Union that supports them. With their commitment, our Union continues to maintain 100% membership in spite of the rhetoric that was spread around the Janus decision in 2018. The leadership of Local 1636 is proud to welcome aboard these Professional Firefighters and we all look forward to working with them throughout their careers!

In other member-related news from the last year, we'd like to publicly congratulate the following people;

Continue reading

Politically Motivated Actions Demonstrate Need for Change


Over the last few days, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo’s reelection team has crossed the line at least twice with their politically motivated actions. It is our position that they have violated the peoples trust and demonstrate why Monroe County is in dire need of change.

During the workday on Friday, November 1st, Monroe County Human Resources Director Brayton Connard sent an email to all county employees under the subject “Congratulations to MC DOT,” further saying “Checkout (sic) the Democrat and Chronicle to see a video of MC DOT staff putting the Outlet Bridge into place for the winter season”. Upon clicking the link, employees were met with a Cheryl Dinolfo campaign commercial that took over their entire screen and began playing automatically. This event happens every year and has never been promoted this way in the past. Further, Brayton Connard has an extensive history of belittling County employees and we are unable to recall a single instance of him praising the work they do.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Support Paul Dondorfer for Monroe County Legislature


Rochester, NY, October 28, 2019 - The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 announces its support of Paul Dondorfer for Monroe County Legislature - 9th District. This marks the twelfth Legislature candidate the Association has chosen to support in this year’s election.

This was our most difficult decision as the 9th LD is one of too few races featuring a pair of strong candidates. This is demonstrated by the split in support from organized labor. Ultimately, Mr. Dondorfer’s extensive public safety background provided the edge in our decision.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Announce Support of 2019 Monroe County Legislature Candidates


The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 announced its support of several candidates for Monroe County Legislator today. With less than three weeks remaining before Election Day, the Association reaffirms its commitment to improving the County of Monroe for its members and their families. When evaluating candidates, issues directly impacting Airport Firefighters are the primary focus for the Association.

“As we’ve previously stated, current and past administrations have not prioritized the concerns of Monroe County residents,” Local 1636 President Paul Miller stated. “Those residents include county workers who provide essential services to their neighbors but have been subjected to disrespect at every turn. From elected representatives that favor party politics over employee concerns, to political appointees that devalue the important work they do, these men and women deserve positive change.”

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Endorse Sandra Doorley for District Attorney


The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 is proud to announce its endorsement of Sandra Doorley for Monroe County District Attorney. With more than 27 years as a prosecutor in Monroe County, Ms. Doorley has demonstrated her commitment to upholding the laws of our community and country.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Support Rosenbaum for State Supreme Court


The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1636 is proud to announce its support of Matthew Rosenbaum for New York State Supreme Court. Judge Rosenbaum is running for reelection in the 7th District, where he has served since 2005.

Continue reading

ROC Airport Firefighters Support Vacca for 7th District

VACCA_web Meredith Vacca for Supreme Court

Today, President Paul Miller delivered Local 1636's letter of support for candidate Meredith Vacca. Mrs. Vacca is running for the Supreme Court's 7th judicial district. Don't forget to vote on November 5th.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Oppose Rochester Fire Department Station Closures


Fifty-six years ago today, Mohawk Airlines Flight 121 crashed upon takeoff at the Rochester Airport, killing 7 people and injuring 36 others. Airport firefighters responded immediately and were able to rescue a number of people from the aircraft with help from other airport workers and outside fire companies. To this day, it remains the worst aviation accident in local history. While many things have changed in both the firefighting and aviation industries, one thing that has not is our members’ reliance on outside agencies in the event of a major disaster. In spite of our constant training to maximize our crews efficiency, with just five on-duty members there is only so much we will be able to do without help from other agencies.

Last night, the City of Rochester implemented the first fire station closure under its “dynamic staffing” plan, which chooses a company to close during the overnight hours, when residents are most at risk. These closures - also known as ‘brownouts’ or ‘firehouse roulette’ - arbitrarily choose a neighborhood to receive reduced protection for a specified period of time. It’s a tactic that hasn’t been used much locally, but has seen tragic results when implemented elsewhere. In Philadelphia, a 12-year-old boy died in 2010 while the closest engine company was ‘browned out’. In 2017, three people were killed in a Holyoke, MA fire in which the closest engine company was closed. In Wilmington, DE, 2016 saw two children and three firefighters killed in the course of eight months. At least two other firefighters were forced to retire due to injuries sustained at a fire. These are just a few of the many stories one can find by briefly searching the internet.

Continue reading

Remembering Sam Cooper

Samuel-Cooper Samuel Cooper

The members of Local 1636 are saddened to hear that longtime Rochester Airport fixture Sam Cooper passed away last Friday, June 7th, at the age of 96. Mr. Cooper was a pilot in WWII before eventually serving as the Airport Manager from 1972-1989. He remained here as Public Relations Director up until a few years ago conducting airport tours and was an almost daily visitor to the firehouse. Sam witnessed many, many changes at ROC during his tenure here and was full of information about the airport and its history. He also had a collection of photos with the many celebrities and VIP’s that traveled through the airport, including several sitting Presidents. His presence will be felt here for many years to come which is “Outstanding, young fella!”

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Endorse Adam Bello for Monroe County Executive


Public safety labor leaders held a joint press conference Friday to announce their official endorsement of Adam Bello in the 2019 race for Monroe County Executive. Leaders from the Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, Monroe County Sheriff Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Monroe County Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA), and Monroe County Law Enforcement Association (MCLEA) all spoke about the legacy of disrespect toward employees from County management and the dire need for change. Several retired Sheriff's and Firefighters were also in attendance to show their support.

Jointly, we feel that Adam Bello possesses the leadership and integrity that have been missing at the County Executive position for many years. In talking with public safety employees in the Town of Irondequoit - where he previously served as Town Supervisor - he was able to create an environment where employees felt appreciated beyond an occasional tweet. Those we spoke with commented on his upbeat personality, willingness to talk with them, and understanding of the important role law enforcement and firefighters play in the overall health of a community. As County Clerk, he has discovered several improprieties and taken steps to correct them.

In accepting these endorsements, Adam spoke to the importance of public safety, calling it the “cornerstone upon which we need to build if we are going to tackle the challenges that face our community.” He also stated his intent to work with both employees and retirees by honoring commitments, respecting our sacrifices, and acknowledging us as allies - not adversaries.

Continue reading

Statement on the Passing of Richard ‘Dick’ Masters, Charter Member of IAFF Local 1636


It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Richard F. Masters - Retired Airport Fire Captain and Charter Member of IAFF Local 1636. He passed away on February 21st at the age of 86 following a brief illness.

After serving as an Aircraft Firefighter in the United States Marine Corps, Dick was hired as a Firefighter with the Rochester-Monroe County Airport Fire Department. When the career firefighters joined the International Association of Fire Fighters in 1966, his was the first of nine names printed on the Certificate of Affiliation. He retired as a Captain in 1993 after more than 30 years at the airport.

Continue reading

Andy Moore Named Permanent Airport Director


The members of IAFF Local 1636 would like to congratulate Andy Moore on his recent permanent appointment as ROC Airport Director.  The appointment was well deserved and we look forward to continuing working alongside Andy and his staff!

Andy Moore named permanent Rochester Airport Director - WXXI News

Continue reading

National Guard Soldiers Thank Rochester Airport Firefighters


Soldiers from the NY Army National Guard attended this month’s Union meeting to thank our members for the care packages we sent to Afghanistan in 2017. Local 1636 members collected more than 160 pounds of food and hygiene items for the deployed soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment that is based at Greater Rochester International Airport. The unit and its CH-47 Chinook helicopters were deployed to multiple locations in Afghanistan to directly support combat operations. The ROC-based soldiers paired up with other soldiers of B Co., 3/126 from Maryland, along with the 7th Battalion, 158th General Support Aviation Battalion out of Kansas to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Continue reading

Election Day is Nov. 6th


ROC Airport Firefighters, IAFF Local 1636, is reminding everyone that Election Day is this Tuesday, November 6, 2018.  Polls open at 6 AM.  Senators Joe Robach and Rich Funke, as well as Assemblyman Mark Johns and Harry Bronson have all been supporters of Labor and the Firefighters of our community.  Assemblywoman-elect Jamie Romeo has also earned our support.  In addition, we support Tom Dinapoli for his efforts to protect the financial stability of NY state.  We support our candidates and we hope you will stand with us on election day 2018.  

Continue reading

County Retirees Protest Healthcare Changes


Members of the Sheriff's Office Association of Retirees (SOAR) organized a labor rally prior to the County Legislature's October meeting to protest Monroe County's changing of contractually-promised healthcare benefits for more than 1,800 County retirees. The goal of this rally was to inform the public how Monroe County, over the last seven years, has repeatedly decreased, and even stopped providing benefits that were promised through good faith negotiations.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Recognized For Mutual Aid Response to Mumford

IMG_9890-copy Airport Fire Unit Citation

Greater Rochester International Airport Firefighters were among those recognized with a Unit Commendation Award and  Certificate of Merit during the annual Firefighter Appreciation Dinner held October 11th. The recognition was due to our mutual aid response to the Mumford Fire District for an MVA involving a fuel tanker that rolled over on June 11, 2018. Airport Fire Chief Kevin Bardeen accepted the award on behalf of our members.

Continue reading

Airport Firefighters Participate in Fire Prevention Week


Fire Departments everywhere open their doors and invite the public inside as part of Fire Prevention Week each year. Gates Fire District held their open house at Station 2 on Long Pond Rd. yesterday and Airport Firefighters were among the public safety professionals there to show off their equipment and educate the public on what we do every day.

Continue reading

County Retirees to rally outside Legislature meeting



The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Association of Retirees (SOAR) will be holding a rally outside the County Office Building this Tuesday starting at 4:00 p.m. They will once again be protesting Monroe County’s decision to terminate the contractually-promised health insurance coverage of over 1,800 retirees. Some of those retirees are likely to speak during the County Legislature meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The leadership of IAFF Local 1636 is encouraging it’s membership to come out and show our support for the members of SOAR and other County retirees. This is an issue that is likely to impact each of our members and retirees, as well!

For more information from SOAR, click the link below.

Continue reading

Internet and Website Safety Tips


Though there have been many scares about what can happen to children or teenagers on the internet, adults should be safe as well. There is no limit to the amount of risk adults come in contact with such as sexual predators, criminals who are seeking out your personal information on social networking sites, buying habits, frequently used sites, and many others.

Here are some tips to help prevent you from being a target:

Continue reading

Contract Settlement Ratified


After 1,859 days, the officers and members of Local 1636 are happy to announce that our membership unanimously ratified a tentative contract settlement with the County of Monroe tonight. The deal is still pending approval by the County Legislature and Executive Cheryl Dinolfo but we feel it is a competitive agreement that begins to bring us back in line with other career firefighters in Monroe County. #finallyhaveacontract

Our members would like to thank all of you who have followed our situation and expressed your support for the battle we waged. Hearing the positive feedback from so many of you helped to strengthen our resolve and embolden us to continue fighting for what is best for our members and their families. Thank you!

Continue reading