The General Assembly has continued to meet over the last 4 days to prepare and pass emergency legislation as well as a budget while operating in very austere conditions.

I am extremely proud to report to you that HB 2455 Senate Amendment 2 has passed both chambers and is expected to be signed by Governor Pritzker. With the passage of this amendment our AFFI members, as well as all other first responders and essential workers in Illinois, will have COVID-19 specifically listed as a rebuttable presumption illness within the Worker’s Occupational Diseases Act. Just as importantly, members with less than 5 years of employment are also covered for this specific virus.

Also within HB 2455, Chicago firefighters (who are not covered by work comp and instead have contractual language) were provided a benefit that a member’s COVID-19 related death is rebuttably presumed to have been duty related and the beneficiary will be entitled to 75% of the deceased member’s annuity.

Your AFFI has also been successful in extending the Public Employee Disability Act (SB 471 House Amendment 3) time frame by 60 additional days for those members whose rehabilitation/physical therapy was suspended temporarily by the COVID pandemic, thus limiting their ability to become fit for duty and return to work. The Governor is expected to sign this bill as well.

The AFFI worked closely with Leaders Jay Hoffman and Kathy Willis as well as the Illinois AFL-CO and others to ensure our voice was heard.

As always, if you have questions or concerns please contact your AFFI District Legislative Representative.

Northern District Legislative Representative Eddy Crews
1(815) 353-8175

Central District Legislative Representative Jeff Maher
1(309) 313-4899

Southern District Legislative Representative Richard Martin
1(618) 791-9245

In Solidarity,

Chuck Sullivan, President
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois

Brothers and Sisters,

As stated in a previous communication the 2020 AFFI Biennial Convention in Peoria has been moved to an on-line format and will take place on June 25th.

Your delegates and alternates will be receiving additional information as to how this process will be conducted in the very near future.

The DEADLINE for on time registration and resolution submission remains
MAY 26th
  • If you have not registered your delegates and alternates, please do so prior to the on-time registration deadline utilizing the coded email sent to your Locals Secretary.
  • All registration fees are waived for this event!

PLEASE NOTE: Nominations for AFFI office will be taken during the on-line business of Convention.  The actual elections will be completed by mail in ballot.  Only those registered as delegates to this Convention will be sent ballots for voting.

The specific by-law language for registration deadlines is included here.

Completed registrations of delegates and alternates shall be submitted with applicable fees to the AFFI Secretary/Treasurer at least thirty (30) days prior to the convening of the Convention in order to be assigned to a convention committee. Convention committee requests, in order of priority desired, shall be submitted with credentials at least thirty (30) days prior to the convening of the convention. Credentials received after fourteen (14) days prior to the convening of the convention shall require a 3/4ths (three-fourths) vote of the convention delegates in order to be seated.

If you have questions please reach out to me at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,

Tom Roate
Secretary Treasurer
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois

Dear Local Officer,

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the AFFI Executive Board will be taking action later this week to cancel the AFFI Biennial Convention to be held in Peoria with the goal of conducting an on-line convention instead.

IMPORTANT:  It is my intention to conduct the on-line event on one of the days currently set aside, therefore the deadline for convention registration remains May 26th

Items you need to know if the AFFI Board approves the change of venue:

  1. We will ask the host hotel to cancel all rooms attached to our event and notify you upon cancellation.
  2. A on-line convention will only be open for delegates and alternates so you must still register your members for attendance.
  3. Locals that have registered their members DO NOT need to re-register.
  4. Registration fees are deferred until we are able to confirm the event and determine the cost per delegate (if any).  Reimbursements will be issued to those locals that have already registered.
As you can imagine there are a great many moving parts to deal with.  The AFFI board is working closely with our legal counsel as well as the IAFF to assure that our actions comply with all applicable rules and regulations.
Once again, it is VERY IMPORTANT to remember that the deadlines for registration and resolution submission remains at May 26th.
We appreciate your patience and support as we work through these ever-changing times.Please stay informed and stay safe,

Tom Roate
Secretary Treasurer
Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois.

International Association of Fire Fighters


Dear Affiliate Leader:

The IAFF Executive Board met on May 4, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) to discuss the upcoming 55th Convention that was scheduled to take place in August in Orlando, Florida.

After considerable discussion, the Executive Board passed the following motion based on its authority in the IAFF Constitution, Article IV, Section 1, which states, “Should extreme or unusual circumstances be such as to prevent the opening of a convention before August 20 in the city selected by the delegates as its convention site, the Executive Board shall designate a substitute city or substitute date as soon as possible, notification of which shall be promptly sent to all local unions and other subordinate bodies for communication to their delegates.”

The following motion was made by 12th District Vice President Walt Dix and was seconded by 11th District Vice President Sandy McGhee.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the current uncertainty of safely holding large group gatherings and the various federal, state and local travel restrictions, I move to reschedule the 2020 Convention until January 2021 in place of the 2021 Affiliate Leadership Training Conference (ALTS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a business-oriented type convention to include at least one day of optional training for affiliates. This is out of an abundance of caution for the health, safety and well-being of our members.

Based on this motion passed by the Board, the new dates of the IAFF 55th Convention are January 25-29, 2021, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With this decision by the Executive Board, the 2020 Convention Call that was previously sent (based on the August dates) will be revised. In addition, guidance will be provided to all of those who have previously registered for the August Convention.

More information will be sent in the coming days.


Harold A. Schaitberger
General President


When the call comes in about the next emergency, we are in immediate motion. From structure fires to vehicle accidents to medical emergencies, our firefighters and emergency medical technicians are often the first on the scene.

The coronavirus crisis doesn’t change our members’ desire to put their lives on the line to help others. It’s what we take an oath to do. But it does make everyone think twice as they head to the scene.

What if this patient is unconscious or there is a language barrier? How will we know if we are exposing ourselves and our families to this deadly virus?

In Chicago and other Illinois communities, there is a debate about providing first responders notice if a residential address we are responding to has someone who is COVID-19-positive. The reason is obvious: If we know the disease is present when we respond, we can prepare and wear extra protective gear.

Our association has urged its more than 15,000 members in 224 communities to treat each patient as having COVID-19, to protect themselves. But we agree with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul: Each community has the authority under Illinois law to institute these necessary protective protocols, and firefighters and emergency medical services personnel should receive these patient notifications.

The more information we have as we prepare to respond, the better the outcome for all involved. When someone calls 911 for help, we want to be able to administer the best care possible and keep everyone safe and healthy. We always have and always will respect everyone’s privacy. It’s one of the reasons why our profession is consistently rated as one of the most trusted and ethical in America.


— Chuck Sullivan, president, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Springfield