The International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1784, was originally charted as IAFF Local 39 in 1918, and was one of the very first locals of the IAFF. Two hundred members of Local 39 went on strike in January 1929 and with six hundred volunteers manning the Fire Department during the strike, Local 39 ended. In January 1936, fifteen brave men formed IAFF Local 459. The mayor at the time, Watkins Overton, promptly fired those fifteen men and after much debate and struggle, the Local cancelled its charter in May 1936.
In 1968, a drive was started to organize the Memphis Firefighters again. The movement was successful and IAFF Local 1784 was chartered on June 14, 1971, with 704 members. Much has been gained over the years and these benefits have not come without struggle, as evidenced by two strikes in during the summer of 1978. While there was talk prior to the strike of going back to get its original Local number, 39, it was decided after the strike to remain as Local 1784, because of the significance of the 1978 strikes and the Local number that coincided with the strikes, so we remain IAFF Local 1784 today.
Local 1784 has been on the forefront of many changes and challenges throughout history and its focus and priority remains to improve the working conditions and livelihood of its members, both active and retired. The International Association of Fire Fighters, based in Washington DC, works daily to improve the livelihoods of our members at the federal level, while the Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Association works on our behalf on the state level. With all levels of government covered, the firefighters’ union is the one of the most bi-partisan of all labor organizations, keeping true to its philosophy of “supporting those who support us.”
Over the years, Local 1784 has donated over $2 million to various charities around Memphis and Shelby County. In an effort to streamline its charitable operations, the Local formed the Memphis Fire Fighters Association Foundation in 2013, an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization to facilitate its charitable operations. The Local’s Executive Board serves as the Foundation’s Board of Directors and controls the various operations of the Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has given $250,000 to charitable organizations around Memphis; have given $40,000 to members of Local 1784 who have fallen on hard financial times due to extended illness, injury, or catastrophic events to their homes; and have given $50,000 in college scholarships to children of Local 1784 members. All of this has been done without using any Local 1784 dues money.
Local 1784 currently works on behalf of more than 2,100 active and retiree members of the Memphis Fire Department.
Page Last Updated: Dec 20, 2019 (08:53:08)