IAFC president to demonstrators: ‘We do not judge. We act.’

Chief Gary Ludwig makes plea for fire, EMS personnel to be allowed to safely complete their jobs

By Janelle Foskett

International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President Chief Gary Ludwig today issued a statement to the individuals taking part in protests and riots, underscoring that firefighters, paramedics and EMTs are “here to help” and “not your enemy.”

With reports of firefighters being attacked, apparatus damaged and monuments defaced, Chief Ludwig spoke out about the impartial role of fire and EMS personnel during difficult times: "Despite extremely dangerous conditions, the nation's firefighters are on the front lines attending to the injured and extinguishing fires. We do not judge. We act. That is why it is enormously distressing to see our firefighters and EMS personnel attacked by stones, rocks, bricks, fireworks, and in other ways.

Several fire apparatus have been damaged during recent riots related to the death of George Floyd.
Several fire apparatus have been damaged during recent riots related to the death of George Floyd.

"No one's cause is furthered by bringing harm to those who are sworn to protect us. These are the same people who have risked their safety to come to our homes in recent months to treat you or a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same people who ran toward the towers on 9/11. The same people who will fight through smoke and flames to get to your child trapped in their bedroom.

"Firefighters have only one mission – to save lives and protect property. Please help them complete that mission safely.”

Speaking on behalf of the leadership of the 1.2 million firefighters in the United States, Ludwig concluded: “Please understand the safety of our people is paramount. Please allow them to carry out their sworn duty and allow them to serve others before self."


[Read next: Firefighters attacked, apparatus damaged during civil unrest]

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