The Los Angeles Firefighters Association (LAFFA) was formed in the first part of 1924 after the abolishment of what was then the Fire Department Union.
The main purpose of the LAFFA has always been liaison between the members and management to better the working conditions of the members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). Information in the form of complaints, gripes, and ideas for improvement are solicited from the members and then discussed with management. Most of today’s benefits with regard to working conditions have at one time or another been the subject of discussion.
In 1925 William Meyers was elected president. He reorganized the Association. The Constitution and some of the By-laws formed at that time are still in use by the Association today.
The men and women coming on the department, often accept as a matter of course, many benefits which have entailed long and arduous efforts on the part of an unpaid group of people whose only reward has been the satisfaction of doing something for their fellow firefighters.
There has been a question in the minds of many LAFD members as to what purpose or what service the LAFFA renders. While many of the accomplishments of the Association are of a minor nature, bit by bit the total has added to make our job what it is today and goes a long way toward giving the LAFD the reputation of a “First Class Fire Department.”
The LAFFA Board is made up of one delegate from each Battalion, one from Headquarters, and one from the Fire Prevention Bureau. These delegates are elected by the membership in each of the Battalions for a two-year period. The elections are staggered so that all even numbered Battalions elect delegates in even numbered years and the odd numbered Battalions elect delegates in the odd numbered years. This assures a good percentage of experienced delegates from year to year. The Board elects its own officers annually.
Each Battalion delegate is responsible for sharing information within their Battalion giving members information from the monthly Board meetings. Any questions or suggestions from the membership are taken back to the Board and or Administration via the Battalion delegate. These items are discussed at the Board meetings and if deemed of sufficient merit and the majority of the Board concurs, proper action is taken or they are put on the agenda for discussion with the Fire Chief. When the Board feels they are warranted, meetings are held with the Fire Chief.