Chandler Firefighters History
The Chandler Firefighters first organized and affiliated with the International Association of Firefighters in the late 1960s. The original charter was active for only a few years until the local was disbanded by order of city management and the DPS director. Without the support of its members or fire staff it wasnt until 1984 when members of the Chandler Fire Department decided to organize once again.
In the summer of 1984, Chandler members met with Phoenix Fire union officers Mike Bielecki and Pat Cantelme who were looking at forming a valley-wide United Phoenix firefighters local. It was at this time Chandler members voted to join the United Phoenix Firefighters Local 493. In November of that year, Chandler firefighters (along with the Glendale, Ariz. firefighters) were voted into Local 493. The departments of Tempe and Peoria would soon follow to form the current make up of five cities that create the United Phoenix Fire Fighters Local 493.
In the early days of the Chandler Chapter of Local 493, much of the emphasis and work was to improve firefighter safety, staffing, promotional opportunities, wages and becoming involved in the community of Chandler. In those years, progress moved slowly, but progress was made. In 1991 Chandler firefighters decided to go to the public with a public safety initiative. This initiative would address many concerns, which included constant staffing of paramedics, hazardous materials technicians, response times and wages. Just prior to the election, union staff and city staff members came together with an agreement of a city resolution that addressed all the concerns. It was then voted upon by city council and received a unanimous approval.
Over the years the Chandler Chapter and Local 493 unions and fire departments have evolved into a model for others cities across the nation to follow. The union plays a major role in the community being involved in many different charities and events. The union is proud of its partnership and assistance with Muscular Dystrophy Association, Habitat For Humanity, Salivation Army, ICAN, Chandler Unified School District and many more.
The Chandler Chapter of Local 493 Vice-presidents have included: Dick McBlane (1984-1999), Tom Carlson (1999 2002), and Scott Wall (2002 to present).
Chandler Executive Board
Vice President - Scott Wall
Trustee / Intern - Tom Dwiggins
Trustee - Tyson Bruder
Trustee / Welfare - Mike Pallas
Trustee - Phil Gaiser