2016 Candidate For "Statewide Offices" Questionnaire

Dear Candidate for State Representative;

The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union plans to endorse and support candidates who support issues that promote a safer Michigan. In addition, candidates for office need to support, protect, and advocate the advancement of firefighters and paramedics in the performance of their duties. Therefore, it is important that the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union has a clear understanding of your position on these issues.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 734.675.0206 or email:

Mark Docherty, President
Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

Questionnaires must be completed by May 31st to be considered for endorsement.

Please return completed questionnaire online at or by mail to:

Mark Docherty, President

Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union

208 N. Capitol Ave, 3rd Floor

Lansing, MI 48933

Please Note * Required Field

* Date:
* Candidate Name:
* Office Being Sought/District:
* Campaign Committee Name:
* Campaign Address:
* City/State/Zip:
* Campaign Manager:
* Phone (Home):
* Phone (Campaign):
Fax (Campaign):
* Email (Campaign):
* Incumbent: Yes: No:
* Political Party:
* Candidate ID: (supplied by MPFFU)

1. Heart/Lung, Cancer and Infectious Disease Presumption

As fire fighters, we are aware that ours is an unusual profession with unusual risks. We acknowledge the risks and work to make our occupation as safe as possible. However, when one of our members is struck down by an occupational disease, we want to make sure that they and their families will be provided for.

One of the ways we accomplish this is through the workers compensation system. Fire fighters are exposed to carcinogens at every fire they fight which has been reflected in research studies that have shown that fire fighters are at a higher risk than the general population for developing heart and lung ailments, certain types of cancer, and contracting infectious diseases. However, due to the nature of such ailments, it is often difficult to prove that they were occupationally related. This is why the MPFFU supports the maintenance and expansion of disease “presumptions” within the workers compensation act.

A presumption places the burden of proof on the employer or insurance carrier to establish that a disease was contracted outside the workplace. Fire fighters already enjoy a presumption for heart and lung diseases for over 40 years. In January 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 516 which created the First Presumed Coverage Fund.  This fund would ensure fire fighters with cancer have the coverage they need.  However, the Legislature never appropriated money to the fund leaving our fire fighters uncovered.

Will you support appropriating general fund dollars to the First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund?

Yes: No:

2. Fire Service- Based EMS & Fire Fighting

Fire service-based emergency medical services (EMS) systems are strategically positioned to deliver the best time critical response and effective patient care.  Fire service-based EMS provides this pivotal emergency service while emphasizing responder safety and cost effective operations.  Due to the training, expertise and equipment of fire service-based EMS responders, they are capable of simultaneously securing a scene, mitigating the hazard, triaging, extricating, treating, decontaminating (if necessary), and transporting the patients who have been injured to an appropriate medical facility.  Timeliness is a critical component of EMS and statistics have proven that a fire service-based EMS is the most effective model.

Do you support the fire service-based EMS?
Yes: No:


3. Consolidations of fire departments vs. Cross Training Police Officers as Firefighters (PSO)

Due to the states’ economic challenges, there have been a lot of communities that have had discussions about the need for consolidation of local government services.However, police unions have been pushing for the consolidation of police and fire departments into one unit to maintain their jobs. We believe that consolidation of fire departments, if done appropriately, can create efficiencies and strengthen the number of fire fighters in a community.However, the cross training of police officers as firefighters has not only provided NO cost savings to communities, it also degrades the level of fire service in the process.

Do you support legislation in Lansing or in your community, which would PROHIBIT the cross training of police officers as fire fighters?
Yes: No:


4. Public Act 312 - PA 116 of 2011

Due to the fact that firefighters perform a vital service to the public, it is unlawful for any firefighters to participate in a labor stoppage or strike as a tool in collective bargaining.   As a way to resolve a labor dispute fairly without striking, Michigan adopted Public Act 312 in 1969. PA 312 provides for binding arbitration to settle disputes between labor and management.  Both sides present their case and an impartial arbitrator settles the dispute.  This system has worked well for more than forty years.

In 2011, the Michigan legislature tried to repeal PA 312 but failed.  Through months of education and negotiations, the legislature passed an update to the process of PA 312 which was signed by the Governor and given PA 116 of 2011.  The MPFFU wants to maintain this progressive and fair solution as part of the process in resolving labor contracts for firefighters in Michigan.

Do you support the continuation of PA 312 in its current form?
Yes: No:


5. Pension tax exemption

Do you support Defined Benefit pensions for fire fighters? Do you support that pensions should continue to be bargained locally?

Yes: No:


6. Emergency Manager – PA 4 of 2011

To deal with the number of communities facing a financial crisis, the Governor proposed and the legislature passed legislation giving an appointed official not elected by the voters of a community the right to impose what level of emergency services the municipality should have.  We believe that tools should be in place to deal with the financial distress of cities but that contracts should not be broken rather the Emergency Manager should need to renegotiate with the employees.

Would you support modifying the current law to allow for the collective bargaining to be protected when an Emergency Manager is brought into a city?

Yes: No:


7. Right to Work

Do you support protecting the exemption for fire fighters in the current Right to Work law?

Yes: No:


8. Collective Bargaining

Many bills that have been introduced or passed over the last year and a half have eroded the rights of public employees to bargain certain issues.  

Do you support the right for public workers to negotiate for wages, hours and working conditions as currently allowed through the Public Employee Relations Act?

 Yes: No:


The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration strives to work collaboratively with employers and employees to better prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities and to protect earned wages and fringe benefits.

MIOSHA health and safety activities include: setting and enforcing occupational safety and health standards; providing extensive safety and health training and education; and working with partners to develop innovative programs to prevent workplace hazards.

MIOSHA Wage & Hour activities focus on administration of three laws which protect the wages and fringe benefits of Michigan's workers.

There has been some talk about abolishing MIOSHA and just relying on Federal OSHA laws to provide for worksite protections.  This would eliminate many protections that benefit Michigan workers, making worksites more dangerous.

Do you support the continuation of MIOSHA and its programs?

 Yes: No:

Additional Comments:
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The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union will not endorse any candidate who fails to return the questionnaire by the stated return date.

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Great Lakes Burn Camp

Free Training Opportunities!

These classes are being funded by the Bureau of Fire Services throught the fireworks training fund.  All firefighters are welcome to attend.  A Leadership class is being offered at Lansing Community College West Campus on Wednesday, August 23rd and the same class is being repeated on Thursday, August 24th at Wayne County Community College.  Click on links for more details.  

Another class titled Principles of Modern Fire Attack is being offered on two consective days(Thursday, August 24th and Friday, August 25th) at Detroit Metro Airport.  Click on link for more details.

Congratulations to the following Michigan Fire Departments that were awarded SAFER Grants recently for the purpose of hiring full time fire fighters:

City of Dearborn $1,795,092.00 8/11/2017
Sterling Heights $2,621,292.00 7/28/2017
Delta Township $916,115.00 7/21/2017

We encourage you to follow this link and sign up for the latest statewide firefighting news from the Bureau of Fire Services.

Welcome to Bureau of Fire Services banner

The MPFFU Mobile App is now available in your app stores. It's a work in progress but you can find a lot of information right now. Download on your phone today. It's FREE! 

After you download it, Log in as a member with your login and password from this website to see the members only items.  Make sure you check the box to receive push notifications so you can receive important real-time messages from MPFFU.

Legislative Update: July 10th-14th, 2017

Legislative Log as of June 23, 2017



Governor's Task Force Report On Municipal Retiree Benefits Has Been Released.

The task force created by Governor Rick Snyder to address the unfunded health care and pension liabilities associated with the 334 local governments that provide such benefits to their employees has completed its work.

“My goal for this task force was to have collaboration among legislators, state and local government officials, and employee representatives to ensure the financial stability and effective delivery of local government services for the coming decades,” Governor Snyder said in a statement announcing the Task Force. “As we discuss this growing financial problem across the state, it is imperative that we also keep retirees in mind who rely on these programs.”

MPFFU President Mark Docherty was appointed to the task force which was comprised of subject matter experts representing labor and management, investment managers, insurance financial professionals and legislators.  Governor Snyder tasked the group to provide recommendations on pension and health care reforms.

2017 FIRE OPS Event for Legislators

The Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union held its annual Fire OPS event for members of the Michigan Legislature on April 17th.  This event gives elected officials an opportunity to get a hands-on glimpse into the the many facets of the every day duties and responsibilities of a firefighter/paramedic in Michigan.

This years participants included Representatives Tommy Brann, Tom Barrett, Brian Elder, Abdullah Hammond, Leslie Love, Jeff Noble, Jenell Jones, Terry Sabo, Tom Cochran, and Donna Lasinski as well as representatives for Kelley Cawthorne Consulting. 

The MPFFU would like to thank LCC for hosting the event and David Weisenberg and Melissa Yutzey for organizing the event.  In addition, several LCC instructors, Local 421 members, and members of the MPFFU Politicial Education Committee assisted and contributed to making the event a great sucess.  More pictures can be found here.

Recorded Webinar Training Sessions Now Available

Would you like to learn more about being a "Union Officer"?  The MPFFU recently offered a series of webinars to provide helpful information to current union officers and other union members that may want to become union officers in the future.  These webinars were recorded and now you can view them anytime!  Click on the tab labeled "Webinars to Watch Now" in the heading near the top of this page to see the list of available webinars.

First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund - Application for Benefits

Pursuant to Public Act 515 of 2014 the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund was created.(AKA Cancer Presumption Law) The Director of the Workers' Compensation Agency is the administrator of the Fund.  The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has created a webpage explaining the process to apply for benefits.

There are still many unanswered questions regarding how the funding is going to be distributed. According to the website, a list of potential claimants is being created and applications will be logged based on the date they are received by their office.

Anyone that meets the critera listed on this webpage should submit an application to get your name on the list.  We will provide more information when it becomes available.

If you have any questions on the administration of this fund, you may also contact the Claims Processing Division at 517-284-8912. 

MPFFU June 2017 Financial Report June 2017

New Law Makes MDA Fill the Boot Legal

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that at 10:20 this morning, July 27, 2017,  Governor Snyder signed HB 4160 into law. At 1:02 pm on July 27th it was filed with the Secretary of State and assigned as PA 112 of 2017 with immediate effect. Short version, it is now legal to collect in the streets for our Fill The Boot fundraising campaign for MDA.

Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force Report Released

Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:27 AM Task Force: Greater Monitoring, New Board Needed For Local Finances More reporting, overall transparency, a fiscal stress test for pension and benefit spending, as well as creation of a new Municipal Stability Board are needed to help local governments maintain ongoing financial stability, a local government task force recommended on Tuesday.

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