The United Retired Firefighters Assoc.Inc.

By John Cunningham

e-mail John P Cunningham

May 2, 1999
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
     Look at the new Uniformed Firefighters Assoc web site, look at the
last retirees column I had in Feb-March UFA FIRELINES FOR SOME RETIREE
     Dan Finegan, Pres. orange county retirees sent a message about
meeting with Sen Larkin, Orange county about the Albany HEALTH INS BILL
 S-3563 Calendar No 247.
    On Thursday May 13th, the United Retirees will have their Semi-annual
meeting at Randalls Island.  Many retiree topics will be discussed. 
Several guests have been invited, from the City Council, Tom McMahon,
Finance Director and Arthur Parrinella, Pres. UFOA, not verified until
tomorrow for their attendance.   Retired Sister Firefighters have been
invited to attend the Semi-annual meeting.    The former Retired Mens
Assoc, (RMA) have changed their name to Retired Members Assoc. since a
sister retiree joined their ranks.   There is a new Muslims Society in
the Fire Dep't.
    Several important retiree issues are the health Ins Bill, the Full
Medicare reimbursement  resolution in the city council,  The bill S-3585
and A-6027 about capping the FDNY Life ins to $9 a month.  Sen Trunzo and
Assemblyman Vitaliano are sponsors.  It needs a Home rule message.   URge
your Senator and Sen Bruno to vote for it.    Ted Dolan, Pres. SCARF FDNY
 (Suffolk county Assoc of Retired Firefighters) John Sollazzo, Pres. URFA
, Bob DiVirgilio, URFA Exec Sec are working on getting The city
councilman Jose Rivera to get the message to Albany.  Councilman rivera
is the Chairman of the Federal  and State Legislation.
     An innovative widows secondary health care reduced Group rate is
being worked out by  Ken Dolan, John Sollazzo, Attorney Rudy Migliore and
GHI for a reduced rate on widows secondary health ins premiums after
COBRA for one yr from the UFA Security benefit fund, The UFA has been
asked to cooperate on this worthy endeavor.  Stay well,  Until next news
bulletin I remain jack Cunningham, Acting Sec. URFA.  

Dec. 27, 1997. The Pocono Mts. Div, of FDNY Retired Firefighters was organized in Dec. 1986 by Jack Cunningham with Bill O'Keefe(retired Lt. Commander Coast Guard) as first President. At the first meeting after many ads in the local Poconos papers, twelve retirees showed up at the Eagles Lodge in Stroudsburg,Pa. We had an immediate election of officers to start the club rolling. Beer and refreshments were served at the bar. A few of our members were also dues paying members of the Eagles Lodge. In Dec. 1996, a dinner-dance was held celebrating the 10th Anniversary, Jerry Healy is the 1997 President. 717-828-2633. Jerry DiRazzo, Sec.Treas. They meet on the last Thursday of the month at the Eagles Lodge. Stroudsburg,Pa. No meetings in January or February, they all go ice skatng and skiing. The Peconic-Suffolk county Div. of FDNY Retired Firefighters was organized in June 1990 by Jerry Ryan, former UFA President and Jack Cunningham. Frank Malet is the 1998 President, 516-728-4147. Fred Hodges, 1st V.P. Bob Sheehan,Treasurer, Jack Cunningham, Secretary. They meet every other month starting on Monday, Jan. 5th, 1998 at the Hampton Bays Firehouse, Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays at 1 PM. Coffee and before the meeting and liquid refreshments after. Jerry Ryan was the first President. The members are active in helping in campaigns for people runnng for office in the Town and State. Every weekday from 10 AM to 11 AM a half dozen members meet to have coffee at the local 7-11, on Montauk Highway, in the parking lot. Drop by and enjoy the stories. Twenty five members live in Hampton Bays, the rest on the north and south shores of Long Island. end Thanks Jack C.

Your editor is John P.(JACK) Cunningham, Ret. Lt. appointed Jan. 1, 1938 (I'm not kidding, I'm an old Buffalo, still breathing) worked in E. 323, L.169. last Co. E. 276, 33rd Batt. retired in 1964. In my prologue I wanted to give the firefighters who started the main retiree organization the credit they deserve for all the time and energy they put striving to get the Associations all under one umbrellaorganization, it wasn't easy but successful.

The oldest retiree Association is the Veteran Firemen's assoc. formed after the Civil War, John J. O'Shea is their President and they meet once a month in the UFA building, 204 E. 23rd St, NYC. Call John at718-392-7721 for the Nov. meeting date.

The second oldest retiree group of the United Retired Firefighters is the Retired Men's Association, FDNY, incorporated by Former V. P. UFA Ed Leonard and former UFA Prrs. Vince Kane in 1947 called the RMA . Jim King is their President, they meet 6 times ayear in the UFA building.

President is Jim King, call Jim for the next meeting. 516-922-5221 or fax same number or e-mail Jim King wears many hatsor should I say Helmets, he is also President of the St. George Society, FDNY,and Vice Pres. of the United Retired Firefighters Assoc. Editor of their six tims a year RECALL JOURNAL.

In 1980, in Broward county, Florida a small group met and started the Broward county Division, Fire Department New York Retirees> First Pres. Julian Shear, 1981 to 1984 Bill Gunther was Pres. Other Presidents were Rich Kurtz,Frank Hogan, Geo. Schumacker, and Bill Messina. Their current President since 1995 is Jerry Coffman, Coral Springs Fl. Tel. 954-753-5228, fax-954-341-7542.

The United Retired Firefighters Assoc. Inc. Fire Department City of New York, which has 20 divisions of retirees in many states and Hawaii, was founded in 1982 by 5 retiree groups from Florida, L.I.,NYC, and Rockland county. At that time it was called the Council of Retired Firefighters, FDNY. Jerry Ryan, former Pres. UFA represented Palm Bch county, Fl. and Hank Fehling, Retired B.C. from Broward county Fl. Vinnie Forrester from SCARF, Suffolk county assoc. of REtired Firefighters. They met in the UFA office and at Randalls Island for the first several years. Jimmy Boyle, Nick Mancuso Presidents of the UFA at that time welcomed the retirees groups and wanted one voice to speak for them all, which is why the United Retirees was formed.

As new retiree groups sprung up they were contacted and joined. In 1989 Vinnie Forrester was elected the first President, JackCunningham,Vice. Pres and Tom Fawcett, Sec-Treas. It was decided at a meeting in Sept. 1988 that the officers should be from NY state. In 1990, Jerry Ryan was elected Pres. , Jerry lived in Florida from Jan to April 1st. but resided on Long Island for 9 months. He was elected unanimously at a meeting in Dec. 1988 of 14 representatives from FDNY Retiree groups.

Ryan resigned in 1993 because of ill health and John Corcoran, former Pres. UFOA was elected President. Many more groups joined, The name was changed from Grand Council to United Retired Firefighters Assoc. Inc. In 1995, Jim Leddy became President, he resigned in Sept. 1995.

In 1996, John Sollazzo, Pres. of the Staten Island Retirees was unanimously elected President. At the Oct. 9th meeting of all hands delegates from many states or their proxies Sollazzo was elected for another term.

Executive Officers....President John Sollazzo, 718-761-2299, Vice Pres. Jim King, 516-922-5221 (same Fax) e-mail Secretary, Jack Cunningham 516-728-8278 (Same fax, call first) e-mail Treasurer, Ken Nagle, Former Pres. Orange county, NY, 914-856-2572 Recoding Sec. Jim Belmonte, Pres. Nassau county, Ret. NYC Firefighters, 516-822-3371.

Just received word that former Chief of Dept. Ed McAniff, died in Florida. He was appointed to the Fire Dept. in 1936, was Chief of Dept. 1962to1964, retired in Dec. 1964. A great teacher of Firemanics and an all around stand up guy to all who knew him.. I was proud to know him. He was one of my mentors besides Jerry Ryan, former UFA Pres. UFA PENSION AND PRE-RETIREMENT SEMINAR BY LOU SFORZA WILL BE HELD TUESDAY, NOV. 18TH, 1997, AT 7 pm AT THE UFA OFFICE , 204 E. 3RD ST OFF 3RD AVE. 4TH fL MEETING ROOM. CALL DEBBIE LYNCH AT 212-683-4832 TO REGISTER. THIS IS A PENSION ASSISTANCE SEMINAR FOR PRE-RETIREES OF THE NEW YORK FIRE DEPT.

The Broward div. Florida, sends out an informative 24 pg. "THE RETIREES JOURNAL"to their members and other divisions every month. Pres. Jerry Coffman is the editor andhis wifeEleanor is the Assistant Editor. Ed Rockwell has been the Financial Secretary since the first mee ting and does a wonderfuljob keeping track of their financial affairs. The Broward Chapter meets on the fourth TUESDAY OF THE MONTH. AT THE AMERICAN LEGION POST #142 located at 171 SW 2nd St.Pompamo Beach, Fl. They have over 400 members. I lived in Florida in 1981 and joined up, there were about a hundred retirees crowded into the Pompano Beach Firehouse, Bill Gunther, Ret. FDNY, was the Chief of Dept. The hot dogs with sauerkraut and beer was delicious. As an Art. 1 Service retiree I learned what SBS, VSF, DBP and FPP was because I didn't have any of it having retired in 1964. I was 65 years old and since then I have educated myself in retiree affairs. I was ignorant of these alphabet letters because I didn't get any.

The Staten Island Retirees was formed in 1989 from two smaller groups who joined together. President John Sollazzo, 718-761-2299. Vice Pres. Ed Thompson is also Pres. of the FDNY Vikings. CallJack Lantieri, Corr. Sec. 718-356-2267 to join upor find out about the meeting date.They meet at the BPO Elks Lodge, 3250 Richmond Ave. St. Is. Their monthly newsletter is the COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR.


        In early 1987 Staten Island's retired firefighters attempted to form an
organization dedicated to the protection of benefits of retirees and their
widows.  Unfortunately due to philosophical differences,  it was decided to
form two separate groups.  The first F.D.N.Y Retirees, Staten Island
Division was presided over by retired Battalion Chief Tom Fawcett,  the
second 10-75 Retired, Staten Island Chapter with retired Firefighter John
Sollazzo as it's president.  Retired Battalion Chief Carlo Andersen became
president of the Staten Island retirees upon the retirement of Tom Fawcett
as it's leader.

        The groups continued seperately until their merger in January of 1993.  The
merger was precipitated by the formation of the Staten Island Firefighters
Memorial Committee,  at the request of Staten Island Fire Commander Eugene
Dockter.  The Committee consisted of three members of each group and two
active firefighters. The members of the committee were, from the S.I.R.
Carlo Andersen, Dan Peterson, Frank Reinhold. And from 10-75, Bob Pace, as
Chairman, John Sollazzo, Jerry Huntzinger. The active firefighters were, F/F
John Wegennar and Lt. Frank Cannizzaro.  It was apparent during the
Committee's meetings that the differences of the past had dissolved and the
common interest of all of Staten Island's retirees was the paramount issue.

        A merger committee consisting of from S.I.R., Bud Hennessy, Jack Lantieri,
Charlie McKeever, Frank Murphy and Joe Baeszler and from 10-75, Bob Pace,
Dom Carbonaro and Ed Betts.   The Committee met on ten separate occasions at
Staten Island Fire Command Headquarters, working on a revised constitution
and the logistics of the merger. Cooperation was outstanding at all levels
and the merger was a success.  The merger was scheduled for January 1993
with both presidents co-chairing until the March election and to use
F.D.N.Y. Retirees, Staten Island Division as the organizational title.

        The first meeting of the combined groups, attended by approximately 200
members,  was held at St. Teresa's Church Hall on January 21, 1993.
Nominations for office were taken, with the election scheduled for March 18,
1993.  At the March meeting John Sollazzo was elected as the first president
of the combined groups.


Bob Pace          

  • The Suffolk county Assoc. of Retired Firefighters, S.C.A.R.F.
  •   The Suffolk county Assoc. of Retired Firefighters, S.C.A.R.F. was
    organized in the 1980's by Vincent Forrester, Ret. Cpt. (since deceased)
    It is the largest group on Long Island and has a group of dedicated
    officers led by energetic Pres. Bob DeSilva, 516-368-0731.  Bob had a
    tripleby-pass in September and is back on his feet once again.  He attended the
    third annual dinner-dance at the Bavarian Inn, Lake Ronkonkomo on Oct.
    11th. where awards for service were given to Volunteer Firemen, Steve
    Spinelli, 10-13 National clubs Pres, to Tony Bruno, SCARF Officer, and a
    dedicated service award to Jack Cunningham(SCARF member)  SCARF has an
    extensive Insurance program, for retired firemen and relatives, has given
    Art. 1 members over 450 dollars to supplement their lack of Security
    Benefit of Family Protection Plans, has a 333 club with drawings every
    meeting and has great food and liquid refreshments at their meetings.  
    At the dinner-dance $2500 in Scholarships was given by the Bankers Life
    Ins Co and an award was presented to Patricia Acampura, Assemblywomen of
    the 1st A.D.  A great association to join if you live on L.I.
    Next meeting on Dec. 4th at the Lake Ronkonkomo Firehouse.  7 PM 

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