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A ‘legend’ in the fight for benefits of firefighters

A ‘legend’ in the fight for benefits of firefighters

BFD veteran dies at 68

Bob McGovern Saturday, January 02, 2016

Credit: Boston Fire Department

‘YOU DON’T FORGET A GUY LIKE MIKE’: Michael Mullane, right, pictured in this undated photograph with then-U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, was a Boston firefighter for more than 40 years and also served as vice president of the 3rd District of the International Association of Firefighters for more than 30 years.

Firefighters from coast to coast are mourning the death of Michael Mullane, a longtime labor leader remembered as a legendary old-school negotiator who fought for the rights of his front-line constituents.

“Mike Mullane was a leader. He was always by my side when I was learning the ropes, and I always looked up to him,” said Rich Paris, president of Boston Firefighters Local 718. “He was a mentor, a great guy and a great friend. He cared about the union and his fellow firefighters.”

Mullane, 68, died early yesterday morning surrounded by friends and family, according to Paris. He was a Boston firefighter for more than four decades. Mullane also represented the International Association of Firefighters in the 3rd District for more than 30 years as vice president.

“He was passionate about what he did, and he was the driving force for a lot of the legislation that protects firefighters’ rights and benefits,” said Boston fire Commissioner Joseph Finn. “He was always concerned about families and making sure they were protected.”

Finn said it’s typical for four or five members of the department’s color guard to take part in funerals for fallen firefighters — though he expects it will be a little different for Mullane.

“In this case, where Mike was so well-known, it’s going to be a big thing,” Finn said.

“You’re going to have people flying in from all over the country. He was a legend nationally in the labor movement and making a better life for firefighters. This is going to be a big deal. You don’t forget a guy like Mike.”

A service has tentatively been scheduled for Thursday, with a Mass on Friday, according to Paris. The exact locations and times have not yet been determined, but they will be open to the public, Paris said.

“There will be so much to say about this extraordinary man. We have already begun the process of assisting with the plans to celebrate and honor Michael’s life and incredible career,” Harold A. Schaitberger, general president of the IAFF, said in a statement.

One of Mullane’s biggest campaigns was ensuring that widows of firefighters receive the benefits they’re owed, according to both Finn and Paris. He was especially aggressive when a widow’s benefits were on the line and was a tireless advocate for the families of firefighters.

“He always cared about the widows of firefighters. That was very, very important to Mike. He wanted to make sure they had their benefits,” Paris said. “He made sure they got their health care and their ?pension. That meant a lot to him.”

Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said Mullane was considered a no-nonsense union official, and earned the respect of firefighters in the U.S. and Canada.

Brady for Senate


Thu Oct 29 2015 - In The News

Michael Brady is the Democratic candidate running for the 2nd Plymouth & Bristol state Senate seat held by the late Democratic Sen. Thomas Kennedy who died in June.

The Brockton resident has been a state representative since 2009 and a member of the Massachusetts State Democratic Committee member for the past 10 years.

Prior to his election to the Statehouse, Brady served on the Brockton School Committee, Ward 2, from 1996 to 1997 and on the Brockton City Council, Ward 2, from 1997 to 2009.

Brady attended Massasoit Community College and is a 1980 graduate of Brockton High School.

What do you see as the three top issues for Easton voters?

I believe that, as a town, Easton has always shown a strong commitment to and investment in the people of the town. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have successfully worked hard to increase funding for local aid. This is key to make investments in our schools and roadways. We must continue our efforts to combat the opiate abuse epidemic - a problem that exists and impacts every city and town in the Commonwealth. At the same time, we must address and increase access to care for mental health. Unfortunately, many of our veterans are dealing with addiction and mental health issues. We cannot let those who have served fall through the cracks.

I believe that public safety is always a concern for the people of Easton. As vice -chair of the Committee on Public Safety, I worked closely with our police and fire to support funding for police and fire departments.

Easton is a small part of this large district. How will you make sure you are meeting Easton voters’ needs? Describe any time you have spent during your campaign in Easton.

I have spent a considerable amount of time in Easton, long before this campaign began. I enjoy supporting many of the fine eating establishments in Easton. I have supported many of the local charities and groups for years. I am looking forward to the further revitalization of the downtown.

I have always been proud of my commitment to serving constituents, and I would continue this strong commitment moving forward. As a state representative, my constituents know that my phone is always on and that I am always accessible. I’ve campaigned throughout the entire district, making sure to visit and engage with voters in every town and city within. From knocking on countless doors in Easton, to visiting with seniors at Queset on the Pond, to attending a benefit for a family who tragically lost their son to a heroin overdose, I’ve been inspired by the conversations I’ve had with Easton residents. As state senator, I pledge to continue my commitment to being present and visible liaison to the Easton community.

Why are you running for this seat?

I am deeply invested in this district, and my greatest passion is service. I take great pride in my ability to help people as a legislator. Each opportunity to do so inspires me to work even harder the next day with a dedication fueled by an understanding that we, as elected officials, can have a direct and immediate impact to make someone’s life better. I understand the challenges faced by the people here, and have worked closely with the elected officials and community advocates across the district. I would be honored to continue the legacy of my friend, Senator Tom Kennedy.

97th Anniversary of Brockton Firefighters Union Local 144

Brockton Firefighters IAFF Local 144 was chartered on November 25th 1918

Brockton Firefighters Local 144
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