International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger has appointed James Ridley director of the IAFF Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Department.

Ridley, a career fire fighter for 29 years, was president of IAFF Local 124 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for 11 years.

“I’m honored to be asked to take over a program that’s so important to the health and safety of first responders,” Ridley said.

The IAFF operates the largest HazMat/WMD training program in North America. The program has received more than $50 million over the past 22 years to educate emergency responders about strategies to safeguard their health and safety and reduce occupational deaths and injuries related to hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction response.

More than 4,000 training programs have been delivered to 91,315 emergency responders. The IAFF also has trained approximately 2,362 instructors who have gone on to provide training to an estimated 59,000 additional emergency responders.

Ridley began his new job October 13.

Ridley replaces Elizabeth M. Harman. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Tuesday announced President Obama’s intent to nominate Harman to become an assistant administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Jim’s experience makes him a perfect fit for this important job at the IAFF,” Schaitberger said.

Ridley also has served as a vice president of the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana, a Fire Prevention and Building Safety commissioner with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, an elected member of the IAFF Human Relations Committee, and an instructor for the IAFF Partnership Education Program. He spent six years in the United States Marine Corps.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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