IAFF: Edzo the Hawker

Eric Lamar
3 min readOct 7, 2021


Selling the IAFF in the Schaitberger Tradition


Harold Schaitberger’s great “gift” to the IAFF membership was to monetize our union for his benefit.

He teamed up early with a nationwide funeral services company to suck our remaining blood even as we were lowered into the ground; that turned out to be a stinker.

Undeterred, he created a financial services entity which failed and then morphed into a shell company selling dubious insurance products benefiting his BFF.

He made his buddies rich with no bid and sole source contracts.

He sold advertising space in our magazine and website to fire/rescue manufacturers fatally weakening our health and safety advocacy role.

Now, his successor, Ed “Edzo” Kelly, proves he is all about maintaining the selloff tradition that Schaitberger started.

He’s the featured hawker for an online university, heady stuff for an international union president.

Sitting behind that big desk peddling online learning.

Of course, the first question is: has he nothing better to do with his time?

“Edzo” told us he was going to “take back our union.”

Not so much.

Anyone truly interested in reforming the IAFF would put a stop to:

  • endorsement deals
  • sole source no-bid contracts
  • low-show jobs
  • fire/rescue advertising
  • ripping off MDA

Instead, Kelly is just giving us more Schaitberger, the guy who put us where we are today.

And the IAFF board, those who like Edzo and those who don’t, are along for the ride.


They’re just maggots feeding on a rotten carcass.

By the way, the investigative report they are hiding no doubt has many details about these and other schemes.

They want to bury or sanitize it so they can continue to destroy our union.

The idea that they need to vote to release the facts of how our union was plundered is pathetic.

Any true trade unionist and leader would release the full report now.

Kelly led us to expect change, instead it’s just more of the Mega IAFF Ripoff.

“Hawker” Kelly

Release the Unedited Investigative Report