DFFA Statement On The Dallas City Manager Debate

June 12, 2022

The past five years for the City Manager of Dallas has been a rollercoaster for your Dallas Firefighters. His tenure has been pockmarked by missteps and failures that have put a strain on all firefighters. On the City of Dallas website, the motto of “Committed to Building a Service First Culture” highlights his page and Service First is not how the members of Dallas Fire have been treated.

Years ago, the failures of Dallas Building Services and the dangerous and unhealthy living conditions in many fire stations quickly drew the attention of the media when fire stations had non-operational HVAC systems during the heat of the Texas summer causing temperatures to almost reach 100 degrees in the living quarters.

Three years ago, Dallas Fire Station 19 collapsed in a storm on Father’s Day, in October of 2019 Fire Station 41 was destroyed by a tornado, and Fire Station 30 was closed due to foundation issues. As of today, construction has just begun on the two destroyed stations and the foundation issues are finally almost repaired. Years of red tape, permitting issues, and delays from every city department who is involved in the process have caused areas of the City of Dallas to lack Fire and EMS coverage endangering citizens and visitors.

Following that, Dallas Human Resources started their run of repeated failures. Errors with health insurance coverage, horrible customer service for our members, outdated policies, and repeated errors with members paychecks were the daily occurrence. Still to this day we have members that have not been properly paid for work they did almost a year ago with zero progress or solutions.

Repeatedly over the past five years the media has covered the woeful state of the fleet of Dallas Fire engines, trucks, and ambulances. The equipment that we depend upon to protect the citizens lack basic preventative maintenance which leads to break downs and some fire stations not having equipment to cover that area of the city. Even today we had 12 front line engines and trucks operating without working air conditioning systems subjecting our firefighters to temperature upwards of 100 degrees while making emergency runs. Our fleet is poorly managed, we are short 10 plus mechanics, and we have no spare parts because it takes the city months and months to pay a simple invoice.

While we were able to work with him on a good Meet and Confer contract three years ago, we have hit a roadblock this year due to his refusal to even discuss or go to mediation about a simple issue in the present contract. This refusal led directly to your firefighters and police officers to file another lawsuit against the City of Dallas. A simple solution was proposed, but the City Manager refused.

These are just a few of the challenges that have caused your Dallas firefighters to lose confidence in the City Management. We also know the many challenges that are quickly approaching. His inability to address some of the simple day to day challenges makes us question if he will be able to lead through the huge challenge that the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund is facing in the next couple of years.

Your Dallas Firefighters have spent 150 years building a department that exemplifies the values of the city and lives the commitment to “Service First” but stand ready for change. The time has come to face our challenges head on and solve them in a timely, efficient fashion.

The Dallas Firefighters Association support the Mayor of Dallas and all of Council that is seeking a change in direction at the helm of the City of Dallas.

Jim McDade


Dallas Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 58