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President Obama gets DCFD T-shirt at ACFD firehouse. Firefighter hands it over at veterans' job initiative announcement.

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Above is a picture from IAFF Local 36 showing one of its members handing a t-shirt to President Barack Obama yesterday during an event at Arlington County (VA) Fire Department Station 105. President Obama was there to talk about his jobs initiative to help veterans find work as firefighters, police officers and park rangers. The President is now the owner of a shirt that firefighters in the District of Columbia would not be allowed to wear while on-duty because it has the DCFD insignia banned by Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. The Washington Post's Mike Debonis writing in his District of Debonis blog is on top of this story:

Ed Smith, president of Local 36 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said there were no political overtones intended in handing POTUS the shirt.

”Those were shirts we had made up last year, before the change,” he said. “Those are the shirts we wear when we’re out in the community, attending different events. … We try to look uniform.”

Lon Walls, an FEMS spokesperson, said he wasn’t reading too much into the giveaway.

“People give stuff to the president all the time,” he said. “I’m sure he doesn’t know what all the issues are.”

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Comments - Add Yours

  • somebody

    I'm willing to say that Mr. Walls is probobly correct, that with the President's busy schedule he does not have time to pay attention to many of the local politics at hand.  But I can bet you one thing if that's the case!  If we handed him a shirt that said FEMS on the back of it he would probobly have to say "what the hell is FEMS?"  There was no mistaking which department handed him that T-shirt yesterday.  Thank you President Obama for taking such a key stance on public safety issues.  I wonder if he were to get a hold of some more of our local politics, what President Obama would say about cutting 25% of the firefighter positions right here in his backyard, while he and the Vise President travel the country advocating bringing more public safety jobs back to communities.  It doesn't quite add up to me.  But that's a conversation I would love to sit in on between the FEMS administrator and the President of the United States.  Not even Mr. Walls, could spin that conversation to meet this administration's agenda.

    • RJ (in florida)

      I'll bet ellerbee suspends him, he is a DC resident after all

  • Pipeman

    Mr walls is an idiot

  • Bye bye Lon!

    Why are you calling him Mr Walls???  He has not earned an once of respect from me!  I refuse to call him anything but racist!   And as soon as the guys make it to the Feds with the EEO complaint, he is going down!!!  What a sweet day!!!

  • Joe Paczkowski

    Why does this remind me of the episode on The West Wing with the Taiwanese flag?

  • Brokenhearted

    Dave the Biggers Story here, is Lon Walls, whoever he is for this department, called the members participating in peaceful nonviolent resistance, racist.  An official statement he's made on his Twitter and his Facebook page.  You have a public official making that statement about 170 of the members of his department.

    • Brokenhearted

      Do you have a way to edit biggers to bigger?