James Ridley currently serves as the Assistant to the General President for the Education, Training and Human Relations Division at the International Association of Fire Fighters. Mr. Ridley oversees educating emergency responders about strategies to build their skills and knowledge in their roles as firefighters, paramedics and union leaders. The Education department provides access to online learning resources, hands-on-training, classroom education, self-paced study, instructional conferences, and scholarship opportunities.
The IAFF Human Relations Department is committed to promoting positive human relations in all aspects of the fire service. Every fire fighter, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or reason of disability, has the right to a safe and respectful workplace that fosters professional and personal balance.
Mr. Ridley was a career fire fighter for nearly 30 years in the Fort Wayne Fire Department, where he served as a combat fire fighter, combat company officer and training instructor at the Fort Wayne Fire Department Training Academy. In 1998, he was elected President of the Fort Wayne Professional Fire Fighters Union Local 124, and served in that capacity for 11 years. In addition, he has served as an elected State Vice President for the Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana, where he lobbied for benefits and safety legislation for public safety officers throughout Indiana. Mr. Ridley was an elected member of the IAFF Human Relations Committee and an instructor for the IAFF Partnership Education Program. He served six years in the United States Marine Corps; was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to serve as a Commissioner for the Indiana Fire Prevention Building and Safety Commission; and served as a Commissioner for Fort Wayne’s Civil Rights Commission.