VP Biden to Address Firefighters Convention in Philadelphia

51st International convention meets in Philadelphia through Fri.

Vice President Biden will address the 51st International Association of Fire Fighters Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

A release from his office says Biden “has been a strong advocate for fire fighters and first responders.” His address to firefighters is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Philadelphia Local 22 is hosting the convention. City union leaders are asking for support at the gathering for their efforts to end a four year contract dispute. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Local 22 members handed out fliers explaining the issues outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center where the meetings are being held.

An arbitration panel ruling earlier this month would give firefighters a pay increase and other benefits. The contract is reportedly being studied by the Nutter administration and there has been no decision yet to accept it or to launch another appeal.

On Monday, Vice President Biden told a meeting of law enforcement officials “we weep for the families that lost their loved ones” in the Colorado movie theater shooting.

He spoke at the annual convention of the National Association of Police Organizations in Manalapan, Fla.

For more coverage of the Colorado theater massacre visit NBCNews.com.

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Biden said that despite the shooting, there is, in his words, “a hell of a lot more good out there than the evil you're sworn to take on.” Friday's shooting near Denver killed 12 people and injured dozens more.

The vice president says the stories of heroes that have emerged from the shooting “remind us of the goodness” of the American people.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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