In 1958, dad wrote a new pension law for the Firefighters Association which was passed in Austin. It increased the pension board from 5 up to 9 people. These people were elected by firefighters for positions on the board. Dad was Chairman of the Board. He was reelected about 5 times. After serving 15 years, dad gave up this position. After the original law in 1958, dad wrote subsequent revisions in the pension law that were passed in Austin.
In 1955, the homicide division of the police department asked dad to write up a course in homicide investigation. He taught 30 out of 60 hours of lecture to homicide investigators.
Dad was chairman of the Metro Committee in connection with the International Firefighters in the 1960s. Their objective was to get an increase in voting strength for the major fire departments in the country. The larger unions were threatening to get out of the International Union but the problem was corrected. The international bylaws were changed.
The union produced the improvements in the Houston fire dept. rather than the fire chief's office.
There was an award created in dad's name for the selection of the outstanding arson investigator to be given annually to a member of Houston's arson bureau.
The winners of the Alcus Greer Award For Excellence (1994-2002) are listed in the above picture.
Firefighters dedicated the Pension Fund's the Greer and Lowdermilk Conference Center on July 2, 2003. Alcus Greer and Captain George E. Lowdermilk were honored for their solid support and strong dedication of service to the Houston fire department and the Pension Fund.
Alcus served as a member of the Pension Fund's board of trustees from 1958 to 1973. He was chairman for 15 years and was the Fund's legislative advisor. At the time, Alcus was the only person in the fire dept. that had a law degree and he submitted bills to the Texas Legislature for the Pension Fund. On June 15, 1989, Alcus was unanimously elected Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees for the great contributions he made to the Fund.
The Stonecutter's Awards are a program that is sponsored by the TRFF (Texas Retired Fire Fighters), a branch of the TSAFF (Texas State Association Of Fire Fighters), to recognize and honor leaders of the TSAFF past. Alcus Greer was elected V.P. in 1962 and served until 1987. He was a very strong leader for the TSAFF, plus his leadership on a local level was recognized while selecting him for this award. The leaders selected for this award were not just leaders, but were GREAT leaders, leaders that left a legacy of greatness, of much change, of progress and of leadership, that the fire fighters are proud to follow in their footsteps.
Alcus Greer II accepted the Stonecutter's Award for Alcus Greer on July 14, 2005 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center at the State Fire Fighters Convention.
Member, Board of Trustees
Chairman of the Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund, 1958-1972
Chairman of the Pension Committee of the State Association of Firefighters
Member, Pay Raise Committee (2 times, one time being in 1957)
Board Member (appointed by the Governor), Texans Commission on Fire Protection and Education
Wrote standards for inspectors and investigators for this commission
Served about 20 years
If it was related to pension or standards, Alcus would present a bill to the legislature
Congress had passed a age discrimination law, for people from 40-70 years of age. The City of Houston had an ordinance that required fire personnel to retire at age 65. Alcus Greer went to the fire chief and explained this to him. The fire chief called the the City of Houston legal dept. which said the age 65 retirement ordinance would hold, but they were wrong. This issue went to the EEOC, a federal agency. Some five or six people had been forced to leave because they were over 65.
The City of Houston settled the case. Alcus Greer, at the time, was going on 66. He fell within the age group the U.S. Congress had passed the age discrimination law on, which was 40-70 years of age.
Alcus Greer won the lawsuit. The City didn't pass an ordinance changing the maximum retirement age to 70 years, they just took the retirement age limit of 65 off completely. Alcus Greer was paid for about 3 1/2 years of work time with the City as part of the settlement.
The 65 year retirement ordinance was abolished. Captain George Lowdermilk, who was 81 years of age, announced his retirement from the Houston Fire Dept. and the Pension Fund, Board of Trustees. There was an article titled "Captain George Retires" that was published in the October 2004 issue of the Red Line.
Professional History of Alcus Greer
|Houston Firefighters' Relief & Retirement Fund||Houston Fire Department||Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341||Houston Fire Department History by Max McRae||Houston Fire Department, Firefighter Memorial Page||Houston Fire Museum|