And politicians wanting to wrap themselves in the flag want to be surrounded and supported by firemen.
So six Democrats vying for the White House spoke in person or by phone to the International Association of Fire Fighers convention this week.
In addition to Sen Obama, Sens. Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, and former New Mexico Gov Bill Richardson were scheduled to address the convention.
"They'll praise your work in speeches, they'll honor you as heroes in words, but when it comes to deeds, they make it harder for you to do your job." Sen Barack Obama (D-IL), speaking by phone about the Republican candidates to the International Association of Fire Fighters leadership convention.
And it's only a small gathering of a couple dozen union leaders.
Gives you an idea of how powerful the outfit could be -- with that many candidates talking to that few representatives. (AP)