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    Default Boston FF's refuse to leave "browned out" stations

    From the Boston Herald:

    Defiant off-duty firefighters are disobeying Fire Department orders and voluntarily staffing three Boston fire companies that were closed today as part of a new “brown out” policy aimed at reducing overtime spending.

    “It’s the people’s firehouse. We are volunteering to staff these firehouses to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves,” said Boston firefighters union President Ed Kelly, who used a department radio this morning to report that “Volunteer Engine 20 is in service.”

    For rest see below:

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/reg...ome&position=0

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    Let's see if the IAFF throws these guys out because they are volunteering their services.
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    Doubt the city would dispatch them. Would assume they would roll on their own if they hear a run dispacthed in that area.

    Will the district chief put them to work?

    Will be interesting to see what happens as, there must be alot of liability here as my assumption is, since they are not on the clock, they are not covered by workman's comp, and in theory, the drivers are not covered by the city's insurance as they are not on the clock.

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    This could get messy in a hurry...

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    Although I admire their spirit, I doubt this move will strengthen their cause - it will most likely hurt them more than it is going to help them and cause a bunch of union members to be brought up on charges for disobeying direct orders.

    IMO, there concern should be more with keeping 4 or more people per rig, not the total number of rigs in service. The city could have just as easily reduced 12 companies to 3 man staffing. Thats when you fight!
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 07-01-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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    So let me get this straight. We have paid guys volunteering in their own department, not another fire company in the same area. The union won't like that. Now we have a bunch of guys disobeying orders. Sounds like they need some discipline. And if they respond, they will be free lancing and causing a bigger problem. And I would have to believe that since this is a wildcat sit in, they won't be covered by city insurance or workers comp. Not to bright are they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The union won't like that.
    Are you illiterate or did you just not read the article?

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    WHile it is an obvious publicity stunt, I admire the guys for doing it, and do not understand why other public servents do not step up more often when things like this happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    This could get messy in a hurry...
    I agree. I also have a hard time deciding the "right" side on this....it's a tough one.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    nice publicity stunt. Could back fire. city could say, hey using volunteers would be a good idea or forcing the guys to work longer hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    I agree. I also have a hard time deciding the "right" side on this....it's a tough one.
    I kind of see it as there's clear side on this one, depending on what aspect. It's not wrong to want to cover your area and to do what you can to do that. But it's wrong to put your brothers at risk and to disobey an order.

    Unfortunately, even though well-intentioned, these guys are forcing the city into a defensive position due to potential liability.

    At the same time, if the city nails them for insubordination, you can't blame them, since it's their apparatus and their insurance telling them (I'm sure) to make sure those trucks don't hit the road, as they won't be covered.

    I just really hope this doesn't escalate to the point that someone "volunteering" gets hurt, or a truck gets in an accident, or even the city takes it to the level of calling it theft if they leave with the truck, or even a break-in for them being at the station.
    Last edited by Catch22; 07-01-2009 at 02:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I kind of see it as there's clear side on this one, depending on what aspect. It's not wrong to want to cover your area and to do what you can to do that. But it's wrong to put your brothers at risk and to disobey an order.

    Unfortunately, even though well-intentioned, these guys are forcing the city into a defensive position due to potential liability.
    If they are city employees, even if it is their day off, they should still have things covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    At the same time, if the city nails them for insubordination, you can't blame them, since it's their apparatus and their insurance telling them (I'm sure) to make sure those trucks don't hit the road, as they won't be covered.

    I just really hope this doesn't escalate to the point that someone "volunteering" gets hurt, or a truck gets in an accident, or even the city takes it to the level of calling it theft if they leave with the truck, or even a break-in for them being at the station.
    Again, they are city employees, unless they have been specifically ordered to stay out of a particular station, I would have to assume that thier employment agreement/contract has nothing saying they can not be on fire department property when not on the clock. The only thing that I can see where guys might not be covered would be workers comp, in which case they should call the AFLAC Duck before procedeing with this stunt.
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    WOW!! Folks need to read the comments in the Boston Herald. I know what I know from a few sites and talking to people about Boston, but the resident's up there are out for blood. There has got to be more going on here????

    I can honestly say in 14 years of being a firefighter, I have never heard so much hate and animosity for a fire department!!

    Best of luck to guys up there.
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    Post Well.........

    As I see it, I have no problem with the "Union Volunteers". Quite Frankly, I admire their Spirit and I hope what they're doing works to their advantage. One point I'd like to make is to answer some concerns about Insurance coverage that have been thrown around on this thread. As far back as I can remember, someone in our family has been in the Insurance Business, and as a result, I've learned a bit about Insurance. I don't know for an absolute fact if they are, but as a rule of thumb, Large Cities like Boston are usually "Self Insured". That means that the City acts as an Insurance company itself, paying claims directly. Unless Massachusetts has radically different Laws than Maryland, Boston is required to cover those vehicles and people, regardless of their status.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tms122 View Post
    Are you illiterate or did you just not read the article?
    Yes, I read the article. The Union won't be happy with guys volunteering, it's also against federal law. Where is that guy thinks every fire fighter should be fired for breaking any law?

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    Scaredstupid,

    Regarding the union not being happy, reread this passage, carefully:

    “It’s the people’s firehouse. We are volunteering to staff these firehouses to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves,” said Boston firefighters union President Ed Kelly, who used a department radio this morning to report that “Volunteer Engine 20 is in service.”

    This is the union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    WOW!! Folks need to read the comments in the Boston Herald. I know what I know from a few sites and talking to people about Boston, but the resident's up there are out for blood. There has got to be more going on here????

    I can honestly say in 14 years of being a firefighter, I have never heard so much hate and animosity for a fire department!!

    Best of luck to guys up there.
    Holy CRAP!!! The people in Boston do not like these guys at all. Looks like they need to do some public relations work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tms122 View Post
    Scaredstupid,

    Regarding the union not being happy, reread this passage, carefully:

    “It’s the people’s firehouse. We are volunteering to staff these firehouses to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves,” said Boston firefighters union President Ed Kelly, who used a department radio this morning to report that “Volunteer Engine 20 is in service.”

    This is the union.
    YEA??? Ed Kelly is a fire fighter in Boston and the Union President. The international has to condemn this practice to save any face. Did you see the recent diddy in Albany NY. The Union said the guys in The Albany Fire Department were not allowed to volunteer at fire stations where their homes are. Let alone volunteer in the same district.

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    The last thing the international is going to do is anything that remotely compromises one of the largest, most prominent and most talented locals in the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tms122 View Post
    Scaredstupid,

    Regarding the union not being happy, reread this passage, carefully:

    “It’s the people’s firehouse. We are volunteering to staff these firehouses to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves,” said Boston firefighters union President Ed Kelly, who used a department radio this morning to report that “Volunteer Engine 20 is in service.”

    This is the union.
    I'll admit also that I do not know the right side of this issue yet, but this ain't it.

    The people's firehouse also exists in Podunk, MA. People are volunteering there also to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves.

    Could we not suggest that the volunteers are scabbing the job, taking OT away from the guys? I'm not sure if I believe that, but I know an argument could be made.

    The IAFF risks looking very bad here. There is no difference in BFD members volunteering in their fire house or in a volunteer house in Podunk, MA.
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    Talking Bad deal!

    Well like another post said best of luck, if the city is broke there are cuts, but in my opinion buy quints, sorry i know this will stir the $hit!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tms122 View Post
    Scaredstupid,

    Regarding the union not being happy, reread this passage, carefully:

    “It’s the people’s firehouse. We are volunteering to staff these firehouses to make sure the public gets the protection it deserves,” said Boston firefighters union President Ed Kelly, who used a department radio this morning to report that “Volunteer Engine 20 is in service.”

    This is the union.
    Not to split hairs, but this is not the "union", this is one local. The "union" is the collective whole and has long had a stance about their members volunteering, particularly with departments that have career staff.

    However, I don't think that's the issue the IAFF is going to focus on, or even acknowledge (unless someone files a grievance, I guess ). The IAFF, even if they acknowledge it, will focus on the city not providing adequate manpower to keep the station open.

    The bigger problem that this causes is that this is a violation of FLSA. If the city allows this to happen, the local might be able to come back and file suit for the guys to be paid for the time they volunteered, as you cannot volunteer to do the same job for which you're paid for the same employer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    WOW!! Folks need to read the comments in the Boston Herald. I know what I know from a few sites and talking to people about Boston, but the resident's up there are out for blood. There has got to be more going on here????

    I can honestly say in 14 years of being a firefighter, I have never heard so much hate and animosity for a fire department!!

    Best of luck to guys up there.
    The Herald is nothing but a sensationalist tabloid... a waste of paper and ink.

    The only thing the Herald is good for is wrapping garbage... and even the garbage objects to that punishment!
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    It's been a rough few years for the Brothers at BFD, I wish them all the luck in the world. This "issue" will not persist very long at all and Ed Kelly and the Brother's will have made their point. Hopefully some/most of the citizens will wake up and see that while they've had some bad apples rise to the top, they in no way represent the majority of BFD. I'm sure percentage-wise most career FD's, as with any job, have troubled employees, it's just that most of us don't have a mayor's office slipping every dirty issue to the press at every chance.

    Menino has capitalized on every issue BFD has had to turn the citizens against the BFD, judging by how some of their so called "Brothers" respond it's no wonder the public bought into that crap.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 07-01-2009 at 05:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Again, they are city employees, unless they have been specifically ordered to stay out of a particular station, I would have to assume that thier employment agreement/contract has nothing saying they can not be on fire department property when not on the clock. The only thing that I can see where guys might not be covered would be workers comp, in which case they should call the AFLAC Duck before procedeing with this stunt.
    I know what you're saying, but I'm sure you see what I was getting at. The city can't very well allow these guys to do this, as it opens them up to a violation of FLSA, as well as liability should they get hurt, wreck an apparatus, or however unlikely, a citizen gets hurt by the actions of one of these guys.

    I don't know what kind of policies they have, but our policy is if you are off-duty, you're treated as a visitor when you're at the station. No off-duty personnel may operate apparatus or be at the station when the crew is out (thanks to some jackass that was stealing). Plus, if they're acting against orders, they may have very well been ordered to not be at the station.

    Who knows the specifics. Bottom line is they're putting themselves and the City in a precarious situation.

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