Thread: Does Your Department Allow?
07-22-2009, 02:07 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
Does Your Department Allow?
1. Does your deparment have rules that allow Paid and/or Volunteer members to join other deparments in your area?
2. What is you personal opinion of this?
07-22-2009, 03:01 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Lusby, MD
Our county (all volunteer) only allows you to be a member of 1 department at a time. The exception is the Advanced Live Support department. You can be a member of ALS and a member of any of the other departments. We have no rules keeping someone from belonging to a department in another county.
The reasoning behind this is based on the fact that the county provides LOSAP benefits and being a member of more than 1 department can cause bookkeeping errors. Also, helps clear up confusion about who you belong to on an incident if there are problems (injuries, disipline etc.)
I agree with this rule. If you make a committment to a department, you don't want to be spending your time at another department.
07-22-2009, 03:37 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
Well, my full-time department has no rules in regards to volunteering with nearby departments. The only stipulation is that they are the priority.
My vollie department has no rules. We've had guys do it before, but they've been few and far between, as it gets to be too much. As the chief, I usually discourage it, because a person can get torn if they're on a scene where both departments respond. Plus, you have to be careful due to insurance and liability issues. However, if it's a situation where they worked several towns over and lived in our town or something, that'd be a different issue.
As far as my opinion, it depends on the situation. I'm against not allowing career personnel volunteering where they live, particularly if it's for smaller towns that need any assistance they can get. However, I'm not a fan of those that volunteer at departments that are exploiting their volunteers to save money instead of hiring their own career staff. Vollies volunteering for another vollie department is one that also depends on the situation.
07-22-2009, 03:42 PM #4
It's not too uncommon for members of my vol fire department to also be members of the local vol EMS agency. As far as members of other fire departments...it happens, but not too often. Simple reasoning being the time committment.
We have no rules against it. The State Firemen's Association only allows you to be a member of 1 local Relief association, regardless of how many FD's you belong to.
And we even have a couple members that are members of Paid departments at the same time."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?
07-22-2009, 08:57 PM #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
We have no rules against it. The State Firemen's Association only allows you to be a member of 1 local Relief association, regardless of how many FD's you belong to
Local Relief Association?
I assume that is like a department's Firefighter's Association?
07-22-2009, 09:04 PM #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
We can belong to another dept. as long as it isn't Union as well. That way we aren't taking work away from other paid personnel.
07-22-2009, 09:06 PM #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Southern California
How my Department Does This.....
How my Career Department does it is that we allow for our Members to work Paid-Call, Volunteer or Reserves for other Departments. To us, it's really no different than having another Job, which as most of us know is a requirement to help pay the bills. We don't allow taking time off to work at the other Department, as leave will be denied. We also have Members that are assigned to Incident Management Teams for Campaign Fires; this is a different subject and really encouraged since the Department is reimbursed for the service of it's Members. The list of pro's and con's are the same for both subjects though.
There is a list of pro's and con's to this:
Pros:Personnel get experience.Cons:
Personnel get training from an outside source.
Personnel refine their skills and develop new skills
Moral is increased when they go on "Good Calls."
Lessons can be learned and shared with at our Department.
Helps establish a solid foundation for all Levels (FFs, Eng, C.O.)
Helps pay the bills doin' what we love.
Allows our Members to serve the Communities they live in.
Also provides us occasionally with ice cream, bagels and fat-free sorbet when they make the news or newspaper.Members could get hurt while performing at the other Department which could cause O.T. to be paid from our Budget.These lists are just a few reasons why to do it and why not to do it. They are complaints/compliments that I've personally heard and been involved with. I know there may be many more issues that may be added to both lists but these are the major topics that I've heard of.
It could be conceived that a Union Member is taking the Job/O.T. of another Union Brother/Sister. This is totally false since with most Departments the O.T. is Rank for Rank and since the Member is a Paid-Call, Volunteer or Reserve the O.T. was already turned-down by the other Career Members.
Again, this is just my thoughts and how my Career Department looks at the topic and I realize that this may not work for all Departments. My personal opinion is to do what's right for your Customers (Internal and External), do what's right for your Department and allow your Personnel some freedom. You'd be amazed at how easy this Job really is.....
I actually responded on a large fire in my Home Town and had the Fire Chief and a Strike Team from my District show-up and the look on the Engine's face was precious. Especially since I was on one of the I.A. Units and got to eat a lotta smoke and heat. It made for a great story back at the House."Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"
Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....
Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....
07-23-2009, 12:16 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
NYS for some reason only allows membership in one volunteer fire company, or something to that effect. EMS agencies on the other hand don't seem to have that stipulation.
07-23-2009, 12:35 AM #9
At work, our union doesn't enforce the "two-hatter" rule at all. I'd say at least 30% of our firefighters (we have a little over 500 sworn members) volunteer in their home towns.
I work for one FD and volunteer with two others. I guess my view on things is pretty obvious.Career Fire Captain
Volunteer Chief Officer
Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!
07-23-2009, 12:05 PM #10"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?
07-24-2009, 08:41 AM #11
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