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  1. #1
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    Default Paid guys; Calling in Sick; What does your dept. do?

    Gathering data; when you call in sick or "mark-out", what's the process? I know of one department where you call your Battalion Chief, another you just call your O.I.C.

    I heard of one department, where if you call in sick, you then have to go to the "city nurse/doctor" that day.

    What does your department do?


  2. #2
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    I just call the station and tell who ever picks the phone that I am not going to make it in. They adjust the staffing form there. 3 days or more, you must have a doctors note.
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  3. #3
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    We have to call in at least an hour before the start of the shift and tell the on duty captain that we are sick. If sick for more than two shifts, they may request a doctors note or copy of paperwork showing you went to a doctor.

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    We have to call our batt chief prior to 2200 the night before, or between 1530 and 0600 that morning. If you take on shift, you're good to go. If you take a second (or more), you have to have a doctor's note to return to work.

    If you call in, you cannot do any other work (paid or volunteer, or even help a buddy out) unless you call and tell the batt chief you're no longer sick and are available for call-back.

    If you call in for a family member, you have to have a doctor's note to be off. If it's for a child and you're taking off because your spouse is at work, you have to return to work once your spouse gets home.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Personnel who call in a sick day call HQ and report it to either the Captain, Acting Captain or the Deputy Chief on duty. After three consecutive absences, The Chief has the right to request a doctor's note, as per out contract with the City.
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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    If one of the line firefighters/officers calls in sick, that personnel's captain is contacted to work the shift. If that captain cannot work, all other captains are contacted. If for some reason no captain is available, qaulified volunteers are contacted. Last resort a line firefighter is contacted and payed overtime.
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  7. #7
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    If you call in sick you must call the alarm office before 0630 (0700 shift start time). You must report off sick and advise them of the location you will be convalescing if other than your residence. If you leave the house you are supposed to call the alarm office and report out of the house and then call back in upon return. Further, a battalion chief may make a sick call and check on you. No doctors note needed for 1 day absences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontvilleFire39 View Post
    If you call in sick you must call the alarm office before 0630 (0700 shift start time). You must report off sick and advise them of the location you will be convalescing if other than your residence. If you leave the house you are supposed to call the alarm office and report out of the house and then call back in upon return. Further, a battalion chief may make a sick call and check on you. No doctors note needed for 1 day absences.
    Wow!! So if you're at home sick, and run out to get medicine from the store or a bite to eat, you have to call the alarm office on the phone and tell them?

  9. #9
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Firefighter must advise the Shift Commander between 2000 and 2200 the night before or off-going Shift Commander between 0530 and 0600 the morning of that they will not be in.

    In theory, the firefighter must trade or make arrangements with another firefighter to cover his shift, but that is like pulling chicken teeth, so the honor is passed to the shift commander who calls in a floater.

    The ill firefighter must present a Dr note or loses hours off his shift, which cover the floater's time.

    We have 4 floaters who make scale to the FT guys. There is something said for being flexible. We call them the utility club.

    Firefighters cover firefighters, LTs cover LTs and Capts cover Capts. If all else fails, a Asst or Deputy Chief gets to spend the Shift with everyone bumped down. Then the real deep cleaning begins. The crews do everything possible to prevent a shift where a 3 or 4 horn gets to come in. They like the recliners.

    About twice a quarter, we schedule all Asst Chiefs, Deputy Chiefs and myself a couple of shifts. We get to check to make sure everything is working on the floor. We assume the Shift Commander role or just plug in. It brings back those fond memories of the good old days. Plus I get to check out the pod living. Todays young guys have it made compared to 25 years ago.

  10. #10
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontvilleFire39 View Post
    If you call in sick you must call the alarm office before 0630 (0700 shift start time). You must report off sick and advise them of the location you will be convalescing if other than your residence. If you leave the house you are supposed to call the alarm office and report out of the house and then call back in upon return. Further, a battalion chief may make a sick call and check on you. No doctors note needed for 1 day absences.
    Wow, that's incredible! What forced the city to go so strict on a sick leave policy? And the BC's are really making house calls? We have some guys that lives 100+ miles from work, that would be a heck of a "lets ride by and see if Firefighter X is really home."

    That policy seems really over-the-top, I'd love to hear more.

    As for us, we have to call in no later than 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the shift to our assigned station and talk to the OIC, who will then make notifications to the BC and other effected parties. After 3 consecutive days, the BC can ask you to bring a doctor's note in.

    If an officer calls in sick, one of the acting officers from his station will cover his slot. We don't transfer a LT in from another station when a LT calls out. Same with captains.
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 10-30-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Our staffing is run via Webstaff, so you can get online and mark off no later than 0645 on your working day (0745 start time). It's considered bad form not to let your crew know that you're not coming in, however. Also, the first shift is free, and the second requires a doctor's note.

    According to the veterans here, prior to our current scheduling system, the Staffing Officer used to receive sick calls on a phone equipped with caller ID, and if you called from any number other than your listed home phone, you had better end up coming in.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    If one of the line firefighters/officers calls in sick, that personnel's captain is contacted to work the shift. If that captain cannot work, all other captains are contacted. If for some reason no captain is available, qaulified volunteers are contacted. Last resort a line firefighter is contacted and payed overtime.
    so if a firefighter calls in sick you cover the spot with a captain?

  13. #13
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    We can call in sick or ourselves or for family illness. Common courtesy is to call dispatch at least 1 hr prior, preferred to do it the night before. Dispatcher notifies BC who examines schedule and determines who will be detailed where and if OT is required to maintain minimum staffing. 2 consecutive days or more require a letter explaining the reason, per contract. If you gotta go during shift you need a Dr's note to return that day, a consequence of too many guys cutting out sick for 2-3 hrs to do their personal/family business when they couldn't/wouldn't get a trade.

  14. #14
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    Must call your company officer 1 hour prior to shift start. Must provide doctors note for more than 2 shifts. Must visit city doctor after 6 days. Must be at home when sick unless your going to the doctors or church. Any other time you leave home you need to notify your officer when you leave and when you return during hours that your suppose to be working. Chief has right to "sick check" you if you have below 1260 sick hours. Long term illness (broken arm or such) a request can be sent to the Fire Commissioner to forego restrictions. This sounds oppresive but is actually much better than its been. Previously you were required to provide a doctors note to go off sick and to return to duty no matter how many days you were off. It was humerous to tell your doctor that you needed a note to go off sick and one to return (had to be seperate notes) for 1 day. The note to go off was requred to be submitted to either your company or the company closest to your home that day. The note to return had to be submitted on your return. Now you get 24 hours after your return to submit the note to your officer. The city still requires them to be on office letter head or script pad with actual signature not the typical signature stamp. The notes also have to be worded exactly like the city wants or you get to visit the city doc and your doc to get another note. The fire department has long been the most oppresive department for use of sick leave. They track your usage and place you on the "sick abuse" list if your useage shows a pattern or use a certain amount per year. Forget the amount. And if you do go off sick, dont hope for that transfer you requested. You also get knocked off the overtime call list for the pay periord following your sickness.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  15. #15
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    so if a firefighter calls in sick you cover the spot with a captain?
    Thats the first option. Our captains work 7-4 M-F and cover our vacation and sick days when they come up. It doesnt matter how they get thier hours as long as they have 40 in a week. So if they work a 24 shift monday we usualy dont see them untill thursday or so.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontvilleFire39 View Post
    If you call in sick you must call the alarm office before 0630 (0700 shift start time). You must report off sick and advise them of the location you will be convalescing if other than your residence. If you leave the house you are supposed to call the alarm office and report out of the house and then call back in upon return. Further, a battalion chief may make a sick call and check on you. No doctors note needed for 1 day absences.
    Same here other than we call the Batt. Chief and not the alarm office at 6:30 and if leaving the house to even go to doctor or to get meds... And they also been known to make house calls or call you back around noon to check up on you.. After 2 shifts off need doctor note to return to work...

    Reason here had more than few push the limits and get caught one even called in sick from Mexico...

  17. #17
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    Do you guys have to pay for a doctor's note?

    Some clinics charge up here, usually $10, some don't.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Ben covered this pretty well, but I will sum a few things up.

    First and foremost, yes - parts of our policy is Mickey Mouse and we are treated like 1st graders for using acrued sick leave that is earned by employees. Having said this, the administration has had to set most of these policies in place because a few knuckleheads who constantly abuse the sick leave benefit.

    We are a large department and may have 40-50 people off a day. All sicknesses must be reported to the Alarm Office by 0630 - our shifts start at 0700. The alarm office then faxes or emails the two on duty Division Chiefs a list of all reported people off for the day for any reason - sick, bereavement, emergency leave, etc. in their respective Divisions. They in turn radio all the BC's on a predesignated morning "lets get every set for the day" channel and thay make the necessary staffing adjustments within their Battalions. This system actually works pretty well. This also only addresses calling in sick without reporting for work. Once at the station, you can go off sick at any time by reporting to your Officer.

    If you are off sick, you are subject to receiving a visit from a BC to check on your status. Management says they are their to make sure you are well and to see if you need anything. Labor knows that they are just making sure you are at home as required by the policy. If it discovered that you are not home, they will leave a note saying they were there and will find yourself in an adminstartive hearing upon your return to work. It is for this reason that we check in and out with the Alarm Office. Before leaving the note, the BC will call in and ask for the status of the employee. The Alarm Office will advise him that have no status or that the employee is checked out of the house going to the doctor, the pharmacy, etc. If you are checked out, you are golden if you are not, management will make the assertion that you are abusing the sick leave and were not home. I would of coarse have other expalnations that I will not get into as to not make my next defense look premeditated!

    Single day illnesses do not require a doctors note to return to work unless you abuse the system and have excessive single days off and then any officer in the chain above you can determine that doctors notes are required for any sick day off. "Excessive sick days" are not defined and are at the discretion of all of those Chiefs above you in the chain.

    Any sickness of two or more work days does require a doctor's note to return, but it is not a note stating you were sick, but a note stating that you are well enough to report back. As far as cost goes, yes it normally does as most people just go to their primary care doctor and pay the $20 co-pay. I guess if you have a doctor friend that would sign the form for you you could get out of paying.

    We also only report off sick one time. You call in sick once and stay off until you come back whether it is the next work day or 50 work days later. You do not have to report off sick every work day. You are required to give 30 day updates every 30 days until you come back.

    Special Cirmcumstances - If you are going to be off long term, you can contact your Division Chief and brief him off the particulars and be released from the policy altogether with the exception of 30 day updates. For example, I crashed my HD several years ago and had to be off 3 months for knee surgery. Called my DC and told him what was going on and when I tentatively scheduled to be back. He said "Okie Dokie".....really, and then no more spontaneous BC visits, no checking in and out of the house, just off. It was like being out of school on summer vacation!!

    Long I know, but lastly we also earn bonus days. Every 90 calendar days that you just come to work without reporting off sick, we earn a bonus day. That is a 24 hour day that you keep on the books and can use like comp time OR sell back to the city up to 4 times a year or keep on the books and sell them ALL back at retirement. Regardless of the day that a bonus day is earned, it is sold back at your regular rate of pay the day you sell it. So all of my bonus days are currently worth a 24 hour day as a Lieutenant or $475.68 each.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post

    Having said this, the administration has had to set most of these policies in place because a few knuckleheads who constantly abuse the sick leave benefit.


    Single day illnesses do not require a doctors note to return to work unless you abuse the system and have excessive single days off and then any officer in the chain above you can determine that doctors notes are required for any sick day off. "Excessive sick days" are not defined and are at the discretion of all of those Chiefs above you in the chain.
    Long I know, but lastly we also earn bonus days.
    Knuckleheads...you mean like one of our guys who reported off, then went to the Cleveland Indians game and sat in the field level loge right behind home plate for a televised game?

    Note from doctor after 3rd shift off sick, exception maternity leave. Long term injury will naturally have a doctors excuse anyways so no issue.

    We earn a quarterly bonus as well for no sick call offs. Paid once yearly, set amount for that quarter; sounds like you can do ok by accruing actual 24hours pay! Nice!

    Report off to alarm room no later than one hour prior to shift start, call back on the same way.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Do you guys have to pay for a doctor's note?

    Some clinics charge up here, usually $10, some don't.
    We're already bleeding money to get in the door, if a note was extra here, folks would be pretty mad.

    We have to call in at least an hour before shift change. They find relief either from the relief pool or OT list.
    If you get sick mid-way through the shift, the Captain can place the company OOS until relief shows up. All sick calls are to be routed through the respective batallion chief. 2 days without a dr's note, any more and it is requested.
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