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    Default Career departments turning combination

    Is anyone aware of a career fire department that has turned into a combination department by starting a volunteer program?

    From what I understand, most combination departments were once volunteer but due to population growth and other factors have had to become career to meet the need.

    However, with fire department cutbacks and shrinking cities in parts of the country, I was curious if any of the career departments had turned to volunteers in order to try to maintain their usual level of service.

    I can imagine that any move to do such a thing would be fought tooth and nail (for understandable reasons) by the career folks at such a department making it unlikely this has occurred very often.

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    I'm sure there are many situations where it is quite logical, would save the taxpayers money and would work well.

    However, the career members would not accept it as a solution and will simply continue to yell and scream about staffing levels that will never increase, and fight an option that may very well improve their situations.

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    Wink Unions

    How many combination departments have union considerations vs. career departments? Many cities and suburbs have been strained monetarily by unions. Rare to see the unions give up much in concessions, even when a city or municipality has run out of money. So the only option for them is to go to comination departments. Funny how much breathing room it gives a cash strapped community. Especially with the huge increases in mandatory safety features for standard equipment and apparatus. Not to mention the costs of such equipment. Add in retirement matches and other incentives for paid departments and then the town officials being forced to find a way to keep these operations viable. Especially with unions unwilling to cooperate much. They may think they are, but they are basing that on how things were done in the past.

    Revenues from property and sales taxes are less and less and the collection of them even harder.
    I may sound biased, but I'm not seeing a lot of consideration from the career end of it. They have to have turnouts, training, and maintain levels. When they mention crews being cut from 4 to 3 and raise hell about their safety issues, volunteers do the same and they have no guarantees how many will show up. Every run.

    There are a lot of aspects to consider and I can only relate 'fully' from one side, but also can 'partially' compare from the career side and partially from the local government side.

    If we could remove the unions in the country ,because they are totally out of date, and have all partys work from a logical approach, then careers could be more stable and have a real cooperative relationship with their elected officials, other agencies and buisnesses.

    Look what the unions have done to other industries? Especially the automakers here. They didn't want to give up anything. Then they got the government to step in and take care of the unions first. The investors went to the end of the line. Its supposed to be the other way in a free market system. The unions are hopefully finding this out now. Remember when TWA told the unions, "If you think you can run the airline like this, its yours". Guess what. The unions ended up making their employees take wage cuts, (they could) and shortly after TWA was no more. A lot of lessons to learn from if they are willing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    How many combination departments have union considerations vs. career departments? Many cities and suburbs have been strained monetarily by unions. Rare to see the unions give up much in concessions, even when a city or municipality has run out of money. So the only option for them is to go to comination departments. Funny how much breathing room it gives a cash strapped community. Especially with the huge increases in mandatory safety features for standard equipment and apparatus. Not to mention the costs of such equipment. Add in retirement matches and other incentives for paid departments and then the town officials being forced to find a way to keep these operations viable. Especially with unions unwilling to cooperate much. They may think they are, but they are basing that on how things were done in the past.

    Revenues from property and sales taxes are less and less and the collection of them even harder.
    I may sound biased, but I'm not seeing a lot of consideration from the career end of it. They have to have turnouts, training, and maintain levels. When they mention crews being cut from 4 to 3 and raise hell about their safety issues, volunteers do the same and they have no guarantees how many will show up. Every run.

    There are a lot of aspects to consider and I can only relate 'fully' from one side, but also can 'partially' compare from the career side and partially from the local government side.

    If we could remove the unions in the country ,because they are totally out of date, and have all partys work from a logical approach, then careers could be more stable and have a real cooperative relationship with their elected officials, other agencies and buisnesses.

    Look what the unions have done to other industries? Especially the automakers here. They didn't want to give up anything. Then they got the government to step in and take care of the unions first. The investors went to the end of the line. Its supposed to be the other way in a free market system. The unions are hopefully finding this out now. Remember when TWA told the unions, "If you think you can run the airline like this, its yours". Guess what. The unions ended up making their employees take wage cuts, (they could) and shortly after TWA was no more. A lot of lessons to learn from if they are willing.
    If for one second you think that the IAFF is at fault in all of this, or that the individual locals are at fault, you are sadly, sadly mistaken.
    I am not a big supporter of unions, the democratic party, or many lefty causes, but the IAFF is not to blame for any of the problems with cities.
    Unlike you, I can speak from experience in the issues that arise between firefighter unions and cities.

    Cities will rob you blind and try to balance budgets on the backs of it's employees, if they are left to run unchecked. Don't believe me? We have watched guys fall off of roofs and suffer career ending back injuries because their roof ladders burned thru, only to have the city deny their claim as being an age-related degenerative issue. We have watched the city walk all over basic employment rights, guaranteed and protected under law violated. We have also watched the city mismanage and misspend monies, and then accuse us of "breaking the bank" when times aren't as good.

    Sorry, please try to educate yourself on a topic before you go and criticize it on a public forum. Even if you are a volunteer, many of the benefits and protections you enjoy and are entitled to is because of the effort of the IAFF as a whole. Ever heard of heart & lung, or presumptive cancer?

    Your welcome.

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    Any examples of what I asked for?

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    Default Not all or nothing

    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    If for one second you think that the IAFF is at fault in all of this, or that the individual locals are at fault, you are sadly, sadly mistaken.
    I am not a big supporter of unions, the democratic party, or many lefty causes, but the IAFF is not to blame for any of the problems with cities.
    Unlike you, I can speak from experience in the issues that arise between firefighter unions and cities.

    Cities will rob you blind and try to balance budgets on the backs of it's employees, if they are left to run unchecked. Don't believe me? We have watched guys fall off of roofs and suffer career ending back injuries because their roof ladders burned thru, only to have the city deny their claim as being an age-related degenerative issue. We have watched the city walk all over basic employment rights, guaranteed and protected under law violated. We have also watched the city mismanage and misspend monies, and then accuse us of "breaking the bank" when times aren't as good.

    Sorry, please try to educate yourself on a topic before you go and criticize it on a public forum. Even if you are a volunteer, many of the benefits and protections you enjoy and are entitled to is because of the effort of the IAFF as a whole. Ever heard of heart & lung, or presumptive cancer?

    Your welcome.
    Well the person I wanted to see my post didn't. Sorry Jasper I had to play a little devils advocate. Wasn't trying to provoke you, but get a Mr. P. to chime in. Since you did bring up the IAFF however. I will point out something. The IAFF has only one side. Will only care about one side. That's their job. If it wasn't, they would have helped out their volunteer brothers when speaking to the fire caucus and other congressional entities. They don't and didn't. Instead they represented only career firefighters in the fire service world. That's what they get paid to do. The problem is not just the IAFF. Its all the unions. The citys you say do much worse when in reality their job is to try to find a happy middle ground for everyone. That which is workable and and effort to try to be fair. A cost benefit or value per dollar per say. Not saying they all try to take unfair advantage because they dont and anyone who makes that kind of exageration should take it back. Many local governments dont get it right everytime, but the courts don't either, just like myself and anyone reading this post. You understand there are laws out now that would bankrupt many cities if they recognized the inhalation-cancer issue. Of course this cancer causing issue is legit. But there is a legal issue involved too. Maybe we can get it possibly resolved later. However, If everyone can rein in these out of control regulations AND the demand to make the next second safer than the last second. Because there is a price to all of it. A dollar amount and the money and available funds are not in endless supply. How many more safety features can one put on an apparatus. The new exhaust regulations for 2010 are going to add how much? 10,000 to 20,000 dollars per vehicle? Everybody is making demands on others and for themselves when at this point in time we should pull in the reins a bit. Safety at all costs?? If that was so, our fighting soldiers should be the ones getting the funds. Theirs is the greater numbers of deaths and injured per thousand. There is alot of aspects for all sides, lets look at it that way. As a whole. My position is more about common sense for everyone and a little understanding for all involved. Not the 'get as much as I can get for whom I represent.' Lets ask all the firefigthers to take a cut in pay so they can help cover the costs of these cancer causing exposures that the ill firefighters whose compensation got turned down by the cities. Maybe those cities would step closer to helping if some of those related to the issue agreed to meet them part way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Lets ask all the firefigthers to take a cut in pay so they can help cover the costs of these cancer causing exposures that the ill firefighters whose compensation got turned down by the cities. Maybe those cities would step closer to helping if some of those related to the issue agreed to meet them part way.
    We're currently in the middle of a "budget crisis", and have been so for several years now.
    I understand the position that you're coming from, but your perspective again is only one-sided. Just like the city, it appears that we must make all of the concessions. The reality is that we have been making concessions for years, in the form of closed companies, reduced staffing on companies, and even closed houses. We have been paying more for health care, contributing more to our pensions, and taking on more of a work load for zero pay raises, and in some instances pay cuts.

    It is awfully easy to sit and say that we should all take a 10% pay reduction to help out. It sounds great, and it makes for a great press release, but that is really where it stops. The fact is that the cities are mismanaging money now, why would that change just because we agree to more concessions? There is no way that a city would take the 10% and help fund heart & lung, or presumptive cancer, or even for our workers compensation; it just won't happen.
    We have seen it non-stop. Cut staffing, close houses, cut over all costs, and then next year it's the same thing all over again. Now we need more health care contributions, more pay cuts, a few furlough days here and there.

    Sorry, but we're done playing the nice guy. Many of us have been making concessions for years now; right here, by the start of next year we'll have lost over 200 positions and several line companies.
    It's time for cities to start doing their part, and start to cut these programs that are non-essential services, and believe me, there are plenty of them.

    I am fairly confident it is the same in a lot of other places, in that the city makes their cut or receives a concession, and they p*ss it away. They then turn around and say they need more, and then more, and then more. It seems as if their goal is to balance the entire budget on our backs, when it was their mismanagement and poor spending habits (something scarecrow would understand) that is the problem.

    I hate it that I have to defend union actions like this, but it is true. If it were not for my local, we would have been skewered several times over by now.
    In this last budget battle, we have continued to watch as the city claims to want staffing on rigs and houses filled with rigs, but they continue to feed little pet projects. They fund items that are non-essential, especially for just a year or two.

    When we see a little more proper prioritization from the city with spending, perhaps we can seriously talk about more concessions. They continue to prioritize flowers in boulevards over firefighters on rigs.

    If we're expected to make these concessions and to do more with less, why are our alderman and elected officials not held to the same standard? Why do they not shut down non essential programs temporarily?

    I understand your position and I hear your points, and I don't necessarily disagree with you. We just need to look at a bit deeper.
    If more concessions are needed, or wanted then fine, we will make do if we have to. However, I want you or any alderman out there to stand up and say that keeping those flowers in the boulevard is more important than fire deaths, or timely responses, etc...
    I want them to stop playing this stupid political game and say that they would rather have more fire deaths annually, than to not fund some non essential programs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    We're currently in the middle of a "budget crisis", and have been so for several years now.
    I understand the position that you're coming from, but your perspective again is only one-sided. Just like the city, it appears that we must make all of the concessions. The reality is that we have been making concessions for years, in the form of closed companies, reduced staffing on companies, and even closed houses. We have been paying more for health care, contributing more to our pensions, and taking on more of a work load for zero pay raises, and in some instances pay cuts.

    It is awfully easy to sit and say that we should all take a 10% pay reduction to help out. It sounds great, and it makes for a great press release, but that is really where it stops. The fact is that the cities are mismanaging money now, why would that change just because we agree to more concessions? There is no way that a city would take the 10% and help fund heart & lung, or presumptive cancer, or even for our workers compensation; it just won't happen.
    We have seen it non-stop. Cut staffing, close houses, cut over all costs, and then next year it's the same thing all over again. Now we need more health care contributions, more pay cuts, a few furlough days here and there.

    Sorry, but we're done playing the nice guy. Many of us have been making concessions for years now; right here, by the start of next year we'll have lost over 200 positions and several line companies.
    It's time for cities to start doing their part, and start to cut these programs that are non-essential services, and believe me, there are plenty of them.

    I am fairly confident it is the same in a lot of other places, in that the city makes their cut or receives a concession, and they p*ss it away. They then turn around and say they need more, and then more, and then more. It seems as if their goal is to balance the entire budget on our backs, when it was their mismanagement and poor spending habits (something scarecrow would understand) that is the problem.

    I hate it that I have to defend union actions like this, but it is true. If it were not for my local, we would have been skewered several times over by now.
    In this last budget battle, we have continued to watch as the city claims to want staffing on rigs and houses filled with rigs, but they continue to feed little pet projects. They fund items that are non-essential, especially for just a year or two.

    When we see a little more proper prioritization from the city with spending, perhaps we can seriously talk about more concessions. They continue to prioritize flowers in boulevards over firefighters on rigs.

    If we're expected to make these concessions and to do more with less, why are our alderman and elected officials not held to the same standard? Why do they not shut down non essential programs temporarily?

    I understand your position and I hear your points, and I don't necessarily disagree with you. We just need to look at a bit deeper.
    If more concessions are needed, or wanted then fine, we will make do if we have to. However, I want you or any alderman out there to stand up and say that keeping those flowers in the boulevard is more important than fire deaths, or timely responses, etc...
    I want them to stop playing this stupid political game and say that they would rather have more fire deaths annually, than to not fund some non essential programs.
    'Flowers in the Blvd'. Man did you hit the nail on the head there. Makes one want to puke when one sees these items funded when the station houses have to fight in 10 year old PPE's. Now you said I came from one side. Take another look, and another. I took the position of being in the middle, throughout. I thank you that you did not contest my pointing out how the Unions are operating because that is how it is. Especially the muscling in on national levels. Getting back to the 'Fluff' projects. Yes, these projects may have some blood on them. But do you realize who are behind these? The councils have got to schedule them. Which brings me to this. I keep traveling to cities for fire grants training and learned from those cities what are its (3) three main responsibilities. I did this to a county commissioner last February and caught him. A few of his fellow commissioners quickly tried to recover the situation, but this first one to talk got a lesson. Anyway number three is the roads, number two is water and sewer and number one is, the public's safety.
    I am constantly astonished that the most competitive grants to get are these fire grants, when block grants seem the easiest. With the block grants you make sure your ready for the opening periods and as long as you meet their criteria and are at the head of the line, bango your funded. The AFG system must get past the dreaded computer review then the peer review. 8 of them in fact.
    Now here is where the unions of late have stuck it to the volunteer departments. They lobbied to move 380 million from AFG to the SAFER program which really is geared more in my opinion toward the hiring of career ffs. The new proposed AFG extensions show the same bias. Even if the split is 25% career and 25% for combo and vollys, the fact is the numbers still breakdown in favor of career. Certain volunteer organizations were basically told that they have no input. Imagine that. We didn't even get a say in the transfer of the 380 million to SAFER. How would you like that to happen. Your unions being left out of the negotiations with your city? You get what you get and too bad. Well that's what happened last May.
    So if your taking cuts, ask to see if your department heads are making application from SAFER? Its about to close this year, but you got 380 million extra for 2010.
    Still that isn't much? Is it. But 70% of the nations firefighters got it taken away and we didn't even get a chance to argue against it.

    Sorry if it seems biased. I stand with our careers on so many, many issues. Though the professional union negotiators often aren't firefighters at all. For us, I am a negotiator. Unpaid, passionate, but always fair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    the IAFF is not to blame for any of the problems with cities.
    100% city-paid FF/spouse medical, for life, for every member for the last 30 years has nothing to do with the city's budget problems we're seeing? Arbor Day and 9/11 as paid holidays have nothing to do with it? City-paid law degrees for a career field where it's only POSSIBLE utility is to better combat the city that paid for it? Playing the "I'll take a sick day so you can get OT, then you take tomorrow and I'll get OT" game has nothing to do with it?

    Please.

    Ever heard of heart & lung, or presumptive cancer?
    Unless tobacco use is a terminable offense, that CAN be an easy scam too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    100% city-paid FF/spouse medical, for life, for every member for the last 30 years has nothing to do with the city's budget problems we're seeing?
    Really? Where is this the case, because maybe I should apply there. I have paid a decent portion of my healthcare throughout my entire career. Members who choose family coverage pay even more, and have as long as I have been a member here.

    I just love this when people talk our of their rear-ends with no factual points to base their opinion from. Oh, I heard this here, or I heard that there.


    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Arbor Day and 9/11 as paid holidays have nothing to do with it? City-paid law degrees for a career field where it's only POSSIBLE utility is to better combat the city that paid for it?
    Really? That many paid holidays? Where did you garner all of this wisdom? I have one extra day off per year, as negotiated. We also receive no extra pay for working Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other holiday.

    I would also like you to show me every city that pays for it’s firefighters “law degrees”, because you are talking out of you’re a*s, yet again. I am familiar with places that pay an educational bonus for members to have college and advanced degrees, but none that outright pay for them.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with education incentive pay, either.


    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Playing the "I'll take a sick day so you can get OT, then you take tomorrow and I'll get OT" game has nothing to do with it?
    Really? That happens where, again? It’s funny, but in many places there are policies in place to prevent that from happening; my department is one of them. Again, with all of your “vast” experience in the fire service this is what you have seen first hand, right.
    Never mind the fact that the first 19 hours of any overtime shift I work is paid at straight time. Boy, those pesky facts of real life must taste bitter. How does your foot taste?



    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Please.
    Please , yourself. All you have proven with this post is that you are not only a troll, but really no different than what scarecrow is. Especially since you both seem to be able to talk out of your collective as*es faster than you can shove food into them.

    Isn’t it time for you to go back to your little private ambo gig and cry and wish you were a fireman, again?

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Unless tobacco use is a terminable offense, that CAN be an easy scam too.
    There is no scam there, especially as more and more departments have no tobacco clauses. However, that doesn’t remove the risk from the job or the fact that certain cancers are endemic to this profession. Diesel exhaust may cause lung cancer, just like tobacco products; should we stop taking care of guys who are suffering debilitating diseases because of this job?

    Go away, as it is clear you have absolutely nothing to offer this forum. You are nothing but an angry, pitiful little boy. Tell us please, how many departments have you failed exams for? To be this ignorant and bitter, it has to be a very long list.
    Last edited by jasper45; 11-14-2009 at 05:02 PM.

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    Since it wasn't mentioned by the Brothers from up north.............

    A very important thing to remember when pointing the finger at the Unions for all these "problems" the cities and employers are facing. THEY AGREED TO EVERY SINGLE THING IN THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (contract) with the Unions, unless items were part of an arbitration award!


    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    I thank you that you did not contest my pointing out how the Unions are operating because that is how it is.
    I can't speak for the other Unions, but you are way off base about the IAFF in general.


    Now here is where the unions of late have stuck it to the volunteer departments. They lobbied to move 380 million from AFG to the SAFER program which really is geared more in my opinion toward the hiring of career ffs...blah, blah, blah.........

    Still that isn't much? Is it. But 70% of the nations firefighters got it taken away and we didn't even get a chance to argue against it.
    Sorry, but it's not the IAFF's fault if the volunteer fire service is so fragmented that it and it's representative organizations aren't being heard.

    Sorry if it seems biased. I stand with our careers on so many, many issues. Though the professional union negotiators often aren't firefighters at all. For us, I am a negotiator. Unpaid, passionate, but always fair.
    I can't speak for the other Locals, but my Local has no "professional union negotiators" involved in our talks. It's pretty much just us firefighters in the room and very occasionally our legal counsel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Sorry if it seems biased. I stand with our careers on so many, many issues. Though the professional union negotiators often aren't firefighters at all. For us, I am a negotiator. Unpaid, passionate, but always fair.
    jam, just so you are aware, the tone I take with emt161 has nothing to do with our conversation.
    On another point, at no time do we as a union sit down and try to figure out how we can take money from the volunteer service.

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    I suppose I'll repeat myself...
    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    Any examples of what I asked for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    I just love this when people talk our of their rear-ends with no factual points to base their opinion from. Oh, I heard this here, or I heard that there.
    Is the text of the contract "factual" enough for you?

    Really? That many paid holidays? Where did you garner all of this wisdom?
    The contract. It ain't rocket science.

    Really? That happens where, again?
    A half-dozen departments I could name off the top of my head. That being said, I like my anonymity. Prevents people like you from shutting me up.

    It’s funny, but in many places there are policies in place to prevent that from happening; my department is one of them.
    Luckily for your taxpayers.

    How does your foot taste?
    Same as yours, I'd imagine. Just because you have a contract and practices that don't rape your taxpayers doesn't mean every city is that lucky.


    Isn’t it time for you to go back to your little private ambo gig
    Are you kidding? I wouldn't go back there for anything. Too old for the dialysis derby.

    and cry and wish you were a fireman, again?
    Never have, never will. You're not that special. Blackhawk Down gets me every time, though....

    However, that doesn’t remove the risk from the job or the fact that certain cancers are endemic to this profession.
    Fact? You've got medical evidence that being a firefighter, not using tobacco (ever), using SCBA 100% of the time at EVERY fire for one's entire career, and having NO family history will still result in an above-average cancer rate?

    If you can REALLY tie it to the job despite all precautions taken and risk factors eliminated, fine. Have the presumption, makes no difference to me. It just strikes me as odd when the dinosaurs leaning out the windows hacking up black phlegm during overhaul insist years later "the job" gave them cancer. Really? You're sure there's NO chance that your own failure to protect yourself because "packs are for pussies" had NOTHING to do with it? The fact that three of your family member died of cancer before you had NOTHING to do with it?

    Tell us please, how many departments have you failed exams for?
    Not a one. Not donating to the mayor's re-election campaign has its consequences, however.

    To be this ignorant and bitter, it has to be a very long list.
    To be this arrogant, you must be a firefighter who doesn't like the mystique being pulled off certain elements of "the job." Or you really are hearing it for the first time, and just don't know how to react, so you lash out.

    Maybe your area is better, I don't know. Maybe your unions actually take the taxpayer into consideration when going into negotiations. All I can speak to is what I know from my area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Is the text of the contract "factual" enough for you?
    Good enough for me. So post the contract(s).


    A half-dozen departments I could name off the top of my head. That being said, I like my anonymity. Prevents people like you from shutting me up.
    Yup, that's why you won't prove your claims. And your first time was in Niagra Falls with a girl from Canada, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    jam, just so you are aware, the tone I take with emt161 has nothing to do with our conversation.
    On another point, at no time do we as a union sit down and try to figure out how we can take money from the volunteer service.
    I detected no insulting tone from you at any point. The one thing that must be learned when discussing the issues like we have, is when the discussion is over, to carry on like old friends and comrades in arms. Just like our elected politicians do. We can both debate passionately, but its just politics. Nothing personal. I learned that a long time ago.

    Yes the volunteers are fragmented as a negotiating entity. In fact since October 2nd my republican senator called to discuss my request that he sponsor the AFG extension in the senate. Recommended that our third district representative A. Smith who has been very active for the volunteers with AFG, be the one to co-sponsor with his democratic counterpart from New Mexico or Arizona (I cant remember at the moment). Then a few days later I find out the new proposed changes do a left turn and show the bias for the career departments in the urban areas again. Won't go into the details. Felt like an idiot after recommending this to my Senator as you can imagine. How am I going to tell him to make changes in something I asked him to sponsor?

    So I wrote to the NVFC. Basically telling them why would I want to pay fees for an organization that's not going to have any influence in national decisions that affect the volunteer service. We kinda went back and forth like what you and I are now.

    I also had some correspondence with Bill Webb with congressional fire service caucus or whatever you call it. They did get the extensions approved in committee thank god, but I voiced my concerns again about how the changes are going to take a good chunk away from the largest demographic of firefighters in the country. It seems that there wasn't anyone pointing out all the other factors that show why a balance to the volunteers would have been fairer. Such as more calls per thousand ca-pita, majority of overall population protected by volunteers and many more. A big part of it could be influenced by lobbyists from the present administrations preference for his blue state populations that showed a higher percentage of voters who voted for him. Thats just a guess, but will show up later if true.

    I read today where the day before a new contract with a city took place, the ffs dumped on the city their demand for payment for their accumulated comp pay. It appeared as a retaliation for something. Totaled 2 million dollars on top of a 9 million dollar city budget deficit. Not sure what this was all about, but the key word is retaliation. I know the city or someone recently had cut the number of ffs responding per apparatus from 4 to 3. To me that seems insane. 3? Not only from a safety concern, but the ability to properly control the incident. Anyway there has been a lot of accusations of both party's being unreasonable. Seems their salaries were substantially higher than the national average along with a lot of other issues, that I was never really a party to. But retaliation is something that all sides should refrain from.

    Cigarettes? You gotta be kidding. The NFPA and other agencies are about a hairs breath from declaring residential house fires as a hazmat incident, and they would be right. From what I understand they are probably one of the most dangerous and hazardous fires to fight. I never go in one now even after the fire is out without some kind of protection and I fight far fewer of those. Just because I quit cigarettes shouldn't automatically disqualify me especially if my eyes begin to bug out after getting a wiff of a smoldering couch.

    remember if you join a department that is a combination, do not look down on your volunteer brothers. They are feeling their heads in a vice between full time job pressures and ever increasing fire service demands. Fire Service and full time jobs. Be kinda like being a career firefighter and spending half of your other half of time away from home doing something like raising money for eco-organizations and installing monitors to take air samples. getting certified to be a licensed sea captain too.

    I think you see and appreciate this very well. I've enjoyed this immensely. thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    A half-dozen departments I could name off the top of my head. That being said, I like my anonymity. Prevents people like you from shutting me up.
    Post them or shut up. All this means is that you are still talking out of your a*s, again, and really have nothing but a bitter opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    The fact that three of your family member died of cancer before you had NOTHING to do with it?
    Family history has nothing to do with anything, and can't be factored. What should we do next, not hire people who have family histories of heart disease, cancer, diabetes? Just because there is a family history of one disease or another does not mean an individual will contract it. Maybe the member wouldn’t have contracted the disease if they worked a conventional profession, with no exposure to toxins.
    In any case, medical science and the law support the IAFF’s position, not yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    All I can speak to is what I know from my area.
    Once again, put up or shut up. Post the information about the departments “raping” the tax payers in your area, or zip it. Statements like this do nothing but make you look pitiful and angry.
    Never mind the fact that the tax payers agree to the terms of all contracts, bargained for in good faith negotiations.


    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    To be this arrogant, you must be a firefighter who doesn't like the mystique being pulled off certain elements of "the job." Or you really are hearing it for the first time, and just don't know how to react, so you lash out.
    I am neither, and only lash out at donkeys. I am always more than happy to explain my positions on things and have intelligent conversations. You however, are not worthy of an intelligent conversation as you have demonstrated you are bitter and angry at anything to do with the IAFF and career departments, over many, many threads. The “lashing out” as you put it, is only for you, which is well deserved.
    Last edited by jasper45; 11-15-2009 at 09:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    A very important thing to remember when pointing the finger at the Unions for all these "problems" the cities and employers are facing. THEY AGREED TO EVERY SINGLE THING IN THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (contract) with the Unions, unless items were part of an arbitration award!
    Great point, thanks for contributing. Often times it is also forgotten that when deals were made, raises and other benefits were well below what was going on in the rest of the world. Now that the economy declined and slowed, we become the bad guys who are taking advantage of the communities we serve, and should forfeit all of our legal rights as employees.


    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I can't speak for the other Locals, but my Local has no "professional union negotiators" involved in our talks. It's pretty much just us firefighters in the room and very occasionally our legal counsel.
    All of our principle officers were just firefighters before they were elected to office. None of them were experienced labor negotiators, or even had any real experience in labor negotiations.
    We do retain legal counsel for help with legal issues, etc...

    The city, however, has a full time labor negotiator, who only deals with labor unions. These people are very experienced, and the last few have had a significant amount of experience before going to work for the city.
    Last edited by jasper45; 11-15-2009 at 10:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    Great point, thanks for contributing. Often times it is also forgotten that when deals were made, raises and other benefits were well below what was going on in the rest of the world. Now that the economy declined and slowed, we become the bad guys who are taking advantage of the communities we serve, and should forfeit all of our legal rights as employees.
    Thanks. I just love these people who think that organized labor should be dragged down to their level rather than having them lifted up to ours. Not to mention the ones who think that without our Unions, our employers will treat us fairly, follow the labor laws and not try to put the screws to us.

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    Hey 161....
    I'm working per diem at a private ambo service. Should i hate myself?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Auxman... one of our city councilors suggested that we "hire part timers" to "work the overtime".

    Okay then... they have to be trained. I've done the research... For the Fire Academy to run a municipal hire call/volunteer course would be $55K, takes 6 months to complete and requires a commitment of 2 nights a week and every Saturday.

    Then there is the issue of turnout gear. At about roughly $3K to outfit a firefighter with gear to meet our specs, we would have to order X number of sets (dependent on how many applicants there are) prior to their attending.

    They must be issued an SCBA unit and spare cylinder for scba drills, taking them off of the rigs.

    Another thing... under Chapter 41, section 111F of the Massachusetts General Laws.. a firefighter injured in the line of duty gets his full salary. For a call/volunteer/part time firefighter, he would get the salary of his place of employment, paid for out of the city's coffers.

    It's far less expensive to pay for overtime.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    A good friend of mine, who is a retired chief of a municipal paid fire depatrtment summed it up like this..I have been all over America and I have seen lots of fire departments who were volunteer first and supplemented with career personnel BUT I have never seen it done the other way. I am not going to opine on why that is but this gentleman who has said this was a prominent member of the state, regional and national fire service scene. If he says it, I believe him. I have seen, however, career services (usually county fire/Fire Protection Districts) that have career personnel staff their municipal stations and have volunteers staff their rural stations.

    As for the expensive training cost argument...It has good merit. Playing devil's advocate only...if you have dedicated volunteer personnel and limit the turnover of those volunteers it can pay off in the end because it is a one time cost. The SCBA and PPE has to be purchased whether it is a paid or volunteer personnel. It may all depend on the state and the size of the department. I do not see supplementing large municipal departments with volunteer staffing but if you have smaller departments in towns with small populations that run fewer calls, it may work.

    To me the volunteer would have to be an addition to the fire department, I would never advocate cutting career positions and then supplementing those who have lost their jobs with volunteers.

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    Smile Your kidding?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Hey 161....
    I'm working per diem at a private ambo service. Should i hate myself?
    Why would they pay you at all? LOLOL

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    auxman, I know of no paid department considering going combination.


    Great point, thanks for contributing. Often times it is also forgotten that when deals were made, raises and other benefits were well below what was going on in the rest of the world. Now that the economy declined and slowed, we become the bad guys who are taking advantage of the communities we serve, and should forfeit all of our legal rights as employees.
    Jasper, not always, and fairly common in NJ is the almighty "binding arbitration". The point at which neither side will agree and a "supposedly" neutral arbitrator makes the deal. In NJ, the deal is almost always favored towards the union side and against the city/town. It's well known, it's well documented, and it's something that politicians (when running for office) want to change, but once elected do not (as they don't want to lose union votes).


    100% city-paid FF/spouse medical, for life, for every member for the last 30 years has nothing to do with the city's budget problems we're seeing? Arbor Day and 9/11 as paid holidays have nothing to do with it? City-paid law degrees for a career field where it's only POSSIBLE utility is to better combat the city that paid for it? Playing the "I'll take a sick day so you can get OT, then you take tomorrow and I'll get OT" game has nothing to do with it?
    Sounds pretty close to a LEO contract I know of.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Hey 161....
    I'm working per diem at a private ambo service. Should i hate myself?
    Isn't that against a union rule?
    "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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