1. #1
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    Default Problems with part time program

    We are a combination FT/POC dept and are trying to start a part time program. We are forming a committee to flush out problems before and as they arise but I am looking for input as to some problems anyone has already experienced. Here's some background:

    We have 9 FT guys (3 per 24 hr shift) out of 1 station, 3 POC stations, FT Chief and 2 Deputy Chiefs. We (Local IAFF) operate pretty well with them (vollies) but they, at times, are resentful of us. The plan is to have 2 stations staffed during the day and 1 at night. POC will assist during the day on manpower calls (codes, MVA's, fires, etc) and nights will be the same as always with all calls fair game. We FTer's respond now to all calls and the POC squads respond to calls in their district to transport, but we are not getting crews on alot of calls, hence the push for part time staffing. Any input would be helpful. Thanks.

    EDIT: Before you ask, its in our contract that ALL volunteers, POC's and part timers have to be fired before IAFF members can be laid off. We're not civil service but thats the best we could do.
    Last edited by gattfire; 11-19-2009 at 11:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default gatt

    I am also a career guy that currently works in a very similar system. I started as a vollie, was hired PT when this system was implemented and then became FT/Career after a year or so on the part time side. We experienced multiple problems from day one but much of the funk was from our brass telling each side different info. Needless to say the chief who implemented the PT system didnt last long. We now have a system in place where we have 3 of our 4 stations manned 24/7 that include FT and PT staff working side by side. Some of the initial problems we had were ego's (of course), lack of training on some of the PT staff, and a double standard when FT compared to PT. After 6 yrs of growing pains and a lot of smaller headaches for the most part all sides get along ok. Now, having said that, the POC side still feel they are just being pushed aside. We went from over 100 POC 10 yrs ago when I started to roughly 25 currently. Our dept tries to follow NFPA closely and most of our POC guys cant keep up with all the required training we require. All parties involved need to understand changes in personnel aren't personal. It needs to be conveyed it is what is best for your community, the dept needs or maybe budget restraints.

  3. #3
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    Default gatt

    To implement something new in the fire service is always dynamic and takes a while to work out all the dispatch issues, the new SOG's that will need addressed, expectations from brass regarding the new PT staff. Are they to be supplemental units to the FT staff or will they be used as first responding EMS based on the dept's districts.

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    I don't come from a combination department, so I'm only speaking from what I would want and what I have seen on these forums.

    Make sure that the command structure is clear and uniform. If a part-timer or volunteer holds an officer rank, it needs to be clear who he has authority over and in what circumstances.

    Also, make sure that the part timers get to do some of the "fun" stuff. If they are only getting called out for manpower or to transport, they may stop coming out because they consider that the mundane part of the job. I realize that it's part of the job, but if you got into it to fight fire and all you do is provide manpower, it can be discouraging.

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    many have provided good info. but i would like to throw something out. have you looked at running a 12 hour rotation for some of the pt FF's so you can have night staffing. a department near me that is all pt employees uses this method. they run a 0600-1800 and an 1800-0600 shift since many of their part timers are ft in one of the large cities here in the metroplex. I'm not saying you need to hire ff's from other cities, especially with iaff stuff, but it seems to work well for them as they can handle the trainings and they will work with the volunteers closely.

    oh the officers on the shifts are a full 24 hour shift and are ft.

    just an idea, i don't know enough about your department to type too much but sometimes combining portions of different ideas creates the best system for your individual needs.


    hope y'all, yes y'all, come up with a system that works

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