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  1. #21
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up And.............

    We're also a Combination Department, but on a County-Wide Level. Chain of Command is:
    County Chief - Career
    County D/C - Career
    Major (Formerly Known as Division Chiefs) - Some Career, Some Volunteer
    VFD Chief One for each Volunteer Organization - Volunteer
    VFD Deputy Chief - Same as VFD Chief - Volunteer
    VFD Assistant Chief - One for each Station - Volunteer
    Battalion Chief - Some Career, Some Volunteer
    Captain - Some Career, Some Volunteer
    Lieutenant - Some Career, Some Volunteer
    Fire Technicians - Some Career, Some Volunteer
    Firefighters - Some Career, Some Volunteer

    You operate at your assigned Rank - Career or Volunteer is Irrelevant.
    If two Captains are Present, the one that is "First Due" is in charge, pending the Arrival of a Chief Officer. (Or, maybe no Chief responds, based on the call type)........

    An interesting note is the way folks work at the Low end of the Chain. I stepped down as a Chief Officer last June after almost 30 years. I still Drive and/or Ride because: A- I'm still capable of doing the job, according to my Doctor, and B- I want to enjoy the little things in life, like being on the Nozzle again. A few times I've found myself being asked to take Command, due to lack of an Officer at that point.......... Everyone seems to work together pretty well, without any BS Problems...........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firetacoma1 View Post
    I'd advise against going to the Chief. In my department that would be an instant reprimand. If your direct supervisor won't address your issues, tell him as much and ask what you should do next.
    I would normally agree, but in a small FD where two officers in the firefighters chain of command are giving two different answers, there seems to be an issue that requires a higher authority. Unless so one can produce a document detailing the structure, you are at the mercy of these officer's whims. I think the OP asked and got his questioned answered by his direct supervisor, so it comes down to an issue that arises on the fireground when yet another officer fails to follow the rules as the Capt. presented them. While the OP may have an issue, really the whole FD has an issue if this kind of stuff happens and cannot be resolved quickly.

  3. #23
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by beyoung90 View Post
    First off, I want to say BY NO MEANS am i bashing volunteers, because up until a few month a was one, and i still consider myself one, but that is for latter.

    I am a Career Firefighter for a Combination fire department in texas, We have a duty crew of around 6 part time guys and 2 full time on 3 man shifts (Days 8-5) and around TOTAL of 20 volunteer ff's(10 Active) including the 7 volunteer officers. I am 20 yrs old and fresh out of the academy ... all things were fine until i got out of the academy and started working at The same department i volunteer for as a DUTY CREW FIREFIGHTER. I have realized that this was a bad Idea.

    We have had a 3 man duty crew on days (8-5) for 5 years, and Our board of commissioners have recently been talking about putting a night crew on as well.

    Our department has 1 career fire chief, 2 Asst. Volunteer Chiefs, 2 Career captains, 2 volunteer captains, and 3 volunteer Lieutenants. Duty Crew Firefighters, and Volunteer Firefighters.

    I am the only Paid guy that also runs calls at night as volunteer. The volunteer command structure is

    Career Chief
    Ast. Chiefs
    Captains
    Lieutenants
    Firefighters

    I was told by my Career Captain that ALL Duty Crew members Outrank ALL Volunteer officers, that is why all duty crew wear red helmets just as captains.

    (In texas the TCFP is the cert agency for Career FF's u must complete the 600+ hr academy before testing and have completed ur EMT-B Course, none of our volunteers hold a commission cert. all duty crew members do.)

    I was ORDERED by a volunteer LT. on a fire scene to do something i felt was UNSAFE, and asked if we could discuss it and and was told that was the proper course of action. I refused as i believed it was a LIFE SAFETY issue and was later reprimanded by the Volunteer Assistant Chief for refusing to do it.

    The Chain of command is kinda sketchy...

    Was told by the volunteer chief that,

    I report to the Volunteer officers all of the time even while on shift, along with career officers BUT ONLY ME, not the other career ff's just me, becasue i volunteer too. like this

    ME

    Car. Chief 1
    Vol. Asst. Chief 2&3
    Car. Capt. 1&2
    Vol. Capt. 3&4
    Vol. LT.
    ME (Duty Crew FF)
    Vol. FF

    Duty Crew Chain of command (SOP)

    Car. Chief 1
    Car. Capt. 1 & 2
    Car. Firefighter
    Vol. Chief 2 & 3
    Vol. Capt. 3&4
    Vol. LT.
    Vol. FF

    I have decided that i might stop volunteering for the agency and go career only. But fear that I might loose my job over it.

    Does anyone else around the country have these kind of problems...

    and as i said I AM NOT VOLUNTEER BASHING !!!

    Thanks


    This being your first post too! Pitiful!!

    Learn to spell and use proper grammar, sentence structure. It appears that you may be in high school as well. Stay there and pay more attention to you teachers. They are there to help you get ready for this world you are about to go forth into!

    BTW - Stop the bellyaching son.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I would normally agree, but in a small FD where two officers in the firefighters chain of command are giving two different answers, there seems to be an issue that requires a higher authority. Unless so one can produce a document detailing the structure, you are at the mercy of these officer's whims. I think the OP asked and got his questioned answered by his direct supervisor, so it comes down to an issue that arises on the fireground when yet another officer fails to follow the rules as the Capt. presented them. While the OP may have an issue, really the whole FD has an issue if this kind of stuff happens and cannot be resolved quickly.
    The department has issues, for sure. Is the new guy really the one to be the squeaky wheel though? IMHO, not if he values his job.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Send in the Hook View Post
    Many departments work around the FLSA by hiring the day crew as "janitors" or "house men". They have non firefighting duties such as cleaning and general maintenance while on the clock but are permitted to "volunteer" with the department and respond to all runs. I know many department around Philly due this. Im not exactly sure how their titles and job duties are worded but this is the jist.
    That is great that they are "permitted to volunteer".

    Are they expected to go on the call? What happens when they decide they don't want to go on a call?

    That is where these cute little ways of trying to skirt the law start to fall apart.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  6. #26
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    Like others have pointed out, it is ILLEGAL under the FLSA for you to be a volunteer firefighter in the same department where you work as a paid firefighter.

    If you show up at a scene outside your scheduled shift, the department has to pay you overtime.

    FLSA violations open your department up for all sorts of liability that I am sure they have never considered.

    That is the key here. You and all other career firefighters in your department have to stop being Volunteers today.

  7. #27
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    My department is aware of the issue, as a department near us got caught a few years ago.

    It is still an expectation, not a requirement, that we respond off-duty.

    And none of our paid personnel have any issues with it.

    As for myself and the Deputy Chief, we are exempt personnel.

  8. #28
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    This thread is an excellent example of why I like either being deep in the heart of volly country or deep in the heart of career land. Things get way to complicated in a few of the combo departments I've seen.

  9. #29
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    It's actually not that complicated as long as the structure is defined and the leadership provides a clear path, clear job responsibilities and clear rank structure.

  10. #30
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Being in Texas, I have seen what this rank structure problem is based in. TCFP, which certifies all state professional (career) firefighters requires the 600+ hour training, for Basic Structural Firefighter. Texas State Fire Marshall, which governs the volunteers requires nothing. So there is a very real possibility that a rookie career firefighter has had 600+ hours more training than a volunteer Lieutenant.

    Honesty, I think that the state needs to combine the two agencies. Require volunteers to get FF1&2, Hazmat, blah, blah. Time has come that the good ol' boys days should be numbered.

    Oh, yeah, it is against labor laws to volunteer where you work.

  11. #31
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    Being in Texas, I have seen what this rank structure problem is based in. TCFP, which certifies all state professional (career) firefighters requires the 600+ hour training, for Basic Structural Firefighter. Texas State Fire Marshall, which governs the volunteers requires nothing. So there is a very real possibility that a rookie career firefighter has had 600+ hours more training than a volunteer Lieutenant.

    Less of an issue here as there are no standards. We have several volunteers that are more extensively trained than our career personnel.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Less of an issue here as there are no standards.

    we've noticed

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PATF1engineer View Post
    That is great that they are "permitted to volunteer".

    Are they expected to go on the call? What happens when they decide they don't want to go on a call?

    That is where these cute little ways of trying to skirt the law start to fall apart.
    Beats the sh1t out of me. Dont work or volly with any of the county companies. Just know this situations exists.

  14. #34
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    Sounds like you need to make a choice. Work or volunteer. Not both.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My department is aware of the issue, as a department near us got caught a few years ago.

    It is still an expectation, not a requirement, that we respond off-duty.

    And none of our paid personnel have any issues with it.

    As for myself and the Deputy Chief, we are exempt personnel.
    That will be of little concern when you are dragged into court. You cannot pick and choose which laws you will or will not comply with.

  16. #36
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    All I could see in the post was blah blah blah.....
    Quote Originally Posted by beyoung90 View Post


    I am the only Paid guy that also runs calls at night as volunteer. The volunteer command structure is


    Thanks
    blah blah blah...

    My advice, fix that issue

  17. #37
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    That will be of little concern when you are dragged into court. You cannot pick and choose which laws you will or will not comply with.

    It will be the decision of the Chief when, or if, we stop the practice.

    If it does stop in this area, it will have an significant effect on manpower in the combo departments.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    That will be of little concern when you are dragged into court. You cannot pick and choose which laws you will or will not comply with.

    It will be the decision of the Chief when, or if, we stop the practice.

    If it does stop in this area, it will have an significant effect on manpower in the combo departments.
    That very well may be true, but it still doesn't diminish the fact that your department IS violating Federal labor law by not paying the career personnel when they respond "off-duty".

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Being in Texas, I have seen what this rank structure problem is based in. TCFP, which certifies all state professional (career) firefighters requires the 600+ hour training, for Basic Structural Firefighter. Texas State Fire Marshall, which governs the volunteers requires nothing. So there is a very real possibility that a rookie career firefighter has had 600+ hours more training than a volunteer Lieutenant.
    I think this really speaks to the heart of these types of issues. From what I've seen, these "chain of command" problems seem to arise mainly when there is not one single training standard for ALL personnel within the department.

    If the requirements for and assignment to each rank within the department is the same, then you pretty much eliminate the issue and the pay status of the personnel becomes irrelevant. I'm sure hwoods would agree that his system works as well as it does in part because of the use of uniform standards for its personnel.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    That will be of little concern when you are dragged into court. You cannot pick and choose which laws you will or will not comply with.

    It will be the decision of the Chief when, or if, we stop the practice.
    No it will not. It will be the US labor Department when, not if, you are caught.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    If it does stop in this area, it will have an significant effect on manpower in the combo departments.
    Not as much as the operation of the department when the court order it to pay back pay.

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