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    Question required to volunteer

    Wondering if there are any municipalities that require their regular employees like parks and streets , sewer and water, and others to be volunteer firefighters and / or first responders? And if so has this been a positive or negative on the department.

    Posted here for Max exposure

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    SBLGFD

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    REQUIRED to VOLUNTEER.

    Am I missing something about this??
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    They can certainly make you fight fire as part of your city job, which is essentially what they have done. A city certainly could have Park Worker/Firefighter positions. It would still be up to you to take that job, just like it is up to others to become paid full-time firefighters (or not).

    However, I would think that if they wanted that to be part of your employment, they would need to pay you for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBLGFD View Post
    Wondering if there are any municipalities that require their regular employees like parks and streets , sewer and water, and others to be volunteer firefighters and / or first responders? And if so has this been a positive or negative on the department.

    Posted here for Max exposure

    Thanks
    SBLGFD
    You mean in conjunction with duties as a parks/streets or sewer/water technician, during the day while "on the clock", or after hours????? I have never heard of any municipality requiring it. I do know of several municipalities (including the one where I reside) that allow their employees to respond to local emergencies, while remaining "on the clock."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Doesn't this sound familiar to anyone else? I'm thinking we've seen a similar situation discussed here in the past 1-2 years. Or is my brain playing games with me this morning? I seem to recall somthing about grass cutting.
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    In my municipality its almost exactly the opposite. We have On duty EMS personell that are on duty at the station all day long although they are not paid by the town to be EMS personell, they are paid to be Janitorial staff and must maintain the fire rescue station and clean and maintain parts of the town office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zackman1801 View Post
    In my municipality its almost exactly the opposite. We have On duty EMS personell that are on duty at the station all day long although they are not paid by the town to be EMS personell, they are paid to be Janitorial staff and must maintain the fire rescue station and clean and maintain parts of the town office.
    Say What?

    This is 8-5 or 7-4...?

    Bet you have the cleanest buses around...

    I have never heard of a 'dodge tactic' like this. Using a bus for a cleaning crew.

    For this to work, people have to play along.

    But a job is a job is a job... I suppose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Doesn't this sound familiar to anyone else? I'm thinking we've seen a similar situation discussed here in the past 1-2 years. Or is my brain playing games with me this morning? I seem to recall somthing about grass cutting.
    I know of a town that passed a rule that the Paid on Call firefighters were required to maintain town property; cut grass in the parks, empty trash barrels around town, clean town offices. It was suppose to be a cost cutting measure to save the town dollars. Each firefighter was required to work about 10 hours a week doing town jobs, and if they refused, they could not be a town firefighter.

    The justification was the town was paying the firefighters about $7.00 for each call.... that was not $7.00 per hour; $7.00 per call-regardless of the time. So it was way to maximize those town dollars and get more out of the town employees (firefighters).

    When the Chief was advised of the rule change, he told the Mayor where to put it. Within about 4 hours the entire fire roster had resigned. They sent a document back to the Mayor and Council which basically said... They outlawed indentured servitude many years ago. And good luck with putting out those fires.

    That very evening, there was a structure fire. The majority of the firefighters responded to the fire, but not in the apparatus. The Mayor and council and other town employees were manning the trucks, but not well. While engaged in the direction of the operation, the Mayor begged the Fire Chief to get his people onto the fire. The Mayor told the Chief he would reverse the rule immediately and even give them a raise.

    The Fire Chief accepted the reversal and told the Mayor, it isn't about the money, it was about the insult.

    No the structure was not saved. But they did save the rest of the town.

    You just can't fix stupid.
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    I know of fire organizations that employ laborers/cleaners/what-have-you who are also volunteers with said organization. They essentially have a liberal policy allowing said employee to leave the workplace to respond for calls. Any that I've encountered limit the responsibilities to the fire station.

    This essentially allows the fire organization to have a ready responder without without having to meet the requirements for a paid firefighter or deal with the FLSA prohibition against volunteering for an outfit you work for. At this point I don't know that the practice has been challenged.

    A fair number of the volunteers in our area are also municipal employees. They are generally free to leave work to respond if available. The number of people working for local employers who will allow them to leave for fire/EMS responses is dropping, though.

    As for requiring employees not otherwise involved in emergency services to be volunteer firefighters, not in my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Doesn't this sound familiar to anyone else? I'm thinking we've seen a similar situation discussed here in the past 1-2 years. Or is my brain playing games with me this morning? I seem to recall somthing about grass cutting.

    Sher - I Agree, and there seems to be an aroma of decaying Horseflesh........
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    Requiring somebody in city employ to be a FF in addition to their normal duties is probably not going to bring the best sense of duty and effort to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Sher - I Agree, and there seems to be an aroma of decaying Horseflesh........
    Harve thats just funny, lol. Several Municipalities in my area due this. I don't think that they "require" it, but they do offer compensation via pay raise, bonus ect....The public works/water and sewer/parks dept employees just run fire calls while they are on the clock. They get paid to go to firefighter 1 and any other classes they want/need, and most of them end up joining as a volunteer where ever they live. Never had any problems/issues in my area that I've heard of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Say What?

    This is 8-5 or 7-4...?

    Bet you have the cleanest buses around...

    I have never heard of a 'dodge tactic' like this. Using a bus for a cleaning crew.

    For this to work, people have to play along.

    But a job is a job is a job... I suppose.
    The crews stay on shift 6-6 they usually go over and vacuum out the town office around 5pm and spend an hour or so over there. They are still paid by the town and still receive the same benefits that a fire rescue employee would get, but its pretty minimum. everything is mostly injury coverage. Alot of these employees are a few days on with us and a few days on with private companies around the area. All of the members live in our coverage area and also volunteer off duty hours. Our town is very small serving a little over 2K people and covering 3 towns. We arent running 10 calls a day or anything like that.

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    As they would say in Deutschland.... "Das ist männliche Scheiße "

    Do they require cops to be janitors?
    Teachers to mow lawns?
    Town "oaf-icialls" to collect trash?
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    What about pooper-scooper squads?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    What about pooper-scooper squads?
    That's reserved for the city councilors/selectmen/aldermen!
    ‎"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."
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    That seems redundant to me. How can they take care of themselves?
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    City of less than 3000 next to us requires thier town highway employees to respond to fire calls when on the clock.

    They also require that the firefighters perform city related non-firefighting duties such as mowing and painting while on the clock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    That seems redundant to me. How can they take care of themselves?
    Depends...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    City of less than 3000 next to us requires thier town highway employees to respond to fire calls when on the clock.

    They also require that the firefighters perform city related non-firefighting duties such as mowing and painting while on the clock.
    Must do wonders for their response times....
    ‎"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."
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBLGFD View Post
    Wondering if there are any municipalities that require their regular employees like parks and streets , sewer and water, and others to be volunteer firefighters and / or first responders? And if so has this been a positive or negative on the department.

    Posted here for Max exposure

    Thanks
    SBLGFD
    Here's a big negative for you.

    If you're required to fight fires as part of your job, then your job is whatever/firefighter. If your state has training requirements for career firefighters, then those requirements will most certainly have to be met.

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    Well that got some discussion going.
    For more detail, we are in discussions with our elected officials about increasing our staffing / number of members responding. Our suggestion is to allow – maybe even encourage, those that work for the municipality and are on the Volunteer department to respond to calls. Currently a couple of the department heads somewhat discourage members leaving work for calls. Our argument os if the municipality discourages responding how we can ask private business/industry to let their employees go.
    The Second part of this discussion revolves around requiring, as a condition of employment of the municipality that you participate in volunteer fire and or EMS. That one would be a hard sell, but I think I remember reading about a couple of municipalities that have this in place. I agree lots of issues with this , that’s why I was wondering if there is really any one out their doing this.

    Thanks SBLGFD

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    Montgomery County, PA has a new station 93. This is a daytime only station, operates 1 Engine (former Daytona Raceway Peirce), and is run strictly by Township Public Works. The municipality also has 6 Vol. Co's that provide service to the area. The PW folks were all trained in conjunction with the Dept of Fire Services, and were offered a small pay increase as well. Not sure if it's "mandatory", but if you are getting paid to respond, I would venture to say that it is.
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    The city of Troy, MI, population approx 80K, is the largest in MI with a volunteer dept. They have 6 stations and approx 180 volunteers, with a budget of $5 million. Troy is a newer city that always had a sprinkler ordinance and was until recently very affluent. They run fires only, private EMS even runs the CO calls. One of my Marine reservists was hired into their water dept, and was immediately told that it was "highly recommended" that he become a volunteer FF. As he told me, it was not so much an order as "this is a great deal".
    -The VFFs can leave work for alarms-and take their time coming back-and are paid their regular work rate.
    -Nearly all the city dept supervisors are fire officers, and the VFD is an opportunity to get in their good graces.
    -If they make a percentage of calls, (which includes those while they are on the clock at the DPW job) they get an additional pension from the city, which nearly DOUBLES their DPW pension.
    -Every station has a hunting cottage up north that they can use for free, and there were regular free tickets to events, etc.

    Saving all that money didn't help much. The city is about to lay off 50 cops, shut down all community centers, libraries, and parks and rec. There is even talk of cutting the VFF pensions and laying off volunteers. But the city manager makes $220,000 a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBLGFD View Post
    Our suggestion is to allow – maybe even encourage, those that work for the municipality and are on the Volunteer department to respond to calls.
    The Community where I live enacted an ordinance last year allowing members of the Public Works crews to respond with the VFD during the day, and retain their pay (previously they were docked the pay, so many of the guys did not respond while at work......) One of the council member had a kitten when he found out about this, and proposed the ordinance which was voted in. Additionally, there were 2 or 3 guys who worked for PW who were not members of the local house (they lived further away) that were granted membership by the company here in town, and are allowed to respond as long as they keep active with their own companies. They only have to come to one or two drills a month.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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