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Thread: SAFER is out.

  1. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You might want to find a different poster child for your cause. From the information available on their website, they are NOT a volunteer fire department. They are a POC fire department. It may not be a lot of money, but their members get paid per call attended, per training session attended and for "on-call" time. This sounds a lot like being an employee, not a volunteer member.

    POC is considered being a volunteer, and in fact, it you look at thier website, they consider their members "volunteers".
    So what? They can consider them whatever they want to, but the fact still remains that they ARE paid to respond on calls. This makes them "paid-on call" (which their website also list their status to be) which is much different than being "volunteer" as in not getting paid.

    But, I suppose if we use the definition associated with our "all volunteer military", then I guess my department members could be considered "volunteers" too.


    Let's look at the numbers.

    Total area: 38 square miles
    Resident Population: 86K
    Daytime: 107,000
    Home to Target Field and Mall of America
    Responses: 3600/year

    Total Budget: 2.8M
    Administration including saleries and wages: 1.3M

    Let's say they staff thier 6 engines and 1 ladder w/ 4 career members each at 60K per for salaries and benefits plus 20% more for captains- That would be about 6.8M

    Add 1 BC per shift and 80K each and that's another 240,000

    Not even including a Chief, training officer, safety officer and other admin staff, they would be looking at about 7.1M in just line salaries if they were fulltime.

    Let's compare them to our neighboring city with about the same population
    8 stations/ 8 engines/1 truck/1 rescue all with 3 man-staffing. They run 2 BCs, a safety officer and an EMS supervisor per shift.

    At 60K per firefighter plus 20% more per captain, that would be about 5.6M. At 80K per command staff, that's another 960K. So that's about 6.2M at a minimum just for line personnel excliding chief, training and the like.

    Note: I did not calculate EMS staffing due to the fact that it appears BFD does not run EMS.

    They still look like a pretty damn good poster child, even with the incentive benefits.
    Your missing the point. I'm not debating the use or effectiveness of their model and clearly it costs less than having a staffed career FD. If you want to use them as your poster child for an alternative to a staffed career FD, that's fine and they could very well be a good model for that. However, let's not make it something that it isn't and what it isn't is "volunteer".

  2. #127
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    http://www.flsa.com/fire.html
    under "hours worked" and "moonlighting and dual employment"

  3. #128
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    60k per year as a FF. Man at least your generous with the money!

    We are budgeting 60K per man for our new hires this summer.

    We start out with a bas in the low 20's, and after incentives the average starting wage, depending on a college degree and fire certifications, is generally a little less than 28K for the first year, excluding the 6K state pay, which a member receives from the state after thier first year.

    We anticpaite a 4% increase per year, thoughwe are currently reviewing our incentive package which may see increases up to 10% for the next 2-4 years.

    The 60K figures includes tretirement, insurance, vacation and all other benefits, plus 2K a year for training.

    We are on the low end of the scale in our area.

    I would suspect there are departments that easily budget 70-90K for an average firefighter.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-05-2010 at 01:32 PM.

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    Your missing the point. I'm not debating the use or effectiveness of their model and clearly it costs less than having a staffed career FD. If you want to use them as your poster child for an alternative to a staffed career FD, that's fine and they could very well be a good model for that. However, let's not make it something that it isn't and what it isn't is "volunteer".

    if you notice, in several of my post I have talked about recruiting and retention utlizing comprehensive incentive packages. While there are areas that still may support pure volunteers, many of these areas will require some type of compensation and incentive package to recruit and retain non-career staffing. I have stated this this compensation may run up to10-15% of the career members salary and benefit packages.

    That's roughly the percentage here when you compare the "wage and adminstration budget" to my rough calculations, especially considering that I have not include adminisrtative positions such as chief officers and positions such as training and public education supervisory staff into those numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    60k per year as a FF. Man at least your generous with the money!

    We are budgeting 60K per man for our new hires this summer.

    We start out with a bas in the low 20's, and after incentives the average starting wage, depending on a college degree and fire certifications, is generally a little less than 28K for the first year, excluding the 6K state pay, which a member receives from the state after thier first year.

    We anticpaite a 4% increase per year, thoughwe are currently reviewing our incentive package which may see increases up to 10% for the next 2-4 years.

    The 60K figures includes tretirement, insurance, vacation and all other benefits, plus 2K a year for training.

    We are on the low end of the scale in our area.

    I would suspect there are departments that easily budget 70-90K for an average firefighter.

    Most people don't know that what is budgeted for a salary is not the same as what the person receives. Typically the overhead rate is 1.3 ( private industry) to 1.5 (Government) of the base pay. So or a person getting paid $30,000 the cost of employment to the employer is $45,000. Government entities typically have higher overhead rates.

  6. #131
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    You might want to find a different poster child for your cause. From the information available on their website, they are NOT a volunteer fire department. They are a POC fire department. It may not be a lot of money, but their members get paid per call attended, per training session attended and for "on-call" time. This sounds a lot like being an employee, not a volunteer member.

    They are being reimbursed.

    We pay points to both our volunteer staff and the career guys who respond off duty.

    As a rule, each point is worth $3.25-$3.75, depending on the size of the insurance reimbursement check we receive from the state each year. That is what we use to fund the program.

    Weekly training is worth 3 points. Other training varies depending on the length of the program. Each certification earned is worth 10 points.

    Structure fires are worth 5 points. All other fires and MVAs are worth 2 and EMS calls are worth 1.

    Average member picks up $300-500 each year and some up to $1400 or 1500 I picked up about $970 last year. Are we being paid?

    According the IRS it's a reimbursement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Well done to both sides for finding a workable solution to a problem. Not only is the city doing right by the FF, but the FD is doing right by their members and members of the community by providing quality fire response while keeping costs down. I'm not sure how this would work with a combo Volunteer and career though.
    Um, Bryan,

    It is a combination career and volunteer, well actually POC, department.

    They have a core of career firefighters and the majority of the personnel are POC. Amazingly they seem to get along very well and do not have the issues that many on here seem to in those types of situations.

    The department has functioned in this manner for well over 30 years and since it works they have no plans to change it.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's not right that at 0-dark-thirty in the morning the guy standing next to me would be responding for free from his home and I would be getting paid overtime for responding from my home.

    Simply not right.

    It should be my right to choose if I wish to respond for free off-duty.
    Golly LA,

    What other federal laws do you want to violate? Not paying your taxes? Robbing banks? Dealing drugs? You see it doesn't make one little bit of difference whether you agree or not. IT IS THE LAW. You don't like the law make attempts to change it.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You might want to find a different poster child for your cause. From the information available on their website, they are NOT a volunteer fire department. They are a POC fire department. It may not be a lot of money, but their members get paid per call attended, per training session attended and for "on-call" time. This sounds a lot like being an employee, not a volunteer member.

    They are being reimbursed.
    Are you sure about that?

    Directly from their website Q & A on joining the fire department.

    "Are the Bloomington firefighters directly paid or compensated?

    Yes. You receive $65 per month on-call pay plus $5 per fire call and $4.12 per drill attended. "


    http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/city...ire/hiring.htm

    Doesn't look like it's a reimbursement to me (or them).


    We pay points to both our volunteer staff and the career guys who respond off duty.

    As a rule, each point is worth $3.25-$3.75, depending on the size of the insurance reimbursement check we receive from the state each year. That is what we use to fund the program.

    Weekly training is worth 3 points. Other training varies depending on the length of the program. Each certification earned is worth 10 points.

    Structure fires are worth 5 points. All other fires and MVAs are worth 2 and EMS calls are worth 1.

    Average member picks up $300-500 each year and some up to $1400 or 1500 I picked up about $970 last year. Are we being paid?

    According the IRS it's a reimbursement.
    Well, maybe yours is, but that doesn't mean that their is also.

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's not right that at 0-dark-thirty in the morning the guy standing next to me would be responding for free from his home and I would be getting paid overtime for responding from my home.

    Simply not right.

    It should be my right to choose if I wish to respond for free off-duty.
    If you feel guilty about taking the cash, then give the OT to the volunteers as compensation for responding...
    ‎"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

  11. #136
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    [QUOTE=FyredUp;1164953]Um, Bryan,

    It is a combination career and volunteer, well actually POC, department.

    They have a core of career firefighters and the majority of the personnel are POC. Amazingly they seem to get along very well and do not have the issues that many on here seem to in those types of situations.

    The department has functioned in this manner for well over 30 years and since it works they have no plans to change it.[/QUO

    I wasn't criticizing at all. It sounds like they have things well in hand. My point was that I could see friction between guys volunteering at o dark hundred on a miserable winters night and the guy next to him making pretty big cash for doing the same job. Here its a non issue. What you do on your own time is nobody elses business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    If you feel guilty about taking the cash, then give the OT to the volunteers as compensation for responding...
    LA... no answer? I'm shocked (not).
    ‎"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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    Gonzo ..

    Actually just got to a computer.

    If you will read one of my previous posts, I stated clearly that if we were forced to be paid, I would donate it back to the department.

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    To reiterate....
    If you feel guilty about taking the cash, then give the OT to the volunteers as compensation for responding...
    Apparently, you are "independently wealthy" and should share the wealth with those who are not paid for their response.
    ‎"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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