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    Default SAFER is out.

    Looks like Obama is paying back the unions.

    Don't see too many little grants for the smaller departments that really need it.

    Why am I not surprised.

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    Where did you see the list of departments who received them?

    EDIT: Found them.
    Last edited by FFRock; 03-31-2010 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Looks like Obama is paying back the unions.

    Don't see too many little grants for the smaller departments that really need it.
    First of all, this is only one round of awards, so you really can't draw much of a conclusion from that.

    Second, SAFER was in place long before he took office, so the distribution of first round funding isn't exactly the "pay back" you're asserting. Yes, I know that there was shift in funding on his watch. Call it payback if that makes you feel better, but it's really just the fruits of being politically active as an organization. We may not like it, but it's the way things are these days. It's kind of like that old saying for the lottery, "you have to be in it, to win it." So, if you choose to sit on the sidelines of the political process, then you may not reap any reward.

    Third, maybe the smaller departments didn't apply. I know mine didn't.


    Why am I not surprised.
    Because that's who you are.

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    Maybe if you hired people instead of forcing "volunteer unpaid overtime because that is what we expect of our guys" on others, and had a union to look out for the firefighters to prevent that kind of abuse, you wouldn't have such a bitter taste in your mouth against unions.
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    Frankly, why do you care? You are always on here spouting off about how your FD could go back to all volunteer, well, except for your position since it can no longer be done by volunteers. Which is amazing in itself since before you had it you always bragged about doing it as a volunteer.

    If you were to put on a SAFER grant the duties you would be assigning, and the fact that your paid guys are most often NOT first due, I wouldn't fund your grant request, if you made one, anyways. SAFER grants are for firefighters, not janitors and maintenance men.
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    Frankly, why do you care? You are always on here spouting off about how your FD could go back to all volunteer, well, except for your position since it can no longer be done by volunteers. Which is amazing in itself since before you had it you always bragged about doing it as a volunteer.

    You really have an issue with this. I was perfectly happy accomplishing about 50% of my public education goals doing it as a volunteer. the department decided that they wanted me to accomplish more, and realized that this would not happen with me as a volunteer. They also decided that the Deputy Chief needed a chunk of the training burden taken off his shoulders. They asked me if I was interested. It was really that simple.

    I was and still am proud of the pub ed programs that i ran as a volunteer here and back in VT. In fact, it was more comprehensive than many career departments.

    If you were to put on a SAFER grant the duties you would be assigning, and the fact that your paid guys are most often NOT first due, I wouldn't fund your grant request, if you made one, anyways. SAFER grants are for firefighters, not janitors and maintenance men.


    In fact, we did submit a SAFER request. I was tasked, along with the Asst. Chief to write it. I hope we don't get it as we really don't need it, and I know there are departments with much greater needs than ours.

    And just so we set things right, all paid staff, including myself when not committed to a public education program or task, are first due for all structure fires, brush fires on high-hazard days, technical rescues, selected EMS calls and significant MVAs. Other EMS calls, car fires and other emergencies depend on the number of volunteers available and the possible severity of the incident. It's amazing how well the system works as it allows our volunteers to do what they signed up for - make runs and manage scenes. It really bothers you that our volunteers are as capable, if not more in some cases, of handling most of our runs as our paid staff? I think it bothers you more that the paid staff's function is to support the volunteers. I really don't understand why that is such as issue, but so be it.

    Maybe if you hired people instead of forcing "volunteer unpaid overtime because that is what we expect of our guys" on others, and had a union to look out for the firefighters to prevent that kind of abuse, you wouldn't have such a bitter taste in your mouth against unions.

    Actually I have always had a bitter taste against unions. Each worker should be evaluated and compensated on his/her own performance and should be available to do whatever the employer needs done at that time. I simply do not beleive that they are needed, and do more harm than good.

    I have never had an issue with compensation or being dealt unreasonable work requests, and I have worked in several different fields.

    Our full-time staff respond off-duty because they want to. I guess it's because we have always hired from our volunteer pool and they understand why they should. I guess it's that whole brotherhood thing.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-31-2010 at 04:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I have never had an issue with compensation or being dealt unreasonable work requests, and I have worked in several different fields.

    Our full-time staff respond off-duty because they want to. I guess it's because we have always hired from our volunteer pool and they understand why they should.
    If you don't see how these two sentences contradict each other, then you are delusional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    If you don't see how these two sentences contradict each other, then you are delusional.
    Let's see. They live in the community and are often the closest or one of the closest members to an emergency or a station. They are available days when we are shorthanded. They often possess the most experience and specialized skills.

    Your right. The community doesn't deserve them on-scene.

    I guess we just feel it's the right thing to do in our circumstances.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-31-2010 at 05:42 PM.

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    Maybe if Washington didn't take so much money from the locals they would have more to fund what they really need. Sad part is Washington only returns 80 cents on the dollar to the people. The other 20% goes into overhead and is lost on administrative BS. The whole practice of Washington taking in more money that it needs and then giving it back is stupid and wasteful. Just another example of Government gone bad and trying to play Robin Hood. Something else they don't do very well. The departments with the most resources get the best grant writers and hence get the most money. This is one reason schools have far too many administrators as well. God Bless the Charter Schools. Now privatize all education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Let's see. They live in the community and are often the closest or one of the closest members to an emergency or a station. They are available days when we are shorthanded. They often possess the most experience and specialized skills.

    Your right. The community doesn't deserve them on-scene.

    I guess we just feel it's the right thing to do in our circumstances.
    The irony is... the paid staff possesses the most experience and specialized skills, which you do not capitalize on for "routine responses".

    The community deserves their response.. and the paid staff deserve to be compensated for their fof duty response.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-31-2010 at 06:36 PM.
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    Question Question for LaFireEducator

    If your paid personnel do infact volunteer on their off time do you realize that is a violation of FLSA? Do you also realize if caught, your department, parrish or whatever is your governing body will be subject to paying these individuals for that volunteer time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by txchf1 View Post
    If your paid personnel do infact volunteer on their off time do you realize that is a violation of FLSA? Do you also realize if caught, your department, parrish or whatever is your governing body will be subject to paying these individuals for that volunteer time?
    If you do a quick search you fill find a complete disregard for any rules that may apply. FLSA, DEQ, Workmans Comp.....

    They work in their own little world
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Looks like Obama is paying back the unions.

    Don't see too many little grants for the smaller departments that really need it.

    Why am I not surprised.
    Cry us a river...then float far, far away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txchf1 View Post
    If your paid personnel do infact volunteer on their off time do you realize that is a violation of FLSA? Do you also realize if caught, your department, parrish or whatever is your governing body will be subject to paying these individuals for that volunteer time?
    A previous EMS employer found out about that one the hard way... Paying us the back time wasn't as much the problem as the huge fine for it occurring! And, they were on the radar for quite a long time afterward....

    And, another issue they found out: They were paying staff, they fell under federal OSHA instead of NYS PESH. As much as people complain about PESH, they are really puppy dogs when compared to OSHA: they want to help you conform to the rules by helping, OSHA helps you conform to the rules by fines (yet another whack they received - all told, it was a bad year for the employer financially (a non-profit EMS agency) and even bad for us with a lot of training and re-training...

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    I have asked about it and the department has stated it is not an issue.

    They have no issue with us responding as a volunteer when off-duty. In fact, it's the way we do business.

    It's also the way most, it not all of the fire districts do business around here as well.

    I have no issue with it personally. I see it as no different than volunteering for my other all-volunteer department next door. I guess in my mind it is hurting absolutely nobody and it's helping out the citizens by providing them additional staffing at no cost. To me, and to all the other paid staff, it's simply a part of the job. I guess that makes us all anti-worker rights then.

    No different than when we teach fire/EMS classes on our off time evenings and weekends, or go to classes on our off-time. We're not compensated for that either. Part of the job.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-31-2010 at 07:43 PM.

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    Yea, Obama is really paying back the unions for support, ok. Disregard the fact that career or mostly career departments (NFA's definition not mine) protect 61% of the population of the U.S., whereas volunteers or mostly volunteer departments protect 39%. So I guess the "big" departments are getting it because of the unions, not because of the 22% difference in population coverage.


    This isn't even touching on the fact that the "big" departments you complain about are by no means rich and need the money just as much as many of the smaller departments.

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    Fair is fair.

    And I have no issue with urban departments getting a fair share, but in excess of $6M for a single department.

    Sorry, that's not fair.

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    Ok lets examine the facts. I'm assuming its Cincinnati award that upsets you. $6,904,000.00 to a city with a population of 331,285 and a daytime pop. of 434,005. Which works out to $20.84 per resident and $15.91 for the day time pop.

    That doesn't seem unfair at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Yea, Obama is really paying back the unions for support, ok. Disregard the fact that career or mostly career departments (NFA's definition not mine) protect 61% of the population of the U.S., whereas volunteers or mostly volunteer departments protect 39%. So I guess the "big" departments are getting it because of the unions, not because of the 22% difference in population coverage.


    This isn't even touching on the fact that the "big" departments you complain about are by no means rich and need the money just as much as many of the smaller departments.
    Of course we protect people and property, so population is only half of the equation. Volunteers protect 80% of the land, if not more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Of course we protect people and property, so population is only half of the equation. Volunteers protect 80% of the land, if not more.
    The value of property varies. Empty land does not have the same value as developed land. So to say you protect 80% of the land can be misleading. The value of the buildings and their contents is important if you want to play the who covers more area game. Also of importance, insurance can replace property, nothing will replace a person.

    Not that wildland and farmland doesn't deserve money or protection, but just throwing out covering 80% of the land is highly misleading and idiotic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    [B][B]Actually I have always had a bitter taste against unions. Each worker should be evaluated and compensated on his/her own performance and should be available to do whatever the employer needs done at that time. I simply do not beleive that they are needed, and do more harm than good.

    I have never had an issue with compensation or being dealt unreasonable work requests, and I have worked in several different fields.

    Our full-time staff respond off-duty because they want to. I guess it's because we have always hired from our volunteer pool and they understand why they should. I guess it's that whole brotherhood thing.


    I don't get the "everyone should be compensated differently" thing because that changes at the drop of a hat by whoever's brown-nosing the Chief that day. Not really looking out for your brothers and sisters by saying it's every man for himself. Having set standards (aka collective bargaining agreement) puts everyone on the same playing field and makes sure that everyone is treated equally in that aspect. Much more like a brotherhood than what you are proposing.


    Just wanted to throw in as well that, like it has been stated, volunteering your time with your employer on your off-time is illegal. You cannot elect to not be paid. We just had a department around here get busted for that and had to pay all sorts of fines for it. Your guys could probably set something up so that the time that they are "volunteering" is paid to them, but then the pay is donated back to the employer. There has to be a legal way around it. It's irresponsible to continue that sort of practice "because everyone else around here does it" when you know that your department can (and in all likelihood, will) be slapped with a huge fine and forced to pay out all of that back-pay anyways.

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    I don't get the "everyone should be compensated differently" thing because that changes at the drop of a hat by whoever's brown-nosing the Chief that day. Not really looking out for your brothers and sisters by saying it's every man for himself. Having set standards (aka collective bargaining agreement) puts everyone on the same playing field and makes sure that everyone is treated equally in that aspect. Much more like a brotherhood than what you are proposing.


    Was referring more to past jobs than current position with the FD.

    If the slacker next to me is doing less work, he should be paid less. If the guy on the other side of me is doing more work he should be paid more. That's capitalism. Paying everyone the same irregardless of performance is socialism.

    We are all paid the same, in that the base, incentive, longevity and rank pay is standard. Though we have not been civil service, we have been following their pay formula for a few years now. Now that we are going civil service, unfortunately, there will be no changes in our pay structure.

    The annual raise, which is usually 2-3% is determined by the Chief and given to all employees.

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    If somebody isn't pulling their weight around the station, you CONFRONT them about it. We're all adults here. You're around your co-workers more in this profession than in just about any other one out there. We say we're a family and a brotherhood, so how can you not talk to each other about this kind of stuff? And if it's that bad, go to your Officer about it and tell them. Rather than saying "well I do more than him so I should get paid more" make an effort to bring everyone up to par. These are the same people you'll have to trust with your life on scene, tell them to step it up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Frankly, why do you care? You are always on here spouting off about how your FD could go back to all volunteer, well, except for your position since it can no longer be done by volunteers. Which is amazing in itself since before you had it you always bragged about doing it as a volunteer.

    You really have an issue with this. I was perfectly happy accomplishing about 50% of my public education goals doing it as a volunteer. the department decided that they wanted me to accomplish more, and realized that this would not happen with me as a volunteer. They also decided that the Deputy Chief needed a chunk of the training burden taken off his shoulders. They asked me if I was interested. It was really that simple.

    The issue is your hypocrisy. Plain and simple. You have stated time and time and time again how your FD could go back to all volunteer and service wouldn't suffer. Yet YOUR POSITION simply can't be done by volunteers anymore becuase there is too much to do. I am calling a HUGE BS on that. Assign MORE vollies to do it then. Golly that was easy wasn't it? You will do whatever you need to to justify your position while stabbing the other paid firefighters not only in the back but in the heart too. Only a complete obstructionist fool would get in the way of hiring more full timers. That doesn't at all mean the destruction of the volunteer base. But knowing you and the absolute nonsense you spew I am sure you would see to trouble being brewed between the paid guys and the vollies.

    I was and still am proud of the pub ed programs that i ran as a volunteer here and back in VT. In fact, it was more comprehensive than many career departments.

    If you were to put on a SAFER grant the duties you would be assigning, and the fact that your paid guys are most often NOT first due, I wouldn't fund your grant request, if you made one, anyways. SAFER grants are for firefighters, not janitors and maintenance men.


    In fact, we did submit a SAFER request. I was tasked, along with the Asst. Chief to write it. I hope we don't get it as we really don't need it, and I know there are departments with much greater needs than ours.

    Great, the CHIEF of the department decides that he wants additional paid personnel and YOU decide you don't think it is needed. Who the Hell are you to question the Chief in that manner? If I heard you talking like that your duties for grant writing,or planning,or anything to do with implementation of new policy would be stripped from you. I certainly don't need some clown writing grants for things I believe we need hoping we don't get the grant.

    And just so we set things right, all paid staff, including myself when not committed to a public education program or task, are first due for all structure fires, brush fires on high-hazard days, technical rescues, selected EMS calls and significant MVAs. Other EMS calls, car fires and other emergencies depend on the number of volunteers available and the possible severity of the incident. It's amazing how well the system works as it allows our volunteers to do what they signed up for - make runs and manage scenes. It really bothers you that our volunteers are as capable, if not more in some cases, of handling most of our runs as our paid staff? I think it bothers you more that the paid staff's function is to support the volunteers. I really don't understand why that is such as issue, but so be it.

    Here is another example of you changing your story once again. You have stated over and over that if you have enough vollies on hand you will not have the paid guy respond so he can stay on task. How many times are you going to change this story?

    It doesn't bother me at all that you say you have good vollies. I would put the best vollies on my FD up against almost anyone, firefighting and extrication wise.

    No what bothers me is your absolute HATRED for paid firefighters. Well, other than your self the hypocrite. In your mind most paid firefighters everywhere could be replaced with volunteers and that is simply delusional. Obviously all the tasks your FD needs done weren't getting done with the volunteer staff, including yours. Now that is funny, the efficient volunteer couldn't get his task done as a volly so a paid position had to be created for him to be able to do it. Funnier still he couldn't get his Pub Ed done as a volly, BUT he could add aditional duties to his job as a paid guy. Things that make you go hmmmmmm...


    Maybe if you hired people instead of forcing "volunteer unpaid overtime because that is what we expect of our guys" on others, and had a union to look out for the firefighters to prevent that kind of abuse, you wouldn't have such a bitter taste in your mouth against unions.

    Actually I have always had a bitter taste against unions. Each worker should be evaluated and compensated on his/her own performance and should be available to do whatever the employer needs done at that time. I simply do not beleive that they are needed, and do more harm than good.

    I have never had an issue with compensation or being dealt unreasonable work requests, and I have worked in several different fields.

    Our full-time staff respond off-duty because they want to. I guess it's because we have always hired from our volunteer pool and they understand why they should. I guess it's that whole brotherhood thing.

    Your paid guys volunteer off duty because of the implied threat YOU MADE RIGHT HERE ON FH.COM. You stated flat out they would be ostracized, not get help from the vollies, and would be looked upon negatively by the officers, to the point of discipline. You have been told enough times here it is illegal and someday one of your paid guys is going to tell your chief no way am I coming in for free anymore and he is going to be punished or fired and your FD will lose their *** in court when it all comes out. The back pay and fines will be a major burden to your FD.

    Brotherhood? You haven't got a clue about that. if you did you would have no part of extorting your paid guys to work for free.
    You sir,are a hypocrite and on top of that have changed your story once again. Maybe you should take notes so you can keep your fabrications straight.
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    The issue is your hypocrisy. Plain and simple. You have stated time and time and time again how your FD could go back to all volunteer and service wouldn't suffer. Yet YOUR POSITION simply can't be done by volunteers anymore becuase there is too much to do. I am calling a HUGE BS on that. Assign MORE vollies to do it then. Golly that was easy wasn't it? You will do whatever you need to to justify your position while stabbing the other paid firefighters not only in the back but in the heart too. Only a complete obstructionist fool would get in the way of hiring more full timers. That doesn't at all mean the destruction of the volunteer base. But knowing you and the absolute nonsense you spew I am sure you would see to trouble being brewed between the paid guys and the vollies.

    Don't need to justify my job to you. The Chief and command staff decided that my position was needed. They asked me to take it. If they told me tommarrow that they changed thier minds, that would be fine. I would simply go back to my EMS gig and do pubed for the department on the side again.

    Simply put, there weren't any volunteers that wanted to do public education, besides myself.

    So only a fool would get in the way of hiring more folks? GHiring folks is the utopia? It's the model where everyone should be? No, you're the fool for drinking the union kool-aid that says full-timers are needed to deliver the highest quality of services. I find it tough to beleive that you are a volunteer as well and can support hiring uneeded personnel.

    Fact is the more paid staff there is, the less incentive there will be for the vollies to show up on the minor calls as they will have less to do. Sorry, but that is begginning of the destruction of the volunteer base.

    And exactly where did I stab anyone?

    And where did I say I want trouble between the paid staff and volunteer staff?


    Great, the CHIEF of the department decides that he wants additional paid personnel and YOU decide you don't think it is needed. Who the Hell are you to question the Chief in that manner? If I heard you talking like that your duties for grant writing,or planning,or anything to do with implementation of new policy would be stripped from you. I certainly don't need some clown writing grants for things I believe we need hoping we don't get the grant.

    Tough to beleive but our chief understands that there will be members who disagree with him. He also understands that members can disagree and will still do thier job. While the grant would be nice, we are in a position to very comfortably hire staff without the grant. There are departments that may require FT staff that are not in our position. It would be much more fair if they recieved the money.

    By the way, I have a problem with SAFER in general. IMO all funding for fire staffing should be generated locally. Folks in Podunk LA should not be paying for staffing in Shreveport or Cincy.


    No what bothers me is your absolute HATRED for paid firefighters. Well, other than your self the hypocrite. In your mind most paid firefighters everywhere could be replaced with volunteers and that is simply delusional. Obviously all the tasks your FD needs done weren't getting done with the volunteer staff, including yours. Now that is funny, the efficient volunteer couldn't get his task done as a volly so a paid position had to be created for him to be able to do it. Funnier still he couldn't get his Pub Ed done as a volly, BUT he could add aditional duties to his job as a paid guy. Things that make you go hmmmmmm...

    Ya, I hate all career firefighters.

    In my mind a reasonable number of paid staff could be replaced with volunteer or call personnel if they were properly recruited, motivated, and trained, and realistic incentives were put in place that would assist with both recruitment and retention. In many places there are simply too many paid firefighters waiting around to respond to an infrequent manpower intensive event. A core staff of paid personnel with a trained and motivated call staff, who do receieve a set of incentives for thier service is a model that could work in many places with limited career staffs. As much as the union hates to hear that.

    I see unionized firefighters coming into places and doing what they can to drive off vollies so they can now justify additional hiring using the "lack of manpower" caused by the vollies leaving. It's happened where I came from and where I am now. I even dealt with career firefighters attempting to inflitrate paid personnel into one of my past well functioning VFDs.

    I understand there are places that require a 100& career FD. I understand there are places that require a primary career FD, either due to demographics, run volume orr specialized training, such as large refinaries.

    But I also understand there are places that can lay off firefighters and reduce thier career staffing, and replace them with volunteer personnel. In fact, given the funding situation, in many places, they will have no options and will have to layoff staff.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-01-2010 at 02:04 PM.

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  5. SAFER ACT a reality?
    By DaSharkie in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 11-13-2003, 11:45 PM

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