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  1. #41
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    That is the difference between the department providing full PPE and a uniform allowance to purchase uniforms that they are required to wear at department functions (parades, public educations and the like)?


  2. #42
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    No, it means that there is a specific legal interpretation of "volunteer" for the purpose of applying FLSA. That's no more relevant than the IRS tax rules. Or OSHA regulations (OSHA, BTW, classifies "volunteers" as employees.)

    You're conflating specific legal jargon with common sense plain English.

    You're reaching.
    Are you saying that how the Department of Labor defines a Volunteer, specifically a volunteer firefighter means nothing? Specifically, as it relates to this exact topic: "Volunteer Compensation"????

    Osha calls them Volunteers, and treats them as employees. Big difference.

    You are also saying that most folks believe that if you get a clothing reimbursement that you are no longer a volunteer firefighter???

    That's hysterical.

    Look, its okay to admit you were wrong...
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  3. #43
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Are you saying that how the Department of Labor defines a Volunteer, specifically a volunteer firefighter means nothing? Specifically, as it relates to this exact topic: "Volunteer Compensation"????
    As with any specific legal definition, it only applies within that context. I should think that would be self evident.

    Look, its okay to admit you were wrong...
    When it happens, I will.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  4. #44
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    As with any specific legal definition, it only applies within that context. I should think that would be self evident.
    My stubborn friend...

    What authority would you like to use if not the department of labor to determine if someone is a volunteer or not?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  5. #45
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    What authority would you like to use if not the department of labor to determine if someone is a volunteer or not?
    As I already posted: common sense plain English.

    volunteer - a person who performs a service willingly and without pay
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  6. #46
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    As I already posted: common sense plain English.
    Okay, direct me to the definition of "volunteer firefighter" you would like to use.

    The Department of Labor and the IRS does not consider reimbursement to be "pay" as in wages. The usual definition of a paid firefighter. Or are you saying that every firefighter is a paid firefighter, because they all get something of value.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  7. #47
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    We had some brochures early this year about a new program in LA.
    If you get your EMT or FF1 in year 1st year of service, you would get tuition reimbursement or something like that.
    Benton Fire District Four
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  8. #48
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    The Department of Labor and the IRS does not consider reimbursement to be "pay" as in wages
    You're still hung up on "wages" and narrow definitions tailored for specific regulatory applications.

    The usual definition of a paid firefighter. Or are you saying that every firefighter is a paid firefighter, because they all get something of value.
    If they get something tangible in exchange for service, they're technically not volunteers. The more tangible, the more clearly they stop being "volunteers." I know of very few departments that still have "volunteers" in the pure sense of the word.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    You're still hung up on "wages" and narrow definitions tailored for specific regulatory applications.
    Per your own definition:
    volunteer - a person who performs a service willingly and without pay
    I've never gotten a penny for services rendered to my fire department.

    I have had them cover the costs of an injury, they provide my training for free.

    Actually, I have been paid, but any money I have gotten has been pure reimbursement for expenses initially paid out of my own pocket, such as mileage or materials.

    But I'm sure you'll say that because they (actually it was the county, which provides comp coverage through self-insurance) paid the costs of an injury and provide my training, I'm being compensated.

    This topic is going to go the same way as helmets and POV lights.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  10. #50
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    If, out of your clothing allowance, you get to keep any monies left over and/or...

    If you keep the clothing purchased with that allowance after no longer being a member of the department. You then are receiving income.

    Income; the monetary payment received for goods or services, or from other sources, as rents or investments.

    In the true sense of the word, volunteers don't recieve income as a result of their volunteering, although in this case we are splitting hairs.

    Most jobs have some requirement as to what type of clothing must be worn and that type of clothing isn't always provided by the employer. If you recieve $500 per year reimbursment for uniforms and I recieve $50k per year reimbursement for work boots then as long as we both purchase the required clothing then it's a clothing allowance. I'm just being 'reimbursed' better than you.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  11. #51
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    If they get something tangible in exchange for service, they're technically not volunteers. The more tangible, the more clearly they stop being "volunteers." I know of very few departments that still have "volunteers" in the pure sense of the word.
    They are still "volunteer firefighters" by every definition and popular understanding of the term.

    You've gone off the tracks here.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  12. #52
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    We're really argueing about a few t-shirts, a ciffee cup and few bucks in reimbursement to compensate a member for gas, destroyed clothes and possibly some missed time from work is "pay", or compensation.

    Honestly?

    If it's not his/her full-time job, it's not his/her career, therefore he/she is volunteer.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We're really argueing about a few t-shirts, a ciffee cup and few bucks in reimbursement to compensate a member for gas, destroyed clothes and possibly some missed time from work is "pay", or compensation.

    Honestly?

    If it's not his/her full-time job, it's not his/her career, therefore he/she is volunteer.
    Are you allowed to drink ciffee while on duty??

    I've brewed coffee, beer and cider. I'll have to try this ciffee you speak of.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    If it's not his/her full-time job, it's not his/her career, therefore he/she is volunteer.
    Not true. A person can have a 'full time job/career' (job A) and a part time job (job B).

    They are not volunteering for job B.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  15. #55
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    Talking Hey!!...........

    Look, when you guys get done beating this Horse, I'm looking for a new Tax Person, anyone want the Job??.........
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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Look, when you guys get done beating this Horse, I'm looking for a new Tax Person, anyone want the Job??.........
    Wesley Snipes accountant is looking for work!
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  17. #57
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    didnt read all of the thread, but we get 'paid' $2.30/hr for calls and FD sponsored trainings. for me, this covers my fuel to and from the station (with the mileage my truck gets, and the price of gas, its pretty on par), as well as any shirts i may purchase (with the FD logo), and anything else i have from that 'compensation' generally gets put towards something fire related.

  18. #58
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    My Volunteer Department, well I think it is considered volunteer, because no one gets paid to work a scheduled shift. We have an allowance program in place to reimburse members for out of pocket expenses that they incur while responding to calls, attending required trainings, provided inspections, fire prevention programs and all the other items that go into running an effective fire service. For members to get there allowance they have to meet a certain criteria. (% of calls, training hours, meeting and extra fire dept. activities). As much time that we put in, it is just like having a full time job. I guess that is why the true volunteer numbers are way down. Or maybe we are not volunteers. Iím confused.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by peak85 View Post
    My Volunteer Department, well I think it is considered volunteer, because no one gets paid to work a scheduled shift. We have an allowance program in place to reimburse members for out of pocket expenses that they incur while responding to calls, attending required trainings, provided inspections, fire prevention programs and all the other items that go into running an effective fire service. For members to get there allowance they have to meet a certain criteria. (% of calls, training hours, meeting and extra fire dept. activities). As much time that we put in, it is just like having a full time job. I guess that is why the true volunteer numbers are way down. Or maybe we are not volunteers. Iím confused.
    You are volunteer.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  20. #60
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    Default Volunteer

    Our department is 100% volunteer. No one is compensated for making trainings, fire or ems calls. No one is reimbursed for expenses they incur in getting to or from a call or training.

    Now once a month pizza is delivered to the business meeting and water and soda are provided for after calls or for the guys that are working on the station or one of the trucks. There are some here that will consider the pizza, water and soda as compensation or even the Tshirt the guys are given but is supposed to be returned when they leave the department.

    Lets go so far as to say the bunker gear they wear is compensation, after all wearing it does benefit the member.

    My belief is there are three classifications;

    Career; you are paid to be at the station for your assigned shift
    Paid on Call; siomply put, you are getting paid for showing up
    Volunteer; you show up because you want to give back to the community, you are not there for the money. you are there to help, you are there for the brotherhood.

    I have always said if you want to pay me per call then pay me what I am worth for that call. Dont bother throwing $5 an hour at me for a call. If you are going to call me PAID then pay me the going rate that full time career firefighters get per hour.

    That is why I and my department are strictly volunteer. No pay per call, no clothing allowance, no reimbursements.

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