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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    We are trying to work with the County and get staffing for our rescues. They have theirs and we have ours with one position being paid by the County and is a Firefighter with us. Our District is 165 square miles and the county has that and much more. This is new staffing for a ambulance to be stationed in our Southern area of our district. It will be comprised of one Paramedic (County) and one Firefighter EMT(ours) housed at our Station #3 southern area. The staffing of the second member being from our Fire District is giving us one more employee per shift funded by the County for a total of two per shift 6 in all.
    Our tax base is what is holding us back from being a totally 100% Fire Based EMS system....
    First off, how are things done currently, or at least before this issue was rasied?

    I can see some issues here and see concerns of the union. You are now putting two different agencies and personnel together which can lead to many questions in and of itself. A big thing is contracts, protocol, SOG's etc.

    You say staffing increases by one employee per shift, but in what capacity? If they are working on the ambulance, what is their role in the event of fire? With a fire based EMS, you can still have an ambulance crew function as firefighters. With this system, how is the fire aspect handled? Is the crew going to be EMS only on a fire scene? If so, then how does having an extra FF per shift really increase the staffing?

    Given some details here, I think that the union does have a legitimate issue here that needs to be looked into and resolved. This isn't just an outside agency sharing quarters, but now you are intermingling agencies without (seemingly) looking at all the issues involved and the union's issues at stake. In fact such a plan can be perceived as an attack on the union and a current contract.

    Seems that there needs to be a serious sit down to really get to the core of all issues involved. The issue may really not be as simple as union having to work with non-union, but just from the brief description you give here, I also would take issues with such a plan, especially if never really consulted about it, nor concerns heard.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.


  2. #22
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Union vs. Non-Union

    Wow....This is not as bad as you make it. We will have an ambulance with one PM and one FF-EMT on board. If there is a fire the firefighter will be just like any other FF and suit up. The PM will assist outside and do what ever they do. The addition will be three FF's to the rolls of our district. The issue is there will be a Non-Firefighter, Non-Union member working side by side with the Union member. I see no problem as I've stated before....
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    OK, now I'm a little confused.

    Does your FD operate an ambulance currently? If so, how is it staffed?

    The new ambulance in question is a County owned & operated unit and they are essentially contracting with the FD to provide the second person?

    In general, I don't see a big issue with the arrangement as long as work typically performed by the FD employees isn't being "outsourced" to another agency.

    Beyond that, I can see the potential for issue from the Union side of things if some of the work parameters haven't been discussed or clearly defined, such as who that FF answers to. Obviously, the Paramedic would be in charge regarding patient care matters, but where does the FF fall into the chain of command otherwise since he's working on another agency's unit with one of their employees.

  4. #24
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    Wow....This is not as bad as you make it. We will have an ambulance with one PM and one FF-EMT on board. If there is a fire the firefighter will be just like any other FF and suit up. The PM will assist outside and do what ever they do. The addition will be three FF's to the rolls of our district. The issue is there will be a Non-Firefighter, Non-Union member working side by side with the Union member. I see no problem as I've stated before....
    So the paramedic is with the EMS service which is county based and not private right? If so I don't see a problem with this.

    Is the paramedic also firefighter certified?
    Bring enough hose.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Sounds like a revenue issue for the union.

    More members=more dues
    I am not sure about what the situation in Idaho is but heres mine. I am a principal officer in a small local. I can honestly say that when we fight for more staffing...which we are doing now, increased "revenue' is the last thing I am thinking about. I am thinking about the safety of the community and my fellow members. Nothing personal, but I am getting tired of hearing that same old tired refrain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
    I am not sure about what the situation in Idaho is but heres mine. I am a principal officer in a small local. I can honestly say that when we fight for more staffing...which we are doing now, increased "revenue' is the last thing I am thinking about. I am thinking about the safety of the community and my fellow members. Nothing personal, but I am getting tired of hearing that same old tired refrain.
    Co-signed brother!
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  7. #27
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    Originally Posted by ChiefKN
    Sounds like a revenue issue for the union.

    More members=more dues.
    Ken...most of us have had to fght to maintain our staffing levels... it took us two years to convince the City Council that we needed to fill the three vacant positions we had... the hiring process ha just started, and the successful probies won't be able to come on shift until March of 2012.. and we have 4 more retirements coming. Its not new positions.. it is maintaining our present staffing level.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT View Post
    I am not sure about what the situation in Idaho is but heres mine. I am a principal officer in a small local. I can honestly say that when we fight for more staffing...which we are doing now, increased "revenue' is the last thing I am thinking about. I am thinking about the safety of the community and my fellow members. Nothing personal, but I am getting tired of hearing that same old tired refrain.
    I believe you 100%.

    That's why I asked if it was the actual members or the union leadership.
    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.

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  9. #29
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Originally Posted by ChiefKN


    Ken...most of us have had to fght to maintain our staffing levels... it took us two years to convince the City Council that we needed to fill the three vacant positions we had... the hiring process ha just started, and the successful probies won't be able to come on shift until March of 2012.. and we have 4 more retirements coming. Its not new positions.. it is maintaining our present staffing level.
    I'm not disparaging the brothers at all. I know better.

    This didn't seem to be a discussion about minimum staffing...
    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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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    Wow....This is not as bad as you make it. We will have an ambulance with one PM and one FF-EMT on board. If there is a fire the firefighter will be just like any other FF and suit up. The PM will assist outside and do what ever they do.
    Soooo..... when a firefighter goes down, or a civilian is pulled out, the guy who's supposed to be helping/driving the paramedic is..... inside the building.

    Great for the firefighter- he gets to chauffeur the paramedic around, not have to do much patient care or paperwork, and when a fire comes in he gets to do what he'd rather be doing anyway.

    The paramedic gets to run rehab by himself and worry about taking care of a patient by himself until a firefighter can shuck his fireground assignment, pack, and bunker gear to help the guy he was assigned to in the first place (which, by the way, can only negatively impact the suppression operation, possibly at a critical point).

    Sounds like a hell of an arrangement.

    Why can't the firefighters who are driving the ambulances just go to the trucks (thereby getting you 3 MORE guys on the floor), and the county EMS run the county EMS's ambulances?
    Last edited by emt161; 07-24-2011 at 08:59 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    Originally Posted by JayDudley
    Wow....This is not as bad as you make it. We will have an ambulance with one PM and one FF-EMT on board. If there is a fire the firefighter will be just like any other FF and suit up. The PM will assist outside and do what ever they do.


    Soooo..... when a firefighter goes down, or a civilian is pulled out, the guy who's supposed to be helping/driving the paramedic is..... inside the building.

    Great for the firefighter- he gets to chauffeur the paramedic around, not have to do much patient care or paperwork, and when a fire comes in he gets to do what he'd rather be doing anyway.

    The paramedic gets to run rehab by himself and worry about taking care of a patient by himself until a firefighter can shuck his fireground assignment, pack, and bunker gear to help the guy he was assigned to in the first place (which, by the way, can only negatively impact the suppression operation, possibly at a critical point).

    Sounds like a hell of an arrangement.

    Why can't the firefighters who are driving the ambulances just go to the trucks (thereby getting you 3 MORE guys on the floor), and the county EMS run the county EMS's ambulances?

    I agree here.
    Jay, if I'm making it sound bad, you really aren't making this sound good either. You are the one who brought this to the forums because the union has an issue with non-union. The more info you provided I can see where there can be issues and it also seams as though some more homework needs to be done and there needs to be a sit down with the union personnel to hear the concerns.

    The issue with making things sound bad, is because potentially, there are many issues that can come up and it does place both the PM and FF/EMT in very bad spots. Some is as EMT161 points out here, but let's go further, if you are saying the FF suits up, that leaves the PM by himself....so either freelancing, or unaccounted for. If set to do rehab, who is standing by for victims or potential victims? What happens when the ambulance shows up and there are victims requiring immediate treatment and transport, you now just lost your "extra" FF. Let alone if a fire comes in when the ambulance is out, you still lost your "extra" FF.

    The problem with such a plan, at least as described, doesn't seem to take into account such issues. If you are going to split a crew, then ensure there is accountability and there are roles filled. Relying on a single PM for both rehab and EMS is pretty stupid, let alone if there are immediate victims.


    Emergency incidents aside, you are also putting two people working together who fall under different governing rules and protocols. Yes, there is an issue with such an idea that needs to be looked at and concerns heard. This is going beyond just union and non-union, this looks like a plan that was not thought out well and now concerns are being voiced. Those voices need to be heard and this plan looked over and scrutinized before considering implementing.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  12. #32
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    Are we really that short-sighted to think that if this "combination crew" splits at the scene of a fire that another ambulance wouldn't be requested to assist to fill out the EMS side of the incident?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Are we really that short-sighted to think that if this "combination crew" splits at the scene of a fire that another ambulance wouldn't be requested to assist to fill out the EMS side of the incident?
    Not short sighted, posing the question.
    Right now this seems as a plan for this station/dept, yet the EMS is county wide. The op doesn't say if this set up is how the rest of the county is operating and my guess is it isn't.

    The fire scene is just a small aspect, but goes towards questioning of such a plan. The OP says the FF/EMT will suit up for the fire, and the "plan" was to do this to justify an extra person for FF staffing. Well the fact remains if the ambulance is out or you have victims needing attention right away, your "extra" FF is thus now tied up. Furthermore if the crew is split, then accountability does come into question. Even if another ambulance is requested, there can still be a disparity at the scene. Such as you are still down the "extra" firefighter as the plan seeminly deems.

    As I mentioned before, incidents aside, you now have two members of completely different agencies being forced together with differing rules, regulations, contracts etc. It shouldn't take too much to see why some can have an issue here. The point being is this whole thread came out as a union, non-union issue of which I can see more issues beyond such a simplistic definition. What it is going to take is a sit down to go over such issues. If I was in this situation, your darn right I would have issues with such a plan as well.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  14. #34
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Union vs. Non-Union

    It's not that complicated as you'all make it. If there is a fire and the ambulance responds with one firefighter and a paramedic the firefighter will suit up and there is always more who show up plus another ambulance for rehab. In a perfect world we would love to have our own paramedics but we do not. I think this will work and we have a sit down this week with all involved to air out our problems. I will let you know how it goes and again I think this will work out fine.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    It's not that complicated as you'all make it. If there is a fire and the ambulance responds with one firefighter and a paramedic the firefighter will suit up and there is always more who show up plus another ambulance for rehab. In a perfect world we would love to have our own paramedics but we do not. I think this will work and we have a sit down this week with all involved to air out our problems. I will let you know how it goes and again I think this will work out fine.
    Jay,

    Not looking to make this complicated, just trying to show some of the issues you asked what you were missing from the original post. If you go back you made this sound as though this is just solely aout union members working alongside non-union and asked what you were missing. I read the replies before I made mine and I made mine after you outlined more of this "plan". If you can't see the issues there, then there is definately something amiss.

    The incident issues are really only secondary, but do play a part in this plan. There really is more that needs to be looked at that I'm not seeing from this end and offering up, or that it just wasn't thought about. The fact remains that one needs to listen to the issues and concerns of those working before implementing such a thing. Seriously, if there is disparity between the union contract and the county protocol, regulations, etc, YES, expect issues. It is better to start looking at the bigger picture now instead of some band-aid for a bigger issue.

    You say there isn't the budget to have fire EMS now, but do you actually think this is going to expand such a budget and if so, let alone the county relinquishes control? If this is to justify an extra FF, then there are many other issues you need to look into and contend with as well, such as already mentioned.

    Right now from the gist of this thread and the info provided, I don't think that the bigger picture has been looked at from those wanting to implement such a plan. I do think you are missing a big portion of this if you can't see the disparity of two completely seperate agencies under differing rules, being forced to work together. This isn't like two PMs from the county staffing inside the station...which can be more easily justified, this is the forcing of different entities to work together, which can lead to contract issues etc.


    Let's just go on the minor end of things here just to set a picture. The FT FF's are in charge of station duties etc correct? I assume there is an outline on daily duties, station maintainence, upkeep, etc? If so, has such a plan looked into how an outsider (county PM) falls within such an organization? Is it right for the county PM to basically sit back on their *** after the ambu is checked over while the FF's train, clean, maintain the station and grounds? What kind of disparity do you think such an environment would create? You have a PM that can lick back (for all essential purposes) while the FF he works with is training, working, etc. If the contract defines specific duties, there can be more disparity. So when a call does come in you have, possibly animosity built up, a PM and an EMT....if the PM makes calls on what the EMT should/ shouldn't do, do you really think this is the best condusive working environment?
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Not short sighted, posing the question.
    My post was more of a response to emt161's post than yours, but you both touched on the matter. I've seen this same type of comment in debate regarding (for lack of a better term) "outside the box" concepts in service delivery and am always puzzled by what seems to be people who don't seem to be able to see the bigger picture.

    It's certainly a legitimate question to ask, but could be handled with a lot more tact than they way emt161 asked. To me, when he posed the question, it seemed to be more of an accusation of misdoing rather than making an inquiry about any contingency plans.


    Right now this seems as a plan for this station/dept, yet the EMS is county wide. The op doesn't say if this set up is how the rest of the county is operating and my guess is it isn't.

    The fire scene is just a small aspect, but goes towards questioning of such a plan. The OP says the FF/EMT will suit up for the fire, and the "plan" was to do this to justify an extra person for FF staffing. Well the fact remains if the ambulance is out or you have victims needing attention right away, your "extra" FF is thus now tied up. Furthermore if the crew is split, then accountability does come into question. Even if another ambulance is requested, there can still be a disparity at the scene. Such as you are still down the "extra" firefighter as the plan seeminly deems.
    I agree with your points, except the one about accountability (assuming you mean fireground tracking of personnel). Accountability is always an issue at a fire scene. Unless you are a department that always works as a company, then I really don't see an increased issue regarding accountability when the crew splits and even then it shouldn't be a huge issue.

    For example, in my department, due to our minimum on-duty staffing of 5 FFs, it's not unusual for the 2 FFs on the initial attack team to not be off the same apparatus. As additional off-duty personnel arrive, they will need to be accounted for also. So, if you are set up to track personnel rather than the unit, it shouldn't be an issue. Besides, if you set aside the possible not working with a partner aspect, is it really that different than what other fire units do - the engine company driver/operator remaining with the apparatus to run the pump while the rest of the crew advances a line or the truck company splitting and 2 or 3 do an interior search while 2 or 3 others work on the roof, throw ladders or whatever?

    As I mentioned before, incidents aside, you now have two members of completely different agencies being forced together with differing rules, regulations, contracts etc. It shouldn't take too much to see why some can have an issue here. The point being is this whole thread came out as a union, non-union issue of which I can see more issues beyond such a simplistic definition. What it is going to take is a sit down to go over such issues. If I was in this situation, your darn right I would have issues with such a plan as well.
    I agree, there's possibly more than just union v. non-union issues to consider.

  17. #37
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Union vs. Non-Union

    The duties of the PM and the FF at the station will be about the same. The training would be for both when it comes to the medical end of things. In station duties i.e. vacuuming,toilets,and general maintenance will be both of their responsibilities. Short of ever having to clean the fire truck for the PM everything is His/Her responsibility. On the fire ground the PM will be rehab and any outside help if needed.
    I think the opposition from the union is County is getting their paws in our sandbox so to speak and they want to stop it. I however as Commissioner see more staffing for us and more $$'s in the coffers. As for the argument of not wanting to work next to non-union employees strictly because they are non-union doesn't hold water for me. I see the big picture and I think the Union President doesn't.
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  18. #38
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well..........

    I too see this as more than a "Union/Non Union" issue. But, I'm thinking I see a pinpoint of light at the end of the long tunnel. Jay, be sure to correct me if I'm off base, but I'm starting to see this as the first small step toward the Fire Department(s) in this County absorbing all EMS functions. This, to me, is a logical move from the standpoints of Economy and Logistics. Over the years, I've seen a number of Service Delivery options, and to me, today, it's hard to justify a stand alone EMS system if there is a Fire Department already doing business in that jurisdiction. Couple of points about that: Placing EMS Vehicles in Fire Stations provides a better coverage matrix than have them all at a Hospital, or similar location. Also, in todays economy, there really isn't a valid reason to fund "Separate but Equal" facilities next to each other, such as a few Volunteer Organizations that I'm familiar with where a Fire Station sits next door to an Ambulance Station. In the area of Personnel, a Fire Department's Human Resources office can handle the Paperwork, Pay, Scheduling, etc. for Medics just as well as it does for the Fire Crews. In any Career Staffed operation, just eliminating the "Home Office" of the EMS system will result in a Savings to the Funding Jurisdiction.....

    And an Absolute YES to having the Medics as active members of the Labor organization which represents the Firefighters.
    Last edited by hwoods; 07-25-2011 at 10:40 AM.
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  19. #39
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    Default Union vs. Non-Union

    hwoods..exactly. I think a Fire Based EMS service is the way to go. The problem is I think the County is hesitant to give it up. I think working together at this juncture is going to work. We have in our County 12 different Fire Districts with a few including us who have an ambulance. Coming from Southern California where we had Fire based EMS it going to take awhile to work with this type of system.

    Thanks for all the information as our meeting is this week and I will let you know how it went.
    Last edited by JayDudley; 07-25-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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    Is there room on the ambulance to store the honking big gear bag that the FF is going to have to have with him if he is expected to respond as a FF at fire scenes?

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