Thread: Paid on Call

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    Default Paid on Call

    Can someone please explain to me how a paid on call department works? I am sure there are different varieties out there, can you tell me how yours works?

    I assume firefighters get paid when they respond to calls. So are they just like volunteers who get paid when responding?

    I am sure it will all make sense once explained, I have just never encountered one before.


    Thanks!

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    The way the POC side of my Combo department that I work for is when a volunteer or an off duty paid member responds to an "All Call" (Structure Fire, Gas Leak, or any other event they decided they need all available Man Power for) you receive $25 per call. You also receive $25 for each training event. (For the Paid members that only applies to off duty training). The sum of this comes to you as a single check at Christmas time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lump532 View Post
    Can someone please explain to me how a paid on call department works? I am sure there are different varieties out there, can you tell me how yours works?

    I assume firefighters get paid when they respond to calls. So are they just like volunteers who get paid when responding?

    I am sure it will all make sense once explained, I have just never encountered one before.


    Thanks!
    I think you've answered your own question. A volunteer FD that pays it's people per call would be the epitome of a POC FD, would it not? In fact they're really not true volunteers at all, by definition.

    My FD is a combination career/POC dept. Our "volunteer" section gets paid for attending any training, call in, or incidents where they're paged in. Every POC firefighter gets a check in the attendance book at ever recordable event (calls, drills, etc) and each month they divide the allotted monthly payroll by the number of check marks and find the value of each, then every member is paid that value per check mark they had. This allows the city to have a consistent budget number with no changes due to the numbers of calls or drills. I think right now they budget around $48K/year so it allows the call division (what we call the POC personnel) about $4k to split amongst them each month. Most of the time the value of each attendance check is pretty decent, some months when volume and overall attendance is higher it's meager. Of course the career personnel are paid overtime for their attendance to the same events when not already on duty.

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    The POC firefighters in my old hometown in MI are considered part-time employees of the township. The payment they receive is wages, at a prevailing rate for such services for the area.

    As such, they must abide by any conditions of employment (ie, required training, etc).

    Most purely volunteer departments rely on the motivation of their members.

    In the middle are departments that provide some form of compensation, as has been mentioned. That usually takes the form of a stipend, crafted to stay under the amount set by the IRS for such payments.

    More difficult to classify are "benefits" such as LOSAP programs and workers comp that many "pure" volunteers receive.
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    The others have answered your question - A "paid on call" department is just that, paid for the calls they go on or the training they do, essentially a part-time employee.

    We are considered part-time City employees. We have a training wage for any training we do (WI minimum wage of $7.25/hr) and an hourly wage for anything else other than training. That hourly wage is based on certifications, rank, and years of service. We get that wage for any calls, maintenance, meetings or anything else we do.

    We also get the Wisconsin State Retirement. The City pays in after 5 years of service a percentage of your annual wage, again depending on your time on the department. After 20 years on, they pay 5% of my gross wages into the State Retirement annually.
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    A quick question relating to the topic...

    Do paid on call firefighters have taxes taken out of their checks, or does the city/town give you a Form 1099 at tax time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    A quick question relating to the topic...

    Do paid on call firefighters have taxes taken out of their checks, or does the city/town give you a Form 1099 at tax time?
    In OUR case,taxes are taken out. My Poc hrs last year were over 425 hrs. That is Fire calls only, not accounting for training,maintence hrs etc. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    A quick question relating to the topic...

    Do paid on call firefighters have taxes taken out of their checks, or does the city/town give you a Form 1099 at tax time?
    We get a 1099.

    Here's a question and hopefully I'm not throwing a grenade: Can POC members join the union? Seems there's a gray area around volunteers who get stipends and part-time who get wages. I'd think those that get wages could get into the union but I honestly hadn't thought about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Here's a question and hopefully I'm not throwing a grenade: Can POC members join the union?
    I'm guessing here, but I'd have to say that anybody can join a union, even pure volunteers.

    I have no idea how the IAFF views the issue, but it would make sense that the break point would be wages (even if part-time).
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    I have no idea how the IAFF views the issue, but it would make sense that the break point would be wages (even if part-time).

    answered your own question in line 2 there brother, working conditions are another area of negotiations. A big majority of the volunteer service from what I see in my area of the country are governed by a board, not a true employer-employee relationship and changes for better or worse are done by the election process.
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    our department is paid an hourly wage and is one a few departments in the state that is Unionized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    A quick question relating to the topic...

    Do paid on call firefighters have taxes taken out of their checks, or does the city/town give you a Form 1099 at tax time?
    The City takes taxes out for us. We get paid every two weeks like all City employees, just that some checks are bigger than others for us part time guys.
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    About 10 years ago we had a tyrant of a City Administrator and we contacted the IAFF about unionizing. We actually had support from them and the Teamsters Union. In fact the Teamsters stepped up and approached the City with a deal and a contract that made statewide headlines for a "volunteer" department to unionize. After the contract was presented he backed off considerably and the FD dropped it. I wish we would have signed on.
    Jason Knecht
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    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    A quick question relating to the topic...

    Do paid on call firefighters have taxes taken out of their checks, or does the city/town give you a Form 1099 at tax time?

    i use to be a CPF and we receved a 1099 form as well.

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