1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    North Tonawanda, NY

    Question Paying for training

    Hello All,
    I am looking for some input regarding a dilemma that is going on in my volunteer fire company and combination paid/volunteer department. A member of my fire company who is also a Captain in the department and a decorated firefighter recently took an EMT class which he completed but failed the state written exam. He signed a waiver form with the county Dept. of Emergency Services stating that if he completed the class and passed the state written exam that the county would pay for the class, however if he did not complete the class or pass the written exam that he would be responsible for the cost personally.
    As I stated above he did not pass the written so the county did not pay the cost. The Captain had to pay almost $1,200.00 out of pocket to the collage to avoid them from sending to a collections agency. *The paid Chief of our combination department WILL NOT pay the bill because of the waiver the Captain signed and my volunteer fire company is supporting the Chiefs decision due to the overall cost of the class.
    My question to all the Chief Officers out there is *do you stick a loyal and dedicated volunteer with a $1,200.00 bill and risk losing as a leader and firefighter *or do you reimburse him the money *that he paid out of pocket because itís the right thing to do?
    I would appreciate any feedback or other resolution to this dilemma. (Especially from Chief Officers)

    Pleaseleave name and rank.
    Thank you all and stay safe!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    IF the department sent him for the training, the Department should pay.

    IF he chose to take it on his own....he pays.

    And I'm pretty sure if you fail the written test once, you get at least a second try.

    and yes, I am a past chief of department.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    Please don't cross-post the same question in the forums, it's considered bad form.

    Quote Originally Posted by NTFire2 View Post
    My question to all the Chief Officers out there is *do you stick a loyal and dedicated volunteer with a $1,200.00 bill and risk losing as a leader and firefighter *or do you reimburse him the money *that he paid out of pocket because itís the right thing to do?
    Unfortunately, knew the risks of taking and not passing the class when he signed that waiver, and now the rules are being enforced. What makes this member any different from anyone else from the fire company that signs the waiver but doesn't pass?

    Why is reimbursing him the money "the right thing to do?"

    And why is the fire company going to lose him as a leader and firefighter? Is he ticked because he's not getting reimbursed, although he knew that risk beforehand?

    My VFD does a similar program, but it's administered at the company level, not the county level. And yes, we've had members write us a check (although sometimes it's taken a little while to collect it) for not holding up their end of the bargain.

    Clearly, you're in the camp that supports giving him the money back. What do the others say?
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Lusby, MD


    Fortunatly we don't have this problem much as our training not paid for by the departments or members. We only have a few classes each year that a few members take and are either paid for by the department or reimbursed.

    I'm with BoxAlarm on this one. He knew the agreement going into the training and should have to pay. Why should the department pay for the training if he didn't pass?

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    we have the same policy with tution reimbursement

    did he take all the retests he could take before having to take a refresher???

    he knew the rules, so he should abide by them

    and the problem is if the class gets paid for and someone else takes it and fails, they will expect the money

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    Here is the policy at my combo department:

    We do not send members to outside EMT classes, as we teach them in-house. That being said, the member pays for the book. If he/she passes the test, they are reimbursed. We pay for the first round of testing. Any retesting costs is the responsibility of the member. And yes, it is THE policy.

    We also pay for the initial testing of any firefighter certification. If they fail the test, any retesting costs is out of their pockets.

    If they sign-up for a class that requires payment, and the department approves them taking the class, the department pays for the class. If they cancel and we are not able to get our money back, the member is responsible for covering the costs of the class.

    It seems to me that he signed up for the class knowing the rules. He didn't pass the test. That was the deal and he didn't keep his end.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2012


    He agreed to the payment arrangement. He failed, so he pays. Perhaps in the future, if he retested and passes he can be reimbursed.

    If he insists on being paid contrary to the agreement I'd have to question how good his word is? It's not about the dept, or training, it's about if he can be trusted. If he keeps his up, and people find they can't take his word for what it is they won't trust him on the fire ground. Captains who can't be trusted on the fire ground don't stay captains for long.

    Name and rank not needed. This isn't a fire dept issue, it's an integrity issue.

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