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!
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Thread: Paying for training
03-11-2012, 11:43 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- North Tonawanda, NY
Paying for training
03-12-2012, 09:03 AM #2
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?
03-12-2012, 11:01 AM #3
Please don't cross-post the same question in the forums, it's considered bad form.
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!
03-12-2012, 01:04 PM #4
- 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?
03-12-2012, 02:31 PM #5
- 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
03-15-2012, 11:56 AM #6
- 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.
03-18-2012, 11:54 AM #7
- 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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