Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By islandfire03

Thread: What items should volunteers pay for out of pocket?

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default What items should volunteers pay for out of pocket?

    Hey all. I recently joined a department that is primarily volunteer. As a volunteer, we get paid per call, and have one on-call night per week. We receive pager, turnout gear, one T-shirt, a uniform shirt, name tag and badge for formal functions, and that's about it. Pants and shoes to go with the uniform shirt, any additional T-shirts, pants, etc. are out of pocket. Is this typical of most volunteer departments? I don't mind springing for some extra T-shirts, but the uniform end of it isn't really in the budget right now. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Different volunteer departments have different funding levels, but what you've described isn't all that unusual.

    Mine, for example, issues new members a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and polo shirt. We have hats and job shirts available for purchase. We don't issue pants or boots, but do have a standard. We also have a sort-of "lease" program for our formal Class A uniforms.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


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

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tree68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Jefferson County, NY USA
    Posts
    2,303

    Default

    We don't even issue t-shirts. We recently had some golf shirts done as a moral item, funded elsewhere, and we went for some uniform shirts, but you're on your own for pants, preferably black.

    We do have a standard t-shirt, if you will, and will occasionally have a batch of them done, but the members pay for them ($10-12, usually).

    Any time we've done a t-shirt order, I've usually picked up a couple, so I've got a bunch on hand. There are those with just one.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    The department issues all turnout gear, and EMS jumpsuit and a pager once you have met the requirements for those items. We don't provide uniforms as such. We have t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, and every so often we get an order together for job shirts. We have started providing shirts as gifts or awards at our banquet, or other times throughout the year. This year we gave members a polo shirt for our 25th anniversary. We also gave out t-shirts to the overnight drivers and job shirts to the top 10 responders. Class A uniforms are only provided to those that need and will use them, president, Chiefs and a few others that are around a lot. They are usually only worn for funeral details. I'm hoping to find a better occasion to wear them.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,628

    Default

    I hav e been on both ends of the spectrun.

    A couple of my previous VFDs have provided uniforms right up to Class A, including the blouse and dress shoes. One of them also provided 2 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve button down workshirts and all-season jackets, with the expecation that you would provide work boots and black Dickies and that the work uniform would be worn to all trainings and all scheduled operational events and standbys .

    I have also had a couple where the only thing that was provided was a t-shirt and 1 dress shirt with a badge and name tag. I also had one where just a t-shirt and a dress shirt was provided without brass, and one where we recieved just one t-shirt per year.

    My current VFD provides t-shirts, dress shirt, polo shirt for the officers, badge and name tag. On the fire side, in addition to PPE we provide a pair of wire snips and 20' of webbing w/ 2 carabeeners. We are planning to purchase wildland PPE this year as well for all operational members.


    My current combo department provides the same thing for our volunteers with the exception of the pocket tools and wildland. If they work part-time day shifts of shift relief, they will also be provided with 2 polo shirts, otherwise they are required to purchase them if they want them.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-24-2013 at 06:38 PM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Yours seems a bit like mine, although they do provide pants, but no Tee.

    Our initial issue is:
    1 Structural
    1 Wild Land Shirt and Hard-Hat
    1 Pager
    1 Uniform (Hat, Shirt, Badge, Pants, Coat [Cool weather, not blazer])

    And I think its sufficient. We're expected to furnish our own Wild-Land stuff, Pocket stuff, Ts (if necessary) etc.

    I feel this is fair enough. I mean for the Wild Land stuff its simply Jeans and Work boots (I suppose you could wear your structural boots in a pinch).

    Same with pocket-gear; knife, extrication gloves, etc. You really should carry a knife with you, but its one of those things were everyone has a preference (some want serrated, some want fine edge; some want lock back, some want liner lock lol) and for the $20 its not a big expectation. Extrication gloves, most of us just keep a pair of mechanics gloves for assorted doings. We the fire gloves, but they are a bit bulky..

    Its generally one of those things where you get what you can, when you can. As someone else who recently started (couple months ago) you won't really need much initially... Embrace your inner Go-pher

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,411

    Default

    We are 100% uncompensated volunteers. We have uniform requirements for responding members therefore we provide everything through a local uniform store- you go, get, and sign on the dotted line. What we dont provide you may get on your own and submit for reimbursement. Only certain members (those that attend parades, funerals or other functions regularly) will receive class A uniforms.

    -3 tshirts
    -2 collar embroidered shirts
    -1 short & 1 longsleeve uniform shirt
    -1 pair uniform/work boots
    -2 pair uniform pants
    -1 pair uniform shorts
    -1 leather belt
    -1 jobshirt
    -all of the brass, badges, etc for your uniform
    -1 nomex jumpsuit
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Picc.93Truck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Like FWDbuff, my company is too, 100% uncompensated volunteers. But unlike, we have no dress code for events. We stress boots, atleast jeans and a Fire related shirt to all events including training, but do not require. We have no duty uniforms as we have no duty crew. My company supplies a Tee Shirt or two, a Sweat Shirt, and a Job Shirt.

    No boots, no pants, but a Class A will be purchased for you upon active status and the need for one arises.

    As per PPE, Gear and a helmet (sometimes leather) will be purchased through the department. Rope, Accessories, etc are also department handled. The only things I have personally bought are things I wanted to own (i.e. N5A, Flashlights, Gloves, etc).
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default

    My company is 100% volunteer in Northeast PA. The company equips us with turnout gear, structural boots, wildland gear, a key fob and a pager.

    We use the "salad bowl" helmets, and we made a motion to purchase Cairns 1044's, but the president never followed through. So some of us members went out and purchased our own 1044's while the rest of the company wears the salad bowls.

    We buy the stuff that goes in our pockets, our complete uniform, any t-shirts, job shirts, etc.

  10. #10
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    FWD,

    Does the department have some stipulations as to how long they have to be a member before they're issued a uniform, or a means to ensure that the cost of the uniforms can be recouped in case the member doesn't stay for a given amount of time?
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


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

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DAVE68 View Post
    Hey all. I recently joined a department that is primarily volunteer. As a volunteer, we get paid per call, and have one on-call night per week. We receive pager, turnout gear, one T-shirt, a uniform shirt, name tag and badge for formal functions, and that's about it. Pants and shoes to go with the uniform shirt, any additional T-shirts, pants, etc. are out of pocket. Is this typical of most volunteer departments? I don't mind springing for some extra T-shirts, but the uniform end of it isn't really in the budget right now. What are your thoughts?
    You can't afford a pair of pants and some shoes? How do you afford gas to get to the station?

  12. #12
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    You can't afford a pair of pants and some shoes? How do you afford gas to get to the station?
    Every member of your station can afford to go out and buy uniform pants and boots? I know several of mine can't (the ones in school, working PT jobs, etc).
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


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

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    You can't afford a pair of pants and some shoes? How do you afford gas to get to the station?
    I didn't say I couldn't "afford" it, I stated it wasn't "in the budget" right now. I also volunteer with the local CERT team that is run by the department, and have to provide the majority of my necessary gear for that as well. Between a pair of boots, and one pair of pants in the style dictated by the department, i'm looking at $100 minimum. I can afford it, I guess I just didn't know "volunteering" could cost so much money.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    107

    Default

    I suppose it depends who you ask. For me personally, yes $100 would be a bit to shell out up front. But then for others, it equates to a couple steak dinners.

    The pants, what is so special? I mean do they just have to be dark coloured, or must they be 5:11s? If money is tight, talk to one of your superiors and see if you can get away with a pair of $10 chinos or something from Walmart until the resources free up. As for the boots, they will be a bigger investment, but worth it. If necessary, you can also ask some of your fellow vollies if anyone has an old pair in your size that you could perhaps borrow/have until the budget frees up. Generally people in this line of work would give you the shirt off their back if it meant helping out.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,685

    Default

    Volunteer, no pay per call stuff. Turnout gear provided by department. When fund raising allows, t-shirts may be provided. Class A is provided after 1 year of active participation as a FF1.
    "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?

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Like some others, 100% uncompensated volunteer here on an all volunteer department in rural TN.

    My department has some financial resources but only because we do two huge fundraising cooks each year.

    I have been given two tee shirts and a Galls jacket with our company information and my name on them. All turnout gear was issued as well. Our chief does a great job with the admin side of things, as well as fighting fire.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    42

    Default

    So far, most of you get alot more than I do.....as a FF I get a t-shirt every once in awhile....maybe three in the last seven years....w/out saying PPE is provided, and many of us 'upgrade' with leather boots, helmets, gloves, lights and other accessories paid out-of-pocket....as far as uniforms, we used to get a shirt when pass FFII, but not anymore.....we're on our own for most stuff like job shirts, Class B shirts, etc. On the other hand, the EMS folks get ALOT more..... like pants, job shirts, class B shirts etc., since they are on calls where PPE is not required

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    FWD,

    Does the department have some stipulations as to how long they have to be a member before they're issued a uniform, or a means to ensure that the cost of the uniforms can be recouped in case the member doesn't stay for a given amount of time?
    I had to ask about this one. Newbies are given 2 tshirts and one embroidered golf shirt to use for duty nights/fire schools. They receive the rest of their gear when they are qualified to ride exterior (we allow them to ride exterior with an in-house training program until they can get to FF1.)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  19. #19
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,325

    Default

    Good deal, thanks.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


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

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    62

    Default

    We are 50/50 paid/unpaid... paid 0600-1800...

    We get turnout gear (With light and gloves), wildland gear (with gloves) and a radio.

    We also get 1 uniform (Pants and Shirt) everything else we pay for out of pocket. I work at least one paid and one volly shift a week so I have three uniforms. Two pair of boots, incase one gets trashed I keep a clean pair.

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    islandfire03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,594

    Default

    We don't have to buy anything needed out of pocket.
    If it's required the dept supplies it.

    PPE , job shirts ,polo shirts, EMS gear, winter parka's, gloves , leather boots, flashlights, helmet lights, are all provided by the department.

    We don't waste money buying parade costumes as they wouldn't get any use here.
    Cvfd416 likes this.

  22. #22
    Forum Member
    conrad427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Just south of Canada
    Posts
    561

    Default

    I have bought a lot of my own gear, not because the dept. did not furnish it but I am kind of picky and like good stuff. One thing the dept. does not furnish is wildland goggles.

  23. #23
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    25

    Unhappy

    Guess it really just depends on your Dept and their financial situation, Im with a small town VFD (300 citizens, 8 Vollys). They provided me with my Helmet, SCBA Mask, Gloves and boots, I had to furnish my own gear due to them not having any that would fit me and the funds to purchase any. (got a great deal on a new set of gear). They provided me a Minitor V Pager (Sucks, 2nd pager in 4 months and had battery issues with both). Radios are optional as in if you want to purchase one you can, We have radios at the Dept but well they suck since we have had to switch to the Narrow band tech. All in all our Dept is broke and cant really afford the things we really need but we just step up and buy out of pocket, I guess when your city doesn't care if the dept is funded you have to do something right? Hopefully our truck can hold out until we can get it replaced, Although I think the city will burn down before this happens sadly, Thou must use what ye has!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. What is in your pocket?
    By Firewalker918 in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 03-05-2007, 06:09 PM
  2. What's In Your Pocket?
    By TFW1TFW1 in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 11-30-2006, 12:10 PM
  3. What's In Your Pocket?
    By TFW1TFW1 in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 10-03-2006, 09:53 PM
  4. Pocket Requirements
    By markrojek in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-04-2006, 11:47 AM
  5. Station/Shift Volunteers v. Traditional Volunteers
    By BenFire7 in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 10-12-2000, 07:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register