1. #1
    fire44
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    Post CAREERS ABLE TO VOLUNTEER

    My concern is are there any stipulations through the IAFF about one of its members being active with another volunteer department. For what it matters i reside in ohio and my friend told me that IAFF members are not allowed to be on volunteer depts. I know several firemen that do this and dont see that being a true statement. If anything i would think it would come from your fulltime department's policy if there is one. please let me know if anyone has any info on this. thanks.

  2. #2
    NCRSQ751
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    It can't possibly be against IAFF policy. I belong to a volunteer technical rescue squad and a volunteer fire department. Between them I know of at least a half dozen volunteers. My Chief at the Rescue Squad is a career truck company captain.

    My guess is that it's a local/departmental thing.

    ------------------
    Susan Bednar
    Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
    NCTF-1
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  3. #3
    Corvin
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    The IAFF members are not to volunteer their time to a vollie dept.

    That said I do both. I drank too much beer one night and cornered Al Whitehead (the last IAFF president) at our state union convention and gave him the ole "I live in a town of 400 people, they are never going to have a career dept, I refuse to say to my neighbors, 'hell no I won't help'.
    I volunteer Al what do you say about that?"

    He said he understood the reality of life. Now he could also been afraid I was going to drool on him and he wanted me away, hard to say http://www.firehouse.com/forums/wink.gif

    Be safe
    Chris

  4. #4
    benson911
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    IAFF firefighters are not supposed to volunteer to do their job for free on their days off. Of course, who's to tell you what you should do when you are not at work. Remember, you are doing the most dangerous job in the world and your union has fought hard to get you the time off you deserve to make sure you are rested and ready to come to work for your next shift.

    If you don't mind the risk and you don't need the sleep, then volunteer. But, if you are working part-time in a combination department with an IAFF local in place, you are harming a brother and that's against IAFF bylaws!

  5. #5
    gunnyv
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    My career dept's local basically forced 3 guys to give up their part time jobs with ambulance companies. 2 worked for the co. that services our own district, so it was real obvious. The union told them they couldn't even work as dispatchers for them, they are a "rival" organization. We lost our ambulance to their predecessor in the 70s, guys were laid off, so I can understand that. But the other guy was working for a volunteer ambulance in his hometown 20 miles away. He organized the volunteers and was head of their union, they told him to quit or resign from ours. He quit the volunteers.
    My problem with this is that we have 20 guys working in building trades, taking jobs from union tradesmen, but that's fine with the union.

  6. #6
    Brian Dunlap
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    I Personaly think that Career Guys who want to Volunteer should be allowed to. It is there choice --- Who is the IAFF to say what a person can or can not do on there Off time.
    Thats F**ed Up.

  7. #7
    dgrant
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    The IAFF is a labor union, pure and simple. A labor union exists to protect jobs, protect the safety of the members and work to enhance benefits. As an IAFF member, I do believe that they have a policy that members are not to volunteer, though I've never seen it in writing. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I just haven't seen it.

    That being said, there is no enforcement arm of the IAFF that is on the lookout for paid union members volunteering. The only time this issue would come up is if a complaint is made by a fellow union member.

    This is, of course, a matter of personal choice, weighing the positives and negatives of each unique situation. We all know that small communities simply cannot afford full time, paid fire protection and ems services.

    However, in my humble opinion, an IAFF member that volunteers in a combination department is in essence providing manpower that allows the governing body (city or county) to keep from fully funding a paid fire and ems service. Just my opinion.

  8. #8
    Tim Soule
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    I, also, was a career ff in Ohio and a volunteer as well. I understand the IAFF position that they would prefer not to have their members volunteer from a labor union standpoint, one issue not raised yet is the issue of fairness to your career city...by volunteering, you increase your exposures thereby increasing the liability for your career city. Of course that depends somewhat on how much you volunteer...The argument that you're enabling the community in which you volunteer to not go paid doesn't hold true for mot volunteer communities, I dont believe. Anyway, interesting topic...brought back lots of memories good and bad. Am living large as a career guy in Montana and no, I don't volunteer anymore(my wife made me promise not too http://server.firehouse.com/forums/smile.gif)

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    An opinion that you or your local IAFF has is one thing, but here are the LEGAL rulings that have been made regarding this issue...

    1) It is ILLIGAL for an employeer to prevent one of his/her employees to volunteer. Doing so falls under the category of discrimination.

    2) It is, however, ILLIGAL for a person to work and volunteer in the SAME town in the SAME job description. (Example: Firefighter Jones cannot work and volunteer in the same town as a fire fighter. He CAN work in one town and volunteer in another as a firefighter. He CAN also work as a firefighter and volunteer on an ambulance).

    - Turk II

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    A little side note related to this...

    Some of you might remember the church fire in River Oaks, TX that killed 3 volunteer firefighters. 2 of those firefighter were paid Fort Worth firefighters as well.

    Since they were killed while working for the city of River Oaks. None of the LODD benefits from Fort Worth applied. I'm not an expert on all the money/benefits that were involved by any means, but a lot of legal ramblings went on between whether Ft. Worth should pay, etc...etc...

    It's just something to think about. If I lived in a city that used volunteer's I'd do it also. However, if your volunteer dept. doesn't provide any financial support in the event of your LODD...can your family make it without you? Just something to think about.

  11. #11
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    By serving as a volunteer firefighter you are in violation of the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XV, Section 3.

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    It is nobody's business what you do off duty as long as it is not illegal.

    Period, end of story.

    Of course common sense says you do not volly in a career union FD. And of course you do not volly back into your own career FD.

    We never seem to be too concerned about our IAFF Brothers and Sisters working as non-union members in other trades. I wonder how their unions feel about that?

    By the way...in my part-time job I am a member of that Union. Card carrying, dues paying member...Are you?

    Stay safe,

    FyredUp
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    FIRE44's original question was,

    "are there any stipulations through the IAFF about one of its members being active with another volunteer department..."

    My short answer was simply,

    "IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XV, Section 3."

    I was not saying I believe it is right, wrong, legal or moral. I just answered the question.

    FyredUP states/asks,

    "By the way...in my part-time job I am a member of that Union. Card carrying, dues paying member...Are you?"

    YES I AM.

  14. #14
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    E229lt,

    What exactly does that section of the by-laws say?

    Thanks,

    FyredUp
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  15. #15
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    "IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XV, Section 3."
    The IAFF can have their own by-laws and constitution, but any local, state, or federal law can override the organization's bylaws and constitution.

    In this case, there is a federal law which prevents the IAFF from saying career firefighters cannot belong to a volunteer company.

    - Turk II

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    With many states passing heart/lung and cancer bills, one day a career firefighter who is an active volunteer will be denied a retirement benifit because of the extra risk he willingly accepted. You can't expect a pension system or the career dept (city) to cover you when you volunteer. The pension systems will not grant an injury or disability retirement, if heart, lung or cancer is used. I don't volunteer as a choice of family. I'm not going to put my family at risk by volunteering on my days off or put my pension at risk in the future. If the dept is 100% volunteer then I have no problem its you buisness, but don't expect me to back you if you try to claim a retirement from the accumlated hazards of your career job, when you added to this while volunteering. Some career depts will also keep track if sick leave injuries occured while volunteering in another dept. A very fine line that many 100% volunteer firefighters don't take into account. Why should my dept pay OT etc because I got hurt volunteering??? Food or thought.

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    If it's the OT for injuries that happen while volunteering thats the worry, are you allowed to drive to work, I know more people that have been in accidents than have been hurt fighting fire. What about skiing, softball, and anything else more dangerous than watching TV.

    Take a bite of that food.

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    Well I guess this will start a fight, but I've been thinking about this for some time, so here goes, I here this garbage about Careers F/F's volunteering, being hurt while volunteering and the related burden of liability, OT and so on that it places on the Career dept.

    What about Career F/F's that spend every off duty hour teaching. I know for a fact that there are a lot of injuries and exposures related to teaching, the same types and numbers you see with volunteering, but yet because they were teaching, that's OK.

    I guess it's because they're getting paid for it by the repsective contractor, school or academy.

    Please tell me what the difference is, they are still off work, causing OT for their brothers, increasing the liability to the career dept and so on and so on.

    This old adage that by volunteering, you are eliminating a Career position is BS !!! Some municipalties can't afford any Career positions, while others can only afford their present staffing levels. The reason any Union wants to increase their membership is strictly monetarily!!!

    Lets put all this damn Career vs Volunteer s*** to bed !!!!
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

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    I have heard the same reports Irish. I did not read a single bash on volunteers in Irish's post, but it sure did bring out the career haters. He even said if you volunteer in a 100% dept thats OK. In most career depts you must get permission to work outside the FD. You don't need permission to volunteer in another dept. If a training academy job was causing OT, they would and can stop you! You guys spout off with no facts. The heart and lung stuff is real facts of life. State pension board members (not the FD or PD members) usually the political appointees have been on this for a while.

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    I usually don't respond to plain dumb responses but..
    ASICIT: City's, States, and I don't contribute to the softball players pension or skiers pension. If they have a pension system let me know. We do fund the Police and Firefighters retirement system. When these state board members notice a possible problem, history has shown they will enforce it to keep the system sound!!!
    RES7CUE: I'm glad to hear you want to end the s***, so why don't you take your own advise and stop. Its uninformed people like you who spout off with no facts or anything, just plain hate. The original topic was volunteering and the IAFF. I stated that in 100% volunteer depts in my opinion its fine. The rest of my post was concerning pension benifits for the future and what is coming down the line. You don't like it??? tough, it doesn't even apply to you, but it is relavent to the topic unlike your emotional crap. As far as training academy's go, the 4-5 guys I know who do training on their off time say, smokehouse is a small part of FF training done at the academy. No injuries yet, that is why they are allowed to continue. We have had 2 members injuried as volunteers. No big numbers, but at lest I'm dealing facts not just s***.

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    IRISH EMERALDS I was referring to your comment about depts paying OT for injuries, not the retirement part. If you don't want to volunteer then don't but don't try to blame someone else for not volunteering.

    Another question: Why do so many paid FF live in volunteer communities?? Maybe it's the lower tax rates. And what causes lower tax rates??

    //VOLUNTEERS//

    Then why don't you want to help maintain those lower tax rates??

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    fire44.
    The Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Garcia ruling, which applied this Act to government employees, states in 29 U.S.C. subsection 203(e)(4)(a) makes it very clear that "paid firefighters cannot volunteer during their off-duty hours the same services for the same agency that employees them."
    The law is not as defined yet in regards to EMS, however if you volunteer for an agency in the same jurisdiction where there might be some similar job requirements, there could be some problems. A recent ruling on EMS workers in Anne Arundle County Maryland resulted in a very large payment to paramedics in that jurisdiction. Whether this had to do with volunteers or not I don't know, but I'm sure those there could help.
    I do know as a career fire marshal employed by a local government, if someone would volunteer for my job and do it for free, I wouldn't be too happy when the local government relieved me of my job. You also realize that I would fight like heck to get my job back.

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    ASICIT: You must be smoking crack. What do you think volunteer is free??? Haha far from it. Their are 3 100% volunteer depts that border my dept. All three have higher budgets than us!!! Why, Each one has a ladder and rescue and many engines with chrome and lights and etc. One just started a LOSAP which costs $125,000 a year and guess what, its going up up up. Combined they don't have half the work or runs. I live in the town I work. No volunteering allowed.

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    Uninformed, Yea right.

    1-F/F with knee injury, off duty 6 weeks
    1-F/F with back injury, off duty 11 weeks
    2-F/F's strained knees, combined off duty
    5 weeks and counting.
    And on, and on.
    -------
    HATE; I don't hate ANY Brother/Sister F/F, just the Career/ Vollie BS. We're ALL in the same business, doing the same job.
    -------
    It does apply to me and my dept. I am the Deputy Chief of a Combo dept with Career members that vollie at their home FD and we pay their pension, OT, etc, so it most certainly does apply to me and my dept and is NOT emotional CRAP.
    -------
    No big numbers in your area, wherever that may be. BUT nationwide the numbers could be big.
    -------
    As far as the 100% vollie depts with the high budgets and duplication of services. That's a problem the local politicians should be addressing. I don't subsribe to the attitude that because the Jones FD has a big shiney Truck, then I need one even bigger, with more bells and whistles.
    -------
    FACTS or CRAP!!!
    -------
    Please don't ANYONE take this personal. It is MY personal opinion that I have formed from over 27 years of experience dealing with both systems.
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

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    I think your posts speak for itself. A volunteer deputy chief in a combo dept here let me help you pat yourself on your back. Who gives a crap!!! Do you remember the original topic!! Like I said the pension info doesn't apply to you. Only the poor career guys who must put up with the crap your shoveling. Probably couldn't pass the test so you got elected chief. Typical combo dept.

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