1. #1
    STBURNE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Paid FF's volunteering

    My volunteer department is looking at options for putting on paid personnel. What are some solutions to the Dept. of Labor's law that paid FF's cannot volunteer for the same department?

  2. #2
    NUMBY
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I dont think there is any way around it. You can not work for the same department that you volunteer for. I know i wouldnt want to anyway. If you compare it to other jobs...would you want to work all day then go back to work and do some more for free later?....Probably Not

  3. #3
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    The Fair Labor Standards Act says that one cannot volunteer for the same department they are paid by. The reasoning behind that is that it's too easy to end up with people being forced to volunteer and not be paid what they've earned. I'm not saying that every department would abuse their personnel like that, but there are some that would. In order to protect those employees the law has to include everyone. There is nothing in the law that says you can't volunteer or work part-time for another department, as long as it isn't part of the same administration as the job that pays you.

    The IAFF includes in its Constitution and ByLaws an article that says one shouldn't volunteeer or work part-time for any fire department, but there's a caveat that says that if nobody complains they won't take any action.

    Union membership, by the way, in many cases brings more than a monthly meeting and a chance to vote on your contract. Some departments' unions provide health, dental and optical benefits, credit union membership, and many other benefits.


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    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176
    RKMC MAL

  4. #4
    9m18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I work (full-time) for a combination department. We are allowed to respond to any call when we're not on shift...but we get paid a minimum of 1 hour of OT. I don't think there's any way around the issue...not that there should be.

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  5. #5
    STBURNE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    What about training sessions? Is that OT also? The plan we are kicking around is to pay volunteers to man the station M-F 8am-5pm. All employees will be part time only. Those interested are FF and Paramedics elsewhere and still want to volunteer. Can we somehow pay these guys to man the station a day or two a week, AND still allow them to answer calls as a volunteer and attend training sessions? I have heard of different comp time scenerios etc. No one on the department would be interested in working if they had to give up their volunteer status.

  6. #6
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    You're OK until someone gets there nose bent and files a complaint -- then you'll be paying OT on a retroactive basis to everyone.

    I'd reckon you can figure out how many calls and drill hours people will put in outside of the normal "workday" and budget appropriately. May be cheaper to hire a couple full time paid guys who also receive OT for calls/training than a bunch of part timers.

  7. #7
    Dalmation90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    You're OK until someone gets there nose bent and files a complaint -- then you'll be paying OT on a retroactive basis to everyone.

    I'd reckon you can figure out how many calls and drill hours people will put in outside of the normal "workday" and budget appropriately. May be cheaper to hire a couple full time paid guys who also receive OT for calls/training than a bunch of part timers.

  8. #8
    9m18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Yes...training (off-shift) is OT. Long-term training (a week-long class, NFA, etc.) is a little different. The Department will cover our shifts, and we get our regular pay...no OT. For example, when I go to Emmittsburg, I'm paid my normal two-weeks salary...and the Department hires someone to work in my place.

  9. #9
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    StBurne, if you're going to pay someone to be there 8 - 5 M - F, and you drill in the evening, then yes, you're probably going to have to give them OT for their drill time. If you have people working less than 40 hours per week, you might get away with it. You need to talk to a labor attorney who is familiar with your local laws.

    My department has 3 shifts, so we drill on 3 days of the week. Usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So every turn gets training as part of their regular schedule.

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    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176
    RKMC MAL

  10. #10
    lt.jmp21
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My dept is both paid and volunteer and most of the paid drivers also belong to the volunteer companys in our city. The are still aloud to belong to the volunteer companys as an "exempt" or "social" member they can do every thing in the company as a regular member except respond as a volunteer firefighter. They respond to off duty calls as a paid firefighter and get paid by hour overtime for every call they attend off duty. They have an open book policy and can attend any call they want.



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    Joseph M Piwtorak

  11. #11
    Romania
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The paid personell at the volunteer departemtn I work at (a full time cheif and captain/maintaince person) get OT or comp time for all calls the respond to outside of their 40 hour work week. The captain got time off with pay to go to paramedic school because of this (he took comp time for his calls). It seems to work well, I have heard no complaints about it. The captain tends to let other medics take the patient into the hospital at night so that he doesn't run up the OT bill (or so he can go back to sleep quicker ).

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    Alan Romania, CEP
    romania@uswest.net
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.



  12. #12
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    St Burne - At least in NJ, the key is how many hours a week they work. Our vols can fill in part time up to 20 hrs per week without jeopardizing that status. As far as training, we pay our full career personnel OT to come back and drill.

  13. #13
    Smoke286
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    It is my opinion all laws and regulations aside. That if you volunteer in the same dept as you are a paid employee, Then you a perpetuating the problem by possibly depriveing someone else of the opertunity to gain full time employment in the fire service ,after all why were you hired in the first place. In most cases it is because either sufficent volunteers were unavailable, or could not cover a specific time frame

  14. #14
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Right on Smoke. as for in NJ any partime can constitute being paid and against the law.
    For you people in other states you better check your states pension laws real carefull. up until a couple of years ago in NJ if you voluntered in a different town and you died or got hurt and disabled you were on your own as far as death benifits or any pension. your town was not obligated to cover you.. watch out for something as simple as sick leave. another question if by chance you volunteer in another town , what happens if your paid town provides mutual aid to your vollie town, and your paid town responds to the vollie town . how our you going to work having to leave the fire in vollie town to report to paid town if they need you on coverup to man paid town when you have people out of town. happens all the time in small towns with limited manpower.

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