1. #1
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    Thumbs down RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS

    I have been in the fire service for some 15 years now and have continually argued against the antiquated idea of residency requirements. I do however try to keep an open mind to opposing views, so if you support or detest residency, let me hear it. If your dept. has overturned or broadened it's residency requirements, I would like to hear the particulars for that also.
    Thanks
    FYRDOGG
    Definition: Residency Requirement= Having to live within the city limits to keep your job.

  2. #2
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    Residency requirements are completely worthless. My department policy says career personnel "live within twenty minutes of the fire station" (we have two so I'm not sure which one it is). Are volunteer fire fighters can live anywhere, even another town and have no time restrictions at all. Some people that were within twenty minutes at one time now are not because of increased traffic and new stop lights. The cost of real estate far outpaces department wages and forces some to look outside for homes as well. Those of us that are career(including the adminstrative types)ignore the policy and we have never been called on it. I think it's foolish thinking on the part of local politicians and chiefs motivated by power/control over their employees.

  3. #3
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    I think they (residency req.) suck!
    Feel sorry for the Brothers that have them!
    VERY GLAD we don't(well, we do have to live in an ajoining county, ......in the state.....not Cook Co.,IL)

    This is something I have a hard time understanding.....
    Do you have to live across the street if you work for I.B.M.????

    OR.... Do you have to live within a couple block radius of Microsoft to get an application????

    OR.... If half of all employees move out of the city, would this loss of tax base send the city on a downward spiral into financial ruin???
    FTM-PTB
    trk4

  4. #4
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    Residency is an antiquated system that has outlived its usefulness. Most residency requirements were instituted many years ago before the building of major roads. It was required for the purpose of having the firefighters close to the city in times of need, after the developement of highways, the time to get to the station decreased enormously.

    In Michigan, the fire and police unions fought for the abolishment of this system. It took many years but they finally succeeded last year. As of this writing residency requirements for fire and police are now defunct state wide. Progress can be a good thing. The residency law effects both new hires and those presently employed.

  5. #5
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    In Massachusetts the current statute for residency is 15 miles, boarder to boarder (but not out of state) It is called "permissive" legilation (has to be accepted by your municipality). If the city does not accept it, and there is a contract in place, it's a negotioable item.

  6. #6
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    I have never been to an incident where the people in trouble have asked me if I lived in the city where I work (just for the record...I do!).

    We have the 15 mile radius of the city limits clause in our contract. Residency requirements are antiquated and should be abolished. Like my Brother FireLt1951 so eloquently stated... "Progress can be good thing!"
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  7. #7
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    Residency requirements have long been outdated.
    Despite the facts surrounding "the need" for
    residency requirements purported by municipal
    leaders in various areas of the country, the truth
    is that it is all about money & social agendas.
    Living w/in or near the City=Tax dollars; and it
    permits those w/race/social agendas to keep those
    whom they do NOT want from further reducing the
    ranks of a Dept.s current racial make-up.
    Many are not going to agree or like that I've said
    that, but, it is a reality in today's local Gov't.
    operations & agenda's.
    If it was about tax-dollar loss, all they would
    do is slap you w/a "Occupational Privilege Tax" or
    some other form of further taxation, if they have
    not already done so (w/ or w/out residency).
    If one looks at the history of "residency requirement" statutes, you'll find more often then
    not, they were written in the early 1900's, well
    before expressways,byways & reliable transportation modes. Wasn't this why the Interstate Hwy. system was developed?
    Any other excuse, all returns to the point's
    mentioned above, regardless of how well the liberal's attempt to say otherwise!
    Just my 2-cents short of dollar worth of BS.

  8. #8
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    Although I disagree with being forced to live within the municipality where you work (Career Only), I highly recommend it. Guys around our department go on and on about how the mayor should do this or council should do that... when I ask them if they voted for the guy, they say "I can't, I don't live in the city". That's when I say "Well I voted against him and you have no business to even discuss it. Conversation over." If you don't want to be a participant in deciding your future, you get whatever you get.
    See You At The Big One

  9. #9
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    Residency requirements are for the birds. My town (fortunately) doesn't have any, and thats good since 40% of our department lives out of town. Most of those live in the same county, but myself and a few others live in the next county. I understand that one of our city council persons hates that so many of us (and many other city employees) don't live in town. If it ever came up in a contract negotiation, the stuff would hit the fan. There are a few guys who think we should have a residency requirement. When asked, they say they feel that the tax money should stay in the town that pays us. I then ask them if they ever purchase something in another town. Of course they do. I then ask them at what point do you think the city should stop telling you how and where to spend their money. They usually don't have an answer to that.

    Bob, IAFF #3

  10. #10
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    New Jersey is the KING of residency requirements. They just plain suck. So does the stupid stupid stupid civle service test. Such BS. When was the last time a civil service test went smoothly? ahh....NEVER!
    This space for rent

  11. #11
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    Our City got RID of Residency Requirments many years ago. We have a better idea. Pagers, when the big one hits they page us. Usually enough people show up and the Fire goes out. Our Sister City still has it and is a pretty big bummer for them, I do not know how they are going to get rid of it.

    Most the other departments around here are Volly so this subject does not apply to them Apples and Oranges.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

  12. #12
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    Angry

    Man I hate this topic!! However, I can tell you residency requirements are an "old" fashioned pain in the a**! Not necessary if you have a progressive department with proper minimum manning and auto-aid and mutual-aid agreements. My department has niether, however through successful collective bargaining we have had it lifted from living in town, to 5 miles from a station or "proposed station", to 15 miles as a crow flies, and tenitively on the table right now is 35 miles as a crow flies from the Village limits. I cannot agree with residency. My department used it as tool so as not to have to increase manpower. Becuase we relied on the full and part timers to come back to the station when the "firebox" tones sounded. Finally now through some very minor progression, we have been able to add more personnel and get that 1900's mindset of living in town expanded. To all the nay sayers, who believe that you will not have the same pride or affection for the town providing your bread to you, I say BS. I lived in town and now I don't and I can tell you my pride, empathy, and support for "my" community and its residents has not and will not dwindle!
    BE SAFE, ST. FLORIAN BLESS US & PROTECT US ALL!
    Lt. Frank Ricci<br />This my opinon and does not reflect the views of my Employer or family!

  13. #13
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    I do not agree with residency requirements and luckily our department does not either. I live about 60 miles from my department, 2 counties away. A dept I formerly worked for did require you to live in the jurisdiction, it was a small college town that did not have many true residents and it seemed to work out up there. But i'm so glad to be away form it.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs down

    For the most part, the courts have recognized municipal interests in support of the imposition of residency requirements and have rejected constitutional challenges to these laws. Cities continue to implement residency requirement in the belief that it will improve services to its citizens when in fact “there is no evidence that residency laws produce a better fire-rescue service. Experience is starting to show that they have an adverse effect on morale, cause problems in recruiting qualified personnel, and result in the loss of valuable people who are forced to quit” (Bruno. 1988. 7).

    Municipal government must weigh the benefits of residency requirements with the adverse effects these rules may have on the public safety employees and the community. Cities will loose cases where residency is proven to cause a disparate treatment to members in a protected class. The impact on the morale of firefighters and their families can be devastating and should be taken into consideration. In addition, qualified and experience members of police and fire departments may take their skills to other organizations that do not have residency rules. The loss of these valuable employees can result in the lowering of the standard of fire protection.

    Firehouse References

    Bruno, Hal. (March 1988) The Plague of Residency Requirements. Firehouse. p.7

    Bruno, Hal. (July 1988) Residency Laws Hurt Firefighter’s Families, Too. Firehouse. p.12

  15. #15
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    Our residency requirement is that 75% of the full-time members live within five miles from the hall. We have a little different situation that the larger departments do. We are a composite department (12 IAFF and 20 volunteers), so we only have one crew on at any time. When we get a confirmed call that requires additional manpower we call in full-time guys first. None of our auxiliaries do interior attack or drive the apparatus. This limits us as far as getting back-up crews to an incident. We require having paid guys available quickly.

    We are fortunate that housing costs are not ridiculous here. I can appreciate the problem it can create in larger centers. We recently had a department in the province that was able to get rid of their residency requirements when they signed their first contract after becoming affiliated with the IAFF. Prior to their affiliation they had not had any luck with that issue. It is tougher for them as they are a composite department as well, but the average price of a home was $500,000. They allow their auxiliaries to drive and do interior attack.

    To stop babbling and sum this up, I feel that a residency requirement may have it's place, obviously not everywhere.

  16. #16
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    Volunteer department is within 3 miles of station for obvious reasons. Paid job is live with in 1 hour of Head Quarters station. I live about 45 minutes away, that is on a snowy, horrible day. I live in a different county. There are 5 of us that live in this same County from there. I would like to know who lives more then a few hours away from thier job? I knew once of a Air Ambulance crew member who lived in Montana and would fly to Las Vegas for a week or so at a time to work. I have also heard of Los Angeles County FD guys living a long ways away from there. Anyone know of any others?

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  17. #17
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    Default

    My department does not require that personnel live within the City limits. The current requirement is that the the town limits, where a member resides, must be within 10 road miles of city hall. This greatly reduces the area in which personnel can move.
    We live in a region where, according to latest reports, housing is among the most expensive, being second only to California.
    This requirement is antiquated and has been around for longer than anyone in the department ca recall. The last revision of the SOP occurred back in 1978.
    The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little time.

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