1. #1
    Junior Member

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    Dec 1999
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    Woodstock, Illinois
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    Wink Interested in your advice

    I have been with my current department for a total of eight years. Started out as a part timer and now I am a career Lt. Here is my dilema. We are growing town, however we have poor Village managment and they keep cutting are budget and will not make a committment to the FD to run it properly. We run two man engines, etc., etc. I tested almost two years ago, to keep my options open, with a nice much larger career only department. Well it now appears that my number is up there and they will be calling me. I will be taking a substantial pay cut in the beginning, obviously. We'll I cannot decide what is better for me and my family. Stay with my current department just becuase they messed up and gave me a bugel or do I move on to greener pastures? The long run in the other all career department is a lot more money, better benefits and a heck of a lot more time off and overtime. I do not have to worry about the combination stuff and adjusting how my station operates every twelve hours becuase my current department does not hire back full timers for full timers. We replace them with cheaper and most of the time less "qualified" people. By this I mean, if I called in sick today, they would replace a full time Lt. with a part time FF/EMT-Basic. Where I am required to be FF/EMT-Paramedic, Engineer, and Haz-Mat Ops. Obviously this is not right, but they do it anyways.
    It is a really tough decision. So, if there are any guys out there that have been in the same situation and made a decision please let me know. I am really confused about this.
    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lt. Frank Ricci<br />This my opinon and does not reflect the views of my Employer or family!

  2. #2
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    If I were in your shoes, I would go to the larger department..some reasons..

    1. While the initial pay cut may sting at first, you will adjust to it. Opportunities for overtime will help ease the sting,and more time off allows you to work a part time gig if you wish.

    2. Better chances for advancement.

    3. Better staffing = safer working conditions.

    4. I am sure that if you asked anyone in your present FD what they would do, and they would have their personal stuff packed before you could finish asking the question!

    Go for it!!!
    ‎"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

  3. #3
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    CLWFWFD's Avatar
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    Fort Worth,Tx.
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    Thumbs up

    I have to agree. I started at a combo department with one station, then to one with three stations. Finally I got on where I wanted to be in the first place, thirty eight stations, better benefits, better chance for advancement, and better retirement. My advice is go for it.

  4. #4
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    TILLERMAN-1664's Avatar
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    Olney, MD U.S.A.
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    Default

    My shiftmate has the same dilemma. Should he go to Washington D.C. where he can catch more fire; or should he stay with us and get more out of his career (especially retirement) at the cost of mostly riding an ambulance? I also noticed that you have children. So, these are the questions that I asked to my shiftmate. (who has a young child.)

    Which department are you going to.....

    - make more money in the end?
    - contribute more money to retirement?
    - has a better retirement?
    - has a better avenue for promotions?
    - need a college education to get promoted?
    - receive better health benefits?
    - receive better death benefits should you die in the line of duty?
    - depend on to take care of your wife and kids if you get hurt or killed?

    Just some thoughts to consider... Good Luck!

    Marshall
    "VERY PROUD" Union member of the I.A.F.F. as well as my local 1664.
    Notice this is my CAREER not my hobby. Help a burned child. Get involed...not sure how just ask. Marshall
    www.fdnyengine6.org
    www.midatlanticburncamp.org

  5. #5
    Junior Member

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    Jan 1999
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    PITTSBURGH PA
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    2

    Wink

    GO FOR IT. WHAT ABOUT THE PENSION SYSTEMS. CAN YOU TAKE YOUR YEARS OF SERVICE WITH YOU. IF NOT, YOU COULD PROBALLY RETIRE AFTER 20/25 YEARS AT THE LARGER DEPARTMENT. SOONER THAN IF YOU STAYED WHERE YOU ARE AT. ALWAYS CONSIDER THE FAMILY TOO. I HAVE 22 YEARS IN A SMALL, ALL PAID DEPARTMENT. IT GETS HARDER EACH YEAR FIGHTING FIRES IN LARGE WOOD FRAME BUILDINGS WITH A HOUSE ON EACH SIDE A FOOT APART, WITH 8-10 F/F RESPONDING. THINK ABOUT THINGS OVER THE LONG HAUL.GOOD LUCK AND STAY SAFE.

  6. #6
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    Silver City, Oklahoma USA
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    Default

    Take the new job, hands down. Sounds to me that there are maybe only two things that you like about your current job: 1) you've got eight years on, and a new job puts you back at the bottom 2) you would (initially) make less money.

    Look at the long haul--in the end, taking the new job would likely be better financially, be safer, and would be much less emotionally stressful.

    I worked as a paid member of a combo department for a couple of years. The department had horrible problems: safety was out the window, poor equipment, lack of training, bad management, bad city manager, lack of volunteers, etc, etc, etc. It was very, very demoralizing--not because we were incapable of improving (that's one of the reasons I took the job, because the Chief "we're in the process of rebuilding this department"), but because the FD management and city government absolutely refused to resolve any problems. Walking away from that department was the best decision to make, both for my family and myself.

    Good luck.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  7. #7
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    joejoe33's Avatar
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    Default

    Your story sounded similar to mine. I started off as a volunteer and ended up as the first paid firefighter in a small town. I was scraping by on what they paid me. I had a ton of extra responsibilities that went along with the low pay. The small town politics didn't give much of a secure feeling of job security. I got married, had a step-child and a baby on the way and decided that I had to do what was best for me and my family. I gave the small town department three years as a volunteer and three years as a paid firefighter/paramedic. So, it wasn't like I got some training and said "See ya".

    I tested at a couple of places. I scored number two on a list where six were hired. So, I went from a one horse town to a two station city that has now grown to three stations and plans for a fourth station. My starting pay was a couple of hundred dollars difference from what the one horse town was paying me. Now the pay is comparable to the largest city in the area. I have only recently been interested in promotion. With the new station will come more hiring and more promotions. So opportunity is better here than the one horse town.

    So you start back at rookie status for a while. With your experience and good work ethics, being a rookie again will go by faster than you think. Do your time and pay your dues and you'll be happier. You got to take of yourself and your family.
    joejoe33

    Comments and opinions are mine and do not represent the agency or IAFF local that I am affiliated with.

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