1. #76
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    Originally posted by Smoke286
    So Chopper, yours is the local in the jurisdiction in question?
    Do you know if there are any members of your local that volunteer in PG county? My point was I find it strange that the DC local is not supporting yours in this.
    Smoke,

    Thanks for asking.... My jurisdiction borders both PG and Washington, DC. We also are surprised that the DC Local is not being supportive of this. It makes me wonder why they are still in the International.

    We do have members of our local that volunteer in PG. Here is how it works...

    When a member from another Local takes "issue" with a member from our Local volunteering in their station, they go to their union rep and a letter of charges are sent to our Locals President. When our local receives these letters notification of charges are sent to our Local member advising them they have to make a choice, their volunteer fire house, or their local. They must then respond back within a certain time frame (which I don't know) and correct the problem. Either they quit volunteering or resign, or are revoked, from the union.

  2. #77
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    Talking Union Yes

    It seems that quite a few members of DCFD, specifically, have a problem with their union telling them they should stop volunteering in PG county and other counties which have active locals. Why is this being perceived as a personal attack by the Union on their members? Its seems, this is an outlook shared only by members of DC L36. My response to their attitude is, it must be nice to got to work everyday and ride apparatus which is appropriately staffed with an adequate number of qualified people to perform their jobs safely and efficiently. Unfortunately in the counties that our L36 brothers are being asked to resign from, this is not the case. Everyday in my department apparatus responds severely understaffed. Why, because the difference between minimum staffing and desired staffing is SUPPOSED to be made up by volunteers. DOESN’T HAPPEN. Where are these volunteers who care soooo much about their community? What many of the L36 members who currently volunteer in PG county fail to mention is that few of them still reside in the neighborhoods that they volunteer in. These people don’t care about service to their community. They are glory hounds. You want to quite the union go ahead. I don’t want you in MY union. You want to choose your volunteer department, go ahead, but ask yourself why did you become a career firefighter to begin with. If your volunteer department is soo great, why did you strive to do anything else than work your minimum wage job and live at your local FD? Those of you who believe this is simply a “typical IAFF tactic” to “increase membership”, I have to say you are shortsighted individuals who obviously have no concept of how a union operates. The union is a bargaining tool, whose membership affords it the leverage to bargain for better wages, conditions and benefits for its members. I have the same IAFF sticker in my truck as you do. When my Local wins so does yours and vice versa. The selfishness of the L36 members is increasingly evident in their resistance to gracefully back away from their volunteer departments. If they are so dedicated to volunteerism, why not spend their off duty hours in some rural departments to help staff apparatus in areas with no career staffing? If volunteer firefighters are the key to everyone’s staffing issues, as those who volunteer in PG County would have you believe why are there no volunteers in DC, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit……? Because they are unreliable, they come and they go as the please, follow the rules as the want and when convenient. They don’t care about service to the community, they care about how fast the can drive through an intersection or who can melt their helmet the most. Is this the type of individual you want responding to your neighborhood? This is what L1619 is trying to accomplish, a more professional department with adequate, guaranteed staffing. They are striving to carry on the same mission the IAFF started in 1918 – better, safer conditions for everyone.
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  3. #78
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    You know guys I understand that you are frustrated with the county's career design, but I have to say again that this is not the way to go about it.


    You are basically putting union "brothers" against other "brothers". Its obvious that the DC local isn't going to support your actions. In fact, it seems a lot would rather give up their cards than quit. The national offices don't seem too eager to jump into the fight. There hasn't been any comments from them. They don't even have anything about it on their site. Why? Its a no win situation.

    What are you going to accomplish? There will be a public backlash if the volunteers come out and say that stations are unmanned because of you. Don't spit out numbers about how they are already unmanned because the public won't care. They will see you as the bad guys.

    I am originally from Virginia and most of my family lives in your area. Volunteering there is different than in most of the country. Its a powerful force with a long tradition. They raise unbelievable amounts of money and have a lot of political pull. If I remember correct a Montgomery County squad (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) had a former President make an appearance at their anniversary.

    This is going to cause fighting within an obviously already divided department. Its going to cause fighting within the union, and if pushed through is going to just cause members to quit.

    These are mostly right to work states. If members think that their locals are fighting a fight they don't agree with and friends backing out they may join them. Then all of us lose. How you think politicians see this mess? How powerful is a union that is fighting itself?

    Is kicking out these union members going to improve your position? I doubt it. Is it going to hurt your image? probably.
    " The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson

  4. #79
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    Default Re: Bucks...

    Originally posted by Chopper Lover
    I think D. Kelly was trying to explain that it is hard to make a living if your competition is providing your service for free. His example may not have been the best, but he got the point across rather well. I have to point out that your theory of "The union wants to increase its funding base, plain and simple." is off a bit.

    In your example, the tax base does not appear to be there for immediate increase and therefore no new positions will be created for new union members to be drawn from. Therefore, there will be no increase in the unions funding base anytime soon. This is only smoke to provide cover for the real issue...

    The real issue is "plain and simple" as you say.

    The issue is this:
    The IAFF has a by-law (rules) that state a member cannot volunteer in a firehouse that has IAFF members working there. All PG County's Local is doing is bringing members of another local on charges for violations of that by-law. All that is being asked is to follow the rules or get out. Those people will have to make a choice. Either be in the Brotherhood of the IAFF or be a volunteer.
    I heavily edited the post that you made reference to...sorry! I understand D Kelly's analogy, but it doesn't apply here.

    I'll say it again...If there is no good reason for hammering home this particular by-law beyond breaking balls (in other words, it is not concretely saving jobs or ensuring hours to union people), then it's wrong.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

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    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

  5. #80
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    SWR...
    Just so you know, the International is involved in this issue. As a matter of fact, it is an International by-law that every Local is supposed to follow, not one proposed by each individual local.

    As for public backlash and how it pertains to the fire service, it has been my experience that any back lash of the public lasts only weeks and they move on to bigger and better things. They don't really care about the fire service, especially once they are educated to the facts of an issue, not propaganda.

    Bucks...
    (It's OK that you edited my post for size, no apology is needed.)
    As you do not appear to be in the career fire service or a member of the IAFF I don't expect you to fully understand the situation. The situation is as simple as I stated and you quoted. There are rules they agree to follow, and they are upset because they are being called to the carpet for not following them.

    Being a transportation consultant I think you can understand this analogy: If someone is doing 85 mph in a 65 mph zone and a Trooper cites them, who is at fault, the Driver or the Trooper? If we relate that scenario to the PG County issue and equate the driver/Local 36 members and the Trooper/PG County Members, the Trooper (PG County) is at fault. It does not matter that the driver (DC Local) was breaking the rules, what matters is since the driver (DC Local) thinks the speed limit is silly they should not be held accountable. I am sorry, I don't buy that. If I am speeding 20 over and I get pulled over I know I am wrong. Shame on me!

    To no one specific:
    I am amazed that you are siding with a particular group of people (Local 36 members) that are breaking rules that they have sworn under oath to abide by. I am even more amazed that after I support the reason for this issue with specific examples of how it is negatively affecting the livelihood of people they call "Brothers" that you still take their side. They chose to join a Union and swore under oath to abide by that unions by-laws. If they don't like the rules, they can feel free to leave, we don't want them or need them. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

    I think you guys should read Eng211ine's post again. He does an excellent job with setting the record straight on how it really is.

    As I look over what I have written above, I have to wonder "why?". Is it because you guys are from different areas and have not had to deal with this type of combined system? Is it because you feel that even though there are rules that each member agrees to abide they should not be held accountable when they violate that rule? What is it? Help me out here because I don't get it.

    Stay Safe!

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    Being from another state I am haveing trouble sorting this out. From what has been said if seems that the Careers answer to, say Asst. Chief A, and the Volunteers answer to Asst. Chief B. If this is so then don't A + B report to a Chief. If this is the case can't the Chief solve, what appears to be, internal problems. Or do the 2 groups not answer to 1 higher authority. I have to say that I personally am not pro-union but I am trying to keep an open mind about this subject.

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    Chopper Lover, this is from the article regarding this issue...

    -The IAFF national office is not commenting on the debate at this time. Spokesman George Burke said, "There is a whole internal process that deals with members bringing charges against each other. At this point the International has no comment on the process because at some point it may come here for consideration and I don't want to put the president in a position either way on the issues." -

    That speaks volumes.


    I am not against you guys. I just don't think its going to work. You are going to tell some guy who has been a career firefighter and union member for a decade or more that he has to stop doing something he cares about and has done for probably even longer than he's been in the union? For what? So, he can quit and another person can come and volunteer in his place. He is going to probably say SEE YA to the union and go about his business.

    If all 200 DC members quit as vollies will that really make a difference when there are 1200 volunteers in PG? If all 200 DC members quit their local to keep volunteering will that hurt the DC local? You bet it will.
    " The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson

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    Red face Union

    I had a Union Rep. once say to me, "when I mow'd grass fer a livin', I didn't mow me own fer free. If'in you're volunteerin', yourn knockin' a guy out of a job, the Union don't want you volunteerin' anywar." We would have done better if he'd stayed "mowin' grass", I'm confident that he was better at that.

    Well, the jurisdiction I was a volunteer for was an hour, forty-five minutes drive away. All living in this small community are friends, it's comprised of poor laborers and there is a strong sense of community! (novel concept, huh?). My "off-time" activity did not impact the union in any way, shape or form. If the taxbase there had to pay for firefighters, there would have been none. The closest help would be 25 crooked-miles away (it was a volunteer unit also). There was only a PT constable in this "town", and his salary was mostly paid through Federal and state grants.

    I told this Rep. to kiss my @$$ and go back to his "hay field"!

    Listen guys, I understand that there are valid concerns in this debate. However, this country was founded on community values and volunteerism is unique to our nation. Please be careful of what you say and do with this issue.

    p.s. To the post that said the IAFF protects 80% of the population, I haven't seen that statistic, but, you're probably correct. However, 80% of this country is protected by volunteers.
    Last edited by truckiedog; 02-13-2002 at 03:35 AM.
    be safe,
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    Soar free our Brothers and Sisters.

  9. #84
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    If you montgomery folks want better staffing, why not just take less rigs with more guys. For instance right now in downtown rockville, I believe the day staffing is 3 on each of the engine, truck, squad, and ambo. Why not cross staff the squad/truck with 5 each (whichever due) and have 4 on the engine? 3 is silly enough on an engine, but on a truck, it's downright dangerous. You seem to have a solution, but want to spread your manwpower out so you can lay blame on the vollies.

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    C'mon, grit, doing going to real staffing levels would "adversely affect" montgomery locals's members career advancemt...they'd have 3 or 4 firefighters for every officer position v. only 2.

    Resolution 43...
    ...it's a safety issue...(oh, wait, no it's not)
    ...it's about the citizens...(no, not that either)
    ...it's about getting decent minimum staffing...(nope)
    ...it's about getting more L1619 jobs...(naw)
    ...it's about getting more IAFF jobs...(likely less)
    ...it's about enforcing a rule, brought up last year, to f-with PG volunteers...(getting warm)
    ...it's about hurt pride and hurt feelings, because A FEW 1619 members had their feelings hurt by a FEW 36 members. (I think you got it)

    Remember, people volunteer at an individual fire company. The individual fire companies don't have locals or paid men. The county has paid men.

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    Thumbs down 1619

    Ya know....if 1619 is sooooo concerned about walking the real Union line.....why don't they impress upon the membership to stop the day off/on the side plumbing jobs....the little electrical jobs....the truck driving. Isn't this the equivelant of the scabs taking overtime $$$ bucks out of their pocket as they like to say? You boys are scabbing the plumbers,electricians and truck drivers but that's ok. Oh yea...they need to stop buying their groceries at Food Lion too. Almost forgot that one. My point is....if they want to talk the talk...they need to walk the walk. All the time.

    In the propoganda that 1619 put out....what's the ultimate goal? And don't give me the crap about enforcing by-laws....if thats the case....see above. Don't use them to suit your pathetic needs.

  12. #87
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    I got in on this a little late. But I am going to express "our" situation none the less. Of the 12,000 member force of the FDNY approximately 1/3 live outside the City within allowable limits. Again approximately 3/4 of those, share their off-time with Volly Units. Within the City of New York, we have presently 11 Volly Units, they are restricted to auto and brush fires mainly. During and immediately after Sept 11th, very many of these units, staffed our firehouses, loaned us their rigs, and did innumerable tasks for our Brothers and Sisters, whose time was spent elsewhere. Many more "jumped-in" to directly help at the scene. I personally admire Firefighters without exception-to location or status, and "I" personally feel the IAFF-who was once dumped here in NYC, has a lot to say about nothing......
    IN THIS CASE!"

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    "All gave some...Some gave all!"
    9/11/01 Lest we forget!
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    Well said FDNYRR. Keep the faith.

    Pro-firefighter or Pro-Union

    Recognize that they are not ALWAYS the same.
    If pressed, I will align myself with the former.
    I believe that the union/IAFF USUALLY represents me well, fighting for staffing, safety, training, equipment, etc.
    I disagree when they begin to infringe on my RIGHTS as an American, in the name of a stronger union, when, I don't believe that the INFRINGEMENT on MY RIGHTS, will build a stronger union.

    I want the union to fight for:
    Minimum Staffing (4-6)
    Minimum Training
    Minimum Performance (do we file grievances against those who DON'T or WON'T on the fireground, even when their inaction endangers our lives)
    Minimum Response time standards (NFPA 1710 is a start)
    Pay and Benefits (hmm. PG county = lots of volunteers = best pay and benefits = don't give me that cr@p about "if a guy is willing to do it for free....")

    I don't want the union to fight for:
    More members just to have more members. The union's strength is in the fact that they represent FIREFIGHTERS. Not that they represent X number of EMTs, Paramedics, Emergency Response Technicians, Dispatchers, etc. When the public (and the policymakers) listen to the IAFF, it's not because they have X number of members, but because they represent the FIREFIGHTERS.

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    From ChopperLover:
    Some units in our county fail to respond at rates greater than 70%, yet they are not replaced until they have not checked on the air for over 3 minutes.
    In Montgomery County, Maryland??? News to me! I must be listening to a different Montgomery County on my scanner - I haven't heard hardly ANY failures to respond, but 70% of their calls!!??

    Here is the "big picture". Those are 14 positions that people who are desperately hoping to be hired to fill won't get. It has reduced upward mobility because the promotions of positions of "rank" have been eliminated (4 positions of rank eliminated). These things affect my career and the career of others. Worst of all, the station still fails to respond!
    Yep, that's the big picture - the union is missing out on having more positions (members) because of the volunteers - if the union is missing out on those positions, just think of all the union positions that could be had if the whole COUNTRY didn't have any volunteers - but wait!, the WHOLE WORLD (after all, it IS the "International" Association.) Let's just abolish volunteer fire departments for the sake of the IAFF and then every fire truck in the world will be adequately staffed, the union will be happy and every firefighter will be happy because they'll never again have to deal with other firefighters that "are unreliable, come and they go as the please, follow the rules as the want and when convenient...don’t care about service to the community, they care about how fast the can drive through an intersection or who can melt their helmet the most" because NO career firefighter would ever do such things - or so some would have us believe. At least in that dream world, the IAFF would then be happy.

    I don't know why it is, but some people actually beleive all that union rhetoric. I've seen a lot of guys that loved the volunteer fire service in their younger days, didn't mind a bit that it put a roof over their head and paid their way through college, and got the training that helped them get a career job - but as soon as they pinned on that union pin, they could care less about volunteers because volunteers were "scabs" and were taking away jobs. Like PHILDABOX said, why limit it to being volunteer firefighters? If it's a UNION thing and they are so union proud, then why do so many union firefighters have jobs on the side (where they are getting paid good money, not volunteering) in all sorts of fields that is ACTUALLY competing with union workers?

    I don't have a problem with union firefighters, I just think that unions tend to be, shall we say, "extreme" in trying to better the union, not necessarily bettering conditions for their members.

    I'm with you FDNYRR, I admire firefighters without exception.
    - Remember our brothers in FDNY -

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    Angry My nickel

    Because I have been sick for a few days, I have not really commented on this issue except on a few "logic points". Now, feeling better, I will offer a nickels worth.

    I have the utmost respect for anyone putting on gear and answering the call for help. I don't care if they are paid, volunteer, combination, or any other mixture. The bottom line is that I have always looked at a "brother" as being one who goes in harms way. I have, in the past, had run ins with overzealous volunteers, but I am sure they thought I was underzealous. Having been a paid firefighter I was a member of the IAFF. I respect them for the work that they do and have done over the years. This is not to say that I would follow everything they said. If you find yourself lockstep with any group then I believe that you have serious issues. Certainly we have learned the dangers of supporting any entity 100%, and if not, with age, you learn that it is not the right way to go about business. I know I may get heat on that, but remember, just giving my nickels worth.

    I believe that in this case, from what I have read, that the union has made the right choice, but perhaps, as happens many times, does not get the message out clearly.

    However, we are all brothers and sisters. It is always the extremists, on both sides, that create the animosity.

    DCFF, I only have one issue with you that bothers me. You state that if it were between your volunteer company and the DCFD, you would choose where you came from. WHile this sentiment tugs at the heart strings, it certainly makes other members of your department wary. I remember where I came from but if I am doing a job, that is where my focus and loyalty lies. It is essential in order to go home and say "I did the best for the citizens I protect".

    All in all, it is each persons choice as to what they want to do. Make no mistake, that is the hard truth. Republicans may want everyone to support their agenda, Democrats want the same. The true strength does not lie on the fringe, those totally for, or totally against, but instead lies in between, where truth and honor lie.

    All the best to each of you.

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    Default It's an Economic Issue NOT a Fire Issue

    After reading almost 6 pages of this discussion and other career/volunteer posts I just have to stop biting my tongue.

    First, like FDNYRR, I admire ALL firefighters. I also admire all EMS providers, police officers, and dispatchers. In nearly 20 years in the field, I've seen many good, some excellent, and a few lousy ones. This is true across ALL pay statuses: fulltime, part-time, and paid-on-call/volunteer. I have no patience for "who's better" discussions. Frankly, in my neck of the woods, the training levels on most departments are close to the same, and the EMS, inspector, haz mat, and instructor certifications are IDENTICAL. Volunteer firefighters tend to start with a lesser amount of initial fire training, but have tend to have more ongoing training & pick up many of the same fire certifications over time.

    Second, I've seen the IAFF do a great deal of good for its members, and in some cases that extends to all firefighters. However, as a union, the IAFF is quite properly most concerned about economic benefits for its members. Quite frankly, that's needed based on how I see some cities treat their departments. However, when there is a conflict between overall fire protection for an area and economic benefits for union members or potential union growth, the IAFF choses the economic benefits. I'm neither surprised nor arguing that they should take a different approach. However, as a tax payer and a person at least a bit knowledgeable about the fire service, I can't agree with them.

    It's economics: if I can buy something of the quality I need at Walmart, I won't pay department store prices. In the same way, if as a taxpayer I can get the quality of fire & EMS service needed out of a volunteer, part-time, career, or any combination there-of, without staffing entirely career, I should. Full-time career staffing is the most expensive way to provide fire & EMS service - I only want to spend those dollars if absolutely necessary.

    So, I have to view the IAFF rule which attempts to prevent career personnel from serving as volunteers as placing potential growth of the union above providing quality fire & EMS service at the most effective cost. I simply can't agree with this.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

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    Angry Replies

    Fitguy51 –
    Here’s the deal, why this doesn’t work in our jurisdiction. The Vol depts each operate their own stations, these stations have staffing guidelines established by the county. The Vol report to the county each year and tell the county how much career staffing they need. The county provides this staffing with career personnel who are organized under the county. These employees work for the county and answer to an Administrator who answers to a commission which is run largely by the volunteers. The problem is that when the volunteers tell the county how many career personnel they need, they never tell the truth and always paint a much rosier picture than actually exists. End result, apparatus which responds understaffed 90% of the time so that the 10% of the time when the volunteers come in to ride, they have a place to ride.

    SWR88 –
    Of course the International has not gotten involved yet just as a judge would not comment on a case, which he may have to rule on if it is appealed to his court. The international leaves issues up to locals to decide (the whole reason for a local). If the local is unable to decide the issue, The international will intervene and conduct a trial board to determine the facts and make a sound ruling based on arguments heard from BOTH sides. Once again, I revert back to my original statement. Don’t stop volunteering, volunteer your time and expertise in a department devoid of career staffing, one that is genuinely hurting for people, especially during daylight hours. You can’t tell me those don’t exist in this country. And obviously you are not from this area if you honestly believe that PG has 1200 volunteers. Welcome to Maryland, the land of the ghost volunteers. Just because 1200 volunteers may exist on paper, you will be hard pressed to find more than 100-200 who are actually active. But here again, the volunteers never mention this when it comes time to determine staffing levels. Who loses out on this deal? The career guy who works on that understaffed apparatus everyday because he is held ACCOUNTABLE for his attendance.

    Truckiedog –
    Read the earlier posts and relax. Continue to volunteer, just not where there are paid people in place to serve the public. And if Volunteers want to protect 80%of the country, go ahead. Field fires suck anyway, I’ll keep my IAFF position protecting people and buildings, not grass and trees.
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    Default Replies Part II

    Grit –
    Cross-staffing apparatus? Are you serious? You must be from PG county, The land of the ever fluid workforce, You can staff this, this and this but if this gets a call you have to ride here but if we don’t have a driver for that it will scratch and well just run this piece with extra manning, but it doesn’t matter anyway because we just single pull all the stations anyway. Are you Kidding? Yeah this is an effective way to provide service. The apparatus in Rockville has been placed there for a reason. Because it is needed. It really makes sense to cross staff the two busiest special service pieces in the county.

    DCFF-
    You are so off base I don’t even know where to begin. You must be a PG chief in your off time.

    Phildabox –
    Pathetic needs huh. Yeah, adequate guaranteed staffing levels are pretty pathetic. Yeah, upholding bylaws established by an 85-year-old organization, also pretty pathetic. Oh yeah, trying to maintain a professional decorum within it workforce is pathetic too. Good thing Jimmy Hoffa’s not around to hear this!

    Fyremann –
    I wish I ad the free time to sit around and listen to a scanner to critique the responses of local departments, but if you check the record, Montgomery county posted a whopping 478 failures in the first 6 months of the year. Stats are still being calculated for the last six months. And just for the record the same volunteer department that told the county they could give up the 14 positions in question earlier in this discussion managed to scratch one station 7 times in one day BEFORE the staffing cuts. And I can’t say that career personnel haven’t every sped through intersections or done any other adverse actions. The difference is that they ARE held accountable for their actions and disciplinary actions are taken.

  19. #94
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    Originally posted by Chopper Lover


    DC Local 36 does not appear to have a problem with it because they have no volunteers interfering with their livelihood. They are a fully career department...
    The apparent "official" stance of the Washington, DC Local 36 has been they don't care if they are affecting the jobs of fellow union "brothers". The Locals that surround Washington, DC all met at the International Office to discuss the issue of Local 36 (DC Firefighters) and their negative affects on the neighboring career Fire Fighters. This meeting included the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George and Howard and also Fairfax, Virginia. DC's Local failed to respond to their invitation to attend.
    Chopper Lover and Bellat25: Great posts, very enlightening.
    Local 36 seems to be thumbing their nose at the International and the other IAFF Locals in the region. So much for "brotherhood," huh?
    "Go ugly early."

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    Wink eng211ine...

    nice post and I understand your postion. If you'll note, I filed a mild disclaimer on my volunteerism passion.

    However, I do wish to qualify myself in that I got my start in this business in a VERY active, small city, volunteer department. Also, I worked in Anne Arundle for nine of my years. I'm very familier with "ghost volunteers" and the political system that allows volunteer personnel to control a lot of issues (and incidents!). If I read between your lines any, I agree that their influence was too vast, most of the time.

    This statement is in NO WAY intended to be a boast, but only to further qualify my understanding of our job(I think that I detected your sarcasm). I've fought fires and worked medical in just about every situation, taxpayer, commercial, high-rise, residential, industrial, multi occupancy, rail, aircraft and a few others... but, you get my point. Yes, I've even fought some fires in the grass and trees too. Don't worry eng211ine, I'm relaxed and won't be volunteering in PG Co.
    Last edited by truckiedog; 02-13-2002 at 04:25 PM.
    be safe,
    Truck Company 9...
    Engine chasers and Bone Breakers.
    May be gone, but NEVER forgotten...
    Soar free our Brothers and Sisters.

  21. #96
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    Chopper Lover's Avatar
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    Montgomery County, Maryland Local 1664
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    Thumbs up Eng211ine

    Great post!

    I think that pretty much said it all!

    Fyremann...
    I think that while listening to your scanner for "failures to respond" you should pay special attention to stations 3, 5, 9, 13, 14, 18, 21, 24, 29, 31, 33 and Rescue 2. Units are failing, or sometimes going out understaffed, in these stations on a regular basis.
    Last edited by Chopper Lover; 02-13-2002 at 04:07 PM.

  22. #97
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    Jan 2002
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    Default

    Well 211 i guess I stumped you. Post a valid statement and we can debate it. Or just roll over, I don't care.

    To the gentleman worried about my loyalties...I never said I'd choose volunteering over working in DC, though with the way DC is managed, I might. I have other marketable skills such that I could make more money elsewhere. But hey, I love the job, and THEY haven't f-ed it up too bad yet. I said, if pressed, i'd choose being pro-firefighter rather than pro-union. Or perhaps you were confused about choosing membership in the IAFF. If they kick me out so be it. I keep my job and my money. And my retirement, and my medical coverage. But then, PG county L1619 will have one peeved volunteer firefighter to deal with. I'm a citizen, I vote, got plenty of time to go to council meetings. I can read standards, add and subtract, compare salaries, etc.

    So in my mind...
    I generally support the IAFF and almost always support L36, so I won't voluntarily renounce my membership.
    I am not keeping anyone out of a job, or endangering anyone's life. I don't disobey orders, or treat people rudely. I don't drive recklessly. When I volunteer, there are no career personnel in the station. I am not even keeping anyone out of OT, though if i were, I wouldn't care. I am not breaking any laws, or doing anything unethical or immoral. I am in fact, doing something that I love that happens to benefit my fellow americans. I'm keeping my own county taxes down, and I'm providing protection to my own home. I'm bettering myself as a firefighter through additional experience and access to training. I'm not doing anything more dangerous than the guys who roof, ride motorcycles, go boating, or skiing on their days off, and if I were injured OFF the paid job, well, I've got insurance. So in short, push the issue if you want. Even if you win, it'll cost you and the IAFF far more than it's worth.

    For you fellas in MoCo, if the county gov't takes the word of the volunteer corporations over the CAD data, I feel for you. It shouldn't be too hard for L1664 to convince them otherwise.

    For you who want to push it, are you going to go after all of the AFL-CIO tradesmen who are volunteer firefighters? Or are you gonna wait until the companies they volunteer at hire three paid drivers and they form a local?

    Once again, let me suggest to you, DONT WORRY ABOUT WHAT WE DO ON OUR TIME OFF. DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT THE VOLUNTEERS DO. WORRY ABOUT:
    Minimum Staffing (preferably 5 firefighters per apparatus)
    All-or-nothing career staffing (we go as a crew or not at all)
    Training Standards
    Discipline Standards
    Performance Standards
    Apparatus Standards
    Response Standards
    Your own Pay and Benefits

    And remember, even the most pro-union or pro-volunteer guy doesn't check for a membership card when he pulls a BROTHER Firefighter out of harm's way.

  23. #98
    Senior Member

    Join Date
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    Default To DCFF

    Thank you for calling me a gentleman!

    I do understand your situation and I am quite familiar with what is going on there. I have 4 friends on DC and I agree. The way your department is managed is a sin. In fact, the way the city is managed is a sin. I am glad you cleared it up about loyalty. I also agree that once we start snooping into peoples off-time functions, we risk running aground hard. I support the IAFF as I said, but with logical constraints based on good common sense.

    Stay safe Brothers!

  24. #99
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    Default

    I would like to add my 2 cents here. I also work for Montgomery County. Have been career for 14 years. I've seen some pretty ridiculous circumstances arise from this situation time and again. The house I work at is staffed career around the clock. We have a fairly decent relationship with the vollies. They come in and fill-in to upstaff where it is necessary. However, I've also worked at a few houses where at night there were only two of us. I've seen first hand how sporadic help was in getting to us. For those union brothers/sisters who aren't getting why this means so much to us...let me run a few scenarios that I've personally encountered past you.....

    A brand new volunteer in the corporation where I work, (who is career in neighboring jurisdiction)had the balls to ask my Captain, "where are you gonna ride when I start riding the seat of the truck??" This KID had maybe 5 yrs on the job and he's talking to MY Captain this way?? Hmmmm....there's brotherhood (bet he wouldn't dream of talking to his Capt. that way)

    Or how about when my District Chief ran mutual aid on a fire to find one of his firefighters on the scene as the Chief AND Incident Commander....NO CONFLICTS there.

    My favorite is when I got detailed to a station with heavy volunteer participation (many being DCFF and "Union Brothers"), was given a riding assignment for the night. Turned in around 2300 hrs and was woke up no less than 5 times to tell me that one of the vollies had come in and my assignment had been changed!!

    I'm not knocking Volunteer participation...I think it's great. If you haven't had to live with apparatus scratching, responding undermanned, or any of these particular types of incidents, then no, I guess you wouldn't understand. It's a particuraly hard pill to swallow however, when it's your Union Brothers/Sisters that are acting this way. If you think they aren't amongst the instigators....think again!!
    So, PG is crying because some of them had "their feelings hurt"?? Maybe the answer would be for the rest of us to go Volunteer in DC and pull the same garbage on them...see how that shoe fits!! For those of you who think it's JUST about economics, I say B@##S^&%@!! It's about wanting decent staffing on our rigs, it's about wanting to go to a NON HOSTILE work environment, it's about wanting equal rank to have equal training...not rank based on popularity.
    Once again I state volunteerism is a GOOD thing...but, don't S^&t where you eat!!! In these cases the jurisdictions are SO close well, you may as well be in the same restaraunt.

    Stay safe!!

  25. #100
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    Clermont County, Ohio
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    Default Department Management Is Different Than Pay Status

    DBIS,
    You should never have to work in a hostile work environment. That's a management problem to resolve, and a management failure if it persists. The solution is simple: duties, responsibilities, and authority are independent of pay status. If you are on-station, you have station duties, whether you're paid to be there or sitting volunteer time on station. If you are a Lt, capt, or chief officer, you are that rank and supervise all the folks that report to you. On scene, your responsibilities are set by your SOP's, the apparatus you arrived on, assignments by the OIC, etc. No matter what your rank or pay status, if you don't work well with others, you should be gone.

    It doesn't matter if the station supervisor is career, part-time, or volunteer, they are to be obeyed, whether you are career, part-time, or volunteer. It doesn't matter if the scene commander is career, part-time, or volunteer, they are to be obeyed, whether you are career, part-time, or volunteer.

    I've been in these situations from many positions: firefighter, company officer, and chief officer; commanding scenes with mutual aid from career depts, responding as mutual aid to scenes run by career depts, supervising part-time personnel as a volunteer, working part-time answering to career and volunteer personnel. It works when two things happen: everyone respects rank and works well with each other. It fails when egos get in the way. The public and the professionals among us (whatever their pay status), expect this of themselves and each other. Anyone who doesn't act this way needs to change and measure up.

    It's the responsibility of department management, whatever their pay status, to hold every department member accountable.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

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