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  1. #1
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    Question volunteer questions for IAFF

    I have read several posts and articles on the IAFF's position on "two-hatters". I am hoping for some help to clarify some of these questions I have. Don't turn this into a career vs. volunteer post - that's not my intention.

    In reference to rival organizations: What are the rival organizations? Are the rival organizations all of the volunteer departments or just those that have the volume of calls and population to support a career department?

    On combination departments: When the career ff's are off duty but respond when there is a call, are they then on the volunteer side or the career side of their own department? Does this even make a difference?

    Training: An instructor at a tech school/college works part time and has students from career and volunteer organizations. The instructor is a volunteer firefighter and does not belong to any teacher's unions. Is this against IAFF policy? Another scenario would be a career firefighter is an instructor that offers classes to volunteer ff's. Is this also an association with a "rival organization"?

    I am on a volunteer department that has around 150 calls a year in an area that's about 165 square miles of rural farmland and has 4500 residents. I can't really see how this is taking jobs away from anyone and I don't see any potential for career positions in the future. As a union member in my career, I can relate to the occupations of electricians, pipefitters, truck drivers, etc..., but I don't really get the comparison for firefighters.

    I'd really appreciate the help with my questions. Thanks.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    quietone, If I understand correctly the IAFF's position is that volunteer depts in general are rival organizations ( a view not necessarily shared by all its members)
    In your particular situation I cant see how you are taking jobs away from anyone either. The reality is, in my opinion that larger paid on call depts are rival organizations. Also many composite depts, by their very nature create a lot of headaches for their paid employees. I know of one such Dept, that was run by volunteers who when fund-raising to buy a new piece of equipment they wanted fell short simply voted in a meeting to cut their paid employees wages to make up the difference

  3. #3
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    I also agree. Your small dept. is not going to hurt the IAFF at all. One of the things that they have a problem with are paid guys working on their off days at larger combo depts. Around here there are guys that work on career depts that go up to this certain town and volunteer for a dept. that has more than enough area, population, run load, etc. to have a fully paid dept. With all of these people going up there to do this, why would the city managers want to hire more firefighters when these guys are doing it for free. The only problem is that some days you'll have alot of guys and some days you wont. There's not a consistant number of people to staff these stations. However, it looks good on paper.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info.

  5. #5
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    I understand the IAFF's stance on "two-hatters" or rival organizations as this....
    You work for X Department fulltime. You live in Y City and Y City has a combination department. You volunteer your time on your off days with YCFD. That would be a "violation" with the reasoning being that you are taking away "possible" jobs, Y City has established a paid FD with some volunteers.
    If you still remain with XFD and reside in Z City, Z City has a 100% volunteer or POC FD then you are "free" to volunteer your time with ZCFD. But if ZCFD were to ever make fulltime positions, then you may be in "violation". A good case to read up on is the PGFD's case against the other IAFF members from DCFD, AAFD and other places where IAFF members were volunteering in PGFD, whom have paid firefighters.
    I work for a FD fulltime. I'm an IAFF member. I live about 60 miles away in a semi-rural city. We are about 10,000 people and run about 400 calls a year where I live. The City where I live has a Paid-Per-Call FD. There is no chance within the next 5-10 years of it becoming a paid FD. I "volunteer" with the City FD.
    This is just the way I understand it. The last is me and only me. I cannot speak for the IAFF or any members.

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  6. #6
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    Also of note in PG County is that county leaders have transferred all the paid staff out of some stations (read: manpower adjustment) so they become true 100% volunteer companies (read: save money).

    ... and they say that this is not stealing jobs?
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

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