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  1. #1
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    Dec 2003
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    Clanton, AL
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    Default Permanent Employment Status

    What does this mean? Let me explain. The Code Of Alabama in short says that any permanent employee of an organization which performs fire suppression activities must be certified as Firefighter I/II. In another part, it in short says that a volunteer firefighter is one who is not compensated more than the expense they incurred. So my question is how does this paid-on-call system work? What does permanent employment status mean in your respective state, etc...? To me if you are paid on call for a fire related call then you are a paid employee of that said organization, now granted you may not be a permanent employee but the way I understand it, even to be employed part-time within the state of Alabama you have to meet FF I/II certification and to me paid-on-call is the same as part-time. Can someone please clarify this for me or help me out some. I have searched and searched the Alabama Code for the term "permanent employment" and I can not find anything. Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Eclectic (no, NOT electric), Alabama
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    ECFD,

    Most POC departments I know only pay a small expense stipend ($25 a call or less) and run a relatively small call volume.

    Go to the Attorney General's Website and search the opinions on volunteer firefighters. There are several that address volunteers and expense stipends.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    ecfd933 -
    Sorry I can't help you with specific legal definitions. For that I would also suggest you talk with an attorney versed in labor law in your state.

    From the tone of your post I am guessing you are looking for "leverage" to get volunteers trained to the FFI/II level and for that I applaud you. It has always made me shudder to think that there are states that allow volunteers to have no formal training whatsoever.

    One thing that I can suggest that may help you (and be a short cut) is to check on who provides your insurance. If it is provided by a government agency, then you may have to be classified as "employees" to be eligible for coverage. Thus you would be considered an employee already.

    I know that where I run we get a small per call stipend (Amount varies w/ training but $5 is the max) and a yearly $25 to cover cost of county vehicle decal. We are also considered as employees of the county for insurance coverage.

    While we can have members who are not trained to the FFI level on the fire ground, they are barred by law from entering a structure fire (that would include any roof work), so basically they become Pump Operators, shuttle drivers, gofers, and some limited Exterior OP's.

    Wish you the best of luck and sorry I couldn't be more help.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    From the tone of your post I am guessing you are looking for "leverage" to get volunteers trained to the FFI/II level and for that I applaud you. It has always made me shudder to think that there are states that allow volunteers to have no formal training whatsoever
    N2D,

    I can clear up Alabama's situation a little. Career firefighters must pass CPAT and attend an Alabama Fire College approved basic training course. Generally, it is around 400 hours and covers FFI & II and EMT-B.

    While there is no mandatory training for vollies, the fire college has a 160-hour course that is a Pro board accredited FFI and includes First Responder. Once you get your 160, you can go on and take the higher level courses like FFII, Instructor, Fire Officer, Apparatus Officer, etc. You've got to get 30 hours training a year to keep your 160 cert or you have to take it again.

    The 160 course is very good and in general the vollies that look for it (at least in my area) have good access to affordable training. My only complaint is that there isn't a bridge (that I know about) between 160 and the career intro course. Unless I've missed something over the years, if a vollie gets a career job it is basic all over again even though they may hold Proboard certs at FFI and II level.

    I don't know, but it sounds like they're trying to go POC instead of straight vollie and may be worried about running afoul of Alabama's career training requirements.

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