Thread: 10 Questions

  1. #1
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    Default 10 Questions

    We received the 1199 about 6 weeks ago and just received the 10 questions today.

    How quickly do we need to get the 10 questions back to them?

    Currently we do not have everything in place to do what we said we would in the grant.

    Problem 1. We requested funds for a wellness program and said we would require participation. Our chief (city) does not want our uniform personnel that work the day shift to have on duty time to exercise. We said in the grant app that all uniform personnel would be required to participate and have 1 hour a day of on duty time.

    Problem 2. Since we applied for the grant the courts here in WA ruled that our utility tax that provides some of our funding is illegal. So financially we have had a significant change (decrease in annual budget) and are working to address that.

    Problem 3. We also requested funds for physicals for nearly everyone in the department. All of these individuals have consented verbally to a physical but as of yet we do not have a protocol that has been approved. We have said we will base the physcials on NFPA 1582 but we do not yet have it worked out how to deal with the situation where a FF goes for their physical and it comes back unfit for duty.

    Obviously we have some hurdles to overcome and we are wondering if we need to have it all solved before we say yes to the 10 questions.

    Is it appropriate to answer yes even though solutions are not yet in place? Can we ultimately refuse the grant if awarded if we find we are just not able to come to a workable solution?

    Your input is appreciated, and thanks. We are close!
    Rob

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    Default Re: 10 Questions

    Originally posted by RobKandle

    Problem 1. We requested funds for a wellness program and said we would require participation. Our chief (city) does not want our uniform personnel that work the day shift to have on duty time to exercise. We said in the grant app that all uniform personnel would be required to participate and have 1 hour a day of on duty time.

    What kind of Chief would not want his personel to have PT on shift? That is just mind boggling to me. PT should be WAY up there on the priority list IMHO.

    In my dept, we are all required to have at least one hour of PT per shift (if call volume permits). There are those days when the call volume is too heavy, but on those days the call volume that heavy, it is like having our one hour PT if not more. Even then, there should be time to squeeze in a couple mile run on the treadmill.

    Firefighter physical fitness should be made a priority. A fit Firefighter is less prone to injury not to mention a more productive Firefighter.
    Stay alert and be safe.

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    Rob -

    You have 12 months from the time of award (called the Performance Period) to spend the money and put everything into place that you said you would in the grant application. So answer the questions as if you're going to do what is needed. Since the performance period is going to go across fiscal years, the rest of the matching money may show up in next year's budget. Several departments have done this if they only had half the money up front.

    PT - while important, nothing comes in front of answering a call, and no one knows that better than FEMA. So you can write your guidelines that all personnel will perform 1 hour of PT per shift, time permitting. In other words, in a busy house, it may not happen every shift. But if there's time to catch the Airwolf marathon, then there's time for PT.

    Check around IAFC, USFA, FEMA, or ask another department that you know requires physicals how they deal with someone coming back rated as unfit for duty. They can't be fired that I'm sure of. At least not at first. It's kinda like rehab. They have to perform PT or something on the clock until they are fit. Within a certain time period that is. If they don't change their shape within that time period they can be canned.

    - Brian

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    A little more info related to the chief not wanting day people to work out on duty. He is reporting that he cannot afford to lose the productivity of giving them 1 hour per shift.

    We are talking about a department with a small day staff, only 4 people working in training and fire prevention.

    The chief is also saying that the city cannot give this "benefit" to us because it would open the door for every other bargaining unit and everyone would want to work out on city time.

    To us it is apples and oranges. No one else has in their job description that they must do what we do. No one else is at the same risk of on duty injury and death. So far this argument is falling on deaf ears.
    rk

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    If y'all aren't on 24 hour shifts then I can understand his end of it. But if every other department in the city is given a lunch hour to do absolutely nothing work related, then you have that hour to work out. Or take a lunch hour and respond to nothing while you eat. It's his choice. Even with training and fire prevention activities the whole day isn't spoken for. Beginning of shift, end of shift, lunch break, etc. Plenty of time in the day. Like you said, lives depend on your physical fitness.

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    This is where we get into a jam. Like I mentioned we are talking about only 4 individuals who are members of our local. They feel, as do many others, that as union members who pay into the union and are also required to be line certified that they should have the same benefits ie. access to equipment and time to use it. Working out at beg. or end or at lunch is thought to be "giving the city" time that they should be compensated for. They want the union to represent their interest, which is on duty time for exercise.

    Has anybody else had to deal with something similar?

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    Yep.

    We have a few members in our union that won't participate in training because they're not compensated. Our city cut the money for training, so some members decided to donate their time while others won't because it "sets a precedence" and gives an excuse for the city to never fund training again.

    Recently, with our grant award, our city won't fork over their 10%. So discussions are being held in the P&F Commission about holding fund raisers. Some of the members do not want to take part in that - using the same arguement. "If we hold a fund raiser for this, then the city will expect us to hold fund raisers for everything!"

    So I know exactly what you're going through. How do we deal with it you ask? Well, it's to the point now that some members don't even know how to hook a hydrant so we let the nay-sayers sit at home while we donate our time to training.

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    I think, If I was in your shoes, that i would let the area newspapers in on a little secret. What do you think the City Councleman and Women would say if the opened the Newspaper and read a headline like this.. " Local fire department has to turn down Fema grant due to City Councle not wanting to give 10%. i Don't think they would like to see that. And i Know the community that you serve wouldn't either. I don't understand how a person can look a gift horse in the mouth. Good luck to you and I hope it works out ..Keep us posted

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