1. #1
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    Question Are we part-timers or volunteers?

    Does anyone know of any work being done to better define Fireman in the State Law?

    I have run into several problems with local communities because even though I am a Part-time Fireman (scheduled to work up to and beyond 212 hrs in 28 days with pay). The communities blame state law, because it views me as a volunteer FF, but I am not a volunteer FF (I dont' work more than 50% of the time for no reimbursement).

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    I donkt know where you are in the state .............but in our city we are considered part-time employees who are of course POC, we have no FT people.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    I am told that I am a "part time" employee. I carry a pager and I respond to calls when the pager is sounded... then I am paid when I show up for those calls. I am also required, by department policy, to attend at least 25% of the fire calls that the department responds to. And herein is where my dilemma lies. I will be more than happy to meet my 25% requirement, but if I am being required to do this, isn't my "employer" required to offer me 25% of the calls when I am available to respond to them? I am still trying to figure out a legal way for the City to schedule unfriendly fires around my full time job....
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    I used to have the Atty Generals opinon on this from 1993 i beleive it stated that if you recieved any compensation (ie: POC, hourly rate, even $1.00 a year) but worked less that the standard 48 hr work week, you were considered a "part time employee", i do know that the Volly chiefs fought this as it also required any part time FF to be trained to the same level or just below as a full time, (i think that is the 1C level but not sure). check the ORC it may have defined it by now!!!!
    Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates. - Arleigh Burke

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    ffbasic850,
    Could you please be more specific about what troubles you are having.

    I'm a FF instructor and past officer, here's what I know:
    1) There are definitions in either the ORC or the rules promulgated by the EMS board which define:
    - volunteer: can be compensated for calls, but not paid to be on station. Essentiall volunteer and paid-on-call are the same.
    - part-time: paid to be on-station, but not a full-time employee
    - full-time: pretty obvious
    2) the ORC only requires FF2 - the "240" class for full-time employees. At one point the EMS board tried to require part-time FF to have FF1 through rules, but found out they don't have the authority. However, the individual department can require whatever they want and many do require FF1, some require FF2, some only the FF1A - the 36 hour "volunteer" class.

    If you could ask more specific questions, I'd be glad to point you at specific sources. In general, if you look at the EMS board's web site, you'll find the relevant parts of the ORC and EMS board rules.
    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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    Default Resonse

    I am actually researching several Issues.

    1. Public Employees Retirement Service. All Firefighters are excluded from PERS unless they chose to stay in, back in ?1992?. But as long as a voter worker makes $500 in a year they are eligible for PERS. Now you might say FF are excluded because we have the Police and Fire Pension Fund. I ask you to look at eligibility requirements, they state members of the State School Employees Retirement System can elect to join PERS. Also if your job title is a non-fire title (EMT, Paramedic, etc.) you are still eligible for PERS. I did ask my Chief if we could just change everyone's title to an EMS title, his reponse was then we run into overtime issues with Federal Labor Standard Act.

    2. My local community won't give us certain benefits, because the state considers us volunteers. All Part-time employees recieve paid vacation time (not a lot but some). But in the communities policies they don't consider Firefighters part-time employees, but as volunteers. When asking the Chief about this he stated they won't give us the paid vacation because the state of Ohio considers Non full-time Firefighters as Volunteers.

    3. State ORC protects only Paid Firefighters from private vehicle insurance hikes, not unpaid Firefighters. This has to due with a Firefighter getting into an accident (in a department vehicle) while performing thier duties, unless intoxicated, etc. So your private insurance can't raise your premiums because you were involved in an accident while on duty. But the State ORC 3937.41 (Employment-related accidents an insurer cannot consider regarding private insurance.) only protects regular,paid Firefighters.

    4. Ohio Administrative Code 4765-11-01 Definitions only defines two types of Firefighters. Full-time and Volunteer. This is a really tricky definition. ""Volunteer Firefighter" means a person who provides fire fighting services on less than full-time basis and who is not routinely scheduled to be present on-site at a fire station or other specified location for purposes of responding to a fire or other emergency, but insteads responds from home, place of employment, or other unspecified location." The key is how do you define "routinely scheduled?"

    5. Ohio Deferred Compensation. This is available to Firefighters, but my community refuses to allow its employees to participate. I am still researching this issue. But so far I am under the impression that the community is required to allow us to participate by the State. The State lacks any overseeing representative to assist in enforcing this. I am not looking to force the community, but in the past three years they have made no move to help us get in. The main problem is to participate in Deferred Comp your premium must be directly deposited from pay by community.

    I have an appointment with my State Representative to go over some of these issues.

    I thought I looked in the EMS educationl laws and didn't notice a definition of part-time firefighters. But I might have over looked it, so I will check again.

    Some background info on me. I have been actively employed in the Fire/EMS service for 4 years. I paid my own way through Fire 240, EMT-Basic, and EMT-Paramedic school. One department is a small community where all the Firefighters sign up for open slots on schedule. We are paid on an hourly pay basis to man the station and also to come in on recalls when available. We have minimum number of hours we have to work in a month or get a leave of absence. Here we have a Firefighters Association where we help improve the department, we don't negotiate raises,time off, etc. We have no contracts. My second department has approx half the available shifts filled by Full-Time Firefighters (Unionized). The other half is filled by us "part-timers". We have to turn in a schedule request, scheduling guys then "waves a wand" posting a schedule. Which then any "part-timers" can sign up to work any shifts still not filled. Here we have no Association and there are no contracts and no discussion of raises or benifit improvement.
    I have worked an average of 80 hrs a week for the past two years to remain financially sound. I own a house by myself. I have no Health Benefits, none of my jobs offer health benefits. Try shopping for personal Health Insurance, when you say your a Firefighter you are often ineligible, or they won't cover while you drive to and from work (whether reporting for shift duty or a recall).
    If I was to get married, my wife would have to work. And don't even start considering children (my wife would have to work full-time and then some).

    I have no delusions of becoming a rich Firefighter, but it does upset me that others get these benefits but not Firefighters.

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    Default ORC and QAC 4755

    The educational section only refers to Volunteer and Full-Time Firefighters.
    Firefighter I is not classified as volunteer or Full time training.

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    Great post ...........kinda removes some of the smoky haze ..............but then adds more too ..........thanks for the info
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Default Part-Time

    Good Questions! Maybe talking to your State Representative will bring to light the murkiness (Is that a word?) of the situation. Maybe no one knows the answers because no one has ever challenged the issue to a high enough level.

    If you get some answers let us know, so what know what to call ourselves.

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    Don't get your hopes up too high on getting this resolved quickly and easily. The Fire Service is not alone in the screwed up name game. In Law Enforcement in Ohio, you have "Auxiliary Officers", "Reserve Officers", "Special Officers", and "Part time Officers" (and probably other names). Depending upon the department, all of these titles are interchangable and have no specific relation as to if the person is paid, volunteer, has completed Basic Peace Officer training or if they have powers of arrest.

    They just posted the attendance report for last quater. I was out of town on business last month and missed a string of fire calls that we had. So, I ended up with a 15% attendance for the quarter. Still trying to figure out how, as a part time employee, the city can schedule me for 25% of the fire calls during times that I am available to offer my services.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    I was just made aware of this today (guess I never noticed it before) but Ohio has composed on their website a collection of any and all codes, laws, whatever that pertain to fire/ems in the ORC and OAC. Check it out-

    http://www.ems.ohio.gov/rules.htm
    LT Lou DiMattia
    Willoughby Hills Fire Department
    Willoughby Hills, OH USA

    It's your world buddy, we're just livin' in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFLOUD
    I was just made aware of this today (guess I never noticed it before) but Ohio has composed on their website a collection of any and all codes, laws, whatever that pertain to fire/ems in the ORC and OAC. Check it out-

    http://www.ems.ohio.gov/rules.htm
    Clear as mud... just like the rest of the ORC and OAC...
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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