Thread: ff and your job

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    Default ff and your job

    When you're a volunteer firefighter, does your employer have to let you leave when there is an emergency? If they don't, are you allowed to be a volunteer even though you're only available outside of work hours?

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    it all depends on your employer whether they will or will not let you leave to go on a call. they do NOT HAVE to let you leave. Yes all volunteer depts. would love to have more help whenever possible.

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    Like fire0099881 says, the job doesn't have to let you leave. The only exception MAY BE, if there is a localized/natural disaster?
    My job lets me respond. But, I don't abuse it. Alarm calls, minor crashes, etc. I stay at work. Fires, HazMat (my job actually is related to HazMat), Technical rescue stuff. I am allowed to leave. I have left work maybe 1/2 dozen times total in the last 6 months. (Dept. does approx. 300 calls a year).
    Talk it over with you boss and see what they say. If you work more than a few miles from your station, also might want to consider that. (I am 3/4 of mile from the my station.) No sense in responding when all you may do is hang around the station.
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    None of my jobs ever allowed me to respond because Kentucky doesn't require employers to let their vollie employees go.
    I did a couple times when the call was in my district,was an EMS call and I was heading back to the shop and not heading out on a delivery run and that employer let me go for that and a laundry list of failings(taking care of personal business like the other two employees-one senior to me,one not-would do,etc).
    At my last job up there,I've had to sit through calls when it really WAS just around the corner and we had people that could cover me.Customers would come in wondering why I wasn't racing to help my department even if I couldn't have bunkered up.
    When you want to learn the job in real life,it can get frustrating.But,sometimes you have to take it or figure ways around it.The best you can hope for is to have an understanding boss who'll let you go to calls,knowing that he can dock your pay in the meantime.Try to get your boss to join the department if he lives around you.It couldn't hurt and vollie departments always need people,right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy View Post
    When you're a volunteer firefighter, does your employer have to let you leave when there is an emergency? If they don't, are you allowed to be a volunteer even though you're only available outside of work hours?
    I think that where I'm from you can leave your job but the employer doesn't have to pay you for the time you were gone. I also believe they can't "let you go" for doing this. BUT this is all well and good until you get some yo,yo that responds to anything and everything and lets his work hanging all the time.Then that will create some issues with your employer and I'm sure they can get rid of you for some other reason afterall lost work = you and your employer losing money and thats not a good thing.

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    I leave whenever I am needed. Which really comes down to in-district fires only. The paid staff can handle all medical and MVA's. For out of district fires we only send one engine anyways, so no need for volunteers. I have the luxury of being able to telecommute, so I work from the station a few days/week, if there's a call, I go on it, then resume work when I get back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire0099881 View Post
    it all depends on your employer whether they will or will not let you leave to go on a call. they do NOT HAVE to let you leave. Yes all volunteer depts. would love to have more help whenever possible.
    I'm afraid that you are wrong there. I'll find the House Bill and forward it to you. Anyhow, in the State of Ohio in the event of an emergency and you are requested or needed your employer cannot prevent you from leaving or dismiss you for leaving. But they do not have to compensate you for the time lost. But beware this is a double edge sword. It can count against you for absentism. I know a couple of guys who lost their jobs for abusing the previlage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HEYVERN View Post
    I'm afraid that you are wrong there. I'll find the House Bill and forward it to you. Anyhow, in the State of Ohio in the event of an emergency and you are requested or needed your employer cannot prevent you from leaving or dismiss you for leaving. But they do not have to compensate you for the time lost. But beware this is a double edge sword. It can count against you for absentism. I know a couple of guys who lost their jobs for abusing the previlage.
    It's House Bill 203, and that is not what it says.

    You cannot be terminated when you miss or are late to work because of a call to which you are dispatched. You can (and will) be prevented from LEAVING if you are already at work.

    This is basically standard language for Volunteer Protection bills nationwide, in the states that have them.

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    hoosierdaddy, I see multiple posts by you asking some basic questions about becoming a vol firefighter. I have to ask...have you even gone to your local volunteer department and talked with them at all? I'd expect them to give you many of these answers as it applies to their department.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I'm in the military. They don't have too let me do anything. LOL. Most times they are half descent about lettin yah go though.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    hoosierdaddy, I see multiple posts by you asking some basic questions about becoming a vol firefighter. I have to ask...have you even gone to your local volunteer department and talked with them at all? I'd expect them to give you many of these answers as it applies to their department.
    Couple things. Thanks to everyone for their answers.

    Next. Well, this is a firefighter forum. But in all seriousness, we don't have a volunteer fire dept. in my city. It's all paid. I am moving to Indiana and they have a volunteer dept. but no website so really not much in the way of info. out there. There is another volly dept. that has a website that I was emailing but they seem to want nothing to do with me because I'll be about five minutes out of their district. I tried to show a positive attitude but have since given up on that dept. and even deleted them from my favourites list.

    So that is why I ask questions on here. And I appreciate the help I get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy View Post
    If they don't, are you allowed to be a volunteer even though you're only available outside of work hours?
    I was inclined to make a sarcastic remark here, but you're new, so I'll go easy. Of course a volunteer department doesn't require you to leave your job for calls or not allow you to join if you can't leave for calls. If you're lucky enough to have an employer who allows it, great, more power to you, don't abuse it. But if you try to join a volunteer department who tries to tell you that you must leave work to attend calls or won't let you in because you are unable to leave work, run very fast in the opposite direction. These guys are asking way too much.

    Family comes first, then your job, then the fire department. It's that simple.

    Now, I will say this...many volunteer departments do try to actively recruit members with "flexible" work arrangements....Weekday response is always a problem and if the department can find members who are self-employed, have generous local employers who will allow work-time response, or, common for our area, shift workers who are off on many weekdays (like myself), they will make an extra effort to recruit these folks. But I've never known a department to turn down an applicant because their job "interfered" with the fire department. People have to work, that's understood.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I am a FF/EMT with an all volunteer department which has daytime staffing shortages. I work as a manager at the local grocery store. My employer allows me to use my discretion in responding to calls. A serious call that goes to a second tone or any call that goes to a third tone is usually enough for me to leave, provided there is enough staff at the store.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    I was inclined to make a sarcastic remark here, but you're new, so I'll go easy. Of course a volunteer department doesn't require you to leave your job for calls or not allow you to join if you can't leave for calls. If you're lucky enough to have an employer who allows it, great, more power to you, don't abuse it. But if you try to join a volunteer department who tries to tell you that you must leave work to attend calls or won't let you in because you are unable to leave work, run very fast in the opposite direction. These guys are asking way too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy
    Thanks for not making the sarcastic remark then. I wouldn't have understood why if you had done it because I've read and heard that volunteer fire depts. do want you to leave whatever you are doing every time that pager goes off. I've read that you are only volunteering to come out and join and after that you are obligated. If you miss too many calls you get the boot. Thanks for the advice though. I would think if they're going to be asking for all that, they'd throw in a salary too.
    Family comes first, then your job, then the fire department. It's that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy
    That's good to know. Hopefully the dept. I join looks at it that way too.
    Now, I will say this...many volunteer departments do try to actively recruit members with "flexible" work arrangements....Weekday response is always a problem and if the department can find members who are self-employed, have generous local employers who will allow work-time response, or, common for our area, shift workers who are off on many weekdays (like myself), they will make an extra effort to recruit these folks. But I've never known a department to turn down an applicant because their job "interfered" with the fire department. People have to work, that's understood.
    That's good to know. Hopefully I could start work early in the morning, hang out at the station in the late afternoon and then just go home in the evening when my wife will be home from work.

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    Arrow Volunteer Dept.

    My work (Hospital radiology) wount let me leave unless there are plenty of people to handle the work load. I have a understanding that if I miss a work day because of volunteer FF duties it may effect my review and that I shouldn't miss a work day unless there is some crisis that I am really needed fore (There "may" be some understanding there).

    My volunteer department understands that as volunteers we need to support ourselves before we can be there for the rest of the community. They understand there may be times when there "may" be no one available to respond (Because everyone is at work). The community is pretty understanding of this situation.

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    A department also needs to understand that not everyone works in town, so leaving work wouldn't neccesarily be an advantage, anyway. In our area most folks work 30 minutes to an hour away from town, so it would be silly to expect them to leave work to respond (if the pagers even pick up that far out).

    I've read and heard that volunteer fire depts. do want you to leave whatever you are doing every time that pager goes off. I've read that you are only volunteering to come out and join and after that you are obligated. If you miss too many calls you get the boot.
    Last year, I ran the most calls out of the entire department and I only ran approximately 1/2 of the total calls. Most "active" guys managed to run between 1/4 and 1/2 of the calls. So I don't know what kind of numbers your department expects you to run...I've heard of some that require that you run at least half or even 3/4 of the calls to maintain membership, which I think is a little extreme.

    Of course, some departments also use tracking software (Firehouse, which we use, is an example) that allow you to input each members' work schedule so you can actually track the number of responses during their "available" times....I think that this is getting a little anal and complicated, but maybe they're only requiring a certain percentage of responses during times when you're "available", i.e., not at work. I don't know.

    My suggestion to you...go down there and talk to them...ask them what the requirements are so you'll understand up front what they're expecting of you.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    A department also needs to understand that not everyone works in town, so leaving work wouldn't neccesarily be an advantage, anyway. In our area most folks work 30 minutes to an hour away from town, so it would be silly to expect them to leave work to respond (if the pagers even pick up that far out).



    Last year, I ran the most calls out of the entire department and I only ran approximately 1/2 of the total calls. Most "active" guys managed to run between 1/4 and 1/2 of the calls. So I don't know what kind of numbers your department expects you to run...I've heard of some that require that you run at least half or even 3/4 of the calls to maintain membership, which I think is a little extreme.

    Of course, some departments also use tracking software (Firehouse, which we use, is an example) that allow you to input each members' work schedule so you can actually track the number of responses during their "available" times....I think that this is getting a little anal and complicated, but maybe they're only requiring a certain percentage of responses during times when you're "available", i.e., not at work. I don't know.

    My suggestion to you...go down there and talk to them...ask them what the requirements are so you'll understand up front what they're expecting of you.
    I'd say responding to 1/2-3/4 of the calls is quite a bit. Alot of it depends on the call volume though. And as far as keeping track of people who respond or what not we use the Firehouse Programs and it has a section in which I can print that off. It will tell you how many runs that people have made.

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    I am lucky, I guess. I have recently retired (51 yoa) and am able to be a full time volunteer. I am the Safety/Training officer and every other job that needs to get done, Don't get me wrong I love it and have been POC/Volunteer for 35 yrs, I will still be the first at the station when the tones drop. Am trying to show the younger guys "leading by example".

    I have had jobs that would allow me to leave and some that would not. It is great when you have your own business and you are your own boss as I was in the early to mid 90's, I could make every call. The only one I had to answer to was my wife, which at time was worse than haveing a paying boss.

    T.J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05 View Post
    I'd say responding to 1/2-3/4 of the calls is quite a bit. Alot of it depends on the call volume though. And as far as keeping track of people who respond or what not we use the Firehouse Programs and it has a section in which I can print that off. It will tell you how many runs that people have made.
    Yeah, I know it's pretty easy with Firehouse to track who made how many runs, etc., for the year or the month or whatever, but I think it also has a feature where under the Staff section you can program in what their work schedule is so that the program will know when they are "available"...so you can calculate their run percentages based on how many of the calls occurred during their "available" times, as opposed to all the calls. Or something like that.

    I'm not sure if that's exactly how it works, like I said we've never used it.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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