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    Default Definition of “volunteer”

    Hi, I’m from a small volunteer fire station in South Australia and some of us were discussing what defines a volunteer fire Station in The US. This arised from hearing that some US Vollie crews get financially paid for attending call outs and training and wondering if this is true or not? Over here Volunteer means there is no payment what so ever and all man hours are donated.

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    SAYakka

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    Is "SAYakka" Australian for "Troll?"

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    I know in the us some vollie depts get paid per call so vollie dept's don't it just all depends. Where r u from in South Australia
    One firefighter....one passion. and one hell of a b!tch if you rub me the wrong way.


    Ich liebe Männer in der Uniform, die eine Mädchenwelt schaukeln können

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    I think most of these dept's fall under the POC or Paid On Call category.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    I am on a volunteer dept. in the U.S., we are paid $2.00 a call to cover our cleaning of our clothes, and cost of transportation to the fire call. It does vary widely here as far as if and what you get paid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCFD302 View Post
    I am on a volunteer dept. in the U.S., we are paid $2.00 a call ...
    Hence you are a "Paid On Call" firefighter, not a volunteer.

    Quote Originally Posted by LCFD302 View Post
    ...It does vary widely here as far as if and what you get paid.
    Volunteer pay is uniform across the US: $0.

    POC rates, OTOH, vary wildly.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post
    Is "SAYakka" Australian for "Troll?"
    randsc you are too funny!

    I'm a volunteer, we are paid nothing $0 for calls, nothing for driving to calls in my private vehicle. I do, however, get reimbursed for mileage to training and reimbursed for training. I don't "volunteer" to go to school to get trained, I volunteer to be an EMT and firefighter for the fire protection district. That is why the original questions seems inherently strange with a malicious sort of feel to it. Yes, we get paid for training but in my humble opinion, I'm 100% volunteer.

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    Paid-On-Call isn't a volunteer firefighter. Volunteer firefighters do it ALL for free. The only money involved in volunteer firefighting is fundraisers.

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    thanks

    It sounds like Paid-On- Call is what i have heard of.


    randsc: SAYakka is SA ie. South Australia which is a State and Yakka is a plant

    FIREGIRL4EVER: I am from the Adelaide hills about 20 minutes from the city

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    Talking

    Paid per call?! When do i get my check? I feel shafted...lol
    "Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the lack of fear." Mark Twain
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Uknown

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    My department is paid on-call. According to my chief, since our station isn't manned 12 or even 24 hours a day we are considered volunteer. We do have an area for people to sleep if they want to spend the night at the station, but it's not a requirement. We all respond from home so he says that makes us volunteer. And no, we don't make a lot of money either. Our brand new probies get $7/hr. I've been on the dept 5 1/2 yr and I'm a lieutenant and I'm barely at $10. We get paid quarterly. Trust me, it's not that much. It works out to about 1K a year--pays your gas and insurance.

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    Reimbursement for training or flat out having someone pay for your training is the only "payment" I get. We get nothing for running calls, or going to drill, or doing cleaning, PR, or Fire Prevention work.

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    Definition of volunteer firefighter...varies widely between what the official definition is and what the perception is.

    Perception is that if you don't have full time people you are a volunteer fire department.

    Reality is there is paid full timers, paid part-timers, paid on call and volunteer.

    Full timers: Career firefighters whose primary job is as a firefighter working full time for a fire department from 40 to 72 hours a week.

    Part-timers: May be hired from the ranks of volunteers or POC firefighters to fill shifts as needed on a career FD or run partial shifts to staff a firehouse during peek hours.

    Paid on call: Paid for responses and perhaps trainings and maintenance activities. Pay may vary widely from a couple dollars a call all the way up to over $20 an hour.

    Volunteer: In the truest sense of the word these firefighters receive no compensation at all for anything including responses or training.

    I hope this helped and yes I fully expect to get told I am entirely wrong.

    FyredUp

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    your explanations are very clear FyredUp,and help to understand the way you work in fire service in the USA.

    after reading your post,all i can say is that in France,there are no volunteer firefighters but only paid on call.who we call "volunteer" here,in fact, are paid on call cause they respond to calls and get paid for that.

    in the USA,volunteer get no money.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    FyredUp Thanks that answers exactly what i wanted to know. Down here Paid on call would be called Retained however there are many other differences in our organisation.

    FIREGIRL4EVER: In the Adelaide hills 10 minutes on a good day from the city.

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    The following are excerpts from the Indiana Code.

    IC 36-8-12-2
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter:

    "Volunteer fire department" means a department or association organized for the purpose of answering fire alarms, extinguishing fires, and providing other emergency services, the majority of members of which receive no compensation or nominal compensation for their services.

    "Nominal compensation" means annual compensation of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

    IACOJ
    Last edited by AC1503; 08-04-2007 at 11:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Definition of volunteer firefighter...varies widely between what the official definition is and what the perception is.

    Perception is that if you don't have full time people you are a volunteer fire department.

    Reality is there is paid full timers, paid part-timers, paid on call and volunteer.

    Full timers: Career firefighters whose primary job is as a firefighter working full time for a fire department from 40 to 72 hours a week.

    Part-timers: May be hired from the ranks of volunteers or POC firefighters to fill shifts as needed on a career FD or run partial shifts to staff a firehouse during peek hours.

    Paid on call: Paid for responses and perhaps trainings and maintenance activities. Pay may vary widely from a couple dollars a call all the way up to over $20 an hour.

    Volunteer: In the truest sense of the word these firefighters receive no compensation at all for anything including responses or training.

    I hope this helped and yes I fully expect to get told I am entirely wrong.

    FyredUp
    K, we can end the thread now. Possibly the best "breakdown" of the way things are that I've ever seen on this site.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    Red face Ouch!

    Here is Oz dependent on the state we have......

    Bushfire Brigades/Rural fire service/County Fire Assoc.
    These guys are volunteer apart from those way, way, way up in the rank structures

    NSW then has

    Retained Stations: POC but also receive a monthly retainer and are paid for all fire brigade kms and training (Employed by NSWFB) - Retained FF receive $24.53 per hour (min 1 hour + 6 km for driving to and from station per call @ 89 c per km)

    Mixed Stations: Sometimes one permanent Station officer (SO - like a captain) and the rest retained.
    Sometimes 4-5 x permanents (Career/Permo) and then backed up by 15 retained FF

    Permanent Stations: 4 - 12 permanent FF manned 24/7 on 4 day on/4 day off shifts (2 x day then 2 x night shifts - 10 hr days, 14 hr nights)

    Just letting you all know.......

    Just as well this job is so damm good....

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    My dept is compensated for attending training meetings. We get $30.00 a month for attending 3 out of 4 training meetings a month.
    We are reimbursed at the rate of $10.00 per call for fires call, & rescue calls.
    This usually amounts to around $70. - $100 per quarter. This is to reimburse the VOLUNTEER firefghter for gas, wear and tear of his personnel equipment.
    We have used Volunteer's pick ups, 4 wheelers etc. and the cleaning of his personnal clothes. These guys recieve less than $700.00 per year.

    Are we truly volunteers? I will leave it up to you. You decide.

    Everyone of these guys have another job, the job that pays the bills, raises the families, keeps food on the table. Everyone of these firefighters could tell us today to get s....d! Then where would we be?

    I have heard of some departments that pay volunteers several thousands of dollars per year as incentives. (Good for them). These are larger depts, that run many more calls than my dept. I would probably consider them to be paid on call.

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    Default I think POC is when you get payed/hr not reimbursement

    Hi Iam in a vollie BFB in Western Australia.
    From our captain down we get nothing at all that inc's the 200km drive we all did in a members car to help with a big wild fire north of us, as our truck was up their so for crew change (min 3 people max 5) we just drove up and the old crew drove the car back then the next crew back up. Well you get the pic and not a cent of reimbursement.
    I think our FCO gets a small amount for attending Fire Advisory meetings (every 1/4) just to cover fuel ect and I am aware that the Chief and Deputy FCO's get a small retainer designed to cover phone use fuel ect.
    Just to explain the nature of the Chiefs payment, last year our brigade got over 60 fire calls and theirs 5 fire stations our Chief looks after (ours being the busiest), but the few hundred I think he gets /yr doesn't cover the costs he incurs let alone any man hrs. Now he personally attended over 80% of our brigades fires, then he's an active FF of the fire brigade next to ours and also the other brigades fires also the reporting and dealing with the public issues of over 15000 homes and their occupants and not to mention the time involved all for a few hundred bucks....... That's more of a vollie than me and I get zip....

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    Default thanks

    Thanks for the help it will clear a few things up

    randsc. SA is a place south Australia and yakka is a plant

    FIREGIRL4EVER: Up in the hills 10 min from Adelaide.

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    Volunteer: In the truest sense of the word these firefighters receive no compensation at all for anything including responses or training.

    I hope this helped and yes I fully expect to get told I am entirely wrong.

    FyredUp

    Not exactly, but I don't fit into any of these categories so can you create a new one for volunteers who are compensated for training? I did get my EMT-Basic on my own, paid in full, but further training comes from tax levies and I see a better trained volunteer as a better volunteer. But the nuance is I feel I am a volunteer in the truest sense of the word. Why is volunteer not to include any training???

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    Quote Originally Posted by msgogeke View Post
    Not exactly, but I don't fit into any of these categories so can you create a new one for volunteers who are compensated for training? I did get my EMT-Basic on my own, paid in full, but further training comes from tax levies and I see a better trained volunteer as a better volunteer. But the nuance is I feel I am a volunteer in the truest sense of the word. Why is volunteer not to include any training???
    I think he means that you don't get paid for attending training, not that your training tuition isn't paid for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Definition of volunteer firefighter...varies widely between what the official definition is and what the perception is.

    Perception is that if you don't have full time people you are a volunteer fire department.

    Reality is there is paid full timers, paid part-timers, paid on call and volunteer.

    Full timers: Career firefighters whose primary job is as a firefighter working full time for a fire department from 40 to 72 hours a week.

    Part-timers: May be hired from the ranks of volunteers or POC firefighters to fill shifts as needed on a career FD or run partial shifts to staff a firehouse during peek hours.

    Paid on call: Paid for responses and perhaps trainings and maintenance activities. Pay may vary widely from a couple dollars a call all the way up to over $20 an hour.

    Volunteer: In the truest sense of the word these firefighters receive no compensation at all for anything including responses or training.

    I hope this helped and yes I fully expect to get told I am entirely wrong.

    FyredUp
    We have the same here exept POC and volunteer fall under the same category "volunteer", in the sense that you don't "have" to answer to a call... A volunteer can not be blamed for not responding to a call, what ever his reason is... But, 99% of our "volunteer" FDs are paid on call...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Definition of volunteer firefighter...varies widely between what the official definition is and what the perception is.

    Perception is that if you don't have full time people you are a volunteer fire department.

    Reality is there is paid full timers, paid part-timers, paid on call and volunteer.

    Full timers: Career firefighters whose primary job is as a firefighter working full time for a fire department from 40 to 72 hours a week.

    Part-timers: May be hired from the ranks of volunteers or POC firefighters to fill shifts as needed on a career FD or run partial shifts to staff a firehouse during peek hours.

    Paid on call: Paid for responses and perhaps trainings and maintenance activities. Pay may vary widely from a couple dollars a call all the way up to over $20 an hour.

    Volunteer: In the truest sense of the word these firefighters receive no compensation at all for anything including responses or training.

    I hope this helped and yes I fully expect to get told I am entirely wrong.

    FyredUp


    Yep. Pretty much on the money. However, these days with formal training instead of being raised by the senior guard I think you can have your training paid for,(not to you) and still be pure volunteer. Though I volunteer for my community I am paid per call. So I am not a true volunteer. Got noooo problem with that.I think a completely non compensated department deserves the true volunteer status. Which ever label I perform the task at hand as a professionally trained fireman regardless of payment.
    The question could be; would you be a fireman if you could not have the status you prefer?

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