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  1. #1
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Default Ethical Question about Second Jobs

    Is it ethical to perform paper work or even phone calls for a second job after last watch? We have guys that work as Realtors and for Defense Contractors who bury their heads in their laptops while the rest of the crew is catching up on TV, studying or already hit the rack. The Realtor's are not exactly being paid for their time, they are just preping and doing leg work for when they are, but the Defense Contractors are most likely billing for their hours. Is this different than a guy working towards a degree spending this time studying?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?


  2. #2
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    thats a good question. in my oppinion, as long as you perform your duties to your firefighting job, if you decide to work on somethign else that pays while i watch tv, then thats ok with me. if im training or working on something for the department while you are making money doing some other work, that would **** me off...but then, i have never thought of this really...

  3. #3
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Default

    In a nutshell, I have no problem with people doing side work if their other alternative is a nap or TV.

    If I didn't spend most of my free time on duty handling business for my reserve unit, then I'd never keep up. That said, I don't agree with having all your business contacts calling on the station phone, and ANY department duty should take precedence over your side-job related cellphone calls.

  4. #4
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    A lot of guys work on their side job stuff at work. But if you are billing for these hours, you are double dipping and that is another topic all together.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member Higby916's Avatar
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    I have no problem with guys working on their other jobs while at the station, as mentioned, as long as it doesn't interfere with station duties, training, etc. I've seen guys cleaning their personal tools, doing work on their personal laptop, and making calls from their personal phone, but I've never seen it during time when others are working... always during down time. As long as that's how it's handled, then I don't see a problem with it.
    Vita brevis; terra larga.

  6. #6
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    I have no problems with the guys on my shift doing personal business on thier down time, which for us is after 4:30PM (shift starts at 7AM). Ironically enough, we do have a real estate agent on the shift, but it's never created a problem for us at all.

    I know that I would have a hard time keeping up on items for the county where I volly if I didn't play catch-up at work now and then!

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    If you work for a municipality it's unquestionably "double dipping" and probably not only unethical but illegal whether anyone on the shift cares or not.

    Consult your employer's ethics policy for the definitive answer in your department.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    If they're billing hours, at least for my state DeputyMarshal's right. It would not only be unethical, it would be illegal.

    From a purely technical point of view, a landscaper using his laptop to lay out the lawn sprinkler system he's installing tomorrow is probably a violation too but you'll have a hard time making an issue of that situation.

  9. #9
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    I run a computer repair/consulting business on my days off from the station. In the evenings and/or weekends, during our "free" time, I sometimes work on other firemen, police or EMS worker's computers, but I never charge them for labor. If no hardware is required, then all the work is free. My chief knows about this and has never complained...in fact, I've worked on his laptop. I have a contract with the city for managing the network at the police/fire complex, but I never charge them for stuff I do when I'm actually working at the FD. Having said all that, my first priority is firefighting and at no time does my working on any pc ever interfere with my normal duties.

  10. #10

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    Talking working while working

    My first stop would be to my company officer. What does he think about it? I would express my concerns to him to see how he feels about it. Maybe they can shed some light and clear the issues up for you.

    I have not run into that issue on my station. But have not problem with guys doing homework or making phone calls while on duty.

    My personal opinion is though, is that this is your #1 job (or should be) if it is not GET OUT!!! The city ownes you for 24 hours and you should be ready all 24.

  11. #11
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    I agree that while you are at work the fire department should be your number one priority. The way I see it is that your down time is YOUR down time. Whether you choose to watch television or play cards, it's your time.

    I have written several books and developed a business on my lap top while on duty at the fire station. I did all of this after 5 and didn't bother anybody in the process.

    I am not a big TV watcher. So, when guys are watching sitcoms I was on my laptop.

    There is nothing illegal or unethical about it. Whatever you do DO NOT LET IT TAKE PRIORITY FO SERVING THE CITIZENS, OR DOING YOUR JOB!

  12. #12
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    Default Jobs

    If you have down time on the shift say after 5:00pm there should not be any type of a problem what so ever working on a business. What does anyone care if instead of watching tv(total waste of time usually), playing computer games(always a waste of time), talking on the phone or what ever else you could be doing instead you are working on a side business. Of course it's understood any and all FD job duties come first.

  13. #13
    Forum Member JJensenJr's Avatar
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    Right now I am on a Grand Jury panel, and get PTO from the department (as per our contract). We are not required to pay the City our jury compensation, although the law states that an employer can if there is a written policy. In effect I am getting two "paychecks" for the same hours.

    On a side note, I don't feel bad about it in the least, as I always donate my jury compensation to the local Women's Crisis Center, even when our Grand Jury pay is $40/day. It doesn't make my Asst. Chief any less ****ed off at me for doing my civic duty, but that's his own problem.

  14. #14
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    We are not aloud to engage in any outside employment activities while on duty. That means no business phone calls, computer work or tinkering with things that would earn you money from anyplace outside the department. I don't mind them doing it because some people need the extra money for their family in order just to live in Palm Beach County, but we've had people go to extremes with their side jobs while on duty so as usual they've screwed it up for everyone. It is also considered "double-dipping". The dept has banned cell phone calls now unless it is an emergency and our land line calls are limited to 15min thanks to a small group of our guys. Needless to say, we are always our own worst enemies.

  15. #15
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    Generaly, double dipping is not aloud. However, most work done for the side job while on duty is overlooked as long as it does not interfere with on duty responsibilities. If you are on the phone you are expected to end it immediately to take care of firefighting responsibilities. I personally do not allow cell phones while conducting training, my phone included. It is very distracting and can delay training for an extensive period of time.


    I don't care for cell phone use while aout on the road. I think it just looks bad. How ever, it has been an accepted practice long for a long time.

  16. #16

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    It is of no difference the compensation during your down time.

    Should you decide to kill brain cells by irradiating them with the TV, or excersise them by pursuing education. Increase your fat content by eating, or decrease it by excersing your body. Burn your phone minutes playing kissy face with your girfrind, or catching up with your spouse.

    Final question, bottom line, Is it better to be productive or destructive? Remember you are in the business of saving lives and property.

    As long as it does not interfere with the "working time", fair game.

    Captain Kelley

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