1. #1
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    Default Adding Part Time FF To Fulltime Staff Help

    I would like to know how some depts handle having a few part time firefighters in addition to a fulltime staff. I know there will be some negative comments on this, but we do not really have an option on it. If any depts operate with part timers please tell me how they work into your dept such as filling overtime, how they are selected, and how they are used on your dept.
    Thanks

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    Default Part-time firefighters

    We have used part-timers for about 10 years now. The hiring requirements are the same as for a full time firefighter and the pay is equal to the starting pay for a firefighter. Part-timers in our system do not get any benefits, ragardless of the hours that they work. We currently have 20 part-time positions (230 full time). We fill vacancies through riding out of class and use the part-timers to fill the firefighter positions. A few times we have used them as Driver Engineers when they were qualified and experienced. Some of the part-timers are full time firefighters for another department, but the majority are fresh out of the academy looking for a job. We usually hire full time from the part-time ranks, but not always. Overall, the system works and has kept us from closing stations or cutting full time positions.

    If you need more information, drop me an email. mikelinkins@polkfl.com

    Mike Linkins
    Polk County Fire Rescue (FL)

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    We use them in my department and are paid $13 a hour. They are generated out of the volunteers we have and once some of them realize stey don't get to sit down and sleep all they they started to fade away.

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    We use part timers as well to supplement our full time staff of four. Same requirements as full timers, but with flexible scheduling and (unfortunately) no benefits. Almost universally we have guys who are aiming for a full time career, and working as a part time FF looks better on the resume then a lot of other things they could doing while waiting for a full time gig.

    The part timers are utilized to boost staffing during the day time with eight hour shifts when the bulk of the volunteer members are at work and out of district. The part timers get some leeway on picking days worked, they are asked to work a minimum number of shifts per month (eight, I think) but can work as many as they want as long as they stay under the 35 hour/week mark. For days the part timers don't fill, regular volunteers can also opt to cover a shift for $$$.

    If the levy lid lift on the ballot right now passes, we'll be doubling our full time staff to eight. If it fails, we lay off the part timers and start trimming full timers one per year....... Cross your fingers.
    Last edited by ElectricHoser; 02-10-2008 at 11:56 PM.
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    The best advice that I can offer is to make sure the department clearly defines what it is you want to accomplish with the part time staff. Job descriptions specific to the part time positions need to be in place. The union will need to address the issue of vaccancies and first right of refusal. If the department wishes to hire from within for full time positions, be consistent and establish the same requirements for all personnel.

    In today's economic times, there is value to part time staff. How you manage part time staff and to what role that they will fill will determine it's success. Part time staff can supplement career staff but should never replace them. Maintaining consistency will be tough.

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    THANKS for the info provided so far!! We are trying to get our ducks in a row on this thing. This will be a rather large change in our dept. I feel if done right it could benefit us though. Once again if anyone has anything please throw it out here.Take care and be safe!

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    I just joined the forum this morning, so I might be a little late on this reply. My department uses part-time help to supplement its full time holes. I started out as a volunteer, while in EMT school to get OJT (which is hands down the best training in the world for this job). After I completed EMT school, I was met at a volunteer call and was told if I wanted a job, be at work tomorrow. Hands down, I loved being a volunteer, but getting paid was even better in my eyes. So, 7 years later, I am a paid fulltime firefighter.
    In my department we have developed somewhat of a staffing problem. Currently, we are 7 positions down, and we use part-timers to fill the spots, and also have outlying stations that are filled with 8-5 employees. Now this is where it gets tricky. Because of the rank structure here in our department, if you are a "part-time" employee and hold a volunteer rank, you retain your rank while on the clock. No matter if you are riding with a 15 year veteran, that has never had a break in service, if you are a captain off duty, you are a captain on duty. So much controversy is flying around because of this. We full-timers that have to get up at 3 in the morning feel that we shouldn't follow orders of a guy that has been with the department 2 years and got voted in to Lt. because of being in the right place at the right time. So if there is any fire departments out there that are experiencing or have experienced this, please, let me know what you done to alleveate the problem.

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    We use part-timers to supplement oue 1 fulltime firefighter per 24-hour shift and M-F 8-5 Asst. Chief. We have one part-timer weekdays 7-5 and 2 on weekends 7-5, which gives us 3 paid personnel daytime 7 days a week.

    Part-timers are qualified volunteers from our department. They must have completed thier FF1 checksheet, be interior qualfied and have an EMS certification. Drivers get first preference for the shifts.

    We also use qualified volulunteers to cover sick time, days off and vacation of our 3 full-time firefighters. For shift relief work, a driver certification is required.

    Just a side note.....

    Our Chief and Deputy Chief are volunteers. Our Asst. Chief is paid.

    Most of our Captains (all but one) are volunteers. Our paid guys report to them and operate uunder thier orders at a scene.

    We have no problems.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-25-2008 at 03:08 PM.

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    How is training handled? Saturday sessions. Evening training?

    Most of them have other jobs I suppose. That was what led to our department abandoning the PT program.

    One thing we lost was the fact it made for a good hiring pool. You could bring a person on with short notice. We could evaluate the worker before he was hired to full-time, and the employee had a chance to sort of test drive a career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    How is training handled? Saturday sessions. Evening training?

    Most of them have other jobs I suppose. That was what led to our department abandoning the PT program.
    Most places here use people who are career FFs at other depts. as their part-time staff. That takes care of the training issue (for the most part). As far as consistency goes, most of them are pretty adaptable and conscientious. We may have to look into it at my dept. in the future. We have 4 full-timers; Chief, 2 FF/Medics, and a FF/EMT. We have a part-time admin. assistant who is an EMT, but not a FF, and a part-time Lt./inspector who is a career FF in a nearby city. Probably will be adding 2 more career FF/Medics in the next year. Our problem is that we'll be losing our two live-in firefighters (Fire science students) and we have a very low amount of call firefighters available most of the time, and their ranks are thinning. We are in discussion right now with a neighboring dept. about merging. But either way, we'll need to add staff, as will they. But getting the towns to fund it is tough, even though the need is there and the call volume is high enough to justify it. Rapid population growth and development, but the local govts are made up of people who are old enough to remember when they were small towns. They can't shift their mentality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    How is training handled? Saturday sessions. Evening training?

    Most of them have other jobs I suppose. That was what led to our department abandoning the PT program.

    One thing we lost was the fact it made for a good hiring pool. You could bring a person on with short notice. We could evaluate the worker before he was hired to full-time, and the employee had a chance to sort of test drive a career.
    This is one of the questions we are going to have with this. You know lmost every part time FF is going to be looking for that full time spot either here or somewhere else. Now say the person is with you for 6 months and leaves. Now the city is out gear money, uniform allowance etc... The thoughts of putting a clause where the part time FF must stay with us for a period of 1-2 years are or have been brought up. But another thought is it would be very unfair to this person or persons if a job was offered FT elsewhere and they could not go due to that.

    I also say it would be a great way to bring in new hires for the dept though!

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