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  1. #21
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    The IAFF does not put this suggestion out for the sole purpose of protecting career positions. However in some cases it is there for that reason. The main reason is to protect its members from being denied presumtive health care. If you feel an obligation to your volunteer dept than there is plenty for you to do without puting you at risk for denial. For example - you could become the training officer, run some fund raisers, do the clerical/business side of things, maintain equipment, basicly keep the air pack off of your back and you're good to go. If your in a situation that your village will burn down without you than your community needs to address its manning issues. Either hire a dirver or tighten up your mutual aid agreements. What happens when your at work or on vacation? They get it done without you don't they? You may not be as valuable as you want yourself to be. Your main concern should be you and your family and protecting your benefits.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!


  2. #22
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Your main concern should be you and your family and protecting your benefits.
    It's the USA. Shouldn't you be concerned about having the "right" to make your own choice?
    "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?

  3. #23
    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    There has been several good reasons to volunteer and not to volunteer on your off time. The best reason against volunteering was presented by jasper45;

    Box,

    I can't speak for other places. Here, the issue was to eliminate the doubt for presumptive cancer and the heart&lung bill. There could be, no matter how slight, a fight as to who should pay out their part of the deal, should multiple jurisdictions be involved.
    Particularly with my city's past history, if they can create doubt and save money, they will do so at our expense. My Local felt it was in our members best interest to keep us from being members of other departments for this very reason, and this reason alone. The leadership felt that it would be an unneeded stress should a member become ill, for that member. I happen to agree with that position.

    Never mind the fact that we have strict city residency, so no one lives in a volunteer jurisdiction.
    In Jasper's case the local enacted a rule in order to protect it's members based upon previous actions of the city, add to that the city's residency requirements and you can see why there really is no issue in jasper's area.

    BoxAlarm presented some the best reasons for volunteering;
    When I am volunteering, there is no expectation from my family or my brother and sister volunteers that there would be any financial compensation from my employer. While the scope of the activity mirrors what I do at work (firefighting), it doesn't make any more sense for my employer to pay death benefits for this any more than it would if I was killed in a wheat thresher accident.

    Furthermore, Virginia's presumtion law covers and provides the same benefits for both career and volunteer firefighters, so should I be diagnosed with a cardiac condition and/or cancer, there isn't a burden of proof that falls on my employer. Simply being a firefighter is proof enough.

    In one of KeithA8's previous threads, a poster made mention of there being a "moral obligation" to volunteer in an area that doesn't have the financial means to support a career department. That's my case. We don't have career staff, and won't for a long time, so I think I would feel pretty guilty if I quit my VFD and listened for them make requests for manpower, specially trained individuals, etc, and I wasn't there to provide the services needed. I do feel as though I have an obligation, and I'm not ashamed of it.
    Ultimatley it should be a choice based upon what is best for you, your familiy, and your community both the one you work in and the one you volunteer in. I understand the IAFF's position in some cases, particulary the NE, it is simply looking out for it's best interest, after all it is a special interest group that's what it does.

    Now to the KiethA8's and the TBad1557's out there. Do any of you do any side work? Drive trucks? Home Improvement? Welding? Electrical? Lawn Care? Are you a member of that occupations union? If not your a SCAB! If you are how does it feel taking jobs away from other potential union members, SCAB? You twist it how you want, blindly follow the IAFF, and spout rhetoric all day if you wish. The truth of the matter is that the two-hatter issue is not a national issue it's one that should be addressed by each local and each individual.

    For the record I don't currently volunteer I choose not to, not because of a presumptive health care bill (neither that state I work in or reside in has one), not because of the IAFF, not because of our contract (we don't have a contract I work in a right-to-work state ), but because I made a decision that I would rather spend time with my daughter before she starts school than volunteer or work a second job. When she starts school (this fall) I may choose to volunteer or I may not, but it will be a decision I make.

  4. #24
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA8 View Post
    If your in a situation that your village will burn down without you than your community needs to address its manning issues. Either hire a dirver or tighten up your mutual aid agreements. What happens when your at work or on vacation? They get it done without you don't they? You may not be as valuable as you want yourself to be. Your main concern should be you and your family and protecting your benefits.
    While I know it's semantics, I live in an state (well, a Commonwealth, actually) that doesn't have villages or townships. Speaking from my prospective as a VFD chief: as with almost every jurisdiction in our state, we are a county-based fire department, I have a 72 square mile first due (responding from one station). I don't think that we have any occupancies that will burn down in my first-due if I'm not there. However, our department works as a team. Are there going to be fires and other emergencies when I'm at work? Sure, and I know that they'll be handled promptly and professionally by the members that are still available. However, I know that I'll try to make myself available when those members are at their respective jobs. We look out for one another.

    It's not that I have some kind of superiority complex that the VFD will fall apart if I leave. I enjoy my role at the volunteer station, and honestly, living in a right-to-work state, my union membership doesn't have a lot of bearing on my employment anyway.

    As for being there for my family, I'm no longer married, have no kids, I'm an only child, and go have dinner with my parents every week. Unfortunately, that part of your argument doesn't apply to me.

    My new membership card for the National Volunteer Fire Council came in the mail today.
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  5. #25
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    Bones42:
    It's nice to think that we do live in a free country. And yes you can do what ever you want to do on your off time in some locals. However if an employee has a non-compete clause in his contract and he decides to quit his job he can not go work somewhere else doing what ever it he does without violating this clause. He will in fact be sued by his previous employer for breaking that contract. An example of this is: pro sports, radio personalities, scientist, ........ Isn't it a free country for them too? If your contract has language stating you can't - then guess what? You can't! Do you see why these contracts have this language? Lokk at Hartford - The city not the union wanted this in there contract to protect its interests and minimize costs.

    jlcooke3:
    You bring up a good point. If you portray yourself as a hardline card carying union member and do a trade that infringes upon another unions living then you should look in the mirror! I absolutely agree with you. In most cases that is not the deal. Some brothers I work with are card carrying members of other trades. Lets face it, the fire service as a whole is a poor paying career and it's employees have been moonlighting forever. There is nothing wrong with that. Just be careful what you decide to do. I personaly sell mortgages. There is no mortgage lender local at this time. If one organizes I'll rethink my moonlighting job.

    If you decide to run with the volys think about the impact that has on your e-boards ability to bargain your next contract in good faith.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  6. #26
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    ChiefBoxalarm187:
    You have considered your position in both aspects of your life: The career side and The volunteer side. You came up with pros and cons and have decided to do what you do. You reasoned it out. You also realize your decision effects only you because of your personal family situation and the state you live in. Your comfortable with the risk. I can't fault you for doing what you do. Have fun!
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  7. #27
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA8 View Post
    ChiefBoxalarm187:
    You have considered your position in both aspects of your life: The career side and The volunteer side. You came up with pros and cons and have decided to do what you do. You reasoned it out. You also realize your decision effects only you because of your personal family situation and the state you live in. Your comfortable with the risk. I can't fault you for doing what you do. Have fun!
    With that understanding on your part, I hope that you remove your "Scab" comments from future discussions on this subject. It might be fitting for some situations, but in this huge nation of ours, it is not able to be used as a blanket statement by any stretch.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  8. #28
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    DennisTheMenace:
    The vast majority of the time the term "scab" is very appropriate. I can see why he volunteers. He is the only one I've heard a good reason from in my life. For those that know me will fall out of their chair when they read that comment. I had to look deep into my black lifeless heart to find that. ha ha
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  9. #29
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    Its an interesting subject, where I am in Australia, we are all under the same state government body, even though we are different agencies, so if I am hurt at my fulltime department, I am covered by the same OH&S and the same work cover policy, in fact I talk to the same people no matter where my injury occurs (not that I have been injured). The only thing I can't do is join a station that is paid on call, I can ONLY volunteer. Quite a number of us do, and some of those are staunch unionist's, but they realsie if they don't help, no one else is going to rock up, and they can help. It is something I have grown up doing, but if they said to us tomorrow, you are going fulltime paid, I would drop out, not that we have any choice, its a little different here.

    What I don't agree with is these stations that won't give it up, they are running to many calls, poor staffing and when they are offered full time staff they kick up a stink, you must realise when its time to hand it over!

  10. #30
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA8 View Post
    DennisTheMenace:
    The vast majority of the time the term "scab" is very appropriate. I can see why he volunteers. He is the only one I've heard a good reason from in my life. For those that know me will fall out of their chair when they read that comment. I had to look deep into my black lifeless heart to find that. ha ha

    And in all those cases that it was appropriate for a career firefighter that vollies why is it not also appropriate for any career firefighter that takes on any off duty job that is usually a Union job be called a scab too? Particularly if that job is Union represented by an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, the parent Union of the IAFF?

    If we are infact all Union Brothers aren't we also scabs if we take a Union trades job from another Union member?

  11. #31
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    Fyredup:
    Who says they aren't scabs? I disagree with your assumption that career firefighters usually do scab labor. If you did a poll I think you would find very few do scab labor. If they are, then I agree they too are also scabs! It works both ways. And if we were on a carpenters forum you might find they are slamming union firefighters - maybe not - I don't know. The point is I am not a union carpenter or steam fitter or truck driver so it's not my place to defend their rights. I'm a firefighter and that is what I can speak about. Do you belong to a labor union?
    Last edited by KeithA8; 04-02-2008 at 09:49 AM.
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  12. #32
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    Since I am both an IAFF member and a Vollie my stance is this. I currently Vollie at a department that has 8 contracted FF/PM's a shift . This is a revolving door of people that come in for a month wear the uniform pretend to be a fireman and then move on either to a better paying contract or get hired FT in a department. The ones that have been there for any length of time are few a far between and have a **** poor attitude. So by volunteering and providing support when I can is this preventing Union Jobs or making sure the residents of my village are taken care of by someone who has ties to them? I agree that a Union FF shouldn't work in another Union Department, but if the organization wants to find a quick fix by employing the XYZ paramedic company to fill a void than there is a major problem. In my vollie department this will never change. The Chief is a BA for the boilermakers and before becoming Chief he was a trustee, he hired the contracts. So now what, these are the true SCABS or Ticks, once they burrow in you can't get rid of them, departments have tried and the people controlling the purse strings think in the long run it saves them money when all it does is hurt the organization. So by me and the other vollies leaving, guess what, No union jobs will be made just contracted once that could invade your home next.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBad1557 View Post
    Main Entry: 1scab
    Pronunciation: \ˈskab\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Swedish skabbr scab; akin to Old English sceabb scab, Latin scabere to scratch ó more at shave
    Date: 13th century
    1: scabies of domestic animals
    2: a crust of hardened blood and serum over a wound
    3 a: a contemptible person b (1): a worker who refuses to join a labor union (2): a union member who refuses to strike or returns to work before a strike has ended (3): a worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike (4): one who works for less than union wages or on nonunion terms
    4: any of various bacterial or fungus diseases of plants characterized by crustaceous spots; also : one of the spots

    You have got to be kidding me here! If you think for minute that vollys are taking away career jobs you must be living in la-la land. Do you really thing every community can afford a paid professional?

  14. #34
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA8 View Post
    Fyredup:
    Who says they aren't scabs? I disagree with your assumption that career firefighters usually do scab labor. If you did a poll I think you would find very few do scab labor. If they are, then I agree they too are also scabs! It works both ways. And if we were on a carpenters forum you might find they are slamming union firefighters - maybe not - I don't know. The point is I am not a union carpenter or steam fitter or truck driver so it's not my place to defend their rights. I'm a firefighter and that is what I can speak about. Do you belong to a labor union?
    That my friend is a complete cop out answer and you know it. I can list better than half the guys on my FD right off the top of my head that are invloved in construction, tile laying, wood floor installation, truck driving, and more off duty and you are delusional if you believe that your career FD doesn't have some of the same.

    My point is simple, IF you buy the concept that as Union Brothers and Sisters we don't hurt fellow Union Brothers and Sisters by not volunteering then it carries out that we not hurt fellow Union Brothers and Sisters in the trades. Or is Union solidarity ONLY solidarity if affects only your own Union?

    Because you are not a mamber of a specific Union you don't feel an obligation to protect their rights? Really? Seriously? Perhaps it is the screw them it doesn't affect me attitude that has lead to the overall decline in Union membership and the power that Unions once had in this country.

    Yes I do belong to a labor Union at my part-time job. It also has the AFL-CIO as it's parent Union. Do YOU belong to a Union on your side job? Or does it not matter because all you are shafting is a member of the trades and not a firefighter?

    This no volunteering yet working the trades is okay is hypocrisy at its best and if you look deeper than the rhetoric it is crystal clear.

    I have said I would not volly in a department with full timers, I have also said I would not volly in my home town IF they ever talked of hiring full timers. Where I volly is a little nowhere burg with 700 people. The forseeable future does not include full time firefighters. So just as you are affecting no firefighter jobs by scabbing at your off duty job I am also affecting no firefighters by volunteering in a town where the mere mention of full time firefighters causes hysterical laughter amongst the citizens.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsvp View Post
    You have got to be kidding me here! If you think for minute that vollys are taking away career jobs you must be living in la-la land. Do you really thing every community can afford a paid professional?
    I agree. Maybe in the north east or midwest this is the case. It's certainly not the case in Texas - especially outside of the Fort Worth-Houston-San Antonio triangle.

    In rural areas the tax base cannot afford to pay career firefighters. In some places there's barely a population pool. The thought that a career, union firefighter is losing his job to a vollie in Texas is plain stupid. Anybody that came here and suggested union jobs were being taken by vols would be laughed out of the State.

  16. #36
    Forum Member KeithA8's Avatar
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    Fyredup:
    As usual you go on and on about points I have already covered with you many times in the past. Like I said if someone is in fact infringing upon another unions job then they are in my opinion scabs too. My comments are not a cop out in my dept. We are very much aware of how our part time job infringes on others jobs. As far as protecting other unions rights - I never said I don't - I just said I can not speak as an expert on the interests of other trades because I am not in that trade.

    I do not belong to a union in my part time job because one does not exist. I sell mortages. There is no "international assosiation of mortgage originators". If there was I would join.

    The fact that you volunteer in a town of 700 people does not make a difference. You still put yourself at risk for being denied presumptive health care and give your city amunition to bargain against your local for your next contract. You talk about hypocrisy - asking for a raise and better benefits when you are willing to do it for nothing next door is hypocrisy!
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

  17. #37
    MembersZone Subscriber gregski's Avatar
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    I also volunteer my time to help out the community where I live, which is about 75 miles from where I work. The department at home is 24/7 volunteer, with a paid operations chief and administrative chief. My local, while they will not officially support it, do not have a problem with it due to the fact that it is a fully volunteer department. That said, my roll in my vollie department is mostly that of a trainer. I enjoy teaching these kids something. Most of them will try to get a paid position somewhere. Our other members consist of dentists, business owners, morticians (I smell a conflict of interest here), housewifes, laborers and unemployed kids. We have a few members that have volunteered for 20 years or more. I do not go on a lot of calls for 2 reasons; 1) When I come home, it is nice to just "get away". Although that is difficult because my wife is a Captain with the department. And 2) I will do my best not to risk my health. I generally do not go on structure fires. But if I do, I run the pump or perform command duties. But I will do all that is necessary to protect my family and neighbors. If you think I am going to stand outside while my neighbor's house is burning, you could not be more wrong. Sorry to ramble, but I am proud of what I can bring to my volunteer department. I don't bring a "union firefighter" attitude with me. I just try to help where help is needed.
    "You go. We go."

  18. #38
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    agavegrove and i work for the same department, and i will state that i have noticed a strong "culture against" volunteering among many of the older members of the department. That being said, it seems that the younger generation who started off as vollies are still wanting to be vollies at home or in a surrounding community.

    In my opinion there are two ways of looking at this. You have a trained firefighter working for an organization that may not be able to afford to pay it's members, thus allowing him to impart his knowledge on less qualified members. The next way of looking at this is the union way and that he is removing career ops. for other firefighters.

    I am a local member and am damn proud of their accomplishments and what they do for me and my brothers, but i also have the undeniable urge to aid others when ever, where ever. to say the least i am "ate up with this job." I do not currently volunteer in my off days but the idea still crosses my mind.

    that being said, i feel the individual member should probably consult his/her local, and admins for advice, but only after consulting their own wisdom.

    sorry for repeating what many others have said already.

  19. #39
    MembersZone Subscriber gregski's Avatar
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    Argument against?

    From www.firefighterclosecalls.com:

    The Deputy Chief of the Lawrence Park Township VFD (Erie County, PA) Mike Crotty, was tragically killed in the Line of Duty early this evening at a working industrial building fire. Companies were on the mutual aid run, for the working factory fire to the Harbor Creek VFD, when for a yet undetermined reason, the Lawrence Park aerial ladder had a catastrophic failure when a portion of the waterway and master stream separated from the main ladder, falling, striking the Deputy Chief, who was operating in a command role. Initial reports are that the device had a pinnable waterway and it was flowing water at the time of the failure.
    We have also been advised that Chief Crotty was recently hired as a Career Firefighter for the nearby City of Erie, F.D.


    My thoughts and prayers go out to Chief Crotty and his family.
    "You go. We go."

  20. #40
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregski View Post
    Argument against?

    From www.firefighterclosecalls.com:

    The Deputy Chief of the Lawrence Park Township VFD (Erie County, PA) Mike Crotty, was tragically killed in the Line of Duty early this evening at a working industrial building fire. Companies were on the mutual aid run, for the working factory fire to the Harbor Creek VFD, when for a yet undetermined reason, the Lawrence Park aerial ladder had a catastrophic failure when a portion of the waterway and master stream separated from the main ladder, falling, striking the Deputy Chief, who was operating in a command role. Initial reports are that the device had a pinnable waterway and it was flowing water at the time of the failure.
    We have also been advised that Chief Crotty was recently hired as a Career Firefighter for the nearby City of Erie, F.D.


    My thoughts and prayers go out to Chief Crotty and his family.
    Why is this an argument against? He CHOSE to be a volunteer and assumed the risks that go along with it. Just as I and many other career firefighters do every day when we CHOOSE to volunteer. I mourn his loss and respect his dedication.

    The problem is the removal of choice. I would no more tell you that you can't ride motor cycles, or scuba dive, or climb mountains, or sky dive, or hunt, or do any number of dangerous jobs in the trades, all of which may severely injure you OR kill you, than you should be able to tell me that if I freely chose of my own will, knowing the risks, to be a volunteer firefighter on my off days.

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