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City lays off almost half of department.

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  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I like your statement, though "appropriate" leeaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation.
    Unlike yours which appears to only consider cost factors.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I fixed your statement for you.

    If your original statement were true, we'd be seeing a lot of 1 fire truck volunteer FDs. After all, wouldn't that be the "lowest cost possible" firefighting services?
    I like your statement, though "appropriate" leeaves a lot of wiggle room for interpretation.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's the obligation of the government to provide appropriate firefighting services at a reasonable cost.
    I fixed your statement for you.

    If your original statement were true, we'd be seeing a lot of 1 fire truck volunteer FDs. After all, wouldn't that be the "lowest cost possible" firefighting services?

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I believe I asked this before, or something close to it, but you never answered. What is the compensation threshold in which one moves from the "volunteer" category to the "paid" category? At what $$ amount per hour or per call does a person become a "paid firefighter"?

    Reasonable question.

    I would define a paid firefighter as someone who makes enough to support their basic needs. Basically their primary income via a regular paycheck, including seasonals such as wildland firefighters.

    This does not include POC as their checks are usually irregular, often below minimum wage, depending on run volume, and most often supplement a primary non-firefighting income.

    POCs that make $10-12 or more are debatable.
    Since I asked a "reasonable question", I think I should've gotten a reasonable answer to that question. You pretty much dodged actually answering it with this ambiguous response.

    So using your definition, my department's part-time FFs appear to not be "paid firefighters" since they don't make enough to support their (and family's) "basic needs" and for most it's not their "primary income" even though they do get a regular paycheck and paid an hourly rate above $12. Interesting.

    What you are describing for the most part is also known as a "career firefighter". "Career firefighters" make a living with the job. "Paid firefighters" get paid to do or for doing the job. Getting paid $5 per call doesn't qualify a person as a "volunteer", it just makes them an under-paid firefighter.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I see your take but don't like calling it "replacing". Tel the general public you can replace the FT firefighters with volunteers and they'll be in favor. Tell them you're eliminating FT firefighters they might ask some questions.

    The general masses won't understand how many vollies it takes to replace a career member, but they will firmly grasp the monetary figures. They won't grasp slowed response times during hard times, but they will grasp no response. It's one thing to have a decent volume of well trained volunteers as is the case in the DC burbs and around them, but in most cases if this were true the career dept's would be already be a fraction of their current size as they'd never have grown if the combo system was a functional reality.
    I would agree regarding the PR angle and would pursue the "eliminated" course if this were my situation to deal with. The use of "replaced" came up mainly due to the assertion that this department should just find some volunteers to "fill the gap" left by the elimination of the career positions.

    Leave a comment:


  • RFDACM02
    replied
    Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    It doesn't matter who makes the decision or if the employees' departure was voluntary as long as other people are brought in to do work that those employees previously did. The end result is still employees being replaced by volunteers.
    I see your take but don't like calling it "replacing". Tel the general public you can replace the FT firefighters with volunteers and they'll be in favor. Tell them you're eliminating FT firefighters they might ask some questions.

    The general masses won't understand how many vollies it takes to replace a career member, but they will firmly grasp the monetary figures. They won't grasp slowed response times during hard times, but they will grasp no response. It's one thing to have a decent volume of well trained volunteers as is the case in the DC burbs and around them, but in most cases if this were true the career dept's would be already be a fraction of their current size as they'd never have grown if the combo system was a functional reality.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    I believe I asked this before, or something close to it, but you never answered. What is the compensation threshold in which one moves from the "volunteer" category to the "paid" category? At what $$ amount per hour or per call does a person become a "paid firefighter"?

    Reasonable question.

    I would define a paid firefighter as someone who makes enough to support their basic needs. Basically their primary income via a regular paycheck, including seasonals such as wildland firefighters.

    This does not include POC as their checks are usually irregular, often below minimum wage, depending on run volume, and most often supplement a primary non-firefighting income.

    POCs that make $10-12 or more are debatable.

    You are right, it is a great deal for the community. But no matter how you color it, it is still pay. Seems odd that you rail aganist paying a living wage for fire fighters while you receive a full salary and benefits for the same job.

    Where did I ever rail against firefighters making a living wage?

    I have discussed the presence of paid firefighters in communities which should clearly be able to support an all volunteer department or primarily volunteer department.
    The fact is it's not the public's job to provide firefighting jobs. Career firefighters should be in place in comm unties that have a run volume that require career staffing, or in smaller communities where maintaining a volunteer force has become impractical after a legitimate attempt has been made at recruiting and maintaining volunteers have failed using a package of lower cost (when compared to career) incentives have failed.

    The bottom line is a primarily combo or all volunteer firefighting force in low and moderate call volume areas if far more practical and cost efficient than a career force. It's the obligation of the government to provide firefighting services at the lowest cost possible.

    This really isn't about me. My department identified what they felt were public education, training, pre-planning and admin needs that were not being handled fully by the volunteer membership and offered me a job. These things, with the exception of pub ed was being handled by the Deputy Chief. Because of this the Deputy Chief was not able to do the planning and other operational/admin tasks expected by the Chief.

    If they decided tomorrow that the need was no longer there, I would have no issue with seeking employment elsewhere.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-13-2010, 08:28 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeputyChiefGonzo
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    $65 a month works out to about $800 for the year, which probably covers the gas, the ruined clothes and the food they order out while at the station.

    Hardly a "paid firefighter".

    That $5 per call and $4 per training hardly puts them min the "pad firefighter" category either.

    There is nothing wrong with compensating your volunteers to a limited extent.

    It probably costs a couple of K per year per volunteers. Let's say that 3 volunteers equals 1 career firefighter. So based on that we are talking 6K v. 60K. Seems like ahell of a deal to me.

    Using the figures on their website and based on the 2008 numbers... It appears the brass gets paid quite well... I figured out to an average $211K a year.

    http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/city...get/budget.htm
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 08-13-2010, 07:00 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acklan
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    $65 a month works out to about $800 for the year, which probably covers the gas, the ruined clothes and the food they order out while at the station.

    Hardly a "paid firefighter".

    That $5 per call and $4 per training hardly puts them min the "pad firefighter" category either.

    There is nothing wrong with compensating your volunteers to a limited extent.

    It probably costs a couple of K per year per volunteers. Let's say that 3 volunteers equals 1 career firefighter. So based on that we are talking 6K v. 60K. Seems like ahell of a deal to me.
    You are right, it is a great deal for the community. But no matter how you color it, it is still pay. Seems odd that you rail aganist paying a living wage for fire fighters while you receive a full salary and benefits for the same job.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    $65 a month works out to about $800 for the year, which probably covers the gas, the ruined clothes and the food they order out while at the station.

    Hardly a "paid firefighter".

    That $5 per call and $4 per training hardly puts them min the "paid firefighter" category either.
    I believe I asked this before, or something close to it, but you never answered. What is the compensation threshold in which one moves from the "volunteer" category to the "paid" category? At what $$ amount per hour or per call does a person become a "paid firefighter"?

    There is nothing wrong with compensating your volunteers to a limited extent.
    There's nothing wrong with compensating them to any extent in my book.

    It probably costs a couple of K per year per volunteers. Let's say that 3 volunteers equals 1 career firefighter. So based on that we are talking 6K v. 60K. Seems like ahell of a deal to me.
    Nobody is arguing that this arrangement isn't a "hell of a deal" for the community, at least from a financial standpoint. However, calling them "volunteers" doesn't seem appropriate.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Originally posted by Acklan View Post
    Do you think they would be there if they received no "incentive"?
    $65 a month works out to about $800 for the year, which probably covers the gas, the ruined clothes and the food they order out while at the station.

    Hardly a "paid firefighter".

    That $5 per call and $4 per training hardly puts them min the "pad firefighter" category either.

    There is nothing wrong with compensating your volunteers to a limited extent.

    It probably costs a couple of K per year per volunteers. Let's say that 3 volunteers equals 1 career firefighter. So based on that we are talking 6K v. 60K. Seems like ahell of a deal to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • JB1997
    replied
    [QUOTE=LaFireEducator;1196300][B]

    The fact is the full-time staff in any combo department is likely to be trained to a higher level on average than the volunteer component. Why? because it's thier job. They train on-duty. They are generally sent to academies for entry-level training. They are available to be sent to outside training during the week, while being paid, while the majority of the volunteer component are at thier full-time jobs.

    If the career component in a combo department is not trained to a higher level, the training staff or training officer needs to be fired.



    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Then I take you, since you beleive that laying off paid staff and replacing them with volunteers is "going in the wrong direction" that paid staffing is somehow superior to volunteer staffing?

    Sorry, i don't agree. But you are entitled to your opinion.



    Looks like you said it yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acklan
    replied
    Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Their "incentive" is actually called "compensation" as they are a POC department and not a true volunteer fire department.

    From their website:
    Are the Bloomington firefighters directly paid or compensated?

    Yes. You receive $65 per month on-call pay plus $5 per fire call and $4.12 per drill attended.


    http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/city...ire/hiring.htm
    Gee.. that sounds like, like .... A PAID FIRE FIGHTER!!! Please say it isn't so!

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Yes, I can read.

    And even if the do cover another 11K in the area outside of the city, that's still only 22K total and well within the realm of a combination department with a large volunteer component.
    I don't think anybody is arguing that and apparently they don't have a "large volunteer component".

    Leave a comment:


  • FireMedic049
    replied
    Originally posted by Acklan View Post
    Do you think they would be there if they received no "incentive"?
    Their "incentive" is actually called "compensation" as they are a POC department and not a true volunteer fire department.

    From their website:
    Are the Bloomington firefighters directly paid or compensated?

    Yes. You receive $65 per month on-call pay plus $5 per fire call and $4.12 per drill attended.


    http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/city...ire/hiring.htm

    Leave a comment:

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