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Double hatting

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  • #16
    We all know why the union wants to prevent two-hatting .... It's all about forcing combination departments to hire paid men or volunteer departments to start to hire staff, which would increase the dues being paid in. Period.

    I have some very strong feelings about this as I was a member of a department in northern Vermont that lost 2 members due to a no volunteering rule being put in place by a neighboring career department. Did it kill us? No, but it did have a slight affect on our response. Was it fair? Hell no... And quite frankly it wasn't the unions business.

    There simply is no justification for this policy.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post


      That part of the oath is hypocritical and self serving. Funny how the IAFF, a part of the greater AFL/CIO, has no problem with our firefighting Brothers and Sisters scabbing doing construction, flooring, tiling, driving truck, electrical work, plumbing, carpet installs, and more that are, or have the potential to be, Union Trades jobs, and even worse in my view, running with private ambulance services. Either you are 100% behind not taking potentially Union jobs or you are nothing but a hypocrite.
      You just won the internet! /mic drop/

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post
        I am on the fence, when it comes to two hatting. But I would like to point out two reasons, why paid firefighters should not volunteer when off duty:

        1. When a paid firefighter is off duty, they are expected (and given the opportunity) to rest. If they work a 24 hour shift that entails training, fire calls, EMS runs, etc, they become tired. I have seen paid firefighters given an opportunity to nap in the late morning, so they can stay rested, for the expected fire and EMS runs that will occur on that 24 hour shift.

        If a paid firefighter runs with another department while off duty, from their paid department, they are not getting adequate rest. They can go on duty with their paid department stressed, tired, etc., when they are paid to be "duty ready".

        2. Over the years, the two hatter will be exposed to smoke, heat, hazardous chemicals, etc.. Now the two hatter has health issues. Who will be responsible for workers compensation? The paid department or volunteer department? What if the firefighter has to be medically retired? Will the paid department have to foot the bill with paying for early retirement for the disabled, etc. firefighter? What if a percentage of the heat, smoke, chemical exposure, etc. came from volunteering?

        Just a few issues to consider.
        Hmm, riding a unit that ran 4,000-5,000 runs a year, and then going home and taking calls on a dept. that averages 200 runs a year...
        It's all those POC calls that are going to do me in...

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

          Unless we are willing to allow our fire departments to control every aspect of our off duty lives there will always be dangers in off duty activities. Would you like your FD to tell you no more hunting? Or motorcycling? Or skiing? Or no part-time jobs at all? I certainly wouldn't. So why would I let the Union tell me what I can and can't do off duty?

          Last I checked, I PAY to be a member, the IAFF works for ME. Our dues pays all their salaries. When they start paying me, then they can worry about my free time.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by johnsb View Post

            Last I checked, I PAY to be a member, the IAFF works for ME. Our dues pays all their salaries. When they start paying me, then they can worry about my free time.
            But the union is looking out for you!

            Lets look at this potential scenario: A career firefighter is also a member of a volunteer fire dept. The career firefighter becomes disabled (bad back, etc.) or has health issues (asthma, cancer, etc.). The career firefighter then wants their career fire dept.'s disability program, retirement program, workers compensation carrier, etc. to pay out benefits for loss of work (wages. etc.) and /or medical bills.

            The fire dept. jurisdiction (city, county, etc.), insurance carrier, retirement program, etc. denies the claim. When the denied firefighter appeals, they are shown records indicating the firefighter was a member of a volunteer FD, where the firefighter responded to fire and/or EMS calls, training sessions, etc., which would indicate the medical and/or injury could have occurred there. The run report from your volunteer fire dept. shows you were responding to fires, chemical spills, etc. so you subjected yourself to exposure to smoke, chemicals, etc.

            What do you do now that your claim was denied? Hire an attorney at $200.00 an hour to try and get your benefits/coverage from your paid department? If the attorney does get you a lump sum benefit, you can probably expect the attorney to take the customarily 33% + expenses of the awarded lump sum.

            If you go the union route, are you going to request the union to represent you on this denied claim, when they told you not to volunteer in the first place???

            Like I said in a previous reply, I am still on the fence about this issue. At my job, I am a dues paying member of my union (not IAFF). I listen to my union. You should, too.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

              But the union is looking out for you!

              Lets look at this potential scenario: A career firefighter also operates a home renovation company during his off-duty hours. The career firefighter becomes disabled (bad back, etc.) or has health issues (asthma, cancer, etc.). The career firefighter then wants their career fire dept.'s disability program, retirement program, workers compensation carrier, etc. to pay out benefits for loss of work (wages. etc.) and /or medical bills.

              The fire dept. jurisdiction (city, county, etc.), insurance carrier, retirement program, etc. denies the claim. When the denied firefighter appeals, they are shown records indicating the firefighter ran a company off duty that did home renovations. The job report from his renovation company shows he was working at heights (roofs, painting), potentially exposed to lead and asbestos, etc. so you subjected himself to exposure to dust, chemicals, etc.

              What does he do now that his claim was denied? Hire an attorney at $200.00 an hour to try and get his benefits/coverage from workman's comp? If the attorney does get him a lump sum benefit, he can probably expect the attorney to take the customarily 33% + expenses of the awarded lump sum.

              If he goes the union route, is he going to request the union to represent him on this denied claim, when they told him not to have a side job in the first place???

              Like I said in a previous reply, I am still on the fence about this issue. At my job, I am a dues paying member of my union (not IAFF). I listen to my union. You should, too.
              Please note that I've modified the text to reflect the sentiment that FyredUp posed.

              The only inaccurate part is that where the union told him not to have a side job...
              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

                But the union is looking out for you!

                Lets look at this potential scenario: A career firefighter is also a member of a volunteer fire dept. The career firefighter becomes disabled (bad back, etc.) or has health issues (asthma, cancer, etc.). The career firefighter then wants their career fire dept.'s disability program, retirement program, workers compensation carrier, etc. to pay out benefits for loss of work (wages. etc.) and /or medical bills.

                The fire dept. jurisdiction (city, county, etc.), insurance carrier, retirement program, etc. denies the claim. When the denied firefighter appeals, they are shown records indicating the firefighter was a member of a volunteer FD, where the firefighter responded to fire and/or EMS calls, training sessions, etc., which would indicate the medical and/or injury could have occurred there. The run report from your volunteer fire dept. shows you were responding to fires, chemical spills, etc. so you subjected yourself to exposure to smoke, chemicals, etc.

                What do you do now that your claim was denied? Hire an attorney at $200.00 an hour to try and get your benefits/coverage from your paid department? If the attorney does get you a lump sum benefit, you can probably expect the attorney to take the customarily 33% + expenses of the awarded lump sum.

                If you go the union route, are you going to request the union to represent you on this denied claim, when they told you not to volunteer in the first place???

                Like I said in a previous reply, I am still on the fence about this issue. At my job, I am a dues paying member of my union (not IAFF). I listen to my union. You should, too.
                Please show me documentation of even one case that has an outcome like you post here.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

                  But the union is looking out for you!

                  Lets look at this potential scenario: A career firefighter is also a member of a volunteer fire dept. The career firefighter becomes disabled (bad back, etc.) or has health issues (asthma, cancer, etc.). The career firefighter then wants their career fire dept.'s disability program, retirement program, workers compensation carrier, etc. to pay out benefits for loss of work (wages. etc.) and /or medical bills.

                  The fire dept. jurisdiction (city, county, etc.), insurance carrier, retirement program, etc. denies the claim. When the denied firefighter appeals, they are shown records indicating the firefighter was a member of a volunteer FD, where the firefighter responded to fire and/or EMS calls, training sessions, etc., which would indicate the medical and/or injury could have occurred there. The run report from your volunteer fire dept. shows you were responding to fires, chemical spills, etc. so you subjected yourself to exposure to smoke, chemicals, etc.

                  What do you do now that your claim was denied? Hire an attorney at $200.00 an hour to try and get your benefits/coverage from your paid department? If the attorney does get you a lump sum benefit, you can probably expect the attorney to take the customarily 33% + expenses of the awarded lump sum.

                  If you go the union route, are you going to request the union to represent you on this denied claim, when they told you not to volunteer in the first place???

                  Like I said in a previous reply, I am still on the fence about this issue. At my job, I am a dues paying member of my union (not IAFF). I listen to my union. You should, too.
                  But aren't BOTH departments properly documenting injuries and exposures? Should be pretty simple to figure out where and when an injury occurred. Exposures not so simple but the presumption should be that it happened during work at the career department.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

                    Please show me documentation of even one case that has an outcome like you post here.
                    If you are an IAFF member, you can ask that yourself of the IAFF, since they most likely know of case(s). Since I am not a IAFF member, I would probably not be told that info.

                    If you want to see the legal hassles that career firefighters go through, look no further than the website www.firelawblog.com.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by captnjak View Post

                      But aren't BOTH departments properly documenting injuries and exposures? Should be pretty simple to figure out where and when an injury occurred. Exposures not so simple but the presumption should be that it happened during work at the career department.
                      As far as "presumption", you are saying that the workers compensation provider, disability insurance provider and/or retirement plan has to accept your claim? Medical treatment is expensive. Do you think workers compensation, etc. will readily accept the claim if it can dispute it? If its a for profit insurance provider, they look out for their profits FIRST. If the career FD and the volunteer FD have different workers compensation providers, insurance carriers,, etc., they could blame the other FD and claim the other FD insurance carrier should pay.

                      An excellent article just came out, in the Pennsylvania Firemen magazine. "Presumption" for certain medical issues has been enacted in Pennsylvania Sounds great huh?

                      Now for the fallout:
                      1) Several for profit workers compensation insurers have dropped firefighters from coverage.
                      2) The state workers compensation plan is mandated to provide the coverage, so they have had to resort to substantially jacked up premiums. The firefighters and their fire companies/municipalities now cannot afford the increased premiums.

                      I

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

                        If you are an IAFF member, you can ask that yourself of the IAFF, since they most likely know of case(s). Since I am not a IAFF member, I would probably not be told that info.

                        If you want to see the legal hassles that career firefighters go through, look no further than the website www.firelawblog.com.
                        So essentially you made up a scenario you believe may have the possible potential of occurring. When I asked you to prove YOUR ascertation of what could happen you put it back on me to prove YOUR point, sorry that's not how discussion or debate works. If you put forth an idea YOU have to supply supporting evidence or proof.
                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

                          As far as "presumption", you are saying that the workers compensation provider, disability insurance provider and/or retirement plan has to accept your claim? Medical treatment is expensive. Do you think workers compensation, etc. will readily accept the claim if it can dispute it? If its a for profit insurance provider, they look out for their profits FIRST. If the career FD and the volunteer FD have different workers compensation providers, insurance carriers,, etc., they could blame the other FD and claim the other FD insurance carrier should pay.

                          An excellent article just came out, in the Pennsylvania Firemen magazine. "Presumption" for certain medical issues has been enacted in Pennsylvania Sounds great huh?

                          Now for the fallout:
                          1) Several for profit workers compensation insurers have dropped firefighters from coverage.
                          2) The state workers compensation plan is mandated to provide the coverage, so they have had to resort to substantially jacked up premiums. The firefighters and their fire companies/municipalities now cannot afford the increased premiums.

                          I
                          I will answer similar to the way Fyredup did, YOU gave the example of a career guy getting hurt and then the career department trying to say he was injured while working elsewhere. All in an attempt to avoid liability or responsibility. I merely meant to point out that the career department would likely have a system to document injuries. The firefighter either could show a documented career department related injury or he couldn't. If he could do so how could anyone deny him?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post

                            If you are an IAFF member, you can ask that yourself of the IAFF, since they most likely know of case(s). Since I am not a IAFF member, I would probably not be told that info.

                            If you want to see the legal hassles that career firefighters go through, look no further than the website www.firelawblog.com.
                            If you are not an IAFF member, how is it that you are making up scenario's of what will happen with the IAFF???

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by johnsb View Post

                              If you are not an IAFF member, how is it that you are making up scenario's of what will happen with the IAFF???
                              EXACTLY!! Excellent point.
                              Crazy, but that's how it goes
                              Millions of people living as foes
                              Maybe it's not too late
                              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by johnsb View Post

                                If you are not an IAFF member, how is it that you are making up scenario's of what will happen with the IAFF???
                                Ding! Ding! we have a winner.

                                Since I am not an IAFF member, I do not have any credibility??? Like I said in a previous post, I am a dues paying member to a trade union. Actually, the second union that I have been a member of.

                                I have been involved in many union activities and have seen many issues, especially workplace injuries disability, etc.. If your union tells you not to do something, there is a reason not too. One problem I see in a union, is that members do what the union tell them not to do and when the member does it, the union is expected to "save" the member from what they were told not to do in the first place!

                                If you want to be a two hatter, despite what the union tells you, then go ahead. When the scenario I showed unwraps, hope you got big cash for legal expenses to get your disability, medical claim, etc. accepted.

                                "Presumption" coverage for cancer, etc. may get enacted for you, but if you look at the fallout of the mandated in Pennsylvania, the issue is not over yet.

                                Comment

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