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Benifits for Vollies

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  • Benifits for Vollies

    Im a volly in NJ and a JR in high school as well as a JR fire fighter. Im woking on a paper for school and i need to improve my town some how...well i am finding a way to obtain bemifits for our vollies in the FD and Rescue Squad. Presently we dont have any because the town thinks if the vollies have benifits, then the PAID PD should. I am looking for info. on what vol. departments around the county recieve, if any. Thanks

    Craig Taureck
    Old Bridge Fire Company,
    East Brunswick Fire Distric #1
    EB, NJ

  • #2
    Our 100% volunteer department has the following benefits (just the highlights posted):

    Retirement - after 15 years, I'll recieve $450.00 a month when I reach retirement age. More time in more cash at retirement. Be a nice little supplement to the scam the feds call social security.

    Workers comp - this gives us lifetime coverage for injuries/illness recieved in the line of duty.

    Death, major medical/disability - $250,000 AD&D policy with HIV rider, $100,000 additional supplemental medical (goes with workers comp), up to $900 week disability.

    One of the things we've been asked to check into by the membership is buying in to the city employee insurance policy and see if we are eligable.

    Additionally, I know of other city VFD's whose members get a break on their city utilities.


    • #3
      Concerning Benefits for Vollies, I have begun to explore other opportunities than standard insurance, retirement, etc. I have inquired into local businesses for a discount participation. Some examples are a local gym, restaraunts, stores, ETC. We have discussed % discounts, buy one get one free, etc. Basically the details would be between the business and the dept. Let me know what you think


      • #4
        There is a Papa John's pizza right next door to the station. They give us a half price discount, money they more than make up in volume


        • #5
          "We have discussed % discounts, buy one get one free, etc."

          While discounts and things of that nature are nice, 2 thoughts come to mind...

          1. This might be illegal if you are tax supported. Check with your city attorney.

          2. To go in and try to negotiate with a business for these things could be viewed as a strong arm tactic. Let me be clear first when I say I'm certain this is not what you are doing, but consider this:

          You've tried and failed at negotiating with Pop at Pops Diner. He won't give you a discount. In spite of your best efforts, Pops Diner burns to the ground one night. Pop tells the newspaper

          "You know, I don't think them guys did all they could and it's because I wouldn't give them free drinks. They were in here a few weeks ago asking me for free drinks and I'm a business man, I got 10 kids to feed, I can't be giving out free stuff. So they just let it burn over no free drinks."

          How could you defend that? Remember that in todays society, perception is 9/10ths of the truth, regardless of the truth.

          Let businesses offer, but be wary of asking.

          [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 02-25-2001).]


          • #6
            This is just one man's opinion but...If you're in this looking for "benefits" you're barking up the wrong tree. It may sound trite but the reason I volunteer is to help my neighbors and the community in a way that I like doing. If I wasn't motivated to do that, I don't think the trinkets would make any difference.
            The only "benefit" I ask my volunteer company to provide is decent gear, apparatus and equipment, and insurance in case something should happen.


            • #7
              Our City gives us free water, sewer, and garbage pickup, and we are on the Volunteer Retirement System with the State, as well as insurance coverage should we get hurt.

              With the Retirement, you are vested after 5 years, and the amount that you get when you retire depends on the age you retire and years of service.

              Hope this helps. And...

              We get several freebies around town, like 50% off at the local McDonalds, and 30% off of a pizza at Pizza Hut.

              check and see if New Jersey has a volunteer retirement system.

              Ed Brando


              • #8
                I for one prefer to use the term incentives as opposed to benefits.

                Believe it or not in some bedroom communities outside large metro areas, there is a need to entice people to volunteer with an incentive. This is especially true when it come to getting people to join off the street. Incentives are only a way to get them in the door.

                Wether it is a LOSAP, tax credit, tuition reimbursment or whatever. I'm sure everyone would agree that once you experience it you stay with it, wether of not if you get a benefit out of it.

                It might just happen that residents would rather pay the small amount it cost to maintain a a greater number of volunteers as opposed to a few paid firefighter.

                The views and opinions expressed herin are my personal views and opinions and not those of any organization, department I may belong to or represent

                [This message has been edited by D.SCHWER (edited 02-27-2001).]


                • #9
                  I just joined my local Volunteers and I think we get 10 dollars a month for clothes and another 10 dollars a month for your car or truck usage plus points (??). Also a Big dinner at the end of the year with your sponse. But I'm not doing it for the $$$ just missed the FireFighter Service after being out od it for 10 yrs.

                  Old School...Learning New Tricks


                  • #10
                    As of now, we have no benefits. There are a few businesses around that will discount a meal sometimes if you are wearing your F.D. shirt.
                    Just a side note, in discussing with a co-worker the potential of getting our guys on the state pension plan, his response was "You volunteer, little league soccer coaches volunteer too, but you don't see them wanting a pension."
                    Oh well, not everyone appreciates us.


                    • #11
                      When I was an active volunteer I did it for the action and comraderie. We did the job and we were all friends. We did't ask for anything, but for a decent rig, turout gear, and insurance just in case.
                      The departments I was associated with found that recruitment and retention was a management issue not an "incentives and benefits" issue. Having people volunteer for this isn't found in the wallet, but elsewhere.
                      Only one company had a program for college reimbursment. The classes had to be fire or EMS oriented and you had to have a certain grade at completion. Few took advantage when I was there.
                      Some departments have pay per call clothing allowances and other programs. I feel this is weakening the volunteers, because the motivation isn't for the right reasons.
                      Just my 0.02.


                      • #12
                        I just hope you guys in TX realize how lucky you are!!!! WOW!! (We are covered by workmen's comp. if hurt at a fire scene - and that's all the state or county provides.) The appreciation of our community is our main fringe benefit.

                        God is our Fire Chief;
                        Jesus is our Incident Commander.


                        • #13
                          After 25 years on the dept our guys recieve the same retirement as county employees do. The only other benifits are the ones that you can't measure, the gratitude of those whom you have helped.


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