Volunteers pushing to be more like Career

Union and union related discussion.
joeshmow183
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gooooneeeee

Postby joeshmow183 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:34 pm

gonnnnnneeee
Last edited by joeshmow183 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JayG
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Postby JayG » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:11 pm

The separation is that they don't get paid as much, don't have benefits, and don't get a pension.

You seriously think it's a good idea to have undertrained volunteers that may be covering your ass at a major fire? Of course they need the same training and the same gear to keep them safe. If you want to give them different colored helmets so you know who is career and who is volunteer so you don't accidentally talk to them at rehab then that is fine, but to suggest they get poorer training is ridiculous. If anything they need better training because they respond to fewer calls and therefore have less opportunities to keep their skills honed.

As far as the trucks go, yes it is a little ridiculous that they are trying to take out trucks that they would never be on anyways because they are gone before the volunteers even get paged. They should stick to taking out the trucks that they use.

Doesn't your union have something clearly outlining the differences between the volunteers and career responsibilities?

braidjansen
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Postby braidjansen » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:36 pm

I would say that if your vollies are demanding more training and better equipment they feel that they require it based on the kinds of job they are being asked to do. It seems to me that your collective agreement must have a contracting out clause that clearly outlines what tasks are reserved to full time/unionized staff. But outside of that vollies should have the same equipment and, as much as possible, the same training as their full time counterparts. By all means different helmets to differentiate the two groups but when three firefighters are going into a structure on the same hose line, and two are vollies and one is full time, the differences fade very quickly. They must be competent on the apparatus and equipment that they are expected to use...and they should have more than a passing familiarity with the equipment normally only used by full time staff. Waiting for things to go pear shaped to find out that your part time staff don't know how to use a particular piece of equipment effectively because it is normally only used by full time staff is too late. At the end of the day the Ministry of Labour doesn't recognize a difference between full time and POC/volunteer staff. If there is an incident and a firefighter, any firefighter, was not properly equipped or trained they will nail your department to the wall. Firefighting is becoming an increasingly technical and advanced occupation. Having different training and equipment standards for different classes of firefighters in the same department is no longer acceptable.

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JayG
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Postby JayG » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:32 pm

[quote=""braidjansen""]At the end of the day the Ministry of Labour doesn't recognize a difference between full time and POC/volunteer staff. If there is an incident and a firefighter, any firefighter, was not properly equipped or trained they will nail your department to the wall. Firefighting is becoming an increasingly technical and advanced occupation. Having different training and equipment standards for different classes of firefighters in the same department is no longer acceptable.[/quote]

Well said. I can't imagine the chief would want to explain to the MOL or council why he didn't feel his volunteers needed the same training if something went sideways because the vollies weren't trained to the same standard.

joeshmow183
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Postby joeshmow183 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:56 pm

Ok, let me clarify what was meant by the training side. They are trained to the same firefighter standard that we are, what they are wanting is to be able to train on the technical rescue stuff. (eg. hazmat,ropes,swift water,ice rescue etc.) They are trained to the 1001.

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3rdGen
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Postby 3rdGen » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:19 pm

Volunteers seem to get paid too much.

STOP...don't get mad yet... as a former 8 year Volunteer, I am proud of the service I provided my community, and respect the work volunteers do. but part of my pride was the trade off I had with my department. In exchange for my time and dedication I recieved less that $1000/year, excellent training, experience and certifications, taking me from boyhood to manhood and setting me up for a fantastic career in the service.

The term volunteer should be reserved for next to nil in financial compensation.
POC/part time seems more appropriate for most of the Ontario services that are represented on here.

Ok back on topic,

thanks, and again, sorry to interupt.
"You can't be wrong for doing the right thing"

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PNEFD
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Postby PNEFD » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:14 pm

[quote=""joeshmow183""]Ok, let me clarify what was meant by the training side. They are trained to the same firefighter standard that we are, what they are wanting is to be able to train on the technical rescue stuff. (eg. hazmat,ropes,swift water,ice rescue etc.) They are trained to the 1001.[/quote]

So?

I fail to see where the issue is... If they are asking for separate training that is of a significant cost, then I can see the municipality taking issue. If they are asking to attend the same training as the career side, at minimal extra cost... Who cares?

Keeping in mind that I have no idea where you work, or the composition of the department, but what happens if say, you are working a structure fire, and you get banged out for one of the aforementioned tech rescues, and it's only the volly's left to respond? Just sayin'...

One would think that you would be happy to have you're POC folks that are backing you up every bit as well trained as you are.... not to mention that the local probably has bigger fish to fry....
Any opinions expressed are my own, and in no way reflect those of any agency, or person, other than myself.

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JayG
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Postby JayG » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:09 pm

[quote=""joeshmow183""]Ok, let me clarify what was meant by the training side. They are trained to the same firefighter standard that we are, what they are wanting is to be able to train on the technical rescue stuff. (eg. hazmat,ropes,swift water,ice rescue etc.) They are trained to the 1001.[/quote]

If the vollies/POC do not have these roles and responsibilities then they don't need to train on them. In this case, I would agree it is inappropriate for them to ask to be trained for this. Why do they feel they need this training?

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JayG
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Postby JayG » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:12 pm

[quote=""3rdGen""]
The term volunteer should be reserved for next to nil in financial compensation.
POC/part time seems more appropriate for most of the Ontario services that are represented on here.
[/quote]

Agreed. The wording should be changed. Many places still call it volunteer even if they get paid for the calls and training, which is not really volunteer in that case. In BC they call a spade a spade and those guys are called POC.

braidjansen
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Postby braidjansen » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:10 am

I guess it all depends on the composition of your department. If your dept is like mine...a single full time truck with 2-3 guys 24/7...then I would say your volunteers need the extra training...at the very least they would need to be trained to the awareness level on all the specializations your department maintains. You may even need a few trained to tech level just to ensure you have the bodies. Even if you have a large full time staff your vollies would need to have awareness training just to be safe in a support role during a hazmat or confined space rescue call.

I agree that the term volunteer firefighter needs to be removed from our vocabulary when referring to many of our firefighters these days. Paid on call or part time are far more appropriate terms. The problem here in Ontario is that the legislation governing the fire service only identifies two classes of firefighter: Firefighter (full time suppression, communications, fire prevention, and mechanical) and volunteer firefighter. So volunteer firefighter has become a grey area with a wide assortment of job descriptions and employment types.

I dislike the us vs them relationship between full time and "volunteers". All too often management is able to take advantage of the divisions and play one group off against the other. It also seems to me that more volunteers transitioning to part time is a good thing for the fire service and the union. Far too many municipalities use volunteer firefighters to run their fire service on the cheap. Part time firefighters (dare I say represented by a union, perhaps a separate branch of the IAFF???) are far more likely to demand and receive proper equipment and training and municipalities will quickly learn the true cost of running a fire service has little to do with pay and benefits and that full time firefighters are in reality not that expensive by comparison.
Last edited by braidjansen on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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