I was trying to find out from firefighters around Dallas how does being in the reserves affect you and the department. I could not find any of the firefighters in the reserves currently or ever so I was hoping if any of you know how being in the reserves hurts or helps you in the fire department. My main concerns follows such as if you have duties to both and it might hurt your other job, which takes lead,or what can I do to avoid such a situation of happening. EX : Drills and Training on the same day that you have to work.
The best place to be asking such questions would be the reserve unit one would be attached to. There are laws that protect employees who are serving in the reserves and we have had some members who served.
I talked to a reserve recruiter on such issues and got the impression the reserve unit would be willing to work with you more. Although, this was a Navy reserve component. So if there was a drill weekend and one would be scheduled for their regular job, they could make up the time by coming to the reserve center and doing some odd jobs etc and that time would count towards your reserve obligation. I can't speak for all other reserve or guard components, but for both jobs, one is going to know when a drill weekend is or when they are supposed to do their primary job in order to get off.
The other issue would come in if your regular employer gave you time off for drill (the military component tends to take precedence) but if you would be scheduled to work, there are issues as to pay and who pays how much etc. The reseve aspect only pays so much, so in such cases of a drill weekend, it may be easier to take vacation or have someone work a trade for you.
Personally I don't think you see too many FF who are reservists is there is a huge time committment and that is where being a reservist may hurt you. Not so much as the job, but the time away from family. I'm speaking from a career standpoint though.
I am not from the Dallas area, but I am both a career firefighter and a reserve firefighter in the Air Force. It is a double edge sword at times. It helps a majority of the time, but i feel hurts me some as well. Luckily my department and state accept the IFSAC certs i have earned in the air force which has helped me get ahead. The negative is that they only give us 216 hours toward military duties. That includes a weekend a month (starts on friday and ends on sunday afternoon) and a required 2-week Annual Tour at some point during the year. For instance I will have to use 116 hours of vacation to complete this year of military duty. I am also getting deployed for 6 months starting in Oct. Luckily for me, both my Chief and A/C are retired military firefighters. So they understand what it is i go through on a monthly basis.