In Tennessee you can be late for work with "getting in trouble" but if you call in and say "I'm at a fire" you could be fired for other reasons. Once at work you have to stay there, it's like oldman said the vollie department don't put food on the table.
It sounds like a situation where your state, county or local laws will dictate the actions that can or will occur. It would be great if all vollies could just leave when they need to or have a call, unfortunately there is the employers side as well. Im sure that they need your productivity...Sounds like a situation where there needs to be a "sit down" with the employee and employer both before getting hired, or after being hired and then starting in the fire service. It sounds like a very tough situation to be in. I hope it can be worked out.
In Il. if population is under 3000 you can leave our work with out being fired state law . the Key is population under 3000 I live in a town of 6000 + it dose not cover me we have a state senator that is a Vol firefighter and he pushed the law through.
An employer can fire a volunteer firefighter work for leaving for a dispatched alarm. Some states have laws that protect volunteer firefighters who were at a fire prior to their start time and were late or missed work.
The short of it is .. your heart is in the right place....
but your boss is right.....
The long of it is....Not sure what state you are in... but if you work locally enough to respond then , work out a deal with the boss for extreme working fires...
And yes I believe any boss that sees you leave to work somewhere else, and your shift is not done.... well they can not count on you... and whether or not the job you are going to is a paid or unpaid job.... you are leaving them unstaffed.....somewhere else.
I am a union worker, and I can get fired for being off the job... but at least I will have a union rep to cry on his shoulders, because even though I felt running to a fire to help someone is obviously more important...just like many of us...
A boss says he has his own responsibilities and they ... need to count on you... that's why they hired you.... because his customers count on him and you for being there and that is what they are paying for...
Now SHould the house be your own or your family memebers .. well then that is a familly emergency... and be ready to show proof of that...because if you have proof it's your immediate family...
YOU and your Family comes first as a volunteer. (No boss can blame you....and how often is that going to happen)
Next comes your abilty to provide for your family... pay your bills, take care of everyone medically.
maybe 1 or 2 more priorities..
Then come being a volunteer....
Gary ... like I said you have your heart in the right place... but always take care of you and your families abiltity to survive..
God bless and take care
MY THING IS I WORK AT A NURSING HOME AND OWE CITY FIRE IS VOL AND IF WE HAVE A FIRE HERE MY BOSS WOULD WANT THE FIRE DEMP TO BE THERE THEY ALL WORK FULL TIME JOBS JUST LIKE ME AND IF THERE BOSSES DONT LET THEM LEAVE WHAT DO WE DO AT THE NURSING HOME.
First off I am with you when it comes to leaving work for calls I believe most people (like I can not leave my job because I am a nurse and would put peoples lives in jepordy by leaving that is why I say MOST because there are some jobs that people should not leave) should be allowed to leave without penalty of losing their job, I have had jobs in the past that I left for calls and even had employers who paid me while I was gone, but that being said, remember your boss can fire you for any reason at anytime, even if the reason is made up to cover himself so he does not get in trouble if there is a law. So becareful when trying to leave if they already made threats.
I know here in ILLINOIS you can not be fired if you are at a fire before you are supposed to be at work but you cannot leave your job unless you have permision. They passed this law a few years ago, but you have to have a letter from your chief.
. Firefighters And Volunteer Firefighters
A fireman is a person who fights fires in homes, buildings, structures, and outdoors. There are two types of firefighters, career and volunteer. Volunteer firefighting is the most popular type of fireman. Those who make a career out of it get a salary, work full time, work scheduled shifts, and are usually based in a local firehouse.
Most firefighters, however, are volunteer workers. They make up a volunteer fire department, or VFD, and make up 73 percent of all firefighters in the United States. Volunteers generally have other jobs outside of firefighting and remain on an on-call status day and night. On-call firefighters may also be expected to volunteer and help with other duties, as well. These may include fundraising, training, cleaning, equipment maintenance, and more. Volunteer firefighters must leave whatever they are doing if they are called to a fire. This includes being at work, asleep, or out for recreation. A volunteer firefighter is allowed, by law, to leave their workplace if responding to a fire call, and cannot get into trouble for it.
I found this after I did a search on the topic.
Do not know how old this is or how it pertains to your location but it just shows that there are laws out there for volunteer firefighters
Vollies and paid are under the same law that a military reservists falls under , as long your boss /employer is aware you serve the community and would need to respond they have to allow you the time to do so by Federal law, weather you get paid or not might be stipulation of employer but you can not be fired for that reason go fond your self a really hot name only collect if you win attorney and take the SOB for everything.
You can bet even if this clown see;s the light he will look for any fart to fire you that's no way to live looking over your shoulder.
Of course someone who owns a business and pays you a salary to work can fire you if you leave work without authorization. Judging from what you wrote, you have not made an agreement with your employer that can respond to an incident / pager activation. You are an employee first and a volunteer firefighter second. Unless of course you are independently wealthy and work for the fun of it, not really needing the job security or money. If this isn't the case, and if you are like 99% of the rest of us, you need to have a verbal and maybe even a written understanding that it's cool for you to respond to an incident. What does not get answered here is should you be paid if you leave? The answer more than likely is no. The only folks I could imagine that could leave their job and respond without issue would be city, county or government workers. It's just not the same impact as someone working as a cook leaving the restaurant during lunch hour because of an alarm. You might consider changing jobs if this is truly your passion and you want to be able to respond in the future.