I responded to a house fire tonight around 7:30p. I'm scheduled for work at 11:15p. I got to work at 12m.
My issue is that my supervisor caught attitude with me because I responded to this call without hesitation to think that I may be late for work. She also felt that since I am just a volunteer that I should have just left the scene and been at work on time.
I don't really expect her to fully get what it is that we do and how we feel about it, but really would alittle effort to understand kill her? The fact that I was late didn't inconveince her in the least. She didn't have to leave home to come into work, nobody had to stay late and get overtime.
I'm sure someone out there has had to deal with this issue. Any advice?

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Replies to This Discussion

what state are you from. In PA if you respond to a call before work, the employer cannot fire you, but you won't get paid. But if you get a note from the officer in charge with all pertaing info needed. You shouldn't get anything against you. attendence wise. But these days anything is possible.
A couple of things I would suggest. My department has a work excuse that we provide to members who have missed any work time due to a call. It is on our letterhead has the date and time of call and what time the member was released from the call. It is usually signed by a Chief with contact information should any questions arise.

The other thing is you may want to research - Pennsylvania Law Prohibit Employment Termination of Volunteer Firefighters For Time Lost - Act of 1977, P.L. 249, No. 83. This law as I read it gives you legal recourse if you are terminated from your job as result of time lost due to a call. This is just something to keep in mind.

When I was Chief of our Department on more than occassion I spoke with local employers on the value of allowing members to respond to calls during work hours. It worked well for our department so I would suggest seeing if your Chief would speak with the employer if the problem persists.
I just wanted to note that we never had issues with employers as long as the excuse was sent. My policy as Chief was when we returned to the station those that were working,whether they had left from work or the call came in before their scheduled work time, were released as soon as possible.

We don't get paid for what we do we do it for the love of our respective communities. I would think if the supervisor would take a moment to listen to you explain the mechanics of a volunteer department maybe they would better understand why you were late.
Thanx for the advice.
Thanx for the info. I spoke to my Chief today and he did give me a work excuse. He said that if I needed him to there would be no problem with him calling.
We do the same as Bob's company with the work excusse as well as releasing them as soon as possible and it seems to work for our guys with no complaints from their employers. You must just remember that not everyone understands what and why we do what we do. and the more you preach to them the worse it sometimes gets. the only way they might have a change of heart is that they would happen to need the fire service to rescue a loved one or save their house. then their tune sometimes changes.
i live in pa and yes you are right you cant get fired if your late for work becuase your on a call..it's the law in pa.but you cant leave work to go to a emergency unless your boss says you can. and yes you have to have paper work from the chief to give to your boss aswell.
and another thing people dont seem to care. but what they dont know is that when they see a fire truck or any oher emergency vehicle goin down the road. for all they know they could be goin to save there house or to rescue one of there family members. so untill that happens they dont care.if you have to be at work at say 8am but you been on a fire since 5am. they want you to be at work and leave the fire..im sorry but me i would never leave any emergency untill we was done. i dont care who says what.
yes thats how it is to be in pa
I totally agree with you Micheal. I won't leave until the job is complete.
I got attitude when I called off recently for a gas well explosion. We were on scene for nearly 12 hours. I didn't have any problems this time around just a major attitude and a lack of understanding. Wish I could really tell my boss just what I was thinking but I would end up unemployed for sure.

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