Volunteer firefighters to earn retire...

Volunteer firefighters to earn retirement credits

There are 48 comments on the Newsday story from May 2, 2007, titled Volunteer firefighters to earn retirement credits. In it, Newsday reports that:

Voters in four separate ambulance districts in Southampton town overwhelmingly approved referendums on Tuesday which will allow volunteer crews to earn retirement credits for their work.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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out east

Plainview, NY

#44 May 2, 2007
Real Facts wrote:
<quoted text>
My point is, having these elections when no one seems to know about them makes those people calling for the election to be fraudulent.

Conversely, if this election had all the press in the world, and everyone knew about it well in advance, then I would have little to say.
Since I am not from that area, and you seem to know the facts, please educate me. What percentage of people turned out to vote. Again, if South Hampton only has 200 registered voters, then the relatively high voter turnout means I should just shut up. However, if South Hampton has 20,000 voters, and only 118 people voted, I would almost say that there
they may be some sort of fraud here.
May I also point out that saying that it will take an hour to vote if everything was on one day is like saying your taxes would go up 300% if we went to a paid department.
Just as a side note, all the departments that participated in this referendum have a hybrid staff of paid & volunteer to meet county and staff performance criteria.
Perhaps a single voting day is impossible, but do we really need all these separate votes? I have no idea when our fire department elections even are. There are no “Get out the vote” messages for the department elections.
So, I will defer back to you, can you tell us what the percentage of voter turnout was like in this election? Remember, this is thing with the firefighters has been all over Newsday for months. People are mad. They feel all the special districts are trying to get every dollar they can out of us. So, how did these ambulance companies respond? Was this all above board?
These elections were well publicized in the local municipal newspapers of record which they have to be by law. Further each ambulance squad held public educational forums prior to the referendum.
Not a clue to % voter turnout. But i'm sure our wonderful Newsday could come up with those numbers with a call to the county board of elections.
The vote took place in a manner required by state law.
This was to decide if the EXISTING length of service award program the public voted on a number of years ago should be amended (again the program itself is also regulated by the state comptroller).
Realize that those who ultimately receive this benefit must have at least five year of active service to said department. When you stop to realize how few volunteer emt's reach this time mark the impact is minimal $'s.
Tinker

Bronx, NY

#45 May 2, 2007
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, you are so open minded.
Thanks, there are a few on this board who seem to have a dislike for vols. I can see you're not one of them. But I could be wrong.
Tinker

Bronx, NY

#46 May 2, 2007
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
We do. By paying taxes and making donations. But here on LI we can no longer keep funding more entitlements.
But you can afford to pay for a fire dept? how ya do in math in school?
Newsragbites

Bronx, NY

#48 May 2, 2007
Dave wrote:
This is good and very similiar to what we get in the volunteer fire system.
To "your kidding right"...some simple things.
I easily volunteer 1000 - 1500 hours per year, while many of my fellow volunteers provide even more hours of service. If I were to receive around $250 in perks/benefits each year, this costs taxpayers about $.15 to $.25 per hour. If you want to pay higher taxes and feel we are not doing a sufficient job, then push for a full paid system. I’m sure it will cost much more than that. FDNY firefighters are paid, as this is their career. We have own careers and families, but work very hard to find the time to volunteer our time to help protect the public.
I have to admit, I do also enjoy what I do in the fire service. The training, comradery, action, and most importantly, helping people I don’t even know.
Realize that I would risk my life to help save you, not even knowing who you are.
Would you do the same? Do you even volunteer for anything, or do you just sit back and judge others?
There has always been a great pride felt by Long Island’s volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. It’s a shame that we are somehow becoming vilified and unappreciated by people such as yourself and NEWSDAY.
It does still feel good to know the majority of the public does appreciate us, and that you are an annoyingly vocal minority.
Well put, Dave.
Real Facts

New York, NY

#50 May 3, 2007
out east wrote:
<quoted text>
These elections were well publicized in the local municipal newspapers of record which they have to be by law. Further each ambulance squad held public educational forums prior to the referendum.
Not a clue to % voter turnout. But i'm sure our wonderful Newsday could come up with those numbers with a call to the county board of elections.
The vote took place in a manner required by state law.
This was to decide if the EXISTING length of service award program the public voted on a number of years ago should be amended (again the program itself is also regulated by the state comptroller).
Realize that those who ultimately receive this benefit must have at least five year of active service to said department. When you stop to realize how few volunteer emt's reach this time mark the impact is minimal $'s.
But again, this is the point that I am trying to make.

Perhaps I am being a bit too hash.

When there is a school budget vote, Newsday starts reporting on it about a week before. All the kids come home with papers telling their parents to make sure they vote yes for the budget. The school has signs in front saying make sure you vote yes.

While I may not agree with the school using our kids as they do (offering “No Homework” if your parents go out and vote for example, at least the vote is published in a way.

Even our mayor’s race on March 20th. It was in Newsday. There were signs everywhere. All the villages seemed to have the vote on the same day. It seems that you had to be living under a rock not to knew there was a village board and mayor vote in these southwest Nassau villages that day.

I am not familiar with the politics in South Hampton. However, this sounds very much like a vote that was conducted in secret. Yea, I am sure it is all completely legal, but was everyone really notified of the vote?

With all the publicity that all these special ”Taxing districts” have been getting lately in Newsday, I would think that continuing with the same practices that people are already up in arms about would be discouraged. Just because it is legal does not make it right.

Again, my points are not about the money. I would have voted yes, but I would like the chance to vote! I don't have a problem with giving the volenteers something, as long as it is all above board.
Real Facts

New York, NY

#51 May 3, 2007
Tinker wrote:
<quoted text>Surely you jest or you just don't know what you are talking about. You seem to be the type of person, who while lying in bed on a snowy Feb night hears the sirens go off and pulls the cover over his
head saying " I wish they'd turn those damn things off"
Again, obviously you do not know me.

But, again, you brought this up, so I will run with it. When did we start rolling out plectrons to our firefighters? I believe it was in the late 70s. I know we had them in ’86, so it was before that.

So, why some 30 years later, do we still have the sirens going off? Does the whole town really need to know that Mrs. Smith called 911 again because she fell?

But, no, I have never said I wish they would turn them off. I have had to explain them to several people who have been at my house, but grew up in a place where there was no volunteer departments (like NYC, London, Virginia & DC, etc.)

So, please stop trying to kill or put down every person that thinks the system can be changed for the better. The funny part is, I am not the guy you have to worry about, it is the people like you that are giving the rest of the volunteers a bad name.
Frank

AOL

#52 May 3, 2007
RealNYER wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL!! Freebies?? Like what?
Go ahead, hire away! You think your taxes are bad now.... FDNY gets a hell of alot more when it comes to pensions.
Fools...
No doubt. That little POS from Fl. doesn't have a clue. Bring in a paid department that are going to want parody with the P.D. & our taxes will be off the charts.
Flameout

Levittown, NY

#53 Sep 2, 2014
For the Dix Hills FD:

Along with a $1,000 property tax break (after a couple years) those who can their monthly calls quota for 20 years can take a monthly pension or a lump sum of $250,000.

So, you give 20 years of your life, getting up in the middle of the night, giving up holidays and weekends, and you essentially get back-pay of $20,500 per year, with no interest.

Add in the volunteers who move away from the area, don't make the quotas, or leave for other reasons, you you'll find that maybe half or less get paid at all.

Compare this to having full-time rotating shifts, people getting OT and insurance (I have a family of 6!), and you'll find that there is a lot of money being saved.

Hope this helps anyone looking to volunteer, but also unable to do it for free.

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