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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your kidding right

Denver, CO

#1 May 2, 2007
so i guess volunteer isn't really volunteer.
between property tax breaks and other county discounts and other freebies, and now pensions too, not bad. gives new meaning to the word "volunteer".
i appreciate all they do, but they should really hire full time paid fire employees since volunteers seem to be getting most of the same benefits anway.
do paid FDNY get tax breaks on their homes?
Steve

New York, NY

#2 May 2, 2007
Once again flushing away the poor tax payers money.

In ten years watch how much this is going to cost everyone.
FlapJack

Huntington Station, NY

#4 May 2, 2007
This is well deserved.
RealNYER

Cresskill, NJ

#5 May 2, 2007
your kidding right wrote:
so i guess volunteer isn't really volunteer.
between property tax breaks and other county discounts and other freebies, and now pensions too, not bad. gives new meaning to the word "volunteer".
i appreciate all they do, but they should really hire full time paid fire employees since volunteers seem to be getting most of the same benefits anway.
do paid FDNY get tax breaks on their homes?
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...

Since: Apr 07

Cutchogue, NY

#6 May 2, 2007
your kidding right wrote:
so i guess volunteer isn't really volunteer.
between property tax breaks and other county discounts and other freebies, and now pensions too, not bad. gives new meaning to the word "volunteer".
i appreciate all they do, but they should really hire full time paid fire employees since volunteers seem to be getting most of the same benefits anway.
do paid FDNY get tax breaks on their homes?
NYC has tons of incentives and programs for the emplyoees of NYC
James

New York, NY

#7 May 2, 2007
This is regarding amblance companies, they are not Members of a Fire Dept therfore they are not firefighters.
Dave

Hauppauge, NY

#8 May 2, 2007
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.
Dave

Hauppauge, NY

#9 May 2, 2007
Steve wrote:
Once again flushing away the poor tax payers money.
In ten years watch how much this is going to cost everyone.
Oh yes, paying someone an extremely small retirement benefit for a job they don't get paid for is just ridiculous. I think we should instead pay someone a full salary with a full retirement and health care package. That will save us so much money.
Man.....this just keeps getting better.
Too bad for you

Brooklyn, NY

#10 May 2, 2007
We love our volunteers.
Real Facts

New York, NY

#12 May 2, 2007
Yeah right wrote:
<quoted text>
I was thinking the same exact thing. My post would've been identical.
I don’t get any pension for volunteering at the Church, the school, Boy Scouts, or being a soccer coach.

However, what really concern’s me, is how many people knew about this vote?

I think there should be legislation making it illegal to have any vote for any taxpayer provided service on any day other than the second Tuesday in November. Let there be one election day, instead of the untold number of elections.

Why must I vote in separate elections for Mayor, School Budget, School Board, Fire commissioner and chiefs, and then these “Special Elections” that come out of the blue?

I would venture to bet that most residents had no idea there was an election.
Real Facts

New York, NY

#13 May 2, 2007
FlapJack wrote:
This is well deserved.
It may very well be, however, it is the tactics that are making all the hard working volunteers look bad. Now, had this vote been taken on “Election Day”, I would have nothing to say.
Be a Vol

Bronx, NY

#14 May 2, 2007
the FDNY Commis is looking at plans to add Vols to the FDNY with the hopes of all vols serving in the outter boros.

Since: Apr 07

Lon Gisland

#15 May 2, 2007
your kidding right wrote:
so i guess volunteer isn't really volunteer.
between property tax breaks and other county discounts and other freebies, and now pensions too, not bad. gives new meaning to the word "volunteer".
i appreciate all they do, but they should really hire full time paid fire employees since volunteers seem to be getting most of the same benefits anway.
do paid FDNY get tax breaks on their homes?
The so called tax break you refer to is 10% off the fire portion of their tax bill. My fire portion is a little over $200, let's say it's $240 for easy math. That would be a whopping $2.00 a month they save. Most firefighters I know don't even bother with it.
RealNYER

Cresskill, NJ

#16 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 said...
Real Facts

New York, NY

#17 May 2, 2007
Dave wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh yes, paying someone an extremely small retirement benefit for a job they don't get paid for is just ridiculous. I think we should instead pay someone a full salary with a full retirement and health care package. That will save us so much money.
Man.....this just keeps getting better.
Dave,

Thank you for all you have done. As someone who has a family, I know that trying to work, spending time with my family, and giving back to the community can be tough. I thank you for all that you have done.

There has been a change on Long Island in the past twenty years, and many of us feel that switching over to a paid department may be worthwhile. While the manpower for a volunteer system comes for free, the cost of having that manpower is getting to be too much.

We simply cannot afford to keep purchasing trucks that are built more for parades than fighting fires and cost three to five times more than what other cities are paying. We cannot afford to keep purchasing several large SUVs per town for on-call fire chiefs, along with the insurance, fuel and maintenance costs. We cannot afford to have twenty firehouses in an area that could be covered by two.

We cannot afford multi-million dollar renovations to the firehouses, just to attack a few members there in the evening or on a weekend. Lastly, due to the congestion on our roads, we can no longer afford the time it takes for volunteers like you to safely get to the firehouse, and pull one of the trucks out.

Lastly, despite several hints to these departments, many departments on the Island know that they are under scrutiny. Instead of scaling back and attempting to improve their image, they have many of their members continuing with business as usual. They are doing things like scheduling benefit votes that so few people know about, the results are overwhelming. How else do you explain less than 10 people voting against this proposal. Someone is always against something!

Continuing with the “Holier than thou, if you don’t like it, we will let your house burn to the ground”, will only seal your fate. However, having an open an honest dialogue on how to change things, discussing the real pros and cons of continuing, consolidating, hybriding with a paid/unpaid force, or going to a full 24/7 paid department will probably make everyone happy.

Please take that back to your buddies at the department, and please be sure to mention “No hard feelings, we are all just looking out for the best. Thanks for all your work in the past, and your help in the future.”
Steve

New York, NY

#18 May 2, 2007
Dave wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh yes, paying someone an extremely small retirement benefit for a job they don't get paid for is just ridiculous. I think we should instead pay someone a full salary with a full retirement and health care package. That will save us so much money.
Man.....this just keeps getting better.
I appreciate all you do, but the main word here to remember is Volunteer.

Also my point is that it is peanuts now, but entitlements have a way of getting way out of whack.

I pay for the Fire Department in my taxes, I donate money when you ring my bell. Would you be satisfied if I just turned my whole paycheck over to you?

When I volunteer for something I do it not expecting anything but helping my fellow man not to make money.

So save your righteousness for someone else.
Steve

New York, NY

#19 May 2, 2007
Real Facts wrote:
<quoted text>
I don’t get any pension for volunteering at the Church, the school, Boy Scouts, or being a soccer coach.
However, what really concern’s me, is how many people knew about this vote?
I think there should be legislation making it illegal to have any vote for any taxpayer provided service on any day other than the second Tuesday in November. Let there be one election day, instead of the untold number of elections.
Why must I vote in separate elections for Mayor, School Budget, School Board, Fire commissioner and chiefs, and then these “Special Elections” that come out of the blue?
I would venture to bet that most residents had no idea there was an election.
They do it on purpose so you won't get a chance to vote on it.
out east

Plainview, NY

#20 May 2, 2007
James wrote:
This is regarding amblance companies, they are not Members of a Fire Dept therfore they are not firefighters.
exactly right. not one of the depts / districts mentioned is fire affiliated. newsday's attempt to paint with the same brush to try to further irritate the taxpayer?
sceptic

New York, NY

#21 May 2, 2007
Real Facts wrote:
<quoted text>
I don’t get any pension for volunteering at the Church, the school, Boy Scouts, or being a soccer coach.
However, what really concern’s me, is how many people knew about this vote?
I think there should be legislation making it illegal to have any vote for any taxpayer provided service on any day other than the second Tuesday in November. Let there be one election day, instead of the untold number of elections.
Why must I vote in separate elections for Mayor, School Budget, School Board, Fire commissioner and chiefs, and then these “Special Elections” that come out of the blue?
I would venture to bet that most residents had no idea there was an election.
Do you get up at all hours of the night? DO YOU GO TO 2 WEEK TRAINING SCHOOLS on your own time, and have to take vacation from your own job to attend?
If you think it is so great! then join the Fire Department in your community.
out east

Plainview, NY

#22 May 2, 2007
Real Facts wrote:
<quoted text>
It may very well be, however, it is the tactics that are making all the hard working volunteers look bad. Now, had this vote been taken on “Election Day”, I would have nothing to say.
the timing has to do with the referendum being held prior to town government adopting next fiscal year's budget. if you want a single election day take it up with your elected state and federal representatives. i'm sure you'll enjoy standing in the polling booth for a hour while you vote for your government officials, local representatives, school budget, fire commissioners, special referendums, etc all at once!

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