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Old 12-11-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post
If they're working 30 hours, they deserve health insurance. And they deserve pay too.
What part of "volunteer" does everyone miss? You say they deserve health insurance? How, if the community can't pay a fire department staff and must rely on volunteers, do they pay for insurance?
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick Enough View Post
Another poster who doesn't read the article then makes comments.

In towns with more than one volunteer fire department, all the staffers will likely be lumped together for tax purposes, pushing many municipalities above the 50-worker threshold.

" If they are volunteers you simply cut the hours back to below 30"

I can't empress how ridiculous this statement is.

Fires and other emergencies DON'T occur on a time clock.

I can see it now. Your house is on fire and the volunteer firefighters are at your house. BEFORE they have put out the fire the Captain orders ALL firefighters to return to the firehouse because before going to YOUR house they have put out 3 other house fires this week and cannot go over the 30 hour requirement.
Here is a good discussion by firefighters about how they compensate their volunteers.

Volunteer Fire Fighter Recruitment

Here's a few excerpts:
We pay our volunteer people thirty dollars per run and ten dollars for each hour after the first three hours and they are covered under the insurance, there training is paid for, there classes are paid for, there paid for events that they come in for to help out on and they have a say on issues that might affect them. We also run both fire and medical and encourage them to further there education that is why we pay for there training and classes.

As far as the per call thing, we are payed on a scale. We start off at $3 per call, then after making like 50 calls, you get $3.25 for all the calls you made (including the first 50), and so on...

We have about $183K budget (for one half of a town) and we can't afford $30 a call like that either.
I'm not sure what the insurance is, it might just be catastrophic for injures received on the job, and not full blown soup to nuts health care insurance.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:32 AM
 
38,196 posts, read 39,488,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick Enough View Post
"How many fire departments and volunteers are actually going to be affected by the PPACA?
We donít really know."

"Nationally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that volunteer fire departments make up 71 per cent of America's 1 million firehouses. Another 16 per cent are 'mostly volunteer."

People who DON'T read the articles attached then ASK question about what was covered in the article,

"That's what cracks me up"
They don't know becsue they don't know how many have more than 50 volunteers. All volunteer firefighters are treated by the IRS as employees so any volunteer FF company with more than 50 members will be affected. Many of these stations even though they may be small have many members.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
They don't know becsue they don't know how many have more than 50 volunteers. All volunteer firefighters are treated by the IRS as employees so any volunteer FF company with more than 50 members will be affected. Many of these stations even though they may be small have many members.
From the news article about this:

The health care reform law, known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and derisively by Republicans as Obamacare, requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance. Companies with fewer than 50 employees do not have to offer insurance. Full-time employees are defined as an employee who works 30 or more hours a week.

Sounds to me that they are not counting the number of people employed, by allowing the employer to separate the different departments. If a city has 150 people employed by the city government, you think they can evade the law by claiming 20 people working in city sanitation, 30 police officers, 30 fire fighters, etc... and get out from under the 50 person limit?
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OICU812 View Post
From the news article about this:

The health care reform law, known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and derisively by Republicans as Obamacare, requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance. Companies with fewer than 50 employees do not have to offer insurance. Full-time employees are defined as an employee who works 30 or more hours a week.

Sounds to me that they are not counting the number of people employed, by allowing the employer to separate the different departments. If a city has 150 people employed by the city government, you think they can evade the law by claiming 20 people working in city sanitation, 30 police officers, 30 fire fighters, etc... and get out from under the 50 person limit?
Depends on the corporate structure. If a volunteer FD is part of a city government than they are totaled into that government. If they have a separate corporate identity they are not.

To determine time worked W2 hours are totaled over a period such as a year and divided by the number of weeks.

I would think it would have to be a very big or very active volunteer force for it to be a question.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post

I would think it would have to be a very big or very active volunteer force for it to be a question.
I don't know about other areas of the country but the volunteer companies here can be very large.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I don't know about other areas of the country but the volunteer companies here can be very large.
Hard to find clean statistics but at least 80% of the VFDs service communities of less than 10,000. Doubtful if any of these would qualify. About half of the VFD are in communities of less than 2,500.

As you get into the larger communities they become increasingly career and some may need to provide their volunteers with health insurance.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
Hard to find clean statistics but at least 80% of the VFDs service communities of less than 10,000.
In my area that is easily going to be a 50 man department, there is one right up the road from that services about 2 or 3K and easily has 30 or 40 members. Just becaue they are member doesn't mean they go out for every fire, they might just be around for the other activities like fundraising etc. As someone already mentioned it's pretty much like a social club. They hang out or whatever, there is always cars there.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
In my area that is easily going to be a 50 man department, there is one right up the road from that services about 2 or 3K and easily has 30 or 40 members. Just becaue they are member doesn't mean they go out for every fire, they might just be around for the other activities like fundraising etc. As someone already mentioned it's pretty much like a social club. They hang out or whatever, there is always cars there.
That would align with my experience. 50 to 100 members. But those are very unlikely to qualify. They would have to be hitting 15 to 30 hours a week which is very unlikely. They don't get paid for social time.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:33 PM
 
38,196 posts, read 39,488,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
That would align with my experience. 50 to 100 members. But those are very unlikely to qualify. They would have to be hitting 15 to 30 hours a week which is very unlikely. They don't get paid for social time.
Apparently they have been seeking clarification from the IRS for months now so something is up. Seems to be a dilemma becsue if they are going to exempt the volunteer fire departments why not the Red Cross? etc.
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