Do full-time firefighters make ideal part time "on demand" employees....?

Discussion in 'Employment' started by Exact Rototilling, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    ....when you don't have enough work for a full time employee....?

    To get hired as a firefighter is very competitive
    Typically already make good money with benefits....less likely to get irked if you don't have enough consistent work for them....?
    already passed a background check
    tend to be more professional in appearance, less likely to be smokers with fewer visible tattoos

    The down side is if they just came off a busy 24 hour shift or traded shifts and just came off 48 hours of heavy calls.....they will show up to work beat tired and more accident prone.

    I was once a volunteer ff/emt myself and know the drill.

    Input ...thoughts?
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Okay ...a bit of background. Full-time ft/emt's typically work 24 hours on then 48 to 72 hours off. A few districts have even more off time off such as 5 days off in a row twice a month.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. underPSI

    underPSI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    I would think the only reason a professional firefighter would work part-time for a LCO is to gain experience so they could start their own business and make 5x as much.
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Look for young mid to late 50's that are in good shape and dont mind working. I have one that runs a crew for me. Works harder than the joke and he could give a crap if he works 50 hours or 15. First guy at the shop...usually the last to leave. Might be the exception and if you are looking for solely grunt work....probably not a great fit, but I doubt a firefighter is either. Funny story, last year I called him about 3:30 in the morning to go to a parking lot we do to plow. When he answered the phone the radio was blaring and turned right down. I was like wtf...(to myself) anways...head over and start I tell him. He answers what time? I was like now! He says, I'm already here I will be on the clock starting at 4. I couldn't sleep and I saw it already started snowing so I just came over and got started...

    You dont find many guys like me, but I have had 2 and similar results. Reliablity is the biggest thing. Never miss a day and always ready to go. You dont need em....thats fine too.
  5. FerrisDiesel

    FerrisDiesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    As a fulltime firefighter myself, I stopped working for my former employer when I got hired here. The overtime is just so crazy now, I can't turn down time and a half to work 8 hours cutting lawns. Also, if the dept can't get guys to cover shifts, I get ordered to stay, so it was kinda rough calling my boss at 0700 and telling him I couldn't come in because I was stuck at work. It happened so many times that I felt bad and had to cut ties with him. So now I cut my own lawns, get them done in a day, and hope I don't get stuck at work, or catch a rain day lol
  6. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    As a fulltime firefighter myself I'll chime in. If you hire a firefighter he (or she) will almost without fail be smart, highly motivated and hard working, and probably be able to drive a truck and trailer without wrecking it. There is also a real chance that they may be working for you in order to gain experience in the field, and there is also the chance that they may back out on a day working if they are offered overtime. My advice would be to speak candidly when you interview a prospective part time employee, and ask about some of these issues.
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I hired one and it was a pain reason he be on call We was doing a install of sod and they was calling rain he had take off to fight a fire and put us behind We had lay sod in rain
    So never again will hire one
  8. figaroo

    figaroo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Its not the being the firefighter thats the problem, Its his work that is the problem. They may require him to come back on a lot of calls other than being on duty. I'm a firefighter, and I work 24/48 and get the guys that are on my shift to help me all the time and it works out well.
  9. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Just go into it understanding that his primary job will always come first and there is no way that he will be able to be 100% dependable.

    Dont book work that depends on him being there. Like others said, at the last second if the new shift is a man short he can be ordered to stay. Or if he is offered overtime it will surely be a heck of a lot more than he will make working for you so he will take that.
  10. RHR101

    RHR101 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 29

    As previously stated their FF job would always come first and that can make them unreliable at times especially when ordered overtime. When at work though will probably be one of your most prideful, motivated and proactive workers. This is a generalization and may not apply 100% of the time but more often than not. Most enjoy working with their hands and often have some other skills that can come in handy.

    One thing you have to consider though is that without offering steady work from your end it may be hard to expect people be available whenever you need them. Most part-time "as needed" employees come with some issues.

    Full time FF's are very good when you get them too work, but those days when you really need them and they can't be there can be a real pain.

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