Firefighter's family fights for full death benefits

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #1
    If you give your life in service to a community, I'd think they'd be more willing to offer something to your family. Prescott to victim's family: Them's the breaks!

    Firefighter's family fights for full death benefits

     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Why would the families be entitled to full benefits if the firefighters weren't full time employees? It's a horrible tragedy but just because someone dies doesn't mean you get lifetime benefits from the government.

    Alright, flame away.
     
  3. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #3
    It is a tragedy, but it isn't like they are getting nothing. From the linked article in the OP:

    I would be interested to see what the "various other financial and tuition benefits" are.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

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    #4
    I was about to agree with you, but after looking at the article it looks like the firefighter in question was nearly full time and only worked part time for a portion of the year. It looks like the family is basically missing out because of a technicality.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors G3

    Huntn

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    #5
    My understanding, but I could be wrong, that is a one time death benefit, based on life insurance. My point is that if you give you life in service to your community, the city should be able to cover your families medical insurance, just my opinion.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #6
    While I agree with you, the family is getting some compensation. At least $328k and some other unnamed benefits which could result in thousands more to the family.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

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    #7
    This is ridiculous. As a firefighter for several years I know what they are going through. The city where I was working was just the same. As a part-time employee, I only had life insurance and no other benefits that the full-time had.

    Yet I did the exact same work as them. Nothing against the full-time here, it was the city that determined what we got. Union could do nothing for us. Yet us part-time put ours lives on the line the same as anyone full-time who worked at our hall. The city refused to recognize that.

    It is an unfortunate fact. But sure sounds the same as we were going through. Our chief was 100% behind us, but had no luck in fighting the politics. So our chief took the hall full-time staff only. Ended up costing the city more in the end. Maybe the widow should remind the Mayor who voted them in or run for Mayor in the next elections.

    Shame that people should have to even begin to fight something like these policies. It is BS. They were all heroes in my eyes and deserve the respect. Heaven forbid should a Councillor or Mayor have to give up a raise of salary so staff can be paid properly.

    You can roast me if you want, but I have been there and know it is all about politics and money.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

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    #8
    This seems sufficient for part time employees. They knew what they were getting into. They knew they were part time employees. If they wanted security, they should have kept looking for a full time job, which I know is incredibly hard as a fire fighter these days, as my buddy is a part time fire fighter and part time EMT (combined he easily works 60 hour weeks usually).

    Insurance pay outs typically aren't taxed, so assuming their husbands made $35k/year in their part time jobs, that would be 9.37 years. That's not a bad length of time - even for families - to adjust/transition their life styles and move on.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Location:
    Georgia
    #9
    Putting aside whether or not her husband should have rated as full time status.

    $328,000 is a lot for benefits depending on if they are taxable and if that is after tax. If she gets the full amount there are many parts of the country where that would be plenty to buy a nice little house paid in full along with two more houses for rentals. Those houses could bring in an income of $1,500 per month. She should also be expecting survivors benefits from Social Security for her and her children. For her while any child is under 16 and for her children under 18.

    This is plenty for them to live off of. It can also provide whatever support she needs while training for a part time or full time job.

    While the death of her husband is tragic. It doesn't mean that the community has to provide her with comfortable income for the rest of her life. She's already been given more than ample means to cushion her and her family while she gets whatever education and entry level jobs out of the way to provide for them comfortably.

    They also don't specify what those other benefits are nor how they compare to full time.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #10
    We've now monetized the value of a firefighters life :rolleyes:

    Great
     
  11. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

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    #11
    Can't that be said about any person who is a first responder?

    Plain and simple they were part time. They were not full time and they knew the benefits, or lack of, when they signed on.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #12
    What is the value of their life?

    If the guy had died off duty I wouldn't have an issue, but he didn't part time/full time matter not at all when you're working to save others.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

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    #13
    It does matter if they are part time or full time. Especially the contracts they sign etc. They chose to do so. They were not forced to sign up. They chose to be part time, in hopes of becoming full time. They knew the risks.

    I am not being cold, but they knew what they were doing. They knew the risks associated to what they were doing.
     
  14. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    A lot of firefighters are volunteers and don't get much in compensation. Sure they have to get the same training as full time union members but they don't get the same pay for the same risks.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #15
    My Father-n-Law was a volunteer fire fighter has been his entire adult life. I don't know what the rule are here for that so I can't comment. This strikes me as distasteful, and it always will no matter the whether it's legal or just.
     
  16. macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #16
    A lot of smaller towns can't afford to pay union wages so they have volunteer members. I don't know how towns would be able to survive with paid members. My town has 2 departments that goes way back when there were 9 districts. The professional dept. that is paid by the town and covers full fire and medical service and a volunteer service in the northern area and relies on the town for medics. They both fight the same just one is paid the other isn't. Part of it is money savings the other is tradition. They both have the same risks but only one gets full pay.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #17
    And if the volunteer is killed in the line of duty, there is no pension? It would seem that if a volunteer got killed he/she would receive benefits as if he was a paid fire fighter.

    As a soldier my life insurance was null and void if I was killed down range, as a civilian the same exemption exists, in essence if I am in an area where hostile fire pay is paid my insurance will not cover my death. It would seem that the same type of thing would apply to fire fighters, the worse part is I don't go into areas with bad guys too much but fire fighters do every day. If the same rules that apply to me applies to volunteer fire fighters a widow could be left with nothing but memories and bills.

    I find it kinda sad that a country as big as ours can give a young lady 300K and call it good.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

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    Michigan
    #18
    I would guess/hope the volunteer firefighter gets a Life/Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) policy covered by their city/township, but probably something small like $20-50k, which just costs the township a few dollars per month.

    I wouldn't expect much more - if anything - in terms of coverage for a volunteer firefighter, but perhaps I'm wrong. I don't know to be honest.

    Edit: Looks like volunteer firefighters can get up to 20% benefits of a full time firefighter, per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_fire_department#United_States
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    #19
  20. macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #20
    Unless HR didn't disclose their benefits to them I don't see how this is even up for discussion.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    #21
    Jeez so many heartless people here... What is this world turning to...
     
  22. macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Chalk this up for the B.S bureaucrats that only look at numbers and nothings else.

    I bet some of those part time firefighters were only under 2 hours of what's required for full time. This is what they do across all fields of employment just to get over from paying what's deserved.

    They need to make some type of law that requires a REAL gap from part time to full time, instead of cutting hours just short of full time requirement.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

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    Michigan
    #23
    There is a law on the books - the Affordable Care Act. My friend is a part time firefighter and he is only supposed to average 29 hours/week because the department does not want to be held liable for full time benefits or fines for non-compliance. It started earlier this year.

    It creates quite a problem with his training and shifts - not even including calls.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Seems like it was written in a way of one size fits all, which is another major problem. They should allow certain occupations to go over hours if it's training and if duty comes first without penalizing. Everyone knows the some occupations are unique vs the standard 8 hr shift.

    I'm just against the obvious short changing and still requiring almost same amount of work and time.
     
  25. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #25
    This stuff happened before the affordable care act.
     

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