After much anticipation, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) released its Volunteer Reserve Firefighter Policy Manual for Volunteer Firefighters of the Riverside County Fire Department. After several delays and promises to release this document at previous dates the final product released still leaves many questions unanswered.
The basic layout of the manual makes one wonder if additional items will be inserted, as there are whole pages with only a small paragraph printed, leaving possible room for future additions to these sections.
"I think that they are leaving it blank on purpose, they want to be able to add more at a later date" stated one Volunteer Reserve Firefighter from Temecula. It is unknown at this time why so many pages were left with only a small paragraph consisting of a few sentences.
Overall sentiment of the manual has been lukewarm, with several reserves electing to hold final judgment until the manual is fully explained at upcoming training classes to be held. Yet others seem to have come to their own conclusion, "I guess this is what it is, we had no say in the process of its creation, and we were never asked to help in the manuals creation, unlike before with the VFA we had a say", says retired Volunteer Firefighter Steve Gonzalez, "I wish the department would have asked for the volunteers input."
Many questions such as representation, liability, process, and definition of employment still exist, seems to be the overall sentiment still shared by many current Volunteer Firefighters going forward.
The Riverside County Fire Department contracts for its Fire Protection services with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (State of California). Currently the Fire Department is in the midst of a budget battle to cut costs to meet its goal for the new fiscal year. Layoffs of state seasonal firefighters, and moth balling of fire engines have taken place due to budget cutbacks across the state in various counties, and contract cities.
To date the Fire Department has not released the costs associated with its new Volunteer Reserve Firefighter Program. Before the program was implemented the force of Volunteer Firefighters countywide numbered between 900-1000 citizen firefighters. Recent reports have put that number as low as 146 who have made the transition over to the new reserve firefighter program.
Cee Lo Sings "Thank You" to Volunteer Firefighters!
Cee Lo Green isnít forgetting volunteer firefighters.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will record "Thank You," another rewrite of his hit song known in its PG-rated version as "Forget You." Procter & Gamble Co.ís Duracell brand is counting on Cee Loís help to power up a campaign to donate batteries to volunteer fire departments.
P&G hopes to give 20 million batteries, worth $8 million retail.
Cee Lo has a personal interest. His family credits volunteer firefighters with pulling his mother from a serious car wreck.
While his songs, including the original version of "Forget You," have featured expletives, Duracell's marketing director says there should be nothing controversial about Green helping an important cause.