I just got the Fire Department’s new policy for staffing for parades.

The press release announcing the new rules starts off by acknowledging that the policy change has come about as a result of the recent complaint brought by four firefighters, which I have been covering for the last two days on this blog.

Here’s how the policy’s introduced in the press release:

The policy ensures consistency with other city department parade policies and provides for more efficiency in fulfilling requests from the community. In addition the revised policy relies primarily on volunteers rather than on-duty engine company crews to participate in some 15 parade requests received annually by the Fire-Rescue Department.

I’ve been discussing that “consistency with other city department parade policies” with various people involved in this throughout the day.

This morning, I spoke to Gary Hassen, a spokesman for the Police Department, who gave me the run down on the SDPD’s parade policy. Hassen said the department only pays officers to attend parades if they are providing security or doing recruiting work. Occasionally, he said, one or two officers might be working in the area of the parade and may ask to take part, in which case they will be paid for attending, but they will still be on-call.

Otherwise, Hassen said, officers can attend parades in their own time.

Here’s the Fire Department’s new policy, in full, hot off the press:

  • At least 30 days prior to the parade, an Office of the Chief memo will be distributed to all fire station crews and administrative offices announcing the parade and outlining details for those who volunteer to participate. This will include an opportunity for a qualified, uniformed engineer to staff the apparatus. We will first seek a non-paid volunteer for the assignment. In the event that no non-paid volunteer is available for the assignment, the department may select an engineer who volunteered, on a first-come, first served basis, to drive the apparatus. Due to the vital interests of the City with regard to public safety and ensuring the appropriate operation of the apparatus, the engineer will be compensated four (4) hours of overtime pay.
  • The department will be represented in the parade by a front line, out-of-service apparatus, which will be replaced at the station with an in-service ready reserve apparatus. On the day prior to the event, the on-duty crew in the district of the parade will be responsible for securing a ready reserve apparatus.
  • The qualified engineer who has volunteered and is assigned to the parade will be responsible for picking up the front line apparatus prior to the parade, and driving it to the parade staging location. At the conclusion of the parade, the front line apparatus will be returned to the station. The on-duty crew will be responsible for returning the ready reserve apparatus.
  • Any other Fire-Rescue Department personnel who volunteer and participate in the Parade shall not be compensated.

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