No Court Pay For Firefighter Who Assists In Arrest

A firefighter working for the City of Dayton, Ohio assisted a fire lieutenant in detaining an individual who was attempting to burglarize the lieutenant’s car. The firefighter was subpoenaed to appear as a witness in the subsequent criminal case. The firefighter sought overtime compensation for the court appearance, which fell on his day off.

An arbitrator rejected the grievance. The Arbitrator concluded that nothing in a firefighter’s job description gave him the responsibility or authority to assist in the apprehension of criminals. The Arbitrator rejected the arguments made by Local 136 of the IAFF, representing the firefighter, that the firefighter would have been subject to discipline had he not tried to assist his lieutenant. On the contrary, the Arbitrator concluded, had the lieutenant ordered the firefighter to assist in the apprehension, the firefighter could have successfully disobeyed the order without fear of insubordination as the order would have constituted a significant safety hazard not within the scope of the firefighter’s normal duties.

City of Dayton, Ohio and International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 136, LAIG 6487 (Rimmel, 2006).

This article appears in the July 2007 issue