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mtncat
12-01-2007, 18:14
departments!
Just kind of pondering how other departments deal with problems.
We are 1 of 17 departments in the county. This is volunteer departments.
We don't run a big number of runs a month, maybe 10 to 20
Most of the runs are ems/resuce work.
We have one department that runs an average of 5 or more calls A DAY!.:wow:
Also have a couple that run maybe 1 or 2 a month.
Getting people to volunteer is TOUGH.
Our training is exactly the same as any other department in the state. So, obviously getting a person up and running is very time consuming for both the training people and the new volunteer.
You don't get issued any equipment much less respond to calls or get behind the wheel of a rig until you are trained properly.
Getting people that are avaliable to respond to calls during the day is also very tough.
Seems like the younger folks don't want to get involved if they are not getting paid. We just got a new member a month or so ago, he is 20 years old. We have one other couple who are in their late 20's, everyone else is
45+
We do have the opportunity to work wildland stuff through a JPA with the feds and the state and get paid for it. BUT it can be a real moral buster to have one of our guys working side by side with a seasonal fire fighter only to find out that the "volunteer" has more and better training as well as more experience then the seasonal person but is being paid about half what the seasonal person is.:steamed:
So, I guess after all the "pondering" my question to you is, how do you get folks interested in devoting a ton of time to do a tough job for FREE?
Just seems like the desire to give back to the community is fast becoming a thing of the past.
I have to wonder what will happen in the next 10 to 15 years when there is no one to answer the call to duty?

pulaskipusher
12-01-2007, 19:04
That is a great question, as soon as you find the answer let me know because we have the same problems.
I am the only active member in my department under the age of 30. There are maybe 4 others under the age of 45. Getting people that are able to respond during the daytime is also tough, people work....

nsb22
12-01-2007, 23:08
We are currently at #634 for the year. For some odd reason, we have no problem getting people to join. In my opinion, we are the best Dept. in our county. We have the best equipment and we train more than anyone else. That could be the reasons we have no problem getting people.


The only problem we have is keeping people from other departments from talking smack about us. But I guess when you are on top, people will try anything to knock you down.

Fireman1291
12-02-2007, 08:31
I wish we ran 5 calls a day! Our average is 16 calls a day, it gets old.

We are a paid dept, however the vols can ride on paid engines as we always have a seat open. And they have thier own station and do everything we do except get paid as they havent all completed schooling( I know as thats how I started :) ) Once anyone has all the certs they can apply just like anyone else but vols get a nudge over outsiders.

Our volunteers train every tuesday, maybe you can set up a training frequently to keep the young ones interested.....

Alaskapopo
12-02-2007, 10:47
I have to hand it to volunteers. No way i would work my job for free.
Pat

mtncat
12-02-2007, 14:40
I wish we ran 5 calls a day! Our average is 16 calls a day, it gets old.

We are a paid dept, however the vols can ride on paid engines as we always have a seat open. And they have thier own station and do everything we do except get paid as they havent all completed schooling( I know as thats how I started :) ) Once anyone has all the certs they can apply just like anyone else but vols get a nudge over outsiders.

Our volunteers train every tuesday, maybe you can set up a training frequently to keep the young ones interested.....

We have a hard enough time getting people to volunteer when we train once a month, this is over and above all the basic classes that a newbie has to take. Once we have "fresh meat" we set all the basic classes up to fit the schedule of them.
Running more then 5 calls a day is great, if your getting paid for it. The one local department that runs 5 or more a day is all volunteer. The time away from work for these folks really takes it's toll, obviously.

MissAmericanPie
12-03-2007, 00:06
I got my EMT so I could volunteer, initially. However, I'm now hooked and looking for a job in EMS.

Our volunteer dept. is having the same difficulties.

I am finding that I cannot gain experience when we have only had a couple of calls in the last month. I think that is going to be a problem for new folks and keeping them trained as well. You can acquire the skills but will forget them if they are not used.

An example of the downside of volunteering: Two nights ago at 3:30 a.m. a call came in and I was stupid enough to go to it. I say this because I live 12 minutes (without icy roads) from the call. I got up and it took me 2 minutes to get out of the house (had to move a vehicle - poor planning). I got there about 15 min. after the first tone went out. The rescue was backing out and the ambulance service was enroute to the hospital by the time I got there. I didn't get back to sleep until 5:30. And the kicker is: I forgot that I was really low on gas and I wanted to go straight to get it the next day. Well I ran out trying to do just that in the a.m.!!! Why, oh why, did I go?

Anyway, back on topic - our dept. does issue gear. And they have been desperately trying to recruit EMTs and firefighters. The dept only has a few of us under 40. We all try to plan it so that at least one of us is around for a rescue call when we have to be out of town at the same time. We decided to have our Christmas party in town so someone could respond - there is only one restaurant in town and it is at the ski area.

But I love to volunteer. And I love doing rescue. It is a shame that more do not do it. Courses through the state are cheap and the dept. will reimburse. And I love the training. We just did ice rescue basics and when the ice freezes over someone is going swimming!!!!

Pyro
12-03-2007, 02:31
Volunteers do a great thing for their community, but if you are averaging at least 5 calls a day, your community needs to come up with a better solution. You need a paid department, and it sounds like you have the call volume to support it.

You don't see volunteer garbage men or dog catchers. Your community is cheating its people out of an important service.

SpaceCase
12-03-2007, 12:51
You could try and lure them in with the retirement benefits :)

I have often thought of volunteering for a dept, but the logistics for someone who lives in a county with paid services would mean I would need to volunteer most likely far away from home.

What county are you in?

mtncat
12-03-2007, 13:20
You could try and lure them in with the retirement benefits :)

I have often thought of volunteering for a dept, but the logistics for someone who lives in a county with paid services would mean I would need to volunteer most likely far away from home.

What county are you in?

Otero County. Yes, their is actualy a retirement if you meet ALL the rules and regs. IIRC it is like $200.00 a month. Chances of meeting all the guidelines is somewhere between slim and none. I think that plan it that way for a reason.

miked36258
12-03-2007, 20:45
.....

pulaskipusher
12-03-2007, 21:32
Mike awesome point and welcome to Glocktalk.
I know the depts in my county don't have volunteer in their name, we do however advertise in the newspaper and on our websites. My old depts all advertised on the highway with billboards... It is definately something I will bring up with the cheif about the possiblity of putting up a sign on the main station... Thanks.

mtncat
12-04-2007, 07:45
All of our rigs decals say volunteer on them as do uniform patches etc.
We have one of the large lighted signs on the highway as well as the signs at each of the 4 stations that say volunteer.
We push the local paper on news releases and the county fire association (all depatments meet together monthly, if they show up) has a PIO that does a good job on getting information out to the public.
As for any of these departments ever becoming paid, would be nice but that is not going to happen.
THe major city here has a paid fire department and a contract ambulance company.
One of the volunteer departments majority number of calls, at least a couple times a day is to "stand by for the city" I.E we are busy so you volunteer your time so we don't have to pay for more services in the city. This department gets nothing in return for this service.
Their was talk a couple of years ago about possible paying volunteers for calls. I am opposed to this as I have seen the number of cases involving this type of activity where a person needs some income, so go start a fire!
Happens to many times.
My suggestion was at the time that they set aside the money and then at the end of the year those people who met the training standards and responded to calls through out the year recieved a paycheck based upon the percentage of calls and training they responded to, NOT based on the number of calls.
I.E the person who had 50% attendance to training, meetings and calls but only had 50 calls in the district received the same $$ as the person who had the same percentages but their district handled 75 or even 10 calls.
Keep the ideas and thoughts coming folks, maybe we can toss out some ideas that someone can use.
Thanks

kc4zgk
12-04-2007, 07:47
The county you are in might have to pony up for "Paid On Call" at say $ 15.00 per call to get folks to work?

Stay safe!!!

Ed FF/EMT-I
Roswell Fire
GA.

rico31v6
12-05-2007, 22:47
I think that a lot volunteer departments have similar problems. In my department, which is comprised of both paid and volunteer firefighters, our problem is not recruiting but retention. We will have a group of 10 guys start the training and by the end of it there maybe only one or two probies that have made it through. A lot of people think that volunteering only consists of showing up and getting to play dress up as a firefighter. They don't realize that the training the volunteer do is the exact training that the paid guys go through. I just think that the volunteer firefighter is a dying breed.

miked36258
12-06-2007, 21:23
.....

speck
12-25-2007, 13:13
Not a firefighter ... we don't have a volunteer department here locally, but...

If you guys are in areas with a techie population, you might try recruiting computer nerds. (OK, stop laughing and bear with me here.) Computer nerds generally will do something if you can show them the geeky side (ex: fire theory) and computer nerds who are programmers and sysadmins are used to jumping out of bed at all hours to respond to a pager. Most also have really, really flexible hours because they have to get out of bed at all hours to respond to that pager. (The industry policy is if you have to respond to a pager, you otherwise pick your hours. If you are forced to work 9-5 hours, and something goes wrong in the middle of the night, you don't get out of bed to fix it.) And most were nerds in high school and would totally be down with getting some of the firefighter mystique so that they can finally get laid. ;)

pulaskipusher
12-25-2007, 14:02
great idea speck, wish we had techies around here.

and Mike I feel ya, I applied to a dept and it took a year to get interviewed and 6 months to get into a year long class :shocked: When they told me about the wait to get on a truck I thought "Damn I just want to volunteer not get a paid job." Their biggest problem is after they school their new guys they are ready for a paid job and usually chase them.

DScottHewitt
12-27-2007, 10:55
Our County Supervisors are tossing around "Paid on Call".

$3.00 a person. MAXIMUM of FOUR people per call, regardless of how many run the call.....


Scott

mtncat
12-27-2007, 11:46
Our County Supervisors are tossing around "Paid on Call".

$3.00 a person. MAXIMUM of FOUR people per call, regardless of how many run the call.....


Scott

Scott, we had considered some type of a paid deal. Maybe something like you mentioned would work to some degree.
How are they going to figure who gets paid?
The twp problems I can see is that it encourages a person who needs the money to fabricate calls, brush fires, trash piles etc.
And from the stand point of our particular department in the majority of our calls 4 people is just as bad as none. Alot of BAD MVA/s where we have to deal with not only cutting people out of vehicles but also traffic control, and the other high/low angle rescue work.

4095fanatic
01-05-2008, 00:20
departments!

We have one department that runs an average of 5 or more calls A DAY!.:wow:



Back home, my neighborhood station (Engine Company 9) had the following run stats for 2007:

Engine 91 - 3516
Paramedic 95 - 3269
Ambulance 96 - 2743

Total responses: 9528.
Average responses per day: 26

Now, granted, some of those calls were double pulls (ambulance and engine for a rescue, for example), and perhaps even triple (dumping house on a first-due fire), but there were also quite a few single pulls (ambulance only on a pt. with broken leg). I'd say on average, though, they'd be lucky getting off with only 10 calls a day.

The department I was last at was relatively slow in comparison (only 1000-1200 calls, or about 3 per day), and it showed. Best thing we could do was make the firehouse a place people wanted to be, whether it was in hopes of catching a call or just hanging out. I'd often stop by because I enjoyed being there, and would be more than happy to jump on a piece if a call came out while I was there. Get a TV and a Wii or Playstation, add a pool table and a cheap soda machine, and provide internet access. Make it a place you want to be in your time off, not a place you have to be. Hope this helps!

Sucka
01-05-2008, 02:01
Back home, my neighborhood station (Engine Company 9) had the following run stats for 2007:

Engine 91 - 3516
Paramedic 95 - 3269
Ambulance 96 - 2743

Total responses: 9528.
Average responses per day: 26

Good lord, that's volunteer??? If your city had any decent government or your chief was worth a damn that should be a paid full time department, and another station added to your district, if not 2. If i lived in that city,and my medic alone was running 3000+ calls a year, i would DEMAND a full time service.

4095fanatic
01-06-2008, 04:00
Check out Kentland 33, http://www.kentland33.com/. Until politics got in the way and they were restricted to their own first due, they were one of the busiest engines in the nation. 7500+ runs a year, unit responses were easily double that, and a crap ton of working fires. They made us look slow lol.

Sucka
01-06-2008, 12:33
It's amazing. I guess since i come from So-Cal i don't really understand the whole volunteer situation that exists throughout the rest of the country. We all know the majority of FF's in the US are Volunteers, but where i come from, there are only a handful of volunteer agencies in the county, and those are all out in the sticks. At best those departments run 1-2 responses a day (i actually worked on a single role ambulance in one of those districts, so i know how slow it is). That is some SERIOUS volume you, and kentland33 are running, more responses than i ever ran. I guess if the Volunteer situation works, why mess with it i suppose. Seems to me, with that high call volume, the billing from the ALS ambulance alone should provide some kind of funding for full time personal (i assume your medics are actually paid?).

Keep up the good work. I love what i do, but i don't think i would have taken this career path had it only been volunteer. I'm obviously not in it for the money, but it certainly is a nice.

I still can't get over that volume, sheeeeesh!

4095fanatic
01-06-2008, 15:11
PG County usually has volunteer suppression pieces, volunteer BLS ambulances, and paid ALS Paramedic units. Some stations have paid suppression pieces, but the reason they can get away with the volunteer system is I can't remember the last time a 33 unit scratched. Some stations will be banging out two engines with 8 apiece, a truck with 7, a squad with 6, and still have people hanging around waiting for a slot to ride in open up. Career staffing, IMO, is most helpful at those places where they are needed because volunteers can't be relied upon to get pieces out the door. If the vollies can get out 100% of the time, why not save the county some tax dollars and let them do it.

edit: oh, and that station is one of 3 in the city. That house is career now, but they wouldn't have a problem getting volunteers there if they'd let them.

hotpig
01-06-2008, 15:15
Check out Kentland 33, http://www.kentland33.com/. Until politics got in the way and they were restricted to their own first due, .



I heard they do not play well with others.

4095fanatic
01-06-2008, 15:27
I have no first hand information on the matter, but most of it that I know of stems from two things: an incident involving a fight outside a structure on fire (the operator of one of the rigs on scene had allegedly parked on top of a hose, cutting off water to guys inside the building, and it escalated from there), and 2) most of those guys think they're the BAMFs on the planet. Never met any of the guys so I couldn't tell ya if thats true, but that's what I heard.

Sucka
01-06-2008, 15:37
Makes sense, if it works why change it right. I just relocated to Denver, and i'm getting a few certs flipped over to CO, and i was surprised to find out there are a few vollie departments around the metro area, which was shocking to me. I guess if they can staff it, why not. As a citizen, and knowing what i know, i want a paid full time department covering my district of residence. I have no problem with vollies, don't get me wrong, but i want to know that if i call 911, i'm going to get a fully staffed ALS engine along with an ALS ambulance. I guess it boils down to what i'm used to, and the system i worked in. We had a lot of guys come from the various small volunteer agencies in the area, and most of them were great guys and had been trained well enough. In the end, it all seems to work out.

Tvov
01-07-2008, 05:09
n/m

(need to add more here for minimum post size...)

g2910mm
01-15-2008, 21:20
We are a small city and we do use "volunteer's".
Our "volunteer's" get paid depending on what level of training they have. The pay is anywhere from 10.00 , 15.00 and 25.00 per call.
The only problem is it eats out city budget up.
We spend anywhere from 50.000 to 60.000 per year just on volunteer's.

Since I'm one of the City Alderman my argument is when you pay someone to perform a service they are not "volunteer's" they are partime workers.
My reasoning is the "volunteers" have a schedule to go by at the department.

I don't have all the answer's but one problem I have is that some of the local officials and media will not print what is spent each year on "volunteer's". All I want to do is to be honest with the tax payer's.

Any suggestions?

mtncat
01-15-2008, 21:47
We are a small city and we do use "volunteer's".
Our "volunteer's" get paid depending on what level of training they have. The pay is anywhere from 10.00 , 15.00 and 25.00 per call.
The only problem is it eats out city budget up.
We spend anywhere from 50.000 to 60.000 per year just on volunteer's.

Since I'm one of the City Alderman my argument is when you pay someone to perform a service they are not "volunteer's" they are partime workers.
My reasoning is the "volunteers" have a schedule to go by at the department.

I don't have all the answer's but one problem I have is that some of the local officials and media will not print what is spent each year on "volunteer's". All I want to do is to be honest with the tax payer's.

Any suggestions?

Interesting to say the least. I agree that if you are paid then you are not a volunteer in the true sense of the word.
But a question for you. This is based on our local situation.
If I should get hurt as a volunteer the department picks up the medical bills but if I am not able to work my normal job because of the injury then I am on my own. I.E NO workmans comp insurance.
So how do you handle a situation like that? Are you covering your people with workmans comp insurance like you would a full time employee?
It would seem to me that if they are getting paid and are not volunteers then you are required by law to carry W.C. that would pay them if they could not work their normal job!
Any thoughts on this??

4095fanatic
01-15-2008, 21:51
In my experience, that money still comes no where close to re-imbursing a volunteer for expenses incurred. Add up how much money I spent last year on uniforms, gas to and from the station, meals, etc... I'd have to get paid well over $20/call to break even and that's not even counting how much overtime at my day job I gave up so I could ride at the station. We didn't receive reimbursement at all, but if we had I would have considered it more of a living allowance or a "thank you" check than a paycheck.

g2910mm
01-15-2008, 22:21
Interesting to say the least. I agree that if you are paid then you are not a volunteer in the true sense of the word.
But a question for you. This is based on our local situation.
If I should get hurt as a volunteer the department picks up the medical bills but if I am not able to work my normal job because of the injury then I am on my own. I.E NO workmans comp insurance.
So how do you handle a situation like that? Are you covering your people with workmans comp insurance like you would a full time employee?
It would seem to me that if they are getting paid and are not volunteers then you are required by law to carry W.C. that would pay them if they could not work their normal job!
Any thoughts on this??


We ( The City) do provide workmans comp on all volunteer's.

My argument is that they are not volunteer's since they are paid for services.
Anyone can lookup the definition of Volunteer.
I admit I don't have all of the answer's.

Alaskapopo
01-15-2008, 23:32
We are a small city and we do use "volunteer's".
Our "volunteer's" get paid depending on what level of training they have. The pay is anywhere from 10.00 , 15.00 and 25.00 per call.
The only problem is it eats out city budget up.
We spend anywhere from 50.000 to 60.000 per year just on volunteer's.

Since I'm one of the City Alderman my argument is when you pay someone to perform a service they are not "volunteer's" they are partime workers.
My reasoning is the "volunteers" have a schedule to go by at the department.

I don't have all the answer's but one problem I have is that some of the local officials and media will not print what is spent each year on "volunteer's". All I want to do is to be honest with the tax payer's.

Any suggestions?

The TAX PAYERS should be damn happy they get by so cheap. What would a full time fire and EMS service cost them?
Pat

g2910mm
01-15-2008, 23:39
The TAX PAYERS should be damn happy they get by so cheap. What would a full time fire and EMS service cost them?
Pat

I fully agree with you concerning the pay. My problem is that NO ONE want's the taxpayer's to know "volunteer's" are paid. They paint a picture that all of these people are doing this for free. Oh, we also pay for ALL of their training, they are out 0000. When you ask each one of them why they want to "volunteer" they say to help out the community and it's not the pay but, they (volunteer's) are always complaing about their pay. Go figure.

firefighterlee
01-16-2008, 01:09
i am a volunteer on a rural department in Mansfield Washingthon, we dont get paid at all, we really want to help out the community and our surrounding area, i do it because i love doing it, i live roughly 18 miles from the station so when the pager goes off i am not only giving my time and risk of injury on the highway to and from the station, but gas and wear and tear on my pickup, going 100 miles an hour to an aide call or or a fire that fast is hard on it, and i dont expect to be paid, or for a thank you. most of us just love doing it, we go to trainings every month and not to mention all the work we do on the vehicles, our volunteer department doesnt have a mechanic so someones got to do it.

mtncat
01-16-2008, 05:15
I fully agree with you concerning the pay. My problem is that NO ONE want's the taxpayer's to know "volunteer's" are paid. They paint a picture that all of these people are doing this for free. Oh, we also pay for ALL of their training, they are out 0000. When you ask each one of them why they want to "volunteer" they say to help out the community and it's not the pay but, they (volunteer's) are always complaing about their pay. Go figure.

I would think that they would be glad to get anything at all.
We, for the most part, do it to serve our community.
We have one business person who happens to employ 2 of our volunteers.
When the pager goes off they leave work so he looses their productivity. Not only that but he has never taken a minute off of their pay checks for being gone. He has no desire to be a fire fighter but that is his way of giving back to the community.

As for no one wanting the public to know the volunteers are paid.
Don't know how big your community is but I will bet that the public knows that they get paid something.
Information about that is public info. Open meetings act (I assume you have budget hearings etc) and public records acts make every dime you spend of public money open to review.

pulaskipusher
01-16-2008, 11:00
I fully agree with you concerning the pay. My problem is that NO ONE want's the taxpayer's to know "volunteer's" are paid. They paint a picture that all of these people are doing this for free. Oh, we also pay for ALL of their training, they are out 0000. When you ask each one of them why they want to "volunteer" they say to help out the community and it's not the pay but, they (volunteer's) are always complaing about their pay. Go figure.

It is no secret around here that vollies get reimbursement for their services, or pay as you put it. When I tell people what we get they laugh and most of them always say "It's not even worth your driving to the station for that" or something to that effect. My boss has even told me I am stupid for doing this for that little pay but who cares he's a tool :supergrin:

In my neck of the woods most of our training is paid for by grants and fundraisers not by the publics taxes. I think it is actually a good deal to train your firefighters, wouldn't it suck to have a full engine company pull up on scene to a hazmat spill and not be able to do anything because they don't even have hazmat awareness, that sounds like a HUGE liability to me. The money spent on training saves everybody money and heartache in the long run.

I wouldn't say we are out 0, we pay for our equipment by this I mean handtools, flashlights... we pay for our gas to get to the station and back, (No big deal except for when your broke live 10 miles from the station and gas is $3.33/gal) we pay for our food at the station, we pay for missing work because of calls, training, and school, I even know of a organization locally that does not pay for any training and they are EMS so their guys have to pay for %100 of their training just to volunteer.

Volunteering is not a way to make money. I know a guy who thought he was going to make alot of money volunteering for the ambulance service, I was very quick to tell him that 1. he would be lucky to break even and 2. he is in it for the wrong reason.

I would love to get paid to do this so I am applying for a paid position. Any money I make at the dept (which maybe up to $200 for the year) goes back into the dept either in food for the station or tools for my turnouts, I may buy myself new uniform pants. A portion of the money we make goes into what is called the "Firefighters Fund" which can go towards whatever we want, guess what it goes to this quarter. We are buying space heaters and smoke detectors for people who need heat because they can't use thier fireplace after a chimeny fire and smoke detectors for people who don't have any.


And FirefighterLee welcome aboard, PM sent to you.

newtohogs
01-24-2008, 19:04
departments!
Just kind of pondering how other departments deal with problems.
We are 1 of 17 departments in the county. This is volunteer departments.
We don't run a big number of runs a month, maybe 10 to 20
Most of the runs are ems/resuce work.
We have one department that runs an average of 5 or more calls A DAY!.:wow:
Also have a couple that run maybe 1 or 2 a month.
Getting people to volunteer is TOUGH.
Our training is exactly the same as any other department in the state. So, obviously getting a person up and running is very time consuming for both the training people and the new volunteer.
You don't get issued any equipment much less respond to calls or get behind the wheel of a rig until you are trained properly.
Getting people that are avaliable to respond to calls during the day is also very tough.
Seems like the younger folks don't want to get involved if they are not getting paid. We just got a new member a month or so ago, he is 20 years old. We have one other couple who are in their late 20's, everyone else is
45+
We do have the opportunity to work wildland stuff through a JPA with the feds and the state and get paid for it. BUT it can be a real moral buster to have one of our guys working side by side with a seasonal fire fighter only to find out that the "volunteer" has more and better training as well as more experience then the seasonal person but is being paid about half what the seasonal person is.:steamed:
So, I guess after all the "pondering" my question to you is, how do you get folks interested in devoting a ton of time to do a tough job for FREE?
Just seems like the desire to give back to the community is fast becoming a thing of the past.
I have to wonder what will happen in the next 10 to 15 years when there is no one to answer the call to duty?


now that you know all the politics and bs that go on would you join again? not me i did it half my life and never again. wish i could get all that time i spent away from my family back . **** hits the fan and what do you do? leave the family behind makes you wonder huh? i volentered and i had a chief that rode me for ten years rode me hard too. i stuck with it as long as any idiot would. finally smartened up and went home for good. it was a sad day. that is why no one will join. i am not knocking any one just telling you why.

mtncat
01-24-2008, 19:40
Yes, I would join again in a heartbeat. WHY, because someone has to do it. WHat would happen in this country if no one stood up and took the call?
Not just fire departments but any volunteer organization you can think of.
It sounds to me like you had a personal conflict with a chief.
We don't have that issue here. We have a great Chief, he has been re-elected I believe for at least the last 10 or more years.
We have great equipment to work with.
Training, if it is avaliable the department will pay to send us.
Only problem we have is that most folks have the same attitude that you are showing.

hotpig
01-24-2008, 21:09
We have a great Chief, he has been re-elected I believe for at least the last 10 or more years.



Elect? ....That could be a very dangerous way of running a FD.

Alaskapopo
01-24-2008, 21:11
Elect? ....That could be a very dangerous way of running a FD.

Agreed fire and police personal should be hired based on their ability not on their popularity.
Pat

hotpig
01-24-2008, 22:05
It sounds like they have elected a great person for the job 10 or more years. The downfall is everything positive done in the last ten years may disappear next year if the wrong guy gets it.

Tvov
01-25-2008, 05:03
Elect? ....That could be a very dangerous way of running a FD.


That's how most all volunteer departments do it, and have done it, as far as I can tell. The great advantage of it is that if a chief really turns out to be an idiot, we can get rid of him. An appointed, paid chief? You are stuck with him. The amount of paperwork and crap to go through is huge, and in the end even if the whole department hates him (or her), he may still be chief at the end of it all!

Tvov
01-25-2008, 05:03
Agreed fire and police personal should be hired based on their ability not on their popularity.
Pat

I believe we are talking about a volunteer department.

mtncat
01-25-2008, 05:15
I'm not aware of any volunteer department that does not elcet their officers.

huskerbuttons
01-25-2008, 12:16
Get with the Boy Scouts of America and start a Fire Explorers program. This allows kids ages 14 to 18 to "explore" careers in the fire service. You can give them all of the state required training and when they turn 18 they can be a full regular member. The Boy Scouts cover them with insurance and the kids can run calls as an observer. Recruit the kids from schools, community centers, and everywhere else you can find them! Once you start to recruit, set up a dance or social event at the Firehouse for the kids. This will get them to look around and see wha you are about. The more things you have them do the better response you will get from them.

My Dept is volunteer with 40 memebers and 12 Explorers. We cover a 1 square mile Village and run some mutual aid calls. We run about 400 EMS calls a year and 150 fire calls a year. We staff the stations at night from 1800 to 0600 with at least 4 members. The daytime is a "catch as catch can" when a run comes in. We are currently looking at going part time paid within the next year. Keep up the great work of Volunteering!! I've been a volunteer since 1988 and will do so until I am bed ridden or dead.

mtncat
01-27-2008, 07:57
Get with the Boy Scouts of America and start a Fire Explorers program. This allows kids ages 14 to 18 to "explore" careers in the fire service. You can give them all of the state required training and when they turn 18 they can be a full regular member. The Boy Scouts cover them with insurance and the kids can run calls as an observer. Recruit the kids from schools, community centers, and everywhere else you can find them! Once you start to recruit, set up a dance or social event at the Firehouse for the kids. This will get them to look around and see wha you are about. The more things you have them do the better response you will get from them.

My Dept is volunteer with 40 memebers and 12 Explorers. We cover a 1 square mile Village and run some mutual aid calls. We run about 400 EMS calls a year and 150 fire calls a year. We staff the stations at night from 1800 to 0600 with at least 4 members. The daytime is a "catch as catch can" when a run comes in. We are currently looking at going part time paid within the next year. Keep up the great work of Volunteering!! I've been a volunteer since 1988 and will do so until I am bed ridden or dead.

Interesting idea. May have to look into this.
Thanks

hotpig
01-27-2008, 10:37
We are looking into the Explorer program also. Two of us career firefighters would be interested but the Chief is hesitant due to staffing. He is worried that marrying a full time guy per shift to the Explorers would be a issue.

It is a very valid concern. I think if we can get some of our volunteer firefighters to commit to the Explorers program that should help.

I pitched the advantages of having fully trained firefighters joining when they turned 21 at the Volunteer Association meeting. It was met with luke warm responses but no commitment.

Maybe I will try again after some Politicking with the core members of the association.

insectguy
01-31-2008, 21:07
I was a chief in a small Georgia town butted up next to another. We had seven departments in our county-- all volunteer. I was made chief by the mayor because I showed concern for the department, the firefighters and the community. There were no remunerations, except for the $6/month retirement the county kicked in. We also had no ambulance service in the county, so we doubled as first responders/EMT-B's, again, all volunteer.

I had the hardest time getting people to stick with the program, especially once we started trying to run the department in accordance with state laws (training, reports, testing, etc.). The apparatus was a 1973 vintage truck, until the mayor took it upon himself to purchase a rusted-out 1983 vintage truck (without consulting us). Small town politics at its finest.

My job has since taken me to other pastures, but I have to admit, I am very reluctant to get involved in the fire services again because of the politics. I dearly loved the firefighting and medical services, and felt I was actually contributing to my community and ministering to individuals. However, every minute in the VFD is a minute away from my family.

In the end, if it is non-productive, it is not a valid trade.

FlaFF
02-01-2008, 15:11
but gas and wear and tear on my pickup, going 100 miles an hour to an aide call or or a fire that fast is hard on it,



You are a liability to yourself, your family, and your department. Slow down.



FLaFF

hotpig
02-01-2008, 22:57
You are a liability to yourself, your family, and your department. Slow down.



FLaFF

Clearly reckless and dangerous behavior.

Glock-19_36
02-25-2008, 18:08
Fire Departments around my house have the same problems with getting enough volunteers. At some of them I believe it is their own fault. I was in a fire department for two years, I even became an EMT, not for a job, just to help at my department. I enjoyed volunteering very much and wish I was still there, except they kicked me out because they said I did not make enough calls. This claim just was not true, I practically lived at the firehouse for the entire two years, but the Captain and his son did not like me, so they lied to the older members that I never came around, even showed them trip sheets they changed to show that I did not come. I did not need this added stress in dealing with these two men, so when they booted me out (they didnt even ask for my side of the story, just took their word for it) I said I dont need this anymore and left the FD for good. That was two years ago and I still miss volunteering, but dont want to deal with all the hassle. Sorry for the rant. (I am not the only one this department has drove away)

D25
02-27-2008, 11:07
i am not only giving my time and risk of injury on the highway to and from the station, but gas and wear and tear on my pickup, going 100 miles an hour to an aide call or or a fire that fast is hard on it, and i dont expect to be paid, or for a thank you.

You would decrease your "risk of injury" if you slowed down.:upeyes: Crap like that is 100% unacceptable, gives vollies a bad name, and winds up with dead and injured people.

SnowCajun
03-03-2008, 07:52
I've been a volunteer fire fighter in the past, the cliques you have to fight sometimes are awful. Both departments I was with were the same, the tight little groups that you just couldn't fit into because they were "Showboats" as I called them .. they wanted to be out front all the time, their main interest was being in the pictures on the news. If a camera showed up they'd hand someone else the hose and go pose!

I was in it to help people, but God help me if I got to the fire before they did, I started getting questioned about speeding, how'd you get here before we did, ect. ect. It didn't matter if I happened to be in the area when the call went off, it was just the fact that I beat them there a time or two. I was first one scene once on a choking baby call because it was right down the street from where I lived and the page went out just as I was about to turn into my subdivision. I got there, turned the baby over and placed it on my knee supporting it's neck and head and bounced it once on my knee and out popped a penny. The very next day the rules were changed in the dept. that they didn't want any regular fire dept. people going to EMS calls. How can anyone put jealousy like this in front of peoples lives, especially a small child, but they did. That's not what it's all about folks!

This may not be the case everywhere, but it's been that way 2 out of 2 times I've been in VFD's.. I value my EMS training, I value the time I went through EMT school, but I found it sad when I finished top of my class and state tests that others from my department seemed offended instead of happy.

Oh well, it's not a perfect world.
SnowCajun

SnowCajun
03-03-2008, 09:04
I was in a fire department for two years, I even became an EMT, not for a job, just to help at my department. I enjoyed volunteering very much and wish I was still there, except they kicked me out because they said I did not make enough calls. This claim just was not true, I practically lived at the firehouse for the entire two years
My first VFD was like that also, but I was booted out for standing up for what was right. If anything I've learned over the years is that it's costly to stand up for what's right.

We were paged out to a car wreck one night, found a pickup truck on it's side in a ravine, the driver had his backside stuck out the drivers window and his legs and upper body were between the steeringwheel and door. The slope of the land was so steep we had to get a wrecker to pull the truck out, then we extracted the young man. He was talking gibberish and flailing his arms around, one of our less educated fire fighters blurted out, "oh he's drunk" .. but it was obvious he had a closed head injury.

After getting him on the backboard and tied down the county paramedic reached across the young mans face for something and this young man bit his arm. He didn't know what he was doing, but the paramedic doubled up his fist and backhanded the guy in the head so hard that he almost knocked the backboard out of my hands, and he told the guy, "I bet you won't do that again." .. I looked across the backboard at the paramedic and told him, "I'm going to file a complaint against you, I don't want someone like you coming into my town and doing that to one of my family members if they're in trouble!" ...

So I reported him to his supervisors and filed a complaint with the county attorney. What did it get me, just booted out of the VFD is all! All the paramedic got was a reprimand in his file and no charges from the county. All that money I'd spent on lights and a siren, and my radio and medical supplies, only to stand up for what was right and lose it all. I'd still do it again because it was the right thing to do, yet doing the right thing can often carry costly consequences!

SnowCajun

pulaskipusher
03-03-2008, 10:17
Cajun that sucks big time. The only thing I would have done different was simply say "Officer!" BS like that is uncalled for and the paramedic should have been arrested however bad it would have looked in the papers. I would rather see a headline that says "Paramedic arrested after coworker witnesses him striking patient" than
"Patient sues department claiming abuse by medical personell." One shows a bad apple in a department who's other members have good morals, the other shows a cover up of seemingly reoccuring bad behavior.