Thread: Call Quotas

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    Default Call Quotas

    We are an all volly FD running about 700-800 fire calls and almost as many First Responder calls.
    We are looking at requiring a certain percentage of attendance to the fire calls for members. Something in the ball park of 20-25%
    Was wondering how many other departments do this?
    If you do can you send me a copy of your bylaws or SOP's regarding this.

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    My dept responded to 350 calls last year. That's a combination of fire and EMS. We only receive $1,750.00/year for retirement for a "good year" of service. We must make 33% calls, and 80% of the trainings.

    Be safe out there and BUCKLE UP!!!!

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    We require 10% attendance of the total number of calls per month. We run between 70-80 fire only calls a month out of a combination department with 3 man staffing 24/7. No EMS other than driver or lifting backup.

    We tabulate it monthly, send a warning the first month you miss, send a warning the second month you miss, and dismiss you from the department after the third month.

    Some people have thought that our policy is strict because we count calls even when you are at work. It's our opinion that if you can't make 7-8 calls in a 30 day period then you need to find something else to do in your spare time. We have granted exceptions when something out of the ordinary happened. One year after an ice storm resulted in 35 calls in a 24 hour period we granted amnesty that month to members who were called in to work because of the storm.

    Our membership ranges from around 45% to the ones who always seem to scrape by.

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    We average 100-125 runs(fire, ems, etc) a quarter and our minimal particpation percentage is 45% of runs per quarter. I do the payroll and note the total percentages, but I did add tabs for 06:00-18:00 and 18:01-05:59 runs, for us who do work outside our district. It's up to our officers to have discussions with those that are bellow the min.

    Also we are 100% of practices, unless you are working, sick or have a valid family reason. "I forgot" doesn't go over very well.

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    There was a discussion similiar to this in here not too long ago.

    I'm a recent convert to not requiring a call attendance percentage. Reason being, you can't control when a call comes in. I am, however, a big proponent of strict minimums on attending training and meeting, because that stuff is scheduled well in advance.

    Here's my experience: people who make training and meetings also make calls. People who start to slack on training and meeting aren't making calls.

    Nobody is going to spent the time and effort to do all the meetings and skip a bunch of calls.

    Also, somebody has to keep track of the reasons why personnel missed calls if you grant exceptions. No exceptions if you don't count calls.

    If anybody out there finds a system (short of hiring paid staff) to increase call turnout after midnight, let me know!
    Last edited by SilverCity4; 04-12-2008 at 11:10 PM. Reason: Final thoughts
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Thanks for the reply.. I did do a search but could not find anything on quotas.
    We do have a minimum standard set for training, meeting and fundraisers. The issue is the calls. We have people that make the minimum for everything else and just dont go to calls, even the night ones. I know there are reasons you cant make calls, work, family, etc. But to not make any for months running the volume that we do??
    I look at it as there is gear and equipment that is rotting in someones locker because it isnt being used. Why cant it be taken back and given to someone who actually runs the calls. Thus saving the FD money from haveing to buy additional gear to fit these people.
    Also when they do shoe up, do you want someone who hasnt been to a call for months and only met min. training standards being active on a fire scene??

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    I tend to agree with SilverCity. Making a certain percentage of calls is not a criteria that I would appreciate. I'll use my case as an example. I live 10 miles from the station and cannot make calls unless I'm at the station. I've spend 8 hours at the station without a single call. Under a system that requires meeting a certain number of calls, I might not make the percentage even though I'm spending a considerable amout of time at the station.

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    We have two systems.

    For those within 3 miles of the station. You must arrive at the station within 10 minutes of the dispatch to be counted as present. Those members must make at least 20% of the calls per year.


    For those that live outside of three miles. They must average eight hours per week of station time every month. If they fall below it, they get a warning. The second time they are asked for their pager unless their are extenuating circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    You must arrive at the station within 10 minutes of the dispatch to be counted as present.

    For those that live outside of three miles. They must average eight hours per week of station time every month. If they fall below it, they get a warning. The second time they are asked for their pager unless their are extenuating circumstances.
    This illistrates my point about exceptions. Someone has to track all of this information and compile it constantly. As for the extenuating circumstances--do you have a policy on that, or is it a judgement call by someone?

    I'm not picking on your department, but we've battled this kind of thing for years, and it's a nightmare keeping track of all of the "excused absences".

    Every volunteer has another life with obligations....work, church, school, children's ballgames, etc, etc. These things can, to a certain extent, be worked around training, meetings, etc. These things cannot, however, be scheduled around emergencies.

    If people are making meetings and training and STILL not making calls after several months, well, I don't know what to tell you. Why would you want to do that? I don't do this to sit though PowerPoints or spend Saturday morning cleaning the station bathrooms.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Our department is totally volunteer as well, we run approx. 600 calls per year that are fire/rescue/ems related. All but 2 or 3 of our members hold fulltime jobs, and those 2 or 3 are in college or high school. We require a very low minimum which is 1 call and 1 meeting per month. After 1 month of missing a call or meeting without an excusable absence, the member is marked as 'inactive', after 3 months of inactivity, we dismiss them from the department to make room for other potential members. this low requirement allows our guys to have time for family and work and any other activity that they might be involved in.

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    This illistrates my point about exceptions. Someone has to track all of this information and compile it constantly. As for the extenuating circumstances--do you have a policy on that, or is it a judgement call by someone?

    I'm not picking on your department, but we've battled this kind of thing for years, and it's a nightmare keeping track of all of the "excused absences".

    Every volunteer has another life with obligations....work, church, school, children's ballgames, etc, etc. These things can, to a certain extent, be worked around training, meetings, etc. These things cannot, however, be scheduled around emergencies.
    To expand on SilverCity's comments regarding excused absences, my experience is that there are always problems with what consititues an excused absence. A childs birthday may seem excused to one person and not another. Differend "administrations" in the same department tend to view things differently.

    Trying to document what is excused and what is not always leaves something out and makes somebody mad.

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    My department runs about 300 calls a year 175 are fire calls all members are required to make 50% of the fire calls, 50% of the trainings, and 50% of the business meetings. No member can miss more than 3 trainings in a row. We do allow the fire officers to make a recommendation to the department when a member falls below these guidelines. First we meet with the member in question and try to find out why they have fallen below the standards, then they are placed on probation if the situation allows. If they do not meet the standards set in their probation period then they are asked to resign,retire, or they will be removed from our rolls as a firefighter. The other 125 calls are for vehicle extrications or other types of techincal rescues. They are covered by 4 separate crews who wish to do this job. The rescue crews are on call from 6pm to 7am M-F and 24hrs on Sat and Sun. The rescue captain oversees the rescue crews, and makes judgements if someone is going to be relieved from a crew for cause.

    My department gave up EMS about 20 years ago, the local hospital runs the EMS/ambulance and they run approx 5-10 calls a day with 2 paramedics or emt I on duty and 2 reserve crews on call. We could not keep up with the volume of calls, and a lawsuit forced us to seriously evaluate our responsibilities to our community.

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    We are a volunteer EMS department with a paid medic on call 24/7. In addition to the paid medic we have a paid EMT driver 6Am-6Pm mon-fri. The private service which provides the paid employees provides dispatching services and mutual aid if we can't get a second crew for a second simultaneous call. Our department does not scramble crews from home, rather we are always staffed with at least one full crew. Our current policy is that new members are required to serve a minimum of 24 hours a month and senior members 12 hours, however this is not strictly enforced. The basic attitude is, if you serve at least 1 shift a year, that's one shift they don't have to pay for the private company to cover. Because the department doesn't issue any gear (we get reimbursed for uniforms after six months of service) this pretty much works for us and everyone gets along. Many of the paid guys are also volunteers so everyone knows each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverCity4 View Post
    This illistrates my point about exceptions. Someone has to track all of this information and compile it constantly. As for the extenuating circumstances--do you have a policy on that, or is it a judgement call by someone?

    I'm not picking on your department, but we've battled this kind of thing for years, and it's a nightmare keeping track of all of the "excused absences".

    Every volunteer has another life with obligations....work, church, school, children's ballgames, etc, etc. These things can, to a certain extent, be worked around training, meetings, etc. These things cannot, however, be scheduled around emergencies.

    If people are making meetings and training and STILL not making calls after several months, well, I don't know what to tell you. Why would you want to do that? I don't do this to sit though PowerPoints or spend Saturday morning cleaning the station bathrooms.
    Yes we have a policy on exceptions. The exceptions are your full-time job and church related functions.

    It is also connected with a duty crew system that splits ambulance coverage and fire coverage.

    Keeping track of it is really not too big of a problem. We have a couple of people that work as ff / paramedics during the day. One of their responsibilities is to track attendence for calls and training. It takes about 15 minutes per day to manage the whole thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    We have two systems.

    For those within 3 miles of the station. You must arrive at the station within 10 minutes of the dispatch to be counted as present. Those members must make at least 20% of the calls per year. For those that live outside of three miles. They must average eight hours per week of station time every month. If they fall below it, they get a warning. The second time they are asked for their pager unless their are extenuating circumstances.
    I think you have a fair standard and I like it!
    Mark Zanghetti
    FF-EMT
    Goshen Fire Dept.
    Waterford, CT

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    We used to count calls as part of being an "Active Member". I think the number was 10 calls/month. We're a pretty active combination department with about 3000 calls a year.

    Because of the call volume we've had in-house duty crews for the past ten years. We found this skewed the measurements. I could go a whole month with only 3-4 calls on my duty crew while another night of the week never saw the station. Should I be considered inactive even though I was at the station 48-hours? Should the guys on the other night be considered more active? Its the luck of the draw and tends to balance out through the year.

    In the end we still measure call volume and kept the 10 calls/month minimum. Given the call volume its a pretty low bar. We also allow those that missed to "exchange" a duty crew overnight for a set number of calls to help get them over the bar. This is only for LOSAP and Active Membership calculations, not other incentives that are based on pure call/drills/meeting volume.
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    We have a small department, with approximately 250 calls per year.
    We don't have specific quotas on calls, but we require a minimum of 40 hours per month, on-duty, which means you are at the station or on a call.

    We also require at least two overnight shifts per month.

    Most of our FFs average 80 to 160 hours per month. It's good having them at the station, even when there are no calls, because that's when the routine maintenance and cleaning get done.

    We have a very simple time sheet that each FF is required to maintain. It's basically like a time card, but we have them write in the start/stop times for each day they were there, along with the number of fire/ems/other calls they ran, and we have a place for them to include notes about the shift. One page per month, 31 lines per page, and the hours total up at the bottom.

    The Chief or DC does a monthly summary of the timesheets, and keeps track of the high & low performers.

    We've only had a couple of people in the past few years who seemed to never show up for calls unless it was convenient for them. They were handled by the chief, and after given 3 months to improve, were terminated.

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    Call minimums do not work IMHO. Minimums promote a system based on the premise that volunteers join to get a pension instead of helping their community. I know when I joined in 1979, I never expected to still be here 28 years later to get a pension. It just happened that way. I don't think anyone volunteers to get a pension someday. They join to help and make friends while they are doing it.
    Our department requires members make 20% of the calls in their station area to meet pension. All members have to make a minimum of 36 hours a year of training also.
    We have four stations and runs about 400 calls a year for all stations. There is a difference a in how many calls each station makes and therefore a difference in how many runs a member is required depending on what station they respond from.
    My station makes about 100-125 runs a year. This means I have to make about 25 calls a year to make pension.
    Another station in an outlying area makes about 30 calls a year so each member only needs to make about 6 calls to get a pension.
    As you can see, it is not a fair system and I have complained every year about it to higher authorities. A firefighter at my station could make 20 calls a year, year after year and never get his pension while a firefighter at the other station gets his make making a half dozen calls each year and get his.
    The Chief says we need some sort of system to keep track of who is attending calls so we can find out who the deadwood is. I agree but this system is not it.
    Any decent station officer knows who is contributing to the team and who is'nt. They can tell the Chief who needs to go.

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    Good points, Lifeguard.

    I also think counting missed calls against a member breeds feelings of ill will.

    The guy who's a slug and just "doesn't feel like going" is docked the same as the guy who was at work (we don't have excused absences).

    I think tracking things like meetings, training, and spending time doing maintenance will give a much more accurate picture of who's really "active".

    Believe me, there are many, many times (particularly around wildfire season) when I cringe when the pager goes off. There's rarely been a time when I've thought, "You know, I don't really have anything going on. A good grass/house/car fire or medical/rescue call would sure fit into my schedule right now."
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    We just started a new "quota" type system in Jan. This new system has nothing to do with running people off. We decieded as a dept. that if you wanted to be able to vote on things like equipment, officers, new membership, or anything that has to do the SOGs you have to make at least 25% of the calls for the quarter. If you do not make at least 25% you lose the right to vote. Out of a 35 man dept. only 2 people, this past quarter, failed to make at least 25% of the calls (average % was around 37%) The only reason that we have gone to this 25% of the calls a quarter system is to promote a consistent level of participation throughout the year. So far it is working great for us.

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    I really need to do some research on this when I get the time. If you are a private company and all volunteer, I suppose the quota is acceptabe since you have no compensation for your time. However, for those 'paid-by-the-call volunteers, I seem to recall something in the fair labor standards that prohibits an employer from restricting the opportunity for an employee to perform his/her job. So, in simple terms, how can you discipline a member for not making a certain percentage of calls, if those calls are not scheduled at times when that employee is available to respond? If you are outside of your distrcit when a call comes in, or if you have an alcohol use policy, or are simply ill at the time of a call, how can you find fault in the employee not responding? I don't think it is practical to "schedule" calls when you are physically able to respond to them....
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    We run around 650 calls a year. With us it's very simple:

    Over the year, you have to make 10% to remain an active member, 20% to vote, and 30% to run for officer.

    Doesn't matter if you're at work or just can't be bothered turning out, if you're not there you're not counted. But you do get credit for all calls that come in when you're away on FD training courses. This works for us.

    Mike

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