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  1. #21
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    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    What i was meaning by the "only takes an hour" was that the volunteers come back to the station a help return the trucks to service after a fire call. I had posted earlier that we (paid staff) do all the truck checks at shift change and that the unmanned station are checked on Friday.

    We have some of our volunteers that will work to cover an open shift. When that happens they are paid and do the work of a paid person.
    Right, I understand that. And what I am saying is that many largely-volunteer combo departments hire paid staff specifically to ensure that volunteers don't have to do that, ot other maintenance work.

    If paying someone to do that sort of work makes it possible for more people to volunteer, than there is a real multiplier effect on the expenditure of those funds.


  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber Nilsog's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Maine- Deep South of the Far North
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    I work career for a combo department, 7 career firefighters and a 32 hour a week chief.

    We work 10s and 14s with 2 men per shift. We do all station duties, morning truck checks, and are the only personnel allowed to operate apparatus. While our official rank is Engineer, we are also equal to captain in the department's hierarchy. On the call company's rolls we have 1 Deputy, 1 assistant, 4 captains 4 lieutenants and about 10 interior firefighters with several support volunteers.

    From my perspective, whether you are paid, volunteer or call, we all share the same responsibilities and working together we can take care of things a lot faster and easier. In our SOGs it states that the call officers are responsible to help the chief with the budget, assist us on business and safety inspections, supervise a set amount of subordinates and keep track of their training and numerous other things... yet training had to be taken over by one of the career men. The officers do not keep their training records updated for themselves or their subordinates nor do they help at all when it comes to finding information for the chief. I know from experience that we have officers who do not know the equipment on the trucks, and in fact this was getting so bad that a few years ago someone felt obligated to blemish our apparatus with labels on each compartment.

    In the end I respect our call members only because I wish to keep the peace between us and them, we should be one team, but how can you call it a team when they cannot perform the basic duties of their job?

    In the end I suppose this all falls upon the chief for not enforcing the SOGs and job descriptions, but still I wish people would take pride in what they do and do it well, rather than falling back on the asinine opinion of "You get paid to do that, so I don't need to"
    Engineer, Local 3038

  3. #23
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    Apr 2004
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    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
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    Primarily volunteer combo department with 7 stations covering about 200 square miles. 1200-1300 runs per year. 80% EMS.

    1 station staffed w/ 4 daytime and 1 5 PM-7AM w/ supplemental volunteer ride-out staffing. 6 stations all-volunteer response.

    5 paid personnel. 3 shift firefighters. 1 Deputy Chief (M-F daytime) 1 Public Education/Training Coordinator (M-F daytime).

    55 volunteer firefighting personnel. 10-12 support personnel. 10 dispatchers. 6-10 juniors.

    The majority of our volunteers have an EMS ranging from first responder to 9 paramedics.

    Paid members understand that they are there to support the volunteer operation. They are responsible for most of the truck and equipment maintainence, station maintainence and rating related testing. That being said, we often have 4-10 volunteers at our Central (staffed) station riding out at any time. If they are at the station there is any expectation that they will participate in any cleaning, maintainence, testing or training task that is going on at the time.

    Our Chief and Asst. Chief (3rd in command) are volunteers. All of our captains with the exception of 1 are volunteers. Our paid staff fully understands that the highest ranking officer is in charge and 90% at night, that is a volunteer.

    We also use volunteers to give us a 4th paid man 7 days a week during the day. We also have a Saturday and Sunday part-time position to cover the Deputy Chief's slot weekend.

    In addition, 3 of our volunteer stations have mobile homes next to the stations housing 2 volunteers each. They get free board for 45 hours of scheduled duty time a week. All 6 also count as full-time paid firefighters on our rating because they are scheduled. We are planning to add a trailer to a 4th station late this year.

    All volunteers who want to work the part-time daytime slot must have an EMS cert, be a driver and be interior qualified.

    The members who want to live in the trailers must meet the same criteria.

    The system works very well. We have been able to keep the number of volunteers way up and have no plans to hire despite having the funding available to do so.

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