Time for a FT Position
I am the Chief of an all volunteer dept with about 47 members. We run both fire and EMS First response (no transport) to about 900 calls per year. I am working on a proposal for a full time Chief's position to take over the administrative functions of the department. This position would also supplant the weekday calls as our numbers are inadequate for the majority of runs we have. We already have automatic mutual aid with our neighbors which allows us to continue to be successful, but our pre-plan, inspections, incidents, training, etc. are all consuming way more time than I (and my other officers) have time to do to the level they deserve. Any help by way of research, articles, etc. would be much appreciated.
I would write a well formed letter the mayor/city council/manager/whoever about the fact that while volunteer service has served your community well for some time now, there is now the need for a fulltime position.
Explain how there are many things that this person could handle that are not directly involved with fire suppression/EMS. State all of the administrative duties, records keeping, etc. Make sure to mention preplans/inosections and throw in the related NFPA standards. State how you are not able to keep up with these standards without a fulltime person to assist with the duties, and frankly it is a liability.
Add the aspect of responding to calls in last. Mention your lack of available personnel during the day, but also the fact that by having a fulltime member respond with apparatus, other members could respond to the scene, saving time.
There is alot that could be said about this. Really sit down and figure out what this person could do for you as a department, but also as a community.
Full time Chief...
Just wanted to weigh in on the very good advice posted by GTRider245, I have lots of friends who've worn the "chief for free" hat and it is very tiring I would imagine.
Really look at the areas of liability that you and the municipality face, not just suppression but also prevention and investigation, medical, training etc. If something goes badly wrong not only are you likely to be sued personally but so is the municpality, and I don't know the size of the community or laws protecting the council, but everyone from the mayor down can wear a portion of liability in a lot of cases.
The fact that things have gone well until now has likely been a case of good management and good luck, we can control management but not luck. Having the right body (and I hope that's you) in that seat 8-5 or whatever hours are required will reduce liability if that person is trained for the roles they're taking on, and actively involved in their work. Speaking of training, if there's an area you need work on personally like for instance Fire Inspector I, make sure the cost of the course and associated expenses is written into your proposal unless you can get training grants through the Department of Homeland Security or State Fire Marshall in which case fill your boots but ask for time to do the course. Sorry I'm vague on the fineries of US financed coures/grants but I'm a Brit in Canada.
Anyway, be prepared for possibly a lot of resistance, towns that can get something for nothing will prefer to take that route forever given a chance so really sell it.