1. #1

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    Question Volunteer FD Questions

    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?

    Thankyou for all your help. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the past 18 years in the community I live in and work for a career dept as a ff/medic. I am writing a paper for a company officer class im taking and need some info. My volunteer dept. offers ff's $10.00 per call, ff related education is paid for by the dept., State of az does not offer any tax breaks, no fringe benifits per say, and after 20 years ff' are eligible for a retirement benifit that is currently $200.00 per month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker72 View Post
    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?

    Thankyou for all your help. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the past 18 years in the community I live in and work for a career dept as a ff/medic. I am writing a paper for a company officer class im taking and need some info. My volunteer dept. offers ff's $10.00 per call, ff related education is paid for by the dept., State of az does not offer any tax breaks, no fringe benifits per say, and after 20 years ff' are eligible for a retirement benifit that is currently $200.00 per month.
    My company does not actively "recruit" volunteers. The volunteers supplement a fully staffed career house.

    They don't do anything to retain the volunteers other than offer free training and encourage their continued involvement.

    We get no compensation for the calls we go on (that I know of!)

    As far as tax breaks and retirement - yes, as long as you meet minimum LOSAP requirements for being at the house and participating in company activities. I forget the amounts of each though, because I am relatively new and haven't received those benefits yet.

    Fringe benefits - all the free training you could want (except medic). Free uniforms ("everything except socks and underwear - and if you're really hard up, we can prolly do that too"). Nice newly renovated bunk room with fresh mattresses. Thats about it.
    Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over

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    Default Volunteering

    Quote Originally Posted by tucker72 View Post
    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?

    Thankyou for all your help. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the past 18 years in the community I live in and work for a career dept as a ff/medic. I am writing a paper for a company officer class im taking and need some info. My volunteer dept. offers ff's $10.00 per call, ff related education is paid for by the dept., State of az does not offer any tax breaks, no fringe benifits per say, and after 20 years ff' are eligible for a retirement benifit that is currently $200.00 per month.
    1. We do our recruiting by word of mouth and referral.
    2. We explain to them that volunteering is their civic duty and the local fire
    department is needed for the survival of the community.
    3. We cannot offer compensation (no funds). 100% volunteer.
    4. Our state does not allow us tax breaks.
    5. Fringe benefits are workers compensation coverage, turnout gear and
    free training. We have had a Christmas outing at a local establishment, but
    each member had to pay their own meal.
    6. No retirement program. (No funds).

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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Honestly, I wouldn't mind getting paid to volunteer.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker72 View Post
    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    Usually one-on-one. It's a small community, so as we get to know someone we hit them up (gently) and try to spark some interest.

    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Try hard to keep encouraging them - make it clear that we will fund any training they want to take at the fire School to go beyond Dept. level training, try to take them under our wing.

    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Nope.

    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    Refundable provincial income tax credit of $500 a year, conditional on 20% attendance at all calls, training & meetings (this requirement is set by the province).

    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    License plate for one vehicle per household, free of charge. Requirements as for the tax credit.

    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?
    Nope.
    "I've met lots of volunteer firefighters, but I've never seen a volunteer fire!"
    - R. MacLeod, Alma VFD

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    Default Compensation???????

    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    Word of mouth, family traditions ( my son is a fourth generation volunteer)

    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    There are no funds for monetary items. Civic duty, community service, etc.

    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    No

    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    No, presented every year but always a very low priority to our legislators.

    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    Some Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association benefits. Death, clothing, eyewear, life insurance, credit union membership.

    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?
    None

    Not sure you are a "volunteer" if you receive money of any type or amount.

  7. #7
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    I could see the use for compensating people small amounts for running calls. For instance, the first department I was at, the volunteer system supplemented a career staff which was only staffed M-F, 6-6. The problem was on the weekends, especially Sundays. Volunteers wouldn't respond to calls, thinking that other volunteers would show up. This led to several "failure to respond"s. This is a huge burden on the community which was served. Maybe offering $10 a call would incentivise more EMTs to hang out at the house more often? This would lead to better service (meaning less failures) for the community and negate the need for a paid 24 hour career staff.

    I personally think it sucks that the volunteers shirked that responsibility (i wasn't an EMT at the time). In an ideal world, they would respond because they want to help out and nothing else; but unfortunately I know of at least 2 companies who have had a number of "failure to respond" in our county this year. $10 is a small enough amount that you wouldn't have volunteers fighting each other to ride, but enough to help pay a couple bills or help put food on the table. Interesting idea...
    Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over

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    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    By word of mouth and referals are the two main two ways.

    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    By comensating for any and all training and uniforms necessary.

    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Our volunteers get compensated for EMS and Fire calls and on a pay per call basis and is adjusted to the level of certification.

    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    No state tax breaks in Virginia.

    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    All training, uniforms is paid for by the department. Also an Accident Insurance Policy is paid for "Active Members" by the department.

    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?
    No retirement is given.
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=tucker72;1098318]How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?

    QUOTE]

    Most of the recruitment is word of mouth although the county has filmed a couple of commercials and put them on TV. We also have a vo-tech program in the high-schools that helps recruit.

    Retention is through small events like banquets and dinners. The county also offers tuition and child care reimbursement.

    No compensation, but we do get a state tax credit after 3 years.

    No real fringe benefits, except the free training thorugh MFRI.

    We do get a retierment after meeting LOSAP requirements for 25 years, but I don't know how much it is.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker72 View Post

    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?
    We usually encourage younger members to join by posting posters in the high school. other than that we have alot of members who are in their 20-30's that supplement the station and at this time dont need to do alot of recruiting, but i can see in a few years that is going to end.

    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?
    Alot of the guys love firefighting and stay with the dept. Only a few have left recently and 1 was because he was moved out of town with work.

    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?
    Yes we are a POC dept. I believe the pay for firefighters is $9.50 an hr on call and during training and monthly meetings, captains and Lieutenants make more. Chief is a salary job paid by the town.

    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?
    I dont know?

    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?
    We get paid so no. Although we do have all of the standard benefits, in-case we get hurt on the job.

    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?
    I dont believe so

    Thankyou for all your help. I have been a volunteer firefighter for the past 18 years in the community I live in and work for a career dept as a ff/medic. I am writing a paper for a company officer class im taking and need some info. My volunteer dept. offers ff's $10.00 per call, ff related education is paid for by the dept., State of az does not offer any tax breaks, no fringe benifits per say, and after 20 years ff' are eligible for a retirement benifit that is currently $200.00 per month.
    That pretty much sums it up.

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    How does your Dept. recruit volunteer firefighters?

    Mostly word of mouth and such. We have tried some recruiting efforts in the past with minimal success, such as setting up a table at local fairs and setting up one day in front of the shopping center, giving demonstrations, etc. Very limited success. The last good recruit we got from one of these appearances had already been a volunteer for a number of years and just moved into our area, so he was kind of a natural. In short, we've found that you're generally not going to catch anybody who wasn't already thinking about it.

    We also often approach individuals who already possess certain attributes (for example, a young single guy is more likely to join than a married with kids type who already has a lot of responsibilities). We also encourage shift workers because it boosts the daytime response capability. Folks in these categories are often approached directly by someone in the department who is acquainted with them. This approach, at least for us, has been somewhat more successful than anonymous recruiting drives.

    What do you do to retain volunteer firefighters?

    Nothing really. Again, if they really want to be there they will. If they don't, they won't. In a pure volunteer system, I'd really rather have the guys that want to be there because it's the right thing to do than just hanging around being a malcontent because of some artificial retention program.

    We do have a recent statewide program through a SAFER grant (authored by my deputy chief, Paul Gilmore) that provides college tuition reimbursement in return for a two or four commitment to your local volunteer department (with certain requirements to be met, of course). It was only introduced last month so no real results on that one yet. Pretty neat program, you can see the details here:

    www.vfdla.org

    Do your volunteers get any compensation for the calls they go on?

    No

    Do your volunteers get any state tax breaks?

    Per a recent state law, they are allowed to take a tax credit of $500 per year. This does not amount to a return of $500, it usually only nets you about 30 or 40 bucks extra on your state tax return, which in my opinion is not even worth the paperwork . This bill was also written and introduced by my deputy chief, and was intended as a $500 refund, but the state legislature modified it to only be a credit, which pretty well negated the desired effect. Still working on that one.


    Do your volunteers get any fringe benifits?

    All training, PPE, radios, pagers, uniforms, t-shirts, hats, and such like stuff is provided. I don't know if you'd call that a benefit, more like just requirements of the position. Workman's Comp and accident insurance are provided. We currently have three annual events that are free to active members; Family Day (outdoor picnic/barbecue thing for all members and their immediate family), Christmas party, and annual banquet/awards night. Also, we occasionally have a free supper at our monthly business meeting.

    Do your volunteers get any retirement and if so what is the amount?

    No. No such program exists in the State that I am aware of, but I know some people are looking into it.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 10-01-2009 at 01:46 PM.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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