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    Default What is a "good" evening response rate

    While I know that some volunteer departments have a required response rate in order to maintain membership, I'm sure that even those departments view those as just an absolute minimum.

    What do you think is a respectable response rate during these periods?
    1. Evening hours (say 6-12 PM)
    2. Daytime hours (6AM-6PM).

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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    While I know that some volunteer departments have a required response rate in order to maintain membership, I'm sure that even those departments view those as just an absolute minimum.

    What do you think is a respectable response rate during these periods?
    1. Evening hours (say 6-12 PM)
    2. Daytime hours (6AM-6PM).
    What do you mean by respectable response rate?

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    Structure fire a few weeks ago at 2am....first line entered the building 4 minutes from dispatch. That is respectable.

    Of course, in a 1.5 sq mile town, everything is close.

    Where I used to be in PA, it took 4 minutes just for guys to make it to the firehouse.
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    Response rate meaning, the percentage of calls a volunteer actually responds to.

    I think Bones was thinking about what I would call response time.

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    Evenings always have a larger number responding. Daytime is generally a little less for us.

    If I were to not include those members who rarely respond. I would say daytime,,, 45%.
    nightime,,, 75%
    of the membership that we depend on.

    Response time is almost reverse between day and night. I would guess that is normal for the more rural volunteer departments.

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    Begining to think about responding like this at night. If we get toned out and I see a big glow in the sky as I go out the door, am thinking about turning around a going to bed from now on. Getting too old and too beat up for the big ones anymore. LOL

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    Depends on what the dispatch is.

    We have a single engine company duty crew for each night, for BS calls such as alarms, dumpsters, autos, etc.....That way not everyone has to get up and run.

    Sounds bigger, gets a full assignment, everyone responds. I would say 75 to 80% at night.
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    You should respond to every call that you are available for, no picking and choosing!

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    I expect everyone who gets the page to show up.From 6pm-6am unless your drinking I think you should respond.That doesn't always happen. Last week we got toned at 4am.24 members and only 3 showed.They all got a text that said make the calls or turn in your gear.I only had one guy do it.Not a loss at all.Every call since at least 10 have showed.I know everyone can not make every call but they should try.

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    You should respond to every call that you are available for, no picking and choosing!
    I expect everyone who gets the page to show up.From 6pm-6am unless your drinking I think you should respond.That doesn't always happen. Last week we got toned at 4am.24 members and only 3 showed.They all got a text that said make the calls or turn in your gear.I only had one guy do it.Not a loss at all.Every call since at least 10 have showed.I know everyone can not make every call but they should try.
    I love it ... suspend the paycheck if they dont ...... screw you guys .. i don't care if your up with a sick baby ... you have to be here .... :stompsfeet:

    As a fireman i understand that firemen need to respond .... as a non paid member you should understand that i will not be coming if i cant or don't want to. If you got a waiting list to get in ... then yes maybe i need to quit .. but unless you have ppl ready to join .... don't be so hard. If everybody quits you might be the only one left to show up .... then how much good are you going to be able to do ?

    Middle of the night, car fire in a parking lot, not endangering the structure and i have a 50k a year job interview in the morning ..... although i'm available ... i am not coming. Have at it boys.

    ** i have pulled my share of false alarms at 3am ...... i'm just saying it is tuff to make volunteers jump when they don't want to. **

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIMP0LMAN View Post
    You should respond to every call that you are available for, no picking and choosing!
    We don't pick and choose. The duty crew responds on all single-engine company responses. Anything else is handled with a full-company dispatch. Saves everyone from having to get up for baloney runs each and every night, and possibly multiple times per night. We find that we have a MUCH better turnout this way- members are not getting worn out by the baloney runs.
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    Default Response %age

    The modern paging system with announcement of type and location at the time of dispatch allows for individuals to make an informed decision. Many of our members have arrangements for baby sitters to respond when the wife is working. You do not get the baby sitter out of bed at 3:00 AM and traipse across the street in slippers and housecoat for an automatic that has been false every time for the past 10 years. Old days with siren alerting system, average response was about 50% or better. Today about 35% on automatics and well over 80% on working structure reports. Our community's manufacturing companies still heavily support the FC by allowing the members to respond and continuing to pay the hourly rate until the end of the shift. There are exceptions. Those engaged in line operations where a relief is not readily available can't leave unless the IC asks for a second alarm. Many times, after a long night, members are told by their formen at work to go home and get some rest before reporting to work. Actually our daytime response is better than the middle of the night due to some continuous shift operations where no relief is available on the shift. F.C. requirement is for attending 1/3 of all fires, drills and meetings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    We don't pick and choose. The duty crew responds on all single-engine company responses. Anything else is handled with a full-company dispatch. Saves everyone from having to get up for baloney runs each and every night, and possibly multiple times per night. We find that we have a MUCH better turnout this way- members are not getting worn out by the baloney runs.
    My comment was just in general not directed at you. We dont have a duty-crew, so we need everyone to put their best efforts into making calls. We have too many people who pick and choose what calls they are going to respond to, leaving the dept to rely heavily on the select few who make a high % of the calls who are getting worn out and do have lives of their own too! I do understand people have alot of the their own responsibilities that do come first (families, jobs, school, etc......), and that they are volunteers and can't be forced or expected to be at every call. I'm just saying that when you are not wrapped up in these responsibilities and dont have the luxury of a duty crew you should be making every effort to make all calls that they are available for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owenscott View Post
    I love it ... suspend the paycheck if they dont ...... screw you guys .. i don't care if your up with a sick baby ... you have to be here .... :stompsfeet:

    As a fireman i understand that firemen need to respond .... as a non paid member you should understand that i will not be coming if i cant or don't want to. If you got a waiting list to get in ... then yes maybe i need to quit .. but unless you have ppl ready to join .... don't be so hard. If everybody quits you might be the only one left to show up .... then how much good are you going to be able to do ?

    Middle of the night, car fire in a parking lot, not endangering the structure and i have a 50k a year job interview in the morning ..... although i'm available ... i am not coming. Have at it boys.

    ** i have pulled my share of false alarms at 3am ...... i'm just saying it is tuff to make volunteers jump when they don't want to. **
    If everyone had your attitude then I would be by myself anyway.It doesn't matter if you have a 100k job in the morning people still expect you to show when they need help. "although i'm available ... i am not coming. Have at it boys."I know everyone can't make every call but that's a crappy way to look at it.
    Thats the guys who need to turn in thier gear because it doesn't do any good if you don't use it.It is volunteer but you volunteered to show up....don't want to show up then unvolunteer yourself.

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    You know we could also include percentage that show up for training as a measurment too. I have through the years observed that for full time volunteers, that when your training exercises have a good percentage showing up, that you will also have a good percentage showing up at a fire call. For whatever reason it seems that the more membership attending meetings and training translates to how many will officially respond to an emergency call when it comes. And it always does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owenscott View Post
    I love it ... suspend the paycheck if they dont ...... screw you guys .. i don't care if your up with a sick baby ... you have to be here .... :stompsfeet:

    As a fireman i understand that firemen need to respond .... as a non paid member you should understand that i will not be coming if i cant or don't want to. If you got a waiting list to get in ... then yes maybe i need to quit .. but unless you have ppl ready to join .... don't be so hard. If everybody quits you might be the only one left to show up .... then how much good are you going to be able to do ?

    Middle of the night, car fire in a parking lot, not endangering the structure and i have a 50k a year job interview in the morning ..... although i'm available ... i am not coming. Have at it boys.

    ** i have pulled my share of false alarms at 3am ...... i'm just saying it is tuff to make volunteers jump when they don't want to. **
    ?? Maybe I am the minority here but I would still go pull the false alarm AND get up and make the interview in the morning. I've pulled my fair share of electrical pole files at 3 or 4 in the morning and went to my job in the morning without complaint. Unless I am alone with my daughter (when the wife is out of town, at work, etc), I drop what I am doing and go. Regardless of the nature (dumpster fire, minor accident, pole file, grass fire, etc)... We have members that pick and choose and I don't think highly of them. My feeling is why have them at all if a few of us are going to carry all the weight and will only see them for a major structure fire?

    I guess I just feel responsible for the people who are at home sleeping around me at night and feel it's my duty to get up and go take care of things like this so they don't have to. I expect everyone on my department to care just as much and pull their weight or find a different 'hobby'.

    I understand 'I can't'... I will never understand 'don't want to'. This attitude is why the volunteer service is dying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S8ER95Z View Post
    ?? Maybe I am the minority here but I would still go pull the false alarm AND get up and make the interview in the morning. I've pulled my fair share of electrical pole files at 3 or 4 in the morning and went to my job in the morning without complaint. Unless I am alone with my daughter (when the wife is out of town, at work, etc), I drop what I am doing and go. Regardless of the nature (dumpster fire, minor accident, pole file, grass fire, etc)... We have members that pick and choose and I don't think highly of them. My feeling is why have them at all if a few of us are going to carry all the weight and will only see them for a major structure fire?

    I guess I just feel responsible for the people who are at home sleeping around me at night and feel it's my duty to get up and go take care of things like this so they don't have to. I expect everyone on my department to care just as much and pull their weight or find a different 'hobby'.

    I understand 'I can't'... I will never understand 'don't want to'. This attitude is why the volunteer service is dying.
    These are the types of attitudes that made me leave my last department. I won't appologize for having to support my family, and I won't appologize for having some evenings that I can't run due to family or work obligations the next day.

    I will admit to anyone that I pick and choose calls, although I've run my share of BS calls. We have duty crews and I see no sense in getting out of bed, driving 10 miles for a stubbed toe, when I know that a duty crew has it covered. If a multi-unit response is required, or if I have signed up for the duty, I will make the call.

    I've lasted longer as a volunteer than a lot of people that I started with. Part of the problem was that they ran every call, gung-ho and got burned out. Losing trained, experienced people to burn out, or having unrealistic expectations is a waste of manpower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    While I know that some volunteer departments have a required response rate in order to maintain membership, I'm sure that even those departments view those as just an absolute minimum.

    What do you think is a respectable response rate during these periods?
    1. Evening hours (say 6-12 PM)
    2. Daytime hours (6AM-6PM).
    Back to the original question: I respond mostly in the evening. I will make just over 200 out of almost 2000 calls this year. I'm not in the top 10, but I am in the top 25 runners in the department.

    Not sure if that answers your question or not.

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    You bring up an interesting aspect to this original thread, 'ENG34ff' that I think may not have been addressed. That is, how many 'runs' does your department average. I come from a mutual aid association with 7 departments which ran just over 650 calls for the entire '08 year. Now divide that among seven departments and not evenly mind you. If one department runs 2000 calls a year that is a very busy volunteer department indeed and of course no one volunteer can devote that amount of time it takes to cover that amount of runs. So when some take exception, it would probably be best to acknowledge that there truly is no one correct way or perception about how a department should run. We can even throw in funding as a critical aspect about how many do and should respond. Some departments coffers are pretty decent. Even though they probably don't think so, but mind you some departments run on $10,000 a year. Or less. I've seen departments get a new truck or two every year. Some get a used truck every ten years. If that. Some departments with low call volumes are often considered harder to run than those that make scores a month. Doesn't sound logical, but experts often agree on this. Those departments that also make the most calls can easily encounter burnout do to the number they have to respond to and those with low call volume often experience burnout trying to stay sharp and trained and getting only a few calls a year for the effort they put in. Would be interesting to see some here change places for a year and what they learned afterwards. Maybe a better appreciation.

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    We can even throw in funding as a critical aspect about how many do and should respond. Some departments coffers are pretty decent. Even though they probably don't think so, but mind you some departments run on $10,000 a year. Or less.
    Unless you are getting some kind of $$ per run, I don't see funding as having anything to do with response rates.
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    Like most small towns these days our day time response is much lighter then the nightime response. Bosses not letting people out of work, people working out of town, we all know the reasons. As to the picking of calls it should not be done. And to define picking calls I mean you are sitting there watching TV , sleeping etc and you listen to what the tone is and then you make a decision that it is not worth your time to go , someone else can do it. This does not count if you have a duty crew as it is there job to go, so that would not be picking call. It also does not count if you have family responsibilites work etc. For example last night, 2330 we had a medical assist call, 30 people in the department 4 showed up. Monday at 2330 sure some people were home with the kids alone , some were sick in bed, some were out of town, but 26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bristolf36 View Post
    Like most small towns these days our day time response is much lighter then the nightime response. Bosses not letting people out of work, people working out of town, we all know the reasons. As to the picking of calls it should not be done. And to define picking calls I mean you are sitting there watching TV , sleeping etc and you listen to what the tone is and then you make a decision that it is not worth your time to go , someone else can do it. This does not count if you have a duty crew as it is there job to go, so that would not be picking call. It also does not count if you have family responsibilites work etc. For example last night, 2330 we had a medical assist call, 30 people in the department 4 showed up. Monday at 2330 sure some people were home with the kids alone , some were sick in bed, some were out of town, but 26.
    Exactly... I think people have blurred 'can't' and 'don't want to' here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    These are the types of attitudes that made me leave my last department. I won't appologize for having to support my family, and I won't appologize for having some evenings that I can't run due to family or work obligations the next day.
    Therein lies the difference between 'can't' and 'don't want to'... it's a huge difference and the line seperates those I respect and those I don't want on my hoseline risking a brothers life. If someone can choose not to goto a call because they don't want to am I to assume they come to training and take serious if they even show?

    I will admit to anyone that I pick and choose calls, although I've run my share of BS calls. We have duty crews and I see no sense in getting out of bed, driving 10 miles for a stubbed toe, when I know that a duty crew has it covered. If a multi-unit response is required, or if I have signed up for the duty, I will make the call.
    You seem to have a different system and your 'picking and choosing' doesn't sound like the issue at hand here. Duty crews ensure that you have people to answer the calls on the first tone, we don't have duty crews on the Fire side... you rely on each and every member when that tone goes off and if everyone says 'screw it someone else can go' you end up with no one going. On the EMS side we do 12hr on call shifts so I am able to 'pick and choose' in the same regard. I don't call that picking and choosing though because I am not needed and no one is expecting me.

    I've lasted longer as a volunteer than a lot of people that I started with. Part of the problem was that they ran every call, gung-ho and got burned out. Losing trained, experienced people to burn out, or having unrealistic expectations is a waste of manpower.
    I have a lot of respect for anyone that can stick it out, I think you have included yourself in something that you are not really a part of but I could be wrong here. I am willing to lose a trained/experienced person if they pull 10% of their weight, skip training and don't really show up to anything... that IMHO is a waste of manpower. I would rather pull mutual aid from somewhere else and get someone who is also taking this seriously and won't get anyone hurt. Just my .02.

    I should note that my area is probably much different than yours... we have no duty crews and we run very few actual fires per year. With months between any serious calls and most of them being Fire only I can't believe any of these guys have burnout issues. I run with both sides and still get excited when the tone goes off. I apologize if you feel you were somehow included in what I said but it appears to me you're not one of the guys I'm talking about.

    Stay Safe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by S8ER95Z View Post
    Therein lies the difference between 'can't' and 'don't want to'... it's a huge difference and the line seperates those I respect and those I don't want on my hoseline risking a brothers life. If someone can choose not to goto a call because they don't want to am I to assume they come to training and take serious if they even show?



    You seem to have a different system and your 'picking and choosing' doesn't sound like the issue at hand here. Duty crews ensure that you have people to answer the calls on the first tone, we don't have duty crews on the Fire side... you rely on each and every member when that tone goes off and if everyone says 'screw it someone else can go' you end up with no one going. On the EMS side we do 12hr on call shifts so I am able to 'pick and choose' in the same regard. I don't call that picking and choosing though because I am not needed and no one is expecting me.



    I have a lot of respect for anyone that can stick it out, I think you have included yourself in something that you are not really a part of but I could be wrong here. I am willing to lose a trained/experienced person if they pull 10% of their weight, skip training and don't really show up to anything... that IMHO is a waste of manpower. I would rather pull mutual aid from somewhere else and get someone who is also taking this seriously and won't get anyone hurt. Just my .02.

    I should note that my area is probably much different than yours... we have no duty crews and we run very few actual fires per year. With months between any serious calls and most of them being Fire only I can't believe any of these guys have burnout issues. I run with both sides and still get excited when the tone goes off. I apologize if you feel you were somehow included in what I said but it appears to me you're not one of the guys I'm talking about.

    Stay Safe!
    I probably seem to have over-reacted, but this is one of my pet peeves. People seem to assume that just becuause somebody isn't doing the same function that they are, they aren't doing anything. At one point I was top runner, but when we didn't get out for a manpower call they would tell me that we failed becuase I didn't show up. Never mind the 60 others that didn't either.

    I realize that different areas have different needs and call volumes, and 1 size doesn't fit all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    I probably seem to have over-reacted, but this is one of my pet peeves. People seem to assume that just becuause somebody isn't doing the same function that they are, they aren't doing anything. At one point I was top runner, but when we didn't get out for a manpower call they would tell me that we failed becuase I didn't show up. Never mind the 60 others that didn't either.

    I realize that different areas have different needs and call volumes, and 1 size doesn't fit all.
    Yeah I think I was a little too critical without knowing the OPs department as well. I don't ride people who don't make calls because I have a 2 year old at home myself and I know things come up. I guess it just gets me going when the same people can't seem to make any calls yet make a structure fire at the drop of a hat with no issue. They are the first ones to the station and want to go in the door. When that same person hasn't bothered to make it to training or when they do they blow the training off I just start to get peeved about it and worry about my safety as well as others. I shouldn't have been so quick to pounce but like yourself I take the issue to heart and feel very strongly. Words like 'don't want to' just set something off... my apologies.

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