We haven't had that issue - as long as the new idea comes from the 'right' people. Sometimes you have convince the right people, then others will follow. Basic small department politics, unfortunately.
Originally Posted by Bushwhacker
Around here, unless a given department has a specific issue, it becomes more of a general thing for all departments in our area - that whole social club aspect.
How Do you Change The public Image Of the Same FD?
The $64,0000 question. One tactic I try to push is to use the term "drill" if it's gonna be hands-on. That way they may understand that they aren't going to be sitting in the meeting room listening to Firefighter Tree droning on about something they are convinced they won't care about. But even then, you have to deal with some of the old-timers who feel that they've already learned all they need to know and have no need to learn more or to practice. They do neglect to consider that by working with the new members they both impart some of their knowledge (which may be genuine) and allow the members of the department to work together better (which may be an issue if they prefer to be a 'hero').
How do you Train people that Don't wanna Train?
A tough one if a department has a history of being a closed club, taking only the buddies of current members. One department in our area did a significant media blitz, followed by a door-to-door campaign, all of which yielded six new members. That may not sound like much, but if your truly active roster is around 25, that's a pretty good boost.
How do you Recruit FF's when No one wants to Help?
Most people will follow someone, you just have to find out who that someone is.
How Do you Lead people that Won't follow?
I learned some years ago that most organizations such as ours have two types of leaders - nominal (elected/appointed) and opinion (the guy who runs the locker room/clique discussions). The opinion leader rarely wants a position with responsibility (and won't accept one), but loves having a position of authority. It comes down to your basic politics again. If you can't win over the opinion leader, you may have to whittle away at his/her support base.
Do the right thing, take the safe course, and make sure the person they are going to kill isn't you or your partner(s).
How do you deal with all of the Bull**** that Comes along with being a VFD officer/Paid FF that Knows what they are doing is Wrong, Dangerous, And Going to Kill some one?
Lead by example, even if you aren't officially a leader. F'rinstance, If you're doing overhaul, go ahead and pack up. If someone asks why - tell 'em. There's plenty of information available in the trade press and on line.