1. #26
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    true but if they dont get there hours fully that can be put on "inactive" status

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    As long as you have a minimun of 6 that meet the training requirments - but remember we are talking apples to oranges about 833 and workman comp training. unless things have changed -the 24 hours a year for workmans comp can be inhouse while the 16 hours 833 has to be certifed by the academy. That being said , I would hate to have my name on the 833 saying that firefighter joe was "inactive" in 833s eyes and have him get hurt on the fireground. There is always a chance state agencies will compare notes.
    ?

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    I agree with attendance requirements and standards for departments. We have approx 24 people on our department that run out of 2 stations. At any given time we can have at the best 13 show up but look like clowns cause we do not train together and there is alot of hate and discontent between the 2 stations. We have one asst. chief that doesn't show up very much for anything. And we have a captain that shows up when he wants or when he is called, he has a pager but never wears it. I've talked to the chief about this stuff and he says that we are just vollies and he can't enforce it. We also have an ex chief that lives our district and still has a pager and gear but cause he works at a local business he stays on even though he either doesn't respond or people call him and he plays rambo. What can be done especially since the department doesn't have any SOP's in writing.

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    We have had a 20% call attendance requirement in place for eight years now. You must maintain this standard as an active member, evaluated in 6 month increments. Statistically, about 1/3 calls are 6a-6p M-F, 1/3 6p-6a M-F and the other third are 6p Friday-6a Monday. So all working, mortgage paying, shifts have the opportunity to make that percentage. The DOERS make between 40-70%, the hangers 20-40% and we have released or forced out a hand full of cherry pickers, whiners, b----ers and complainers over the years. All incoming candidates are advised extensively about this standard. It greatly has reduced or eliminated the circus on scene, as most work together on a regular basis and everyone knows what to do and the order of progression.
    We also have a leave policy that allows members to take time off, without call responsibilities, for a pre-determined time period and not lose active status on return.
    This has worked for us, by eliminating Freelancers and most of the guessing games as to who does what.
    Obviously, it will not fix everything, but it has helped us.
    Last edited by thoskin; 12-27-2011 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Indents ? Guess NOT

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fflt1980@yahoo.com View Post
    What can be done especially since the department doesn't have any SOP's in writing.
    I can identify with your issues. The same thought process occurs here.

    I like thoskin's department's approach - it's a reasonable number, and while I haven't crunched the numbers here, I suspect we're much the same in terms of call balance.

    As for forcing some level of compliance - who pays your bills? Unless you operate completely independently, you're working for someone - a township, village, something. See if you can make them the "bad guy" by putting some sort of requirement into their contract with you (if you have one), or as a condition of "employment," if that's the appropriate approach.

    You might need to remind people that there are plenty of organizations that are looking for volunteers. You're looking for firefighters.

    As thoskin points out, you'll weed out the self-styled "heros" and the people who are only in it "for the jacket." You might see your numbers drop for a bit, but as others see your department develop some focus, you may see the emergence of folks who aren't interested in the 'drama.'
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    For those that require a % of calls, how may do you run per year?

    We run 300+ per year. Working out of the area and being gone from 7 a.m. until 8 or 9 p.m. makes it difficult to make a reasonable number of calls.

    After 25+ years doing this, the number of "BS" alarms for carbon monoxide and other service calls has increased exponentially.

    Have tried to propose the idea of duty crews (not standby at station) of 3-4 firefighters to cover the CO and false alarms, but proposal has been met with limited interest. "We don't do it that way."

    When I was 18 - 25 years old with no kids and minimal job responsibilities, it was a lot easier to make calls40-60% of calls. I feel like I still have something to give, but not running out to every BS call after sitting home to eat dinner at 8 or 9 p.m.

    And on training, the "best" way of doing it is to schedule your training in advance--usually set your calendar at the beginning of the year. Some training opportunities cannot be scheduled this far in advance. But it amazes me how officers get ticked when they call a drill with 1-5 days notice and not that many show up. Many of us need to plan further in advance.'

    Geez, after reading the above, I feel like a grumpy old man, and I'm not 45 yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Have tried to propose the idea of duty crews (not standby at station) of 3-4 firefighters to cover the CO and false alarms, but proposal has been met with limited interest. "We don't do it that way."
    I think that is what our department needs as well, at least for nighttime calls. The problem is that even if we decided to go that way, someone is going to spend hours each month putting together the schedule and all the headaches that will go with it.
    Last edited by auxman; 01-02-2012 at 10:10 PM.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    I think that is what our department needs as well, at least for nighttime calls. The problem is that even if we decided to go that way, someone is going to spend hours each month putting together the schedule and all the headaches that will go with it.
    Not to mention "the wife/husband wanted to go shopping..."

    It might work better (if you've got the people) to do week-long "shifts" with 6-7 per. That way if one person (or two) ducks out of the district, you're not as short.
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  9. #34
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    JD, we run about 650 a year, but we only require 10% of calls.

    auxman, there are a couple of ways to combat the scheduling headaches:
    • Have the same people pull the same duty night each week. Makes it easy to schedule.
    • Have a rotating duty night.
    • Use a large desk calendar to allow for members to sign up for the nights they're available.

    I've seen all of these used with success in various departments.
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    I in favor of the duty crew idea..during the evening and overnight hours anyhow..most of us work during the day..currently we are a "free for all" department and when the tones go out you honestly don't know what you are going to get.

    I started out running for every call BS or not, including EMS assists but got tired of getting there to find out that there were already 15 people. So I wouldn't get up for the next one and it went 3 calls to get a rig off the floor because nobody else went either.

    Taking "crew" a few nights a week or month or whatever for the routine calls sounds like a really good idea to me....takes the question out of "do I stay or do I go" when the pager opens up. Ofcourse this is only for the routine stuff...structure fires and other big deals would still be all hands on deck and then some.

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    I don't have the exact requirements in front of me, but for us you have so many hours of participation (meetings, training, station duty, etc) and a percentage of calls to make (IIRC). These requirements are made known before you sign up. Work and school, for example, are excused absences.

    Generally I see that if you make just a bit of effort when you can, you are in good standing with the department.

    I have to agree with having minimum participation requirements. It is expensive to equip and train firefighters, and I see no reason to maintain dead weight on the 'active' rolls. Can't dedicate the time? Axillary is where it's at if you want to contribute...

    When I had a busier schedule (working farther away from home and attending school) I did not join a VFD because I knew I could not dedicate enough time...

  12. #37
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    Current combo department requires that volunteer opersonnel only make one training a month, out of 4. IMO this should be a minimum of 2, or 50%, but the command structure has decided that this is acceptable.

    My VFD in the past had a minimum requirements of requirements, which lead to members not attending but a few trainings a year. Soon after I joined the department last year, the Chief upgraded the requirements to at least 50% of all drills (1 per month) plus a minimum of 16 hours of outside LSU training per year.

    We are now requireing that they complete a recently developed 42-hour rookie class, based on LSU's 24-hour 1403 class, and have both Awareness and Operations completed. In addition, we have gone from 2 drills a month to 4, which means members will have to attend at least 2. We do have some members, that do not meet these standards, however, many of them are members at full-time departments and a couple are actually volunteers where I work, so they do get enough training time in to compensate for that.

    As far as the topic, I feel that there should be minimum requirements which should be based on the needs of the area served by the department. As an example, my previous VFD served a fairly well built up surburban area with multiple 4-5 story college dorms, hotesl, office space and apartments, as well as an automatic mutual aid response area with large single-structures and 1800's mill buildings covering an entire city blocks. Because of the significant hazards represented by these structures and the time needed to train on these structures, we had a 80% minimum training standard. While it did limit the number of folks who could volunteer as this standard was enforced, the needs of the district demanded the level of training that the standard maintained.
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  13. #38
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    At the VFD I plan on volunteering, the first thing they told me was:

    30% of calls
    75% of drills, department meetings (first tuesday of each month), company meetings, probie training drills (sunday mornings), parade details, fundraisers, washing trucks, etc....

    Then after probie year it becomes 30% for everything.

    They really ask a lot out of the probies, considering last year they had 320 calls, so 30% would be 96 calls. Sure, doesn't sound like much, but for a student with a paid job, it would be a little tough fitting in all of those calls. Mostly all MVA or false automatic alarms.
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    Wow, I would get culled out under that program and at least for 2011 I probably made more calls than just about any volunteer we have and I can even make a lot of the daytime calls that many others can't. Basically I go to 95% of the calls that I hear but even so, I only hear about 25% of the calls as the rest happen when I'm at work or out of town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King Hugh View Post
    I in favor of the duty crew idea..during the evening and overnight hours anyhow..most of us work during the day..currently we are a "free for all" department and when the tones go out you honestly don't know what you are going to get.

    I started out running for every call BS or not, including EMS assists but got tired of getting there to find out that there were already 15 people. So I wouldn't get up for the next one and it went 3 calls to get a rig off the floor because nobody else went either.

    Taking "crew" a few nights a week or month or whatever for the routine calls sounds like a really good idea to me....takes the question out of "do I stay or do I go" when the pager opens up. Ofcourse this is only for the routine stuff...structure fires and other big deals would still be all hands on deck and then some.
    My VFD does the same thing. Tones dropped, let's see who shows. Really, they can tell who really cares, and who doesn't. Also, sometimes they will phone people at home or whatnot if they really need the manpower before they call mutual. Our FD is known for calling in up to the 75 man workforce before calling MA, unless it's a full involved structure fire that can't wait.

    Taken, our district only covers 5 square miles, so we really don't have that much on our plate, a lot of it is mutual aid to the worse-off FD's surrounding us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fflt1980@yahoo.com View Post
    I agree with attendance requirements and standards for departments. We have approx 24 people on our department that run out of 2 stations. At any given time we can have at the best 13 show up but look like clowns cause we do not train together and there is alot of hate and discontent between the 2 stations. We have one asst. chief that doesn't show up very much for anything. And we have a captain that shows up when he wants or when he is called, he has a pager but never wears it. I've talked to the chief about this stuff and he says that we are just vollies and he can't enforce it. We also have an ex chief that lives our district and still has a pager and gear but cause he works at a local business he stays on even though he either doesn't respond or people call him and he plays rambo. What can be done especially since the department doesn't have any SOP's in writing.
    As for the Chief saying he can't enforce it, BS. Yes you can. Sure, no on wants to, but he CAN. As for the ex-chief, if he isn't listed on the insurance for the FD and works the call, he could get into or get the FD into serious trouble.
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    mr. Feinberg ----- you are a proby and you are already commenting on what the Chief can and cant do ?
    How bout you learn to couple hose , catch a plug etc. before you jump into the chiefs business?
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    mr. Feinberg ----- you are a proby and you are already commenting on what the Chief can and cant do ?
    How bout you learn to couple hose , catch a plug etc. before you jump into the chiefs business?
    I know that, but I also know it is a bunch of politics. My neighbor is a retired captain of the VFD I'm applying to and he says the chief has the ultimate power, yet chooses to make it a democracy to make people happy and keep the member count up. It's not 100% firefighting, off the fireground its all about training and politics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnFeinberg View Post
    I know that, but I also know it is a bunch of politics. My neighbor is a retired captain of the VFD I'm applying to and he says the chief has the ultimate power, yet chooses to make it a democracy to make people happy and keep the member count up. It's not 100% firefighting, off the fireground its all about training and politics.
    You'll never find a fire department, career or volunteer, in which politics doesn't play a role in daily operations.

    And what's wrong with being democratic to maintain numbers? There are some chiefs that can pull off the "it's my way or the highway" manner of running the station, but there's a lot to be said for being democratic most of the time, and autocratic only when necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You'll never find a fire department, career or volunteer, in which politics doesn't play a role in daily operations.

    And what's wrong with being democratic to maintain numbers? There are some chiefs that can pull off the "it's my way or the highway" manner of running the station, but there's a lot to be said for being democratic most of the time, and autocratic only when necessary.
    There's nothing wrong with it, but in the case the other member gave about the ex-chief that would be were the current chief needs to say something. The member said that the chief couldn't enforce the policies because it was a VFD.

    But I argue that if the FD paid for the ex-chiefs pager and bunker gear, and he is no longer with the FD or responding to calls, he should return them for another member to use or just to have extras of. Plus, the captain that does have a pager but never utilizes it should be talked to so he knows when the calls come. Why have officers in these positions of responsibility and power when it seems that they either do not take it serious enough or just don't care?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnFeinberg View Post
    But I argue that if the FD paid for the ex-chiefs pager and bunker gear, and he is no longer with the FD or responding to calls, he should return them for another member to use or just to have extras of. Plus, the captain that does have a pager but never utilizes it should be talked to so he knows when the calls come. Why have officers in these positions of responsibility and power when it seems that they either do not take it serious enough or just don't care?
    Keep in mind that in some departments the Chief does not have ultimate power to get rid of people or discipline them. In a lot of cases this rests with some other board or administrative portion of the department. This is done to try and keep the Chief from removing people for personal reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Keep in mind that in some departments the Chief does not have ultimate power to get rid of people or discipline them. In a lot of cases this rests with some other board or administrative portion of the department. This is done to try and keep the Chief from removing people for personal reasons.
    True, we have a fire district with commissioners as well. However, I think they handle more of the financial aspect rather than the actual running of the FD, which the chief and the officers handle.

    From what he posted and what I replied to, he made it seem like the chief was in charge of the rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    mr. Feinberg ----- you are a proby and you are already commenting on what the Chief can and cant do ?
    How bout you learn to couple hose , catch a plug etc. before you jump into the chiefs business?
    He is not on any department as of now. He is trying to become a firefighter and join that fd he thinks he wants to be part of.


    He is just a civilian and no conection yet with any FD! PERIOD!

    If he keeps running off at both ends as he has for all of his short time he has been on here, no fd will take hin in.

    He knows everything already, just ask him.

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    This post is SO GOOD it bears repeating, with added color and bold type!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    He is not on any department as of now. He is trying to become a firefighter and join that fd he thinks he wants to be part of.


    He is just a civilian and no conection yet with any FD! PERIOD!

    If he keeps running off at both ends as he has for all of his short time he has been on here, no fd will take hin in.

    He knows everything already, just ask him.
    He has been repeatedly told by numerous members here to stop shooting his mouth off about topics he has NO PERSONAL real world experience at. Right now he is nothing more than a mindless parrot repeating what he has been told. No one here knows if what he says is either true or nothing more than BS and gossip from former disgruntled members of the FD he says he wants to be a member of. He had better pray to God that no one from that FD, especially the officers, read any of his pontifications.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    This post is SO GOOD it bears repeating, with added color and bold type!



    He has been repeatedly told by numerous members here to stop shooting his mouth off about topics he has NO PERSONAL real world experience at. Right now he is nothing more than a mindless parrot repeating what he has been told. No one here knows if what he says is either true or nothing more than BS and gossip from former disgruntled members of the FD he says he wants to be a member of. He had better pray to God that no one from that FD, especially the officers, read any of his pontifications.
    And so what you are posting isn't wrong in any way? I already apologized and took back what I said, I see none of that from anyone else.
    Keep my mouth shut and ears open.
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