1. #1
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    Default Participation Requirements

    Anyone have certain guidelines pertaining to the number of hours a member must participate in F.D. functions during a year?

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    For starters -- define functions
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aalexander605 View Post
    Anyone have certain guidelines pertaining to the number of hours a member must participate in F.D. functions during a year?
    What does your department's by-laws say about this???
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    For starters -- define functions
    Trainings, meetings, fundraisers.

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    50% of trainings and 50% of FIRE calls to stay in good standing. Medical calls are optional for those who are medically trained.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    What does your department's by-laws say about this???
    Nothing about participation. There was a post about this very thing not long ago, but cannot seem to find it.

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    In order to stay active, our department requires a total of 60 points in at least 4 out of 7 categories. Categories are officer, military, training, drills, meetings, responses, and collateral duty. These areas are spelled out in the county LOSAP program and basically you must get your LOSAP points in order to remain a member.

    Members get points for being an officer and for military duty. They also get 1 point for each hour of training, for each drill, meeting and response. They also get 1 point per hour of collateral duty which may be fundraising, duty nights, cleaning up etc.

    There are limits on the number of points you can get in each category.

    In addition, our department requires at least 24 hrs of fundraising and you may not miss more than 2 consecutive business meetings unexcused.

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    Much like Eng34FF, we require an amount of points, 75 in our case.

    We get 1 point for each:
    • Duty crew hour
    • Hour of training
    • Meeting attending
    • Call run

    However, there are minimums in two categories: 4 points must be from meetings, and 15 points must be from training.

    Members must attend two of our four fundraisers per year as well.

    75 points is ridiculously easy to meet, yet we're purging members from the rolls a couple of times a year.
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    50 points for the year...

    1 point for any type of call
    1 point for station/apparatus maint. taking trash out, washing trucks, stuff like that
    1 point per training activity ie 1 class day equals 1 point
    1 point for drill(4) per month
    1 point for fundrasing activities
    1 point for meetings (monthly business or special committee meetings)

    we are on pace for about 375 calls this year (no ems) and there are people who still are barely making 50..disgusts me to hear people say "6 more calls to make my 50" and these aren't people who work 3 jobs either..just people who choose not to show up, or who cherry pick calls.

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    We have 3 levels:
    Support - 12 hours training, 10% calls
    FF1 - 24 hours training, 25% calls
    FF2 - 36 hours training, 25% calls

    Also, everyone must attend 4 maintenance sessions a year and 1 hose testing session, regardless of membership level.

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    Once again I echo my usual statement every time this topic comes up-

    When the VFD starts paying my mortgage, the VFD may then mandate my attendance. Until then, I will make what I can, when I can.

    I think it is wrong for VFD's to mandate attendance to particular functions or events........What I do not have a problem with, is mandating points to remain active. I also do not have a problem with mandating certain types of training such as annual refresher or periodical update training, as long as it is given several times so that everyone has an opportunity to attend.

    When you start telling someone that they must make "X" amount of work details, or "X" amount of company meetings, or "X" amount of duty crews, it can become burdensome, especially to a member with a family at home, or shift-work requirements.

    What about the member that works nights, cannot make any drills but makes each and every daytime run (as a driver no less...one of the most valuable daytime VFD commodities) between the hours of 6am and 6pm? Are you going to toss him to the wolves and mandate his attendance that he cannot make?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I don't think the mandating "x" amount of anything is ok..since this is a "volunteer" organization, however a man/woman has to know his/her limitations. Economy is tough, some people need to work 2-3 jobs 80 hours a week to sustain themselves and their families, but that person needs to be able to admit that, hey, I want to volunteer but I can't commit as much time as i'd like to or used to.

    On the other end of the spectrum..Do you want to go into a IDLH environment, weather it be a dwelling fire, car fire, or any emergency where your life, or the life of a civlian may be in danger, with someone who dosen't feel the need to go to train, or go to the calls that he/she can? I havn't been a firefighter as long as alot of the people here, but long enough to know that it is a perishable skill, not just the physical act of doing a search of manning a hoseline, but keeping abreast of new technology, new tactics, new tools that the fire dept may have to do a job better..

    and..

    I'm sure that most of you guys don't have an unlimited budget to buy gear or accesories like flashlights, pagers and what have you..why give stuff to people who don't show up? who don't train? who don't show an intrest in being the best that they can be.

    We have a members who is a cop who regularly works long hours, as well as different hours, we have 911 dispatchers who work long shifts, holiday shifts overtime, we have people who work in the NYC area and out of the area, we have kids who go to school, and work and all these people still find time to make more then enough calls/activities.

    Being a volunteer firefighter requires a major commitment, more so then being a paid career guy, if for no other reason then you do something that you don't get paid for, you don't get gas money, you don't get anything other then the satisfaction of doing the job. We as volunteers in a society that dosen't instill the values of helping strangers and doing good deeds for nothing, faced with ever dwindling numbers, and with the cost of everything going up, from diesel fuel, to turn out gear, to the heating of our buildings, owe it to the citizens we serve to be the most professional organization possible. If we show up on a scene, weather it be a fire, a false alarm, an extrication or whatever and look like a circus, do you think those people will give money via envelope drives, or breakfasts or anything else? We need to train together, to gel together as a unit, as much as possible, to take classes, to learn new tactics, or to brush up on things already learned to avoid the circus on scene, and with the decreasing number of real working fires through fire prevention and building codes and what not, the only way to get close to the real thing is through training.

    If you can't make the commitment, then that is fine, no one is knocking anyone for it, but some depts have ALOT of dead weight, that needs to be trimmed, and those people are the ones who cherry picks calls, or who leaves the FH once the tones go off, or only show up because they might be on scene for a while and have the chance to get free donuts or coffee..

    Buff, I don't think that this is a knock agaisnt those that have other commitments in their life, ie kid(s) job(s) or what have you, but it is more geared toward those who just want the Tshirt, or to be like "hey im a firefighter" or who gets off on drving with a blue light. I feel that, generally, these examples of dead weight, are weeded out through requireing X amount of training/drills/calls..because if you are committed to the lifestyle then it isn't hard to make calls, or drills, esp. if you come from a dept. with a decent call volume, or that drill every week like we do, or that generally run a fundraiser once a month or so...

    Instead of going out to the bar..go to the FH and clean the bathroom..
    Instead of playing Xbox, go wash the truck..
    Instead of only going to the calls that sound good upon dispatch, go to a few others..
    Instead of complaining about how you don't have the newest coolest gadgets, go to a fundrasing meeting or go to a fundrasier..

    It is better to have 10 people who meet and exceed the standard, then to have 100 who just get by or don't show up.

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    In our VFD, in order to stay active you have to have attend an annual OSHA refresher, 9 drills (we drill 1 night a week), 3 monthly meetings, and 3 non-firematic activities (e.g. fundraiser, cleaning/maintenance, etc). Additionally, firematic officers are required to have completed one state course and another 6 drills (for a total of 15 drills). We do not have a call requirement.

    Seems to work OK for us as nobody really complains.

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    We battle the limited participation bug too.

    Hey, life happens...

    Problem is, you are still there to provide a professional service to the community and that takes a fair degree of training unto itself.

    Limited participation because of job changes, health, and yes apathy at times leaves our department 25% short at times...

    It is the classic catch 22-

    And unlike some fortunate areas, volunteers are not knocking at the door to get in here.... Make do with what ya got.
    Last edited by Fireeaterbob; 12-21-2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: grammer
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    When you start telling someone that they must make "X" amount of work details, or "X" amount of company meetings, or "X" amount of duty crews, it can become burdensome, especially to a member with a family at home, or shift-work requirements.
    We require these things, and still have members young, old, married, divorced, with kids, with no kids, working daytime, evening time, etc that meet the requirements. We actually have nearly 70 members on the roster. We're very clear with prospective members what our requirements are before they're even voted in, and we hold no ill will if they feel like they can't meet the requirements. We also have duty crew and training requirements that they must meet during their probationary period.

    What about the member that works nights, cannot make any drills but makes each and every daytime run (as a driver no less...one of the most valuable daytime VFD commodities) between the hours of 6am and 6pm? Are you going to toss him to the wolves and mandate his attendance that he cannot make?
    We have a handful of members that work evenings, midnights, or rotating shifts, and they're still able to meet our requirements. Heck, a lot of them will actually take annual leave from work to attend meetings. We don't ask that of them at all, but they do it of their free will.

    As the others have said, we aren't a social club, we have a service to deliver to the citizens. We need our members to be current on their training, meeting attendance, and participation to that they can be a valuable asset on the fireground and in the firehouse alike. Griff's post actually sums my thoughts up extremely well.
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    I have to agree with BigGriff. If I'm going into a house that is on fire, I want someone there with me who I know is going to get the job done, not someone who once in a while shows their face for the "cool" stuff. I agree with requiring X amount of training and attendance. But there is a reason why it's only, for example, 25% of calls, training, etc, instead of 90%. We all know that almost every member has more important committments in their life, ei. mortgage paying job, family, etc. But the citizens who we serve do deserve for us to be properly trained and knowledgeable.

    That being said, our dept requires 24 hours annually of training, not including manditory refreshers. The refreshers are given numerous times and we never have any problem getting everyone through it. We offer 36 annual hours of in-house monthly training. Any additional classes you attend also can count towards the 24 hours so it's not hard to obtain. We have a 30 man roster and everyone on it averages 36-40 hours of training a year.

    We also require 25% attendance of all alarms. We run approx 250 alarms a year and no one has a problem maintaining the 25% reuirement.

    Like BoxAlarm said, we too are very clear with prospective members about the expectations we have of members and thoroughly explain why.

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    I wish our department had some sort of minimum requirement. Our response rates for fire alarms are generally pitiful even for early evening calls when you know most everybody is home and available.

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    It takes alot of money to train (FFI, etc.), equip (bunker gear, etc.) and keep (pager, etc.) a volunteer firefighter. Having participation requirements will let you know who is serious about being a member. Most FD's I know, cannot afford to buy everyone a set of bunker gear and let it collect dust.

    Either your active or inactive. If your inactive, you have the chance to be replaced with someone more active.

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    This is a issue I am dealing with right now. I have a assistant chief that is such only in name and hasnt done required training and shows up for a call once a year ( we only avg 40 calls) I first I kept telling my self I didn't want to upset him and lose him but then the more I thought about it the more I decide what am I really losing.
    In my county a firefighter needs at least 16 hours a year of certified training. Which can be done by monthly trainings or taking classes. At most if means one weekend out of 52 they have to attend a class. ( 2011 the county provided over 15 classes that were 16 hours long and at 10 other of less time) I don't think thats to much to ask of even a volunteer. As far as number of calls or in house training nights we don't have rules yet but I'm working on changing that. As chief I don't count calls that happen during a firefighters regular work ours. My dayshift working guys make alot less calls becuase of there work hours and of course I don't count it against them in any way. I'm looking at coming up with a system to make it fair that a firefighter should make a certainly number of calls and training but yet takes into account work schedules. I guess thats the 64 dollar question every fire depts has how to make it fair and reasonable lol
    Last edited by volfireman034; 12-22-2011 at 03:56 AM.

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    While I'll agree that we can't force volunteers to do anything, unless a department's requirements have changed, they knew (or should have) what's required when they signed up.

    For us, it's OSHA, five business meetings, three fund raisers, and a hose test. All told, that might add up to 40 hours a year. Might. Those with hazmat ops need to take in the annual refresher, 4 hours a year.

    The fundraising thing has become iffy - we used to do a lot of dances, booster clubs, and the like. Now we're down to two barbeques, a holiday breakfast, and a craft fair, so opportunities to get in such a function are a little slimmer, and we know that.

    That said, information about department activities is disseminated at our meetings - show up and you'll be in the know.

    With few exceptions, people can show up at meetings if they want to. We have folks subject to short-notice overtime, that coach or officiate school sports, work shifts, etc. Oddly, those are the folks who somehow manage to get their meetings, etc, in every year.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    30% emergency responses - 60% drills -no fundraisers - We will work one on one if a member has trouble making the regular drills.
    there is no excuse for any department not to have attendance standards in writing.
    ?

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    One big issue i have is it seems that the firefighters that do work and have kids and are busy tend to make more fire calls and trainings then the firefighters with part time jobs or no jobs. As said before all the firefighters know what is expected of them when they join. So unless the fire department changes or there personal life takes a major change which happens at times and we understand that I'm going to start weeded out of some of the dead weight.

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    We started an incentive program to reimburse members for trainings, calls, meetings and all the other non incident activities that make a fire department function. We started the program with around 40 members. We have now weeded out the liabilities (the untrained members or the ones who felt they didnít need to train) and our roster size now consists of 26 well trained firefighters. This program and the changes that it brought, has made our fire department very effective in all aspects. So, volfireman034 weed those warm bodies or roster fireman out, youíll be better off.

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    The state of Iowa has taken some of the guesswork out of it. The state now requires a minimum 24 hours per year of recurrent training to be an active firefighter. Our department also expects all volunteers to attend the monthly business meeting, but is understanding if work or family obligations cause anyone to miss a couple of meetings.

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    Arkansas has had a law since the mid eighties that to be covered by workmans comp -you have to have 2 houurs per month or 24 per year- either in house or AFTA - but they also have a law that to be a certifed department you need a minimun of 6 "active members that receive 16 hours (down from 24) of AFTA (Ar fire academy) training. So chief 34 the training should be a non issue for you.
    ?

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