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Thread: Help bringing back a Department Work night

  1. #1
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    Default Help bringing back a Department Work night

    I'm looking for some help and opinions in reorganizing a department work night for my FD. A little back story, My department use to have a department work night, held on the same night as our officer meeting. While the officer's had the meeting, the firefighters clean the trucks and station, and did the little chores around the house. When we transitioned to from being completely vol. to having two paid guys during the day to staff the ambulance, the department did away with the work nights, saying that the cleaning and projects could be accomplished between runs. The problem we have now is that a "leave it for the paid guys" attitude has started to grow.

    What I am looking for is possible benefits to reinstating the work nights= that I can go take our officers. So far I have, added chance for training hours, personnel who will know the trucks and tools better, more company pride, better comradely, broken and damaged equipment will be discovered and fixed faster, trucks and equipment will look better. Easier to train new recruits in the things that maybe are not touched on in recruit class, but that are equally important to know. Any help you guys can give will be much appreciated

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    Fully agree with all of your reasons.

    We also have 2 full-time personnel per shift, plus one additonal daytime firefighter.

    We do not have worknights, however, any members riding out are required to assist in cleaning the station and will perform any maintainence, tesing or other tasks as assifgned to the full-time personnel.

    I think it's a good idea.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Be organized. Nothing kills a work night (or training) faster than not having a set goal. People show up, mill around for a while, then leave, probably not to return.

    Maybe consider a "job jar," wherein people draw tasks from a container. That way the same people don't get stuck doing the same jobs time and time again (until they quit showing up, anyhow). Try to have a number of tasks equal to your usual attendance. Ensure that the important stuff is always in the jar, while some "lighter" tasks are used to cover any overage. If a task requires/could use more than one person, include more for that task in the "job jar."

    Consider allowing trading (as long as all the jobs get done), and encourage teamwork (ie, I'll help you with your task if you help me with mine). I'm sure you'll see some masterful bargaining...

    Your leaders can meet beforehand to determine what tasks need to be accomplished, if there are variables (ie, oil changes for generators). If you have a technical task the requires a certain person to accomplish it, use the jar to assign assistance for them.

    Making semi-permanent tokens (say, gelatin capsules) will simplify the process.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Default my opinion

    Sounds like a good ide. all your reasons are on the money. i say everyone needs to take pride in there station and equipment. the attitude of leave it for the paid guys is in away job security for the paid guys. if you know I'm mean. ive see that attitude from both sides everyday being a vol. lt in one county and being a career firefighter medic in another. so stick with it and bring back the work night and i say make it plain and simple its about pride and being the best you can be.

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    Consider serving supper. Even a lightly served supper, such as subs would entice members to show up.
    cedargrove1951 likes this.

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    In addition to the good ideas, maybe your chief can issue continuing education credits for equipment and apparatus operations. Ohio requires Continuing Ed. to keep your certs, so that helps.

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    Not to down the paid crews , but at least half the work sessions should be "project" type work. Not day to day repairs and cleaning. Something that is considered a step forward as opposed to just holding steady. And let guys suggest and ramrod special projects.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Not to down the paid crews , but at least half the work sessions should be "project" type work. Not day to day repairs and cleaning. Something that is considered a step forward as opposed to just holding steady. And let guys suggest and ramrod special projects.
    True that. We have a couple of members who are upset because we are buying our new squad/brush "ready to run" instead of ordering the components and assembling it in-station, usually via weekly Sunday morning work sessions.

    Of course, those sessions usually ended with the imbibing of some adult beverages...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  9. #9
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    I am not sure I like he idea of the work session being held during the officers meeting. Brings to mind the worker bees and the elitist few sitting there watching them.

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