Incentives for members to show up ideas.
I've been an LT. at my VFD for a bit, and when i first became and officer one of my first personal agendas was to improve the quality of our trainings. To make a long story short, the members wanted more and better training so I offered it and we trained. Well recently activity has dropped back off again. So here i am with a few ideas i was wondering about. Get some veteran officers opinions on if these ideas are sound, or if they would cause more problems then they're worth. (one of the most important things i have learned is to ask veterans first, don't learn the hard way, learn the smart way.)
Oh and this is for firefighters only, we all know why we allowed ourselves to become officers ;), besides most of this stuff officers have access to anyways, this kinda gives members a look into the officer world, without having to put on the red or white hat (there's a good incentive to start with lol)
1. Give out commendations of a sort. And armband, or some sort of identifier on either their turnout gear or helmet (still trying to figure out a good way to display this) that not only let's them show off there training, but also let's an officer now on scene what they have and haven't been trained to do
2. At the end of the year Christmas dinner we could recognize those members that have shown up to the most meetings, the most training hours, those that have been tagged for structure fire fighting (we call it red tagging) and whatnot. Along with the recognition comes a gift card to a popular fire store or catalog (not only do they get recognized, but they also get something for it that helps them on scene)
3. Any firefighter who receives a recognition of some sort get's treated to a movie or putt putt golf, by the fire department as a group. The officers take them all to the movie one night or something along those lines
4. Mandatory trainings. (my least favorite) in order to keep your status as a member you have to make 2 out of the 6 mandatory trainings we offer. (i really hate this idea because of the volunteer in front of our name)
5. access to training schools paid by the department at a certain level of in house training. If you want to go to the flash over simulator then you need to have done certain in house trainings. If you want to go to the live burn house, then you need to have done certain in house trainings.
these are the ideas i'm going to present to the next board meeting, but i would like some input before i do. It's difficult for me to find the line between favoritism and incentives. I hate to say "well you did a good job so here's a treat" and then this ostracizes members. I want to be fair, but i also want there to be a genuine interest for them to do better. Yea helping the fire department should be the only incentive we would ever need, but we all know how that slippery slope works.
So please, good or bad criticism i can take it, after all, if you can't, why in the world are you a member of a fire department? :p