1. #1
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    Default Attendance/Participation Committee

    Hello.

    My name is Gary Hoffmann. I am a part of a volunteer fire company in North East Pennsylvania. We currently have about 40 "active" firefighters and fire police. Our company policies state each member must attend 50% of all fundraisers, drills and calls. We do not have a system to check that. There are members in our company who only attend calls but do not do their share in fundraisers, events, etc.

    I am looking for a way to keep track of all fire company member attendance. I understand this is difficult for a volunteer company because of officer tones, pump details, business operations, etc. We tried a system about a year ago which failed.

    If anyone could give me the way their company does it or have seen a way another company does it, it would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. We run bingo all year, every Tuesday. We have a mandatory bingo list which requires every member to work once every six weeks. Is there any way we can keep track of this as well?

    Gary Hoffmann

  2. #2
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    Roll call/ attendance sheets for calls/ non emergency dispatches and then a general sheet for everything else. Everyone's name, brief description of what they did.. And every month or 2 weeks or whatever log it into a spreadsheet. Too easy.

  3. #3
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    We use a points system, and to be considered an active member, you must have 75 points at the end of the year, which is ridiciously easy to meet - yet somehow, there are still people who don't.

    It works like this:
    • Each meeting membership meeting attended: 1 point (minimum of four points must come from this category at the end of the year)
    • Each training hour: 1 point (minimum 15 points must come from this category at the end of the year)
    • Each duty hour: 1 point
    • Each call attended: 1 point
    • Each "work" hour (fundraising, administrative duties, etc): 1 point

    Our top 5 most active members last year had between 1200-1300 points. The top guy had 1400. I had around 700 I believe.

    We tally our points quarterly so the members can keep aware of their status. To do this, I created an Excel spreadsheet that automatically tallies each category during each quarter and automatically does end-of-year tallies as well. Two of my officers tally each category at the end of the month and input the information into the computer - this works exceptionally well for us.
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  4. #4
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    Treat it just like the fire scene - use the Incident Command System. Structure your leadership so that your junior officers (looks like you need about 5-6 lieutenants) supervise 7 people and every member has a supervisor. Then have your senior leadership supervise the junior officers. Have a simple paper roll sheet for each event that the supervisor for the event fills out. Post the roll sheet to the whole department so that everyone can see who is doing their duty and who is not. Have the senior leadership hold the junior leadership responsible for ensuring their subordinates do what they are supposed to do.

    You can track it all you want, but if you do not hold people accountable, tracking it will do no good. Best of luck. It is difficult to hold volunteers accountable, but it will pay huge dividends.
    Last edited by Spencer534; 03-17-2013 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    tree68's Avatar
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    I like the IC idea - and it's good practice.

    The ultimate answer, though, is having everyone sign in for everything.

    At our business meetings, members must have signed the book (a bound journal, not looseleaf or spiral-bound) before the end of the treasurer's report, in addition to roll being called.

    For fundraisers, everyone signs into the book. Multi-day events (like our chicken barbeque, which involves work Th-Sun) have them putting a checkmark for each additional day.

    And everyone signs in for incidents.

    The station management software we use has us put in names for those who respond to incidents (for the NFIRS reports, which ultimately only include numbers, not names), and then allows us to print reports showing percentage of responses (among other reports).

    The POC department in my old hometown I believe had the OIC call roll upon returning from the incident. While I don't remember details, I'm sure it amounted to certification that a firefighter had attended, for pay purposes.

    If you're worried about "forgeries" by folks looking to get credit (our response logbook sits out at the watchdesk, as it always has), consider getting some two-part forms done. One can stay out for all to see (lets members see some details of calls they may have missed) while the other gets filed securely and serves as the official record.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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