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  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Indialantic, Florida
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    Default Using Volunteer Service as Stepping Stone to Paid Service

    Our department is a combination department. We usually have 10-20 vollies. Most of them want to be paid and are using us to maintain certs, get good training and establish a resume. We have lost 8-10 of our best to paid departments and we are now thin.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Jul 1999
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    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
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    Default

    It is the nature of the beast. If a person wants to be a career firefighter very often they will become a member of a volly, POC, or combo department to get training and experience.

    I don't have any idea how to change that and frankly why would you want to? During the time you have those members you have highly motivated firefighters looking to learn as much as they can and make as many calls as they can.

    Maybe an answer is to create an intern program where the "student" firefighter signs a contract guaranteeing a specific period of time they will be a member and the monetary consequences of not fulfilling the contract.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Dec 2001
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    Lusby, MD
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    Default

    I agree with Fyred. Take advantage of the motivated people while you can, and try to keep them around after they get on with a paid department. You can turn this around and use it as a recruitment tool for those that want to become career firefighters.

    We have had several members that have been able to get on with paid departments. Most of them remain members at our department as well, although they may not participate as much as they did before, especially during the academy. We also have several that have gotten jobs with a local private ambulance service.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2003
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    If you can make your dept. not only some where they enjoy the camaraderie and the extra experience , but where they get training that they might not get elsewhere, you may retain some. Some guys just bail, and that's their choice. But try and be the type of dept. , that its "their loss"
    ?

  5. #5
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Rural WI
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    Default

    You could say that is exactly what I'm doing. And quite honestly I have no intentions of leaving either of my POC departments if I get hired full time. Might I have to because of department or Union policy? Possibly. But I plan to stay a member as long as possible on both departments, regardless of my employment.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

  6. #6
    Forum Member ToDaRoof's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    The Old Dominion
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    Default

    I did it, no biggie. Volunteered somewhere else after a few years because I wanted to fight fire on my days off, too.

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