Volunteer Department in Trouble!!
I need any help I can get. Our department is volunteer, we have no money from taxes, we do not get paid per run or to attend meetings; it's strictly VOLUNTEER. Now all of the sudden our officers want to make meetings mandatory, out of 24 meetings a year we can only miss 3. We are also being told that training is more important than actually going to fires or wrecks. I was told by one of our officers that he could care less if I showed up to a single incident as long as I was at all the meetings. We serve a small rural area with only about 150-200 families at best. We used to have only 15 firefighters in our department but since these new rules were put into effect we've lost 7. We now only have 8 firefighters on our roster and 3 of those have not showed up to an incident in quite a while. We just set up a board to and part of the reason these fighters left was because our officers were starting to overrule the board just one week after it was established. This just covers some of the problems, we need help and advice. Please we're desperate. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org---------Answers to questions....
I appreciate all of the advice and concern with our problem. You all have made some good points. Our officers used to be selected by the firefighters, now they are supposed to be appointed by the board. Unfortunately our board was just set up 1-2 weeks prior to the posting of this message, about 3-4 weeks from now. The board and the new bylaws were established with little contact to the firefighters or the general public. Basically the officers created the board and the bylaws. We recieve no money to operate from outside sources, our funding comes from fundraisers and grants alone. We cover a 5 mile rural radius, there is no political government in our fire area. All of the other officers who have left the department have done so because of the meetings rule and because the officers were unwilling to listen to proposals. Our board being so young does not know of the powers that they have. A few of our board members have said they don't understand why their is a board, the officers just do what they want anyway. I hope to show them that they have the power to "reign in the officers." We are supposed to have 1 regular business meeting a month and 1 training meeting a month. I don't understand why we have business meetings if we have a board. I think that maybe we could just have a meeting and training session on the same night if nothing else. It's hard when you don't get paid to make it to 2 meetings a month, plus all the calls we go on. The attendance problem was not really an issue before these officers. Sure firefighters didn't come to all the meetings but we had people at the incidents and everyone tried to talk to someone and find out what we did. We run on only about 40 calls a year, this includes wrecks and fires. We don't run an ambulance service we just first respond to the county service.
[This message has been edited by neohustonr (edited March 03, 2000).]