1. #1
    Co5Fireman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Volunteer Duty Schedule

    A Quick question for the group:

    On a volunteer basis, what type of duty scheduling has worked best for you? In our dept, Firefighters are on duty 24/7, but EMTs and Paramedics have a set duty rotation (on call certain hours/days). We are thinking of having a set FF rotation. does your dept have a schedule like this? Hvae you tried it, and it doesn't work? Or do you have a different duty system? Would appreciate some input from the group.

  2. #2
    st34ff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    My company is a 100% vol. department. The way we do it is the pager goes off, we all run to station. We at least get one truck on the road at all times. It isn't the best solution, but it works and it keeps the cost down for us. BTW, we also have a in house ems company which is a combo paid/vol.

  3. #3
    Jvettorel
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    24x7.. when county taps us out, we respond just like it has been for over 200 hundred
    years. We have a rotation schedule for our EMS side, but is seems like everybody shows up when needed.... Good luck

  4. #4
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Same thing, 24 X 7, when the tones go off, whoever's available responds.

  5. #5
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Roswell, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default

    My current station is that everyone will hopefully show up when pagers go off.

    A former dept. had a schedule for still alarms. As a station Lt., I "got" to make it out. Wheeee. We sent 2 or 3 to stills, but larger alarms depended on everyone showing up.

  6. #6
    721
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    24/7 with the understanding that if you are available you are expected to respond.

    I would not want to have a duty schedule, as there are many times when it would be very inconvient to have to remain in district, and able to respond. This would also tie the spouse of a FF down if they have small children. The spouse could not run to the store and leave the kids home as they couldn't be left alone if a call came in.

    I have done my time on "in station" standby, when other members and apparatus were out of district on mutual aid, or during major fires or weather conditions.

    But on a nice Saturday afternoon, I want the freedom to drive across town to run errands, or pick up supplies at the lumber yard.

    I take my responsibility as a volunteer firefighter as seriously as anyone, but I am a volunteer, and I have a career I earn my living at, and I have a family and a life. I respond everytime my pager goes off that I am able, not because I have "the duty" but because I want to.

    21 years as a volunteer and still counting....

  7. #7
    R.Marley
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    As far as I know, my system is one of a kind. We staff the station 24 hours a day, 365 days a year solely with volunteers. I am the only paid person in the department, but I am not part of the regular staffing pattern. Volunteers work a normall "kelly" rotation, ten 24 hour shifts per month. They put in a leave request if they want time off, fill out time cards, daily logs, etc... As a minimum the shift has a; Lieutenant, Engineer and 2 fire fighters but the station can sleep as many as 10 (we try and keep the shift staffing at 6 or 7).

  8. #8
    BSnyd.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    My company does not have a full crew duty roster. We have duty for all 9 junior officers on Sundays from 0600- 1800; a chief is also on duty. We also have an engine driver on dutry every night from 2400 - 0600.
    What we are doing here is allowing the drivers & officers to not have to worry about responding for single engine runs. My company runs about 6,000 fire & EMS calls a year. We asked ourselves- why do 3- 10 drivers need to respond for a trash fire at 0300. We always know there is at least 1 driver on duty at night. If there is a full box or multiple engine response- everyone that is available responds in.

    BS

  9. #9
    morriss
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We are all volunteer and respond when the pager goes off. Our county EMS has been on a 4 day rotation for coverage from 6 pm to 6 am for many years. They were recently supplemented with career personnel during the week day shifts.

  10. #10
    CO10FF/EMT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Here at Company 10 we have come up with a unique way to get calls covered. We feel that this system provides the members the opportunity to put in time when they can. We require 20% of the monthly calls to be answered by any active member. Knowing that we run 100-110 calls a month that this may be difficult for some members to make 20% of them. If we have a month where 75% of the calls happen during daylight hours and a volunteer is working those hours, it is virtually impossible for them to run those calls.You can supplement your call percentage with duty time.. A total of 40 hours per month at the station available for calls constitutes 20%. Any fraction of 40 hours is also counted porportionally. Ex. 20 hours equals 10% of call volume.

    This system seems to be working. We get the calls covered and the volunteers still have the time to take care of their everyday responsibilities. We have 2 paid men at the staition 24 hours a day 7 days a week and this new system has added bodies to the always count of 2 people on duty.

    This system provides the flexibilty that is needed with all the responsibilties that volunteers have to juggle. With the responsiblilty of job, church, family etc...This system lets the volunteer plan, at their own perogative, when they will give their time to the Fire Department.

  11. #11
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think the viability of duty crews depends a lot on two things: call volume and size of the station's overall crew. If the call volume is too low, duty crews get bored and it's tough to fill them. If the crew is too small, the demands of extensive staffing are unreasonable. Two examples:

    My current station runs about 100 calls/year with a total active crew of about 15-20 (depending on exactly how you define "active"). There is no way that duty crews will work, since the majority of the time would be spent sitting around. We cover those 100 calls (with an average of about 10-12 personnel responding per call 24x7x52) running from home (or wherever) with pagers. We'd like more help, but nobody's going without coverage as things stand now.

    The station I ran with in college ran about 600 calls/year (including QRS) with about 50-60 active members, to varying degrees. There was a live-in program, and there were rotating duty crews to cover weekends, from 7pm Friday to 8am Sunday. This made sense, worked well, and covered the times (weekends) when people were apt to be out of town and the live-ins were likely to be OOS for various reasons. Although thee certainly were duty shifts when nothing happened, the need to cover calls was high enough that the crews were filled. The combination of live-ins and duty crews also saved on responses from home for service calls, QRS, etc. As far as I know, this system is still in effect today.



    ------------------
    Lt. Bob Snyder
    FFC#2, Mohnton, PA

  12. #12
    LtKup4
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    R.Marley, how many calls do you run per year and how do you get volunteers to 'work' for free? Having a pager and responding when needed is one thing, but to be required to work a full time fire department job and not get paid is another. How do you maintain volunteers?

    ------------------

    Remember, the life you save may be your own.

  13. #13
    sarge552
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our dept. is a paid-on-call dept. 24/7. What we operate under is a rotation basis for officer on call, each officer is to respond direct to the scene during his rotation. Each officer is on call for a one week period at a time. The same for our FF's-all FF's are certified on all trucks and rotate through each truck as driver/operator for one week periods. But as for a work schedule we respond whenever we are available.

  14. #14
    dwightpeck
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our department runs about 1700 calls a year, and our goal is to always have both an engine and the truck staffed with 4/per. About 18 months ago we got 3 paid FF's from the county to assist us from 6 am to 6 pm. We run 4 duty crews- A,B,C,D- that average 10 members per crew. The volunteers are on a rotating schedule that looks like this: Thursday the first week, Wednesday the next, Tuesday, Monday, then Friday through Sunday. Weeknight duty is 6pm to 6am, and on the weekend duty technically runs from 6pm Friday to 6 am Monday- the particular crew is subdivided to cover Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Each week the crew drops back one day- for example, A crew is on duty Thursday, then the next week Wednesday, and so on until the weekend- then you start over the next week on Thursday. We have a strong core membership, and members from different crews constantly stay on other crew nights. Also, we usually have at least 4 other members around during the day to mix with the paid staff. It works well for us, and we have minumums on call % and hours staffed that members have to meet. We always have at least one unit fully staffed out the door on the first tone, and of course every has pagers. works for us, but you need a busy station to sustain the interest and committment.

    ------------------
    Capt. Dwight Peck
    Seminole Trail VFD

  15. #15
    AJM108
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I agree with 721
    My department is all volunteer and we do a pretty good job of getting all of our trucks out for an alarm.

    ------------------
    AJM108




    [This message has been edited by AJM108 (edited September 02, 1999).]

  16. #16
    Aff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Running 1600 calls a year, we also run 24/7 with these exceptions. The Deputy Chief and 2 District Chiefs run their own schedule. During the day, medicals, rescues, or MVA's are district call outs. At night, from 2200 to 0500, we run 3 or 4 person duty crews in each district for medicals or public assists. This way not all 25 people have to respond. Rescues and MVA's are district all-calls. Any type of fire call is an automatic general alarm at all times. Holiday weekends are covered by a signup/assignment sheet. This ensures there will be at-least 2 officers and engine companies each district. The people that sign-up are given 3 run credits per day over what is dispatched. Works well and gives the line officers an idea of staffing.
    Be Safe...
    Mark

  17. #17
    Firechief-47
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our dept. is paid-on-call. 26x7. Ten years ago we would have from 10 to 15 firefighters respond for day fires. Now we are lucky to get 8. More are working out of town during the day. We are looking more at people who work nights to fill this gap. We have no duty cycle, if your in town your on duty. However we do not expect someone to leave for a fire if they are caring for small children at the time. Most dept. in our area have the same problem. One dept. only has one person in town during the day, the rest of them are hit and miss. I think the smaller towns are going to have problems keeping their dept. staffed in the future. Anyone have the answer?

  18. #18
    Aff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Chief,
    Maybe a solution to pursue would be to combine a few of the smaller departments into a Fire Protection District. With automatic mutual aid, and combined resources you can provide a safe level of staffing. Stay Safe...
    Mark


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