hello all, I am a commissioner in a small city with a volunteer fire dept. I need some info on some issues we are facing presently, and felt where better to come than people who know. Our department is in a transistional period and seems to be very low in morale. We are about to move into a $600,000. new fire station with six volunteers. When we began the building we had over 20. Lately there have been a lot of failure to responds and delayed responses. The solution according to the majority is to hire 3 firemen/emt. We have an interim fire chief, who has committed to staying until "they get things settled", but is not committed due to his full time position. My questions are: 1) what are the pro's and con's of volunteers working with paid people? and 2) shouldn't a chief be hired first? I appreciate any info you can supply and want to thank all of you who put your lives on the line daily.
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Thread: commissioner needs help
10-10-2000, 12:51 PM #1comwhiteFirehouse.com Guest
commissioner needs help
10-10-2000, 01:06 PM #2ChiefJTLFirehouse.com Guest
First off, if morale is low, it starts at the top. Hiring a Chief first would allow that Chief to be associated with some positive aspects of the department, i.e. the new station. Having volunteers work with paid personnel is not something that I have much or any experience on. I have always been with a large paid department. perhaps the others could chime in.
"Stay in the House"
10-12-2000, 04:12 AM #3jalbrittFirehouse.com Guest
Commissioner: This may be the time to look around at neighboring cities or the county. What level of fire service do they offer. Florida law allows for simple interlocal agreements between public governments for fire protection,parks and other governmental service. You may be able to contract with another fire department and craft an agreement to satisfy you needs. Example keep your cities name on fire trucks and station use as many local personnel as possible. When you become an employer all kind of regulations begin. This could also assure the additional resources needed to protect your city. Just a thought and it is only my opinion but it has worked many places in Florida. John H. Albritton retd. Fire Chief.
10-12-2000, 10:15 AM #4comwhiteFirehouse.com Guest
jalbritt, we do have an interlocal agreement with the county, who are willing to staff the dept with two of their personnel in 8 hr. shifts, the problem is trust. Our dept. feels the county wants to get thier foot in the door to take over. The county and city work well together on scene, however, the county looks down on us as an imcompetent bunch of hicks who just want to play firemen. And it's a legitimate fear, it wouldnt be the first time the county did it. I don't think there is an easy answer, but I don't think hiring 3 people is the most feasible answer.
10-12-2000, 02:25 PM #5jalbrittFirehouse.com Guest
Commissioner: It is sad trust between Governmental bodies sometimes isn't possible. It happens here in our county as well. Your correct hiring three firefighters without a solid leader in place will only profound your problems eventually. I wish you and your Department well. JHA
10-20-2000, 01:06 AM #6smokeyben1Firehouse.com Guest
G'day from Down-under, I'm a paid firie with vollo service and have recently fransferred back to the station I was a vollo at as a paid firie. It has been a difficult transition for both the paid and the vollo's as there was no counselling on what would be required of everyone, where everyone stood in reguard to responsibility etc, etc. Even though we do the same job there is resentment and I believe jealosy as well.I have even received less than appropriate treatment from the blokes that I served with as a vollo, this and other things have made it un-enjoyable to do what I truely enjoy as I believe the best job going. The nature of the beast is that we have come into their station and taken their job which is far from the trueth they still get to respond to calls etc its their ego's being put before the community and I find this very offensive.I hope you sort your troubles out with the least amount of stress and the Department gets its morale steaming ahead. Take careand stay safe Smokey.
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