I need info to make a comparison.....Anyone feel free to comment, good or bad! My question is: What does your auxiliary do (outside of providing refreshments at fires)? And how many "active" members are there?? I was going to post this on the LA Support page, but it is not nearly as active as this one!
PS If you want, you can e-mail me.
[This message has been edited by Diane (edited October 16, 1999).]
We are a small dept. but we have a great ladies auxiliary(I am not just saying that because my wifes likes to walk up behind me while I type). They are responsible for alot more than cookies and gatorade. They orginize most of the fund raisers(and supervise during)They are the displacment releaf commity, which is who we call on after a fire has put a family out of thier home. The ladies make housing arrangments if needed they provide some replacment clothing for all the family members. They are the ones that get the clothing donated from places like walmart, and they get food vochers from the local grocery store to give to the families. They orginize the annual fire fighters dance. They run the local "Red Santa" program and much more. At times it seems the ladies are busier than the fire fighters. They are just as valuble to this community as the fire fighters.
I hope this helps
e-mail me if you have any more question.
I am the President of our local Ladies Auxiliary. I am serving my first year (second term) and currently have 18 active members in the organization. Our Auxiliary was organized in 1953 and to this date we still have two active members on roll that were in the founding organization. Our oldest member is 99 years old and still makes an appearance at every meeting! The Fire Department is volunteer however, their building and most of their equipment has been funded by the local government. Thus, any proceeds from our fundraisers are distributed to local charities within our area such as the Burn Foundation, Firemen's Home, Rescue Squad (which is a separate entity from the Fire Dept.).
Our organization is always willing to provide refreshments at fire calls and provide a meal back at the firehouse when the men (I would include women also but at this moment their are no females in the department) return. We also coordinate the refreshments during training drills and organize other events upon the request of the department such as when they had their wet down, open house, etc.
Being that our auxiliary headcount is somewhat small and the average age of the organization I am limited as to the extent of our activities and type of fundraisers. We do however, maintain the following events which have been successful in the order in which I have listed them:
*Two editions of a Cookbook
*Yearly Easter Egg Hunts
*Annual Plant Sales
*Covered Dish Nights
*Speghetti Dinners w/Fire department
At this time, I am looking for different activities and ideas for our auxiliary to embark on.
I am also looking to communicate with other auxiliary members to start a more active forum with respect to thoughts, idea brainstorming, gripes, etc, by-law help, ways in which to increase headcount, etc.
This thread has been moved to the "Ladies and Support Auxiliary" Topic, linkable from the drop-down menu below or from the main entry to the Firehouse.Com Forums.
Please continue the discussion there.
The reason I had it under the meet and greet is because I wanted some feedback especially from the firefighters! No one ever goes here!! Whatever. I got what I needed anyway. Feel free to keep posting, however. I am curious to see the opinions of others. http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/wink.gif
We need to get the ball rolling somehow or the point of conversation started so, perhaps we can direct other auxiliary members to this website and keep the topic moving and thereby getting this part of the forum as active as the other parts.
I forwarded this section to two other auxiliaries in CT and Canada and hopefully they can pass it on as well. Can you do the same and then we can move on to brainstorming etc. to help us all.
Well, I am a firefighter in a Dept. where the women are bitter because the dept. isn't paying for 75% of the dept's Bahamas trip. They feel they've earned that right since they do so much -- Easter and Christmas party are the main things they do. No one thinks they really have this "right" and I am the one speaking out -- ironically enough since I am female. On the same note, each individual company has offered to pick up 75% of their spouses fees -- so I don't know what their whole problem is. They are very cliquely which I feel is really hurting them. Also to note, those who aren't going on the trip (like myself) are getting nothing out of it. We're essentially losing $750 that we earned, more or less. It's sad on all ends.
Diane, First off, I had no idea that you were the 'firefighter'. Kudo's my friend! Is it my understanding that you are also on the auxiliary?
Speaking from my point of view, and it is only my opinion, I don't know that our auxiliary would have ever asked the dept. for the additional funding to go on vacation. My first thought was that since the fire department isn't going then why should the women afterall it is one department but only split by firefighters and auxiliary members, correct? Yes, I can understand that the women would like to treat themselves, and infact, my auxiliary does too, but in a much smaller fashion. We have gone to dinner shows, and fancy restaurants, but primarily the auxiliary pays for the active members in good standing and those that we ask to go with us have to pay their own fare. Does your auxiliary do something out of the ordinary that they should be honored with such an extravagent trip? Also, is your department paid or volunteer? Who subsidizes it the town or through your membership and fundraiser drives?
I can see wanting a vacation but, what fun would it be without the firefighters along with their spouses when it's a 'fire dept activity' and who would cover the auxiliary side if their services are needed?
Sounds like it will be a bitter decision for all either way you settle the matter. However, as you mentioned, if all the auxiliary isn't going then there will always be some animosity later on in the organization and for sure this subject will pop it's ugly head up in the future.
The LA is too cliquey and they don't do "enough" for me. And we are a 112 year old volunteer dept.
You asked who would cover the auxiliary side if needed when the trip takes place? The same people who do now! Dunkin Donuts and the local deli! We don't get fires, (one in almost 3 years) so the chances of one occuring while half the dept is away is like winning the NY lottery!!
They (the LA) wrote a letter to the Dept saying how upset they are that they aren't taken seriously enough to have their trips paid for like the dept. members (at 75%) and I have to put it in the quarterly newsletter, well the chiefs are too chicken to respond (2 of the four have wives in the LA and a third is somewhat involved), so I did a response with messages from this board on what other auxiliaries do. I did a little comparison to show them that while they do good, they could essentially do more for their "worth". I will probably get in trouble for it, but it's worth making the point!! And like I said, they're trips will most likely be handled by their husbands companies!
So here's my question??? If your local food chains provide refreshments for your fire calls, etc. what exactly 'does' your auxiliary do to fulfill their mission statement?
Maybe I am just prejudice because our auxiliary goes out of its way to help the department in any way we can and I can't understand, how if they aren't actually doing anything for the department how they can expect to be handed something like that. Maybe I have an old train of thought from being in an auxiliary that has more 'experienced' let's say, members than 'unexperienced'.
My second question is, if you do not have many fire calls, than out of curiosity, what kind of calls does your department handle most, false alarms, extrication or ???
Well, they make food for the occasional drill that we don't have pizza at. And they help with their float for our 4th of July parade, and host the Easter egg hunt and Children's holiday party -- all for members kids and grand-kids, not for the public I might add. They try to have a fundraiser every year -- this year it was wine and chess and only their husbands went from the dept. They're weren't too happy since "they support" the company dinners. (Personally, I'd rather have beer and pretzels!) There's a huge mis-communication going on.
To date for the year, we have 382 "alarms" -- I'd say 90% of them are automatic alarms (2 hospitals, 3 nursing facilities and a group of homes for mentally challeged). We have water rescues (we have a boat) and car accidents, too. Wires down are big ones during storms. That's about it. We're in our own little world down here in the "valley". Thanks to my doing, we had almost 200 posters hung in store fronts for fire prevention. I had to have more made since I asked for as many as were hung last year and got about 60!! I couldn't believe it! Some day I will be in a more PR-oriented and active department!
Thanks for hearing me vent -- I hope no one from my area ever sees this!! LOL. Then again, maybe they'd learn something!
Ok.. so now I have more comments and questions. Aren't you glad you posted that original question! LOL!!!!
1. Since it looks like your department isn't that involved with active house fires, lengthy calls per say, where the auxiliary would be most able to assist the department in their own capacity, what is it that you and the other firefighters would like to see your LA do more of? If you feel that they are not doing enough, than has anyone ever told them or had a meeting to 'suggest' other areas in which they can help?
2. You mentioned they hold Easter Egg hunts for only the dept. members, and while comparing your dept. to ours, I noted that we do the same thing for exactly the same crowd. It was never suggested by any of our members that we open the event up to the public. Probably because the auxiliary pays for the entire event and as it is we have close to 80 children attending. Plus, we thought it was a good event for the auxiliary and the department to socialize together.
3. Now, back to the trip? How are the firefighters paying for it? With their own money? Is the fire department paying and if so, is the dept. subsidized soley by fundraisers or township funds? Hmmm sounds like something our department would definitely not do since as it is.. the township committee looks at practically
every dollar that is spent at the fire department!
4. No problem on the venting, it's healthy to do such airing out. And, you are right, better that the other members don't see this, although, again.. it might serve them well to get a good look at what others feel about them.