1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Volunteer Fire Fighter Recruitment

    We are in the need of new volunteers, we run both fire and ems in our area.

    I am looking for ideas for our department.

    We just started a quarterly pay period for volunteers who run a set average of calls in order to paid. We figured this would bring in more volunteers but its not working so far.

    Can anyone please share their ideas with me on how you recruit new blood in your area.


    All of our members are insured by VFIS of Alabama. And we have workmans comp. Training is paid for.
    Andrew Coe
    Green Pond Fire & Rescue Service.

    [This message has been edited by FireRsq107 (edited September 11, 2000).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Pension instead of small quarterly pay, free insurance, tuition reimburesemnt, camaradre from belonging to a group. The free training you will receive. Incentives for calls and trainings

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We pay our volunteer people thirty dollars per run and ten dollars for each hour after the first three hours and they are covered under the insurance, there training is paid for, there classes are paid for, there paid for events that they come in for to help out on and they have a say on issues that might affect them. We also run both fire and medical and encourage them to further there education that is why we pay for there training and classes.


  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Firebox: THats great! How can you afford this? How many calls do you run a year? Do you recieve any tax money?
    We recieve tax money and foriegn fire tax but most of that goes into the operating budget for bills training and vehicle maintence. That totals about 70,000 for us plus our fundraisers and fund drives. I just cant imagine paying 8 ff's $30 per call at 300 calls, thats 72,000 plus the additional hours. Interested to hear

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have pension and such.

    As far as the per call thing, we are payed on a scale. We start off at $3 per call, then after making like 50 calls, you get $3.25 for all the calls you made (including the first 50), and so on...

    >That totals about 70,000 for us plus our
    >fundraisers and fund drives.

    We have about $183K budget (for one half of a town) and we can't afford $30 a call like that either.

    However, one thing you can do that we do not nor do alot of departments, is collect from the insurance company when you have a fire. We are preparing for our next ISO visit and in the guide it mentions that the majority insurance companies have it written in the policies that the FD can collect money from the insurance company to defer the cost of the fire department for fighting a fire.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Oh...we don't have a fire tax, btw...

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Collecting money from the homeowners insurance after a fire is a great idea! To the best of my knowledge this isn't very widespread, I know that we aren't collecting. Think about it, we respond and risk our lives to save them money!!! They sure aren't vollunteering any funds, which arguably every fire dept. could use.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I've published a list titled "Tiger's Top Ten Commandments for Recruitment & Retention."

    The First Commandment says:
    1. Think of your recruitment challenge in simple terms. If each of your existing members recruited just one new member – what effect would that have on your roster? You do the math.

    The Fifth Commandment says:
    5. Know your competition and pounce at every opportunity to recruit: at church, at work, in your neighborhood and even at an emergency scene. Fire prevention shouldn’t be practiced just one week of the year – neither should recruitment.

    If you're interested in the others - just click or call. Hope this helps open some thinking channels.

    Tiger [Earl] Schmittendorf
    Fire Training Coordinator/Recruiter
    Erie County Division of Fire Safety
    Tiger Schmittendorf
    OnScene Marketing Services
    "Mutual Aid for Marketing Your Fire Department"

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Chief Jay,

    I know where you are coming from!! I started out in Pennsylvania, and I'm now in Michigan, so I've seen both sides of the spectrum, so to speak.

    One of the things I've noticed is that there is a lot more influx of money from the muncipalities here than in Pennsylvania. One local department, running 1000 calls a year (volunteer / paid on-call) has an annual budget of between 800,000 and 1,000,000. (Another thing I've noticed is a decidedly lack of "automatic mutual aid", or intermunicipal "phantom box" systems in Michigan, but that's another story.......)

    I think there are a couple of reasons for this, as well - most departments around here cover a much larger area. While in most parts of Pennsylvania, each fire company is separate (as in one borough may have four or five separate companies), one department out here may cover several municipalities, and staff four or five (or more) stations. Because of that, there is a lot more of a tax base to tap into.

    I don't really think it's anything the fire departments have much control over - it's more or less the way boundaries and municipalities are set up here in Michigan. It took a while to deal with the fact that townships in Michigan are 6 miles by 6 miles square, exactly, by statute. Michigan is still a growing state (outside of Detroit, most areas in the state are realtively "new"). For that reason, the philosophy on government and taxing is a bit different here than on the east coast. It definitely puts the fire departments in places like PA at a disadvantage.

    While the semi-regular pay is certainly an advantage in recuriting and retention, it's not necessarily feasible for a lot of answers. Some of the other items mentioned here, such as tax breaks, some sort of (reduced) pay package, and pension, are probably a great start!!!

    OK, I'm rambling now. I'll shut up

  10. #10
    fayette dist #1
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The biggest problem our dept. has is when a new guy puts in an application the chief doesn't do any kind of background check. So we end p with some real winners (sarcasm). We as the firefighters still vote but that dosen't matter because I'm pretty sure i caught the chief rigging the election (I know most members voted no) anyways the guy stole too many items to count and froze up one day when i fell through the floor. Anyways the moral of the story is just because their warm bodys dosen't mean they will make good firefighters just think at some point they might determine if you live or die.

    Stay safe,
    Lt. James Woda

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Where I vol we get a christmas bonus of $30 for each month we go to all out trainings. so it is possible to get $360. That helps out for christmas real well. That is all we get but Hell I'd do it even with out it. It would be nice though to get paid by the call ( I ran 320+ this year LOL).


  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Point out they can have red/clear lights, in GA. *runs from all the tomatos being thrown at him.*

    Seriously, when we needed more people for our agency, we went out, and said 'Hey, everyone, if you don't join up, the towns gonna burn to the ground'. And it worked, fairly well. In actually, we just sort of started poking members in the department, and said 'bring a friend'. Male. Female. We started a junior program. Works out great. Now we're turning people away (Which I think is stupid.. but hey)

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