1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Firefighter Incentive Programs. Any Ideas?

    My department is looking into the idea of compensating the members, either with money or rewards, based thier annual participation in the F.D. We have come up with some formats, but nothing concrete. I have read through the forums and found some ideas, but most did not give enough information. If anyone can give us some detailed ideas or formats for a guideline I would greatly appreciate it. We are not expecting a quick fix on membership participation but anything would help. Thank you for your time. Allen


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This could get kind of wordy, but I will do my best.

    It depends on what you are looking at, are you looking to pay-per-call, give rewards for participation, or incentive plans. We have adapted a system that incorporates all of the above here and have had moderate success.

    First we pay-by-the-call, but it is done in a manner that is "tax-free". It is not a lot of money, but the way we do it this: We budget $8,000.00 dollars a year to disperse to the vollie's each year. At the end of the year, we take the total of all the calls and training meeting( each time a member attends that counts as one tally, if twenty members show-up than there is twenty tallies' for that meeting and so on), divide the number of tallies' by 8,000 and that is what each call or meeting will pay. We give each vollie a check three weeks before Christmas and it makes a nice little bonus for the holiday. My check this tear was right at $600.00. The way to make it "tax-free" is to call it a reimbursement check for expenses incured.

    Second: We have a training budget for out of town schools, We buy 5 new sets of gear each year, and t-shirt/hats/patches. These are given out and prioritized by the level of participation. If you want to go to schools, and have the department pay all the expenses, you have to meet criteria for attendance and hope someone with a better attendance record doesn't want to go to!

    Third: We have created a participation standard for our insurance plan. We pay the premium on an AD&D policy for our vollie's. It covers everyone who is on our call's(including mutual aid departments), but we added the expense of a twenty-four hour wrap around to the policy that will cover us on accidental death while not on calls. This basically is an extra $250,000 life insurance policy for our vollies that make 25% of all reportable incident(including Fire Prevention Edu.), 40% of drills, and 50% of Extra functions.

    We have a few others, but this is the meat of the program. As you can see the program has it's expense, but it doesn't cost us total what one paid firefighter would. Most of the expense is in the budget with out the incentives anyway. The added expense for us is only about $10,000 a year!

    I hope I haven't put you to sleep yet and I hope this will help you! GOOD LUCK!


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our FF's receive a travel and clothing reimbursement in the amount of $9.75 for each call and meeting attended. Pretty simple system, but it is nice to get a little something for your efforts at the end of the year.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our system is similar to the one that James uses in Bastrop. It incorporates responses, training, meetings, cleanups, special projects, blood donations, longevity, EMS certification, ect. This year's incentive budget was $21,000. With 75 members, this puts the average around $280 each. Chief hands out the checks at the X-mas party.

    The dept also spends the extra money for insurance above and beyond worker's comp.

    Participation level is taken into account when deciding who goes to special training, NFA, trade shows, assignment to the specialized rescue squads, ect. This also holds true for new equipment issue.

    Incentive plans like this probably won't lead to a huge rush of new members, but it may keep the ones you have, and maybe get a little more out of each one. It has helped us with the "minor" type calls (auto alarms, dumpster fires, fuel spills, smoke scares, ect.) More people make the effort to show up when they know it counts.

    If you want more details, send me an email.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On my old dept the board of directors decided about 12 years ago to give 1 gallon of gas for every call you made.

    Its not much but we were the only volly dept in the area that gave the members anything.

    I heard the other day that the members have given up the gas reimbursement, so the dept will have a little extra money to buy a new truck with.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Personally, I joined the FD because I wanted to help out. I was surprised in December to find out that we had a honorarium. I think that this is a good way to encourage people to respond to calls, and I've always found it discouraging that so many people don't do it just because. That's just me though.


    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have thast Life Insurance thing, we have the Retirement Pension after however many years of service. We give training and such.

    However I think the best thing you can offer is the social aspect. Thats what it is for me anyway.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my dept. all members receive $10 for every call and every drill they attend, just recently, they decided to raise it to $14 for everybody with FFI certs.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My dept. pays the volunteers $30.00 month to attend 3 out of 4 training meetings (City Dept). Also we work with our county on Automatic Aid and we get $10.00 per call from them (county calls only). The city also pays the Firefighters a one time bonus of $50.00 for completing the basic firefighter class at the Ga. Fire Academy. This is a 56 hour class. I realize this is not much but we compensate our firefighters better than any surrounding dept.s

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In NYS we have a retirement program for companies that choose to participate. For each year of credited service (can't remember what the requirements are for a credited year) we get 480.00 put in a retirement benefit in our name. Vested time is 0 years. It isnt an immediate benefit but it will help out in the long run. Suprisingly not too many people know or care about this, but by the time I turn 65 in 40 years I will be able to collect approx $20,000.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our district board offers incentives such as life insurance and gym memberships to it's members. We even offer babysitting during drills so that parents that belong can go to training and not have to hire sitters. We use teens from the local high school who have attended our babysitting course. And the best part is that we have them at the station during the entire time so there is plenty of room and a big t.v. to keep the kiddies occupied!

    Jeffrey D. Grey-Captain
    Roosevelt Fire District-Hyde Park,N.Y.

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