1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Pay-Per-Call... good? bad? suggestions?

    My department is considering instituting a Pay-Per-Call system for our EMS runs. We are a 100% volunteer organization that provides fire/rescue/EMS for a municipality of approx. 35,000 people in a RAPIDLY expanding part of New Jersey. I am looking for comments and suggestions from people that have experience with setting up and implementing similar systems. ALL comments are welcome as I still have mixed feelings on the system myself. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a pay-per-call system in my dept., (but we also are paid for all drills and meetings too.) We are paid $10. We get paid every three months by the city.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    hey we are a combination dept that is paid full time and paid on call basis and it works out really well the station is manned all the time and we have manpower for the 36 square miles we protect the piad on calls guys get 5-7 an hour depending on rank from FF1-FF2,EMT-B,EMT-I, and foreman

    stay safe,

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my dept. we are combo. We have full time carreer guys (I'm one of them) and paid on call guys (volunteers). The volunteers have allways been paid in our dept. since it began over 100 years ago. In recent years we suffer from recruitment & retention problems like everyone else. So the city decided to give the volunteers a raise to encourage membership. It made no impact what so ever. The volunteers cried to get the raise because they thought they were worth more and their argument was that it would recruit more volunteers - it didn't work. They even have a pension plan and a $1000.00 tax credit to their property tax - still no new recruits. So my opinion is if you are from a town with a tight budget, you're not going to see a big improvement. But if your town can afford to and wants to pay you guys then great you deserve it. Now if it's medical transport then the cost could be defered to the patients bill. That could hurt your public relations though. Each dept is in a different situation.

    IAFF Local 2033, Love this job! Hate SCABS!

  5. #5
    Mary Ellen
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One thing you should think through very carefully is the impact this may have on the fire and rescue service. Several depts in my area starting paying EMT's for response, because they could collect for transport. The problem comes in when the fire and rescue side begins to see "Gee, I responded to the same accident and got nothing. My time must not be as valuable." The three closest volunteer depts that currently pay EMT's per call are thinking strongly about dropping it beacuse of friction in-house. They will continue to pay for shift coverage as necessary but they also pay for shift coverage on the fire-rescue side when that's necessary.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department is all vol. We do however have an incentive program. Depending on what the call is we get a certain amount of points for responding. Working fires are 1 point, automatic alarms are 4 and so on, more points for the calls that are not as "exciting" to respond too. All calls that are during your sleep time the points are doubbled because you loose sleep. At the end of the year you can cash your points in for things like leather helmet, boots, uniform, job shirts and other things like that. It is s kind of "thank you" that a lot of the guys appreciate and it does not cost a lot.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    OK but, you asked for it.........

    Pay them. Pay them for each run they make. Fire / EMS / or rescue. Ten bucks a call or something. At least they could take their family out for dinner between calls. God knows they have earned it.

    When city hall says that they cannot afford it, tell them this is only the begining. This is what they should do in return for those taxes they have collected.

    If you have 35K people and are RAPIDLY growing, a full-time staff for the ambulance would be a progressive thought. Don't burn out your volunteer help on the high volume of low priority calls. Save them for the rescue and fire calls.

    Just my thoughts.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My dept is volunteer. The city decided years ago, to pay us 3.00 hr for replacement of our personal property. It was to pay for the pants you ruined, or the shirt you ripped.
    Now, we are paid 5.00hr for any call in the city limits. If the siren blows you get $5.00. Whether it takes 1/2 a min or 59min.
    We get paid at Dec meeting, so it's nice to get a couple hundred dollars at Christmas.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a Reserve force of 12 that respond to structure fires or times where we need more personnel. I changed the way that the Reserves are paid from a set amount to pay-for-service. Reserve Captains make $40 for call outs, $35 for training days. This way is so much better. I had to deal with percentages and putting Reserves on probation. It was a nightmare. Now if the Reserves want to make money, they have to show up for it. In the other system it would take up to a year before a Reserve would go on probation due to their lack of involvement. Thus receiving $$$$$ before they were ousted. I can send you our policy if you would like.


  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest



    We pay our people the following rates:
    Fire $7 per hour
    EMS (in town) $35 per call
    EMS (out of town) $50 per call
    EMS (no transport or just responded) $7 per call

    Rescue (if needed) $35 per call

    You have to watch the people in the back ground who respond but do not work.

    I have to agree that pay does not help much with recruitment, but we have seen retention of members increase. We pay every 6 months.

    Chris Schultz
    Mountain Ambulance Service www.rescue70.org

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We run in a combination department, and the volunteers have a "bonus" every Christmas. It's not guaranteed, but it keeps some people coming back call after call.....


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

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the responses folks! There's some very good ideas going around here. Be safe all.

  13. #13
    Station 18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are a volunteer dept, that serves the town. ("They" own the equipment, "we" use it)
    We are paid, $6/meeting (2/month)

    $6/training (this includes all kinds of stuff, when I took basic 24hr FF, I got paid 6/saturday, 6/sunday, 6/next sunday)

    $8/responses (this is fire or EMS)
    The Chief makes $2 more for each of the above. (Cause he is cool I guess...)

    We are paid in June (just before July which is when lots take vacation) and in December (just before Christmas)

    It seems to work well in our case.


  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The Fire Deprtment I "cut my teeth on" in the service had a "Pay-per-call" system and how it worked was simple.

    Our department was 11 stations strong. Each member kept their gear in thier POV, so that if they were not in a posistion to respond to the station to drive or ride "officer" on an apparatus, you would respond direct, and just join up with the OIC and they would assign your duty.

    That being said...

    For each call that you responded to and were qualified for(i.e. EMTs for MEd calls...Rescue Specialist for Rescue Team alert..etc) you woul recieve a 5.00 gas ticket from an area gas station that the District had a contract with. If you responded in a Piece of Apparatus, you did not recieve the ticket. Anyway, at the begininng of each month, they would have your "payment" for the previous month in your box.

    It worked GREAT. People might think..."A gas ticket?", but I tell you, it freed up money throughout the month to spend on other things.

    I thought it was GREAT, and i woudl recommend it to anyone.

    Just my .02

    Your Brother In The Service,
    Rob Herpel
    Vice-Pres./Asst. EMS Coordinator
    Fremont Rural Fire Department

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One of the area fire dept.'s near me has a decent set up.
    Every volunteer at the start of the year is credited the same amount. I asked one of the guys and he thinks maybe $1500.00 if the member is off probation. As the year progreses if a member misses a call, a meeting or training, the dept. keeps a $1.00 for each one that gets missed. If a member misses hose testing it costs them $25.00.
    I know you asked in reference to EMS, but it is only an idea. Hope it helps.

    [This message has been edited by WFDFFEMTI (edited 04-25-2001).]

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We started the paid on call system in my department in January the guys love the idea.
    but they have to make a certain percentage of the calls and trainings to receive the money

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