i am on a vollenteer dept. that runs non transport ems.we currently have a weekend on call list that is not enforced.they are talking about enforcing it some guys refuse to stay around on there weekend.and say thell quit if its enforced.looking for opinions.
also ? for dr.law,one of the comments on this subject was the lawsuit if ther was no one to respond.have you seen a sittuation where no one responded and they sued?
with the resonse question, if noone from my dept. responds, there is automatic mutual aid, and so on, and so on, so someone WILL eventually show up.
as for the 'on call' thing, it's tough. my dept. doesn't have that, but for rescues in the past 2 - 3 years, we have been having more difficulty in getting qualified guys on the bus because of political volly b/s, and a declining desire to be tied up for roughly an hour a pop ( per rescue call). Fire calls, no problem there. My company has an excellent response time :p !
If there is a constant demand for responses, maybe it's time to move up to a paid staff at the station. If there is only one call every other weekend, it could be an attitude problem. We have thin spots duriing the weekends too. Rather than tell someone they must stay on "red alert", we have added more personnel.
Our department doesn't run any type of ambulance or EMS right now. The rescue is provided by a career fire department in the city. The ambulance comes from a private company. So my opinion comes from the outside looking in.
It takes a crew of very special people to "volunteer" the time and effort to so many "band aid" calls.
Most of the "on-call" departments I know, struggle to staff EMS responses. It always seems that the same couple of people are doing it alone.
I would take a hard honest look at the need for the service you are providing. If you run on everything, could you change to running only priority one medicals? Try talking to your ambulance provider about it.
Not all firefighters participate on the same level. Some don't even like EMS. I wouldn't push it on them if they are not willing to "volunteer" it.
It's a tough spot to be in. Don't be too proud to admit it may have become more than "volunteers" should have to handle.
In the past there has been people on my department that have made threats like this, "if this takes effect, I will quit". I have found that if you do what the majority of the service wants and the few people do not like it, they may threaten to quit to try to change your mind but I have never had one quit for good. There have been some who turn all their gear in and come back the next week like nothing has happened.
Mountain Ambulance www.rescue70.org
I don't know how it works in Illinois, but here in Oklahoma in depends on whether you are a "certified" First Responder Agency.
Certified First Responder agencies are supposed to be able to respond 24/7. But if you're a rural volunteer (or small-town VFD) the State won't make an issue of it. Two reasons: 1) you aren't the primary provider, the ambulance is. The ambulance is coming whether you're there or not. 2) sometimes is better than never.
There are several departments that I know of that operate First Responder programs without being certified. However, in Oklahoma, a fire department is authorized to provide first aid and administer oxygen in their district without having to have any formal training. That's according to the statute. Being "certified" means signing agreements with the area ambulance service, meeting minimum requirements, and paying the State $10.00 a year, blah, blah, blah.
So, in Oklahoma, you are technically supposed to have coverage 24/7, and would thus need people "on call" sometimes. However, in reality, it's a rule that's not enforced, and a pt will still get care from the ambulance.
I understand some of your members may not like it, but as I read on these very boards once "You choose to volunteer. Everything else is mandatory."