My volunteer department covers approx. 35 sq. miles of small town/ rural area, averages about 135 fire calls/ 300 medical calls per year. I've got 28 firefighters, all trained and motivated. 12 of which are EMT certified, and run with the Ambulance service in our town (a seperate Department under the City Govt.). Six additional EMT's operate the ambulance service and do not belong to the Fire Department. I believe this is an unusual situation, but the separation came about years ago with the decision of a former Chief that was not as adept at leadership as maybe he should have been.
The issue is being raised by the EMS director to consolidate the Departments and hire a person to man the station during the day, essentially to get things started on which ever type of call comes in. I agree with the concept, but our run volume may not justify the expense of a full time person, and I contend that if you hire one person, you'll need three to cover time off, rotations, etc. most of our fire calls during the day are automatic aid for three other volunteer departments, should City taxpayer money pay for a full time dept. for other departments? at what point can I justify going for the expense from the City Government. For the past 51 years our Dept. has been volunteer and maintained self sufficiency in funding. We received an ISO class 5 rating a few years back, and my calculations show a strong possibility of a level 3 on our next inspection. Plenty of factors to take into account.
I guess what I'm looking for is other dept's experience in where the change was made, how the admin was setup, and any regrets or missed steps. Any takers?