Thread: Staffing

  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Brooklyn Park

    Question Staffing

    I need your Help! I'm looking for different ways of staffing our paid-on-call department. We are a department of 66 members out of 4 stations. We run about 1400 fire calls a year. (no medicals) We are begining to see very low response numbers and I'm looking for ideas of different ways of staffing. Our city will not support full-time firefighters. We have talked about a duty crew system but I would like to know how this is being done out there. Please respond and let me know what you think.


    Firetrainer 87

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    truck6alpha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Hilton Head Island, SC


    Good luck. However, to be helpful, one of the things we did to entice volunteers (when we had them) was to institute a point system with attached incentives. If personnel took a duty shift, they got one point per hour. If they attended authorized training, they picked up 1.5 points/hr (it always seems like you've got to pull teeth to get training hours in). For special assignments (event standbys, long fires, etc.) they got double points/hr. Then, once a month, they could cash in points on stuff like special training seminars (flying someone to Florida for an extrication course or something like that), toys/personal equipment, etc. Since these vollies are always spending their own hard-earned money on this stuff anyway, you can budget ahead of time and you actually end up with more turnout (scheduled, I may add)for less than paying full-time benefits. We also allowed them to purchase health/life insurance as part of our benefits program by using points. It all still ends up being cheaper than hiring.

    I would structure your budget so that points are worth whatever the going rate/hr is in your area- you end up saving the cash in not paying the benefits of full-time staff, which can be in excess of 40% of a full-time employee's compensation.

    Ultimately, though, I have to say, we had to go to full-time staffing. We're in a resort community and we just don't have the permanent staffing base here for our call volume (over 5500 calls last year). Hope I could be of some assistance.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force

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