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.
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04-02-2002, 01:35 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Brooklyn Park
04-10-2002, 09:47 AM #2
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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