1. #1
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    Default station staffing

    I work for a combination dept, and reading through the forums it sounds like a lot of volunteer departments have the personnel manning the station. I was curious, are there a lot of departments that still work on a pager system and the personnel have to respond from home to the station and then from the station to the scene or is it mostly covered from the personnel manning the station. Sorry if that is confusing, I couldn't come up with a better way to word it.

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    Default Responding

    You bet there are still dept. that respond from home,were i live that how most dept. do it most have day staffing but after 6:00pm or so they go home and then we respond from home, but the day of the vol. is be coming short lived hope this helps

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    Default Staffed Stations?

    We are an all volunteer Department. Our personnel responds from their homes or place of employment (if allowed to leave). That's not to say that on any given day or night there may be some of the guys (and gals) hanging around the station.
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    We also are a full volunteer department, with no full time staffing at the station. We almost always have very good turnout for calls, even in the daytime when most departments are needing more response. I think the pager system works very well for a small community like ours (950 homes).
    Last edited by FillmoreFD27; 02-12-2003 at 06:52 PM.
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    Default Station Staff

    When I was still volunteering in my hometown, our totally volunteer department did not have staffing; we all responded from wherever when the pager dumped.

    However, our station was equipped with a full kitchen, ping pong table, pool table, stereo, etc. (all donated). Many friends and I that were all volunteers (and all in our late teens early twenties) made the station a regular hangout. Once, someone from the municipality bitched about us hanging around, playing pool, etc. Our chief was quick to point out that when we were there, we in effect had a staffed fire station.

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    My local dept is combo, we have paid memembers during the day. when a call comes in everyone get its over the pagers. the paid guys are there for a quicker response during the down times of the day. And of course all station duties. I also know of full time career depts who still work off pagers. Each truck has a set of pagers and they are dispatched that away. hope this helps..

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    Default

    it sounds like a lot of volunteer departments have the personnel manning the station. I was curious, are there a lot of departments that still work on a pager system and the personnel have to respond from home to the station and then from the station to the scene or is it mostly covered from the personnel manning the station.

    Regularly staffed, volunteer stations are the vast minority of fire departments.

    It's common in parts of Maryland (like Prince George's County and vicinity) and odd volunteer departments here and there with similiar demographics of lots of development & call volume.

    Most rely on on-call volunteers.

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    The only departments that I've come across in northeastern Oklahoma that have firefighters at the station 24/7 are paid departments.

    Our department members carry pagers and respond from wherever we might be, as do all of the surrounding districts.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    our station is staffed only when a call cames in or on standby for severe weather. we are all volunteer and ususally don't have people sitting around the station. i sometimes do when i have time, usually to work projects or whatnot.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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  10. #10
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    We do, as Dal mentioned, have people around the station all the time. One thing about this area,(Prince Georges County Md.) volunteering is more of a lifestyle than anything else. We hang out at the station because we want to, knowing that there will be something to do. For instance, back when the really cold (for this area) weather hit, we were getting a working fire a day. As I type this post, we are 36 hours into the month of Feb. and have a total of 21 runs so far for the month. January's total for Fire, Rescue, and EMS was about an even 300. You can go home and mow the lawn, eat lunch, walk the dog, and miss 10 calls. This type of operation does not attract the "I want to help my community" kind of volunteer, we get the "all I want to do is run lots of calls" people. There are members of our area companies who commute from out of state to spend a weekend or two each month at the station and run more calls than they would get at home in 6 months. Burnout? We get those who don't last a year, those who are there for 5 or more, and there are some like me, 61 years old, 45 years on the dept. and no thought of retiring as long as I can run 1,000 calls a year or more. Back to the question that started this thread. Yes, we use pagers, and more interestingly, Nextel cell phones, to keep up with the ever-changing situation at the station. The Nextel phone is, for all practical purposes, a 800Mhz trunking radio system, and it allows us to communicate with each other to be sure that there are drivers, officers, etc. available all the time. Stay Safe....
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    Originally posted by drkblram
    wow, almost makes me want to move to maryland! 300 runs a month!

    Any chance I could come for a "working visit" some time

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    For staffing we have had a paid crew since the mid-70s for the 6a-6p M-F shifts. The rest of the time we schedule volunteer crews on 3 engines, 2 ambulances, and 2 paramedic responders. Vollies have to leave at least 12 available shifts per month open for flexibility. Those that live out of district have to sleep at a station, the rest of us are all pager dispatched. Only the scheduled crews respond for primary calls, and if additional manpower or units (rescue, brush) are needed then others call in. Structure fires and major incidents are a free for all. Whoever gets their first gets on and the truck leaves. no waiting for the scheduled crew.

    And if y'all want to come down to where it doesn't get below freezing and make 300+ runs a month, we can accomodate. We had a "very slow" January. Only 280 runs. We've been climbing 10-15% a year and last year we finished at just over 3600. And with over 4000 houses and a limited access highway planned for the next 18 months in our western district, I think we'll be able to keep that pace.

    Stay safe, and make friends with a K12.

    Brian

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    The department that I work for has been traditionally staffed with members who live within the district, receive a page, drive to the station, and respond from the station. About 3 years ago, the number of runs had doubled over the past five years and the system wasn't working as well anymore. To help the situation, a shift program was started. People who live out-of-district were allowed to join. The requirements are attending the trainings and meetings, and working at the station for a total of 24 hours in one month (during 9am-7pm, M-F). The program has worked very well to increase daytime coverage. However, we don't have enough members yet to fill an engine during the day and some hours of the day are left empty. We are currently trying to work out the kinks.

    Eric

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    BC79er, you can keep all that heat in Texas! LOL. But I think your department is one of the only ones I have heard of that is Volunteer and has a call volume close to ours in P.G. County. Hwoods' station is busy, and ours even busier. Kentland VFD, which is another VFD in our county, is the busiest VFD in the country and the 3rd or 4th busiest Engine Company in the country! (counting Vollie and career departments) My station, Clinton VFD....did over 15,000 runs last year with 2 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Foam unit, 1 BLS unit and 1 ALS unit. The ALS unit is staffed by career Paramedics and we have a full daytime career crew and 2 24-hour career people. The ALS unit is probably the busiest thing in the house.


    DrkblRam, you are more than welcome to come for a "working visit" anytime. Contact myself or Hwoods. I am not sure about his station, but we host out of state Firefighters all the time. The last Contingency we had was from the Aviation VFD in the Bronx, NYC. And they had an awesome time.....gave them thier first ride on a Tractor Drawn Ladder!

  15. #15
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    Chris... DODGE owners are welcome in downtown Glenn Dale anytime, I'd have to check and see if we accept those who drive Ferds.. or is it frods?? No, must be F-O-R-D-S. Oh well, your KW is welcome 24/7 See Ya, Stay Safe....
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    Cheif, Dodge owners are welcome anytime!

    But those Pesky Chevy guys might as well keep on going to Allentown Rd.!

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    my dept. is fully volunteer with around 100 members serving a population of over 50,000 we operate out of 5 stations, we do not staff any stations but it seems like a few people are always hanging around doing work at the stations. our hardest time as far as getting responders is during the day when most everybody is at work. yes we respond from home or work to the station then to the scene

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    We staff 4 full time personel at our stations. Then the volunteers supplement us. But they mostly respond from home.
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    We are an all volunteer Department. Our personnel responds from their homes or place of employment (if allowed to leave). That's not to say that on any given day or night there may be some of the guys (and gals) hanging around the station.
    That is exactly how my department is.
    Matt

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    Here is another Maryland Department...

    My department is 100% volunteer - we have no career personel to suppliment us or back us up as next due. All of our neighboring companies are 100% volunteer also. We operate with both a duty crew & paging system. EMS crews are on duty almost 24 hours a day; sometimes more than one crew is on duty, but sometimes none at all. When this is the case the crew must be obtained using pagers. We operate 3 ALS units. In 2002, we responded to over 4,700 EMS runs.

    The fireside does not have full duty crews. We only have duty drivers and officers. The crew make-up comes from either people responding from home or from the firehouse bunkroom. We will be going to full crews shortly. Our department depends greatly on pagers for all of our multi-unit response calls (Apartment, building, Dwelling fire calls). My department alone responds 4 engines and 1 truck company for a structure fire alert (we count that as 1 run by the way, not five) - again, we have no career staffing to back us up so we greatly depend on pagers. It would be nice to always have the station manned with 20 volunteers but that is very rare. During the daytime hours, when we are busiest, we almost always are staffed with 10 people in the station and can handle most of the single engine runs without waiting for members coming from the work or residences. Those responding from work/home are responsible for getting the 2nd & 3rd engines out. In 2002, we responded to approx. 2,100 fire responses.

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    My department responds from home or work for all calls. Only Chief Officers are supposed to go directly to the scene. Everybody else goes to the station to staff the rigs.

    Does anyone else think that accidents involving POVs responding to fire stations is a trial lawyer's dream come true?

    I would bet that it would only take a few of these lawsuits before duty crews became the norm for many volunteer departments.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    We are fully volunteer and proud of it. Everyone responds from thier homes or places of work. Of course that is how it is run in most of the county anyway. There is one department that is still fully vollie that mans three stations and runs at least 4 calls a day. I don't know how they do it?

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    Well where I just left from (Due to Uncle Sam)(large military town) we was a full volunteer department, On good days was lucky to have 5-6 people show up. Members with pagers. On a bad day when you could only get 2-3 to show up we relied on mutial aid, and most of the time they was in the same shape as we were for personell but we always seem to make it work. We done alot of inter-departmental training, learning each other's trucks ect.....but when it come down to it we put the wet stuff on the red stuff

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    My dept. is only manned on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm both days. We train on Monday nights. The guys that work the weekend are paid. They do things like wash trucks, check fire hydrants, etc. This enables us to have a real training meeting. We have been doing this for the past 4 years and it has worked extremely well for us.

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    I think alot of your small communities and large combo departments work with pagers. I come from a combo department, and our problem is inadequate vols. They are of an older generation, and aren't physically fit to work a fire ground. And then to top things off the younger generation "generation X" is finally of working/marriage age they don't want to spend their time vol. They would rather spend time with family, golfing, etc. and to top things off most jobs will not let them off work..
    And who in their Right mind would want to keep up on the required hrs for NREMT-B. 130hrs of training if not more with clinicals.....
    Just somthing to think about!

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