1. #1
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    Post BINGO...or NOT BINGO?

    I can't wait for the discussion....StayBack, you get a FREE SPACE

    MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Two volunteer firefighters have
    been dismissed from their department because they missed too many
    of its fund-raising bingo games.
    Officials with the Rio Grande Fire Company in Middle Township
    made the decision last month after an investigations panel
    determined that Walt Belles Jr. and Ed Christensen had failed to
    meet the requirement. The Cape May County department's bylaws
    require that all members attend at least 60 percent of the games
    each year because money raised there helps fund its operations.
    Belles and Christensen were told about the rule when they
    joined, nut both said personal and work matters prohibited them
    from attending. They have met the department's other mandates, such
    as attending drills, meetings and fire calls, and both plan to seek
    reinstatement.
    "I kind of think it's wrong because I've been in the fire
    company and I love getting out there and doing things for other
    people," Christensen told The Press of Atlantic City for Tuesday's
    editions. He said his job has prevented him from attending the
    bingo games, and was unsuccessful when he tried to work out an
    arrangement that would allow him to remain with the department.
    Belles, 24, voiced similar complaints. His father and two uncles
    all hold high-ranking posts in the department.
    "Bingos have nothing to do with serving the community," said
    Belles, who has been involved with the department for 10 years. He
    said he did not attend any bingo events this year because he was
    working two jobs and caring for his young daughter.
    Rio Grande Chief James Belles, who is Walt Belles' uncle,
    declined to discuss the dismissals and referred all questions to
    Kirby Stiltner, the fire company's president, who was not
    immediately available for comment.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Ah yes, Bingo. Bingo attendance used to rule my company also. You did not have to make fires, meetings, or drills, just make your Bingo. Was very happy when we finally voted to stop having Bingo night about 18 years ago.

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    We do not have any rules like that, the people just get the cold shoulder if they want help with any type of fundraising activity. It's unfortunate.
    Last edited by MFDExplorer51; 08-05-2003 at 11:07 AM.
    IACOJ

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    Bingo!

    They want the fun without having to do the less glorifying work. These people probably disappear during overhaul.

    I would be interested to know what their schedule. In other words, do Bingo Nights fall on the same night of the week as their drills or are they on a different night? Also, how often do they have bingo?
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    Default Not surprised

    Our very well equipped Volunteer dept. has similar bingo requirements. And of course, many whine about it. On the other hand, a cottage industry has grown up as well. If you do not want to work your bingo, you can pay another member to fill in for you. Works fine in most cases. As for not seeing what Bingo has to do with serving the community, I point to the beginning of the post. Our Very Well Equipped....
    I'm just here as myself, my views here are not presented on behalf of my dept.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Adze39
    They want the fun without having to do the less glorifying work. These people probably disappear during overhaul.
    BINGO!
    Bingos have nothing to do with serving the community
    Right ... but without them, you wouldn't be able to serve the community. Thus, they do serve the community ... so ... wait ... what was the question?

    Stay Safe
    Last edited by PAVolunteer; 08-05-2003 at 02:20 PM.

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    Not all fire companies run Bingo to raise money for FF equipment. We have never (and hopefully will never) bought FF equipment with money raised through Bingo. The funds Bingo generated allowed us to pay off our building faster than we would have without Bingo. Not a single penny went towards firefighting equipment or training. Our budget for FF items comes from our municipality and is "built in" to the general municipal tax rate. Bingo funds were used towards an annual dinner, Tshirts that each member got once a year, food for after meetings/drills, etc.

    I am not stating that is what is happening with the case involved here, but just wanted to let people know, sometimes Bingo and FF'ing really don't have much to do with each other. Many of the departments near me ran Bingo the same way and used their funds the same way.

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    Default Bingo was his name-0

    There were some mutts
    who canned two jakes
    for what you ask
    the reason

    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O

    And bingo was the reason!

    They made the drills
    they made the calls
    they went to all the meetings
    except for

    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O

    And bingo was the reason!

    They worked two jobs
    they cared for kids
    but what do the mutts care for?

    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    and that's so lame-O!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Default

    I said my piece on the other thread of this topic.... However.....


    CaptainGonzo... my friend I think you have missed your calling This makes two 'songs' in almost as many days from you. They are sarcam to a "T" but well worth every second of it.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    For the non-Pennsylvania firefighters out there, there's a reason why this didn't make a headline in PA. It happens all the time.

    If a fire department needs Bingo in order to survive, and you don't work Bingo. You're out.

    Anyone who wants to have the fun without doing the work is like a cancer to the organization. If these guys were truly firefighting saints who happened to miss a few Bingos because they were out slaving away, working for the "man" in order to put food on the table so their kids wouldn't starve, I'm guessing the department would have worked something out ... think about it.

    Stay Safe

    NOTICE OF DISCLAIMER: If funds raised from Bingo are truly just a frill for this department and not essential to its survival, then shame on the department for reducing its own manpower.

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    A side note on fundraisers for operating budgets:

    The current First Selectwoman we have has been better to the two FDs in town than any other Selectman we have had in the past.

    It was either this year or last year, a selectman suggested that they cut the budgets for the two FDs and make us do fundraisers to get our money. The First Selectwoman stopped him in his tracks and told him flat out that it will not happen and those days are long gone in East Windsor and that it will not happen again.

    No wonder she gets our votes...
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  12. #12
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    Default Being Tossed for not Working Bingo

    In a previous Department I was in, the By-Laws were revised to take Bingo into consideration.
    You were allowed to miss one scheduled Bingo a year.
    Your Second Scheduled Bingo missed constituted a letter of warning in your file.
    Your Third missed Bingo, you were suspended from Firematic Activity for 30 days. (this included turning in all issued gear, i.e., turnouts, pagers, monitors, etc.)
    Your Fourth Bingo missed in a calendar year constituted a 60 day suspension from Firematic Activity, (see 3rd missed) and the Penal Committee had the option to recommend your removal from the Department.

    Needless to say, they dismissed many good Firefighters, and as the Rules went, it depended who you were, and who you knew, to receive any punishment at all.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
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    Thumbs up AHHHHAAAA Bingo rears it UGLY Head

    Gonzo et al that don't have such mundane considerations as figuring out how to pay for your own equipment, making sure you budget to have enough $$ at the end of the fiscal year to put gas in your trucks, congratulations. For the rest of us that have to raise most (if not all) of our operating budgets, bingo is a fact of life, as well as catering weddings, steak roasts, tractor pulls, car shows, cat shows, cash raffles, pull tabs, and what ever else we can dream up to make some $$$. My company if fairly lucky to have a decent town board, and town contract, but even then it only provides about 1/2 of our $$$$. The list of bills, payments etc. would be much longer than the list of income events above. Do we HAVE TO enforce participation in non-firematic duties...YES if you want the trucks to respond. I guess the nicest thing it can be called is a neccessary evil, we have removed members for non-participation, no one likes it, but until some rich person leaves us beaucoup $$$.....
    Praying for fema/usda to spit out our dept so we can put decent PPE on our members.

    BE SAFE OUT THERE.

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    BINGO two nights a week...4 crews that work BINGO, thus you only have to work one Weds. and one Sat. per month. It isn't too much to ask, I feel. Without BINGO...we close.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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    They want the fun without having to do the less glorifying work. These people probably disappear during overhaul.
    Where I come from bingo would be considered the "fun" and firefighting the "less glorifying work"

    I didn't become a firefighter for "glory" anyone who did needs to find a new line of work or a new hobby.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Default When the volly house pays the mortgage......

    Then the volly house can dictate to me when and when I wont show up!

    I am from Pennsylvania....And I dont understand the bingo thing! If you ask my opinion, thats a LOAD OF BULLSH*T to make a "mandatory" ANYTHING, more or less Bingo Night. It's enough in trying to make everything a busy volunteer department can stack on your plate: Drills...Worknights...Duty Nights...Officers Meetings....Committee Meetings....Board of Directors Meetings....Then toss in a young family sucking every drop of salary out of you and your Missus......Who also by the way wants "Nights out with the girls"....or has to go grocery shopping, or go to her night time college courses....And you have to take care of the kids.

    My volly company and I have an understanding, as it should be for ALL volly companies. I SHOW UP FOR WHAT I CAN, WHEN I CAN. And when the volly house pays my mortgage, the volly house can make nights mandatory.

    If I moved into a small community and went to join the local VFD, and the chief told me that Bingo nights are mandatory, I would have told him, (through the laughter) that obviously they didnt need me bad enough. Nuff Said.


    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB

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    Default Re: When the volly house pays the mortgage......

    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    I am from Pennsylvania....And I dont understand the bingo thing! If you ask my opinion, thats a LOAD OF BULLSH*T to make a "mandatory" ANYTHING, more or less Bingo Night. It's enough in trying to make everything a busy volunteer department can stack on your plate: Drills...Worknights...Duty Nights...Officers Meetings....Committee Meetings....Board of Directors Meetings....Then toss in a young family sucking every drop of salary out of you and your Missus......Who also by the way wants "Nights out with the girls"....or has to go grocery shopping, or go to her night time college courses....And you have to take care of the kids.
    Sounds like you've got bigger issues than not being able to make Bingo.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    My volly company and I have an understanding, as it should be for ALL volly companies. I SHOW UP FOR WHAT I CAN, WHEN I CAN. And when the volly house pays my mortgage, the volly house can make nights mandatory.
    Great for you and your company that you both have the luxury of making this arrangement work ... an arrangement where you have sufficient manpower and funding that people can show up only when they want to. The majority of us are not that fortunate.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    If I moved into a small community and went to join the local VFD, and the chief told me that Bingo nights are mandatory, I would have told him, (through the laughter) that obviously they didnt need me bad enough. Nuff Said.
    Then you'd better not move and expect to run fire calls ... there are many places (especially in PA) where the chief would laugh right back at you as you walked out the door.

    This is not something new. It's not like departments are just starting up from scratch and making Bingo mandatory simply because they can. The decision to make Bingo mandatory is a result of a string of events. This world would be a much better place if no one had to anything ... if nothing had to be mandatory. However, human nature is not perfect. If everyone worked together so that Bingo was always covered, then nothing would have to be mandatory. The stink of it is, however, that the more and more you let it go, the more and more guys will show up for fire calls, and will show up less and less for Bingo until ... HOLY COW ... we have to make Bingo mandatory to run fire calls.

    Stay Safe

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    Default

    Originally posted by Duffman
    I didn't become a firefighter for "glory" anyone who did needs to find a new line of work or a new hobby.
    Right, but there are people are like that. There are people who joined for the "glory" or "fun" and disappear whenever work has to be done that they don't think is "fun" or doesn't fit into their vision on firefighting.
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  19. #19
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    Default Hmmmmm

    Sounds like I've got bigger issues than making Bingo? Well, as a matter of fact....Yeah! My family is first and foremost! Secondly comes my job! It's hard enough having to work a 24hr schedule, then maybe going and working my part time job......sounds to me like maybe you need to analyze and possibly re-align your priorities if you have a problem with me making family first???????

    And just for arguments sake....I am a 15 year member of my volly company, in good standing. I am a member of the engineering, training, and new pumper committees. I try to make as many meetings as I possibly can. I try to make as many drills as I can, but work gets in the way of that sometimes. PLUS since I am around a lot during the daytime on days off, I pull a lot of daytime duty. It's not like I am trying to skirt out of duties.

    And if a chief of a small community wants to lose out on a valuable asset- a new member- thats his business. All I have to say to that is, I hope their training and equipment is up to snuff......Because if they ever burn my house down, they better close up the station, and paint my name on the sides of the truck!

    Dauphin County....Hmmmmm...Seems to me like you guys dont lack any money....Does Progress REALLY need that $700,000 Aerialscope? Do they REALLY need FIVE air horns on it? Do they REALLY need all the chrome on it?

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    Default Re: Hmmmmm

    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Sounds like I've got bigger issues than making Bingo? Well, as a matter of fact....Yeah! My family is first and foremost! Secondly comes my job! It's hard enough having to work a 24hr schedule, then maybe going and working my part time job......
    Welcome to the real world.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    sounds to me like maybe you need to analyze and possibly re-align your priorities if you have a problem with me making family first???????
    You have no idea who I am, nor what my priorities are. As a result, it doesn't matter how things sound to you. Please point out where I said that I had a problem with you putting your family first.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    And just for arguments sake....I am a 15 year member of my volly company, in good standing. I am a member of the engineering, training, and new pumper committees. I try to make as many meetings as I possibly can. I try to make as many drills as I can, but work gets in the way of that sometimes. PLUS since I am around a lot during the daytime on days off, I pull a lot of daytime duty. It's not like I am trying to skirt out of duties.
    Congratulations.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    And if a chief of a small community wants to lose out on a valuable asset- a new member- thats his business. All I have to say to that is, I hope their training and equipment is up to snuff......Because if they ever burn my house down, they better close up the station, and paint my name on the sides of the truck!
    Yes, a fire department better be ready to shut itself down simply because the almighty FWDbuff had to follow their rules. I guess we'd all better be ready to change the rules to conform to FWDbuff's schedule when FWDbuff comes to town.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Dauphin County....Hmmmmm...Seems to me like you guys dont lack any money....Does Progress REALLY need that $700,000 Aerialscope? Do they REALLY need FIVE air horns on it? Do they REALLY need all the chrome on it?
    You'd have to ask the guys at 32 that question - www.progressfire.com - I'm sure they'd be more than happy to answer your questions. But let me guess, you won't do it, you'd rather come into this open forum in an anonymous manner and badmouth everything and everyone who doesn't fall in line with your idea of utopia.

    You, being from Pennsylvania, should know better than anyone why a company would have to make attendance at fundraising events mandatory.

    Stay Safe

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    Default WHOA! SLOW DOWN!!!

    Ok, First of all....My apologies...I didnt mean to come off sounding like the "high and mighty"......But when Volly Companies get their priorities all out of whack, it really gets to me. Making functions mandatory, at least to me, is way out of line. But thats my opinion.....Yes, My department does have the luxury of not having to mandate something like Bingo Nights. We work off of almost entirely donations and EMS billing. We are a small bourough in Montgomery County. We have the same problems that everyone else has. Due to being a small bourough, we have NO tax base at all, hence the donations and EMS billing.

    I applaud your department for being able to maintain operations through Bingo......However, I still have a problem with mandating attendace- I am sure your department has tried everything to have to have avoided this situation to begin with.....But I still digress that I would probably forfeit membership at any organization that wouldnt comprimise with me- For Example....."Hey Chief.....I cant make the bingo nights, because thats the night the wife goes to school......But I am more than willing to be in quarters on tuesdays and thursday afternoons and drive the ambulance or the pumper...While I am here, I will also do the preventative maintenance on the saws and the generators, or I will do the data entry of the last 3 months of calls into the NFIRS database......Or I'll mop the bingo hall floor."

    Comprimise should be the key. A friendly question PaVolunteer- Would your organization be open to this? Or is attendance at bingos absolutely positively MANDATORY? I am sure there are some kind of provisions....ok to miss 3 nights a year or something like that?

    Again, my apologies for coming off high and mighty....I have a bad habit of doing that sometimes when I am passionate about something- and I get passionate about being told that I MUST be somewhere for a certain night after I just spent X amout of hours there the week prior, on a voluntary basis.

    Holds out right hand for PaVolunteer

    Be Safe Bro...
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB

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    Default Re: WHOA! SLOW DOWN!!!

    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Ok, First of all....My apologies...I didnt mean to come off sounding like the "high and mighty".
    No need to apologize. I understand where you're coming from, and what you meant, I just decided to be an *** about it.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    I applaud your department for being able to maintain operations through Bingo......However, I still have a problem with mandating attendace- I am sure your department has tried everything to have to have avoided this situation to begin with.
    Actually, my department has not had Bingo for almost a generation of volunteers. My department actually does not mandate anything either (other than making 10% of the calls in order to maintain active status). However, many departments around us are in the situation where things like Bingo must be mandatory just to stay in existence.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    I would probably forfeit membership at any organization that wouldnt comprimise with me- For Example....."Hey Chief.....I cant make the bingo nights, because thats the night the wife goes to school......But I am more than willing to be in quarters on tuesdays and thursday afternoons and drive the ambulance or the pumper...While I am here, I will also do the preventative maintenance on the saws and the generators, or I will do the data entry of the last 3 months of calls into the NFIRS database......Or I'll mop the bingo hall floor."
    I wholeheartedly agree. Bingo is being used simply as an example here. For the purposes of this thread, Bingo can be replaced with any other fundraiser or any menial work around the firehouse. The issue is really not showing up for anything, as opposed to just Bingo. Which is why I said above that:
    If these guys were truly firefighting saints who happened to miss a few Bingos because they were out slaving away, working for the "man" in order to put food on the table so their kids wouldn't starve, I'm guessing the department would have worked something out ... think about it.
    If that truly is the case, then shame on the department for not working something out. However, I'm guessing this was a case where these guys did only the work they enjoyed, it was hurting the department, and they used the rule that they had on the books (regarding Bingo) to get them out.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Comprimise should be the key. A friendly question PaVolunteer- Would your organization be open to this? Or is attendance at bingos absolutely positively MANDATORY? I am sure there are some kind of provisions....ok to miss 3 nights a year or something like that?
    Other than making 10% of calls, absolutely nothing is mandatory in our department. I wish some things were. I'm not even looking at saying "you have to be here at this time for this function or else." I just want a requirement that basically makes people help out at sometime, somewhere, other than just running calls. In our department, you can run fire calls and that's it, nothing else, if you feel like it ... and some guys do. We have to beg and plead every weekend to get people to come in for fire prevention, public service events, etc. Fortunately, we do not have to do fundraising, but it is all the other things.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Again, my apologies for coming off high and mighty....I have a bad habit of doing that sometimes when I am passionate about something- and I get passionate about being told that I MUST be somewhere for a certain night after I just spent X amout of hours there the week prior, on a voluntary basis.
    Again, no apology necessary. I understand. The key is making someone do something when they have NOT been there any amount of hours the week prior. That is the issue.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Holds out right hand for PaVolunteer
    Wholeheartedly accepted.
    Originally posted by FWDbuff
    Be Safe Bro...
    You too.

    Stay Safe
    Last edited by PAVolunteer; 08-06-2003 at 02:11 PM.

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    PA - we were in a situation like yours. People would only answer the "big" fire calls, no meetings, no drills, etc. We updated our by-laws to have minimum percentages across the board. A minimum percent of fires answered, a minimum of meetings, drills, cleanups, fundraisers, etc. Nothing is 100% as we stress #1, family #2, job #3, fh. If you are down a category, there are ways to make them up (except for fires). It has helped push people to come down and do those little things they didn't want to. No one has complained that we are asking too much.

    The last time I "volunteered" in my FD was when I volunteered to join. At that point, I accepted the fact that I would be a member based on their rules and requirements, not what I felt like doing. That was 21 years ago and at least 10 more to go.

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    PA - we were in a situation like yours. People would only answer the "big" fire calls, no meetings, no drills, etc. We updated our by-laws to have minimum percentages across the board. A minimum percent of fires answered, a minimum of meetings, drills, cleanups, fundraisers, etc.
    That's what I would like to put in place. Nothing ridiculous, but something for gosh sakes.
    Originally posted by Bones42
    The last time I "volunteered" in my FD was when I volunteered to join. At that point, I accepted the fact that I would be a member based on their rules and requirements, not what I felt like doing.
    Game ... Set ... Match

    Stay Safe
    Last edited by PAVolunteer; 08-06-2003 at 03:03 PM.

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    263

    Post $-*-N-G-O

    I'd hope that the situation presented was well documented and alternate arrangments were (at the least) attempted to be created to avoid this inevitable dismissal. One aspect that's missing is the public relations NIGHTMARE this story must've created. The general public will probably take the story at face value and think: "Why bother volunteering my time if they're going to just kick me out if I can't make the bingo games." I'm sure new members will just be lining up at the door now....

    As for my opinion: I agree with Bonesy, PA and our relative newcomer, FWDbuff. I am lucky that I belong to a company with a strong value system regarding family and work. All of our chiefs have the same mindset: family, work, station. And it runs downhill. Example: Saturday is one of our bigger fundraisers (Chicken BBQ) and it's an ALL day event (setup, cooking, serving, cleaning). Unfortunately, I have my parents arriving from out of town at the same time. I told the chief this and he said: no problem, family first (I've already met my fundraising percentage). When I told him that they won't be here until 10 or 11am and I'll come at 8am to help setup until they get there...he was pleased. This is the kind of compromise that could be the difference. We try to keep a level playing field, call and fundraising persentage minimums...they seem to work.

    I was lucky (or is it smart) enough to join a company that does not have a bingo night or social hall to require a lot of my already precious scheduled time. I am able to help out when I can and I expect the same of my brothers and sisters. I hope that there is more to this than face value...if not, then shame on them.
    Once again....the above views are my own and not that of my department. (And probably should not be construed as having any real meaning, whatsoever!)

    IACOJ

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