1. #1
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    Question staffing information

    If anyone could help we are planning to staff are fire dept for the first time and would like any info that could help.

  2. #2
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    Default Staffing

    The Department I work for is a volunteer company with 5 career staff personnel. We work from 6am to mid-night 7 days per week {Staffing includes part time personnel} - We have 2 Firefighter/EMT's from 6am to 4pm until I come in and than the 1st. 6am person leaves - the 2nd. stays until 6pm and than I'm alone from 6pm until mid-night. {Our Main Job is staffing the BLS Unit and Fire Apparatus Staffing is secondary if not enough volunteers respond} - Volunteers totaly take over from mid-night until 6am and than we start all over again. - It's a system that works pretty well for us and might not be the answer to your staffing question. We use a combination of full/part time employees as well as a 50 member volunteer staff.

  3. #3
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    When planning, don't forget you have to cover VAcation and sick time. we figure it takes 13 people to keep 12 on duty all the time

  4. #4
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    Here's what I am part of.
    Fire district was formed by Parish (county) in 1974.
    Residents of the district formed the VFD, a independant tax exempt organisation, that year. Volunteers would operate the Parish owned trucks and maintain the Parish owned stations.
    Town was incorporated in 1994 taking in 70 of the 94 sq miles in the fire district. In 1995 the Town, now designated a City due to census figures, hired the Chief of the VFD as it's paid Fire Chief. The Chief was paid a salary equal to that the Police Chief receives and works a 40 hour week. In 1997, the City budgeted for parttime "contract" firefighters to man the station 6pm-6am on week nights.
    In 2000 the "contract" positions were done away with and Fulltime and Parttime Firefighters were hired as City employees with retirement and other benefits. The City doesn't own any trucks or stations. The City Firefighters man the main volunteer station and when paged out respond in the Parish owned trucks. Since the Parish only has an agreement with the VFD and not with the City to operate the equiptment all City Firefighters are listed as members of the VFD. So yes, I work for the City but when I respond I am responding as a volunteer dpeartment member. But I'm still on duty as a City employee. The Paid Chief is also the same person as the Volunteer Chief. There are no officer positions besides the Chief in the Paid department. It's the paid guy, the Chief and the Mayor for the chain of command. When a paid Firefighter responds he is under the command of any volunteer Assistant or Deputy Chief on scene because the paid guy is working under the VFD umbrella. He's driving a Parish owned truck from a parish owned station and working as part of the VFD.
    Currently the City has the Chief and 4 other Fulltime paid Firefighters. There are also 5 parttime paid firefighters. Most are also active members of the VFD when not on paid duty. The VFD has about 25 members but only about a dozen are active members who respond to calls. There is no Union, no civil service and no overtime, comp time or holiday pay. We work 12 hour shifts, 6pm-6am and 6am-6pm. That's 42 hours a week or 84 hours a pay period. With only 4 fulltime people we have one (1) scheduled per shift with partime people on occasion. At the moment there is only the one paid guy at the station. I go in to releive him in a few minutes and I don't know whether I will have a parttimer working with me or if I will be working alone. (edit in Wednesday-turned out I worked alone Monday and Tuesday evening. When I was releived this morning at 6am there was supposed to be a fulltime and a parttime FF today but the fulltimeer called in sick so there's only one FF at the main station right now.)
    Like us, you may have to start small. Maybe one guy working 40 hours a week, Mon-fri to maintain the stations and take care of routine stuff. As time goes on you will have the budget for more paid positions. Soon you willhave 2 or 3 paid FFs on duty at a time and vollies backing them up. It takes time but you will grow.
    Learn more about our department by visiting the official City website at http://www.cityofstgabriel.us/ .
    I also put up an Unofficial website with much more information including photos of the trucks, staff and volunteers. It's on Geocities at http://www.geocities.com/stgabrielfiredept/ .
    Other area Departments have hired "contract" firefighters using either monies from donations or taxes. Others are going to Paid on call incentives to get more volunteer responce.
    Good luck with your department.
    Steve
    Last edited by cellblock; 09-08-2004 at 07:02 PM.

  5. #5
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    Much is dependent on the type of dept you are, and intend to become. If daytime response levels are low, consider working to cover those times. Where I volunteer, we started with two crews working 0600 - 2200 Mon - Fri. There were two shifts that rotated days. (MWF one week, TT the following week) worked out to 80 hrs. per payperiod. That gave those guys a flexible schedule, and covered us for the times we were short. We have since grown into a 24 on 48 off shift, 7 days a week.
    Remember you need 4 per company to do any good, and, as I pointed out in prior post, you will need to cover vacations and other times off, either with people (the best option in my opinion) or O/T.

  6. #6
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    Much more information is needed.

    How many shifts?
    How many units?
    Vacations?
    Medical leaves?
    ....

  7. #7
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    Around here (NW FL) a small town will have one full time paid worker - - not a paid FF. He will respond as a Volff if the paged during working hours, after hours it is up to him as with any vol ff.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

  8. #8
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    Default Staffing

    Sounds familiar in a sense. I worl full-time for a combination department in Wisconsin where we have 8 full-time 6 in the bargaining unit and 40+ POC's.

    Full-time work from 0600-1800 7 days a week, at 1800 POC staff report in and work until 0600.
    We used to be in your situation of 1 full-time on at a time staffing 1 engine co. with 1 person. Now we atleast staff 1 engine co. with 3 personnel. We cover 22.5 square miles and 20,000 residents major commercial/industrial area and fancy homes go figure.

    If you have more than 3 full-time firefighter's it is time for you to unionize. Contact the International Association of Firefighters IAFF.org and get the ball rolling. You need to be afforded the protection of securing your job and protecting the residents. Do not get me wrong we are lucky to have good POC's, I would prefer to be a completely full-time dept. but own Town Government has their head in the sand.

    If you would like more information feel free to let me know.

    Good Luck

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