I am the training officer for a small suburban volunteer dept. in NY. We currently have about 80 members on the roster, but only 15 or so show up for our biweekly drills. But god knows when we get a job 45 guys who havent trained in years show up. My question is, does anyone have any ideas to motivate these people to show up? Im sick of hearing the excuse, well its a volunteer dept, i dont need to spend all my time down there.
In our depts bilaws, you only have to make 50 credits a year, which include runs, meetings, drills, parades, etc. We usually do about 300 runs a year, but that number has been steadily rising. Any ideas?
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09-13-2004, 10:16 AM #1
09-13-2004, 10:28 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
Well .... are ya looking to motivate or force ?
The reality of the situation is that most of those who are not showing up WILL NOT show up unless they are forced to. A few years ago the leadership of the volunteer fire department I used to run with in VT made a decision that 25 people who show up for training are better than 50 who might. So they made training mandatory ... with the penalty being members were kicked off the department if they didn't attend. Personnally I think this is the way to go ...
But ... motavations can include yearly placques at the station honoring those who make a high training % .... a subtle decoration on the uniform .. preferance in terms of truck or station assignments .. preferance in terms of attending events such as conventions and seminars ... gift certificates for dinners, etc. to those who make 100% for a designated period (3,6 months etc)... nad taking officer posistions AWAY from anyone who does not seem to think that training is important enough to be there.
Just my thoughts.
09-13-2004, 01:38 PM #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
- New York
Lafireducator those are some good ideas. However I have seen similar problems in my dept. Luckilly I"m not an officer. But I don't like the idea of having to "bait" guys to come down to drill by giving them rewards. We have our normal guys that come down and drill religiously and we have a great time. Very serious during the drill and we have lots of fun BSing and stuff afterwards. More importantly the guys that come down because they WANT to are the ones that absorb all the training and can apply it when it really counts and those are the guys that I want to be with!!!! If you want to learn come down and learn but if you want to come down to the FH and lollygag get the hell out of the way at a fire because the guys that know whats going on will push you right out of the way. I think it's also moral and commradery and a willingness to learn is what makes drills good.
09-13-2004, 02:06 PM #4
On our department, regular members are required to attend at least 25% of all drills and meetings and 15% of all calls during each 6 month period (January through June and July through December). Probies are required to attend at least 50% of all drills and meetings, 80% of the probie drills (4th Wednesday of the month) and 15% of all calls (we are, however, strongly encouraged to attend everything). Reserve members are required to attend at least 6 drills, 25% of all meetings and 8% of all calls.
In addtion, certain drills, such as the First Responder Operations refresher, are mandatory and anyone who misses has to make it up.
The Department Secretary checks the numbers (drills, meetings and calls) for all department members every 6 months and for probies every 3 months and provides a report to each Captain II for the members on their crew. Any member not in compliance is given a written warning letter and is required to meet with their Captain II and a chief officer monthly until their numbers are back up. If the member doesn't get their numbers back up during the next 6 month period, they can be suspended or terminated from the department.
Members can request a leave of absence for injury, military service or personal reasons, during which time they are not required to meet any of their numbers obviously. Military and injury leaves are indefinate. Personal leaves can be up to 3 months in length, but a member can take up to 2 leaves back-to-back (for a total of 6 months). Requests for personal leaves must be voted on by the regular members with a majority vote.Chris Gaylord
Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD
09-14-2004, 12:06 AM #5
Thanx for your help guys. I agree it is kind of hard to force guys to show up, and god knows firefighters resist change harder than anyone. Atleast now I think i can work out some kind of ideas. thanx again.
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