Thread: Need Help!!!!

  1. #1
    Forum Member
    nyckftbl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    On a Hill, overlooking George's Kingdom

    Question Need Help!!!!

    Our dept is trying to convince our local high school to add a few areas of study involving either volunteer EMS or volunteer fire. ( Much like FDNY's new high school that opened up)
    WE are trying to get young people interested in joining, otherwise within the next 6 or 8 years est. Our county is going to have to start considering paid departments. Now I have no problem with a paid dept, im as union as the next guy. But until that time comes, we need adequate staffing. In order to convince the school board that this course of study would help, I want to explain how much it would cost to switch from all volunteer to either a combination or fully paid dept. How do I even start going about collecting this kind of data?? HELP !!!!

  2. #2
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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Devil's Advocate time. Just because you get high school kids interested does not mean you will get any new members. They may go to college and leave the area. They may get jobs that require travel and leave the area. They may simply move away.

    Other you have an Explorer program and/or Junior program? That does not require the school to do anything and can get the kids interested. Are there that many kids in school that would be interested to make this a reality?

    If things are that tight that a few high school kids are what will keep you from needing paid department...get ready, it's going that way anyhow. In the time it takes for the high school kids to become regualar active members, you will probably lose some other senior members so it would probably balance out in the end.

    However, any program intended to bring new members in is usually worth trying. Every little bit helps. Good Luck!

    As for cost analysis, figure 4 man engines and trucks at least. Don't settle for less. 3 shifts. Figure in some extra for vacations/sick leave/call backs/OT/etc. Check some nearby paid departments for average salary and calculate away. We did ours a few years ago. We average 10-14 FF's per call. Was somewhere near $1 million a year to keep same coverage. Our total budget right now is under $100k.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Jun 2002


    I commend you on you desire to attract potential volunteers, but I don't believe this should be a responsibility of the local high school. The schools around here have more funding problems than the fire departments and there is no way that you would be able to sell a new program when they are cutting existing programs and laying off teachers.

    We do have some regional vocational schools with programs like the one you described. I believe this is a better approach since they draw from a larger area and would have a larger pool of candidates.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Great Plains


    I'm going to play devil's advocate too. . . .

    I would rather have kids in high school learning things that would lead them to going to college or to landing them a better paid job. I would not want them taking up high school time learning how to volunteer. This is a city problem and not a school board problem so I take issue with trying to tax an already average at best education system.

    My suggestion: Start an explorer program or ask the HS to let you come in for some PR events or some recruiting events, but leave the education alone.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Diane E's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)

    Thumbs up

    Our High School students have to do some community service in order to graduate and joining the Junior Fire Explorers is one way to earn the "credits" (I don't know the full details of the system). We've had some come in, fulfill the credits and leave and we've had some (probably most) join the dept. when the turn the right age.

    I think it's a good idea, keeps kids from doing other "things", exposes them to the fire service (we don't have an ambulance, so they're not exposed to that EMS portion), and maybe gives them an idea about a job in a paid dept. somewhere (like the FDNY) -- not all kids are college bound and forcing them to learn something they don't want to learn just frustrates them!

    This was in today's NVFC e-mail newsletter:

    NVFC Foundation Releases Volunteer Cost Savings Study & Calculator

    WASHINGTON, DC -- On September 10, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Foundation officially released its Cost Savings Study and Calculator at the National Associations of Towns and Townships conference in Washington, DC. The study, which was conducted by the Public Safety and Environmental Protection Institute at St. Joseph's University with the assistance of VFIS, found that it would cost American taxpayers $37.2 billion annually if we had to replace all volunteer firefighters nationwide with career staffing.

    Besides determining the national savings that volunteers provide, the NVFC Foundation developed tools that will determine the local cost savings provided by the volunteer fire department. Local departments can use the cost-savings calculator and PowerPoint presentation to then educate their city/town councils, fire department boards, local civic groups, etc. regarding the value their department provides to the community. Furthermore, these cost-savings figures can help make the case for the need for local, state and Federal investment in the volunteer fire service.

    St Joseph’s Public Safety and Environmental Protection Institute, located in Philadelphia, offers a Master's Degree in Public Safety. All of the students and faculty who participated in the project are volunteer firefighters. The study was made possible by a grant from UBS, through the efforts of Mr. Dave Rogers.

    To download the cost-savings calculator, PowerPoint and study, go to:
    Last edited by DianeC; 09-15-2004 at 05:39 PM.
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