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  1. #1
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    Default Getting along with other organizations

    Ok, here's something to converse about. Our local civic organization had a spaghetti dinner and the procedes went to our volunteer ff association. Well it was a pretty successful night, except for 1 comment made by the scout leader. He said he didn't know why we needed money, we were a volunteer department, why did we need the money. Well it turned out we made around $1000. While it is VERY appreciated, that's 1 set of bunker gear, less helmet. We didn't make a scene but one of the civic organization leaders overheard the comment and was somewhat aggrivated by it, as they sponsor this particular scout troop, give them a place to meet, and send them to numerous camps throughout the year. We found this out when one of our chiefs went to them expressing that he did not want any hard feeling between anyone and asked if anything needed to be done to "smooth" things over.
    I guess my question is, why is it that we try so hard to work with people and generate a positive attitude for the department and you always get people like this????
    It's just frustrating.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    I know why people are like that...........and you may not like my answer ..........but part of this is your departments fault. Did you tell the scout person that was complaining aobut the cost of the gear ? Does HE know it costs 1000-1500 per FF to outfit them ? You need to take it to the community if you want some finacial gain, show them what you need , why you need it, how it benefits them and show them how you plan to spend you earnigs/levy monies.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd have to agree with Weruj1, the department needs to get out in the community and tell them what they do, and what it takes to do it. I know our department doesn't do it enough. Yet its frustrating and I know what your goin through.

  4. #4
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting along with other organizations

    Originally posted by mwachter
    He said he didn't know why we needed money, we were a volunteer department, why did we need the money.
    so tell him why!!!!! just because the firefighters don't get paid, doesn't mean you don't have to pay for training, fuel, tools, gear, insurance, uniforms, heating/electricity for the firehouse, etc.

    some people don't understand it. especially if you are totally donation run. it's your job (and every departments) to educate them on why you need the money.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  5. #5
    Forum Member firefightergtp's Avatar
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    Well, in my department, we received a complaint from a local citizen a year or so ago complaining that firefighters were washing their personal cars while on duty. She was then informed that we are a full volunteer organization. She said she had lived up here for 15 years, and had no idea we were a fully volunteer. You have to make sure that the public knows exactly how much it costs for expenses for the department. People think fire gear is a few hundred bucks. When they here it costs about 1200 for a full set of mediocre gear, the reality of it hits them.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    some people don't understand it.
    and some departments don't understand they have to educate the public. We can be our own worst enemies. If you have John Q Public not understanding the costs and efforts involved with operating your department, you are failing. We need to "sell" ourselves to the public. Newspaper articles, appearances (and information) at public events. We're not to be hiding behind our doors, get out there and let the public know what is going on, what it takes, and what you do. An educated public will be more willing to support you and more willing to join you.
    "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?

  7. #7
    Forum Member FFTide's Avatar
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    I read this quote yeasterday reading the article on charging for our services and thought it was very appropriate.

    "Just because we're volunteer, doesn't mean the equipment is free"

    I think this is a popular misconception of the public. Our trucks and equipment didn't just come from no where.

    Tide
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
    Possumtown V.F.C.

  8. #8
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    Default

    thanks for the input, you're right, our first instinct is to get defensive. But I can see the need for more "open houses" or participation in public events. Often we show them the equipment, explain what it does and how it works. But we seldom explain how much it costs to keep these things working or men outfitted.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    At our annual fire prevention fairs, we layout all the equipment and have members nearby to explain what it's for and such. One year, we put price tags on everything so people could see what it all cost.
    "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?

  10. #10
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    ditto Bones ............. we do the same .....get a member or a manequin dressed and apply the tags .........
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    For years our Dept had open houses, info nights etc. There was very little attendance so we gave them up.
    In the past we had poor working relations with the (Private) ambulance and the RCMP. There was a perception that we were a bunch a hick-type joes that screamed around in BRT.

    We have made some changes: We offer as much info to John Q. Public as we possibly can. We have a fundraiser dance. To get to past the inner door to the dance you must get past equipment and easels which portray the year's past calls. It serves to prod memories: Remember when those 5 kids wrapped Dad's truck around a pole? WE WERE THERE FOR THEM...that kind of deal.
    We also make it a point to support other agencies fundraisers. We tell them that we make it a priority too. We invite them to our private functions, also. We say "Hi" to them on the street. We invite them to participate in our public info. sessions. Eg: Senior's Safety.
    And sometimes, if our training books are left open for them to just happen to see at the station....well, maybe we're not just a bunch of hicks after all.

    These little changes have gone a long way to shaping positive public perception about our little FD. And I'm always open to ideas for further improvement.

  12. #12
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    Aint nothin wrong with bein a Hick.

  13. #13
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    We can be our own worst enemies.
    Amen to that one brother!

    Departments need to promote why they need funding, but at the same time, departments also need to be careful that they're not seen as wasting the money on unnecessary expenses....
    Luke

  14. #14
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    Default

    I do not know if any one is familiar with this website, if not, you should check it out: http://www.volunteerfd.org There is a really good article there about "Marketing your department", that is directed towards volunteers.

  15. #15
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    Because many people are now using the internet, creating a page on the FD webpage that shows the costs of various pieces of equipment might not be a bad idea either.

    While doing a presentation for our council about the FIRE Act grant last year, I gave a list of the needed equipment and expected costs to the public in attendance as well and heard that some were shocked at the costs.

    Marketing the FD is a continuous job, just keep at it.

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