1. #1
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    Default Yearly Awards / Recognition

    Looking for some input from other volunteer departments. I'd like to get a feel for what some other departments do for awards or recognition of its firefighters. I know there are departments who hold yearly banquets etc...and often recognize firefighters for service above and beyond the call, most active for the year, length of service etc.... Just want to get a feel for what other departments do. I'm looking for ideas for our department. We have a very active, very progressive department, and I'd like to find a better way to say "Thanks!!". Some of my firefighters do a tremendous amount for the department, I feel I/we/the department owe them a little something? We have a "Christmas" banquet every year (although its usually after new years), but our banquet has always been a very informal event, usually a meal at one of the local steak houses. We havn't been eating as a group either, more of a come when you can stay as long as you like type thing. Pretty much amounts to the department buying the firefighter and spouse dinner and a drink.

    I'd like to at least start by having some type of recognition for firefighters that donated a huge amount of their time for calls, training, work nights, etc...and maybe some length of service type stuff. What does everyone else do? What type of gift or award do you give? plaque? ??? trophy ... the gold watch???

    Any and all (well mostly all) ideas are welcomed and appreciated.

    Thank You!!!
    Rick Gustad - Chief
    Platte Volunteer Fire Department
    www.plattevfd.com

  2. #2
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    We normally have a Christmas/holiday banquet during the first part of December. The auxiliary cooks a huge meal, and everyone brings something to add. After the meal we have a small awards ceremony. The awards include most fire training, most ems training, most calls responded to, firefighter of the year, rookie of the year, years of service and a few fun ones. This year they started giving out really nice embroidered fleece vests and jackets as awards.

  3. #3
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    Recognition wise, LOSAP and free annual dinner which is a fairly formal event.

    Social wise to improve morale, summer family picninc, superbowl party (steak and wings), group trips to hockey games (minor league this year), group trips to minor league baseball games, softball team, family Christmas dinner, St. Patricks party, every other month or so we have a poker night.

    Does it improve ff skills? No, but it gets them down to the firehouse in a relaxed environment and that allows guys to get to know each other. That then leads to building trust and working as a team, so...it may not improve skills, but it builds the foundation to use and trust those skills.
    "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?

  4. #4
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    We do an awards dinner every year in November. Its a "joint" event between the Department and the Volunteer Firefighters Association. All current and retired members and their guest are invited, along with a few VIPs (City Council members and City management). Cost is picked up jointly by the Department (through the City budget) and the Association. Dinner varies, but this year was an Italian buffet. And yes, there's an open bar. One crew is designated as being on duty and doesn't partake, and the other two can relax. In the past, its been based on the normal duty schedule, but this year was decided by a competitive drill.

    The dinner is usually held at "The Villa" at Alverno HS here in town. The Villa is the former residence of Dr. Walter Barlow (founder of Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium) and is a recreation of an actual Italian villa near Florence. Its frequently used as a setting for movies and television shows (True Lies, The Princess Diaries, Legally Blond). Makes for a very nice setting.

    The Association gives various thank you gifts for members who held office or chaired events like the Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast. The Department gives three awards: the EMS Award for the FF/EMT who staffed the ambulance the most, the Utility Award for the FF who staffed the utility truck the most, and Firefighter of the Year, which generally goes to the FF who did most during the year. Each award winner gets a plaque (there's also a perpetual plaque at the station for Firefighter of the Year) and a gift of some sort (this year was a GPS unit).

    FFs also receive service awards at the dinner. Usually, this is just a 5-year pin for their dress uniform, though for certain long term anniverseries (like the FF who hit 30 years this year), they get something else in addition like a mini-badge.

    Most members wear dress uniform, though some wear dressy civilian clothes instead (particularly a few of the female FFs). The duty crew usually wears their station uniforms.

    Individual crews also occasionally do gifts for probies when they finish their probie year. On my crew, its tradition for the probie (or probies) to have a dinner party for the crew (the probie has to cook something), and the crew usually gives the probie a tool roll embroidered with their name and filled with various handtools.

    We also have a Christmas dance each year, but that's more of a public event and fundraiser for the Association rather than recognition for members.
    Last edited by SafetyPro; 01-08-2005 at 07:51 PM.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  5. #5
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    We have an annual Firefighter of the Year Banquet. It is usually held sometime in January or February at a semi-local banquet hall. It is catered and everything is paid for with FF's Association money. We do, however, charge $7.50/person to pay for the alcohol and offset some of the other costs.

    We give out awards for FF of the year, most fire runs, most EMS runs, most total calls, and years of service awards (in 5 year increments). We also give out some gag gifts and do a couple powerpoint slideshows and/or videos with pictures from the past year put to music.........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    We have a Chirstmas party, we recognize FF of the Year, retiring members and if we had a sucessful cardiac arrest save, we do that as well. Also during this time we give our annual donation to ACBC (Aluminum Cans for Burned Children) and any other charity we decide to. We have a catered prime rib dinner, DJ and it goes for about 3 hours and costs 25.00/couple.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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