1. #1
    IACOJ - Proud member.

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    Default "bunk in" or "Live in" Program questions

    Basically, in a nut shell, we as a department recently purchased a house next door to one of our stations. A bunch of the younger members are pretty intent on getting a bunk-in program up and running. Thereís a lot of issues we are working out, and the Department has empowered the guys wanting to live in the house with coming up with rules / regulations / policies / etc.

    We are looking at requiring daily maintenance & housekeeping duties at the 2 stations, as well as being available for calls when at the station & house. At this point, I donít think weíre leaning towards a dedicated ďduty timeĒ, but as the program progresses, this may be added to.

    I guess what Iím looking for is information from other volunteer departments out there that have successfully run a program like this. Most of the info Iíve been able to get my hands on is for departments that run a bunk in program that caters to college students. Any input would be greatly appreciated, and because this is new to us, Iím sure that no matter how trivial the information may seem to you, to us it could make the difference between a good plan and a great plan.

    You can either post links & input on this message string, or email me directory at james.bator@hopewellfire.org



    Thanks in advance.
    Chief Jim Bator
    www.hopewellfire.org

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  2. #2
    unrepentant fool
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    The guys at Kentland (http://www.kentland33.com/) have a live-in program that doesn't necessarily seem focused around colege students. Maybe you could communicate with some of their folks and get some SOG/policy/regulation ideas.

  3. #3
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    Pretty much any Volunteer Company in Suburban Maryland has a live-in program. Yeah, Kentland is one of them....but there are 40 or so other stations that see more fire duty in the county. Some of you should really disregard the hype of their website. Do any of you know that there are actually two Kentland Stations? 33 and 46. Company 46 is Engine/Ambo only and is staffed 80% by career staff. I guess that 100% Volunteer Myth is debunked.

    Most places add private or semi-private areas for live-in members to reside. Some have high speed internet and separate phone connections and cable TV, and some just have open bunk areas but fill-up because of the Amount of Fire Duty they get. I have learned that if it burns, they will come. Most companies that have a BLS Ambulance also have two or three career firefighters assigned around the clock. My station utilizes those two career firefighters to staff the Ambulance after 1500 hours. The Fire Suppression Apparatus is staffed mostly by Volunteers.

    It is a good program, it decreases your response time, creates a more family-oriented atmosphere and motivates your guys to wanna be at the station more. It also helps the younger guys save some money for the future, while keeping your apparatus staffed for free.

    It's always good to have at least one live-in Officer. I would say One Officer for every four live-ins. It keeps them on their toes and more accountable knowing their is some authority around. Having a Chief or Captain who does not live in and may come in only one or two nights a week ordering around a live-in who is there 5 nights a week is kind of a morale buster. It also keeps things balanced.

    JJBat150, I think that if your department chooses to do this you will see great improvement in alot of areas. I don't know your department, but I know all departments can improve like the next one.

    Good Luck...and check around the Suburban Maryland/DC/Baltimore Area...ask them what they do. See if it fits your department.

    Here are some good ones:

    Arbutus VFD- Baltimore County
    Savage VFD- Howard County
    Laurel VFD- PG County
    Laurel VRS- PG County
    Berwyn Heights VFD- PG County
    Kentland VFD- PG County
    Hyattsville VFD- PG County
    Seat Pleasant VFD- PG County
    Rockville VFD- Montgomery County
    Kensington VFD- Montgomery County

    All of these places are easily accessible on the web or by phone.

    Good Luck.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  4. #4
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    Well I lived at my firehouse on two different occasions, for 1 year each time. We have a guy there who has been there for 7 or 8 years (that is toooo long). You need to make sure that you come up with guidelines that are acceptable to the department and the live-ins. We had to be there available for staffing 4 nights of the week by 10pm. My department (3 Stations) staffs 3 engines, 1 truck or Squad, 1 medic and one basic every night from 6pm to 6am and all weekend. The live-ins are used to primarily supplement the people who can't make it in or have to leave early for one reason or another. As a live-in we had to clean the restrooms, and the bunkrooms. We were not allowed to have Female visitors in the male bunk rooms and vice-versa. We also had to maintain a regular duty crew one night a week so essentially we were on duty 5 nights a week. It was great when I was single.

    One thing to watch out for is "life time" live-ins. When someone lives at the fire house too long, has no real life outside of it and hardly maintains a job,(the rent is free, who needs much $$) it can make for a messed up person. The firehouse is a great place for college age kids to live while in school, or young single adults starting out, even for adults who are getting divorced or something like that. BUT NOT A PLACE TO SET UP PERMANENT RESIDNECE, when you start getting mortgage offers in your name at the firehouse it might be time to move.

    You need some sort of set Deadline time for live-ins to be there. If not you will never see them when you need them. We only regulate it when we have problems the rest of the time no one really keeps tabs but it's easy to tell when someone is slacking.

    Good Luck

  5. #5
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    What state are you in JJBat150?
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  6. #6
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    We have a live-in program, and I am one of the two personell in the program.
    Basically the "live-ins" are required to keep the station clean, the trucks clean and in good shape, and of course make every run while on station.

    So far it is going okay, but it could be better.
    I was the first firefighter asked to live on station, and so far I've really benifited from it. I enjoy making all the fire runs that I do, and I like have no rent or living expenses.
    The rest of the department knows that they can count on me and the other live in to make the 3AM first-responder calls, and the Cheif trusts me with making sure reports are filled out, keeping run logs, and other such duties.

    If you have the right people, it can be an excellent asset to the department. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me @ whaddya_Say@hotmail.com or JaredMTFD@firehousemail.com

  7. #7
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    I found this a very interesting arangement for such a small town (4,500) and a small community college. If they can do it you should be able to. http://www.montourfallsfd.org/Bunker.htm
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
    Possumtown V.F.C.

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