Mandatory Training for Volunteers
How do you guys and gals feel about mandatory trainings, being told that you have to attend a training, even though you're a volunteer?
Here's the story:
I set up a mandatory training and sent out letters to our members over a week ago explaining that we needed to take the online NIMS course, that in order to receive federal funds all members have to be certified in the IS700 course, and that they must attend or contact me to reschedule if they can't make it. If they did not attend and we're awarded, they'll be made inactive. I guess it wrinkled a few members' panties (no pun intended) and I'm catching the heat. Most of the members on our department don't come around anymore unless it's the middle of the night and a working structure fire. And a handful of them think it's appropriate to run to the chief or assistant chief to complain instead of being mature and coming to me. Sure, it's great to tell people that you're a firefighter, wear the PPE and feel like superman, but how dare anyone tell them that they should come to the station every now and then to make sure they stay familiar with running the pumps (which has bit us in the ***** in the past). Now I'm hearing that it was a little brash, we're having trouble keeping people on the department and should not be sending out such strong demanding letters and running them off completely. The letter of course was approved by the officers prior to the mailing.
Why would I set up a mandatory training for something that isn't required until next summer? Good question. They're lazy and wouldn't attend if they had an option. If you give them an inch they'll go a mile, and I'm not allowing anyone to slack off. The IS700 is so easy a monkey could do it. The officers allow members to not show up, even though it breaches bylaws and shrug it off when someone questions attendance issues or problems like this arise. I asked my assistant chief this morning if $330,000 was worth losing someone who A) doesn't show up anyway, and B) complain all of the time.
You must know that I'm a little upset and truly love the guys on my department. But it's very frustrating to me, the one who researched, studied information and wrote the grant.
Would you risk losing a grant or a member who doesn't even participate? Please guide me.