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  1. #1
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    Smile Volunteer Training Attendance

    First of all...please don't tell me to use the search function. I tried that

    My Volunteer Department has historically used a "points" system for requiring attendance for annual membership. We are thinking about moving away from it, as most people feel that they have someone after them all the time.

    Here is my question...we were thinking about requiring the 24 hours of Continuing Education for Fire Training similar to what the State of IA might be trying. We were going to allow any type of documented training, as long as it fell into certain topics--sort of like your National Registry EMT hours having to be separated into certain subjects. Does anyone out there do this? What are the hour requirements that you have? What topics do you have...

    Here are a few that I thought of right off the bat...

    SCBA--4-8 hours annually
    Haz Mat Refresher--4-8 hours annually
    Driving--12 hours annually
    Live Fire-4 hours annually

    The problem is, it doesn't take long before our minimums exceed 24 hours, and we haven't even talked about ICS and other important stuff. Any help or pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tim


  2. #2
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    Well, if your getting attendance at training class, I wouldnt change a thing. You make it where they dont "have" to attend, and you'll be like our training nights.. the same 3-6 pple every month. just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    That's kind of what we're afraid of doing. We, too, have the same people there every month...we're looking at infusing a little more enthusiasm into the issue and maybe making people think that they are coming for another reason other than to check a box...

    Thanks for your input...

  4. #4
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    If i understand your question correctly, you are assuming that guys who don't attend drill will show up for special classes, some of which may require travel time?

  5. #5
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    Default Maybe, maybe not

    That is a possibility...right now, we have members that won't allow attendance points for those that actually travel (and spend their own money) and take classes on their own. I know, I know...it sounds stupid, but I'm sure everyone runs into a few rockheads on their department. Their rationale is that person should be helping with training at our own department. I'm trying to loosen the reigns a little bit so that those that attend everything (home and away) can get a little breathing room. I haven't been able to locate minimum training standards or what needs to be taught. Obviously, the quality of training is more important, but we need to document hours.

  6. #6
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    If you're going to require a certain amount of training, have you thought about going by ISO requirements?

    20 hrs Company Training
    12 hrs Officer Training
    240 hrs Recruit Training (may be way too much depending on your dept)
    40 hrs New Driver Training
    12 hrs Driver Training
    3 hrs Haz-Mat

    Might be a good place to start at least. If you do it right, you can combine some of the training into one class (i.e. Company and Driver training in one session).

  7. #7
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    I did see the ISO requirements...I thought that the 20 hours training was a monthly requirement. Do you know for sure?

  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I believe it's 20hours per month on structural firefighting training.
    "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?

  9. #9
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    For us, we have the OSHA mandated trainingthat if you don't go to you get fined by the dept. and the state won't let you be a structural firefighter. For this mandated training, we do the small requirements as the Chief's drill after our monthly meetings. Then for the bigger requirements, we do two super sundays. Plus we train once a week. If I read correctly, you guys do training once a month. We do our Officer's meeting/Driver training or pumping for the ffs on the first thurs, medical drill on the second thurs, fire/rescue on the third thurs and Member meeting/ Chief's drill on the last thurs. If there are five thurs. in a month we generally do a social night.
    Last edited by FFDCAR15; 07-12-2005 at 08:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    My department has training two times a month and we allow members of other departments to attend our sessions.We document the training received at other departments or our own for visitors with a"yellow sheet"required by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to officially count the training.
    The members that show up have to sign a roster personally and we have computerized records of who showed up for what training.
    To entice members to show up,our Chief fires up the grill,orders pizza or takes the herd out to dinner on the theory of "If you feed them,they will come".In the two years that I've belonged to Reidland Farley,we have never had fewer than 15 people at training.It might be the same people but the people that attend training are also the ones that roll out at 0darkthirty when we have a fully involved residential fire with occupants already evacuated.
    BTW,if anyone is in West Kentucky around Paducah next Monday(7-18),we're having a KSP arson investigator instruct the class on recognizing an arson fire and preserving the scene.
    The session will be held at the Farley station on 703 Oaks Road at 1800.Leave the Southside by John Puryear Highway going south and hang a left at Estes Lane.Coming up from I 24 exit 11,going North,make that a right at the used car lot there at Estes.

  11. #11
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    Our department has a points system. If you don't make 50 points per year, you're done. The points can be accumulated in ways other than training blocks. We train EVERY week to a specific curriculum (except for a 2 week holiday over Christmas), and get about 2/3 of the department each week. If you come to each training session and do NOTHING else, you make your points. Nobody complains of feeling as though somebody's after them.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber BVFD1983's Avatar
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    We have to make 20 training sessions a year out of 80 available.
    Last edited by BVFD1983; 01-20-2006 at 09:08 PM.

  13. #13
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    I just recently was promoted to training officer on a small rural vol. department. Attendance has always been a problem. It's usually the same 10-15 people that attend. The bad thing is, even the people that don't attend training tend to show up when the big fires or accidents occur. It's kind of the "Good Ol Boy" mentality. "I don't need to attend training, I've been on this department for 20 years." Luckily and maybe not so luckily, I often end up acting as Safety Officer.

    I've been talking with some other Training Officers locally trying to figure out what we need to change to get people to show up and learn. Most are using an incentive program (points program). The ones having the best luck also have a penality for not meeting the requirements. As far as the points go, at the end of the year, the points are tallied and a check or gas ticket is issued. There are max limits set on the rewards though. I don't think checks are that good of an idea. Afterall, we are volunteers. The gas tickets are sounding better all the time though with the way gas prices are climbing.

  14. #14
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    We hold trainingís every Thursday except for the third which I sour business meeting. And Sundays as a make up day. We require 7 trainingís a quarter. If you do not make the 7 trainingís then you are not aloud on the truck till they are made up. (Which means if you are down by two when you make two the next quarter then you can get back on the truck.) We have only had two guys not make training one quite did not have the time. Second one made it up. This is what the membership wants. It has been brought up at two meetings to cut it back by one member and the membership speaks. Good luck hope all works out well. Never be afraid to return to the basics.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  15. #15
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    We have practice every Monday except for the third, thatís meeting night. A member must make at least one practice a month or they can't respond to calls. The only exception to that rule is if you are taking a class. You also must make at least one meeting every 3 months or you can't vote.

    We also have point systems going. The first relates to the special fund setup for retirement. You have to make 10% of Fire and Rescue calls to get 25 points and you get points for practices and other things. You need 50 points total to have 700 dollars deposited into your retirement account.
    This is my opinion and in no way represtents the opinion of my department.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Afterall, we are volunteers
    Bob Moran is rolling in his jail cell.

    Remember, guys volunteered to join. They volunteered to follow the rules of your department. They don't volunteer to train. They follow the rules or not. It might be your life that depends on them getting the training.
    "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?

  17. #17
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    The Commonwealth of Kentucky also throws in some incnetive to maintain your departments training. For the vollies if half is IFSAC I and maintain 20 hours of training a year the department get $8250 a year from the commonwealth (last I heard). The nice part of this is that our fire commission offers low (close to no) interest loans up to $100,000 for equipment (it has to be on a list.) With a little thinking you can roll your annual training incentive into the loan and get $100,000 with little work. Not too bad. Draw back is falsiflying training records to get the incentive money if found during an audit can lead to being charged with a felony, theft by deception of over $300 (I'm not a cop so I am not certain of the exact number.)

    A combination department I was with before heading south had a training program set up where they covered the basics first and then the more advanced topics later. You had to attend certain required topics to maintain an interior firefighter status. For most that was incentive enough to keep training up. The last thing you wanted to see was your helmet with the large rockers on the side saying "Support."

  18. #18
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    Actually, there is an old saying that I've heard that really should be adhered to in the Volunteer Fire Service.

    "You only volunteer twice in the fire service." "Once to join and once to leave, the rest is mandatory."

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