Live-In Program will provide faster, stronger response to emergencies
(Tuesday, 05 April 2005) -
The Shepherdstown Fire Department is launching a new Live-In program that will provide participants with free and
reasonable living accommodations in return for responding on emergency calls, aiding in fundraising, and providing daily
house duties to ensure readiness for emergency response. Renovations to accommodate semi-private rooms are
scheduled to begin by the end of April and hopes are high that participants will be moving in by fall 2005.
In the spring of 2004, the members of the Shepherdstown Fire Department voted overwhelmingly to develop the Live-In
program which will provide better service to the community they serve by quickening response time and increasing the
number of personnel that respond to calls for fire and medical emergencies. In addition to emergency response, program
participants will help with duties within the fire station, fund raisers, and public education projects.
In recent years, the Shepherdstown Fire Department has seen firsthand the nationwide trend that volunteer fire
departments across the country are facing including lack of volunteers and participation. With increasing cost and time
requirements for training, fundraising, and responding on emergency calls, a large demand was being put on the small
group of dedicated volunteers.
As a result, in August of 2003 a new Membership Committee was formed and given the task of recruitment and retention.
“We were seeing more and more delayed responses and were also seeing our number of active members dwindling,” said
Ross Morgan, Assistant Fire Chief and Membership Committee Chairman. “We knew we had to come up with a program
that would not only help recruit new volunteers, but would also help our response to emergency calls, and this program
seemed to fit perfectly.”
After several months of researching similar programs across the nation, a plan was formed by the committee and taken
to the membership for approval. The plan to allow personnel to live at the firehouse with many amenities of home was
overwhelmingly passed. “We anticipate cutting our response time by several minutes by having trained personnel living at
the firehouse,” said Andrew Arnold, Live-In Program Coordinator. “The Live-In member gets free room and board, the fire
department gets help with station duties, fund raisers, and emergency calls, and the community gets a quicker response
with more trained personnel to their emergency. It’s a win-win situation for all.”
The Live-In program does not come without expense. The fire department is investing $150,000 to build new dormitory
style rooms into the firehouse. There will be five semi-private rooms with accommodations for up to 2 people per room,
10 participants in total. There will be a kitchen and lounge as well as male and female bathrooms. Participants will be
provided electric, cable TV, local phone service, washer and dryer, and a private study area with internet access. “We
think this program will be very popular for students at Shepherd University and the CTC in Martinsburg.” said Morgan.
Proceeds from a recent land sale are being used to fund the project. “We could have held on to that land and made more
money in the future,” Arnold said, “but the membership has sacrificed that investment in order to better serve the
community. We are a community supported fire department that does not receive a lot of money from the government.
We view everything that we own as being that of the community, not of the fire department. Therefore we feel we owe it
to the community to step up our service delivery, because the community has given and continues to give us great
“We still have to furnish the rooms though,” says Golda Kiger, Firefighter/EMT and Membership Committee Member. “We
are looking for room sponsorship from groups such as businesses, civic organizations and homeowners’ associations to
cover the cost of the furniture for our live-in members.” In return for sponsorship, a placard will be placed on the door of
that room identifying the sponsor. The participants occupying that room will be the liaison between the sponsoring group
and the fire department. “in order to make it more appealing for a group to sponsor a room, we want to offer a service as
well,” said Kiger, “If anybody in the sponsoring group wants or needs anything, a CPR class, a battery changed in their
smoke detector, or simply to bring their child by the fire station to look at the trucks, all they have to do is call their live-in
“I am very proud of the membership and the work that Andrew and Golda have done on this project,” Said Morgan, “This is
just another example of our peoples’ dedication to the community.”
For more information on the program or how to apply, contact Ross Morgan at (304) 876-2150, the Shepherdstown Fire
Department at (304) 876-2311.
(Monday, 21 March 2005) -
In striving to provide the highest quality and most efficient emergency response to our community, the Shepherdstown
Fire Department has developed a Live-In Program that will benefit the individual member, the Shepherdstown Fire
Department, and the community we serve.
The Shepherdstown Fire Department is investing $150,000 in renovations to accommodate semi-private rooms which will
provide the live-in member with free and reasonable living accommodations and many of the “comforts of home” in return
for responding on emergency calls, aiding in fundraising, and providing daily house duties and checklists to ensure
readiness for emergency response. ELIGIBILITY
Participation is open to current and prospective members of the Shepherdstown Fire Department who meet the following
- Must be 19 years of age or older.
- Must have a valid Driver's License.
- Must be certified as a WV EMT-B or higher OR be certified to the Firefighter I level.
- Must have valid CPR, first aid (if not EMT-First Responder or higher), and Hazardous Materials Awareness training.
- Must be enrolled as a full time student in a college or university OR Be enrolled as a part time student in a college or
university and have part or full time employment OR Have full time employment.
- Must have personal mode of transportation.
LIVE-IN MEMBER REQUIREMENTS:
- Each Live-In must maintain their own mailing address. (ie. PO Box). SFD will not be responsible for Live-In Members'
- Each Live-In must maintain their own personal mode of transportation. SFD vehicles are not for personal use.
- Each Student Live-In must maintain a Full-Time Student Status (12 or more credit hours), or Part-Time Student Status
and a Part-Time Job (>19 hours per week). Each Student Live-In must maintain a 2.5 GPA.
- Each Member Live-In must maintain a Full-Time Job (>35 hours per week).
- Each Live-In is required to secure his or her personal property. SFD highly suggests recording anything of value
(description, serial numbers, model numbers, etc.) and supplying that list to the Coordinator.
- Drugs and/or alcohol WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. No Live-In may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol on SFD
property at any time. This includes social functions. The Live-In may be dismissed from the program if they have been
found to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or they have used tobacco in “No-Tobacco” areas.
- If a Live-In is convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or traffic violation (not to include parking tickets), or has pleads guilty
or no contest to a misdemeanor, felony, or traffic violation (not to include parking tickets), that member must submit a
written report of the incident to the Coordinator.
- Personal phone calls will be made on the Live-In telephone line, not on department lines. Each Live-In must provide
their own long distance telephone service.
- A Live-In may reside at the fire station for four years, provided that the Live-In has continually met the requirements set
forth. After four years, the Live-In must reapply to the program.
- Each Live-In must respond on emergency calls for which they are qualified and needed. It will be the discretion of the
individual Live-In on whether or not they will respond on a call that may conflict with obligations to school, work, religion,
or military. The Live-In must utilize the call board.
- Each Live-In is required to work a minimum of 50% of SFD Fund Raisers in a given month. Exceptions will be made for
school, work, religious, or military obligations on an individual basis.
- Each Live-In is required to take on one “project” within each semester (based on Shepherd College schedule). The
project must be approved by the Coordinator. A project is defined as any activity that, as a whole, will benefit the
individual, the department and the community. A project will take reasonable amounts of planning, time, and resources,
which show that the Live-In has taken leadership and responsibility. Examples may include fund raisers, computerized
inventory of equipment, or community fire prevention programs. SFD will not limit project topics to allow for the creativity
of the individual Live-In.
- Each Live-In who is qualified as a firefighter must obtain their WV EMT-B status within one year of beginning the
- Each Live-In who is qualified as an EMT-B or higher must obtain their firefighter status within one year of beginning the
- Each Live-In is required to give one full weekend a month to respond on emergency calls. This period will extend from
1800 hours on Friday to 1800 hours on Sunday. Exemptions may be made for education, work, religious or military
obligations. (Student Live-In's on official school breaks are exempt during that period.)
- Each Live-In will be responsible for assigned daily duties, assigned weekly duties, and assigned monthly duties. These
duty assignments will be listed on the call board.
- Each Live-In is required to attend the regular monthly meeting, unless exempt due to school, work, religion, or military
obligations, or they are on school break. They must sign out on the call board if they are unable to attend.
- Each Live-In will be exempt from the following Operational Guidelines: Chapter 3, Section V, A,B,D,E,H,L; Chapter 3,
SectionVII, A; Chapter 3, Section VIII, A; Chapter 4, Section IA , 1; Chapter 4, Section VI. Failure to adhere to the above
requirements may result in suspension or expulsion from the program. Action will be determined by the Interview Panel
http://www.svfd.us - Shepherdstown Fire Department Powered by Mambo Generated: 19 October, 2005, 10:02
and the determination is not subject to appeal.
LIVE-IN MEMBER BENEFITS:
Shepherdstown Fire Department will provide the following to all program participants:
- Reasonable sleeping accommodations, to include a bunk, dresser/locker, and desk.
- A separate Live-In telephone line with local service.
- Bathroom and shower facilities.
- A washer and dryer.
- A kitchen facility that includes at a minimum, a refrigerator/freezer, a sink, a microwave oven, and a stove top/oven, as
well as basic food preparation and eating utensils.
- Basic Cable TV.
- Computer and internet capabilities. SFD has a right to monitor usage.
- Cleaning and maintenance materials that will be needed for the Live-In to perform their duties.
- A weekly call board to show Live-In availability and schedule.
- Checklists for daily, weekly, and monthly duties.
- SFD will provide a suggestion box, specific to the program, for Live-In and Non-Live-In Members. The Recruitment and
Retention Committee will evaluate the suggestions and the program on at least a bi-monthly basis. There will be a
comprehensive annual review done of the program and the Participants. Interested? Read on to learn how to apply!
If an applicant is not currently a member of SFD, Application to the Live-In program will double as application for SFD
membership. Preference will be given to applicants who already hold an SFD membership.
Step 1 - Announcement Period: An official written announcement will be made and posted in the fire station, on our
website and at any other location deemed suitable, which may include public places, Shepherd College , media outlets,
etc. The announcement will give instructions on how to receive an application and a copy of the eligibility requirements.
Step 2 - Make Application: You may download the application at the bottom of this page. Near the application link you will
find an announcement status indicating whether the announcement period is currently open and, if so, the closing date.
Applicant will fill out completely, the Live-In Program Application and turn the application into the Live-In Program
Coordinator by the due date listed on the announcement.
Step 3 - Interview: Those persons meeting the eligibility requirements will be invited to an oral interview. The oral
interview panel will consist of the Live-In Program Coordinator, a Fire or Ambulance Line Officer, an Administrative
Officer, a Member-at-Large, a Trustee and a Representative from Shepherd College .
Step 4 - Background Check: Those persons selected by the interview panel will undergo a formal background
investigation, which will include but is not limited to criminal and driving histories, work references, and personal
Step 5 - Orientation: The Live-In Orientation requires mandatory attendance and will include familiarization with Policies,
Procedures, and Requirements of the Live-In Program.
Download the application for the Live-In Program here.Announcement Status:OPENCLOSING: WHEN FILLED The
information provided here is subject to change at any time without notice. Current SFD SOGs prevail.
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This is a new program we started a few months ago at my department. We are the first in our county (heck, even our area) to have something like this. So far the program has been going pretty good. No real issues that I know of. Just wanted to see what people thought about it and to see if anyone else is doing anything like it.