1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Waterboro, Maine

    Default Dual membership.

    Over the past ten years or so, we have had new members who came to us with varying degrees of fire experience. They spend time training, and just about the time when we think they are almost going to become productive, another area department promises them an officership, and they go ahead and join the other department. We run the least calls of any department in the area, and don't have medical at all, so gaining experience is quicker at these other departments. We still need help, as everyone does, so it can be discouraging to put in the time and resources to train people, only to have them go off with someone else. I have talked to many of these people, and they really have never had complaints, or obvious reasons for doing this, and in fact, most can't give me ANY reasons. With the lack of reasons, I'm left to just wonder why, and then form my own opinions as to why they do this. I wonder if they aren't just looking for more excitement, or more public exposure, or some other selfish gain. We are all vollie, so it's certainly not money.

    Other than my own roster, the thing that bothers me is when a member can't test his way onto my apparatus, and then I hear them running on the pumper across town. If I've been working them on my stuff for a time, and they haven't gained suitable proficiency yet, how does this other chief feel comfortable putting them on his engine? The most recent incident was when a member could not identify some common tools, and adaptors, or demonstrate their usages, and all the sudden is wearing a white hat at a nearby department. I can't stand it.

    I am looking for suggestions from anyone who has had success dealing with similar problems.
    There goes the neighborhood.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Nevada, TX, U-S-A!!


    Well, you are always going to have departments with members on it that you don't feel are "up to snuff". We all think our departments are the best, after all, mine is! Just kidding, we all have things we need to work on, but some standards aren't the same as your own department. Just be careful if they are there for mutual aid or something.

    As for the person that went over to the other department... If this guy couldn't ID common tools for you, I would seriously question the white hat. However, if he is a firefighter now, maybe their teaching methods were different than yours and for whatever reason, the guy gets it now. If you haven't been around him, maybe he has the knowledge now that he lacked before.

    Regardless, there will always be dept's with "bubba's" on them just because they needed a warm body. Is this right? I don't think so, but it happens.

    It wouldn't hold any water, but maybe have them sign a written commitment to stay with you for a period of time if you invest time and money in their training. That may plant a subconscious idea that they have to stay there for a certain amount of time and prevent them from jumping ship.

    Also, everyone wants to feel important, so stress how much you need them on your department. Tell them about the chances of advancement with you. I'm not saying dangle a carrot out in front of them and never give it to them. If there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that they will ever become an officer, don't tell them they can. But be positive about their membership with you.

    Remembering when I first joined, I know these things kept me from going somewhere else. Of course, I am not the type of person to commit to something and then run. If they will do this, do you really want them anyway?

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