1. #1
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    Default Volunteer Department Abuse

    I am a Volunteer Firefighter in Warren County Ms. Our department is one of five county volunteer departments, with a city paid department in the center of the county. The paid department operates all rescue service and provides advanced life support ambulance services. The county must pay a certain amount of money every year to recieve rescue response and ambulance response to the county. Five years ago we were paying about $200,000 a year for this service. Now, we are paying around $350,000 for the the same service. It is a known fact that the mayor and fire chief of the city does not like volunteer fire departments. They have openly stated that they believe volunteers are incompetant people who do not know what they are doing. Many volunteers have requested to go and train in the rescue areas that is being provided by the city department. We want to take over rescue response so we will not have to pay as much. I was wondering if there was a service through Firehouse.com that could help with this issue. I would be more than happy to give as much information about the subject. We just want whats best for the community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CulkinVFD
    The paid department operates all rescue service and provides advanced life support ambulance services. The county must pay a certain amount of money every year to recieve rescue response and ambulance response to the county. Five years ago we were paying about $200,000 a year for this service. Now, we are paying around $350,000 for the the same service. It is a known fact that the mayor and fire chief of the city does not like volunteer fire departments.
    Don't worry about the mayor or the fire chief of the city. Their only role here is as provider of a contracted service. They don't make direct decisions regarding the operation of county government. Your county administrator and governing body is where you should take this issue.

    Do some research. How many runs does the city department make for rescue in the county. Divide those numbers up and get an average cost per incident. Figure out how much they are charging per firefighter or per hour. Then estimate what it would cost the county departments to provide the same service. Include the cost of tools, payments for rescue trucks, any compensation you may provide your members. If the county departments can do it in a more cost effective way -- present it to the county government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    Don't worry about the mayor or the fire chief of the city. Their only role here is as provider of a contracted service. They don't make direct decisions regarding the operation of county government. Your county administrator and governing body is where you should take this issue.

    Do some research. How many runs does the city department make for rescue in the county. Divide those numbers up and get an average cost per incident. Figure out how much they are charging per firefighter or per hour. Then estimate what it would cost the county departments to provide the same service. Include the cost of tools, payments for rescue trucks, any compensation you may provide your members. If the county departments can do it in a more cost effective way -- present it to the county government.
    And whatever you do, make sure that the people in your response area are involved and ON BOARD.
    In fact, before anything else is done, you may want to POLL some in your response area to see if they would support such a change.
    Disdain for volunteers?
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    "Respect" is probably the better word.

    And while you give it by default, you also have to make sure your actions & behaviors don't legitimately throw it away.

    ======

    To the question of forming your own rescue response, what are you looking at?

    Medical First Responder?

    Basic Extrication (auto accidents, farm & machinery, "hike outs" & low angle ropes)?

    Transport Ambulance?

    Advanced Life Support (Paramedics) or BLS (EMT-only)?

    What's the population being served?

    What's the area being served?

    What are the current response times? How would you meet or improve on the current response times?

    How often are their simultaneous calls that cause long delays to be met?

    What's the current call volume?

    Is their any billing today for First Response or Transports?

    And that just begins the questions

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    Thanks for yalls posts. Currently, about half of our department is first responder certified. We also have a few EMTs and some Paramedics who work for AMR. Were more wanting to take over some rescue responce, no really medical. However as it is now, whenever there is a medical to the county they always tone the volunteers and ask the first responders to respond along with the city ambulance. As far as our service area. The city opperates in about a 33 square mile area with about 26,000 residents. The county, where we serve, has about the smae amount of residents. However we opperate in a 600 square miles area. so we have a much larger area to cover, but the same amount of people. I know that it is going to take time to resolve this issue, but something has to be done. The $350,000 we are currently spending could be cut in half if we take over the rescue side of it all. We could take that money and put it towards sets of jaw-of-life and so on. I just don't like the idea of the city milking the county for as much money as they want and the county has nothing we can do. We can't not pay them because we need that service. This is going to be a long and hard battle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CulkinVFD
    Thanks for yalls posts. Currently, about half of our department is first responder certified. We also have a few EMTs and some Paramedics who work for AMR. Were more wanting to take over some rescue responce, no really medical. However as it is now, whenever there is a medical to the county they always tone the volunteers and ask the first responders to respond along with the city ambulance. As far as our service area. The city opperates in about a 33 square mile area with about 26,000 residents. The county, where we serve, has about the smae amount of residents. However we opperate in a 600 square miles area. so we have a much larger area to cover, but the same amount of people. I know that it is going to take time to resolve this issue, but something has to be done. The $350,000 we are currently spending could be cut in half if we take over the rescue side of it all. We could take that money and put it towards sets of jaw-of-life and so on. I just don't like the idea of the city milking the county for as much money as they want and the county has nothing we can do. We can't not pay them because we need that service. This is going to be a long and hard battle.
    I don't see the City "milking" the County. The City FD is providing a service to the county, and if typical, whenever the city sends out a unit to the county area, they in turn have to call back personnel. The funding the county pays to the FD covers the costs of calling back personnel, fuel, wear and tear onthe equipment as well as medical supplies.

    The County is also getting a response dispatched within minutes of the call.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    If I'm understanding this right, the $350k is for two things:

    Extrication
    and
    Transport Ambulance

    ???

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    Right. The $350k covers resuce response, such as extrication and high rise rescuse. They also provide us with ALS ambulance response and transport. I appolgize for my wording in my last post. I should'nt have used the term "milking" when talking about the rise in cost. Also, a lil input for this. My father used to be the chief of the same city that we are now having problems with. My father left when the new mayor took over for some issues that my father did not agree with. When my father was there this service cost the county $200,000. Over about 5 years since he left this service rose $150,000. I guess my beef is because of the mayor's open statements about he feelings towards county volunteers. He wanted to "buy" our stations, take all of our equipment from us and hire more paid firefighters to man those apparatus 24/7. I myself am currently working on a degree in Fire Protection Tech so I can join a professional fire department in a few years. But I am a noob when it comes to the fire service. I have been in the fire service for about 2 monthes now, but grew up around the fire department since my dad was a firefighter. In the end, I know it all comes down to our ability to be able to train and be able to man those resuce apparatus at all times and provide a short response time. I just want the best for the cummunity, but at the same time help my department. I thank everyone for your input.

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    Question 1: If you've only been a volunteer for two months, how do you know the county vollies aren't incompetent and don't know what they're doing?

    Question 2: Have you considered that you could be campaigning yourself out of a job? Maybe you could "milk" the county out of a professional firefighter's salary some day.

    Observation 1: I guess this isn't one of those " of course wer'e not after those full-time firefighters jobs!" threads.

    Observation 2: Most times you get what you pay for.

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