1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    332

    Default Advice needed...

    All advice welcome please.

    Demographics: We are an all volunteer dept in a city of 10,000 people, a suburb of Omaha. I will not mention our name. We have 13 pieces of apparatus, including 3 ALS equipped ambulances and 1 heavy rescue. We are the only ALS squad in our entire county, consisting of 10 other depts. Most of these dept's have to pass through our fire district when transporting a pt. into Omaha. Therefore, we get mutual aided a lot for ALS. We run around 1000 calls a year of our own out of one station, not counting M/A runs and standby's for other depts.

    Problem: We only have 8 to 10 people who are active on the EMS side of the house. I am one of them. I am also the ALS supervisor. As you can imagine, we are in VERY short supply of personnel. Most of us have to run 2 to 3 calls a day just to make sure the rig gets manned. Most of those calls usually go 2 or 3 pages to get the staffing. (5 min between pages is standard)
    Over the last 5 years we have done a very extensive and exhausting recruitment campaign with very little luck. We may net one or two new people a year, and they usually don't last long. Our ranks are diminishing quickly, and they are not being replaced. We have gone to the city in the last 6 months and told them of our dilemma. We put out ads in the newspaper, have hung up fliers, and we even had a special on a television station in Omaha put out as a last ditch effort. All of this has yielded a whopping one application.

    We finally decided as a dept that we need paid personnel, backed up by vols. We have all agreed to it, and everyone on the dept is very supportive. We went to council and advised them, and told them that we will not be putting any more effort into this, that they are the paid city personnel and it's their duty to figure it out.

    Last night we were advised that the city will not be taking any action at this time. We were told that we are doing a suitable job for now and that a 15 - 20 minute response time was good enough for them. As you can imagine we are all furious. We are sick of running 3, 5 even 10 calls a day and not being compensated for it, not even a "thanks." And when we try to get help, we are denied alltogether and told that our very mediocre response times and incredible workload are not going to change.
    We have all talked about giving the city one last chance, and then calling it quits all together. This would leave the city with no EMS.
    None of us want to do it, but we fear if we don't we will be used and abused until we're all completey burnt out, and more people will have to suffer for it.


    What do you think?
    Last edited by Plattsfire2; 06-28-2006 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    Unfortunately, this is a too common occurance. Sounds like your FD has its hands full.

    Have you thought about handing volunteer fire applications to the council members and inviting them to join the FD? Of course, they will be too busy to volunteer, but you can use that to show why you do not have enough people and need a small paid staff.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    any chance of POC ? maybe need to unionize ??? hire 2 people to work from 8a-4p ? something ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219
    Unfortunately, this is a too common occurance. Sounds like your FD has its hands full.

    Have you thought about handing volunteer fire applications to the council members and inviting them to join the FD? Of course, they will be too busy to volunteer, but you can use that to show why you do not have enough people and need a small paid staff.


    Please keep in mind our FD is great. 40 plus members. It's the EMS side that needs help.


    Yes, we gave pagers to all council members, the city administrator, and the mayor offering for them to ride along. Not one person has ever shown up, and the mayors pager is unplugged sitting on a filing cabinet in his office. City hall is right across the street from the station.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,017

    Default

    I'd would still ask for staff, even POC like Weruj1 mentioned, and if they refuse again, hand each council member an application to be an EMS volunteer. You know none of them will sign up, too busy you know. Use their refusal to show this is the reason you are understaffed. Your EMS volunteers have jobs and families too. Has the local newspaper covered this yet? Get them involved-use facts, not opinion or emotions.

    Is this a funding issue? Can you set up an insurance billing system to pay some of the salaries for staff?
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 06-28-2006 at 10:15 PM.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,154

    Default

    The funding is what I was thinking --

    In CT, just round, average numbers a BLS Transport is around $300 and ALS will get you $650 or so.

    Now figure out some fudge factor to account for Medicare and possibly other insurers saying they'll only pay you if you give them XX% discount, and some more for bills you won't collect...maybe figure on 70% actual revenue based on the rates billed above.

    That should be a big enough pool of money to hire a couple full-time, daytime staff, and put the evening guys on paid-on-call status...and keep a roster of per-diem personnel (including the poc's) who cover weekend days and sick/vacation time for the fulltimers.

    Do you have a State Office of Emergency Medical Services you could get to start giving nasty grams to the municipality that they're failing to meet state requirements???

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    158

    Default

    I would reconsider your numbers a little bit...in my area, soft billing only sees a 55% return, if your lucky...not counting the friggen discounts
    This we do so others may live

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Plattsfire2
    All advice welcome please.
    Demographics:We are an all volunteer dept in a city of 10,000 people, a suburb of Omaha. I will not mention our name. Thanks Plattsfire2
    Problem:Most of those calls usually go 2 or 3 pages to get the staffing. (5 min between pages is standard)
    Holy cow! 15 minutes just to get a response to respond? Is this to your own calls also or just MA calls?
    Maybe you could begin CALLING the Mayor and Council each time you have a incident response. No matter what time of the day it is. (You could have someone call that isn't responding so it's not tying up any sorely needed resources!)
    Call them on the telephone, on the cell phone. Call them day and night. Leave them messages on their voicemail. I'm sure there is some 'net gizmo that could set up a psudo-spam mail that would e-mail them everytime there is an incident generated.
    Just basically pester the hell out of them so that they DO REALIZE just how much your guys are responding.

    Good luck!
    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,688

    Default

    Did you suggest only paying the EMS side? If there are 8-10 EMS people, that budget would be way different than paying 40 members. And it seems like EMS is where the problem is. (remember, can't spell problems without EMS ). Are the surrounding towns that you provide ALS coverage for being asked to pay their fair share?

    You stated you made the proposal to the "city" and want them to figure it out. I'd do the opposite. I'd tell the "city" this is what needs to be done, how it will be done, who's paying for it and how. At least a plan.

    Good luck with your endeavor. I know in my area, many EMS agencies are having pretty close to the same issues.
    "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?

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Hi,

    Get there position in writing. It's easy to verbaly turn down such a request, but they will probably think twice before officialy posting there position on an official city resolution. Send your request in writing and aks for the same from them...

    If they still say no and have the balls to state that public safety isn't there priority, then so be it...

    Regards,

    Sly

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    332

    Default

    Thank you for your replies.

    1. The newspaper has ran several ads, the most recent being a full page ad that they donated.

    2. We charge $500 for transport, usually with a return of around $350. We bill for M/A ALS runs as well.

    3. Paid personnel would be for EMS only, we would still remain an all volunteer fire dept. Usually we can get the first due engine out the door in 3-4 minutes.

    4. I like the "response in writing" idea. I'll pass it foreward.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,688

    Default

    You can do some searching in one my local newspapers, www.app.com Search for EMS and Toms River and/or more recently Brick. They just started a paid EMS service due to reasons you stated above. Wall, NJ also started a paid EMS service somewhat recently.

    These were all volunteer EMS agencies that were unable to staff rigs due to numerous reasons, they all started paid EMS to assist the volunteers.

    Maybe it will help your cause.
    "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?

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Somewhere cold in MI
    Posts
    401

    Default

    You sound like you are in a pickle. The firehouse is no place for politics, but we are a municiple service. This is what i would do.
    election time
    Make aware to the citizens that the council members are leaving the city undermanned and that you don't get any pay from it. The people may be able to help get them out. That is one option.
    just wait
    As much as we hate to admit it someone will eventually get less then the standard of care. When this happens the person or the family will sue the city. this is when those requests are to be shown to the judge. This way you CYA. I hope this works out for you guys you are kinda screwed. good luck and stay safe.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1
    any chance of POC ? maybe need to unionize ??? hire 2 people to work from 8a-4p ? something ?

    We have considered contacting the firefighters union in Omaha. But we are reserving this as a absolute last resort, if we even do it. We're afraid we may create more problems than we would solve.


    The biggest problem here is that we as a Dept. have pursued all possible avenues, and are tired of it. None of us have the time and energy left to really "fight" the city. We're all exhausted and nobody has the drive left in them. For some it's not worth fighting for, for others like myself (wife and I just had our first son 2 weeks ago) we've just got more important things now, and can't dedicate the time to fight. I'm afraid just giving up might be in the near future. It's too bad too, I really enjoy being a paramedic in this town.
    Last edited by Plattsfire2; 06-29-2006 at 09:09 PM.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,154

    Default

    Hmmm...$500 x 70% = $350...damn I'm good

    So the question becomes, where does the money go?

    I know on my department for now (we only do BLS so it's not quite as much money) it's poured into equipment, ambulances, etc.

    With the full knowledge once we go with paid day crews, there is a lot less "goodies" we'll be able to buy...as well as going to a lower-priced ambulance as well as extending the time between replacements.

    If it's a case the money is committed to the Fire Department already, paying fixed costs...it's a tight line to walk.

    If it's "profits" going into the City's General Fund, I'd go to war over it -- bring it right out to the press that the city makes XXX money off transports, and is willing to accept unacceptable response times rather than provide proper service to the people paying for the ambulance.

  16. #16
    IACOJ BOD
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    4,757

    Default

    Just a slow bugger from down south but...

    What the heck happens if you turn around and say, stump up, or we are gone after date X.

    As a group of people (EMS / Fire / Police) we all know, folks die, stuff happens. That is part of why we run the jobs, but at the end of it, they still die sometimes. This simple thing scares most people back into their nappies.

    WELL, we are not going to keep doing this after day X without the support of "Y" (you), the people now have Z number of days to sort yourselves out, or if it is you, "Bye Bye".

    simple maths. Y + Z = X not happening.

    Bugger, Kiwi heads off for maths class, AGAIN.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default Ian

    Are you drunk ? I have now seen the word "bugger" more times today then I should see in an entire lifetime.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    dday05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Plattsfire2
    Last night we were advised that the city will not be taking any action at this time. We were told that we are doing a suitable job for now and that a 15 - 20 minute response time was good enough for them. As you can imagine we are all furious. We are sick of running 3, 5 even 10 calls a day and not being compensated for it, not even a "thanks." And when we try to get help, we are denied alltogether and told that our very mediocre response times and incredible workload are not going to change.
    We have all talked about giving the city one last chance, and then calling it quits all together. This would leave the city with no EMS.
    None of us want to do it, but we fear if we don't we will be used and abused until we're all completey burnt out, and more people will have to suffer for it.


    What do you think?
    I feel you can't let the citizens suffer over politic related issues, that's just my opinion. Does any of the members of the fd run with the squad? If not can you make them become EMT'S? It's time for atleast day time staffing for your ems unit. Don't give up and let the yoyo's on your city council get their way. That's my opinion for now.BE SAFE

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. ISO Company Personnel
    By FIRE549 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-16-2007, 06:15 PM
  2. SOP's for Volunteer FD
    By rumlfire in forum Volunteer Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-01-2006, 10:35 PM
  3. Please help - your advice needed!
    By FireBabe in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-19-2002, 01:16 PM
  4. Advice needed - please help!
    By FireBabe in forum Wildland Firefighting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-17-2002, 10:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register