Thread: Need Help

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    Default Need Help

    We are looking for more people to volunteer as Firefighters. I could use some good ideas on how to best reward those who serve. For example higher pay?etc...Please send me your ideas.
    Thanks,
    Jay Dudley, Fire Commissioner#2
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    Jay Dudley
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    Jay,

    Its hard to get volunteers because alot of people dont have the time to volunteer because they are trying to make a living. Some volunteer departments have a pay for call such as 50 cents to a dollar and then the checks are presented to them at the end of the year at a Christmas dinner put on by the department. Some departments have appreciation dinners once or twice a year to say thank you to the volunteers that come. May offer something quarterly that ties in responding to calls and attending training - offer a gift certificate to some place - to who makes the most calls and attends the most training classes. Many of ideas out there.. Any thing that shows how much you appreciate their help and support for their community. I never volunteered for the pay - because there was no pay - except my own gratification on helping others in need.. Take a survey from the guys in your own department on what they may want to do to help get volunteers if you haven't done this already... Review your rules and what you expect - some volunteer departments expect more from their personnel than paid departments and you got to remember that volunteers have jobs and families outside the department - I am not saying cut training or such but watch how much time you demand from them - a lot will quit if it starts interferring with their family...

    Good luck and let us know what you came up with..



    Good luck....

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    Thanks...We currently have about twenty Volunteers. However, it depends on the hour of the call and what the call is. Most try to respond but, our problem now is we are building a new Station and we nobody to fill it.
    We were thinking of raising the per call pay also a finders fee for each new volunteer you sign up and makes the meetings. End of year totals for pay is what we need to work out. We are a rural community and most work during the day. Im a retired Firefighter myself but I can't do it all.
    Thanks for the info and we have a meeting tomorrow and I'll let you know how it went.
    Jay
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    Jay Dudley
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    I take this new station will be a satelite station to improve response times to certain areas of your coverage area and to improve your fire rating.. I belonged to a department the had 4 stations - Main station and 3 substations - All training and meetings done at the main station - members that were closer to the substations were assigned that station - for maintenance duties and such - it was up to the the ones closer to the substations to respond there to pick up the trucks and respond while apparatus responded from the main station as well... Even though you have 20 members which is low in any department you may have to reassign the ones that are closer to the new station for maintenance and ect... Day time is the worse time for any volunteer department - have your department thought about hiring 2 to 3 fulltime members that work during the day to respond to incidence when its a hard time to get volunteers out - Such as monday through friday 8a to 5p - 2 personnel and 1 personnel at night from 11p to 8a Sunday night to Thursday night - since some don't respond because its too close time of going to work - that should handle most of your calls if you are running medical - and should pick up a few volunteers if it a structure fire or immediately call mutual aid during the day time...

    I am looking forward to see how your meeting went...

    Bob
    Last edited by LouisianaMedic; 03-27-2007 at 07:57 PM.

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    Default Outlying Staion

    Bob...You are correct. It's being built for the purpose of protecting a new housing development thats going in. There will be alot of people living in the development and we are planning to put up signage to recruit new volunteers. Our main Station#1 has constant manning with three paid on call every shift. The volunteers head to the outlying Stations for more equiptment and tankers.

    Thanks Again,
    Jay
    Last edited by JayDudley; 03-27-2007 at 08:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    Thanks...We currently have about twenty Volunteers. However, it depends on the hour of the call and what the call is. Most try to respond but, our problem now is we are building a new Station and we nobody to fill it.
    We were thinking of raising the per call pay also a finders fee for each new volunteer you sign up and makes the meetings. End of year totals for pay is what we need to work out. We are a rural community and most work during the day. Im a retired Firefighter myself but I can't do it all.
    Thanks for the info and we have a meeting tomorrow and I'll let you know how it went.
    Jay
    Don't forget to consider the long term and not just the short term. Do some recruiting at the local high school..... most kids are looking for something fun to do. Once you get a couple of guys (or girls) hooked, the FD will sell itself.

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    Default Thanks for the info

    Thanks for the info. There's several avenues we are going to try. Higher pay,incentives for joining,asking each Volunteer to get one candidate,more signage and tax relief for joining and makeing a percentage of the calls / meetings. We are also going to canvass the High School and College in area to see if anyone is interested. How about giving bonus points to all who take our Entrance Exam to be a Firefighter??

    Jay Dudley, Fire Commissioner #2
    Sagle Fire
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    Jay Dudley
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    My old department paid $3.00 for each call.We were the only bunch in the county that did that so we didn't really noise it around when we had mutual aid.
    Like LouisianaMedic,the checks were figured up twice a year and given out in June and December.As for rewards,the Board of Trustees would buy us dinner at a really nice local restaraunt and usually a jacket or some trinket like a pocket knife with the department name.The biggest dollar gift we got in '05 was a new station.They figured that and supper was enough that year. ;
    If you have a big enough budget that the only problem with training dollars is picking the check up off of the BoT desk,make sure new members know that the training is free,even if it's at a state run fire school.
    We had two stations that we alternated training nights from and the Chief always made sure to put on a good feed on his theory of"If you feed them,they will come."
    I'd gotten several people to join just by wearing my department shirt at work.Yes,I might have looked like a whacker but I didn't make like a tall dog maximizing my actions on the calls we had.If someone had a question,I'd answer it and if they wanted more,I'd jot down the Chief's office number and suggest that they come in and see for themselves.
    Showing the flag,as it were,does work.
    As to outside jobs,we had people that were on the local airport fire department,the nuclear enrichment plant fire brigade,the gas company,most of our paramedics worked for the local ambulance service,we had Sheriff's Deputies,bus drivers,truck drivers,and store cashiers.
    We might not have had every member at every call or training meeting,but most folks had the time or made the time to attend and bear a hand.
    I hope this does help.

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    Just remember higher pay isn't always the answer, my biggest fear is when it is money that is the motivator is that when the pager goes off at 2:30 in the morning they may think it isn't worth it to get out of bed for $XX.00. Each person has there own incentive to wanting to be a fire fighter. The best way is to have current and past members of your dept. talking it up to friends and family. The experiences they have had, the pride in serving and the dept. itself. How big of a town/city/village is it? Maybe it might take recruiting from people that come to your area that work there during the day. Also like one of the other posts is looking at schools in your area for cadets, for future firefighters. They are out there, they just need some prodding, the last time we were looking for candidates we had aprox. 30 people apply and that is in a village of 11,000.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the info. We have asked our volunteers and they stated that if they could they would do it for free. They like what they do and money is not important to them. Doing the job and getting experience is what they like. I've been elected by the Board of Commissioners to come up with a plan to recruit more volunteers and we have several ways to do that. Fliers and signage. We have a new fire station being built and will need volunteers to man it and we think that those who will be living in the new development will want to help out. We'll see how it goes and again thanks for all your input.

    Respecrfully,
    Jay Dudley, Fire Commisioner # 2
    Sagle Fire District
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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