1. #1
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    Default Need Suggestions for Stat-keeping

    I am a member of a small paid/on-call department. We have about 25 members to serve a city of about 5,000. We average just over 400 calls per year with 85% of those calls being medical. From 6pm-6am we have two EMT's sign up to be on-call strictly for medical calls during that time period. We hold training every week--our regular training night is Thursday and we have a "make-up" training on Monday morning for anyone who missed out on Thursday's training. Our station is unmanned, but we do have a sleeping area for those who want to stay over when they are on-call even though they are not paid to sleep at the station. In order to maintain good standing on the department (to be eligible for promotions, to be sent to out of city trainings, etc) each member must:

    1. have 75% attendance for training per month

    2. take 2 medical on-call shifts per month

    3. respond to 40% of fire calls (any non-medical call)


    These requirements are pretty straight forward and not that hard to maintain for the most part. But the problem is the 40% fire call attendance requirement. We are a volunteer department, our members have full time jobs and not everyone can be in the city 24/7. It seems to be a somewhat unfair requirement. For example: for the month of July I had 100% training attendance, took 4 on-call shifts but was unable to respond to any of the 5 fire calls we had that month. Why didn't I respond? Was I too lazy to be bothered? Hardly. All 5 of those calls just happened to occur while I was working my full time job. So regardless of my status as an officer, my certifications, dedication to training, take more than 2 on-call shifts every month, my 0% fire calls really makes me look like a slacker. I'm not the only one, either. Everyone on our department has at a full time job and some even have 2nd jobs. It seems like the 40% fire call requirement is more of a penalty. We can't predict when these fire calls are going to come in and plan our lives around them. If someone is at work during the day (or at night) when a structure fire is paged out, they are just out of luck when it comes to getting credit for responding.

    How can my department measure dedication better? The 40% requirement is more of a question of luck rather than dedication. Any suggestions?

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    Family
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    Fire Dept.

    Easy one to figure out.... If the brigade doesn't understand then leave and go to a different brigade....

    In Western Australia a boss can't fire you for attending calls for the emergency services is written in our laws, this is due to over 90% of our force being vollies, how ever you need to disclose this at hiring and he can choose not to hire you. Usually we work with our boss and make up time or take it as annual leave ect, also I know a member who's boss advertises the fact that he helps the vollie fire brigades by allowing his employees to leave for a fire this makes his business image look better.
    Last edited by GelorupRookie; 08-05-2007 at 12:29 PM.

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    I don't think it's a matter of not being dedicated. By the sounds of things you are very dedicated. If your dept says otherwise because you cannot make the fire calls due to your full time job, yet you do the amount of stuff you do for the dept they have some issues. If you cannot make the calls, you cannot make the calls. It's really that simple. You can't help the fact you have to earn a living to support you and your family. Keep going like you are, and if somebody says something about it, as Gelorup said find a new dept.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    As a lieutenant, I'm hoping to find a way to change this requirement because it penalizes other hard-working members of the department was well, not just me. There are a couple of people that work close enough to the city and have the good fortune to leave their jobs to respond to fire calls and we love them. I'm hoping to be able to try and come up with some other measuring tool that I can take to my chiefs and hopefully implement something new and do away with the 40% requirement all together because it's more of a "game of chance". What I am planning to do is look at everyone's stats for fire calls (especially the officers) and see just how many people are able to keep the 40% requirement. But I would like to find another way to "measure dedication" so that other hard-working members of the department arent' penalized as well. I've never been accused of being a slacker, but based on my stats, I sure feel and look like one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvfdff33 View Post
    I don't think it's a matter of not being dedicated. By the sounds of things you are very dedicated. If your dept says otherwise because you cannot make the fire calls due to your full time job, yet you do the amount of stuff you do for the dept they have some issues. If you cannot make the calls, you cannot make the calls. It's really that simple. You can't help the fact you have to earn a living to support you and your family. Keep going like you are, and if somebody says something about it, as Gelorup said find a new dept.
    Making a living and supporting a family is precisely my point-- I'm glad someone gets it because sometimes I feel like my department doesn't. We have a lot of dedicated members of the department that have issues with the 40% requirement and I hope to find a way to change that so that everyone can be recognized for the work they do. Does your department have specific attendance requirements?

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    It seems pretty simple to me. All you have to do is change the rules. I see 40% of the fires being a little steep. If they dont want to change then it sounds like they are going to be fighting fire with a lot less than 25 FF's. Can I assume that if I were to join your FD I would have to be a band-aid boy too? If so it seems that you are an Ambulance Squad that also goes to fires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    It seems pretty simple to me. All you have to do is change the rules. I see 40% of the fires being a little steep. If they dont want to change then it sounds like they are going to be fighting fire with a lot less than 25 FF's. Can I assume that if I were to join your FD I would have to be a band-aid boy too? If so it seems that you are an Ambulance Squad that also goes to fires.
    Yeah, that's about it. 85% of our calls are medical. Last month we had 5 fire calls (it varies month to month--December we had 16). For us a "fire call" can be a traffic accident, gasoline spills, mutual aids, CO alarms, etc. Actual fires are few and far between. We usually have 2-3 structure fires in a year and that's counting mutual aid calls to neighboring cities. Our city residents are mostly older people so we might have more medicals than some other cities. I'm just looking for another way to keep stats because the 40% is a "luck of the draw" and is less controllable than attending training or taking on-call shifts. What requirements does your department have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLT108 View Post
    Making a living and supporting a family is precisely my point-- I'm glad someone gets it because sometimes I feel like my department doesn't. We have a lot of dedicated members of the department that have issues with the 40% requirement and I hope to find a way to change that so that everyone can be recognized for the work they do. Does your department have specific attendance requirements?
    My dept requires 30% of Calls,Training and Fundraising events. When you come to a call, it's recorded on the run sheet. When you train it's on the training records as well as weekly bingo and other fundraisers.


    My advice, just keep doin what your doin because it sounds to me like your doin a great job.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Our requirements are based on a yearly total. We use the county LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program) as the baseline. We require a total of 60 points with at least 1 point in 4 different categories. The categories are Training, Drills, Meetings, Runs, Military, Officer, and Collateral. Collateral includes fund raising, station cleaning, standing duty and anything not included in the above. We give 20 points for military duty and 20 points for being an officer. There is also a maximum of 40 points in any single category. This system allows people who aren't lucky enough to be around when we get calls to remain a member in good standing. Our calls can be medical or fire.

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    FWIW, the POC side of our department uses similar requirements with one important difference: Instead of requiring response to a flat percentage of all calls, members are expected to respond to a percentage of available calls. Members choose to be either considered "day" or "night" responders, usually based on their full-time job schedules. Any member can respond to any call but is only held responsible for making a percentage of those calls that come in during their "available" hours.

    Example:

    For the sake of discussion, let's assume that the requirement is for members to make 50% of "available" calls.

    In a given month, there are 100 calls distributed as 40 "daytime" calls and 60 "nighttime" calls. Instaed of expecting everyone to make at least 50 calls, "daytime" personnel would be responsible for making at least 20 calls (50% of 40) while nighttime people would be responsible for making at least 30 calls (50% of 60).

    In a month like you cited with nothing but "daytime" calls, the nighttime responders wouldn't be held responsible for not making any calls at all.

    This system isn't perfect but it prevents people -- like yourself -- from being penalized for not making calls that you shouldn't be expected to make.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    DeputyMarshal--you're right: no system is perfect, but if we can improve the imperfections, we'll be doing great. Even my own administration admits that our current 40% requirement isn't perfect but no one has any better ideas. I like the idea of day and night responders. It has been suggested to have everyone make their work schedules available and base percentages on that availability, but then if someone leaves the city to run errands on his day off and misses a fire call then he gets "dinged" for that. DeputyMarshal--does your department have this written as a policy? Do you have a form or a stat sheet that everyone uses to specify whether they are a day or night responder? If a night responder responds to a day call do they get credit for that one too?

    For example, at my full time job I work 9a-5p Monday and Tuesday but work 10:30p-10:30a on Friday and Saturday so I work both day and graves in the same week. Would I simply choose whether to be day or night based on my greater availability and then if I respond during the day on a day off then it's just a bonus?

    I think your department's system is something that I would like my admin to take a look at. It seems to be more fair than what we have. I would really like to know as many details about that one as you can give me if that's possible. Thank you so much.

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    [QUOTE=LadyLT108;846706] does your department have this written as a policy? Do you have a form or a stat sheet that everyone uses to specify whether they are a day or night responder?[?QUOTE]

    I know there's a written policy but I don't have it -- I'm on the career side of the department so it doesn't apply to me. I'll ask around for a copy of the incentive plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLT108 View Post
    If a night responder responds to a day call do they get credit for that one too?
    I believe so.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLT108 View Post
    Would I simply choose whether to be day or night based on my greater availability and then if I respond during the day on a day off then it's just a bonus?
    Correct. In our case, "daytime" calls are any that come in between 6a & 6p; nighttime calls are any between 6p & 6a. You could divide it any way you wanted to but I suspect it would become a bookkeeping nightmare if you didn't keep it simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLT108 View Post
    I would really like to know as many details about that one as you can give me if that's possible.
    I'll see what I can find out.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    I only attended 12 calls out of 61 last year and on two occasions if I didn't show then they wouldn't have filled a crew.
    How ever we are a BFB and the FRS are a lot stricter. One of our members was the Captain of the local FRS and missed a few meetings and trainings due to being sick he was outed and told he'd have to explain why he missed those events in paper work and then the board would vote on his return, well as he's a vollie he told them to stick it where the sun don't sine.
    He was one of the founding members and help build the station house they use and has dedicated heaps of hrs to them. From what I understand that certain FRS is bitchy and divided and his dismissal was political with in the vollie brigade.
    Any how we have him now and just to show what they lost I'll make you aware that FESA our governing body for all WAFD's sent him to interstate fires the last two years to assist with air attack, ground control and every time we go to big fires the hierarchy make him sector commander.

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    What we are trying to incorporate into our department is similar to what you have, ladylt. However, we have one major difference. Instead of requiring all of the above, our is set up to require "Attend x training sessions, or x calls...." Just the inclusion of the "or" may do what you're looking for.

    We have also included a clause to allow the chief to excuse someone who cannot make the attendance requirements for "legitimate" reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    "Attend x training sessions, or x calls...." Just the inclusion of the "or" may do what you're looking for.
    IMHO, that's a very bad idea unless you also set an absolute minimum level for training. I wouldn't want to see people skipping training and just going to calls.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    IMHO, that's a very bad idea unless you also set an absolute minimum level for training. I wouldn't want to see people skipping training and just going to calls.
    I agree because I have individuals on my department that would do just that. In fact, before we implemented the 75% training requirement, people would skip out on training a lot. As far as training goes, we're fortunate on our department to have members that work full-time at other departments and that brings a vast variety of skills to our training sessions. I was surprised when I first started on this department 5 1/2 years ago at how in-depth training was. We do very little classroom/lecture training--it's all hands-on. As an officer corps, we're having a "strategic planning" officers meeting next week and I have put the 40% call issue on the agenda. I'm working on developing my own data for the overall availability of the department and the feasibility of night and day responders. I've heard some other ideas but I like the day/night responder concept the best.

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    We require ten percent of calls to remain a member. To remain an interior ff you must make atleast one of four interior drills at the fire academy. Theexterior guys have to make one exterior drill at the academy. Most of our active guys make all the drills.

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