What is the "status" of your department, paid, volunteer or combination? I couldn't think of any other forum to post this in, so here it is. It seems we're always hearing of cut backs these days and I'm curious as to the health of other departments around the country.
I live in Mercer County, PA and am a member of an all volunteer department. We seem to always have enough members show on calls to man all apparatus and efficiently do the job. Recruiting is another story though. I am also a former Air Force firefighter, our department status was good then, and I hear it still is. However, there are a couple small paid departments in my area that usually only have 2 man crews to cover their entire city. In the 80s and 90s these small paid departments in my area had all apparatus fully manned. What happened? I'm also constantly hearing of the city of Pittsburgh and PBF battling over cut backs with man power and station closings. And recently, many towns in MA responding with ONLY 1 firefighter.
So let us all know, where ever you're from.
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Thread: What's the status.....?
12-27-2007, 10:28 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
What's the status.....?
12-28-2007, 02:39 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
13 career, 50 volunteers on paper. We work 24/48's so we have 3 shifts of 4 (#13 is the Chief, works m-f 8-4). Minimum staffing is 3. We cover 47 square miles, 30,000 population, 1 station, appx 800+ runs year (Fire/Rescue no EMS). Of our 50 vollies about 25 are active and we average 8-10 per alarm, depends alot on time/day of week also call type. We get as many as 20 on a reported structure/dwelling but sometime 0 to 3 for an alarm system or MVA. We also have a large time delay before our 2nd piece arrives. Career staff respond right away with engine but follow up apparatus can take 10-12 minutes depending on volly response. Biggest problem is as older vollies leave no one is coming along to take their place, at least not quality people. The hardworking family person who makes a good volly no longer has the time and so alot (not all) of the new applicants are not what you would call quality. We also have problems getting vollies to attend all required training. Meanwhile our community is growing (1,200 new homes being built !!!) and so is our call volume but city claims it cannot hire more fulltime and its volunteer incentive programs have not worked.
12-28-2007, 04:36 PM #3
At work, we have 525 uniformed positions, and hire about 20-30 people per year. Our minimum staffing is three on the 20 engines, 5 tower ladders, and 3 heavy rescues; minimum staffing is two on our 12 ambulances. Our jurisdiction has existed since the 1600's, and no one has been laid off in 300+ years.
At the VFD, we have 50 members on the role, with about 15-20 active, we're doing about 625 calls a year in a rural/suburban area. Our staffing isn't bad, cut could stand to be better now-and-then. Our recruitment hasn't been too bad, we advertise in front of the station, and post recruitment notices on our website now and then. We've had 7 new members join in the past three months, so that's a good feeling. I would guess 50% of them will still be here in 2 years, based on past history.
We're one of 5 VFD's in the county, and our county will be hiring our first career FF's in 2009. They may be coming to our station (we'll have the best acommodations), but more than likely, they'll end up at the station in the center of the county. They'll be M-F 0500-1700 most likely.Career Fire Captain
Volunteer Chief Officer
Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!
12-28-2007, 09:47 PM #4
12 Career with a full time chief. over four shifts. about 30 paid on call people. about 20 are active. Most only show up for the exciting stuff.Hello. Fire dept.. You light'em, We fight'em!
"hard working, gear jamming, nail driving, "jake". "
4-16-2010 "On the approach"
12-28-2007, 10:44 PM #5
Critical and Pitiful.
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
12-28-2007, 11:02 PM #6
We're doing pretty good for our area based on historic turnover. We are a ski town, so very few full-time residents, and most come out to spend only a couple of years in the area.
We have 25 trained and active members, and we just closed recruiting for a rookie class of 10. We try to keep 30, and certainly try to avoid dropping below 25.
Many communities around here struggle to keep 15-20 members.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
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