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  • #46
    I guess what concerns me is not only the lack of factual information, but the simple fact that the volunteers claim the department is creating a smear campaign against them, but they are not seeing that they are doing no better. I would say that the best defense of anything is to point out facts. To this date, I have not read a single fact that can be backed up by the volunteers.

    Additionally, if you do a little looking you can find the department's proposal and nowhere do I see anything about losing volunteer/reserve staffing. As a matter of fact, I understand that the only loss of staff would be if someone chooses to not participate. Supposedly this was a department decision.

    Last point is that it appears the volunteer companies act independent in some ways from the fire department. Unified criteria and response serves the public best, why argue a system that creates that? Also if they do act independant, would it not create a more "stable" scene for the volunteers if the program was run under the Board of Supervisors? I would guess that the BOS would have a say in the program and the Fire Chief should be smart enough to know that.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by hwoods View Post
      You and I have Disagreed Big Time on here, But not Today. 20%?? That's Crazy.....
      And that was the best of the bunch. The others were worse.
      They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

      I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
        And that was the best of the bunch. The others were worse.
        Just for clarification - was that the response rate of each volunteer or the response rate for the department to a call? If it was for an individual volunteer - I can understand that (most of us in the midwest are in the 25%-50% rate for calls - which is pretty much in line with what a 3 shift or 4 shift career FD averages per FF). If it was the department missing 4 out of 5 calls - then I question whether that was even a department to start with.

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        • #49
          Hey SC.............

          Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
          And that was the best of the bunch. The others were worse.

          If you can, could you give us an idea of the Call Volume that one of those Stations had?..... I'm kinda wondering if a "Lack of Business" caused people to lose interest......... Thanks.
          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
          In memory of
          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

          IACOJ Budget Analyst

          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

          www.gdvfd18.com

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          • #50
            Had an interesting discussion at the NFA last week with a couple of civikaina employees of Orange County Fire that gave me a differing view than the one painted by SC.

            According to them, there was quite a bit of pressure exerted by outside forces on the admin regarding the program ....

            Don'y know if that is the case here but it would not surprise me.

            By the way, a response rate of 20% for a volunteer isn't bad. For a moment let's compare that to a career member. We can assume that over time, each shift in a 3-shift system will respond to 33.3% of the total station's (or department in a single-station operation) calls.

            Factoring out vacation and sick time, training time and other time off the floor, I would suspect that most career members only respond to 25%-30% of thier runs.

            So 20% isn't bad for a guy (or gal) with a full-time job.
            Train to fight the fires you fight.

            Comment


            • #51
              You think a department that doesn't respond to 80% of their calls is normal? I don't think they're talking about individual people. I think they're talking about the entire company as a whole only responding to 20% of the calls they're dispatched too.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                Had an interesting discussion at the NFA last week with a couple of civikaina employees of Orange County Fire that gave me a differing view than the one painted by SC.
                Really? Be specific.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                According to them, there was quite a bit of pressure exerted by outside forces on the admin regarding the program ....
                Like which outside forces? If they're going to blame the union (which is usually the case), could they detail what the union has done that not only prevents the individuals in the program from responding, but also causes them to leave within an average of 36 months.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                Don'y know if that is the case here but it would not surprise me.
                Why would this be different? Everything surprises you.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                By the way, a response rate of 20% for a volunteer isn't bad. For a moment let's compare that to a career member. We can assume that over time, each shift in a 3-shift system will respond to 33.3% of the total station's (or department in a single-station operation) calls.

                Factoring out vacation and sick time, training time and other time off the floor, I would suspect that most career members only respond to 25%-30% of thier runs.

                So 20% isn't bad for a guy (or gal) with a full-time job.
                The difference is that when volunteers don't respond the unit has as much use as an artificial reef. While career personnel enjoy sick leave and vacations, other personnel are hired to ensure the unit is in service and ready to respond.

                Not a good analogy.
                They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by hwoods View Post
                  If you can, could you give us an idea of the Call Volume that one of those Stations had?..... I'm kinda wondering if a "Lack of Business" caused people to lose interest......... Thanks.
                  The busiest unit (a two man patrol) had about 300 responses, and the slowest was in single digits.
                  They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                  I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    A newish article on the program


                    http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sw...tml?mode=story

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Calphenix View Post
                      The article makes me wonder even more what the motives are for the restructuring, and who is driving these attempted changes.

                      Sorry, but if you are going to tell a volunteer that they need to have the same training standards as the career staff, who are paid while attending the academy, paid overtime for off-shift training and paid to train while on duty, there are motives as that simply is not possible.

                      Same with fitness testing.

                      In addition, the required in-station time compared to home response makes me wonder as well.

                      We have all discussed this and we are talking about a volunteer component. They will never have the same skills and likely fitness level as the career component, which is what this program is suggesting. If they do, there are significant problems with career training and fitness levels.
                      Train to fight the fires you fight.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                        Sorry, but if you are going to tell a volunteer that they need to have the same training standards as the career staff,
                        How many times have we heard the tired refrain, "Volunteers and career firefighters do the same job"?

                        Same job: same training.

                        Same with fitness testing.
                        Same job: same fitness.

                        They will never have the same skills and likely fitness level as the career component,
                        Wow. So you're saying volunteers are second rate firefighters?
                        "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                        sigpic
                        The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          SC ..

                          I would prefer not to give names, however, they are folks that I would expect to have insight on the topic.

                          I was told that there are significant problems in the career-volunteer relations and much of the paid staff makes it quite clear they have little use for the volunteers, and do little if anything to make the situation better.

                          As I have said before and will say again, people will not volunteer, or may start the process and then leave if it's made clear that they are not wanted, not trained because those with the skills make no effort, and not utilized in meanignful roles and emergencies, not recognized as being important and not given the oppoortunity to be promoted to a level of responsibility within the organization.

                          If you can honestly tell me that OCFD gave thier volunteers the opportunity for all of the above while you will there, I will say shame on the volunteers. If you can't, then I will say shame on the career staff and administration, and will place little to no blame on the volunteers for not being involved.
                          Train to fight the fires you fight.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                            How many times have we heard the tired refrain, "Volunteers and career firefighters do the same job"?

                            Same job: same training.



                            Same job: same fitness.



                            Wow. So you're saying volunteers are second rate firefighters?
                            No.

                            But I am saying that most volunteers will never have the same level of training as most career firefighters. That's simply being honest and realistic.

                            Volunteers are not paid to attend basic training for 14 weeks. Volunteers are not paid to be in the station on duty with training every shift.

                            Volunteers are not paid to attend week-long, or in some cases longer, specialized training programs.

                            The expectation that a volunteer firefighter will have the same training is simply unrealistic. That does not make them second rate.

                            Can volunteers acheive a respectable level of training? Yes. And they should. But it is unrealistic to expect that they will have the advanced training that a career member, who is being paid to train.

                            Same with fitness. Should a volunteer be fit for the job? Yes, but a career member, who in many cases has access to fitness equipment while on duty and is often given time to work out while being paid, whould be held to a higher level as they are being paid to do so.

                            I have no illusions that volunteers often do not possess the advanced skills of a career firefighter. I have no illusions that they have the same level of fitness overall. And I have no illusions that they, for the most part, have less experience as they simply respond to fewer incidents.

                            That does not make them second rate.

                            And it's BS to expect them to. Which makes this blatent attempt to drive them out using this crap even more offensive to me. It's just a BS way to drive out the volunteers "justifying the need" for a larger career staff.
                            Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-26-2010, 01:48 PM.
                            Train to fight the fires you fight.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                              SC ..



                              I was told that there are significant problems in the career-volunteer relations and much of the paid staff makes it quite clear they have little use for the volunteers, and do little if anything to make the situation better.
                              If we had a station that was manned by volunteers, and responded to 20 percent of the calls it was dispatched too, I would have little use for them too. Making 1 out of 5 calls just makes the paid personnel expect you NOT to show up, and tactics will reflect that. Not to mention overall attitudes towards the volunteers as a whole.
                              Career Firefighter
                              Volunteer Captain

                              -Professional in Either Role-

                              Originally posted by Rescue101
                              I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                No.

                                But I am saying that most volunteers will never have the same level of training as most career firefighters.
                                That may be what you meant but it's not what you said:

                                "if you are going to tell a volunteer that they need to have the same training standards as the career staff"

                                Volunteer and career firefighters need the same training standards whether or not career firefighters are more likley to exceed them. Both need to meet the same minimum standards.


                                Volunteers are not paid to attend basic training for 14 weeks. Volunteers are not paid to be in the station on duty with training every shift.
                                That's what makes them "volunteers." It doesn't, however, remove the absolute need for them to meet the same minimum standards as those who do.

                                The expectation that a volunteer firefighter will have the same training is simply unrealistic. That does not make them second rate.
                                It does if you accept the position that the minimum training for one is less than the other.

                                Same with fitness.
                                Do volunteers do the same job or not? Yes or no.

                                And it's BS to expect them to.
                                FWIW, I never had any problems meeting or exceeding minimum standards as a volunteer. I accepted it as an aspect of professionalism. Why should anyone else have such hard time?

                                Which makes this blatent attempt to drive them out using this crap even more offensive to me.
                                What attempt? They're reorganizing a dysfunctional program. How is that driving anyone out?
                                "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                                sigpic
                                The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                                Comment

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