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  • Uh Oh Lieutenant
    replied
    I used to be one of those no-show ff's a couple months after I joined but after one or two one-on-one conversations with the chief I turned myself around to be one of the top responding members on the depatment. As a member of the personnel board I tend to give MIA members a little bit more time than most people because I know that a member will eventually catch the bug on their own if you let them.

    Most of the time these members are doing no harm by not responding so instead of potentially losing a great asset, give them time and space to figure out their role on the department, and you will gain or regain some excellent firefighters.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChathamVFD9921
    replied
    2. Grumble and moan about it.

    We have 34 members, but only 7 are EMTs. We have 3 FF2's, 4 FF1's and the rest our VFF.

    We ran 240 calls last year, 205 the year before.

    We have a core group of 8-12 that are on almost every call, and 7-8 members who make less then 30 a year. The average is around 50-60 i would say.

    We have a passive Cheif who is afriad of "pushing" members away, so his speech is always the same, "Good job guys, we do what we can and everyone is equal".

    Very frustrating.

    For what its worth, im a FF2/EMT and i made 130 calls. Working part time and going to school. I ranked 4th out of 34.

    Leave a comment:


  • voyager9
    replied
    Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    I think it's a great idea - but I see the real possibility for abuse.
    ...
    That doesn't mean it's a bad idea, but we need to consider the possibilities both positive and negative.
    Yup, as with most systems it has to be set up and managed correctly. Where I see it having some merit and also unintended benefits is if it were set up where the all the wives and kids respond.. while the FF's are off on the call the wives hang out/chat..etc and the kids play. Could work well if the wives/kids get along well..then they'd want to go on calls. Added benefit in that if it is a working fire someone would be at the station to make coffee or order food for afterwards. (or even get involved in organizing cover companies..etc).

    The problem could be with demographics. It's aiming at a pretty niche segment of the membership. A younger couple interesting in socializing with young children. The older segment.. those already established social circles outside the department may not want to participate.. in the same vein the girl/boyfriends of members probably won't either.. obviously these are generalities..

    Leave a comment:


  • voyager9
    replied
    Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    There is also the eventuality that no caregivers would be available (we'll assume legitimately) either immediately or at all, meaning that a firefighter must remain at the station to watch the kids.
    I know the guys, and there is no way I'm letting any of them anywhere near my daughter unsupervised.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
    The other responders could come up with their kids and she would babysit. It's an interesting idea but I don't know how easy it would be to manage.
    I think it's a great idea - but I see the real possibility for abuse.

    Just like we have a small group that seems to show up for everything while others find other things to do, I foresee certain spouses who assume that "Marge" will be there and there's no sense of them going down. In fact, hubby can take the kids down to the station while he's at the fire and wifey can enjoy a little quiet time, or maybe even go shopping, sans kids.

    Eventually, "Marge" gets tired of managing beaucoup kids all by herself for every call and gives it up. The program collapses.

    There is also the eventuality that no caregivers would be available (we'll assume legitimately) either immediately or at all, meaning that a firefighter must remain at the station to watch the kids.

    Then one has to assume that there are even suitable facilities at the station to run such a "day care" center.

    That doesn't mean it's a bad idea, but we need to consider the possibilities both positive and negative.

    Leave a comment:


  • voyager9
    replied
    Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post
    One of the difficulties I see that younger volunteers have with participating (training sessions, meetings, etc.) is child care.

    As a father of a 2-month old I can definitely relate. I've already missed two workers because I was on baby duty. I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's hard to comfort a collicy baby while listening to the scanner .

    The idea of Child care has come up at our station.. in fact just last week someone brought up the idea. Mainly it was enveloped in the idea of getting the spouses/significant others more involved and bring in more opportunities for both the members and families to socialize.

    One idea was that one of the wives (I'm picking a gender here.. roles could obviously be reversed) could come up with her husband when the pager goes off. The other responders could come up with their kids and she would babysit. It's an interesting idea but I don't know how easy it would be to manage.. not to mention that at least in my case by the time I get the 2-month old in the car seat I'm missing the truck..

    Leave a comment:


  • voyager9
    replied
    Originally posted by GVFD5 View Post
    To quote one of our members... "We are not 'JUST VOLUNTEERS' , We are Under Compensated Professionals" To be a good fireman/woman everyone needs to look past the fact they are "JUST VOLUNTEERS".
    The paraphrase someone, I forget who: "the last thing you volunteered for was signing the application"

    Leave a comment:


  • Leeland
    replied
    At the current time it is:

    1. Do nothing.
    2. Grumble and moan about it.
    3. Vote/Kick them out and collect their gear/equipment.
    4. Contact them to find out what the problem is.
    5. Outreach/encouragement to get them back in the loop.

    But I am trying to turn it around where 5 & 4 come first before we go to option 3, maybe if we do 4 & 5 it will prevent 1 & 2.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by GVFD5 View Post
    To quote one of our members... "We are not 'JUST VOLUNTEERS' , We are Under Compensated Professionals" To be a good fireman/woman everyone needs to look past the fact they are "JUST VOLUNTEERS".
    If they want to "just volunteer," there are plenty of organizations that will be glad to see them.

    I assemble a spreadsheet of each member's responses each year which goes to our commissioners. You'd think some of them would be embarrassed by their own numbers, but a lot don't even seem to care.

    In fact, I'm convinced that some of them think I do it to showcase my own numbers (which are high, but that's another story).

    Leave a comment:


  • GVFD5
    replied
    Originally posted by Rice09 View Post
    Not to mention that most members feel because they are volunteering, they shouldn't be required.
    To quote one of our members... "We are not 'JUST VOLUNTEERS' , We are Under Compensated Professionals" To be a good fireman/woman everyone needs to look past the fact they are "JUST VOLUNTEERS".

    Leave a comment:


  • Rice09
    replied
    My department has the regulars who show up to most calls and help at fund raisers. Then there are those who only show up if there are flames. We don't have anything set up to question those who don't participate, but I wouldn't be against it and I think it's a good idea. The problem that I face is that there is a decent amount of resistance when trying to make new things happen. Not to mention that most members feel because they are volunteering, they shouldn't be required.

    I made a statement about these issues. I made it know that regardless of the call, I would be at the call unless I was working, ill or had our younger daughter. (My wife is a FF, so we can take turns). I also said that it shouldn't matter if it's a gas odor or a fully involved hotel, volunteers should want to be there to help. I also made it clear that our fund raisers are failing to be productive due to the lack of help and it's not just the people who don't show up, it's the people who don't like the idea, or it wasn't their idea. I encouraged everyone to try and help when they can and maybe we can get more done. Our moral is low at this point, but I'm confident that changes in our leadership will remedy that.

    Leave a comment:


  • hvfd08
    replied
    Sounds like "Dead weight" to me. If they are not contributing to the department now, will you really miss them if the department gets rid of them? I highly doubt it!

    I would rather have fewer members that are fully committed than carry the "Dead Weight".

    Leave a comment:


  • GVFD5
    replied
    Originally posted by FIRE117 View Post
    If your FD could provide an arrangement for childcare during the designated meeting times, training times and even the social events (so the member could bring their spouse), this could help with attendance.
    I think this is an excellent idea. Being a young Dad of Twin boys and my wife working alot of hours (has to take call 3 nights a week), this could help eleviate alot of, if not all the problems I have attending. I am VERY active still, but this would help and help reduce a little of the stress on my wife as well. I am going to suggest it in the next few months and we will see where is goes. Thanks for the idea!

    Stay Safe

    FD5

    Leave a comment:


  • Blulakr
    replied
    Originally posted by JD1234 View Post
    1. Do nothing.
    2. Grumble and moan about it.
    3. Vote/Kick them out and collect their gear/equipment.
    4. Contact them to find out what the problem is.
    5. Outreach/encouragement to get them back in the loop.

    --
    .
    In order...

    #2
    #4
    #5
    #3

    Leave a comment:


  • FIRE117
    replied
    Member Retention

    One of the difficulties I see that younger volunteers have with participating (training sessions, meetings, etc.) is child care.

    Due to the economic realities today, both spouses work. One may work the day shift and the other the night shift.

    If your FD could provide an arrangement for childcare during the designated meeting times, training times and even the social events (so the member could bring their spouse), this could help with attendance.

    Could a daycare in the community be paid to be open on certain evenings? Is there a member (or nonmember) that would be willing to watch children in their home? Is there a retired person who is willing to do day care?

    This could possibly be arranged for fire calls, too. If a member has childcare issues, this may be a reason why they cannot attend FD events or even all the fire/EMS runs.

    This is something you may want to consider if you have younger members on your FD. I know of several FD's that have designated babysitters that their members can call to see if they are available, when a fire or EMS call comes in.

    You may have members that want to participate, but they have family obligations, too. If you help with childcare, you can obtain more active members.

    Leave a comment:

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