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Participation Policy

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  • Participation Policy

    Good afternoon everyone! I work for a Paid on Call FD for a city that runs 1100 calls per year. BLS non transporting with a decent amount of fires and crashes. We have a policy requiring firefighters make 12% of calls per quarter. The policy states after 2 consecutive quarters below 12%, you get wrote up. After 3 consecutive quarters, youre terminated. The problem is, the Fire Chief doesnt enforce this policy. Thats why Im posting here...

    The firefighters that show up believe this is a safety issue when you have a guy show up to 2% of calls per quarter. They lack the experience, knowledge, and training. We even have some people that haven?t attended a single training or call for over 9 months that have never been disciplined. Weve tried getting him to enforce it, but for some reason he wont.

    Were trying to research reasons why he should enforce this policy. Any help is appreciated. Were hoping to go to him with a list of issues that arise from firefighters not showing up in hopes he will understand and start enforcing the policy.
    Last edited by EMT2810; 01-02-2019, 12:28 PM.

  • #2
    As you stated, the basic reason is ?. Because it's the policy.

    Secondly, as you stated, members have to be familiar with operations, and the only way to do that is make calls and training.

    Saying all of that, I have no idea on the specifics of your community and the 12% mandated participation requirement does not seem unreasonable. As far as the members that haven't been on a call or to a training session in 9 months, that should be a no-brainer. They need to go. probably needed to go after 6 months, honestly. My question is, where did the 12% number come from? When was that percentage implemented? Are there members that are close to that number but still under it? Are there ways for them to make up missed trainings?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    • #3
      I wish it was as simple as ?it?s the policy?. He claims since we?re an on call dept, any help is better than no help. Which we disagree because of the safety factor of them not being familiar with things.

      12% has been around for ages and it?s nearly impossible to make under 12% unless you?re not interested. Ive worked as a career FF/Medic for several years, travel a lot, and still make nearly 35%.

      Just trying to get some outside input that we can use when we talk to the chief more. I agree, after 6 months of not showing up, you should be terminated. Yeah we have make up training dates but the people that don?t show up, also don?t come to the makeup days. We have some members that hover around 8%. We truly believe if the Chief cracked down on the policy, those guys would make their required percent. It?s unfortunate he won?t enforce the policy...

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      • #4
        The real problem isn't the policy or the members that don't show up, its the chief. Simply put if he refuses to enforce this policy he has essentially neutered himself to enforce ANY policy. If he tries to discipline someone for any offense they have a discrimination claim as he is avoiding discipling those in violation of the attendance policy. Further he is implanting the image that you don't need to show up for trainings or calls. Those on the fringe will slowly or not so slowly see this and slip into non-attendance exasperating the original attendance problems.

        Solutions? Good luck. Have the officers, unless they are part of the problem, sit down with the chief and point out how this is damaging morale, comradery, and the safety of not only the firefighters but those you are sworn to protect. If he is an elected chief and still does nothing, vote him out. If you have a fire board perhaps a meeting with them to explain the problem.

        Truth is there are chiefs that want a heavy roster even if the majority of people never show up or do anything ever. That way it looks like you have a well staffed fire department when in reality all you have is a core group doing all the work and a bunch of ghosts that are of no real help. My former volley FD had 5 members that managed to effectively shut down our department's ability to even hold a meeting because without their numbers being at a meeting we couldn't get a quorum. This went on for months until enough of us said get rid of them, they don't live here anymore, they don't show up for anything, and they are doing nothing but cause mayhem. It took damn near a mutiny to get the chief to act but he finally did.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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        • #5
          as mentioned, you have a leadership failure. the rules are the rules. don't like the rules? change the rules. ignoring them, or not enforcing the rules you have is a sign of poor leadership.

          Whatever your minimums are (call response, training, whatever), they knew the rules when they signed up, and agreed to abide by them.

          Will there be exceptions? sure new addition to the family, sick family, short term work commitments, school commitments, they will happen, and if they are trying, work with them. but if they aren't contributing, or aren't even making an attempt to come close to meeting the department standard (that they agreed to abide by), than boot them. they can reapply when they are ready
          If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

          FF/EMT/DBP

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