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Training attendance

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  • Training attendance

    My department in Pa, is having a problem getting members to attend practices. We have 3 Monday night practices a month and occasionally we offer a Wednesday night. Currently in our bylaws inorder to vote at the end of the year for Officer positions you need to make 50% of practices and general meetings. We are looking for ideas on setting a new practice attendance bylaw. Can anyone give me ideas that your station has in place. We were thinking about making it mandatory that you must attend 2 practices a month or you lose your interior qualified status or your driving privileges.

    We understand that Volunteer means you volunteer your time, but practices are important and need to be kept up on.


  • #2
    We are required to attend at least 50% of the regularly scheduled training sessions for each quarter. if we come up short, we can make them up with additional sessions. If still short for one quarter, we are put on notice. If short for a second quarter, we are removed from the active roster until all deficiencies are made up.
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.


    • #3

      I cannot speak for my department, as we currently do not have any standards regarding training attendence. However, I will contribute my two cents worth. (why not, everyone else here usually does )

      I simpathize with your feelings on it being a volunteer fire department, however firefighting is not a hobby, it is a profession. Some are just lucky enough to get paid to do what they love.

      I've been volunteering now only a short eight years, but in my opinion there isn't enough training that one can attend. I believe there should be a set requirement if your (or any for that matter) department is having trouble getting members to attend training. Some people may not view it the same way, but I believe that you are more of a hazard than a help on a fire scene if you are untrained/undertrained.

      I agree with the above statements. I would begin by setting a standard for attendence. As those members that do not comply, they should be put on warning, then suspended temporarily or indefinitely depending on their level of inactivity. A fire department is a team and teams need to practice together regularly in order to preform well at the "game" (read that as fire scene).

      Just my two cents worth. My opinion may sem strong, but I don't think it is too much to ask for a few hours a month of attendence to do the job that we go out to do.

      Stay safe.
      Jonathan Martin
      [email protected]
      WPI Mechanical Engineering
      "Be safe, use smoke detectors...be safer, sleep with a firefighter..."


      • #4
        We are required to attend in 80% of drills and meetings. This means that our Officers must attend 31 times a year and firefighters must attend 19 time a year. Drills can be made up but not meetings. If you fail to make 80% you are voted on by the whole department. You can be voted in good standing or to a 6 month probation. probation means loss of voting and driving privlages. After 6 months you are voted on agian this time to good standing or removed from the department.
        We have 43 positions avalable all of them are full with 3 people on a waiting list.
        Work hard Play harder!


        • #5
          Career or volunteer, the fire's the same

          Yes, we're all volunteers, and it's hard to put strict requirements on volunteers. However, if I'm taking the nozzle into a structure, I want to know that my second man has been through our training, and knows what he is doing in there. If he hasn't trained with us, I don't want him there.

          Our department holds training twice per month. Some training sessions are mandatory. If you don't participate in that training, you DON'T do that activity on the fireground. As an example, if you do not attend the annual driving certification drill, you DO NOT drive the apparatus. Period.

          Other mandatory training events include SCBA's, Extrication, and Pump Operations, as well as other topics. We have also adopted the minimum training standard that all firefighters must be trained to the Firefighter I level within a specified length of time after joining the dept. I forget what the time limit is - I became a FF I before the requirement was in place. In addition, we are required to attend a certain percentage of drills (I forget exactly how many), and we are expected to attend a certain percentage of "incidents". We allow some leniency on the incident attendance, as some volunteers are unable to leave their employment during the day, as an example. If all of our calls are happening during the normal workday, these firefighters are excused. However, it's hard to get an excused absence from those 3:00 AM fires. Not many people can say they were "busy" then.

          The bottom line is, our department has taken a pretty firm stand that if you want to be a firefighter, you will TRAIN to be a firefighter - regularly and often. If you aren't willing to train, we don't want you. Volunteer or career, your life depends on your training.


          • #6
            Thats basically our bylaws too FIREMEDIC with the exception that we dont require to respond to incidents by percentage.The reason for this is its VERY hard finding people around here that want to work.Theyd rather lie around and collect thier welfare checks...but we DO require that training and company meeting be attended at least 80%....so that everyone knows if there has been any changes in policy or new topics being brought into the bylaws.Usually those that attend at least THREE meetings,drills and training meetings DURING probation get issued a key to the firehouse...those that dont..get put on notice.After missing 6 straight trainings/meetings we put our members on an "inactive list" meaning..they are taken away thier keys to the firehouse and they are put back on probation for a period of six months...should they still miss the requirements then I simply dismiss them.Around here I can do very little...as far as "punishment" goes becuase the people are so picky....and if you do TOO much then they will just quit the firehouse and your left HOPING you find more replacements.


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