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  • Pay Per Call

    We currently have a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) that puts $1400 into a retirement plan every year for active volunteer firefighters who meet the qualification requirements. The problem that we are encountering is that although this is a nice sum of money being given to our members, there is still a call response issue. We are looking to revamp our current LOSAP system and turn it into a pay-per-call system. I'm looking for anyone that currently has a pay-per-call system and how your system is set up. Also, even if you don't have a pay-per-call system but you have another item that works to motivate members in a positive way, please jump in and send your thoughts my way.

  • #2
    We don't have LOSAP, although there have been some discussions, including setting up a county-wide system. That will require a change in NYS law, however. We have no departments paying their members by the call.

    I digress.

    Does your LOSAP have an activity requirement? Twenty-five percent of the calls? Even ten percent? How about training? In-station manning? Business meetings?

    In NY, if we have a LOSAP we have to post quarterly how folks are doing with regard to meeting the requirements. While it's possible that a member could meet most of the requirements in the first quarter and then coast for the rest of the year, alarms are a moving target and a busy grass fire season (f'rinstance) could throw the entire year off, bumping up the number of calls needed.

    A problem with LOSAP, particularly for younger members, is that the payoff is way down the road.

    To that end, if you're going to a paid-on-call/pay-per-call concept, I'd consider a base rate for a call (assume, say, 2 hours), with some additional rate paid by the hour for calls running over that "X" hours. That's how the POC department in my old hometown in MI worked some years ago. Not sure how it goes there now.

    I'm guessing here, but I suspect that even pay-per-call won't roust some of those folks out of the woodwork. They do like the jacket, however...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    • #3
      My department is paid per call and it's paid hourly. We get one hour minimum, even if the call only takes 20 minutes. Also, if the call goes past the quarter hour, we get paid the next half hour. We get our checks from the fiscal officer once per quarter of the year. It's not alot but hey, its some spare pocket change. Plus its nice to have that extra little bit around Christmas time!!

      Good luck with your project.

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      • #4
        Our department allocates a certain amount of money per quarter for calls. That money is divided up based on number of calls and number of persons who respond to the calls. The less people who show up, but more calls, means more money for you! (Not the perfect system, but it works). On average, it works itself out to about $2.20 a call or ~$150 a quarter for active members.

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        • #5
          One of the POC FDs I am on pays $12 a call, no matter the duration. The other pays $10 an hour. Both pay once a year before the Christmas Holidays.
          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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          • #6
            A problem with LOSAP, particularly for younger members, is that the payoff is way down the road.
            What he said.

            Our LOSAP is $1000 per year. Yes, there are requirments for certain % of calls, meetings, training, etc. It truly provides 0 incentive to anyone. Since we have started it, ~5 years ago or so, the same people make percentages, the same people don't.

            A department close to me gives a uniform/clothing allowance each December, instead of a LOSAP program. You make the required stuff, you are handed a check (around $600) the first week or so of December. That provides more incentive than a promise of money X years from now...
            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
              What he said.

              It truly provides 0 incentive to anyone. Since we have started it, ~5 years ago or so, the same people make percentages, the same people don't.

              A department close to me gives a uniform/clothing allowance each December, instead of a LOSAP program. You make the required stuff, you are handed a check (around $600) the first week or so of December. That provides more incentive than a promise of money X years from now...
              we have both.. LOSAP and a clothing allowance and I think your comment applies to both. Certainly a check in December is more immediate then one when I turn 65 (for most of us anyway ). The incentive issues are still the same: Mostly the same people make the minimums for both year after year. Even when we send out monthly status we still have people that miss the minimum by one meeting, or drill.. or whatever.
              So you call this your free country
              Tell me why it costs so much to live
              -3dd

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              • #8
                We have an allowance program, with a $20,000 budget funded by our municipality. This program has been working very well as far as members attending trainings , showing up for more than just the good calls and being involved on the business side of the department.

                Allowance will be figured by percentage and will change regularly based on firefighter roster size and criteria accomplishments.

                Period 1 – December 1st to May 31st (182 days)
                Period 2 – June 1st to November 30th (183 days)
                Allowance will be paid out semi-annual June 1st and December 1st

                Allowance Criteria

                To receive your allowance the member must be in good standing and meet the following criteria:

                1. Respond to 40% or better of emergency calls per allowance period. Consideration can be given to persons who have altered work schedules, students enrolled in school or training sessions and military personnel that are unable to meet the required number of calls. These members must show proof of such enrollment or altered work schedules in writing prior to the evaluation period for the committee to review. These members, regardless of status (i.e. Chief, Captain, Firefighter…) will receive 1% if at least 20% of the calls for that period are attended.
                2. Attend 24 hours of approved training per allowance period. This category will not give any special consideration.
                3. Perform all assignments and individual job descriptions per the Fire Department Constitution / By Laws and the Departmental Guidelines.
                4. Attend 3 Fire Department meetings per allowance period. For members unable to attend meetings, a copy of the minutes will be hung on the board in the hallway after the meeting at the Secretaries first convenience. The absent members who seek credit for the meeting must read the minutes, sign and print their names with a reason of the absence on the back of the minutes to be given ½ credit for that meeting. This will be given as consideration until not enough members are attending meetings and the requirements will be 3 meetings per allowance period without consideration.

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                • #9
                  My combo department uses a points system. The 2% insurance premuim rebater check is used to fund the points system.

                  Structure Fire - 5 pts.
                  Weekly training - 3 pts.
                  Car Fire - 2 pts.
                  Brush Fire - 2 pts (but can be increased if it is a major incident)
                  Haz-Mat- 2 pts.
                  Technical rescue - 2 pts.
                  Other Fire - 2 pts.
                  MVA, Medical Call, Other Call (Wires Down, Alarm, False,Standbys) - 1 pt

                  Work detail - As determined by OIC up to 3 pts.
                  Special Training - As determined by OIC up to 3 pts.
                  Out of Town training - 2 pts. per full day/ 1 pt 1/2 day
                  ANY LSU Certification Test passed - 5 pts.
                  Meeting all required rating-specified training percentages in a calender year - 10pts.

                  Points range from 3.00-3.60 depending on the size of the rebate check.

                  Average member receives a check each Novemeber for $300-$700. We have given out checks as large as $1900.

                  We also do LOSAP, which starts at the 10-year mark. $600 for firefighters and $800 for officers per year.

                  Career personnel recieve volunteer points when responding off-duty, not overtime.
                  Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-14-2011, 02:29 PM.
                  Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                  • #10
                    my

                    good post! Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                    • #11
                      We just re-visited out pay-per-call system this year...

                      "Fire" Call (bascially, anything but an Ambulance Assist Medical) - is 2 points for the first 2 hours or part thereof; and a point an hour after the first 2...

                      Ambulance Assist is 1 point

                      Training Nights are 1.5 points

                      As for the attendance issue - we require members to make 30% of the calls in a quarter to remain in good standing - anything under results in a letter, two consecutive quarters under 30% results in an interview, and having to explain why, with possible disicplinary action, if warranted. Our chief and officers are pretty good, if someone's got a valid reason for missing calls, and has some history to show that's not their normal SOP...

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                      • #12
                        Man, I don't know if we'd survive if we required 30-40% attendance of all calls. Just about all the volunteers work outside the city during the day and response then stinks. If we looked at 30% of night and weekend calls, that would probably work.

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                        • #13
                          As far as I know, we don't have any minimum requirements or anything like that. We are paid monthly.

                          We get $10 per call for all calls except working structure fires which are $20. We also get $10 for the bi-monthly training nights.

                          Everyone makes the same per call whether you are support, firefighter or an officer.

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                          • #14
                            From another current thread:

                            Our FD's call division gets a lump sum for the year. That amount is divided by 12 for 12 monthly allotments available as pay. Each member is given an attendance check mark in a roster for any drills, classes or calls that they attend. At the end of each month the total number of check marks for all attendance is divided into the monthly allotment giving a per check mark amount. Then each member is paid that amount for the number of checks they had in the month. It's a little complex, but what it does is give a budgeted amount to city hall they can plan, no overage and no less. Some months depending on the number of calls, drills and attendance, the guys get fairly decent money, other months when attendance is higher, the pay is less.

                            For example:
                            annual budget for call division: $48,000
                            monthly allotment available: $4000
                            Drill #1: 10 personnel (10 checks)
                            Drill #2: 7 personnel (7 checks)
                            Drill #3: 16 personnel (16 checks)
                            incident 2432: 12 checks
                            incident 2476: 7 checks
                            incident 2501: 11 checks

                            Total checks: 63
                            $4000 divided by 63= $63.49 per check mark
                            Fire fighter Smith has all 6 check marks for the month: $380.94 pay

                            This doesn't account for call div. officer's stipends which come off the monthly allotment first. Also, we generally give a check mark for every two hours, so incidents or dills that exceed this might get 2 or more checks per attendee.

                            Not to mention I think my example annual budget figure might be higher that is actual here. As I noted above, this type of system is a really winner with town councils and budget people because the annual budget is whatever they set it at, no surprises. In the end we sustain a 25 person call roster of which 10 are reliable, all for less than our lowest paid career person's total compensation package. Hard not to see this is a good deal for the community.

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                            • #15
                              We have both LOSAP and a clothing allowance program (paid per event). Our LOSAP is set at 500 per year and is paid by the municipality. Our clothing allowance is $20,000 which is figured into our annual budget. The system we use is chosen by the chief and the line officers. The system we used to use was a simple rank based system with set ammounts. As long as you made your minimum requirements you got the full payout. $500 for a FF, $700 for a LT, 900 for a Capt. and so on. The 20,000 was figured on when we had little manpower on our roster. 2 years ago we came into a problem where we had an influx in members and just a bunch of people making the very minimum they had to. So we were paying a lot of people which threw us over budget and wasnt getting calls answered with a lot of manpower. So we changed our system to what we have now which is basically everything we do throughout the year has a dollar ammount. Drills are $5, Fire prevention visits to schools are $15, our open house is $20, we do our own hose testing which is worth $50, any scheduled standby for our town or any other due to adverse weather or times when other departments will be out of service is worth $10. and so on. After all that is figured out for the year whatever money is left over is how we figure out our emergency call ammount. Say we have 200 calls that year we then find out how many people attended each call (computer adds it from attendance) and say we averaged 12 people per call that would be 3000 people total for the year. Now after all the other money is deducted say we have $9000 left that would turn out to $3 per call. So then we go back in and find out how many calls each person answered and give them $3 per call and someone who makes 120 calls would get $360. for their calls. Now we add all their event payments together and officer stipends and the guy who makes 65% of calls and events makes upwards of $1000 per year. We get our checks late november so its a nice christmas check as previous people have stated.

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