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  • Volunteer Company Shifts

    My dept is considering going to a company shifts and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on shifts for volunteers and if you man the station at night and if so, how do the volunteers like it?

    We normally dont man the station here except for holidays and bad weather.

    Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.

    Stay safe and LOW

    Sean

  • #2
    Here at CT, we don't do anything like this...we just don't have the call volume to support keeping people sitting around the station for extended periods of time (we only run a total of between 150 and 200 calls/year of all types). Back in the late 1980's, however, I ran with a station in central PA where call volume was up at around 500/year for fire calls and 250/year in QRS responses. There, we had a bunkroom, live-ins and duty shifts on Friday and Saturday nights. Basically, it worked like this:

    Sunday thru Thursday, anyone who intended to "sleep in", either day (for people who worked night shifts) or night, was expected to sign in by 7PM the evening before. That way, officers & drivers could stop by in the evenings and see what sort of manpower would be in station over the following 18 to 24 hours. Then, they'd know how to react to various types of calls over that time period. For example, if you checked and saw that there were two drivers, a chief officer and four crew all sleeping in that night, you'd know that you need not even show up for a mutual aid call on which only the tanker was due (because that would only pull out a driver and a crewman and still leave a crew for one engine behind), you'd need to head to the station to standby with the second engine on a call where one engine and the tanker were due (that would dump the manpower at station, but leave an engine and a brush/QRS unit that needed staffing), and you'd need to get your butt down there pronto on a call where the whole station was due (because there was unstaffed apparatus that needed to respond). Of course, if you checked in and saw that only two people were "sleeping in", you needed to get down there pronto on almost any dispatch. On Fridays and Saturdays, the situation was similar, except that we rotated people (especially officers and drivers) into weekend crews on a pre-planned schedule because manpower was generally less predictable on weekends (people out of town, people OOS due to alcohol, etc.).

    That worked pretty well at that time, although I don't know if they're still doing things that way today. Hope this helps.

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