It could be that rising gas prices are cutting down some members' responses in my department, I don't know. I have heard that this is definitely the case elsewhere. Our district is so spread out that better than 75% of the members go directly to the scene in POVs.
I know there are a lot of people who are struggling in today's economy, and the additional burden of increased gas prices is unwelcome. But I also know of situations where the increased costs are a convenient excuse for some to just not respond, unless it's a "good" call. "Good" for who? How can you tell if it's a "good" call or not?
I think that if firefighters resort to becoming selective about good calls versus "bad" calls (or "puke" vs. "non-puke" calls in EMS) they need to seriously re-evaluate their reasons for being in the business.
I no longer always drive the 11 miles to my station for a box alarm unless they call it a working fire and they need more personnel for a 2nd piece. Too far to drive when most of the time it ends up being food on the stove or some other false alarm.
I agree. Some of the departments in my area have started reimbursement for gas. as it's paying you back at the end of the year for what you spend in stead of for the call or the hours you work, it's still considered non-paid volunteer. It's all political so they have to be careful of how they do it.
Firefighters and EMTs who start choosing their calls should really look at why they choose one call over another and who they are "serving"(self or the community). If they go to a structure fire that has mutual aid requested because it's getting bad ("good") and they may be able to do search ops and then get on the line then be rotated out during clean up and overhaul but they won't go to a more local fully involved mobile home because they will just be doing clean up they should really evaluate why they are there in the first place. The same goes for MVA roll over vs lifting assistance. Everyone who drives a POV to a call first of all knows that they will use fuel, second they know that there is the option of going to the station to catch the truck, There is always the unpopular option of go and wait at the station in case more manpower is needed. Just a simple and gas saving is to gently drive to the station non emergent on the days that you are available in case there is a call, while you are there you can clean the station check off the trucks,do general maintenance ect. That's just my take on it you may or may not agree and some districts bylaws and politics may not allow this to work. If you see a problem like that you should bring it up with the officers and do a call audit for trends in response by each member so it can be discussed with them and a solution can be found.
above all Be safe out there! your co-workers safety IS your business.
I know in my town, we all respond to the station first, but as pointed out in another seprate article here on FFN, we have a large amount of false alarms, sometimes as many as 4 a week. This past weekend i believe we had 3. So when responding to those kinds of calls, ya it does definatly suck. I live 1 mile from the station, but, when I am at work, I am told by my employer that they "perfer" that if possible, I don't respond when that time comes, becuase it puts a stain on them too. Even if u respond to a false alarm, your still gone for a good 1.5 hours, sometimes more. Thats the polite way for the employer to say, dont go, and if you do, its gonna count against you. . . .
I am sure that there are those on my department whom dont respond due the cost of gas, i mean really its stupid, but i understand the thinking behind it. You wanna help, that why you signed up, but its hurting your family in the process.
We have definatly seen a decrease in volunteers for our department, and i wonder if that may be a reason, or factor at least
I myself respond to the scene or to the house.. We are suppose to respond to the house ,but if I am coming from out of town then to scene.. To be honest never thought about gas until now...hummmmm good ques.. to all I guess.
I have a responce area 396 square miles, My volunteer dept is a combo of paid and volunteer, I had to choose to stay in the area of my home to respond on calls unless its a large call or lots of calls are in progress. before gas prices went thru the roof, i was responding on over 50% of all calls.. i will respond to the station close to me and get a truck if needed or go to the scene.. but yes gas prices have hurt all the volunteers that i have talked to.. its hurting the wallet.. i love what i do and will keep going as long as i can afford to respond...
selective response has always been a problem here grass fire dont get the turn out a house fire gets, [but we has a grass fire called in one morning ended up it was a struture fire ], but theres nothing i can do to fix that. i do see more guys coming to station on distance calls to ride in the truck but i really like that better less clutter on scene with 10 pov's