What is the biggest issue facing your department? How do you fix it? I believe for my department its training and being active as a group. We have several on our department that dont take training serious they would skip it if possiable. We also cant get many people to show up for any thing we do as a department fundrasiers, dinners or just to work on trucks. This is a trend that started several years back when several bad things happend to our department. We lost our station to a fire, and there was a few major battles between members and of course the politics of dealing with the city didnt help either. I think this trend is changing with some new members really wanting to get active and a new chief wanting to focus on more training and being a more active department in the community. I know there will always be a little strife of some sort but i think its all working out for the better.
We used to have several, but 2 years ago we got a new chief, and things are really starting to change for the good. We have little issues, but its all coming together slowly but surely. You are never going to be without issues. Alot of people have seen the great positive results our dept has done in the last 2 years. We are small and a volly dept. Im really satisfied with the progress.
We have had some success bonding better by starting to do things other than the usual meetings and calls, we have started having social events like cookouts, game nights, July 4th picnic and such, where we can just relax and have fun. as for training good luck! We have 2 walls in our training room for our training certificates. everyone (at least the younger ones) want to have the most on display, it also forces the older ones to either admit they don't have the needed training or start looking into getting it done. change comes slowly, but with persistance it will change, just don't expect it today. Our biggest issues are training and funding!!
Funding: A majority of that is not in our control due to the county interference.
Staffing: Keeping volunteers and retaining them.
Purchase new apparatus: When you're driving a 1987 Hahn as a front line piece, and the career side damages it in an accident what our you going to do.
Lack of leadership: The chief isn't the friendliest person to talk to and if you get on his bad side you stay there. If you have a problem that's just tough. The assistant chief is not around much and the deputy chief will stab you in the back the minute he thinks you can't do the job.
Lack of respect by the career staff as well as several volunteers.
Now what to do about it? Well with the county withholding state funds its time to take them to court. Not sure if this is going to happen but one can never tell.
As for recruiting volunteers, its a struggle since a majority of the public fails to understand the term volunteer but you got to keep on trying. Retention is another issue but you have to find ways like having a company picnic to keep people and pay them back for the time they do commit as a volunteer.
As for the leadership hopefully people will step forward who are qualified and are willing to be actual leaders. I'm being optmistic but the only way to bring about change is to sometimes be a change maker yourself.
As for the career staff, well they have their own issues that don't necessarily involve the volunteers. All you can do is give a little and maybe you'll get some in return.
Well first off I am with a full time dept as well as volunteer. I see the same issues with both of my departments though. Number one the volunteer base is dropping to almost nothing. Lack of money is also an issue and trying to deal with county commissioners who I personally feel the only thing some of them see is the green stuff lining there pockets and not all of them but some of them are not thinking about whats in the best interest for the people. Also a lot of our Volunteers on the paid department have forgotten what the word "Volunteer" means. They complain because they get paid $10 a call and that its not enough. Well in my volunteer dept, we don't get paid and I understand times are tough and gas is going crazy but come on its not about money. I get so tired of hearing complaints on people not getting paid enough. If you don't like it then go away is my feelings. If I did this job for the money I wouldn't do it. I just don't understand it. I guess being a volunteer has different meanings for everyone. That is our biggest issue, our Volunteers.
I am the Deputy County Fire Marshal for my county, and one of the biggest issues (besides funding and training) is drama and fighting going on between members of one of our stations, and with members of other stations. We, as like your department have issues of members not showing for training, maintenance...or even calls. The department in question has had 3 chiefs since I have came on board, so that is a contributing factor, and it seens to be that there are folks wanting to wear the white helmet because they think they deserve it. So if you have any advice on dealing with this matter, feel free to pass it along. Likewise I will pass any ideas along. It seems some of our folks are forgetting why they joined the fire service.
Sounds like everyone has a lot of the same ones we do. Damon is not much differant then us our first out is a 1985 E-One we got used from some large department in florida I thing it came from West Palm Beach Its not a bad truck but its got lots of small issues and was used rather well before we got it and our other pumper is a 1974 Ford we got it through the forestry service it was an air force truck.