Okay, lets face it... gas prices are wayyyy out of hand with no relief in sight. My Department is 100% Volunteer with a roster of about 115 people including support. We cover 27 square miles and operate with 3 houses.
We were starting to see a change in habits of some members, so we took notice and asked questions. What we found was the change of habits were not to due lack of interest, but simply because its becoming costly for people to transport themselves to calls or the firehouse!
Think about it. Gas in my neck of the woods is now $ 3.30 a gallon.
Traveling to a call, meetings, squad nights, drills, training , schooling whatever can quickly add up the miles in a month. I have heard numbers of 50 miles to 700 miles and more driven by our most active members in 1 month!
For the record, our District does allow POV's to respond to the scene, hence, why the numbers may seem high to some. We are not pay by call District and
re-embursement for mileage for Fire/EMS personel seems lightyears away, if ever, an option.
However you cut it, being a Volunteer is no longer just dedicating your time but it is now also becoming a serious financial issue for many.
I am curious to hear how this may have effected your Department in any way.
If it hasen't effected you yet, it probably will.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Has anyone shuffeled FD schedules to try to combine things so people are out a few less nights a month?
Are your members or new recruits feeling as though they cant "afford" to be a Volunteer?
As Always, Stay Safe Everyone!