Volunteers and high gas prices,,, does it affect the time you give to your Department???

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!

Mike

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I THINK THAT IT ABSOLUTLY AFFECTED ME, I LIVE VERY FAR FROM THE FIRE HOUSE, ALMOST OUT OF DISTRICT! I WASTE SO MUCH GAS GETTING TO AND FROM THE FIRE HOUSE, IT SEEMS SOMETIMES I HAVE TO PICK AND CHOOSE THE CALLS I GO ON ACCORDING TO MY GAS TAKE AND MY BANK ACCOUNT
this may sound stupid but have your firefighters thought about car pulling to training or calls.
where i live we have a few people that live close to each other and they take turns driving to different things. they pick a week ant then trade off this might ease the gas cost some what.

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