I bring my question to you guys and ladies. My question is, What your definition of an "Active Member" really is? All departments probably have the same issue that I am discussing. People that are so called "Members". These are the people that show up for maybe one call a year, don't show up to help with functions, doesn't make meetings, and when they do come around they just complain about how things are. In the state of New York there is a $200 tax deduction/rebate. Why should these people be granted to get this deduction when if they walked into the firehouse 3/4 of the people there wouldn't know who they are. SO what do you guys/ladies think should be done? Also, What is your definition of an active member?

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We go according to our by-laws. This goes for life members as well. We have the kind of group that only shows up for elections of executive officers each year. We argue in company meetings about this every year so we changed the by-laws to eliminate this. There are three criteria's and each member has to make two. 1). make at least 50% of fire runs. 2) attend 3/4's of the meetings 3) dues must be paid. Here in Delaware we are able to receive pension from the state if you are active for the year. If you are not active you do not receive credit for that year that just passed. Also the IRS sends me a list (I am the pension officer) that has all members on it and it request that we let them know if they were active or not. If they are not active and not on the list as active & try to get the firemens credit on their taxes they will be audited by the state. That cut out allot of folks from doing the tax credit thing.
"Active" can be described and defined any way you want it.
Having by-laws or rules governing attendance of your members at meetings, training and department functions would or should clearly define the status of the firefighter.
For starters, an active member would be exactly the opposite of what you described. That would be a good starting point. Next; establish the minimum requirements, making sure that they aren't at odds with state/federal regulations. From there, you can fashion a policy that will propel your department to better morale, better skills, better communication and better public opinion.
TCSS.
Art
we have set by-laws for this.Active member's are those who make the meeting's,call's,function's,drills,trainings and so forth.I have only been in my dept almost 9 months' now and have made most of our meeting's and call's.I have been appointed truck captain and soon to on scene catain.I have shown them that i have shown my intrest in the dept.And am going to proe to them that I deserve my officer's position.Active means showing up and doing what is expected of you.
Our county defines it for us because it involves taxpayer-funded length-of-service awards and a state income tax break. Kinda complicated, but fair: You earn points for duty shifts, meetings, drills, calls and certain ancillary duties (public education activities, car seat inspections, etc.) and for holding certain administrative positions or taking classes at the fire academy. You're "active" if you earned 50 points in the past calendar year, but you can only earn 20 points in any one category, so it's not like you can show up for one drill a week and never run calls and be considered active, or be considered active if all you do is run calls and never show up for training.

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