I am wondering if other departments have any incentive programs to get less active members involved, or for the department as a whole. Do any of you get reimbursement for calls, year end payments based on attendance, etc?
Any comments would be welcome. This came up at our last meeting and some ideas were floated but I thought I would see what else is out there.
Our trustees pay stipends to firefighters for calls, meetings and training. It accounts for less than 10 percent of our total budget of $88,000 a year. Insurance costs more than the money paid to firefighters, so it is money well spent.
Anyway, to get to your problem; it won't go away by paying for it. When new members get on our fire department, they don't ask what it pays. They don't care about the money. It should be treated as a side benefit and nothing else. If money is the issue, then the issue is bigger than money!
If members of your department are already lacking motivation to attend meetings, training or God forbid, fires, then you need to challenge them to remain on the department. If you're going to incentify someone for showing up, do it for the ones who are showing up!
Don't throw good money down the toilet on people who will give you a litany of excuses. Get rid of them.
And save money in the long run.
if you get a tax break you getting paid to. i spend at least a 200 a month on gas never get that back from going to meetings , drills and fires 2 drills 2 meetings maybe 5 fires 4 false alarms a month . we are a small vol dept only 20 of us. wish i got a tax break . ill trade the 10 dollars a meeting for it . I been doing that for 18 years. my firefighter truck tag cost me more than a regular tag. im pretty sure my hearts in it
We do a reimbursement plan. We do the calls on a point system. Every call is worth 1 point if it is a structure fire it is 3 points if you go to any call that is over 2hours than again its worth 3 points. The board of directors and the Chief budget enough money in to the plan to make each point around $5.00 a point so at the end of the year we get one check. This also works for hose testing and hydrant testing everyone that shows up get at least 10 points. When we have the call volume that we do all of this ends up a really good xmas check.
My department uses a clothing/gas allowance system and has for 10+ years. This has not impacted that much on attendance (+/-). I find that the more you can do to emphasize your team association (shirts/caps), the more the members want to be involved. But some of this can be reward oriented. Working a major event/incident may result in a "special T" to recognize their contribution. (Ex: Hurricane Katrina response teams, Annual Open house). Our basic attitude as officers is this. They did a good job, and even if the public doesn't step up, we will.
P.S. I'd rather have 6 people behind me I can trust to do it right, than 30 sightseers out for a ride!!