We are looking at implementing a new volunteer personnel mentoring program at my station and I was wondering if anyone had such a program. If you do would you be willing to share your guidelines, sop's, etc so that I don't have to start from scratch?
We are starting a new system at our station. We are going to have team leaders that take 3 or 4 members that will be under there guidance. The members will work with there leaders and learn the way things are to be done and to who they report to with problems. Officers will oversee the teams to make sure they are trained right and able to plan our Monday drills so everyone will work together. This gives the members something to work for becoming a team leader since we have our officers in place. It all sounds good if it works.
We just started a new program at our station in regards to new volunteers. We have been talking about a mentoring program. We have had an official one but are now looking to implement a formal one. Do you mind if I read over your material for use of helping to develop our own?
Please do. I am bringing this mentor program to my officer's meeting tonight for approval. It is a fluid document and we keep making changes as we see fit. It is a good start. The most important thing is putting the right people in as your mentors.
We have a program from the state (TX) the is Introduction to Fire Fighting. It is an 80-90 hour course that is the basic stuff for new peopel. It is taught by the training officer, captains and some of the older hands. This covers the basics of ladders, hose handleing, hose streams, science, etc. In addition the instructors help the new people learn about the trucks and our policies.
What we are looking for is a formal program to make things easier for our new recruits while they are learning the ropes. Everybody always has a ton of questions, likely more questions than they are willing to ask out of fear of being a pest. Our county has a formal County Orientation where the recruits are introduced to county SOP's, Worker's Comp, get bloodborne pathogens training, etc. They also have a formal training program where the recruits get trained through the SC Fire Academy to the FFI level. What we are looking for is for each new member to have one senior person who they can go to to learn our station policies, procedures, etc. The mentor would also followup with our County Training Division to see how the recruit is doing, if there is an area in particular where they need some help, etc. The mentor will give the officer staff a monthly update on the recruit's progress, and set goals/benchmarks/etc. for the recruit to meet. This is to not only give the recruit a hand, but to also give the senior members more a feeling of ownership within the department.
What Hondo's department is working on is along the lines of what we are looking for.