Does anyone offer a child care service to their firefighters so that they can attend runs or meetings. Or has any one ever had that idea. Seems if we could figure out a way to do this it would give us a little more manpower. Isn't like the old days when one parent was able to stay home with the kids. Maybe this is a far fetched idea but just throwing out here.

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In all honestly your family comes first. In my honest opinion your time is better spent with the kids then it would be running calls.
I have seen that idea tossed around before at a volunteer fire co. It may work for meeting not but not for running calls. I agree with Rescue601, your kids come first, fire call don't grow up, but your kid do. There will always be more fire calls.
We really don’t have anything formal set up however when there’s a large fire a lot of the wives show up and watch kids for the ones that need it. As an officer I’ve always considered meetings and fire scenes as adult day care. :)
I know of one Brigade here that did have a set plan, and one that could have, but didn't follow it up.

Being full volunteer, both the above Brigades have the issue of covering daytime response. The first one recruited and trained some young mothers, their system worked by all the mothers turning up at the Station (when they could) with their children. About 50 metres away is a childcare centre, one or another of the mothers was usually there with a really young child, that mother would also answer the pager and come over to the Station. The mothers worked their own system as to who stayed with the children, the others took the truck and responded to the incident. More experienced members of the Brigade would also respond, from outlying jobs in this rural township, but they would all go direct to the scene, once there the most senior would take over running the job, and if possible release the mothers to go back (using one of the direct to scene private cars) to their children. By all accounts the system worked very well.

The other Brigade actively tried to recruit daytime responders - which usually menas stay-at-home mums. The recruiting took the form of a door-knock of every house in the small village, during daytime hours. Four mothers were keen, but one said although she wanted to help she couldn't see herself fighting fires. Would have worked perfectly with that person staying at the Station with the kids while the others responded. Unfortunately, there was no follow-up call or visit. I don't think any of those women actually joined. Pity.

As has been said, your children are more important than a fire call, but there are ways of safely looking after children while people respond to incidents. I'd be willing to bet that most areas would have people who would like to help in the child-minding way.

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