Check out the program Iamresponding
Dan, I also belong to a rural fire dept. and we had the same problem. We don't quite have the response times as you do more like 6-10 min. to the station but our problem was that while some ff would go to the scene instead of the station because you would always assume "joe" who was closet to the station would get the truck but if he wasn't around then it always took longer to get the truck out once you figured out that "joe" isn't around.
Our solution was about 8 years ago we installed a private channel on our portable radios (which all the officers carry) and we gave out a few to the ff/emt's that are around during the daytime so when the tones drop you switch to the private channel to see who's going to the station or needs to go to the station.
Another problem that it helped "fix" was what would happen in the past would be that just as your pulling up to the station the truck is leaving and you would be left following it to the scene where as now they have a heads up to wait that 20 seconds or so and you can make the truck.
Money wise it cost approximate $3,000.00 to obtain the frequency and tower/repeater but it's well worth it. We sought donations from local business and did as much of the work that we could ourselves.
We just installed the i'm responding program and even though we don't have many calls it seems to be working nice. It has also helped us keep track of who made a call for our point system we have set up. The cost is reasonable and the people are easy to work with.
We have an understood "law" that says if it is just an ambulance run the three EMT/EMRs call their numbers in and for fires and car accidents chief or assistant chief 10-4s it and calls for the county to remotely sound our town's siren and hope the firemen that live in the country heard the call. We don't really have a problem with getting too many because we are a small station that usually has to call in mutual aid because so many people work out of town during the week. A lot of times we do get the direct-to-scene people who never come to jump on truck and we do get extra vehicles on scene. We don't have any special response tech just our handhelds and our responders.
That is kind of my situation as me being a junior for a while figuring who won't yell at me for riding second truck or ambulance
Not sure how many calls you run but $300.00 to $500.00 a year really is not a lot of to see who is showing up or going to the scene or not showing up.
We rolled out IAmResponding but no one ever uses it because we have a combination department and on most EMS calls anyway there is a commercial ambulance responding. The paid staff don't really look to see if anyone's coming and most of the volunteers just don't call in their response while en route. There's also the issue of calling/texting while driving. It is a problem most volunteer departments deal with and there's an ebb and flow to it. For a while you get great responses, and then there are lulls where a patient is laying on the floor fifteen minutes after calling 911 or hitting their Lifeline Alert button. Some of us call into the hall if there's a lot going on and our radio (we self-dispatch) is manned.
we use this good tool. Just gotta get everyone on board with remembering to call in. We have a big screen TV hooked up to a laptop so u can see it as you put on your gear,