Hey folks, we are looking at writing/rewriting a member in good standing policy. And we are looking for SOP/SOG's from other volunteer Fire/EMS services for ideas and directions in which we want to take ours. If you would like to send a copy that would be great you can send it to Rahn at Abbott dot net.
If you don't want to send it or don't feel comfortable with sending me your SOP/SOG's that fine you can just post the gist of what's in it here.
In addition to that we are rewriting all our SOP/SOG's so if you would like to send me all your SOP/SOG's that pertain to day to day operations. I am not interested in your medical/trauma protocols because here that is a collective document that is written by us and the medical director. But if you wanted to send me those too they would be welcome.
Rahn currently members must attend 20% of all calls, 20% of all trainings, and 20% of all business meetings, to remain in good standing you must meet at least 2 of the 3. Officers must meet all 3 that goes for fire officers as well as association officers. As per our discussion yesterday EMS will be on call every other week as we are having problems having members show up lately. That will be part of the revamping of the SOP's. They will have the opportunity to choose there weeks but if they don't we will assign them.
Hope this helps I will send you a copy as soon as I get them.
It will help me a lot to know how you define "Member In Good Standing". Is it a reference to an active member ? It implys that the member is in compliance with your company rules, regulations and/or By-Laws.
Is that it? Padre
Padre, I guess what we are trying to come up with is the definition. Here's the situation. This is a primarily volunteer ambulance service in a small rural community. It has had difficulties with local politics for a long time.
It has now become a matter of convenience to attend trainings, business meetings, and to a certain extent, take call time. Right now as it stands our SOP's have no teeth, and if we were to let someone go it would immediately make it back to the commissioners. Then the fight would be on. Where if we had a written by-law or SOP that laid out what was expected of the members, when you let someone go the meeting with the commissioners would be short and sweet. "Here's what was expected of the member, here's where they were deficient, here's where there was tiered correction, then we dismissed them. Unfortunately, right now, we have none of that. I was trying to see how the rest of the world operated to get ideas for this service.
My department is much like the others. 15% of calls, or 432 shift hrs a year for reserves, 50% of bussiness meetings, and a minimum of 36 hrs of training every year, current CPR card, and you must complete driver and pumping training every year.
Make sure you are not mixing SOP/SOG's with "Policy". There is a big, and legal difference. SOG/SOP's are appropriate for emergency operations where you need to allow the incident commander and other officers a certian degree of lattitude to make decisions, based on the dynamic and changing situations that are typical at emergencies. Policies are what are used to run the organization, and by definition, can not be violated without consequence/discipline/termination. It seems to me what you are considering is actually a "policy" not an SOG/SOP.
Policies need to be discussed and approved by the Commissioners to be valid. Since as you state, they will be the final arbitor of the situation if a member is no longer in "good standing."
As a former Commissioner (elected by the citizens) my suggestion is that before going too far down this road, you should through the appropriate line of communications, have the Commissioners discuss the issue and get their imput, prior to drafting the proposed policy. I would also suggest that you include provisions for allowing with prior approval unusual circumstances where a member can not meet the minimu number of drills/responses etc. One example is a member who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves, and is called up for active duty. Another example might be a member who because of a medical condition, can not temporarily attend drills/responses.
Roger, you are correct in your definitions of SOP/SOG's vs. policy. I have used the terms fairly loosely due to the fact that this message board reaches a wide area of people and I have often times seen the two used rather sloppily on this message board.
You are also correct in stating the commissioners would play a key role in this process and I have in no way discounted them from this process. However, in a small community that, for the most part, has never been exposed to the rest of the world in terms of emergency services there are sometimes barriers in the way that prevent people from coming up with new ideas that would move the service forward. And of course, they would be definitely involved in drafting this document. However, right now I am looking for ideas that could be brought to the table for the process of drafting the document.
We were already thinking of ways to make it flexible in the event someone had an unusual circumstance. Thank you for bringing up Guard and Reserve duty. We currently don't have anyone on the service in that situation so that could have been overlooked easily. I will put that in my list of suggestions.
I hope you took my comments in the light I intended, constructive not accusitory. I wish I had a specific policy to send to you, but I don't. I'm am happy to review what you draft, from a risk management perspective. It is interesting in following the thread, that so many people think that attendance at business meetings is important. Personnaly, I'd be more concerned with attendance at drills/training.
You might check with your state firefighters association, or the National Volunteer Fire Council to see if they have any resources.
I forgot to add in my original message that you may wish to consider having a valid driver's license as a criterial You can also develop a table of allowable "points" based on things such as speeding tickets, DUI's etc. These will need to be checked at least annually. There is an example schedula at ESIP.com
I don't recommend that the Board acturally draft the document, just get their input prior and consider it in your draft . Otherwise it will look like something developed by a committee. Their role is to discuss/approve/reject the document, not write it.
On another topic, since your Board has not been well exposed to the fire service, if you would like send me your email and I'll forward to you a one page chart which differenciates the roles between the Board and the Chief. It is a part of a presentation I've done at conferences and you might find it helpful.
Rahn, We use a system where you must attain "credits" to be able to vote or hold an elective (President, Vice President, Chief, Assistant Chief, Etc.) position. In our Constitution and By Laws, Which we just totally revamped and are in the process of getting approved by the membership, it states that to be a member in good standing of the company members must not be in arrears for dues and must achieve a minimum of 30 credits. These credits are achieved the following ways:
Drills Max 20 credits
Meetings Max 15 credits
Miscellaneous Acitivities 15 credits.
We are trying to bump that up to 35 credits, keeping the same as before but adding in the calls. We broke the calls down to the following percentages.
0-4.9% of Calls- 0 Credits
5.0-9.9% of Calls- 5 Credits
10% + of Calls- 10 Credits
Up until this point our calls only count towards our LOSAP program. Hope this helps some!
Roger, I did take your comments as constructive. I do appreciate your comments especially from someone who has sat on a commission. I will definitely send you my email address.
I think licenses are also very important. The licenses that have come up so far sound ridiculous that they should even have to be mentioned but I guess if you don't lay it all out there is a loophole. But valid DL, valid EMT license and valid current CPR card. Of course anything above that would be icing on the cake such as PALS, ACLS, PHTLS.
I would like to thank everyone for their great comments so far. There has been some great input. And again, I am not looking for one specific thing but rather a collection of what other services feel is reasonable and is a standard or norm for a great number of other services.
So far it seems to be
1) some sort of call requirements, 10-20% anually
2) some sort of meeting requirements 20 - 50%
3) and some sort of training requirements either in hours or percentages of.