Need Ideas when it comes to taking Vol depts and staffing them for day shifts

My area Onslow County is going though the process of trying to fix the problem of how little we have day time responders this project was awarded about 5 hundread thousand and some odd dollars. This project has been under works for sometime now and July 12 the commity will be taking ideas to the meeting and by the end of the week will know what they are doing... Please give me some ideas and thoughts on putting paid staff for day time shifts in Vol fire departments, have any of you already went though this? I know some countys have and are in the same boat as we are. What are your thoughts on how bringing our responses for day time up in our county and how it will affects us. I do have a lot of ideas on our own but I think with all my fellow firefighters thinking together this will help come up with a great idea to bring to them


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I have seen some departments explore providing paid coverage during the daytime hours by starting with their own volunteer staff signing up for per diem "paid hourly rate" without benefits. This keeps your overall cost down: the members are already outfitted with gear, trained on the equipment, and they are also already covered by department's liability / workers comp insurance.

Most will find the daytime coverage to be beneficial, once the statistics are in on the reduced response times from actual data and not guessing, then you can take the data and add in the cost analysis for adding them full time with benefit packages.

Daytime coverage needs supervision, if the chief is volunteer you will have to make somebody in charge of the daytime crew, preferrably someone who is working with them during the day.
I am the paid firefighter during the day for this small county. They just brought me on about 9 months ago to cover the day time shift with rules on responding to night time calls, my shift is wednesday through sunday 6am to 6pm but im in the station from 8-5.
we have one paid aminstrtive guy thats also a volunteer and covers monday through friday.
I could possibly answer some questions, if youd like you can E-mail me at
FETC has it right. I would definitely start with Paid on call. Have a sign up sheet with the first 4-5 receiving a set amount for the first engine ($10-15 an hour) a member could only sign up for pay once a week unless the crew hasn't been filled.

Now if you run alot of calls a day (3-6) then going to a daily rate or per call rate might be better. Pay less then the going rate but provide lunch for the crew. They know the company is volunteer so they may take the lower rates.

We went through this in my company with the ambulance. We had a dedicated group who ran the ambulance. but still had issues getting out all the time. We decided that if we were going to be there all day then we would like to get something. We talked about a lunch at least and gift cards. This way no money would change hands but we could get gas or whatever with gift cards (everyone has them)

Am important this is that they need to be aware that they are responsible for paying taxes on any money over $599 for the year. Talk to a lawyer to see how your coverage might change or thier status change by becoming contracted employees.
It is a good Idea to start your hiring from within the county and departments providing that those firefighters are certified firefighters. However it may not be possible to hire a full crew for each station in the county from within the county, at wich time you may have to look at hiring from outside the county, but i would try to atleast hire your engineers from inside the county because usually they know where most everything is. I would also advise if you do have to hire from outside the county attempt to hire firefighters that have a background in the volunteer departments. they will be more likely to help things run smoothly. look for firefighters with certifications and some years of experience under their belts to start this venture as well.
I work in a combination department in Farmington Arkansas. We have a paid Chief on duty from 0730 till 1600 Mon-Fri and then we staff a full time postion with part time help from 0830 till 1700. This is open to membership 7 days a week and most days are filled. In the event it is not... The Chief is there and may have to start out alone or with Volunteers. We try to stay close or staff for sure when the Chief is off. If we cannot... we rely on Volunteers to respond and mutual/auto aid. This usually happens on holidays or other times when we seem to have help. Our 0830 start time allows flexibility for those who are signed up to arrive from their previous shift at thier usual job schedule and it gives a longer window of collective coverage from 0730-1700. I hope this helps...
The problem u will have with only a day time person there paid is when a call goes out at night and it takes 2 extra mins to get to there house when the person's house next door burnt during the day and was able to be saved and there's werent bc it was at night its a law suit just bc there is someone paid durning the day and not at night it helps response during the day.
Sorry Ryan but that is an off the cuff comment about being sued. Where does it say you have to man any station 24-7? What if the crew is out on a call and when the station is not manned, their house burns down? Isn't that the same thing? If it is mandated, then it is a liability of being sued...
I guess ill add a little more.
I/we cover the day time shift more for medical calls, but also for any call. We have payed people because it was to hard to get volunteers to respond in a timely manner during work hours. At night time we count on the volunteers to respond when the tones go off, however i do still respond to all but medical at night unless no one calls in.
This system works most of the time, but there are time i work alot of hours because people know im listening and expect me to respond as well as the other paid guy, this is mostly medical calls.
my postion was justified in the thinking we wouldnt loose as many EMS calls to the other service down the road.
You will need people that are dedicated to there job and willing to work alot of hours. my job doesnt end when i leave the station, i listen like a volunteer does all the time so im almost on call 24/7 if and when needed.
I guess to me the bigger question is: Why is someone with only 1 1/2 years 'experience' worrying about how to staff a combi department? Isn't that the job of the Chief, Town Manager or Director of Emergency Services (or some other relevant AHJ)?
That has nothing to do with me. The chief asked everyone to give ideas. Sorry you have a problem with that... But I bust my butt in the fire service and it shouldn't matter how much experience you have to be involved in something that means the world to you
Before you hire anyone have a comprehensive employee handbook completed and approved by your Board. Most rulebooks for volunteer organizations are unfit for handling employee issues. Hire officers first and then the men
If you really want my real anwser to that question... It's none of your business really so if you don't want to anwser the question dont.

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