need some advice on how to get the paid guys to work better with the at this dept it seems like the paid guys are running off all the vollies, i have been with this dept for about 20 years and before we went paid we were aleast 50 strong on the vollies, as the years went on and we become an paid dept the vollies seem to be dropping off at an great deal,we are down to about 10 maybe 15 vollies left. can i get some oppions from others on getting the vollies back and working with the paid part of the department????.

Views: 1782

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Anyone want to take bets on how long this thread will go before becoming another C vs V????????




First off, when coming on with such a topic, it should be known how polarizing this can be. You come off right away and place blame solely on paid guys running off the vollies....yet coincidently or ironically, you are providing no examples. Secondly, why is it the "paid guys" are running off the vollies as opposed to perhaps looking at the requirements themselves. Are the volunteers certified, are they showing up, is there physicals involved, what are the standards for both paid and volly, and so forth?


You say you've been around for 20 years, yet you should also know and seen how changes have been made. The days of a person looking to volunteer and just learn on the job and be a "good ol boys" network has been drastically reduced and for the most part killed. You are seeing education standards just to volunteer, you see more training time required, in places you have response quotas to meet, you see people working further away from home and dept and reduces "time to volunteer", and so forth....all of which can have a significant factor on volunteering.


For those combination departments, you also hear of disparities in which volunteers don't always acknowledge. For instance in some there has been complaints of volunteers having to show for training, yet the FT's don't. Yet many times the factor of OT comes into play and if a FT is off duty, in order to train with the volunteers there is OT involved per labor laws. On the flip side, are the volunteers assisting with station duties, rig checks, clean up and so forth or does the "it's not my job" attitude come into play?



The reality is to create such a topic and to ask for advice on how to get vollies back doesn't account for the big picture. All you mention is the paid guys driving off the vollies, which to me shows your animosity. Are you concerned with getting volunteers or would you prefer redefining the paid aspect? In order to answer the question you need to take a long serious look at EVERYTHING of the dept....requirements, job description, labor laws, training, certifications and so forth. Is it the requirements and committment too much to ask, is the demand for service increasing and so forth.


I haven't been around for 20 years, but in my limited experience, I know there is more to such a story than what is being provided. There is more than just asking how to get paid and vollies to work together than some "miracle" cure without looking at all the circumstances involved.

In the case of my department which is combination, its a case of mutual respect. it is dangerous to get between a worker and his or her's paycheck. i used to look at in the reverse and ask a volunteer how thay would feel if i came to their job-did your job for free- and how you would feel if your boss liked my work better?

i had a vollie that was "violently pro volunteer" but did little work to make himself useful on my shift. he was able to do it because our paid chief was pro volunteer and had the vollies back on every issue which forced the paid guys "to act like paid guys" because "somebody was getting between us and the paycheck"

the peace (soultion) was simple. you volunteer to do what i do FOR A LIVING. respect that i have responsibilities to my family and this job is my income so dont force me to choose between a volunteers desire to serve and your feelings and my choosen carrear. you wont like what i choose 

you need to examine why your department went in the direction it did and seek a way with the input of the paid to find a niche for the dedicated volunteers so that they can serve--(this is the important part)--alongside the paid. My depatment offered the volunteers spots on the shifts from 8am to 4pm and from 4 or 5pm to 6am the next day which brought the shifts up to 4 or 5 or 6 on a truck. it worked for a long time until it changed again because the district grew and we needed more paid.(the volunteers got first crack at all new jobs by the way). the downside was that there were less volunteer positions as the amount of paid on each shift increased, (that should be addressed in your investigation). i wish i could give you more ideas but not knowing the specifics about your department is a problem.

good luck to you because this is a "department specific" issue and it wont be decided without alot of blood and tears

i hope someone really looks at what he's asking John and it does not become a V vs.P issue. thats a horse i'd just the same not beat in 2012. from where i'm looking, everytime the economy takes a dive, the volunteer fire service takes a hit first because of their job responsibilities. soon after come the hit to the paid. but when times a good, its not an issue. it seems that in my lifetime the volunteer service is going away in some places. i personally know of volunteer departments who  had waiting lists who now have to beg for members or have gone paid because society has changed. the requirements for volunteers have changed, the fire service has changed. whats the solution? i wish i knew but i am smart enough to know that the greatest investment volunteers have to their departments is the desire to serve without compensation.....even that's changed.

------------> grabs popcorn and waits for show to begin.

While Bulldog324 has let loose the dogs of whining war and others (you know who you are) will simply refuse to read the replies and just start barking  I really do NOT think anything can be added to the argument that hasn't been pointed out by John and Russ.

In any event, let the show begin...........................!

Is there room for one more?

Well to start good luck lol... I am a career firefighter now for 10 years. I was a vol for 8 years prior to getting hired. I have nothing against vols unless something is going on in politics and they want to reduce our minimum manning. Thats when our vols try to come out in full force and make sure they get an Engine out to make it look good for them. Bottom line, as a volunteer you are also holding down a full time job and probably a family. At least in my town, they can not always be counted on for getting a crew together. We have had many , many fires with no volunteer response. public safety should not be jeopordized on a guessing game on whether they will show up or not. Yes, i think we should all work together, but on the other hand, career firefighters should be priority supression in any event. Volunteers in my opinion in a combination department, should be counted on as a "luxury" in additional help if they show up. Again, I get along with everyone and many of my closest friends are vols. Just somehow understand that vols are not very reliable in the fact that they are volunteers and if they "feel " like responding they can. Not to mention many guys can be doing things at home such as drinking a few beers and then respond. not supposed to but i am sure it happens.

I assume the show will be in High Def and 3D!!??? 

Even better!

There's still room on the mezzanine.

The format will be High Deaf.


Didn't read any of the responses

Don't care what anyone else thinks

Do need to express opinion without regard for facts.

John; You know damm good and well that us paid guys are, "The Debil!" as the
Water boys mother would say.

Thank you for the clarification.  That pretty well sums it up.  LMAO!

Reply to Discussion


Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2023   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service