I am experiencing a problem with a recently terminated member of my VFD. When he joined he showed up for new member orientation recieved a pager and a key and that was the last time we saw him. We tried to contact him several times before we terminated him but he would not return our phone calls. So here is the problem he will not return our calls but he talked to another member that he is friends with and told this other kid to let us know that he lost his pager. Now this was a brand new in the box Minitor 5 that was issued to him. I have seen different prices for these so I am not sure how much one of these runs brand new but I would imagine it is around $400 or so. My question to you is should we charge him for the lost equipment? What can we do if he refuses to pay for it? has anyone had a similar situation?

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As engineco913 has said we usaully call them and if we get no response then we will send them a register letter stating they have fifteen days to comply or they will be taken to the magistrate.

The magistrate will then order them to return the pager or reimburse us for the pager.

Another thing we have learned is to keep older pagers like minitor twos and threes to give to the new fire fighters that way if they pull this crap we are not out of new equipment we also do this with older turn out gear too.

We let them use the older gear until they get the training the are required to have to do interior fire fighting then we assign them newer stuff.
A possible solution to the key situation is to get a code lock we have them at our house and anytime a member is terminated we change the number combinations and they are still faster in responding to calls instead of fumbling around with keys.
We would be asking our friends at the local Police Station if they would go around and have a talk with such a person. Then it would be up to them if it becam 'official'. We'd definitely be involving the boys and girls in blue.

Not that this precise occurence could happen with my Brigade. We recruit people and put them through the basic training, this takes 4 to 6 months (depending on how we try to squeeze the time down). After they qualify they are issued with a pager and a key. Nobody gets on a truck for an incident unless they have the minimum training, so they don't need to know about the calls. At other times? They are welcome (encouraged as well) to come to all training and work sessions, but they have to wait until a full member arrives before thay get inside.
Or fit an electronic lock system with a swipe key. Someone fails to return their key you remove their key ID from the system.
Motorola Minitor 5 pagers run right at 500. We have had these issues too. We give the persons info to our local Police and they make contact with the person for us. Usually gets our pagers back pretty quick.We have also initiated a policy where we do not issue a pager for about 3 weeks. If they are really interested they will continue to show up for drills each week and more then likely they will stick around. The other thing we are considering is charging a deposit for the pagers when person joins.
The majority of my VFD's pagers are Mintor IIs. Maybe we should sent some of our guys to join the poster's dept for one day and bingo will have some brand new ones. haha We don't issue equipment to any newbies until training and 90 days are up. Just loan them, during training, what they need. We also have them sign an agreement before issuing. TCSS
I agree, hand it over to the cops. Have them make a courtesy call to his residence. He'll either fork it over or make plans for restitution.
Thanks for all the replies! We have an officers meeting tomorrow night and I will bring this up to the chief. Just to follow up on a few things we have looked at the keyless entry systems before and for some reason the "powers that be" just keep changing the locks. As for the pager we do have an inventory checklist that is filled out when the new people are issued gear and keys that says they must return everything that was issued to them and they are required to sign it. SOP's I dont remember if there is anything in there about returning equipment I will have to re- read them. Also usually we dont give the newer equipment to the probies but I was trying to be a nice guy and give the new people some newer stuff too but that wont be happening again. It's really unfortunate that some people have to be this way.
Our dept. has had similar problems such as you do. We now don't hand anything out until the 4th week of their probational class and all they get is their gear and they are told their gear is to stay in the station. If they are going to attend a training other than Tuesday night that requires they have their gear, then they can take it with them and it has to be returned after training if there will be somebody with keys to let them in otherwise the next weekly training. They are not issued keys for 9 months at the minimum and they are issued pagers in their 10th week of probie class. The chief keeps some of our Minitor 1 or 2's for the probies since the only time they will be called out is if we get a major fire we call them out to come to the scene to help roll hose and rebed trucks. If the Chief can not get a hold of somebody to return equipment then the PD is more than willing to pick them up on theft charges.
If you have an address send him a letter and tell him that he is responsible for replacing the pager. Because you don't know if he really lost it or not. You can use his friend to inform him of this or see if he knows his address. You may want to add this into your By-law, SOG's and SOP's and your Constitution. Another option is if your department has an attorney you could have thte attorney send him a letter, some times they get further that anyone else can. Suggestion if you send a letter make sure youm send it certified so that he can't say he didn't receive it. Or you may just have to learn from this and the next time you have a new person join give them an older pager from another member and get the member that has been on the department awhile a new pager. This is what we do even with the turnout gear.
Number one is taking a look at what you had this firefighter sign as far as when you gave hime equipment. Typically, this is where you will have the legal edge having put in writing that upon termination or leave from duty, the firefighter understands that it is their obligation to return everything. Failure to do so, (in writing) should identify that the individual is responsible for turning everything in, or they are financially responsible for replacing something that they lost. With this said, for a regular person who is involved with the program, it would not in my opinion be appropriate to penalize someone for losing or breaking something, things happen. But when someone hires on, never shows up and rips off equipment, then this is a totally different story. Perhaps requiring the individual to file a police report for the loss coupled with a bill for the lost pager. The whole things sounds really fishy and I get the sense that you feel the same way. Kick it up a notch, get law enforcement involved to turn up the heat. What was missing may show up. You do need to make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork in place for situations like this. Without it, you can be taken advantage of by misfits such as the one who never showed up.

TCSS, Mike
Well, down here you have to send him a Certified letter pertaining to the equipment and how much you are going to sue him for. After that, he is given 30 days to return the equipment or file a response showing what his intentions are. If you do not hear anything in that 30days, then you take his butt to court. If that don't work, send Mustafa after him (Joke on that part).
Did you get a signature from him when you issued out the equipment? We have a form here that states basicly " we are allowing you to carry this equipment while you are a member, if you loose it, break it you bought it. When your service with the department is over, you have 10 days to turn in all equipment or you will be liable for any and all cost to retreve, or replace it. " now that is not the exact wording but gives you a general idea.

good luck
Allen

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