What are you offering now? What is the dept make up? What is the funding source? What is the call volume/demographics?
We need more information. It would be sad if the only way you could entice volunteers would be to offer them monetary reward.
I went to the fire dept. web site. linked on your profile. According to it you have 38 members counting Chief officers. In 2012 your dept. did 738 runs.
Are people leaving?
Do you have a large number of retirement aged members?
Has there been a recent change in the officer corps that has members irate?
What kind of governing body is your area under,ie. Town board, Mayor, etc?
Thanks for the replies. My volunteer department has 738 runs in 2012 and 890 in 2011. We have Interstate 78 4.3 miles that goes through our town causing a needed extrications and car fires, a rail line, 16.6% residents over 65 years old in three rehab/nursing homes and private residence who account for some amount of our calls, 7000 commuter residents in several large industrial parks that need our services and our valued 13,183 residents. On average the department responds to 9 to 18 structure fires in town a year and our mutual aid volume has increased over the last several years.
The issue is not people leaving the issue instead is the same people show for calls and the goal is to bring more people in to lessen the pressure on who shows up. My hope is to make a retention portfolio for my chief that he can take that to our governing body to garner some kind of stipend. I am thinking $1,000 plus LOSAP based on 55% participation in drills, meetings and calls. For the people who show over 75% an additional $1,000. My Battalion would like $10,000 a year for Monday thru Friday but that is the end goal for call men where firefighters would be on call from 6 am to 6 pm and must stay in town or at the department. Thank you for any ideas. What I have done is a comparable chart, a video clip of past jobs, a training section of how much dedication our men have given the department and the last part I am making is putting together how our town has changed over 10 years more people more risk.
Excellent! You're on the right track. Add to your LOSAP idea a pension based on years of service: so many hundred dollars a month after retirement after x number of years of service. Also might add mileage reimbursement, tuition reimbursement for school, etc. A nearby department hands out mileage reimbursement checks at their Christmas party each year. Some get several hundred dollars! I know it's a lot of time to invest and a very difficult task but you can get grants from FEMA for these types of recruitment and retention payments. Good luck with all your efforts!
I just attended a meeting of our county fire and rescue assoc. Wed and there is a plan to separate our Recruitment and Retention committee into two separate committees. One would handle recruitment and the other to handle retention in our county depts.
Most of our retention problem in our dept. is due to people leaving for their jobs, such as career firefighters and the rest moving to areas outside the response area, some as far away as two counties.
Thou some left due to disagreements with leadership of our dept.
Thank you for the great idea of LOSAP and writing a grant for mileage reimbursement. I like the idea of the Christmas party being a time to thank the men with a check for moneies used on gas. Our department has I think $600 reimbursement for a school.
I will ask my Battolion on LOSAP and gas reimbusement. My real hope is that somehow I can construct a portfolio that will be a foundation my chief can use to garner money for the department.
I think a great issue for us too is that the men could be making money at a job and everyone has bills. Most of our firefighters have families and kids. Even a small check I think goes a long way in family supporting the firefighter.
This week I am going to make a side by side of 15 years ago and now so that we can see the changes our town has gone through and just how much more risk there is. On average we now have 2.3 calls a day while 15 years ago it was more like 300 calls a year with maybe one a day.
I think a small stipend, gas reimbursement and LOSAP should be something concrete that firefighters are awarded for all their hardwork.
Our county offers LOSAP to members that stick it out. They have to have 25 years of service and start drawing at age 55. Gas reimbursement comes through state income tax for travels for fire dept. use like to and from the station, attending classes or events with your PMV plus a tax reimbursement at tax time of up to $3000.00 as a volunteer.
A lot of it is state funded. We also have state money issued to the counties in the state to help with buying fire apparatus and other equipment.