At my company we have had the problem of members not training and becomes a cancer that takes a long time to get rid of. There was not much as far as training provided by the previous set of officers there for it was thought of as not needed and the younger guys at the time (my generation) kept on training. Now that we have all moved up through the ranks things have changed and weekly drills are now the norm. Attendance was minimal when we started but we kept a positive attitude and eventually things started to turn around. I have been in office for all but one year now and my attendance at weekly drill has gone up. I was averaging three to five members a drill for the first half of the year and now the average is up to eighteen to twenty.
We have weeded out the members who do not participate and they have for the most part stopped coming around. They have been stripped of their ability to just show up and jump on a rig. We have gone as far as stripping them of their gear and issuing it to more deserving members.
There have not been any guidelines set up yet as to how much training must be attended yet. The officers are taking this one step at a time and we realize that it will not change overnight. For 2009 we have started to set up guidelines so that appropriate action can be taken when the ones that are to good to train don't participate.
One thing that I have found to get the refusers involved is to pick a subject (one that you know they have knowledge in) and have them conduct a 0ne or two hour training drill or lecture on. Make them part of the answer not the problem.
Thats an easy one. Fired
Well eventually. Written reprimand, suspension, then fired.
Some one that is untrained by choice is worse than having no one filling the position. They are unsafe not only to themselves but other FF's and the public. Sounds like they are there for the social club?
the dept. i'm with is vol. and the way they handle training is everyone knows how many hours they need each year and if they don't make their training hours well the training officer is calling them into his office. he gaves them a chance and put them on prob. for 6 months and see how their training hours are looking. then after that and no look well don't let the door hit you in ytour behinde on the way out.
This is all well and good to say that if the members do not train then they can not respond, but that is only half the issue. The main issue is the attitude involved in refusing to train. Part of this attitude is that many members seem to think that the department needs them more than they need the department. I would argue that while firefighters are the most integral part of any fire department, those that don't train are (in most cases) not worth the danger they bring with them.
We have an old rule about training attendance, that frankly is a good start but needs to be updated. even with that rule we have a small amount of members that do not meet the requirements and officers who do not address the situation. But a member not showing up for training is essentially challenging the officers to do something to them. Sadly an officer failing to enforce such a rule is doing nothing but showing themselves as a weak officer.
I am pushing for a requirement that goes by hours of training in a year. I think this is a reasonable middle ground. Our drills are not a set length of time, but usually run around 2 hours on average, so making it go by hours and not the number of drills, will make longer drills count for more than shorter drills and may get attendance at more drills. At least that is my theory. By making it annual, it allows for flexible schedules, as we have member that have busy times of the year for work. There are times when they just won't make that many drills, even if they tried.
Some members want a quarterly requirement but that will hurt those members with seasonal work issues, and really not benefit the department much more than an annual requirement will. The goal here, is to get guys to attend more training, not less training. Making a goal that you know is going to be unreachable, even by a minority of members, is simply not reasonable.
thankfully, in my volunteer district the same people who won't train on firefighting are the same people who only show up for medical calls. I think that's a bunch of BS because it's a FIRE department, if you want to run just EMS calls you should go work for the ambulance service.
At the same time however, we have people who will run calls and show up to weekly trainings but won't take the outside trainings through the county (all 1 "department" separated into 14 districts that all used to be separate departments). So, this past year when it was time to elect district officers we elected a district chief and 2 assistants, and when it was time to elect a Training Captain I was the only person left who met all the training requirements. I feel overwhelmed only having 3 years experience and being a Captain already. My solution to this problem has been having the county come in and hold some of the classes that are officer requirements on our training nights so people can get some of this training. I've decided that I'm not gonna do all of the requirements though because I think they need to go out and some of it for themself like I had to and like my superior officers had to. And I've said several times in meetings that if people don't like the way our district is run, then they need to get trained, get elected, and make the changes, otherwise they need to stop complaining. I know for myself, as well as my district chief, and the two assistants, that we don't want to be in our positions, we all feel like we don't have enough experience for our positions. But when the veterans of the department hold on to the old way of doing things, and don't take the classes that the county offers, and requires for officer positions, we decided to step it up, take the training, and get qualified people in there for the good of the department and the community. My ultimate feeling of success would be if I get reelected despite there being other qualified people, but if someone else gets qualified and replaces me, my stint as captain has still been a success.
I see this everywhere I go. Training is the biggest problem for many departments. Ether they do not provide it or it is the way it is presented.
You have the ones that think they know it all and the want-a-bees that just think it is cool. This goes for paid, volunteer and combination departments.
You run out on me and I will hunt you down. Bottom line if you go in with me or me with you, we need to know our limits and it is better to find out in training, not the scene. Everyone has a job and the outcome depends on how well we perform. So everyone should have a standard and not just take up space.