Welcome to EMT City
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing topics, give reputation to other members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Recruiting volunteer FF/EMS

40 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

So here is my dilemma, I work in a urban area with transporting FD/ALS, yet I live in the sticks and volunteer at my VERY small local FD, first responder only. We need people, really badly, like about 25% of the calls nobody is responding to because we don't have anyone around (down to about 6 active people all with full time jobs and kids). And since I was voluntold to be the EMS director I have been wracking my undersized brain on how to recruit a bunch of farmers and rural folks to join the Fire Department. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

How about a recruiting campaign? You can get funding to pay for the classes anyone would need. Advertising might help as well. I really have no other ideas for ya. Good luck!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Do these folks pay taxes? Perhaps a tax rebate for volunteers would help.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

They do pay property taxes, they are quite reasonable, but that is an intriguing idea, it would certainly attract the type of people we are looking for, people who have roots in the community and property to protect.

And we have placed ads in the local newspaper and posted help wanted signs on the department door, to no avail. I have been thinking about making a recruitment poster, but I am just a dumb paramedic, and I'm fairly certain it would end up looking like a kids art project. I have someone who I know that is a graphic designer, but I don't know what angle to use, or what would be catchy content.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

What if you start with a theme for your recruiting campaign "Our Families Our Town, Lets Protect Them"

Is there free training and uniforms/supplies? What are some of the bennies your dept has to offer? How simple and convenient would it be to work in your dept? One big thing I see is that people are very busy, so they see this as another demand on their time.

just a couple thoughts.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

With the tax rebate idea I was thinking like a 1% reduction for every meeting attended by the volunteer. If you have monthly meetings with the summer off, that's a 10% reduction/rebate. Additionally our vollies get paid $25.00 for a call out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Any old buildings no one minds a control burn, for a recruiting event? This is sort of a branch off Dennis' post "Our Families Our Town, Lets Protect Them". Show them how devastating a fire really is, and the damages it does. More people they have, more people they can protect and help the community. Or a cheaper, and a safer route is get an old car from the junk yard and make a little MVA skit that gets people going. Plus a MVA skit if you have enough a big of space at your fire station you can have it their and let the new people walk around it and check it out. They do it once a year at a lot of high schools around my area to help promote no texting, drinking, and or talking on the phone while driving. If you decide for something like that add free snacks to the flyer or advertisements, brings out a lot of people, trust me. Also try to get decent benefits to come to the calls, they aren't just going to come at 3am for a working structure when you have to wake up at 6am for no reason and they won't want to leave work either, if they need the money.

Best of luck with it, their is always not enough people out there that are willing to do this sort of stuff.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You are not alone, New Zed has a significant challenge with the recruitment (and to a lesser degree, retention) of Volunteer Ambulance Officers. Being a VAO is at the more extreme end of the scale; it takes almost a year to do the Diploma and then there are bi-weekly CCE sessions and mandatory minimum of 2 shifts per month (12 hours) which is a bit different than doling out soup for the Salvos for a couple hours a week or whatever.

A significant part of the recruitment campaign here is showing prospective volunteers what the benefits are for them including the non tangible (helping the community, good feeling, touchy wanky shit like that) and the tangible including the National Diploma in Ambulance Practice (the Technician qualification), free uniform, reasonable expenses reimbursed etc

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I don't like the idea of a controlled burn, in fact, it's illegal here. A burn can't happen unless all toxic substances are remove from the building, such as wiring, asphalt shingles, oil based painted surfaces, etc. If I were to see a Fire Dept. conducting such a burn here I would report them, likely someone there would not appreciate it either.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The MVA skit option still stands :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The MVA skit option still stands :)

Indeed it does, our annual P.A.R.T.Y. program is a huge success.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Patton how do you frame a MVA skit? Do you put in a open house, or is it piggybacked on the high school events? We have no school so that wouldn't be an option, and we missed the fire safety month, but we could always do it whenever I guess.

As for a controlled burn, well they are nice and legal here, so report away, I promise to show up and not write myself a ticket. I had never considered using one as a promotional objective, great idea, I do happen to have a couple buildings we are considering for future RIT/FF survival classes. So that is very doable.

And Dennis, I'm just going to plagiarize the "Our families Our town", that is perfect. Thank you all very much for the imput.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Around where I live it's always been at the high schools for the students. The moral of the event is to keep away from any distracted and erratic driving. For a recruiting event I wouldn't advertise it as a recruiting event, people may feel obligated to sign up for the department and decide not to show up. I would frame it as a open house with a MVA rescue demonstration along with free snacks. Somewhere in the fire bay ( or garage, or whatever you call where you keep your trucks ) or outside of the station set up a visible booth that people can see where they can get more information and applications to join. Make a lesson out of the demonstration like how they do at high schools. Hopefully the demonstration was enough motivation for them to at least pick up an application, if not they all learned a valuable lesson.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

It might be helpful to know a little bit more about your situation. How many runs in a week? What's the population size of your territory?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Well we are a modest Fire/EMS department, although we had a record year this year of 160 runs! Up 30 runs from last year, We have around 2000 people in a mostly farming and freelance pharmaceutical production. Our department is around 7 people strong a his time, mostly kids under 25 in college.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

We have around 2000 people in a mostly farming and freelance pharmaceutical production.

Gotta love those farm raised pharmaceuticals.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You should consider a billing/subscription program if you do not already have one. I did billing and managed a subscription program a few years ago. There are many variables involved in calculating the potential amount of revenue generated, but you can estimate about $250 per trip. 160 trips=$40k into your budget. Many small squads use the extra income for equipment or per-trip stipends to the volunteers. That definitely helps with recruiting. There is less time spent on fundraising. People contribute money (pay for subscription) because they are potentially getting something in return. The programs are often structured so that patients never get sent to collections, so their credit would never be damaged by an EMS trip. Whether you agree with billing for volunteer work or not is probably been discussed ad nauseum in this forum, and is probably a discussion better suited for another post. However, you asked for suggestions to help with recruiting. Having a squad that generates revenue absolutely improves recruiting. I am no longer in the billing business so there's no attempt to solicit on my part. But if you have questions, I'm always happy to give free advice. That's how I try to help.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

If your state allows it, start up a junior program to try and get high school aged kids involved with their parents.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Easy solution is become a paid department.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Easy solution is become a paid department.

It's an easy solution if the tax base can support a full time paid service based on a record 160 calls. If you figure a "normal year average of 150 calls.

Small town of 2000 population in a rural environment::: probably not going to happen

full time coverage would cost around 250k with a possible 75-90 k in revenue from billing. Awful big tax increase to make up the difference.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

It's an easy solution if the tax base can support a full time paid service based on a record 160 calls. If you figure a "normal year average of 150 calls.

Small town of 2000 population in a rural environment::: probably not going to happen

full time coverage would cost around 250k with a possible 75-90 k in revenue from billing. Awful big tax increase to make up the difference.

Seen smaller get paid.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Volunteer squad that bills is a good model for rural/small squads. Can pay stipends, less time spent fundraising/recruiting, and doesn't have to try to get taxes increased. Best of both worlds. And the billing component is not that complicated to implement or sustain.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Usually you can either do one or the other, get paid for calls; or get tax payers to pay for the agency. We could do one or the other. But considering that the pay out for billing would be probably triple what the tax payers could dish out.. I'd say leave the taxes for the fire service.

Spleenac

I have a set of Crampons on the desk here, I'd very much enjoy strapping them to my steel toe boots and kicking you in the shin, spleen. Very much. Possibly forcibly inserting them into an orifice.

Or maybe I'm just having a really bad day, and it's only an hour and fourteen minutes into the day.

Edited by Chief1C
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Let me get this straight about volunteer billing. You provide a service... the organization gets paid for the service... and the people doing the service don't get paid. Heck, the people in China assembling the iPhones at least get a couple of cents an hour.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Usually you can either do one or the other, get paid for calls; or get tax payers to pay for the agency. We could do one or the other. But considering that the pay out for billing would be probably triple what the tax payers could dish out.. I'd say leave the taxes for the fire service.

I have a set of Crampons on the desk here, I'd very much enjoy strapping them to my steel toe boots and kicking you in the shin, spleen. Very much. Possibly forcibly inserting them into an orifice.

Or maybe I'm just having a really bad day, and it's only an hour and fourteen minutes into the day.

No thanks I'm straight and not into S&M.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now