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Rural Fire department volunteer or paid

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The fire dept. is evolving. Volunteer since early last century, it changed a few years ago (almost 10, now!) to Paid, full-time 10-hour day coverage with a small crew, call dept. at night and weekends. Four duty crews rotate weekly for night and weekend coverage, 1 week on and 3 off. Hourly rate paid per call. Pay rate set by a base plus stipends, such as certifications and years service. The range is pretty much $10-$20. If you save up your time sheets, you can get a nice check before Christmas.

Within the next few months, they're adding two more full-time positions, changing the coverage to 12 hours, 7 days.

The call volume has increased steadily over the past 25 years, from 250 or so in 1980, to 900 in 2004. 75-80% EMS, with a private ambulance company transporting.

I spent the first 16 years doing it 100% free, and was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of monetary compensation. I thought of the EMS and Fire World as a great hobby, enjoyed giving back to the community, etc., etc.

Now, with the increased call volume,required trainings, in-services, protocol roll-outs, re-certs, Homeland Security, HAZMAT, RIT, KFC and WD-40, I guess getting an hourly wage is o.k.

Besides, my hobby became a career when I was hired by a private ambulance service almost 10 years ago.

Now I fish.

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