While I’m not on Facebook, the below link was shared with me this morning. I don’t know the folks who wrote it-so I am reading it at face value. I’m also not focusing on any one particular incident, region or area.
The fact is that paid or volunteer-or whatever-rapid turnout and response times absolutely matter-especially to those that are having a fire. Helping those who are having a fire as quickly as possible with qualified folks. Mission simply defined.
That’s nothing new-we’ve known it for hundreds of years…however with societal change the reliance on volunteer Firefighters & EMT’s coming from home, business or wherever when the alarm sounds, is an archaic and unreliable way to operate. On the other hand, volunteers working an “in quarters” scheduled duty crew (at the very least for the 1st due engine, truck and ambulance) makes sense and it’s time. It’s not “slamming” anyone…it’s not “personal” -it’s just that things have changed. It’s actually way past time in many areas where tones are sounded over and over and the response time is ridiculously slow-or there is no response at all. Volunteers volunteered to serve the community needs-and in 2019, that’s what communities need-rapid response with qualified trained firefighters.
It works all over the USA and it can work anywhere.
Some will say “you can’t mandate volunteers.”
Of course you can.
You mandate training. You mandate rules. You mandate policy. When people initially join, they are fully prepared to follow whatever rules your department has-as long as the rules are enforced fairly and equally across the board.
Its just not that difficult.
“Pretend” it’s your house on fire.
In most VFD’s, the “same members” turn out for most runs. Some places have 75-80 “members” but the same 8-10 (hopefully) are the ones that respond, That’s fair.
Whereas in other areas, you know your duty schedule, you know that’s when training gets done, you know who you are working with – and the community “knows” that the’ll hear well staffed fire apparatus the moment they hang up from 9-1-1. Customer service.
This has nothing to do with great Firefighters, wonderful EMT’s, dedication or anything like that. Simply put, communities have changed, so a slight adjustment on how VFD’s operate isn’t some outlandish ridiculous idea. It’s simply highlighting the fact that volunteers joined to serve. Not self serve. Decisions on emergency service delivery can’t be on how the service deliver’ers wanna deliver it. If you use that for a business model, that business would go out of business quickly.
Anyway-here is the link. Lot’s of food for thought.
Op Ed by Billy Goldfeder