http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/s ... union.html
The only advantage to full-time staffing from a service perspective is simply that the staff are guarenteed and in station. That's it. Being full-time doesn't make anyone a better firefighter. There are full-time firefighters in small towns that might run 100 calls a year. There are also volunteers who run over 300. There are also some volunteers who train more than some full-timers. (When I first started as a vollie, my department implemented a full firefighter survival program with 100% completion before some of the career departments had even started training their guys).
Bottom line, I have worked with some brilliant tactical and strategic minded volunteers, with great attitudes and more knowledge than I'll ever have. Same for some full-timers. I also know of some full-timers who have a bad attitude, slack out of training, and are outright dangerous. Same for some part-timers. At the end of the day, I want to work with the person who has the right attitude and some fires under their belt.
HOWEVER, volunteer is not always cheaper. Most volunteers are paid for each callout. It comes down to math. If you get 3 single truck calls per day from 9-5, and have to callout 20 volunteers, at $20/hour, that is $1200. Four full-timers for that 8 hours at $30/hour is only $960.
Obviously there are other factors as well. Volunteers are not able to leave their full-time jobs 5 times a day - employers wont allow that on a regular basis. Families aren't going to put up with that for long either, and you are going to burn your guys out if they are running 20+ calls every week, and make no mistake, turnover in the volunteer fire service isn't cheap! (Not to mention dangerous if a rookie is your IC!)
I honestly believe that in the large urban areas, full-time is the only option, from a public safety standpoint, firefighter safety standpoint, economic standpoint, and guarentee of service standpoint.
As you move into the suburban area, a composite model becomes more appropriate as your full-time core handles the incident with low staffing demands (medicals, dumpster fires/no exposures, etc.), non-emergency calls (check calls, CO/no symptoms, etc.), peak call periods, low volunteer availability periods (9-5, etc.), and provide a quick response and initial attack while volunteer support is mobilized for larger incidents.
As you move into the northern rural areas, full-time staff becomes unreasonable and unjustifiable.
At the end of the day, the full-time vs vollie arguements are complete and utter BS. Everyone needs to check their attitudes and egos at the door. Just because you wear a uniform for 42 hours a week, doesn't make you more skilled, better trained, or better equipped than a vollie. And just because you do it 'cause you love it and not for the money, doesn't make you more motivated, passionate, or appropriate. We do the same job. We serve the same people.
The exact same way the citizen don't care if it is a medic or a firefighter doing chest compressions, they don't care if it is a full-timer or vollie saving their house. And if we are smart, we will check the egos at the hall, get along, work together, and provide quality service. Anyone who isn't capable of that should turn in their bunker gear.
I reread them too. It appears the shot was about Mr. Flannery's preferences about volunteer staffing models over career staffing. There is not just room, but demand for both models. Figured the last thing we needed was a vollie vs career argument.I was going to debate with mrflannery but then I read his post history...it all makes sense now.
Our union dues in Belleville are around 100-125 a year...
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