A town with 3,000 residents simply cannot afford the expense of hiring full-time career firefighters” (“Heat on Volunteer Firefighters,” 2007, p. A15). In case of an out of control fire, smaller towns and communities traditionally rely on volunteer firefighters.
Volunteer Fire Departments’ Tasks in case of out of control fire, both paid and volunteer fire departments perform basically identical tasks (Snook, et al., 2006). Services volunteer fire departments provide include, but are not limited to the following:
Emergency medical services
First responder – non-transport
Basic life support – with transport capability
Advance life support – with transport capability
Hazardous materials response
Confined space rescue
High angle rescue
5. Public information and education a. Fire prevention programs for adults and children b. Public presentations for a variety of community organizations
6. Inspection services
7. Fund raising activities a. Annual events (dinner, firefighter’s ball) b. Special events (raffles, garage sales) c. Weekly activities (bingo) d. Fund drives. (Snook, et al., 2006, pp. 7-8)
Ways Volunteer Fire Department Operate Franklin Clay (1998), professor of fire science technology, explains a number of in “Managers and the volunteer fire service: sharing common ground” Some volunteer fire departments, deemed as independent nonprofit organizations, operate separately from, or on the edge of the local government unit. Others, part of a wider range of government delivery responsibility, constitute part of a consolidated or regional approach, and at times extend as high as the county level. Volunteer systems sometimes offer supplementary support for the career-oriented fire protection services. Sometimes a volunteer system may serve as an arm of the community or city government, similar to the local law enforcement service. Sometimes, the organization consists of a unique combination of organizational components. Along with numerous organizational formats, however, the volunteer fire service shares several common threads running through them. “Most volunteer fire departments have volunteer fire chiefs” (Clay, 1998). To motivate fire service volunteers, volunteer fire departments’ chiefs, along with the community the departments serve, must provide a positive benefit, tangible or intangible rewards, and/or some sort a balance of some sort to equal the effort the individuals exert to qualify as member of a volunteer fire department. Despite training, effort and time commitment, Clay asserts, at times, serious emergency incidents occur that do not produce the volunteer fire department’s desired positive outcome. This, however, happens to fire departments universally, whether they are volunteer or career.
Just as individuals who serve their communities through volunteer fire departments receive positive benefits in return, the communities volunteer fire departments serve gain valuable, vital tangible and intangible profits, as noted in the Volunteer Fire Departments’ Tasks section of this paper. Today, as in the past, an out of control fire continues to constitute one common, significant tragic hazard individuals counter. Volunteer fire departments, the researcher contends, prove to serve as a vital part of society as, most of the time, they suppress and/or arrest out of control fires – just in time.
Brown, E. (1999). The scope of volunteer activity and public service. Law and Contemporary Problems, 62(4), 17. Retrieved December 31, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o=5001895957 www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o=5001358932
Clay, F. (1998, July). Managers and the volunteer fire service: Sharing common ground. Public Management, 80, 16+. Retrieved December 31, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o=5001358932
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