Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

I bring my question to you guys and ladies. My question is, What your definition of an "Active Member" really is? All departments probably have the same issue that I am discussing. People that are so called "Members". These are the people that show up for maybe one call a year, don't show up to help with functions, doesn't make meetings, and when they do come around they just complain about how things are. In the state of New York there is a $200 tax deduction/rebate. Why should these people be granted to get this deduction when if they walked into the firehouse 3/4 of the people there wouldn't know who they are. SO what do you guys/ladies think should be done? Also, What is your definition of an active member?

Views: 364

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Our definition of an Active Member is that they must make 20% of all calls (we average about 200 per year, so 40 calls) and 50% of all fire/ems/worknights/district meetings. This comes out to 6 fire trainings, 6 ems trainings, 6 worknights, and 6 district meetings. If a member is close to that amount, but not over, we don't typically penalize them...we just give them a warning. Also, if they make an effort but have extenuating circumstances (such as working 2nd or 3rd shift), we make exceptions as well. If they are no where near the requirements, we give them six months to improve. If it doesn't happen, they are dropped from our rolls. Unfortunately, our state doesn't provide any real breaks to volunteers, so this probably doesn't help you a whole lot.

We are actually looking at having different requirements, such as hours of training put in or number of hours per week on standby. In our locale, it is often difficult for volunteers to "drop everything" for a call due to family obligations, etc. We might start allowing members to "punch a clock" to volunteer rather than wait at home for a call.

I'm interested in seeing what other departments do. Good topic!
To be considered an "Active" member in our department a member must participate in a minimum of 25% of calls that they are available to attend, based on thier normal work schedule. And I personally think this is still too low, 1 out of 4 calls that they available for is nothing. Most of our "Active" members meet 90% + when using this method. South Carolina also offers a tax deduction which is based more on training levels than participaiton. The form SC uses for this can be found on under the VIP section.
On our department the requirement is 33% of all alarms, 12 meetings a year, and 8 training sessions both fire and ems. What we do is not boot the people who don't meet this requirement but we don't include them in our end of the year run money. To increase participation of members we also give a bonus for the most runs for the year and one for the most evening runs. A active member is someone that wants to be there if a person joins the department for financial gain or braggin rights our trustee and officers have a funny way of getting them to leave or resign.
I don't agree with our system but rome wasn't built in a day so for now I am going to do my best to abide by it. We look at strictly fire runs which is my first grip about it. We run alot of medical calls our of our station and have 12 - 15 certified EMR's on staff, but we don't yet require the EMR course or participation on EMR runs, it is left to the individual member. We require 25% of our meetings which is usually about 8 a year, or 25% of our fire runs. We usually run about 100 - 150 calls per year so 25% would be about 25-35 runs per year. If a member falls below this they loose their voting rights in the fall when new officers are elected, they are also subject to a review board which is typically made up of 2 officers and 2 non-officers, they look at the time of each run and the times this person may have been available to come. We take into consideration family, work, etc... Being a municipal dept it is imperative that we maintain staffing so our citizens don't have to pay more for their homeowners insurance. We are reviewed at least every 4 years by the insurance commision and if we fall short of our staffing requirements for calls inside the city limits we are subject to loosing our fire protection rating. We are currently at a class 8, and are looking in the future to going to a class 7, which will require our dept to move to the combination level and hire at least three full- time firefighters.
My Dept in Texas requires members to make a % of calls for the month. These percentages change if you become a officer or a Dispatcher since we have our own in house dispatcher. When a Member does not make his/her % They are given a verbal, then a written warning, loss of their water bill being paid, then the boot(this is within a 1 yr period and resets if they start to pick up their % again). Of course if they have problems making due to family, medical, or work issues they are given a chance. But I always promote family, Work, and FD in those orders. It is not hard for most members to make their percentage. We also reserve members who live outside the city they are required to pull 32 hours a month at the station. Also all members have to make at least 2 drills a month. When we have to start the process of removing a member they are given a fair chance before this happens so in my opinion that is enough notice and leway.

Reply to Discussion


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2024   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service