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I a favor from my firehouse brothers.  Does anyone have sop's or guidelines about firefighters living in the firehouse?  If you are a volunteer service that houses volunteers, how do you go about it?  What rules do you have?  Can they only stay the night they work?  House chores?  Log-in, log out?  How do you keep track?

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My volunteer fd, www.northstarfire.org has a full time live in program where the volunteers stay there and ride when they are on their assigned shift or whenever they aren't at work or school if they want. They are generally supervised by the Deputy Chief but first line supervisor is the 24 hour shift officer they are assigned and report to when on duty or at the station. Any volunteer can spend the night as long as there are enough beds or go to an outlying station if they meet the qualifications as an appartus operator.
We allow live ins after their training is finished and they are through with probation (6 mos).  The Fire Board and Department has the resident sign a contract that states the station duties (truck checks, clean up, taking phone calls and walk-ins and such) and duty times for a live in.  The resident is under the supervision of the station Capt.  All of the residents are interior FF/EMTs.  Officers and D/Os will show up as needed for the call.  If the call is for EMS, they can roll with a Rescue.
Can you email me a copy of the contract?  And do they get like a 3 strikes and you are out kind of thing?  What do you do when they don't follow the contract and you don't want them spending the night at the station anymore?  I have seen where they can stay at the station on shift, but we are looking at letting them stay there full time and frankly that is worrying me since most are younger kids and I am having trouble with them keeping things clean now.  How do you enforce it?  Brad, this is a question for you too as well as Larry.  I am from an all paid department and this wasn't an issue so this really is foreign territory for me. 

Larry Lasich said:
We allow live ins after their training is finished and they are through with probation (6 mos).  The Fire Board and Department has the resident sign a contract that states the station duties (truck checks, clean up, taking phone calls and walk-ins and such) and duty times for a live in.  The resident is under the supervision of the station Capt.  All of the residents are interior FF/EMTs.  Officers and D/Os will show up as needed for the call.  If the call is for EMS, they can roll with a Rescue.
The live ins are just that. The station is their residence. They get whatever chances the Captains and the Chief want to give them As for keeping the station clean, so far it hasn't been a problem. Everyone staying there is a collage ager or early 20s and wants to stay there. Also there is no alcohol allowed or visitors after 10 pm.

I will ask for a copy of he contract so that I can email it to you, but your fire board should have an idea of what they expect and how to word it.
I am sure they have some idea of what they want, but they have put this on me to do.  I have to come up with the contract.  I know they know what they want but....  well you know as well as I do that knowing what you want and planning on the stuff you Don't want are 2 different things.  We are building a new station in about 2 years and they are going to add bedrooms to facilitate this.  Right now our Station has a day room, a bathroom and my office and he wants to get the guys ready and in the groove for the new station, hence the contract.  Chief wants to start implementing the cleaning and taking care of stuff before we get into the new station.  I have a cattle prod in the corner right now for doing dishes they eat off of. (yeah college age kids).  No trouble with the older volunteers but they have homes and won't be living there.  My worries again, college age, girls at the station?  obviously no alcohol or sex, but if we find out they did violate a rule, do you give them time to find a place or just kick them to the curb?  (obviously a HUGE infraction).  If they leave the kitchen looking like a tornado came thru, how many times before you kick them to the curb on that kind of thing?  I know I am mom of sorts to them now, but I (and the Chief and older volunteers) can't be expected to BE mom and clean up after them.  I have my job to do.  I know this is all nit picky stuff but better to address it before hand than be reactive.  So far ya'll have been a big help but I worry about the nit picky stuff too.  The only full timers right now are Chief and me and we work 8-5.  I have 2 Lts but they have full time jobs and families so won't be there most of the time either.  (geez the image of frat house at night just blew thru my brain.  Maybe THAT is what I am worried about and just looking for reassurance from those who have made it work just beautifully)

Larry Lasich said:
The live ins are just that. The station is their residence. They get whatever chances the Captains and the Chief want to give them As for keeping the station clean, so far it hasn't been a problem. Everyone staying there is a collage ager or early 20s and wants to stay there. Also there is no alcohol allowed or visitors after 10 pm.

I will ask for a copy of he contract so that I can email it to you, but your fire board should have an idea of what they expect and how to word it.
OMG I have BEEN there!  Twice!  Got the patch from North Pole but not the North star fire. What a beautiful place!  Have loved Alaska each time we have gone.  Husband still wants to move there, but the cold is hard for me. (beach girl that I am) 

Brad Hoff said:
My volunteer fd, www.northstarfire.org has a full time live in program where the volunteers stay there and ride when they are on their assigned shift or whenever they aren't at work or school if they want. They are generally supervised by the Deputy Chief but first line supervisor is the 24 hour shift officer they are assigned and report to when on duty or at the station. Any volunteer can spend the night as long as there are enough beds or go to an outlying station if they meet the qualifications as an appartus operator.

Patty,

My station does not have "live in", it is an older station that does not have the space to accommodate such a thing.  But I have had several friends over the years that owned rental houses and have listened to their nightmares about evictions.  So I would suggest you contact someone in your area that knows the laws involved.  Since you are providing a place to stay for the return of a service ( running calls, cleaning  the station ) then I could easily see someone making the case that, that constitutes rent and therefore they have the same rights and eviction notices of someone renting an apartment.


patty faulkner said:

I am sure they have some idea of what they want, but they have put this on me to do.  I have to come up with the contract.  I know they know what they want but....  well you know as well as I do that knowing what you want and planning on the stuff you Don't want are 2 different things.  We are building a new station in about 2 years and they are going to add bedrooms to facilitate this.  Right now our Station has a day room, a bathroom and my office and he wants to get the guys ready and in the groove for the new station, hence the contract.  Chief wants to start implementing the cleaning and taking care of stuff before we get into the new station.  I have a cattle prod in the corner right now for doing dishes they eat off of. (yeah college age kids).  No trouble with the older volunteers but they have homes and won't be living there.  My worries again, college age, girls at the station?  obviously no alcohol or sex, but if we find out they did violate a rule, do you give them time to find a place or just kick them to the curb?  (obviously a HUGE infraction).  If they leave the kitchen looking like a tornado came thru, how many times before you kick them to the curb on that kind of thing?  I know I am mom of sorts to them now, but I (and the Chief and older volunteers) can't be expected to BE mom and clean up after them.  I have my job to do.  I know this is all nit picky stuff but better to address it before hand than be reactive.  So far ya'll have been a big help but I worry about the nit picky stuff too.  The only full timers right now are Chief and me and we work 8-5.  I have 2 Lts but they have full time jobs and families so won't be there most of the time either.  (geez the image of frat house at night just blew thru my brain.  Maybe THAT is what I am worried about and just looking for reassurance from those who have made it work just beautifully)

Larry Lasich said:
The live ins are just that. The station is their residence. They get whatever chances the Captains and the Chief want to give them As for keeping the station clean, so far it hasn't been a problem. Everyone staying there is a collage ager or early 20s and wants to stay there. Also there is no alcohol allowed or visitors after 10 pm.

I will ask for a copy of he contract so that I can email it to you, but your fire board should have an idea of what they expect and how to word it.

In Liverpool member's are not allowed to sleep at the station in any form unless given permission by an officer. Granted there is always a few that pass out in the day room watching television but that's a mighty brave risk to take depending on who's around. The few reasons the officers will allow members is if

  • There is an overnight stand-by with a full crew & officer present
  • Long drawn out call & the member is either to exhausted to drive safely home or is reporting to work in a few hours
  • Extreme weather conditions are in effect & the tones are constantly dropping

However, we do have what we call a Bunk-in program where 2 full time college students live in the firehouse. They're provided a shared dorm style room, rent & utilities is free, they need only buy their own food. In return for free residence they are expected to respond to any and all calls when available around the firehouse if it doesn't interfere with schooling, complete a weekly set of chores to keep the station tidy (not pick up after members!) and bring back what they learn in the classroom by hosting several drills throughout the year.

 

Hope it helps

It does help, 

 

a few questions more then,  Is it only 2?  2 per shift?  Are they expected to be there the majority of the time when they are not in class?  How do you pick the 2?  Does either one of them get to stay there until they graduate? or is it a by year thing?  

 

Thanks for helping!

 

Patty

Ron Goodnough said:

In Liverpool member's are not allowed to sleep at the station in any form unless given permission by an officer. Granted there is always a few that pass out in the day room watching television but that's a mighty brave risk to take depending on who's around. The few reasons the officers will allow members is if

  • There is an overnight stand-by with a full crew & officer present
  • Long drawn out call & the member is either to exhausted to drive safely home or is reporting to work in a few hours
  • Extreme weather conditions are in effect & the tones are constantly dropping

However, we do have what we call a Bunk-in program where 2 full time college students live in the firehouse. They're provided a shared dorm style room, rent & utilities is free, they need only buy their own food. In return for free residence they are expected to respond to any and all calls when available around the firehouse if it doesn't interfere with schooling, complete a weekly set of chores to keep the station tidy (not pick up after members!) and bring back what they learn in the classroom by hosting several drills throughout the year.

 

Hope it helps

Were you able to get a copy of the contract?

 

Patty

Larry Lasich said:

The live ins are just that. The station is their residence. They get whatever chances the Captains and the Chief want to give them As for keeping the station clean, so far it hasn't been a problem. Everyone staying there is a collage ager or early 20s and wants to stay there. Also there is no alcohol allowed or visitors after 10 pm.

I will ask for a copy of he contract so that I can email it to you, but your fire board should have an idea of what they expect and how to word it.

They limit the number to 2 bunk-ins per station due to the buildings size I believe. We do not have any restrictions on when and how often they are to be around the station but I do know of neighboring departments that limit the kids to just 1 weekend a month and holidays, usually a Chiefs permission is required for approval. Mostly though they are around the station just because of the environment, living, eating at the station brings them close to the members and they become just like family. We've had several move permanently into the district after graduating.

 

There is an application and interview process with a committee to determine how valuable the department could be to them in regards to broadening their experience and what new ideas/techniques they could bring to us. We've had students from Long Island to way out in the boonies that have never hit a hydrant. Their educational pursuits usually follow some form of fire service but not all and it isn't required. Once approved they are welcome to stay until the completion of their degree as long as they maintain a full time student status with the college. Every year though they are usually rotated to a different station whose primary function differs from the others, giving them specific experience in Engine/RIT, Truck, & Heavy Rescue. I know of 1 individual who graduated college but was allowed to stay throughout the summer so that he could take & complete his Paramedic training.

 


patty faulkner said:

It does help, 

 

a few questions more then,  Is it only 2?  2 per shift?  Are they expected to be there the majority of the time when they are not in class?  How do you pick the 2?  Does either one of them get to stay there until they graduate? or is it a by year thing?  

 

Thanks for helping!

 

Patty

Ron Goodnough said:

In Liverpool member's are not allowed to sleep at the station in any form unless given permission by an officer. Granted there is always a few that pass out in the day room watching television but that's a mighty brave risk to take depending on who's around. The few reasons the officers will allow members is if

  • There is an overnight stand-by with a full crew & officer present
  • Long drawn out call & the member is either to exhausted to drive safely home or is reporting to work in a few hours
  • Extreme weather conditions are in effect & the tones are constantly dropping

However, we do have what we call a Bunk-in program where 2 full time college students live in the firehouse. They're provided a shared dorm style room, rent & utilities is free, they need only buy their own food. In return for free residence they are expected to respond to any and all calls when available around the firehouse if it doesn't interfere with schooling, complete a weekly set of chores to keep the station tidy (not pick up after members!) and bring back what they learn in the classroom by hosting several drills throughout the year.

 

Hope it helps

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