I'm chief of a small fire department on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. We protect a community of 3500 people -- 1200 households. Our village is overwhelmingly single family homes. We run an ALS - Paramedic Ambulance. We handle about 700 calls per year --- 65% EMS. It has been 3 years since our last building fire. We have 5 career and 40 volunteers.
I've attached a PowerPoint I used for a presentation for New England Fire Chiefs last month about how small town fire departments can amend and adopt NFPA standards. I've observed that small town chiefs tend to be overwhelmed with bad information. Among them, is that you can make NFPA standards work for your small department. It's an area I'm fairly new to understanding --- I suspect I've more to learn.
Looking at the other posts, I see many other people struggling with many of the same issues my department faces. Here are two issues we face, that I'd like see if others are facing (and have a solution). We have a tremendous turnover among our volunteer force because the large career departments around us hire them after we train them. We lose about 6 volunteers a year this way, and we've lost 7 already in 2017.
We also find more and more of our volunteers fall into what I'm calling the 'micro-volunteer' category. They can volunteer for very specific periods of time or functions. For instance, I have one who volunteers on Tuesday nights only. I'm glad to have the help, but it causes cultural friction with the more traditional volunteers who feel this demonstrates a lack of commitment or laziness.