Whether you’re paid-on-call, paid per call, or 100% volunteer, attempting to schedule a group of volunteers to assure full coverage throughout the week can be a bit tricky.
With a smaller volunteer fire department like ours there tends to be a day crew and a night crew. Some people work regular 9-5 jobs Monday – Friday which automatically puts them on the night and weekend crew. We have several who work a constantly changing schedule so they may work mornings one week, afternoons the next, and nights the third week.
To explain this, let’s say we have 25 people on our department. Fifteen of these people work daytime jobs, so they’re available most nights and weekends. Five of these people work 12 hour shift work, so they’re available during days and nights about 3 days out of the week. The other five work part-time jobs at odd hours, work from home, or are retired, which puts them available most days and nights out of the week.
How in the world does a volunteer department juggle these schedules and make sure the community is covered with enough people 24/7, 365 days out of the year? Communication. Seriously, it’s that easy!
We’re all volunteers, so we run calls when we’re available. Our area is always covered no matter what, and that is what helps to keep everyone in our community safe.