In the most recent Advocate (a local monthly “news” paper), there’s an article about “The Fire and Rescue Bullet”. It talks about the things working against volunteers: Competition for free time, aging population, increased training requirements, employers not letting employees off to answer calls, greater expectations from citizens, and of course, money. There are other problems with answering calls as well. The biggest one for me? The BS calls. I’m sorry, but when someone calls 911 morning after morning after morning, for the same complaint, you know what? I’m going to stay right here and eat my lucky charms, thank you very much. How about the person who complained that their “Lungs were full of air” and wanted to go to the ER? Unfortunately, you want to go to the ER? We cannot refuse to take you. People also complain about how long it takes an ambulance to get there. My answer? First, is your house easy to locate? Let’s start with a house number, that is CLEARLY visible from the road. I had a family member berate us for driving up and down past his house. “But the number is there!” “Yes sir, and it’s black letters on a flat black mailbox. We can’t see that in the middle of the night.” Second, when you choose to have the house that has an AMAZING view and no one around for miles . . . that also includes an ambulance.
In this same article, it brings up statistics. Yes, my squad has missed a LOT of calls. And the article talks about how there are other departments that have no calls missed. But, there are lots of details missing, not just hard and fast numbers. For instance. Was the call missed because we were already on another call? WHO was the call for? Several of our “missed” calls were for another agency that we were second due on. And, before we could answer that call for that first due agency, they got a truck on the road so we weren’t needed. Yes, the Fire Department might have 100% of calls answered, but if they only have 15 calls for the month . . . . . whoo hoo! We usually have 60-90 calls a month. I’d like to see what happens to those other departments numbers when they start having that kind of volume.