Handling Manpower Shortages

Handling Manpower Shortages

DEPARTMENTS

the round table

discussion of current fire department and fire management problems

THIS IS THE FINAL installment of the Round Table on handling manpower shortages.

Readers are invited to submit comments on next month’s subject, as well as on the current one. Address replies to Round Table Editor, FIRE ENGINEERING, 466 Lexington Avenue, New York 17, N. Y.

The Discussion

W. J. Lewis, Chief, Norfolk, Va.: Our department personnel roster does not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength.

In case of illness to individuals, the temporarily vacant positions are not filled by extra men.

Provisions are not made for filling vacant positions during vacations.

Company officers are substituted for during illness, injury or vacation periods by taking men on the eligible list for promotion and allowing them to act.

In the event of a serious manpower depletion due to illness or injury, members of the department can be called back for duty and be given compensation.

Laurence F. Lynch, Chief, Brockton, Mass.: We do not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength at a certain level.

In case of illness to individuals or during vacation periods, the temporarily vacant positions are not filled by extra men.

We substitute company officers during illness, injury, etc., by detailing senior members of companies to take charge.

In the event of a serious manpower depletion, department regulations do not require that off-duty personnel work overtime; personnel of companies are rearranged.

Leonard A. Petrucelli, Chief, Meriden, Conn.: Our department personnel roster does not provide for extra men to maintain company strength.

In case of illness or when men are out on vacation, the company operates shorthanded.

A senior fireman in the company, who becomes the acting officer, substitutes for a company officer during illness, injury or vacation periods.

Department regulations do not require off-duty personnel to work extra time in the event of a serious manpower depletion by illness or injury. However, an emergency could be declared, bringing in off-duty personnel. They would be compensated at a later date, with time off for the extra time they worked.

J. E. Bayliss, Chief, Victoria, B. C.: We provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Our pump company strengths are: One lieutenant, one fireman driver and two hosemen; Truck company strengths are: One captain, one fireman driver and five ladder-man.

Illness is covered by extra men if available, otherwise off-duty personnel are called in and paid for extra shifts worked.

Three extra men are on strength for each platoon (two platoon system) for holiday relief coverage.

Junior officers are moved up to cover the senior officers’ positions vacant through sickness or otherwise, and are paid senior position rate when working, i.e., lieutenants for captains; captains for assistant chiefs.

Department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time when necessary. However, all extra time worked is paid for by cash.

C. M. Deal, Chief, Lakeland, Fla.: Our department does not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength.

We do not fill temporarily vacant positions due to illness to individuals or when men are out on vacations.

First-class firemen, who are in line for promotion, will be stepped up for temporary assignment in case the company officer is ill or injured.

While regulations do not require it, the working agreement with the men assures us that we can call back off-duty personnel in case of an emergency.

L. Waits Guthrie, Chief, Atlanta, Ga.: If our manpower drops below a certain level, leaves of absence are cancelled. Our general manpower level is five men to the apparatus.

Temporarily vacant positions due to illness are filled only if certain levels are exceeded.

Provisions are not made for filling temporarily vacant positions during vacations.

Company officers are substituted for during illness, etc., by acting officers.

In the event of a serious manpower depletion, department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time.

C. M. Weaver, Chief, Ithaca, N. Y.:We are a part-paid, part-volunteer department, with the only paid personnel being drivers, dispatchers, a lieutenant per shift, a fire alarm electrician, two assistant chiefs and the chief. Three extra men, one assigned to each shift, are provided to accommodate sick leave and vacations. All other manpower is volunteer, made up of eight companies and their elected officers.

In case of illness, the vacant positions are filled by the extra men and by assigning the lieutenants to driving duty.

Although one man per shift is provided to fill vacation vacancies, it is necessary to cease fire prevention work and throw companies out of service in the event of illness during the vacation period scheduled from May to November.

There is no provision for substituting officers during illness and vacation, except for the substitution of lieutenants for chiefs.

Under department regulations, off-duty personnel may be required to work extra time.

H. L. Hales, Chief, Monroe, La.: We do provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Within the fire district, we use four men per truck. Outside the fire district, three men are required.

As a rule, we allow the oldest (in seniority) qualified eligibles to fill those positions left vacant by illness.

We assign the youngest in class seniority to work nothing but vacations, which in our department is a year-round assignment.

The “next-in-line” man substitutes for company officers when they are out for illness, injury or vacation reasons.

Department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time in the event of serious manpower depletion and they are paid time-and-a-half for all overtime.

V. L. Crusinberry, Chief, Sioux Falls, S.D.: The Sioux Falls Fire Department, like most other department, experiences manpower problems and shortages. We have a total of four engine companies, one aerial and two service truck companies, with a total personnel of 78 men. Of this number, 69 men are assigned to the apparatus. The two engine companies in headquarters are manned with the minimum of five and four. The two district companies are manned for a minimum of four men on duty. Reserve or extra men are kept at the central station and answer district fires in the district chief’s vehicle, which is an emergency panel truck. Three to four men accompany this equipment.

We do not maintain any extra men for either vacations or sick leave, and vacations are scheduled the year round.

Officer replacement for illness and vacations are made by using men next on eligible promotional lists to fill in.

In the event of serious manpower depletion, the normal off-duty personnel would work extra time.

J. E. Travis, Chief, Salina, Kansas: Our department personnel roster does not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength.

In case of illness to individuals, the temporarily vacant positions are not filled by extra men, and no provisions are made for filling vacant positions during vacations.

We do not substitute for company officers during illness, injury or vacation periods.

In the event of serious manpower depletion by illness or injury, department regulation do not require that men work extra time.

George F. Lowe, Chief, Pueblo, Colo.: Our department provides for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Our manpower level is: A minimum of three men in residential companies and five in high-value companies.

We have four men on each shift who act as “boomers.” These men are moved from one company to another to fill vacancies caused by vacations and illness.

Our company officers are substituted for during illness, injury or vacation periods by appointing men in companies as acting officers.

Our rules give the chief authority to call members of the off-shift of the department to fill in during emergency situations. These men are paid time-and-one-half, except in case of a major fire, when they receive straight time.

L. F. McDonald, Chief, Jackson, Miss.: Our department provides for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Our general company manpower level is four to five men to each company.

This department keeps its manpower strength up by doubling off-shift men in the same rating, with double pay, for those who are out due to illness, vacations, etc.

Company officers are substituted during illness, injury, or vacation by officers on the off-shift.

In the event of a serious manpower depletion, department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time, with extra full pay.

Duncan M. Murdoch, Chief, Concord, N. H.: We do not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength at a certain level under all foreseeable conditions.

In case of illness to individuals, the temporarily vacant positions are filled by extra men; vacant positions due to vacations are also filled in this manner.

Company officers are replaced by day-off officers during illness, injury or vacation periods.

In the event of serious manpower depletion by illness or injury, department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time.

A. Z. Lokey, Chief, Greenville, Miss.: In our department, we do not provide for extra men to maintain company strength.

In case of illness to individuals, the temporarily vacant positions are not filled by extra men.

During vacations, provisions are not made to fill the temporarily vacant positions.

Company officers are substituted for when necessary; each fire station has a lieutenant that serves as acting captain.

In this department, the emergency has never reached the manpower depletion stage but should the occasion call for it, our men would work extra time.

Gerald J. Ring, Chief, Binghamton,N. Y.: We do not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Our general company manpower level is four men on each company.

If possible, vacant positions in the department due to illness are filled. However, there are times when extra men are not available.

No provisions are made for filling vacant positions during vacations.

Company officers are substituted for during illness, injury or vacation by the oldest first-grade man on that company.

In case of an emergency, the chief may suspend the three-platoon system. We have a few extra men on each platoon but sometimes some companies are down to three men.

J. H. Freeman, Chief, Tucson, Ariz.: Extra men in our department are used to maintain company strength. We use the following general company manpower level: four men to the pumper company; six men to the ladder company.

The number of permanent personnel members are based on normal absences due to illness and vacations.

In the event of serious manpower depletion by illness or injury, department regulations require that normally off-duty” personnel work extra time, for extra compensation.

C. D. Sirmon, Chief, Mobile, Ala.: Our department personnel roster provides for extra men to be used to maintain company strength. Our general manpower level is four men.

In case of illness to individuals, the temporarily vacant positions are partially filled by extra men.

At present, provisions have not been made for filling vacant positions during vacations because this has never been necessary.

In our department, extra captains substitute for company officers during illness, injury or vacation periods. Provisions are also made for filling Kelly Day

Department regulations do not require that off-duty men work extra time in the event of a serious manpower depletion.

Wagner Sorensen, Chief, Reno, Nev.: Our department personnel roster does not provide for extra men to be used to maintain company strength.

Temporarily vacant positions due to illness or during vacations are not filled by extra men.

When company officers are out during illness, injury or vacation, men from the next lowest rank are appointed in an acting capacity.

In the past and we presume in the future, if necessary, off-duty personnel would fill in during an emergency. However, the regulations do not provide for this contingency.

J. Franklyn Dunn, Chief, Middletown, Conn.: The Middletown Fire Department fills temporarily vacant positions due to illness or during vacation periods, with off-shift men at extra pay.

Company officers are replaced by another officer when they are out due to illness, injury or vacation periods.

In the event of serious manpower depletion, department regulations require that normally off-duty men work extra time, for extra pay.

L. L. Geisler, Chief, Johnson City, Tenn.: We do not provide extra men for the purpose of maintaining company strength.

In case of illness to individuals or during vacations, the temporarily vacant positions are not filled by extra men.

Temporary officers are designated or appointed to substitute for company officers during illness, injury or vacation periods.

Department regulations require that normally off-duty personnel work extra time in the exent of serious manpower depletion.

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