How are vollys viewed by paid EMT's?


First off I'll apologize for the way I said it, but not the message. I had just come off a long shift (almost 30 hours w/ 14 transports, each one being approx 2 hours from start to finish... imagine that, I work in a rural county) where I saw a volunteer rescue (or any volunteers at all) just once. So I was in a nasty mood, but I still think that volunteers that don't respond need to be replaced with a system that DOES respond. I don't care if that's the way it's always been done, or it's tradition. If you have a volunteer agency that doesn't respond, they are helping no one.

I'd actually say that a volunteer agency that regularly has a response problem goes beyond not helping to hurting since it's diverting funding (be it tax or donation, money is money) that would to a service that will respond.


Forum Chief
My service is volunteer and we respond to every call withing the corporate limits of the town. I have yet to be on a so called cool call. Mostly it's IFT between hospital and nursing homes. As well if the town did convert us to paid full time we would gladly go paid full time. We have corrections officer who will be making less money and other who work in jobs that would pay them more to work EMS. Currently my service has 20 members but with summer vacations and a few of our member who are firefighters with forest management and Parks Canada we are down to 7 members and when we have our weekly changeover and training meetings once a week basically any member who goes is on call My service has 2 BLS units and in the main ambulance is crewed by a minimum of 3 members with 4 going out on average. Our back up ambulance is crewed by 2 members with sometimes 3 going if the primary ambulance is out on a call.
I agree with your statement that if a volly can't or won't commit to the same training levels required of the full time services. When I first joined the main thing was free training. It's the same with volly fire departments they should also train to the extent that paid services do. Because fire and EMS is in the business of saving lives and property. If our training is not up to par with full times services then people will not get the help they need.

Training is also one of the reasons I joined the dept I did. They will pay for hosemonkey courses if I want it, but also CCT, TCCC, an AAS and BS in EMS, and anythign else fire or EMS (Like rope rescue) related certs I ask for.


Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
And there in lies the truth.... despite having the money, the town still doesn't want to properly fund the EMS system.

That doesn't mean volunteers are failing to do the job, but rather the town doesn't want a paid staff. the town is also willing to accept the downsides of having a volunteer ems agency and the financial savings as well.

btw, I know quite a few poor urban areas that have paid staffing 24/7. typically they don't have the proper amount of units to handle the call volume, so they have extended wait times, but they are far from being wealthy communities.

As for clarification, town government would like to see a paid EMS service operating in town. However given the nature of local government in Massachusetts where the citizens vote annually on any and all capital expenditures out of budget individually, it is the citizen's (that do not like to be educated in matters of public safety) that are choosing not to upgrade the EMS service.

And for the record, I understand that there are lots of places where this is not an option and the only option is volunteers given the lack of a tax base in the region, really I do. I'm just pointing out there are many volunteer services operating in areas where they are not the only option at hand.