Forum Probie
Hello everyone,
I was recently re-elected to stay as EMS Captain for my volly FD. My main struggle is we have pretty much no morale. We are a combination department and as such EMS gets left in the dust pretty often. Things I try to do or improve get dismissed or "lost" and then it reflects on me as "not doing anything" for EMS. My question to you all is; Is there anything your department/corp did that really made you feel like a unit or closer together? are there any trainings you did that you walked away from happy feeling like you learned something? did you do any events together that you feel improved the morale?
I came into this position knowing nothing and with 0 guidance... now, since it's my second year around I am slightly more informed/confident and ready to push harder for EMS. 💪😠

E tank

Caution: Paralyzing Agent
Lots of morale/team building ideas on the web if you haven't looked into it. Morale is morale whether VFD's or corporate business life, 'cause people are people. Nothing really new under the sun, nor is there a need to re-invent the wheel. It does take effort, credibility and time and a good assessment of why morale is lousy (there are not that many reasons). Little things like sincere one on one time with folks and just telling the truth go a long way. But enthusiastic promises that are not delivered on are bad.


Forum Deputy Chief
RescueDog, you say you were elected Captain, so I'm assuming that means you wanted the job. Now that you have it, I don't think the best way to go about it is to complain and criticize others here. How about making a positive start? Pick one thing to work on that you think addresses a matter of high priority within your squad. Maybe ask a couple of members to help. If you and your group succeed to any extent, that will add to your confidence and show others that you're serious about doing a good job. Then you can move on to another item.


EMS Edumacator
There's lots of great ways to build teamwork. CPR challenge with prizes. Have crews put together an oxygen tank with a regulator when they're blindfolded and give out prizes. How about a protocol reviewusibg kahoot for Monopoly money. Throw your manikin down the stairs, give one guy a flashlight and have your crews package him up. It's a great team builder.

Do some things that are fun, and get people laughing and having a good time together. Suddenly, your training feel less like work and more like fun


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
ok, couple questions:

1) what do you mean no morale? morale is typically an agency wide thing, and while morale might be poor, there are usually reasons for that. Do you have different membership classes, between fire only, fire and ems, and ems only? Do they eat meals together? or always do their own things?

2) can you give some examples of your morale issues?

3) is everyone an Emt? paramedic? CC?

4) what do your people say the issues are? have you spoken to the career staff? the volunteer staff? the other officers?


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
things you can do to build cohesion among the department: everyone trains together. career staff and volunteer staff. the training calendar is posted in advance, and training sessions often involve external instructors. everyone does the hands on skills.

everyone eats together. so if a volunteer or EMS only person is doing a shift with the career staff, they eat with the staff. many non-FFs underestimate the value of the kitchen table. They don't have to eat what was made (if they don't want to), but they should eat at the same meal time.

do you have the uniform shirts? does everyone have the same shirt (with an exception for different levels of training)? It might sounds simple, but many places don't understand what the effect of a common uniform has on a group of people.

give yourself and your department SMART goals.