In the prior post, it was discussed if a volunteer on stand-by should be eligible to earn points for also taking a training class or attending a drill during the stand-by period.
It's a great question - the short answer is yes (see prior post for longer answer).
But that question is masking the better question behind it, which is, should that type of activity be encouraged or allowed?
Each volunteer fire department serves a local community and specific protection area (plus enters into mutual aid agreements to surrounding communities). There are specific by-law requirements to be a member and remain a member as well as possible standard operating procedures and guidelines. These policies may also be adopted and enforced by a fire district that oversees the operation of the fire department. Whatever the context, there are policies in place (or should be) that govern the activities of the fire department.
A simple example is the medical classification of a volunteer – internal, external, administrative-only, fire police, etc. These classifications dictate the responsibilities and capabilities of the firefighter during an emergency. Those classifications are in place so that volunteer and the leadership all understand what that individual is trained to do.
Similarly, the fire department would structure the training and drills so that volunteers are prepared to respond to the types of emergencies that are likely to occur in that protection area. Each department serves a different type of community, so the training and equipment will be different.
In the context of the original question, this fire department felt it was necessary to have volunteers scheduled to be on stand-by during certain periods so there is someone ready to respond. That is a policy. It is reasonable to then ask, is it a good policy for someone who is tasked to be on stand-by to also be engaged in another activity that could delay the response time.
It seems reasonable to me that a fire department would decide that someone on stand-by should not be allowed to participate in a drill. That is a policy decision, not a LOSAP decision. If the policy allows that individual to participate in the drill, then in my opinion the person would earn the points (if completed).
Create good by-laws, procedures and guidelines, then follow them. If a certain activity is allowed, then the next step is to determine how a LOSAP point should be awarded. Not the other way around.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and how it impacts your local department.