By now it should be widely known that I am a candidate for President of the Forest Hills VAC, as if the Konig For President 2012 tag wasn’t enough of an indicator.
I decided to run for President after some recent events that indicate without such a change the culture of exclusion currently in place will continue unchecked. I think this is bad for the organization as a whole and especially detrimental as a volunteer based agency. If you need some examples of this culture, I’d be more than happy to provide them. They range from only a select few members sitting for a meal while the rest of the members waited outside for another table to be readied at a conference to only a select few planning an event using the name of the organization to acquire permits without knowledge of the membership or members of the Executive Board. This type of lone wolf superiority complex behavior needs to stop in order for us to succeed at our mission.
Today I am going to lay out the blueprint of my plan should I be elected President of the Forest Hills VAC.
Our greatest asset is our members, but membership and recruitment is something that we have become unfocused on. We hear lists of numerous names at the General Meeting but rarely see these faces in person. In order to ensure our ability to continue to exist we need to be proactive in membership and recruitment. Here is a quick list of what I would look to implement:
- Streamline the membership process- there are many moving parts to becoming a member, some of which is duplicate work. We need to streamline the process to make it more welcoming
- Create a structured interview process- so that all applicants are interviewed fairly and equitably while at the same time setting clear expectations. Interviews shouldn’t be all about choosing them, it should also be about them choosing us
- Create and implement a new member orientation- either once a month or bi-monthly I think we should offer an orientation for new members. This would cover everything a member should know including the organization’s structure, Bylaws, SOPs and dispatching. For those who are already EMTs we can take this opportunity to provide the Crew Chief 101 curriculum and for those wishing to be drivers we can provide the CEVO III training. This is about giving the new members the tools to be successful at helping us achieve our mission
- Bring back Fellowship- the Fellowship Committee has been mostly defunct over the past year, and I plan to bring it back
Training and Education
For a few years now I have heard constantly about the importance of training. While I agree that training is an important aspect to complete the mission, it is NOT the only aspect and other things have suffered because of this undue over focus. These past few years we have improved greatly upon our training regimen with regular offerings of CEVO III, the online CentreLearn classes, the annual attendance at Pulse Check, and specifically developed programs like Crew Chief 101. Moving forward I would like to see these added training and educational opportunities to compliment what we already have in place:
- Simulation training- the military forces do it, so why shouldn’t we?
- Blitz training- not all training needs to be done in huge groups or in a classroom. By fostering the creation of a “Blitz” training curriculum we can create an easy way to disseminate the rudimentary knowledge many of us more experienced providers take for granted
- Improve Scheduling- Because some of the best training you can receive is actually on the job, we need to improve scheduling. One step we’ve already taken to improve scheduling is the use of the When To Help system. Although the membership has been slow to embrace its use, I believe if we focus more on membership we will see better results
The Corps Committees used to be the nucleus that kept the Corps humming. In recent years they have mostly become dysfunctional. To have a strong organization with members empowered to achieve the goal of serving the community we need to have our committees back. Here are my plans to make the committees active and contributing to the success of the mission:
- Clear outlines for the Committee Chairperson- I think committee chairmen need to be provided with a clear outline of their committee goals and expectations.
- Convene a Committee Chair Council- bringing all the Committee Chairpersons together would help communication amongst the committees, act as an incubator for ideas, and provide possible solutions to the challenges they are facing.
- Actively support the Committees- too often committees are left to languish and aren’t offered the support they need to function correctly or end up being micro-managed to the annoyance of all involved. This often leads to apathy and dysfunction and that is something we’ve had enough of already. I will actively support the committees and equip them with the tools to succeed without micro-managing
Standard Operating Procedures
From listening to new and old members alike I believe our SOPs are bloated. They need to be streamlined, condensed, and made easily understandable, so I think a full revision is necessary.
What Do You Want To See?
What would you like to see happen? The above list are things that either I’ve seen or what others have pointed out to me over the course of numerous discussions. So what else would you like to see happen?