Volunteer Firefighter Risk Management Concerns

It’s no secret that volunteer firefighting organizations don’t have as many resources and funds as traditional departments. Therefore, the idea of risk management can be a daunting one. However, developing an effective strategy to proactively evaluate and manage risk is essential. As we take a closer look at the challenges these professionals face, ensure your clients are secure with the best Volunteer Firefighter General Liability policy available.

Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) face a unique set of barriers in terms of protecting their crews. It’s simply that the volunteer models do not allocate enough resources to protect them on the ground. Chief Richard Kline of the Plymouth Fire Department explains to Firefighter Nation, “The primary obstacle that impacts us the most is staffing. In a career department, you can look at who’s on duty, skill levels, as well as host of other things that make staffing in career departments dependable and predictable. Many volunteer systems can’t say that, and it impacts our fireground decision-making, because the experience, training, dependability, predictability and motivation of our staffing vary.”

VFD’s also face challenges in obtaining the proper equipment due to lack of funds. In addition, possibly the most difficult to manage, is the lack of time. Many volunteer fire chiefs hold full-time jobs elsewhere, minimizing their ability to train and learn more on the job information.

However, there are solutions to these risk management concerns. Kline states to “Form partnerships with local organizations, whether they’re businesses or state organizations, to bring training to you. Adjust expectations, pursue grants, use mutual aid and task force/strike team concepts. Study examples that are working.”

Another way to benefit everyone is to provide a set schedule that the firefighters can depend on. This way, the department can count on a dedicated number of staff members that day and volunteer firefighters get guaranteed credit. This, in turn, positively effects decision making.

While risk management is no easy feat for the volunteer fire department sector, the above mentioned recommendations can improve your clients’ bottom line and safety of their crew.

At Provident Fire Plus, we understand the risks that volunteer firefighting departments face on a regular basis. Our unique underwriting goes beyond what is typically included in insurance policies, extending coverage to commercial autos, line of duty protection, damage to third party property, and more. For more information about our comprehensive policies and how we can work for your clients, contact us today at (855) 201-8880.