This blog was posted on the Leadership Emergency Services web site on Wednesday, June 04, 2014 by Sally Steward.
Some of these might surprise you!
Reason #10 – The reality of their experience is not what they expected when they signed on.
Reason #9 – They don’t like the work they are being asked to do nor how it is being done.
Reason #8 – Veteran or leadership volunteers won’t let them into the “insider” group.
Reason #7 – They spend more time meeting than doing.
Reason #6 – No one listens to their suggestions.
Reason #5 – They feel unrecognized, and see that thanks are unfairly given to everyone, no matter who did the most work or none at all.
Reason #4 – They are no longer asked to participate.
Reason #3 – They do not actually understand how to get more involved.
Reason #2 – They can no longer see how their involvement makes a difference.
And the #1 Reason volunteers leave is………..
It stopped being fun. Remember that a volunteer is there by choice and if they aren’t enjoying the experience they are likely to put on their walking shoes.
source: Critical Response Network
It is good to see that some matters around bullying and mistreatment of members are being looked at and hopefully addressed.
Of course in the meantime there will be still plenty of people leave the service.
I was in the service previously and have recently re-joined. I had moved to another state, joined their service and have been back here for two years now.
I can outline the type of matter that made me leave the service when I moved.
I was at a fire call in the south west Sydney area.
A member of the public came walking out of the smoke onto the fireground yelling at the crew. This man was carrying a large kitchen carving style knife.
He was demanding that the crew put the fire out immediately. My captain walked towards him yelling at the man to leave.
I intervened and took the mans attention away from the captain by putting myself between the two of them. After talking to the man for a little while I was able to convince him to leave. I walked with the man all the way off the fireground keeping myself shoulder to shoulder with him as we walked along to keep his attention on myself and away from the crew.
All the way while we were walking the man kept demanding that we keep putting the fire out. The man had the knife in his hand closest to me all the way.
The man left and went into a nearby house.
I then resumed firefighting duties.
After about 5 minutes I felt a tap at my throat and looked down to see that the man had snuck up behind me and placed the knife to my throat.
The man held me in that position for several minutes. He kept demanding that we put the fire out immediately. We had decided to commence a small back burning operation so therefore it was taking a while.
After a short while in this position the man could hear the siren of the police car coming. The police turned up and approached us from behind.
At this stage the man had lowered the knife to have it sticking into my side. He was telling me to keep my mouth shut or he will run the knife through me.
Finally myself and the police convinced the man to remove the knife from me. The man removed the knife and placed it under his jacket.
I was then able to walk away from the man and let the police apprehend him.
I resumed my duties as part of the crew.
The next day the FCO and DFCO were speaking to me about the incident. They proceeded to tell me that they would have took to the man with a standpipe bar or blasted him with a 64mm hose.
They went on to tell me that I was weak and a coward because I didn’t handle it as bravely as they would’ve.
Although the captain spoke that he wanted the brigade or individuals commended for their actions that evening, we never heard anything about it. I was just continually told how I was a coward because I didn’t handle it as bravely as the FCO and DFCO would’ve.
Shortly after this event it became known in the RFS that I was a gay member. This lead to the same FCO and DFCO talking to me and saying that gays should be strung up and have their throats slit. This was after I had already been chased out of one brigade due to being gay. There would be notes in my locker letting me know that gay people were not welcome there.
I can only presume that this obviously persuaded theirs or the services decision on whether members involved that night should be recognised for their actions.
I can only ponder about whether the service has moved forward after having been back in the service now again for 22months and still no uniform. That’s quite a while to wait for a uniform.
I do believe that the service has moved forward in some areas but when you read what I have outlined above you can see why members just walk away. Many members do extraordinary things for their communities. But if after those that have literally put their lives on the line can not even be told good job, then we have a problem.