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The Ledgeview Fire Department, located just south of DePere and Green Bay Wisconsin has had its share of turmoil as of late. Mostly related to the Town Board wanting to hire and oversee the new Fire Chief as opposed to having the members vote for their new Chief.  I could write a great deal about the pros and cons of whether a chief should be appointed by the Town Board or voted in by the membership but that is all for another article. What I found interesting is that the Town Board has determined that they should increase the amount of money paid to the new chief for all of the work and responsibility that they will have.  In addition, when reviewing th comments section after the article, one reader posted that they did not feel the new salary was very much money, while another reader posted a reference to it being a “volunteer” fire department.
My immediate reaction was”SO” what if it is a volunteer fire department. I mean really, because a department is volunteer, paid per call, or paid-on-call is usaully directly related to the call volume handled by that department and the ability f0r the Town, City, or Village to provide people to respond to those calls. Volunteer departments have the same reporting requirements to the state and federal governments. When a firefighter receives their certification to be an interior firefighter it doesn’t distinguish between Career and Volunteer. 
The article’s focus is on the new compensation level of the fire chief, but to me the bigger story is the continuing perception of the public that somehow volunteer fire departments have no standards and perhaps, perhaps, may not be as worthy as their career counter parts.  The moral of the story is that we must do more to educate our citizens on what we do. If we do not get better at marketing our services we will never overcome the stigmas of the past.
You can read the full article here:
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110623/GPG0101/106230570/Ledgeview-will-hike-pay-new-fire-chief?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs