With today’s training requirements on new firefighter recruits it take a couple of years to develop new/promoted firefighters. We do annual recruiting and annually hold classes for structural firefighting, medical response, hazardous materials and wild-land firefighting. We are about to start on-boarding almost a dozen new recruits…
On-boarding is a process. We have an orientation day where we take a photo of the firefighter (for identification, but also for us to put a face to a name) and we add them to D4H, and provide them a login so they can get acquainted with what is going on. We then have a bunch of other tasks per recruit…
We chose to use Asana for our task management. D4H has task management but we wanted a bit more sophistication in grouping, assignment & deadlines. (We use D4H tasks for equipment/station maintenance tasks.) One thing we do with Asana is group on-boarding tasks for a new recruit, and then clone that whole group of tasks for each recruit.
Our tasks look like this, and we clone them (with assignments / deadlines) one per recruit:
- [IT] Add to Everbridge (as non-Operational.)
- [IT] Add to D4H. Check groups, permissions. (Station group, mentee group, Full Fire-fighter or Wildland Team group.)
- [Admin] Add ID photo to D4H.
- [Admin] Add to Training Sheet.
- [IT] Add to Google Groups – including dispatch group.
- [IT] Add to Wild-land IQS – for qualification tracking
- [IT] Add to Group Me – for dispatch messaging.
- [IT] Add to Evite.com (for annual award dinner, family picnics, etc.)
- [IT] Add to online training system (as needed.)
- [Admin] Add to FPPA portal (pension)
- [Admin] Get coded for County Fuel Key (once ready.)
- [Admin/IT] Get Knox Box code (once ready.)
- [IT] Add to Everbridge Operational Group (once ready.)
… and this is just the list after we’ve done the initial health / background screening, and paperwork. Actually, there is likely even more.
We found that if we did not explicitly add a task for each step of each new member we’d overlook something for somebody, and it is hard to catch these things after the fact. (New recruits don’t initially notice when they aren’t getting notifications they don’t yet know about.)
One gotcha we have each year with D4H and newcomers …
We are 4 fire stations, one fire community but two main teams (full firefighters FFF and wild-land firefighters WLT) and we are one D4H team. (I’m not sure we’d change to one D4H Organization and two D4H Teams, even if we could. It’d feel wrong to separate things.)
Anyway we do tend to create exercises where we invite FFF and/or WLT as appropriate, and we cannot not use “Full Team” so we use “Selective” attendance for the activity. We lay out our training calendar at the start of the year, which is where the problem arises: Our new recruits get added to D4H and these groups after the exercises are created, so they are not added to the exercise’s attendance … they are not “requested” and they don’t have permissions to add their attendance. It hits us every year.
We have no easy fix for this we just (after on-boarding) create a D4H group of the new recruits and manually updating the exercises they want to go to, requesting the members of that group. New recruits usually have more than enough of their own training, but there are a few (boat training, pack tests, mask fit tests) that they want to attend. It catches us every year.
We are very grateful for the new recruits, however on-boarding is quite a process…