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nigel leyland
12-01-2010, 12:16 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.

robin-baldwin
12-01-2010, 12:32 PM
We (Breckland Landrover Club Ltd, Rover Rescue) do not pay a membership fee to belong to Rover Rescue. We do however pay to be members of BLRC, this obviously covers admin, insurance, club magazine and other associated costs for both BLRC and RR.

I think that it is essential that a membership fee is charged however this should be to cover running costs of the group and possibly a small working surplus and should be kept as low as reasonable.

As our support becomes more widely appreciated I think that we will attract more sponsorship which will help to offset these costs but groups must still charge a membership fee to maintain their independence. These fees, and the need for them, should obviously be explained to all new members.



Robin

Rikki-UK
12-01-2010, 12:44 PM
I think that without fee's people would join on a whim, many never to be seen or heard from again. This could lead to the impression of being better staffed/Manned than is actually the case and make planning or decisions about capabilities very difficult.



A small/reasonable fee paid shows some commitment and in my opinion those willing to pay it are more likely to participate. I do think that the groups may wish to consider having an exceptional circumstances membership where the fee could be waived. (A hypothetical example: If a housebound person on benefits wished to join to help out as a controller or administrator)

Tony Ferrari
12-01-2010, 01:24 PM
When Hertfordshire started we didn't charge a membership fee although I made it clear the intention to introduce one.



When it became clear that we would need funds and introduced a £10 annual fee we lost almost half the membership. OK so if the cost of two gallons of fuel or less than four pints of beer are that vital then are you going to be prepared to use several tank fulls of fuel in an emergency when it may take some considerable time to get it back if at all?



I think fees are essential as they do give a genuine sense that you belong to something and hopefully all groups do give something in return.



We also charge a £20 deposit to new members for their jacket, returnable if they leave and give the jacket back (no one has yet). This helps pay for the jackets but also assists with cash flow.



In my experience this is no different to any voluntary group, sports club or recreational group they all "self fund" to a geater or lesser degree

WessexMario
12-01-2010, 03:54 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members?



As a new member who only paid the membership fee two days ago, and in a past life having been the recuiting officer for a TA squadron, I'm probably qualified to comment :)



The short answer I believe is No, it doesn't.



It's lots of things. It's not just a payment for the purchase of hi-vis vest and other items. It's a commitment, almost a rite of passage. Time is money. You're asking people to give up many hours of their leisure or working time to do productive work unpaid. As well as that, if they're going to do it well, then most will spend something on the extra bits of kit that will help them in the job that they wouldn't normally otherwise purchased. With the sort of organisation we are, with members spread out all over the place, we're always going to have to fork out a few bob here and there for fuel whenever we meet up for non-operational reasons like training as well. If someone isn't prepared to give a little to help others, then they probably aren't the right sort of person for this sort of organisation.



I'm not rolling in dosh myself, but for the price of a slab of beer it's not going to break the bank. Charities don't have endless resources of cash or manpower, and getting new applicants from initial contact to being working members doesn't just cost money but also diverts time from operations. I'd like to feel that everyone in the team is here not just for the jollies, but to provide a service that we can all be proud of. If it puts a few off, then so be it, but it's far better to have one committed person, than 10 who are only here for what they can get, rather than what they can give.



(The above is just a 'brain dump' so read the gist and not the detail.)

Pete Chambers
12-01-2010, 05:55 PM
Well said that man, and proud to say your under my wing too. as stated previously, it shows some commitment as well as helps fund the cause

stephendrabble
12-01-2010, 07:14 PM
i think the fees keep out the "want to be heros" and " flash" guys. just keeps the one that WANT to do and WANT to be there

Russ laye
12-01-2010, 07:27 PM
Personally I think its all fair, not only does it put off the wanabees, the membership cards, paper, postage and other stuff such as jacket needs to be paid for.......well at least untill a large corporation steps up and hands over a large bucket of money..



any one from any of the big car companies out there?

mark avo
12-01-2010, 08:24 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)





Shouldnt do , as long as





C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?





Up front & clear shouldnt be a problem.



I also agree with the sponsorship bit. Not so much on a national basis but with the amount of local council exposure we get I'd be very suprised if someone didnt bite your hand off with sponsorship for the good publicity with the council members. There are a lot of firms that would bend over backwards to get in a councillors good books legitimatly.

WessexMario
13-01-2010, 08:19 AM
Having a membership fee may also make it easier to get sponsorship.

If you approach a potential sponser and say "These guys give their time for nothing, they are even willing to pay for the privledge of being able to do so, but they can't do it all on their own", it'll make a much bigger impact than "we'd like to spend your money". If we collectively are seen to be the first in line with regards to sponsoring our own organisation, it'll make commercial (and private) sponsors more willing to follow. The membership fee might not be a huge sum individually, but it's value in this respect could be many times over.

BobWessex
13-01-2010, 08:39 AM
Thank you Mario,



You've explained it as well as I could, and from a new member I think that probably has much more impact than if it had come from me.



The only point I would add, and apologies if I missed it, is that by having an annual renewal fee we can ensure that the number of members is an accurate reflection of the numbers that we can deploy. We normally presume between 25% & 30% would be available at any time.

John Hudson
14-01-2010, 10:25 AM
Do membership fees put off prospective members?



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.



As a prospective new member... I've got to say - Yes they do.



Particularly when itís not clear why they are being charged in the first place. Yes my feeling is why do I "have to pay for the privilege of helping"?



I hadnít heard of your group before this current weather "drama" and when I did hear about you guys it was from another forum and the view there also seemed to be it was a bit of a joke being expected to pay for the privilege of volunteering.



My local group would appear to be Wessex, whom I tried to contact before the weekend; the response I got from calling your published number was "Hello, what do you want?" I had to ask the guy on the other end of the phone to confirm that I had in fact reached the right number at which point I was informed he was a bit busy and could I phone back?



I appreciate that he might have been busy, but as I was calling to volunteer my services (FOC) the second impression wasnít a good one.





If you are curious about whom I amÖ Iím a biker with over 20 yearís experience. When I started, bikers stopped for each other and help out where they could (without thought of reward or herodom). This is something that has stuck with me even as a car driver, Iím more than happy to stop and help anyone out in any conditions.



A couple of years ago, while I was still living in their catchment area, I join SERV a bike group who assist the National Blood Service providing out of hours transport services 365 days a year. This group actually now run two dedicated bikes, they are always looking for volunteers and they are regularly called upon to provide their service. All they ask of their members in return is a one off £15 deposit to cover the cost kit thatís issues to each member.



Looking at the list of responders to this thread so far, you are all already members so obviously youíre all happy to keep paying a fee. Looking at the some of the responses, does it really matter if someone is a wannabe? You lot where all wannabes at one point and then at the point you actually got out and help someone, you became a hero in their eyes. Does it matter if your membership numbers donít reflect the actual active member base? In any group youíll only ever find a small core (clichť) that are always there, thatís life.



The third impression I got of your group was from the BBC report, where your driver was assisting in an MOT failing vehicle and when the reporter suggested 4x4 drivers must feel very smug about being able to get around in those conditions he agreed.



Itís only £20. Has it put me off joining? Yes. Has it put me off helping people? No. All I have done is to contact the local county council, police and ambulance services and offer my services directly.



Iíve got a reliable 4x4, class 1 business insurance, training and experience driving on and off road in a number of countries and a can do attitude? What more do I need?

robin-baldwin
14-01-2010, 10:29 AM
An organisation to back you up and support you!!!!

robin-baldwin
14-01-2010, 10:48 AM
An organisation to set up an insurance policy and to make and maintain contacts. Access to a vast range of expertise through other members of that organisation

John Hudson
14-01-2010, 10:50 AM
An organisation to back you up and support you!!!!



The lack of one hasnt prevented me from stopping to help people in the past and hasnt hindered me either.



Next?



An organisation to set up an insurance policy and to make and maintain contacts. Access to a vast range of expertise through other members of that organisation



Ok, now you are getting somewhere, but as I already have Class 1 business insurance (which is all that was required for SERV) what additional insurance do I actually need?



Yes it makes sense to have a central point of contact, but as the aim is to offer help and assistance, why do I need to pay you to maintain that?



Access to a vast range of expertise? I have a vast range of expertise, but I would never expect to charge you for it unless it was clear that you wished to engage me on a professional basis. Do you really expect others to pay to benefit from you expertise?

robin-baldwin
14-01-2010, 11:17 AM
Like you John I have always stopped to assist anyone I see in trouble at the road side even well before I joined Rover Rescue.

As Deputy Controller I spend a lot of my time and money attending meetings and other work to support our group none of which I would ever expect to be reimbursed for, however, the fact that our members have paid a membership fee, however small, gives me the reassurance that what I am doing is for a real purpose as well as providing evidence of how many members we can potentially call upon when needed.

nigel leyland
14-01-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the responses thus far folks, it is apparent that current members are fully aware of what and why the membership fees are charged, what I really wanted was for someone to come forward with the alternate perspective....



It is evident that we do need to charge membership fees for a number of reasons and therefore we need to provide this reasoning to prospective members....which is why I posted in this section of the forum.



Maybe we should look at providing a quick reference FAQ for prospectives?



John, thanks for posting.....it is not that often that people provide constructive feed back, which can be taken onboard and acted on.....

I'm fairy confident that Wessex will be interested in contacting you....



Nigel.

David Mallalieu
14-01-2010, 11:40 AM
In opposition to Johns view, as a potential new member, I would say I am not adverse to paying my way.



Fee's are charged at several of the charitable organisations that I have been a part of. Each area has its overheads to consider. What do you get back in return?



Well, access to a National network of response units. The ability to meet new people and to feel a part of a community. The communications network (websites, radio etc). Identifying trappings. And a whole lot of new friends I would hope. Not to mention the insurance and other running costs of such an organisation. Discount at certain vendors for being a part of the team.......



I take on board John's point, and for him, no, perhaps there is no tangible benefit, but for me, there is. It is a case of each to their own.



In contrast to John's experience however, I have found my initial contact with the local guys (and not so local Teresa!) to be very helpful and pleasant. People are already trying to help and assist me, with advice and direction, and even a bit of light hearted banter (which is always good for the soul). One perhaps poorly timed phone call should not put someone off. He could have been up to his eyes in kids, work, God knows what. This is not a service, it is a collective group of like minded people who have come together to help. I can't believe that in such a circle of people anyone would be deliberately rude. I am sure we have all picked up the phone whilst in the middle of something and been terse with the caller. I know I am guilty as charged on that one (probably more regularly than I should be as well!).



Anyhow, I am looking forward to meeting the Gloucester team on Tuesday, and see where we go from there.



David.

John Hudson
14-01-2010, 11:48 AM
Nigel, Many thanks for the opportunity to give the feedback. It was the fact that you'd posted the question in the first place that prompted me to subscribe to this forum and reply.



edit : sorry, I meant to also say that FAQs would be really useful.

John Askew
14-01-2010, 12:43 PM
I have had this question off many new members or those considering it in West Wales whilst

helping to setup a new core local group.



Although I did have a chat with MarkM on this, I think it does need to be made clearer in places.

Hopefully though just paperwork that we can build on and standardise in future.



Biggest concerns from most were insurance and in some cases fuel expectations/expenses.

I could use a tank of gas easy around here myself on a few calls which would normally last me

a months laning (example only as mine is a second car and not used for daily business) so I can

see where some are coming from.



Personally I think we need to entice people with other advantages of becoming a responder

aswell, discounted training and better driving skills, or for some perhaps the right pieces of paper.

I know all groups will differ and it is a lovely hi-viz ;)



The hours some of you guys put in deserves a round of applause no doubt :!: I had a similar debate

from a GLASS perspective not long back, some people just want to be dead clear on what they are

doing and what is expected of them. Many have issues about time concerns and how much they can

commit.

Tony Ferrari
14-01-2010, 12:50 PM
Iíve got a reliable 4x4, class 1 business insurance, training and experience driving on and off road in a number of countries and a can do attitude? What more do I need?



John, thanks for your comments they are constructive and we do value them but I am curious about some. Also please don't think I'm trying to put you down because I don't agree with you but you have raised some valid points that I think need addressing.



And although I am sure someone from Wessex will respond direct to you, may I apologise on behalf of 4x4 Response for the way you seem to have been dealt with on the phone. Please bear in mind the person may have been either controlling or responding themselves and possibly for several hours, not an excuse for bad manners but possibly understandable.



To take your statement above, yes you are insured when using your vehicle but membership of a group entitles you to cover under the National insurance policy that is not vehicle insurance. It is third party liability cover for when you are away from the vehicle and not only applies when responding but also when training, promoting, fundraising etc.



You talk about stopping to help people out and yes we all do it and most probably all did before getting involved in 4x4 Response. But in fact that is not what we are here for. Vehicle recovery is something we can do and obviously by being out in poor conditions, it will often find us.



But we are not recovery agencies, that's not our role. We provide reliable transport to the Emergency Services, Local authorities and other voluntary agencies. In the last week we have done a myriad of tasks from delivering meals on wheels, getting District Nurses, Health Visitors, Home Carers, GPs etc to their clients. We have got doctors, nurses, emergency services controllers, ambulance drivers and even registrars to work and we have helped evacuate vulnerable persons from their homes in power cuts, delivered essential supplies to others and helped rescue people stranded on remote upland roads (and a dozen other things I've most probably forgotten). Very few of these, if any are incidents we would just come across and have required us to be actively and specifically tasked by the appropriate agency in each case.



Which brings me to the potential problem of you (or anyone) offering your services to the authorities as an individual. This is what is known in the trade (and only partly jokingly) as the "Nutter in a Hi-Vis" i.e. the potentially uninsured, gung ho volunteer, possibly with all the gear but no idea (and no I'm not implying that's you).



OK so they can check you out but think of that for a minute. Each organisation would need to make sure you have the correct licence, MOT, insurance, training (and expect to see proof), possibly a CRB check and of course 3rd Party liability cover. It suddenly becomes a mammoth task and one that would be duplicated several times by each of them. And how do they call you out? Ten volunteers potentially means ten phone calls to make.



Or they can access your services through an organised group they already have a service level agreement with, whom they trust to have checked the legality of their members and their vehicles, have apropriate insurance, will have assessed their experience and training and have trained their members themselves. And you can call out their members by a single phone call or text message.



You can easily see which option the Emergency Planning Officer would favour and this is not conjecture on my part as I have been an Emergency Planner in Local Government and now the NHS for the last 16 years.



I am also very familiar with the work of SERV having been a member and the secretary of the EVS Bloodrunners in North East London for several years back in the 1980's and indeed my own 4x4 Response group have been backing up SERV Herts & Beds since last Wednesday. The fundamental difference is that whilst SERV don't charge membership, members do contribute their own fuel. 4x4 Response groups on the whole do get a (non profit) mileage fee paid through the service level agreements they have with user groups. Swings and roundabouts but essentially no form of volunteering is ever free to the volunteer.



I do hope you haven't been put off too much as it sounds like you could contribute a lot to your local group.



Regards



Tony

stephendrabble
14-01-2010, 01:01 PM
Hi John , you say Wessex is your local group,



as thats the case, come along to the next Pub meeting.



5th Feb in Devizes.



in fact all people wanting to do there paper work and interview are welcome.



Steve WE32

BobWessex
14-01-2010, 08:11 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members?



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.



As a prospective new member... I've got to say - Yes they do.



Particularly when itís not clear why they are being charged in the first place. Yes my feeling is why do I "have to pay for the privilege of helping"?



I hadnít heard of your group before this current weather "drama" and when I did hear about you guys it was from another forum and the view there also seemed to be it was a bit of a joke being expected to pay for the privilege of volunteering.



My local group would appear to be Wessex, whom I tried to contact before the weekend; the response I got from calling your published number was "Hello, what do you want?" I had to ask the guy on the other end of the phone to confirm that I had in fact reached the right number at which point I was informed he was a bit busy and could I phone back?



I appreciate that he might have been busy, but as I was calling to volunteer my services (FOC) the second impression wasnít a good one.





If you are curious about whom I amÖ Iím a biker with over 20 yearís experience. When I started, bikers stopped for each other and help out where they could (without thought of reward or herodom). This is something that has stuck with me even as a car driver, Iím more than happy to stop and help anyone out in any conditions.



A couple of years ago, while I was still living in their catchment area, I join SERV a bike group who assist the National Blood Service providing out of hours transport services 365 days a year. This group actually now run two dedicated bikes, they are always looking for volunteers and they are regularly called upon to provide their service. All they ask of their members in return is a one off £15 deposit to cover the cost kit thatís issues to each member.



Looking at the list of responders to this thread so far, you are all already members so obviously youíre all happy to keep paying a fee. Looking at the some of the responses, does it really matter if someone is a wannabe? You lot where all wannabes at one point and then at the point you actually got out and help someone, you became a hero in their eyes. Does it matter if your membership numbers donít reflect the actual active member base? In any group youíll only ever find a small core (clichť) that are always there, thatís life.



The third impression I got of your group was from the BBC report, where your driver was assisting in an MOT failing vehicle and when the reporter suggested 4x4 drivers must feel very smug about being able to get around in those conditions he agreed.



Itís only £20. Has it put me off joining? Yes. Has it put me off helping people? No. All I have done is to contact the local county council, police and ambulance services and offer my services directly.



Iíve got a reliable 4x4, class 1 business insurance, training and experience driving on and off road in a number of countries and a can do attitude? What more do I need?



John,



Thank you for your feedback, I don't know if it was myself or one of the other members of the control team that you spoke to, but if the phrase "what do you want" was used I can only apologise, the normal answer is "Wessex 4x4 Response (name) Speaking how can we help". Unfortunately over the last week we have been dealing with calls from many user bodies and not had time to enter into protracted discussion re potential membership. Whilst any offer of help is appreciated we would never use anyone whom we have not checked via our colleagues in the Police Nor I believe would the Emergency services expect us to.



With regard to offering assistance to an individual stuck in the snow, flood, at an accidents etc. I would like to think that any person with a degree of concern for their fellows would stop and offer assistance.

John Hudson
15-01-2010, 01:25 AM
Tony, Alasdair thank-you for your length replies



I do agree with some of the points you have made - single points of contact, etc - and I do realise that you are not a vehicle recovery agency, neither am I. I'd equally help someone drag a rib off a beach or assist rescuing wildlife should I ever be in that position (both examples of things the Wessex Group have done recently), the only difference being you guys get a call where as I'd only be aware if I was there at the time.



Points taken about the controller probably having a bad day (I subsequently used your online contact form to forward my details, no response to that yet...), the original posting was about fees being off putting, my response was to that and the first, second and third impressions I got as a perspective volunteer.



Tony good to hear you've got experience with SERV; I know Oxon, Bucks and Northampton team have been reverting to cars and members 4x4 during recent weather. I can't comment on EVS Bloodrunners, but SERV OBN have recently acquired there third dedicated vehicle and as you say all without charging a membership fee, the dedicated bikes include insurance and fuel so qualified members are only expected to give their time. As you say volunteering isnít free ;)



I'm still not sure about your fees = dedication equation, I guess none of you guys have gym membership otherwise they'd all go bust ;)



Steve and Bob, Many thanks for the invite, I might take you up on that, though to be honest I was looking to help in response to the current situation as I had time and resources available to help others. Hopefully by the 5th February even the flooding will be sorted out ;)



Bob, offers of help are what they are, mine to make yours to choose to accept of not. If you need to vet everyone offering assistance those are your rules to adhere to.



Nigel, please accept my apologies if Iíve dragged this off topic at all.

nigel leyland
15-01-2010, 01:45 AM
Not a problem re "topic drift".



The piont of my posting was to explore the possible perceptions of prospective members, and membership fees seemed to be the logical starting point.....I fully expected those of us who had joined to be pro fees and have many firm views in favour of. What I was hoping for, and the reason I didn't post it on the private boards, was input from anyone who had a different perception and what we could should do. To that end John you have supplied much of what I was seeking, for which I thank you....



I think it is evident to those of us who are privy to the running costs assocciated with the response groups that until a major sponsor arrives we will financially need to continue charging membership fees, and will obviously endevour to keep them to a minimum......it is evident to me that if we had no fee then we would increase membership, and a greater percentage of those members would not be there when needed (after using valuable resources being trained/assessed/vetted etc) It is abundantly clear that at least some prospective members will ask the legitimate question, Why should I pay for the privlidge to provide assistance? And it would probably be best to already have a clear concise answer available before they simply leave without asking the question. Hopefully this thread has provided the questions and the answers.



Nigel.

Tony Ferrari
15-01-2010, 01:58 PM
John



Thanks for your response, again this is really useful for us.



On SERV, I perhaps should explain about the EVS. They no longer exist having folded in 1999 but predate SERV by about a year having started in 1980 and back then when SERV was only in South London & Surrey we had frequent contact and were effectively mirror images of each other. Of course Freewheelers EVS in the West Country predated both groups and are still going strong.



On the subject of dedicated vehicles, who knows where we will be funding wise in thirty years time but it is worth remembering as a National entity we are not yet two years old. Am I too early to place an order for my personal Discovery 9 :lol:

Michael Groves
15-01-2010, 11:44 PM
I am not a member and have joined the forum in order to find out more about the organisation. I would just like to add that the reason I'm exploring further is that I have been impressed with the professionalism displayed by the Wessex 4x4 individuals who have featured on the local news recently. Learning more about the groups set-up, including the membership fee, has made me feel that it is well organised and professionally run. As someone who worked for the emergency services for some years, I am now naturaly wary of well meaning volunteers, and I haven't had that feeling about 4x4 Response at all. I live in the Wiltshire area and have used the Wessex website to contact them to see if I would be of any use to them. I haven't heard back as yet, but I know they've been busy.

BobWessex
16-01-2010, 12:00 AM
Hi Michael,



We have received your information request (10/01/10) which I have forwarded on to our recruitment officer. As Alasdair says we have had some 50 applications and a similar number of general enquiries in the last 10 days which is "slightly" http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_rolleyes.gif over whelming our normal processes.



Can I suggest that as you have had a look around the Wessex site and if you feel happy to join us, then you might like to fill in our application form by simply hitting the "join" button or following this link (http://www.wessex4x4response.org.uk/join.htm).



As you may realise from your time in the emergency services there is as much if not more work to be done after an incident than there is during it but we will be in touch soon as soon as possible.

Michael Groves
16-01-2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the welcome and info. Mario has already been in touch to let me know of the next meeting in Devizes.

Simon Bentley
16-01-2010, 11:07 AM
This is a subject that I continue to see cropping up all over the internet, sneering sideliners with nothing better to do finding any and every excuse to knock things - pretty day to day internet forum activity really, whatever the subject.



Besides all the associated costs of running 4x4 response I really do think a membership fee shows some dedication. It's always amazing how much interest there is during a major incident like the recent snow and ice and the floods of 2007 but its how many of those that translate to real dedicated members that really matters.



When YL first formed (then Humber-Yorks)in early 2007 we weren't exactly inundated with people wanting to join but when the floods came the membership was boosted massively. But looking back the bulk of those that joined during that time have since failed to renew.



I think John that you have misconstrued what people meant by the wannabees. Not wannabee members, but they wannabee charging around with beacons ablaze rescuing people and wannabe seen as an emergency service etc and just aren't interested in the general run of the mill logistical support that 4x4 Response is really about. Simply replacing conventional transport so that people and services can get through and continue as near to normal service as possible is very much our main function across the network. Sure there are some more active jobs too, recovering ambulances, evacuating people from a variety of places and scenarios etc. But anyway my experience is its these wannabe heroes that don't rejoin when they realise the reality of 4x4 response but they are the first to come out of the woodwork when it rains or snows.



But I think we realy ought to also look at other organisations. I believe RNLI charge a membership fee even to their crew members, Lions and Roundtable who are just charitable organisations raising money, also do.



The other argument I hear is it should be being paid for by the government - and yes it should - but who wants to pay extra taxes to fund services that are stood around doing nothing for much of the year.

Simon Bentley
16-01-2010, 12:49 PM
The other argument I hear is it should be being paid for by the government - and yes it should - but who wants to pay extra taxes to fund services that are stood around doing nothing for much of the year.





I don't mind it being paid for by Government - they seem to have lots of our money http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif

however this is a dangerous one - because experience shows that they want to then control it...



now, I am sure that we get lots of things wrong, but I do feel that had we left this to Government the response over the last few weeks would not have been so good...

ah yes - we are here because Government has already failed to provide...

don't get me started on Police Forces with 4x4s they are not allowed to drive in 4x4 mode as they are not trained - have even been told that the trainers tell the police that they can't drive their landrovers in 4x4 mode because they are not trained - presumably these are some of the only 2 wheel drive landrovers around http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif



but back to topic - happy that we get funding, but we shouldn't give up the control we already have...



Alasdair





I was meaning more that 4x4 Response shouldn't be necessary as suitable facilities ad arrangements should be in place, paid fro by the public purse - but as I say who wants to pay extra taxes to cover these things - and I'll bet the detractors would be the last to pay.

John Hudson
16-01-2010, 07:49 PM
quote name='Alasdair Kirk'

A fantastic thread - thank you Nigel for posting it, and a big thank you John for responding how you did without emotively charging in - not easy, but done well!



Alasdair



I thought it was all going fairly well until now...





This is a subject that I continue to see cropping up all over the internet, sneering sideliners with nothing better to do finding any and every excuse to knock things - pretty day to day internet forum activity really, whatever the subject.





sneering sideliners... well as the only person posting negative comment here I guess that's aimed at me?



Besides all the associated costs of running 4x4 response I really do think a membership fee shows some dedication. It's always amazing how much interest there is during a major incident like the recent snow and ice and the floods of 2007 but its how many of those that translate to real dedicated members that really matters.



When YL first formed (then Humber-Yorks)in early 2007 we weren't exactly inundated with people wanting to join but when the floods came the membership was boosted massively. But looking back the bulk of those that joined during that time have since failed to renew.



When exactly do you think/expect people to come forward and volunteer? Generally people respond to something - on the whole no-one cared about Haiti last week, but now they do? Does that make the donation and volunteers helping there now any less important or welcome? Does it really matter what their motives if they are able to actually make a difference out there?



Does it really matter if they dont subsequently turn up to a weekly/monthly meeting or even dont renew in a following year? I'm sure if push came to shove they'd be there to help you next time??? Or does the lack of club commitement mean that their help would no longer be welcome?



I think John that you have misconstrued what people meant by the wannabees. Not wannabee members, but they wannabee charging around with beacons ablaze rescuing people and wannabe seen as an emergency service etc and just aren't interested in the general run of the mill logistical support that 4x4 Response is really about. Simply replacing conventional transport so that people and services can get through and continue as near to normal service as possible is very much our main function across the network. Sure there are some more active jobs too, recovering ambulances, evacuating people from a variety of places and scenarios etc. But anyway my experience is its these wannabe heroes that don't rejoin when they realise the reality of 4x4 response but they are the first to come out of the woodwork when it rains or snows.



No Simon, I havent misconstrued anything in regards to wannabees.



There are people that do and there are people that want to sit around in meeting and organise and discuss... sadly clubs can generally be full of the latter and to be honest that does nothing to light my fire.



The other argument I hear is it should be being paid for by the government - and yes it should - but who wants to pay extra taxes to fund services that are stood around doing nothing for much of the year.





As an unproven and untested group I think you'd be laughed out of town if you tried to get sponsorship from government, but off the back of events like we have recently seen, I'm sure you'd have a really good conversation starter if you arranged to go and talk to those local emergency planning officer, etc, you'd just been getting calls from. Yes money is tight everywhere, but you never know what they might be able to do until you ask.

PeteRestall
16-01-2010, 09:03 PM
I was trying to keep out of this conversation, but it's got to the point where I feel I have to add my bit.







When exactly do you think/expect people to come forward and volunteer? Generally people respond to something - on the whole no-one cared about Haiti last week, but now they do? Does that make the donation and volunteers helping there now any less important or welcome? Does it really matter what their motives if they are able to actually make a difference out there?



Does it really matter if they dont subsequently turn up to a weekly/monthly meeting or even dont renew in a following year? I'm sure if push came to shove they'd be there to help you next time??? Or does the lack of club commitement mean that their help would no longer be welcome?



Sounds to me like you're just like far too many people around, more than willing to sit back and let others put in all the hard work, making it easy for you to be able to turn up for the glory bits.



And don't get me wrong, we don't mind putting in the hours to make sure this type of service can be provided, and if pushed, and if the need arose, I'm sure you would get called out even if your membership had expired.









As an unproven and untested group I think you'd be laughed out of town if you tried to get sponsorship from government, but off the back of events like we have recently seen, I'm sure you'd have a really good conversation starter if you arranged to go and talk to those local emergency planning officer, etc, you'd just been getting calls from. Yes money is tight everywhere, but you never know what they might be able to do until you ask.





As obviously you haven't got a clue about how all this works, the reason we are being called out isn't because the emergency planning officers found our number in the yellow pages, it's because people have been putting in the effort to arrange meetings with the aforementioned emergency planning officers, as well as lots of other organizations that could benefit from from our help, arranging all the paper work to ensure call outs are carried out properly, spent the time and effort putting systems in place to ensure that we can supply what's needed to keep our local communities running.



Finally if you do end up getting called to help, so that people can see you driving around in your big 4x4 doing something good for a change, just spare a thought for the people sitting in front of a computer, organizing it all, who've spent most of the year putting hours of effort in just so you can get that call.



I haven't put this on here expecting a big pat on the back for what we do, we do it because we want to help, and we want to make a difference (All the time!!!).



Rant over, I'm outta here.

nigel leyland
16-01-2010, 09:55 PM
I think we are starting to go a tad off topic now but it is still relevent, in so much that.....I very much doubt if most of our members are fully aware of exactly what goes on behind the scenes.....the hours and hours of meetings, paperwork, liasons, planning both within the group, with EPO's, with Blue light services, and yes with Cabinet Ministers too!



So it is reasonable to assume therefore that non-members simply could not be expectede to fully comrehend what is involve in time, effort and expense......which is why I have started this thread and particularly why I have posted it on a board that none members can access.



We need to help others to be able to better understand.....and that really is I think our next big challange!



We're finally getting through to the EPO's Police Cabinat Ministers etc....but we need to make sure that those who would like to help can get all the information they require to make an educated descision to join us or not...and answer any questions they ask. At the end of the day we may not be what an individual expected and may not wish to join, better for all to find that out early!



Alasdair has some irons in the fire which may well go a fair way to achieving better understanding but probably the best approach in this area is the one that has served us well thus far....meeting with people and conversing with them.



Nigel.

WarrenWE02
16-01-2010, 10:39 PM
Alasdair



I thought it was all going fairly well until now...





This is a subject that I continue to see cropping up all over the internet, sneering sideliners with nothing better to do finding any and every excuse to knock things - pretty day to day internet forum activity really, whatever the subject.





sneering sideliners... well as the only person posting negative comment here I guess that's aimed at me?



Besides all the associated costs of running 4x4 response I really do think a membership fee shows some dedication. It's always amazing how much interest there is during a major incident like the recent snow and ice and the floods of 2007 but its how many of those that translate to real dedicated members that really matters.



When YL first formed (then Humber-Yorks)in early 2007 we weren't exactly inundated with people wanting to join but when the floods came the membership was boosted massively. But looking back the bulk of those that joined during that time have since failed to renew.



When exactly do you think/expect people to come forward and volunteer? Generally people respond to something - on the whole no-one cared about Haiti last week, but now they do? Does that make the donation and volunteers helping there now any less important or welcome? Does it really matter what their motives if they are able to actually make a difference out there?



Does it really matter if they dont subsequently turn up to a weekly/monthly meeting or even dont renew in a following year? I'm sure if push came to shove they'd be there to help you next time??? Or does the lack of club commitement mean that their help would no longer be welcome?



I think John that you have misconstrued what people meant by the wannabees. Not wannabee members, but they wannabee charging around with beacons ablaze rescuing people and wannabe seen as an emergency service etc and just aren't interested in the general run of the mill logistical support that 4x4 Response is really about. Simply replacing conventional transport so that people and services can get through and continue as near to normal service as possible is very much our main function across the network. Sure there are some more active jobs too, recovering ambulances, evacuating people from a variety of places and scenarios etc. But anyway my experience is its these wannabe heroes that don't rejoin when they realise the reality of 4x4 response but they are the first to come out of the woodwork when it rains or snows.



No Simon, I havent misconstrued anything in regards to wannabees.



There are people that do and there are people that want to sit around in meeting and organise and discuss... sadly clubs can generally be full of the latter and to be honest that does nothing to light my fire.



The other argument I hear is it should be being paid for by the government - and yes it should - but who wants to pay extra taxes to fund services that are stood around doing nothing for much of the year.





As an unproven and untested group I think you'd be laughed out of town if you tried to get sponsorship from government, but off the back of events like we have recently seen, I'm sure you'd have a really good conversation starter if you arranged to go and talk to those local emergency planning officer, etc, you'd just been getting calls from. Yes money is tight everywhere, but you never know what they might be able to do until you ask.

[/quote]







Actually John, the "sneering sideliners" comment was aimed more at comments made on a separate Land Rover based forum. If memory serves I believe the thread included a comment along the lines of "a bunch of idiots dicking around in Land Rovers with flashing lights". Forgive me if I didn't get the quote exactly right, but I'm pretty sure that is what Simon was alluding to. I would concede though, that as a non-member you would not have been able to know that.



I'm not going to repeat what others have said in reply to your other comments, save to say that 4X4 Response is neither untried nor untested; having been included in the Emergency Plans of a number of County Councils for some years now and also having been included in recent multi-agency exercises and as such are well recognised amongst most EPO's, Police Forces, Ambulance Services and Health Authorities across the country.

John Hudson
16-01-2010, 11:58 PM
I'm not going to repeat what others have said in reply to your other comments, save to say that 4X4 Response is neither untried nor untested; having been included in the Emergency Plans of a number of County Councils for some years now and also having been included in recent multi-agency exercises and as such are well recognised amongst most EPO's, Police Forces, Ambulance Services and Health Authorities across the country.[/i]





Warren, sorry maybe I didnt get my point across on this one, it wasnt that you ARE untried and untested but that at some point you would have been. With all of the above agencies planning with you in mind and having now had to act upon those plans, now would be a good time to talk to them about funding, training, sponsorship, etc (what ever it is that's needed) while its all fresh in their heads.





I'm not interesting in mud slinging, none of you actually know me so no-one here is in any position to judge me. This was an open thread, for an open discussion, as the only non-member to find this and post here I thought you might have found an alternative view useful - it seems some of you have.





The one thing I have noticed from a large number of these posting is that a good number of you have a real problem with others wanting to help, theres much talk of people sealing limelight, wannabees, nutters with flashing lights and florecent jackets. It really doesnt do you any favours and really reflects badly on you. It takes all sorts of people to run a group like this and you'll need all sorts of skills. Personally I have no interest in pressing the flesh with politicians, planning isnt my strong point and I'd much rather be doing than talking, but if your tallent is meeting, planning, organising then great. If you are one of the few that gets the local EPO on side then fantastic! but what's it all about? Is it about being the 5th/6th or 7th emergency service or is it about making a difference to real people when it matters? If it is, then you can't do that on your own you need a lot of indians on the ground to help you... and does it make any difference at all it you only see some of those indians when the poo hits the fan? If those indians are see as heros to a few does it really matter when you're still the chief?

BobWessex
17-01-2010, 12:12 AM
John, it apears to me that you may not be fully aware of just how long Wessex 4x4 Response, and other teams' have existed or the relationships that have been developed over many years. I am aware that you live near Swindon so to give you some idea of the what the organisation has in place.



We have extremely good working relationships with Great Western Ambulance service in Avon and Wiltshire, Wiltshire & Swindon Emergncy Planning, and Wiltshire fire service. Outside of Wiltshire we (Wessex) have similar relationships in Avon & Somerset and Dorset LRF areas, especially with the Council Civil Contingency Units and Police Ops Planning departments.



These relationships have been forged on call-outs exercises and meetings over the years and extend up through the Government Office South West to the Cabinet Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government.



I am sure that if at anytime they had any doubt as to our abilities they would have stopped talking to us many years ago.





John it appears that you may have posted the above whilst I was writing this which may change the context.



As you rightly say all teams were untried once but in most cases they developed the relationship with the user body by exercising and 'pressing the flesh' before being called. It is a fact of life that good relationships are probably more important than anything else in this "game". It should also be borne in mind that many of us have transferrable skills from other jobs i.e. the Buelight services or the armed forces.

PeteRestall
17-01-2010, 12:19 AM
The one thing I have noticed from a large number of these posting is that a good number of you have a real problem with others wanting to help, theres much talk of people sealing limelight, wannabees, nutters with flashing lights and florecent jackets. It really doesnt do you any favours and really reflects badly on you. It takes all sorts of people to run a group like this and you'll need all sorts of skills. Personally I have no interest in pressing the flesh with politicians, planning isnt my strong point and I'd much rather be doing than talking, but if your tallent is meeting, planning, organising then great. If you are one of the few that gets the local EPO on side then fantastic! but what's it all about? Is it about being the 5th/6th or 7th emergency service or is it about making a difference to real people when it matters? If it is, then you can't do that on your own you need a lot of indians on the ground to help you... and does it make any difference at all it you only see some of those indians when the poo hits the fan? If those indians are see as heros to a few does it really matter when you're still the chief?





Shouldn't really be replying again, but hey ho.



Nothing wrong with people wanting to help, nothing wrong with people turning up to help when the "poo hits the fan".



And back to where this originally started.



Something wrong with someone who doesn't want to pay £20.00 a year towards helping a group pay for insurance, training, equipment, stickers for members, newsletters along with a mass of other things.



If groups don't charge membership, then where does the money come from to pay for all these items, or are the people who do spend all the time and effort running these groups expected to put their hands in their pockets.



OK, you don't want to organize the day to day running of a group, and you'd much rather be doing, how about you actually join a group and then DO some fund raising, then if you do a good enough job you wouldn't need to pay a membership fee.



Finally, and this is finally for me, nothing wrong with turning up and helping out when needed, but bitching about the way things are run and having to pay a small fee to help cover running costs, enough said!!!

WarrenWE02
17-01-2010, 12:30 AM
I'm not going to repeat what others have said in reply to your other comments, save to say that 4X4 Response is neither untried nor untested; having been included in the Emergency Plans of a number of County Councils for some years now and also having been included in recent multi-agency exercises and as such are well recognised amongst most EPO's, Police Forces, Ambulance Services and Health Authorities across the country.[/i]





Warren, sorry maybe I didnt get my point across on this one, it wasnt that you ARE untried and untested but that at some point you would have been. With all of the above agencies planning with you in mind and having now had to act upon those plans, now would be a good time to talk to them about funding, training, sponsorship, etc (what ever it is that's needed) while its all fresh in their heads.





I'm not interesting in mud slinging, none of you actually know me so no-one here is in any position to judge me. This was an open thread, for an open discussion, as the only non-member to find this and post here I thought you might have found an alternative view useful - it seems some of you have.





The one thing I have noticed from a large number of these posting is that a good number of you have a real problem with others wanting to help, theres much talk of people sealing limelight, wannabees, nutters with flashing lights and florecent jackets. It really doesnt do you any favours and really reflects badly on you. It takes all sorts of people to run a group like this and you'll need all sorts of skills. Personally I have no interest in pressing the flesh with politicians, planning isnt my strong point and I'd much rather be doing than talking, but if your tallent is meeting, planning, organising then great. If you are one of the few that gets the local EPO on side then fantastic! but what's it all about? Is it about being the 5th/6th or 7th emergency service or is it about making a difference to real people when it matters? If it is, then you can't do that on your own you need a lot of indians on the ground to help you... and does it make any difference at all it you only see some of those indians when the poo hits the fan? If those indians are see as heros to a few does it really matter when you're still the chief?



John, valid points and well presented.



I think part of the problem with an open forum discussion is precisely that it is open... a bit of a conundrum really as it allows those "in the know" and those "who think they are in the know" (not the most elegant way of describing my point but it's late) to contradict each other whilst purporting to represent the same side of the argument. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are a small number of posters on here who have put heart and soul into getting 4X4R off the ground over a number of years and strive for it be recognised as a credible organisation. To their credit (and lots of long hours in the background) it's starting to happen nationally. Like you, I'm not really one for the photo opportunity and 'pressing the flesh', but it does have it's place and we need those who are suited to that role just as much as you or I who are far happier behind the wheel as 'grunts on the ground'.

In summary, please don't dismiss us as an arrogant bunch. We're not really, but some of the guys are quite defensive when they think they are being devalued. Keep an eye on the forum and maybe join us for a pint at a local meeting sometime soon. I suspect we will find a lot in common...



Cheers Warren

PeteRestall
17-01-2010, 12:46 AM
It's been a very long few weeks, what with 4x4 response, work and flu.



Just like to apologise if anyone thinks my comments on this thread have been out of order or OTT.

BobWessex
17-01-2010, 12:53 AM
It's been a very long few weeks, what with 4x4 response, work and flu.



Just like to apologise if anyone thinks my comments on this thread have been out of order or OTT.





I doubt if many of the team controllers have had a full night' sleep for a week or two, in some case probably not since before Xmas

John Hudson
17-01-2010, 12:57 AM
Alasdair, I'm not sure what I have said that gives you the impression that I think Goverment looks down on you and Bob I haven't been suggesting that you arent doing extremely good work... not my point at all.



Forget funding and fees and membership the one thing that keeps hitting my in a good number of the replies I've read here is that generally "you lot" seem to look down on people who dont meet with your long term goals, they are just wannabees and have-a-go heros... it's not exactly an encouraging line to take. It really doesnt give out a good message and make you all sound a bit elitest.



The point that I was trying to make was that when you FIRST started however long ago that was, I'm sure that others viewed you in the same way that you now view this "Black Kinght" - lol... I take it then none of you have flashing lights??? http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif



Alasdair, I completely respect your point about prefering a small dedicated team and I can understand why

BobWessex
17-01-2010, 01:17 AM
Hi John,



I can't speak for other teams but when Somerset (now Wessex) 4x 4 Response started as a small group, we were able to show through the back ground of several of us that we

1) knew what we were talking about and

2) understood the relationships between the various emergency services,



I won't go into my background in great depth but I have worked for both Cat 1 & 2 responders so do understand their requirements. Likewise there are several other teams led by members with a background in the emergency services. So we can as it were talk the same language as our potential users.



I understand and accept that some EPOs have been warier than others when it comes to the concept but I think that most are now 'on-board'. By ensuring as much as is possible, a commonality of practice we can 'offer' referees who will speak to the local EPO when a new team forms.



With regards to flashing ambers, yes they have a place. That place is when operating at SLOW speed or when stationary to ensure the visibility of members' vehicles. We make clear to members that they are NOT a poor man's blue light, nor should they be used when driving at normal road speed -- there is simply no requirement.

Teresa Herefordshire
17-01-2010, 01:29 AM
I take it then none of you have flashing lights??? http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif







Oh no, he's opened the "flashing lights" can of worms! http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_eek.gif You'd have to start a whole new topic for that one. http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_rolleyes.gif



I have some flashing lights - they're on the corners and they're called hazard warning lights. http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif One thing you'll find on here is although we share a common theme, there are lots of things we disagree on.



As with any group, people have their own opinions - on here it's on flashing lights, stickers, uniforms, training, what make of 4x4 is best, etc. But at least everyone has the chance to say their bit, which doesn't always happen with other groups. I hope you go along to a group and find out if it's for you, and if not, do your own thing and start a group of your own that does it the way you want to.



I don't agree with everything I read on here, but between us all we've got a fair amount of knowledge on different areas. I've only been involved with 4x4 Response for a year but it has changed my life (taken over it to some extent!) and I got more pride and satisfaction from 3 days volunteering than I would ever get in my day job. Just find the right thing for you, try it, do it and enjoy it.

Rikki-UK
17-01-2010, 01:40 AM
I wouldn't say elitist John,, and please do not think the following remarks are directed at you or your situation personally,



I have to say for me its more a matter of trust and team work. being part of the team, not only during the winter callouts, but during the quieter summer months, when theres no "glory", only training days and social events. When callouts are for marshalling sponsored walks etc.



When the harsh weather comes, and If I am out on a shout I want to know my team member backing me up has the skills and the fortitude to stick with the job. That only comes from a period of time working and getting to know people.



I am new as well, only recently joined my local group. but I joined and paid my money happily because it means I have a commitment not only during the odd period of snow and ice, but to train with, get to know, and even socialise with the other team members during the "off season". and also know even if I havent met them personally they have also made that commitment and have done much the same in their area.



Do I want to have as my back up someone who has seen a TV report and thinks thats fun, "Flavour of the month" joined on a whim for nothing, and when the boring summer come around and the training days is nowhere to be seen, but when its flavour of the month next year they appear again as a member, Or the guy who has been taught with me/ taught me, worked out together various methods and strategies and tested them to see if they work?



There is nothing wrong with wanting to help out when the brown stuff hits the whirly thing, however when it does in a big way I am sure you will understand the guys we havent worked with or trained with will be on last resort/soft jobs if tasked at all. At this moment in time I am to my team an unknown quantity, and do not expect until we have trained together to be included in anything other than "soft jobs", and to be honest for my and the other team members safety i wouldnt ask for it to be any other way.



Paying the very small subs, and turning up on training days shows commitment, expanding your skills in front of your peers gives all an idea of each others capabilities. and also ensures we know our own limitations.





I know if asked to go out on a night blowing a blizzard and high winds onto the moors to a remote village who I would want to be in the other vehicle... and it wouldnt be some one who only appears when the TV cameras are about !



back on the original subject,



If I go out into that howling gale and blizzard and drifting snow, not only do I need to know that the other vehicles driver is competant, I also want the reassurance if it all goes badly wrong, that there is a controller who knows where we are,. what we are trying to do and has resources at hand if it all goes tits up to get help to us/complete the job. that sort of resource and co-ordination takes time and money. As far as I know as yet 4x4 Response hasnt found a money tree to provide that. If I have to pay the equivilant of half a tank of DERV for that peice of mind, for something I choose to do, then its a small price to pay



Its not about "Elitism" its about building a team.

mark avo
17-01-2010, 08:28 AM
Must disagree with the comments about those who only turn out when it hits the fan.



There is a place for everyone as long as they are not a complete t@sser.



If I was out in some really nasty weather I'd much rather be with someone I know to be properly trained & expirienced BUT If I was stuck in a drift & I had the choice of a 'wannabe'/'glory hunter' or nothing I'll take the former - If he knows nothing I'll try to explain what I need. If said 'glory hunter' turns out to know what he's doing then all the better.



Of the few things we've done as a new group, sometimes you just need bodies - As long as someone can keep an eye on them I dont see a problem.



Back to the fees though - as I mentioned earlier. I think that anyone not prepared to pay a tenner to join a well organisied group & receive newsletter/stickers/training etc etc is welcome to go elsewhere. Perhaps it's a matter of price - I doubt anyone you complain at £5, maybe 10 tops. Once you get to 15/20 then maybe that's a bit much.



I've just had another thought that may turn this around.

Say there's a 'bloke down the road'. You know him fairly well & he's a top bloke, much expirienced offroader, done loads of winching etc but doesnt want the hassle of joining up, doing training, etc etc. He has said to you the if you ever need help, give him a call.

Should there be a mechanism for including them in the group as a backup/emergency resource - I think there should. I know that if I was stuck in this theoretical ditch/drift that I would be very happy to see him, perhaps moreso than any of the club members.





So there, merit in both sides of the argument





If you want to get involved on a regular basis then pay up.

If you are prepared to help out once in a blue moon & your qualifications can be vouched for by a trusted member then you should be on a backup/emergency register so you can be involved should the need arise.

WarrenWE02
17-01-2010, 12:11 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.





To get the thread back on track herewith my thoughts...



A. I personally have no issue with membership fees, I know how much it costs to run these teams and without 'corporate' levels of sponsorship every penny raised counts.



B. Raising fees may be desirable in respect of raising working cash, but careful consideration should be given. Not all responders have huge amounts of spare cash. I think the Wessex model is reasonable; £10pa plus a one-off joing fee of £10.



C. Yes. An explanation, however basic should be made available to prospective members.

nigel leyland
17-01-2010, 12:40 PM
Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.



so........





I'll start with B......

It's virtually impossible to run any team reasonably well wihtout some anual income, as we are not large enough to find sufficient funding nor have a big enough benifactor our only recourse is to take a fee from members, regardless of the other aspect as pertinent as they are.....the reality is we need the money! It therefore goes without saying that fees should not be excessive and I should imagine that groups with more members or free resources probably charge less. Indead as far as RNE are concerned it's the first thing that gets looked at each year when the bookkeeping is done, unfortunately we've not been able to reduce it.

Ergo A......

Bit of a loaded question I'm afraid folks, because given the above.....we're not going to get members who don't want to pay the fees we have to charge are we!!!!

That leaves C....

Obvious isn't, yes we need to provide information for current and prospective members.....in all aspects but I hope that posting this thread here will go some way to enlightening those who come along and want to ask the question but don't and then leave without seeing past "they expect me to pay to help!".

Lets facce it, you've heard about 4x4response, you think its a good idea, you're the sort of person who thinks they could afford a few hours now and then to help out, especially when it's as bad as things have been and the lads could do with a bit of a hand......then you find out it's going to cost you ££ before you turn a wheel......some will see past and investigae more, and understand, possibly joining us.....however some will be totally against the concept in principal and walk away.....but others will be found on various forums voicing there opinions and putting others of taking a look and making there own minds up!



Nigel.

John Potts
17-01-2010, 01:02 PM
The reasons I'm happy to pay a fee:



1. In Yorks-Lincs, the only outlay is £10 per annum (plus £10 refundable deposit for membership pack) - a very reasonable sum, especially when you consider that my good lady gets membership at half price on the back of mine.

2. In paying this £10, I've accessed a whole new network of new friends (some who've become very firm friends) and the social life that goes with that.

3. I'm always keen to learn new skills and paying the membership fee has given me access to some quality training from people who really know what they're talking about. This serves to make me a far better off-road driver than I would otherwise have been, but has also given me a greater awareness of my vehicles capabilities (I'm pretty new to 4x4 ownership compared to many on here).

4. It's given me the opportunity to feel damned good about myself when I've helped someone - not as an individual, but as a member of a fine group of public spirited folk that I'm proud to be a part of.



So yes, I think the fee is justified http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif

Paul Johns
17-01-2010, 01:08 PM
Ive been key in setting up a Team, Without membership fee's i wouldnt have been able to provide Insurance. There are lots of others reasons already covered but Insurance stands for alot!

Simon Bentley
17-01-2010, 02:43 PM
Actually John, the "sneering sideliners" comment was aimed more at comments made on a separate Land Rover based forum. If memory serves I believe the thread included a comment along the lines of "a bunch of idiots dicking around in Land Rovers with flashing lights". Forgive me if I didn't get the quote exactly right, but I'm pretty sure that is what Simon was alluding to. I would concede though, that as a non-member you would not have been able to know that.





Yes sorry John, Warren is correct it was not aimed at you but at various people on some of the big 4x4 forums.

Tony Ferrari
18-01-2010, 02:01 PM
On the subject of what you get for your money, that which can be directly attributable to a single member:



Third Party Liability Insurance £2.10

Membership card approximately £1.00



That's £3.10 then.



Less attributable costs are:



Proportion of National Membership, £25 divided by number of Members (30 at present so about 84p - this will obviously change in time)



Newsletter (free for most as sent online but members without internet access get printed/posted copies - about £1 per member per year)



Postage, packing and printing for membership pack (again less for some as some is sent online and many collect ID cards etc at the monthly meet about £1 per member)



Cost of running our website about £2.99 and Domain name purchase about 27p



So that looks like £9.20.



So it looks like we are making a surplus of 80p per member http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif



But.....



In the near future we will be holding our AGM which requires the hire of a venue (we have outgrown the pub and competing with the Darts team is not ideal!) Cost of that about £1.40



So we are up to £10.60



Then the intention is to give every member a couple of stickers when the become a responder (never been able to afford it before) about £1



Then I have a plan for a comprehensive member's handbook in a ring binder; cost about £4



So we are now up to £15.60 per member



Yet our membership fee is only £10.



And then there are the further plans...



Training? which even at it's most basic level will require the hire of a venue.



Hi Vis vests for members for use in the summer



More uniform e.g. polo shirts, t-shirts



Fundraising equipment (display stands, an E-Z Up, collecting boxes) OK so if we raise money it will help but we will need a lot of these up front. And then they will need insuring against loss.

rocstaman
04-02-2010, 01:11 PM
As a new member I paid £15 to join-no problem with that, I realise there are overheads ,etc,

I would like to see a standardised fee across the country though.

Unless I'm missing something overheads are the same for all groups?

I have also paid £15 for a days off-roading tuition,again I realise overheads are involved and a lot of people volunteered their time to make this happen.

Personally I have no problem with this £30 outlay.

Some people however might think it strange that I have paid out£30 to be a volunteer and all I have to show for it is a dashing hi-viz tabard! http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif

Depends on the individual.

Something that does concern me is our local policeman has never heard of 4x4 response-why not?

Finally,to all the people- anonymous or otherwise- who are making this group happen for the right reasons-thank you.

Tony Ferrari
04-02-2010, 02:18 PM
Mark



Overheads are not necessarily the same, as they may be subject to local conditions. Some groups provide more than others to members and this is down to their individual financial situation.



Some groups have been lucky enough to gain sponsorship or have been awarded grants from lottery funding, others have not.



Whilst we try hard to present the 4x4 Response Network as a unified brand across the British Isles we must remember that it is a network of independently run teams, all with our own ideas but with a common aim i.e. to deliver reliable transport and logistical solutions to emergency responders in any type of emergency or major incident but as a result we will always have local differences.



As to why local Police Officers have never heard of us, this doesn't surprise me in the least. Although as an organisation and as groups we engage regularly with the Police forces, it is often at a relitively high level and it has always been the case that this rarely filters down to the "front line".



Here in Hertfordshire, I am aware that at least three of the Assistant Chief Constable Constables hass heard of us but would doubt if many more Constables know who we are. It is usually only after direct contact with any member of the Emergency Services that they are truly aware of us.



It is likely to be a long time before we are engrained in the public conciousness to such a degree that "everyone" knows what 4x4 Response is and what it does.



Mountain Rescue Teams are often cited as a similar service that is popularly known and we would like to achieve equal levels of recognition amongst the public. However I was surprised recently when talking to some senior colleagues in the NHS, who had never heard of Mountain Rescue. The fact is they don't go into mountainous areas, holidays are spent on a beach and to them, walking is what you do from your front door to the car. Therefore MRTs had never entered their conciousness.



Mind you I once worked with someone who went on holiday to the Lake District for the first time. On his return he was amazed to find it had mountains too, previously he had no idea there were hills in between the lakes http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif

TimChilde
04-02-2010, 08:43 PM
Mind you I once worked with someone who went on holiday to the Lake District for the first time. On his return he was amazed to find it had mountains too, previously he had no idea there were hills in between the lakes¬*http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif





You could have really confused him and pointed out that although there are many hills and mountains in the lake district, there is actually only one lake ! http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_mrgreen.gif

Tony Ferrari
04-02-2010, 11:29 PM
Indeed!

rocstaman
05-02-2010, 02:35 PM
Tony

Thanks for clarification.

My perception was different about the group - I saw it as one large group made up of different geographical areas but realise now that groups are quite disparate-to the point that certain areas have funding and others not.

Thanks again for explanation

Mark

Tony Ferrari
05-02-2010, 04:27 PM
No worries



The intention is to give the impression of a seamless organisation, whilst allowing independant running of local groups.



The model for this is the RNLI, that most would think are a single National organisation, whereas in fact they have a high level of local independance. Mind you they have been running a bit longer than us http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif



122 years by my calculation http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif

Russ laye
05-02-2010, 04:33 PM
Tony

Thanks for clarification.

My perception was different about the group - I saw it as one large group made up of different geographical areas but realise now that groups are quite disparate-to the point that certain areas have funding and others not.

Thanks again for explanation

Mark







Mark



Love the profile Picture.



Sorry Im off marathon again http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_rolleyes.gif

rocstaman
12-02-2010, 09:28 AM
Tony

Thanks for clarification.

My perception was different about the group - I saw it as one large group made up of different geographical areas but realise now that groups are quite disparate-to the point that certain areas have funding and others not.

Thanks again for explanation

Mark







Mark



Love the profile Picture.



Sorry Im off marathon again http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_rolleyes.gif

rocstaman
12-02-2010, 09:30 AM
Russ

Another foot and I'd have been floating.(Rocstas actually do float !)

Just another day on a Welsh A road !! http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif http://www.4x4response.info/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/icon_e_biggrin.gif

Cheers

Mark