Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
It is unfortunate that this small community has been neglected for so long. Most active contributors lost patience and have left a long time ago.
There are very basic capabilities/improvements that the forum has been missing for years! The vBulletin software is 10 years out of date, that's the kind of community neglect its hard to recover from.
The technical side will be the easy task to repair however building (re-building) the trust and the community will be the real challenge, so good luck with that.
I'd like to get some thoughts from the users on what you like / dis-like about the existing firehall.com.
1) SPAM - Get rid of it and stay on top of it.
2) MODERATION - If firehall.com are not going to look after it, let the community do so.
3) TOO MANY CATEGORIES/SUBCATEGORIES - 10 Categories for 37 sub-categories? Rationalize and tighten them up.
4) CONTENT - If you cant transition most of the content to the new platform then there is not much point...
This is your forum and we'd like it to reflect that.
What features are good? What can you do without?
The UK Fire Service Forum is well run and fairly easy to navigate. The (http://www.fireservice.co.uk/forum/index.php?act=idx
1) Profile Pics
2) Blogs/Status Updates
3) Better support for attachments/pics
4) Unread Content
5) Upvote/Downvote posts (Reputation)
6) Consider alternatives like IPS Community Suite