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  1. #1

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    Default Volunteer Equipment

    Does your department buy equipment for the volunteers when they sign up or do they have to purchase it on their own... ie: jacket, pants, helmet, etc...


  2. #2
    Forum Member tbonetrexler's Avatar
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    If they want you to be active, they should supply you with the basic equipment (I.E bunker gear, helmets, boots, hood, gloves) anything above and beyond you may need to purchase yourself.
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  3. #3
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    In my state OSHA requires the FD to provide you with PPE. I guess I figured that it was that way every where.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  4. #4
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    we get old gear until we pass fire 1 and then they order new gear for you...

  5. #5
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    Departments around here provide full PPE before you need it for FF1, or EMS jumpsuits when you are approved to ride the ambulance as an aid. You may not get new gear, but you will get gear that fits and is in servicable conditions.

    As you spend more time and show that you will be active, you will probably get new gear and extras like flashlights, window punches etc. as they are available.

  6. #6
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    Lights are found on our engines and trucks etc. The only thing I carry in my gear is a self rescue rope. When I was akid I carried a brass spanner but that got kind of heavy. The necessary gear we wear weighs enough without carring something I might use 2-3 times a year. We spend more time running to alarm drops than anythng else, about 30-35% of our anual calls. That is out of some 700 calls and does not include the bandaid calls.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  7. #7

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    Default volunteer

    I was really just referring to jacket, pants, boots, and helmet.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    If there are still any volunteer departments out there that make members buy their own basic turnout gear, they should be ashamed of themselves. You're already asking people to make a huge commitment of their time and energy, it's an insult to ask them to buy their own gear as well to protect themselves. Such basics should be provided, and in most states it is required by law for the employer to provide appropriate safety equipment (and yes, even though nobody's getting paid a volunteer department is still considered an "employer").

    I can understand that there are some pretty cash-strapped departments out there, and that providing adequate gear for everybody can be tough. It may mean that a new guy gets some hand-me-down gear that fits and is still serviceable. Or if they're really hard up, they should qualify for a grant program somewhere. I just don't think there's any excuse to make a firefighter shell out his own $$$ for gear

    Does your department buy equipment for the volunteers when they sign up or do they have to purchase it on their own
    Now, to answer your question a little more directly, no, I would not BUY new equipment for a volunteer when he signs up. I will PROVIDE equipment from spare stuff we keep at the station. Too many times we have people who join who for whatever reason just aren't working out or lose interest and leave. In our department you use hand-me-down gear (but still in very serviceable condition) until you have proved you're going to be with us a while. Then we'll fit you for new gear.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 10-16-2008 at 06:31 AM.
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  9. #9
    Forum Member DubyaVFF's Avatar
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    We provide all basic personal equipment - turnout gear, boots, gloves, helmet, hood, radio or pager, flashlight. SCBA are shared, and nobody has vehicle lights.

    We'll buy new gear if a new member can't fit into anything we have on hand, and in any case we purchase at least one full set a year. Last year a one-shot grant from the provincial government allowed us to up that to four.

    Members may "upgrade" on their own dime as long as it's approved stuff. For instance, I upgraded my "basic" flashlight to a Streamlight, and I'm considering splashing out for Warrington boots to replace my standard-issue Rangers. I also acquired a few accessories on my own - knife, watch, rope, etc.
    "I've met lots of volunteer firefighters, but I've never seen a volunteer fire!"
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    We provide PPE for each member (structural and wildland). The only time we issue "new" gear is when we get a grant or we don't have anything that will fit. Radios and pagers are issued to each member as well, but members pay monthly for alpha pagers.

    Handlights, tools, etc are on the truck.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  11. #11
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    My department purchases all PPE for all volunteers. As a matter of fact, I don't think they will allow us to purchase anything for firefighting as I think it has to do with liability issues.

    The type of PPE you are issued depends on your classification; ie; interior, exterior, fire-police, etc.

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    Not changing the subject....but how many of yall get issued your own SCBA mask??

    Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise we will soon hopefully recieve a grant to purchase all ACTIVE members their own personal SCBA mask. I'm all for sharing, but its hard having 4 to 5 masks per engine and expecting those average size masks to fit every single person with a good seal. Sometimes it can be a pain to get those stretched out straps tight enough to avoid that hissing of a bad seal.
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  13. #13
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    My FD issues them to all interior FF's.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  14. #14
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    We are issued SCBA masks which we keep with our bunkers. We are also required to have fit testing annually for that masks. They are relatively inexpensive and something that you should know fits right prior to needing them.

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    Not changing the subject....but how many of yall get issued your own SCBA mask??
    Each member that is interior qualified, or is currently taking FF1 is issued a mask. We also have required fit testing once a year. I agree with issuing each member his or her own mask so that it fits correctly.

    We also carry 2 spare masks on each engine just in case.

  16. #16
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    Smile Gear

    Once the probie passes Fire I they are issued: helmet, turnouts (pants and jacket) boots, a traffic vest, and mask. Many of us have wrenches and extrication gloves which the dept supplied the first. I also purchased my own flash hood as at the time, some would come up missing. We are fit tested yearly and perform a physical as part of the fit test every other year.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR3115 View Post
    Not changing the subject....but how many of yall get issued your own SCBA mask??

    Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise we will soon hopefully recieve a grant to purchase all ACTIVE members their own personal SCBA mask. I'm all for sharing, but its hard having 4 to 5 masks per engine and expecting those average size masks to fit every single person with a good seal. Sometimes it can be a pain to get those stretched out straps tight enough to avoid that hissing of a bad seal.
    All of our interior firefighters are issued department supplied, fit-tested SCBA's for their own use.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfdmn09 View Post
    Once the probie passes Fire I they are issued: helmet, turnouts (pants and jacket) boots, a traffic vest, and mask. Many of us have wrenches and extrication gloves which the dept supplied the first. I also purchased my own flash hood as at the time, some would come up missing. We are fit tested yearly and perform a physical as part of the fit test every other year.
    If they are not issued equipment till they pass FF1 how do they take it?
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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