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  1. #1
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    Default Strongest Volunteer Departments

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what they think are the areas in the US that have the "strongest" or best established volunteer fire departments. I have heard a lot about Montgomery and Prince George's County fire departments as well as Virginia Beach's, but I was wondering where other busy, well-trained and -equipped departments are. Thanks!


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    Wink

    Long Island N.Y. home of the 20 million dollar firehouses and 1 million dollar parade trucks. Cost to homeowner about a buck fifty a day. Four dollars less than their morning Starbucks.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Actually, money has little or nothing to do with a strong volunteer fire department. I am a part-time fire instructor for the tech college near where I live so I get to see a lot of FD's. I have been in well funded volly FD's that were a complete cluster flop because of in fighting and lack of leadership and I have been in tiny rural FD's with almost nothing where pride is strong and evident. The station is clean, the old obsolete rig they ride on is clean and well maintained, the equipment, minimal as it is, is clean and well maintained, and the morale is amazingly high.

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    Was a joke. Hence the little guy winking.

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    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    look at the DC metro area. PG, MG and Va. oddly enough, many of these strong volunteer departments have career firefighters as some of their strongest members.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  6. #6
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    I think you might be mistaking the Virginia Beach's large volunteer EMS system for their fire department. The VBFD is a career department with a handful of volunteers and volunteer-owned apparatus.

    Northern Virginia, Southern and Central Maryland, and some areas of Pennsylvania have good, busy, established VFD's. There are stand-out VFD's amongst slower, less strong VFD's everywhere.

    What exactly are you looking for?
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    I'm with Box, we need to know what you hope to accomplish with this info. No matter where you go, you'll find good and bad. I'm sure that if you poke around the infamous "PG" county area, you'll find some sour apples too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescuedawg View Post
    Long Island N.Y. home of the 20 million dollar firehouses and 1 million dollar parade trucks. Cost to homeowner about a buck fifty a day. Four dollars less than their morning Starbucks.
    20 million dollars wow got a picutres?
    Fire Fighter Brandon Shuler Badge #141
    Spruce Pine Volunteer Fire & Rescue
    Spruce Pine NC

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    I agree with what has been said here. Look at the PG county area for volunteer stations that run a lot of calls. The other plus is free training and many have live in programs. Downside is some friction between paid and volunteer depending on where you are at and who you talk to.

    I've also have a good friend who has run in Bucks county, PA and Long Island. Those areas seem to have strong volunteer departments. I haven't run in either of those areas, but have been impressed by the people I know who have run there.

  10. #10
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    I have found that when the VFD is the only game in town in most cases they are strong. When paid personnel come into the picture the volunteer side usually weakens over time. That's not a dig at our career colleagues, but a simple fact. When volunteers are responsible for everything related to the FD there are always those who will step up and do what needs to be done because no one else will. When there are paid personnel to take on some of those responsibilities volunteers begin to slack plain and simple since someone else is being paid to be there and will end up doing them. It's human nature.


    Of course there are exceptions to this "rule", PG among them.
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