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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Red face New to volunteering

    Hi!

    Like the title saying very new to volunteering. I am on my 3rd probation month (supposed to be my last) and hoping to get voted in the end of the month. However, i'm a little nervous. reason you ask? No one has mentioned if im gonna get voted in or not. I attend every meeting I can except for 2 due to work and I got my boss to write a note saying i was in mandatory meetings.

    Is this common for them not to say if im looking good? I try very hard and ask questions on everything im unsure about or interested in learning. I kinda feel like a outsider and try to break the ice by getting involved with current members.

    What would you suggest to break the ice?


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Nov 2008
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    Blacksburg, SC, US
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    Default Are you participating?

    First off let me tell you a little about me. I am a LT with my local VFD, I started out as a Jr FF at 14, I left the Fire Service to go into the military, raise a family, and 20 yrs later decided to go back to the Fire Service. I am a 3d generation FF. I would not worry about them not saying much about voting you in, no one should. There are other questions that you should be concerning yourself with. Why did you decide to join, what do you plan to gain, where can you best serve your dept., where do you see yourself in the dept, 5,10,20 yrs down the road? These are the questions that not only will answer your previous questions, but if you ask the officers to help you, then there should be nothing to worry about. We have 4 people that were just voted in off their 90 day probation. These are the things that I look for. Is the individual committed, or just wants to drive with a red light on? Does the individual want to learn the craft of fire fighting or do they stand back and watch with their hands in their pockets? Does this individual care enough about the dept to take the time to learn policies, and become a team member? Does the individual take the time going over the equipment, learning where the equipment is located on which truck, so as to not waste time looking for them when needed most. All these questions I asked not only new members but also myself.

    Take the time to learn your dept, its vehicles, equipment, and personnel, and most of all NEVER STOP LEARNING!!! Each day there is something new you can learn!

    Good Luck, and Welcome!
    Kevin

  3. #3
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
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    Ohio
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    Default

    Why is probation only 90 days? Most places I know of it is 12 months long.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Dec 2001
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    Lusby, MD
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    Default

    When we vote to take members off of probation, it's usually obvious if that person should remain a member or not. If nobody knows who that person is, if they havn't taken or signed up for classes, if they havn't gotten cut loose on any apparatus they will probably get dropped. If they have been around and made an effort to help out, signed up and are taking or have finished one of the basic classes (EMT or FF1), and have been cut loose to ride as an aid on the ambulance, or observer on the engine, they will probably be voted in as a full member.

    You should know yourself if you have put in the effort. What was expected of you should have been explained when you joined. Basically if you have been around and made progress toward being ready to be an active firefighter.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2007
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    Southern Indiana
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    Default

    I guess our process is a bit different. We do it in two parts - part one is the mandatory FF training from the state. Probies go through this and take the test. They can't respond on scene until they have thier cert. They can run the base radio and help clean trucks and participate in training during the class parts however. The second part is our departmental training which is apparatus familizaration, driving, policies, SOG's etc. They take an in house test for this as well. Only after both have been completed can they be brought in for a vote to go from probie to rookie status. From rookie to regular FF take 1 year + another departmental test (pump ops/water ops) as well. Officers positions have min time served as a regular FF/lesser officer to be eligible to run for office. That said, we have a lot of members who have been rookies for many many years and are happy and not interested in stepping up to the reg FF which in some respects is like an engineer/pump operator.

    It seems for us, if you want to join, you'll have to start interacting with the rest of the department well before you are up for a vote.

  6. #6
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    Why is probation only 90 days? Most places I know of it is 12 months long.
    Huh, virtually all of our local departments use six months.

    Regardless, as far as the OP is concerned, you can see that departments do it differently from place to place. But, as someone who's been a member of four different VFD's, I can attest to the fact that when there is a definate interest being shown, that will improve your chances of being voted off probation. It's unfortunate that there are plenty of people that get voted into probie status, and then are never seen again. Just from what you've posted, I'd bet that you're not one of those people.

    I'd wager that if you keep attending the training, meetings, functions, and calls that you're able to, you'll come out on the winning side.

    Good luck, and let us know how things go.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


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

  7. #7
    Forum Member natedog54's Avatar
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    Default

    I'm on with my second VFD now, the first being where I grew up. They had a vote after a year, which was your probationary period. During that period, you complete your training for FF1 and First responder, and attend monthly drill, maintainance day, and monthly meeting.

    My new VFD, where I live now, does it a little differant. You complete your training in FF1, FF2, and EMT, then your probation period starts. 12 months. But there is no vote. You either pass probation or you don't. It's structured more like a normal job in that respect.

    As long as you keep attending drills and meetings, ask about what you don't know, be friendly but not over bearing, don't be a "Ricky Rescue," and you should do just fine. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Huh, virtually all of our local departments use six months.
    I understand that things are done differently every where but I was just lookin gfor the logic they use for determining probation to be only 90 days. Not saying its wrong, just wondering why.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Butler,PA United States
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    Default

    at my department you are a junior or explorer as some of you have called it untill you are 18. no matter what age however that you join at you serve a 6 months probationary period. if you are a junior when you turn 18 you must reapply as an active member and serve another 6 months probation. in order to do anything on a firescene you need the essentials of firefighting in PA there are 4 seperate classes and each is age restricted and the final one that is the interior portion you do a live burn in a controlled evolution. upon completeing the essentials at our department to be considered an interior man or woman you must complete a 16 hour burn class with a real house. also in our company we run vehicle rescue so you must have all three basic vehicle rescue classes and then take the BVRT exam issued by the PA department of health to run a tool. i joined when i was 18 in november of 08 and im just off probation as of last month and have recieved all of that training except the final structure burn class(which im taking care of this weekend=]). i also have taken the FF1 exam and am currently waiting for the results to that. i got my BVRT certificate and patches as well. so just hang in there it may seem boring now but every bit of knowledge and training you can get is golden im at the bottom of the foodchain when it comes to doing anything other than brush fires so i feel the pain but itll all pay off just never stop training always pull in as much knowledge as you can

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2

    Talking

    Good news ladies and gentleman. I got voted in as a full member and im loving it! Gonna start ether my EMT or FF1 this fall and I already started my dutys such as getting tools off the trucks, rolling hose and other related scene activitys needed from me.

    I'm allowed to respond to all calls other then medical until im EMT certifed. I am also allowed to a fire but not allowed to enter a burning structure until I complete FF1.

    Soon, very soon I will have all the training needed but for now I am liking taking it slow so I can learn each task needed to perform my dutys.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
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    Schenectady, NY
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    Default

    Did you meet the minimum requirements set forth in the bylaws during your probation? If you did than don't worry.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

  12. #12
    Forum Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    Did you meet the minimum requirements set forth in the bylaws during your probation? If you did than don't worry.
    lol he already got voted in.

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