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Thread: life of an fdny firefighter

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    Default life of an fdny firefighter

    i'm 18 years old, graduating from high school, and looking at careers. i'm from ny so i've always looked up to fdny. i know they have an exam in 2011 and i'm considering taking it. but i have a few questions about the job that i couldn't find answers to anywhere else. if someone, preferrably an fdny firefighter, could answer any of them i'd really appreciate it.

    what's a shift like? do you live at the fire station all the time or do you spend maybe 24 hours at the station and go home for 24 hours?

    what do you do at the fire station when nothing is going on? watch sports, play sports, work out??

    and if shifts are like 24 hours long, are you not allowed to leave the fire station during your whole shift?

    i'm sure i'll think of a couple more but for now i'll see what info you guys can give me. thanks a lot
    Last edited by MB91; 11-10-2009 at 08:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MB91 View Post

    what's a shift like? do you live at the fire station all the time or do you spend maybe 24 hours at the station and go home for 24 hours?
    They are called tours not shifts. Tours are two Days, starting at 9am and end at 6pm and two nights, starting at 6pm and end at 9am. 9hours and 15 respectively. Usually you have a day between days and nights, and 2-3 between nights and days....generally. You can also do 24s with a mutual partner....if you want, and if the captain approves it. You can also pick up tours and that guy now owes you.

    what do you do at the fire station when nothing is going on? watch sports, play sports, work out??
    Stations are where you find buses and trains. We live and work in houses. There is always something going on....we drill, drill, drill. Building inspections for 3 hours, getting and making the meal, keeping the house, rig and tools clean....not much time for rest.

    and if shifts are like 24 hours long, are you not allowed to leave the fire station during your whole shift?
    You are working, you certainly can not get in your car and go home.....

    Basically, my tours go something like this.....

    Come in a hour early.....stop at the house watch, see who coming in; if the incoming list isn't there, i get it when I change in to my uniform, look at the riding list, get gear off the rack, head into the kitchen, put what I brought in on the table, never come in empty handed of course, make a pot of coffee, read the black board, see who needs a tour off, look for any new info about the house events or job info, read the union stuff....BS with guys in kitchen...make fun of each other, have a cup of coffee. I head up stairs
    and change into uniform, BS with guys in locker room, make fun of each other again....head down stairs and check the rig board to see what new, broken, or moved. I then check the rig...everything, from to back, top to bottom....everything. I get ready for roll call and await my position assignment. I then move my gear to the respective area and get my radio. I head back into the kitchen.....and we all make fun of eachother some more. Make more coffee, get ready for committee work at 0930. Once that work is done, We either get the meal or get ready to make it. Sometimes you have the watch....meaning you acknowledge and transmit alarms for the companies...sort of a mini dispatcher. We will drill, drill, drill and drill some more. Answer alarms, eat, clean, drill, drill, drill some more.

    There are also 3 days of building inspections, occasional days we go to the fire academy for special training, and re-locations.....
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    Vinnie, kudos for giving the guy a straight up answer and not some smart*** answer that's all too often given on here.
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    I was soooo expecting to read how he has to live at the firehouse, never has a day off, has move his wife in to the house, raise his kids there and everything else.

    Excellent post VinnieB

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Vinnie, kudos for giving the guy a straight up answer and not some smart*** answer that's all too often given on here.
    I was expecting the same!. I saw the thread title and i was getting ready for it.

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    Good answer, but can you explain the "tours" a little more? Im interested to see how that works.

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    The 3 days of building inspections, how does that work?

    We will look at commercial buisnesses every once in awhile unless their is construction going on or major changes. Are you saying that for 3 full days, you are doing nothing but inspections? And how often does that cycle happen?

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    3 days of Building inspection is for every company. I am in a house with an Engine and a Ladder Company. Building inspections (or BI) are done in the am and pm session. AM is from 1000 to 1300....pm is 1300 to 1600. My company does Monday am, Weds pm, and Friday pm. In the Captains office we have information cards of EVERY building in our BI district...which is not exactly my response area....in my old company we bi'd our 2nd due area....in my current one we BI our 1st, 2d and an area we aren't even the FAST company for. DOn't ask me how that is....it just is. It may have something to do with where all the companies used to be located in the late 1800s, early 1900s. We will inspect the building(s) for that day from Roof to basement, looking for fire violations and unsafe situations. We will also enforce the fire codes of NYC. Being that we are all NYS Peace Officers we can right a "C" Summons for really messed up situations and the occasional parking ticket...if I am working, and find and illegally parked car...I will write...so sorry for you. We update the building cards, check the C of O and C of F as needed....inspect fire escapes, roof, door, wall, floors, and windows...the general condition of the building....basically we will look at everything. Also the larger the building the longer it takes. I know that when the companies who inspect buildings like the Empire State and MSG, they will relocate companies....I think it takes a couple of days to do those types of buildings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenscott View Post
    I was soooo expecting to read how he has to live at the firehouse, never has a day off, has move his wife in to the house, raise his kids there and everything else.

    Excellent post VinnieB
    Nah, although when the Dept went paid in 1865 to mid 19teens....that is exactly what happened. The Captain and his family would live in the fire house, and the firemen would spend 5 or 6 days a week....24 hours a day, with 4 hours at times of personal time to go home, eat, get a hair cut...etc etc....hence the reason we say 'house' vise 'station'. The Captain would live on the top floor of the firehouse...also the reason why most of the old firehouses are 3 stories or more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    The 3 days of building inspections, how does that work?

    We will look at commercial buisnesses every once in awhile unless their is construction going on or major changes. Are you saying that for 3 full days, you are doing nothing but inspections? And how often does that cycle happen?
    The cycle is every week...3 times a week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    The cycle is every week...3 times a week.
    Damn, that is alot, but worth it. What better way to learn about a building that you might one day be working in during a fire.

    Thanks for your post. I appreciate it.

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    You want to come teach BISP? I could use a class! LOL

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