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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Well, I'm glad you don't have problems (no BS), as it's a rarity this day and age. Especially a department that doesn't give anything in regards to pay for running calls. Maybe you can use SAFER for some things to reward your guys.

    I can also understand needing the guys for traffic control and all. We don't have that issue here. Our guys provide the care until an ambulance arrives, transfers care, then assists as needed. We're one of the few departments that's fortunate enough to be licensed as an ALS provider in our area, which took a lot of hard work getting there.

    Don't take me wrong at all, despite what you may think of me I am very committed as a volunteer and as a chief. I put in hundreds of hours per year doing so. I also put in dozens of hours helping other departments with their training, writing grants, etc. I looked at no less than a dozen grants last year for guys all over the country on my own time, just to help them out. I would bet this year I get more to look at, and have no problem doing so if it's a department that needs the help.

    Don't think I'm some anti-volunteer career guy because I think a certain amount of training isn't too much to ask. I'm all about helping others, I just don't take a lot of excuses and complaining about how it is.

    Particularly with the volunteer fire service, there are those that expect to be treated like the big boys but don't want to play be the same rules. I want my guys to be able to play with the big boys, and they feed on that and want to do so themselves. If they choose not to, that's their perogative, but they will maintain the minimum (FF I and II, Haz-Mat Ops, and extrication), and I don't feel that's too much to ask. If we do like some of them want and move into tech rescue, I will expect those that choose to participate to do the same with that specialty and will lead by example and be the first one there.
    I have no problem with you Catch, nor do I think you are anti-volunteer. We have the right to voice our opinion whether we agree or disagree. I can see the points that all of us on this thread has expressed. Ops, training, etc is different in each area, but the main objective of volunteering is helping our neighbor and returning home to our families. I honestly think things are similiar in my area and Jams, and possibly yours. No matter if we are career, volunteer, we need to get along and help each other.


  2. #42
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    I realize I am getting a post in after the dust has settled. I have been reading this post for some time and would like to say that I think all three (catch, farmer, and jam) make good points. We are a small rural department covering just over 100 square miles. We run on average 150 runs per year and 75 to 80 % are medical related. The rest are accidents, fires, or public events.
    We have 20 guys that are active and 5 that have some medical certifications.(EMT-B or paramedic) We have every intention of staying current with all requirements and new regulations that come our way, but there are limits. There is not pay here at all as farmer mentioned in his post. We have looked at ways to give our guys some help, but it is not in the budget. Any money we get goes to keeping the equipment going and up to date.
    Like the others I am not whining about things, just stating the facts. It seems there will be a day when a department will not have kept "up" with some regulation and it will cost us the ability to any work. ie lawsuits, inspections, etc.
    There has to be a point where this all levels out or there will only be paid departments to keep up and specialized volunteers. Just my thoughts (and worries) for the future.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    But we are "not professionals",
    *****Speak for yourself, do not speak for me! Myself and all of or guys are professionals, we just aren't paid as well!*****

    I am editing this post but leaving my original post between asterisks. When I first saw this I was outraged that a volunteer would say something like this in a volunteer forum. I think that reading the rest of the posts is that you did not really mean this, as you said you were just ranting. If this is correct I apologize for jumping the gun. If I am wrong please correct me.
    Last edited by Cappy05; 12-02-2009 at 01:31 PM.

  4. #44
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    Lets look at this from another viewpoint.
    I attended a 3 day program put on by the nice folks at DHS and Texas A&M. there were 38 people in the class from military and state employees all the way down to me , the only unpaid professional in the room. Many were career police & fire personnel, most of whom were there on overtime off shift taking the class. Would all these career professional have been there if they were not getting paid to be there???? Maybe or Maybe not!

    Did I gain something from this class ?? yes a nice certificate and some good resource materials along with meeting a lot of "important" folks at the local & state levels. It was something I felt would benefit our small town and possibly our dept. Thats why I did it!
    Not blowing my own horn just raising the point ,that it's easy to say we should all be held to the same standards. Our career neighbors spend a large amount of their time when not on calls doing all the mandatory training's and certifications that are required to meet the standard and even then they have a hard time keeping up with all the new regs flowing down on all of us.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Lets look at this from another viewpoint.
    I attended a 3 day program put on by the nice folks at DHS and Texas A&M. there were 38 people in the class from military and state employees all the way down to me , the only unpaid professional in the room. Many were career police & fire personnel, most of whom were there on overtime off shift taking the class. Would all these career professional have been there if they were not getting paid to be there???? Maybe or Maybe not!

    Did I gain something from this class ?? yes a nice certificate and some good resource materials along with meeting a lot of "important" folks at the local & state levels. It was something I felt would benefit our small town and possibly our dept. Thats why I did it!
    Not blowing my own horn just raising the point ,that it's easy to say we should all be held to the same standards. Our career neighbors spend a large amount of their time when not on calls doing all the mandatory training's and certifications that are required to meet the standard and even then they have a hard time keeping up with all the new regs flowing down on all of us.
    I had just got back from a 3 dayer similar to the one islandfire03 had without the DHS part. There were also alot of paid ff at the training when I got home and seen the post about the mandated haz-mat training. Thats when I went off. Cappy, its called exaggerating. Many of the career guys around here look down on volunteers and talk down to alot of them, but they dont to me because of my job with the state. I have just as much if not more training than many of the career ffs here. Back up if you think I am talking bad about volunteers, you dont have a clue.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cappy05 View Post
    *****Speak for yourself, do not speak for me! Myself and all of or guys are professionals, we just aren't paid as well!*****

    I am editing this post but leaving my original post between asterisks. When I first saw this I was outraged that a volunteer would say something like this in a volunteer forum. I think that reading the rest of the posts is that you did not really mean this, as you said you were just ranting. If this is correct I apologize for jumping the gun. If I am wrong please correct me.
    Damn, I'm begining to understand now. When I go on a rant (almost never, lol) and decide to edit it before posting or after, you guys all say "C'mon, put it back so we can see how good a rant it was."

    I want to see Cappys. I am, (was) a professional too. The kind that the court brings in as an expert witness. Appointments by governors and more, and in my honest opinion, for small volunteer departments to chase after every certification, code and new guideline on the level as career departments is not only unreasonable, its almost impossible.
    Throw out the argument of career firefighter vs volunteer firefighter as far as mutual respect goes. (That's never going to happen) My point is again that there is no understanding from these agencies about what is practically, achievable. Each agency sends theirs down the line and it ENDS where the departments must scramble to comply.

    Look, what could be done, should be done is this. Every code, certification, resolution, whatever that is normally ending up at the departmental level, to go to a sort of *clearing house. Right now the departments are the clearing house for all these regulations and the ones forced to comply.

    Send everything to one clearing house agency who then prioritizes it and then can pass down and monitor each one. Think about it. The departments could then concentrate all their attention to one agency. Now we are collecting from scores and more and each one of them demands your compliance.

    I want my order of compliance to come from one clearing house agency. One I have to answer to. Let the other agencies fight it out with the clearing house agency about who has precedent. Let them scramble amongst themselves. Right now it all just a pile on without anyone sorting through the pile. Everyday my computer is full of this crap.
    What they are doing gentlemen is telling us their priority is more important than the others and we should take care of theirs first.

    It all ends up on us, is the point. That is how it is arranged now.

    We need some responsible guy/agency in between all of them, and the fire departments and sort this onslaught out.

    Second, Cappy, we LOVE rants here. The slant here is not to take it personal. Discuss it like the politicians do. When its all over carry on like old friends. Right now its all politics anyway. The issue isn't us personally, its what's happening to us.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    I never said not anything about not being held to the same standard. I am referring to the out of control regulations flooding the fire service and the volunteers using their free time to catch up to it all. Once its done, they continue to demand it all over again.

    We got into this arguement with NIMS. Warning that NIMS must not become an out of control agency. Once the requirments are set, its done with, No more certifications to be met. Well see what happens.

    We have to use facts and logic to achieve a calculated end here. A logical end. Do you critics of my point have these items in your department. Computer, meeting rooms, seperate bathrooms, exercise rooms, wireless internet, washdown stations, powerpoint displays, sleeping/bunk areas and washers and dryers? How about uniforms and training areas?

    Many of the rural departments work out of a shed or barn or park their apparatus at their homes. They are lucky to have an office at their home or even enough people to respond and they have to stand equal to career departments with resolutions.

    If you came to those type of rural departments and relayed the "You must have" you would first be looked at like your crazy and second destroy the volunteer spririt to run and help where help is needed. The requirements that are being flooded come down to one other common denominator,,,,, Money. Because no matter how you break it down it still comes down to money. They can say the cost is free all they want, but it isn't in the long run. Someone has to pay the expense of getting to the training and all that goes along with it.

    You want the smaller volunteer departments to be on the same level as the career departments. They will, they just can't keep up with this out of control regulations flooding the fire service. Its a ball that keeps getting bigger and many of our fire service leaders are aware of it as well. They know. Since the career departments are also scrambling to stay current, why then should they expect volunteers to do the same?

    HAZ Mat awarness, 36 hours. Give me a break. Do you know how many real hazmat situations I have run across in over 20 years? Three. It was all containted fine.

    So HazMat can come and scream the sky is falling all they want. I have many other regulations and compliancies to concentrate on that have precedent at the moment and were first in line,,,, last week.
    First of all NIMS is a tool.Second,train,train,train. Third,WE are all firefighters in the public eye.We must be able to mitigate all hazards,plain and simple.I've been an "unpaid professional" for 30 yrs and I look for different forms of training such as structrual collapse ops(we don't have many earthquakes here),hazmat tech(we have a few runs,like 6 or 7 in 12 yrs).The point is,if you commit yourself to the fire service,then you commit yourself to the fire service.Remember,complacency kills.
    It's not that life is so short,it's cause you're dead for so long.

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