How do you feel about junior firefighters taking their pagers to school?
How do you feel about junior firefighters taking their pagers to school?
I'm fine with it. I allow my Juniors to...and I don't really care what a bunch of people on an internet forum have to say about it.
More importantly...here we go again. Three threads started within a few hours that will last for days and hundreds of posts.
I'm alright with it. I carried mine, and got to leave for calls. Granted, I didn't spend much time as an explorer. Our explorer program started at 16, got started when I was about 6 months from being 18, and school started about 3 months after it got set up. So I spent most of my time in high school as a full active member of the department, because I was 18. Which leads me to an addendum to ATF's question.
(Not to steal your thread ATF, I just don't feel the need to start another thread as they kind of go together in my eyes.)
How do you feel about 18 year old high schoolers that are full active members carrying pagers in school and leaving to go to calls?
I am fine with 18 yr old firefighters carrying a pager to school i did when i was that age. I also left school to go to larger fires in the day. When i was in college i carried my pager as well and often had to leave classes to attend a fire or medicial calls. As far as anyone under the age of 18 and a active full time member of the dept i think school should come first.
It depends on if that school is public, private, or home based :D
Seriously, though, to each jurisdiction their own I guess. I personally don't see the need for it. If the fire is so big that a junior skipping class to help outside at the command post or the engineer is necessary, than the dept should be calling mutual aid. I'd rather see the juniors focusing on schoolwork during school hours and then afterwards hang out as much as you want at the station.
Junior firefighters in school need pagers as much as a school of fish needs bicycles....
if students are leaving school to go to a call, the whole town should be burning down.
I say absolutely not.
No reason for them to carry a pager in school other than being curious as to what is going on or showing off to their friends.
When they are in school, they should concentrate on school. The pager only creates a distraction for the explorer/junior (whatever you call em) and creates a disturbance in the classroom when they go off.
We don't issue pagers to explorers, this is one of the main reasons why not.
This is a touchy issue.
When I was in school, we didn't have pagers. We had the town bell. I joined with some of the other guys when we were about 16. When the Bell was rung, we all left school and went to the livery stable. (I'm not kidding about that). It was every able bodied man and teenage kids responsibility to report and fight the fire. Of course, back in those days, we all grew up on tractors and balers and could buck hay for 16 hours a day. Insurance Companies didn't prevent the boys from doing their duty.
But today... even with my background, I tell the youngs ones,"Education before Duty." In our Explorer Program, we do not issue any pagers or radio equipment. They cannot participate if their grade average is below 2.5. So we take some of the fun out of it I guess. I just don't want some kid using the fire department as the reason he failed a math test.
I understand the need in some communities to depend on the young ones. So I will not condemn it or question why. You just have to do what you have to do.
If the junior/explorer is on a department that runs 15 calls between 8am and 3pm (or whenever school hours are) and have no problems with getting members to show up, then there shouldn't be any reason for a junior/explorer to respond during school hours.
It's all situational in my opinion.
Why not? I think that its a great, idea. While we're at it, why not just carry a radio and park an engine outside of the building, so that you don't have to drive your own pov to the scene. The hell with school, being an Jr. is a lot more important. So you flunk out of school, no big deal. Responding to fires, where you can do much of anything is a whole lot more important than your education.
Bull... you feeling alright there brother?
I had a tough day but you woke me up with that one.
They can carry them to school, they are put in their locker during school, and they can get them out at the end of the day.
If you have a hard time getting members to show up during the day, and you run HARDLY any calls, (Let's use my department for example. We run anywhere from 30 to 70 runs a year roughly, and sometimes we'll go a month without a call.) Why not let the explorer go, so that he can do support work outside the hotzone? That frees up a full member to do something in the hotzone.
I should have added this into my last posting, but I also think there has to be a certain GPA upheld in order for a person to even be considered for an explorer position. It's entirely possible for them to be a responding member, and keep their grades up. Hell, I did. Along with that, I was working 4 days a week after school, and I'd already started getting certifications, as well as leaving time to be 17/18 years old, and keeping my grades fairly decent. It seemed I was out of school every other day anyway due to some function or club or something at home.
And why is this any different than a school club or clubs that a student is involved in? I went to school with kids that were lucky to make 2 days of school a week because they were going somewhere for some club almost every day of the week. I guess I just don't understand how occasionally leaving for a fire call, and sometimes being gone for a half hour, sometimes being gone all day, is any different or worse than kids in FFA, FBLA, Home Ec. Club, Skills USA VICA, Band, sports teams, debate teams, academic decathlon teams, etc being gone multiple days out of the school week.
Maybe that's not how it was for you/is for the kids in school now. But it was for me. There would be stretches, and I'm talking WEEKS, that I wouldn't see someone at school, because they were gone with a club, had to work to help out the family, or just didn't feel like coming in. (And I see not coming in because they didn't feel like it far worse than leaving for a call)
Like I said, I adamantly believe its a situational thing. What works for you may or may not work for me. What works for me may or may not work for you.
Our Explorers where issued a pager and could leave school. However this took many hours of meetings with teachers, administrators, parents, and the Explorers themselves. We had some teachers who loved the idea and supported is and we had ones that hated it and the kids could never leave class. What was required was an open dialogue between everyone involved.
The bottom line was that my Explorers did not miss any more class than students involved in other activities. They were held to a strict GPA (which was higher than the standard set by the school district for extra- and co-curricular activities) and could not fall under our standard.
Over the last 19 years the program has been in existence we have had many students leave us and pursue a career in the Fire Service. I would like to think that our program contributed positively to their lives.
If the explorer/jr. is under the age of 18, there is not much that they can do at the scene of any call. First they are under age and second, they don't have the certs to operate, and thirdly they can not respond on/in any vehicle that is running emergence traffic. That being said, there is no reason on God's green earth that they should leave school and miss class for a call. If you want to issue them radio's, pagers, full turnout gear fine, for training that's fine. Training's great, I love to train. But they can not operate in the hot or warm zone, period, so other than to hand out water, roll hose and other small jobs, there is not much they can do, so why would they need to miss class. I think its great to require that they maintain a B average to stay active on a post. I think its great to allow the young people to have something positive in their lives to help maintain their focus. I think it's important to teach them some job skills that they can use to get a job after they get out of high school. That being said, they are in school and that is their job, not leaving class to hand out water. If your dept is having man power issues then request for Mutual Aid., pay for part time help, hire some guys or put some more people on your dept. but please don't pull little Billy out of class to fight fire. Field trips are one thing, being on the fire dept. is not a field trip.
As far as other kids missing school for other activities, that's them. We are not in the show choir, or the band. We are fire fighters and thus so we hold ourselves to a higher standard because of such. By the way, throughout my 4 years in high school playing sports year round, we never were allowed to miss class.