1. #1
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    Default Probationary Firefighter Badges

    My dept currently gives firefighter badges to new hires on their first day of duty. Many times these probationary firefighters have no certs and haven't been through the academy. I'm wanting to propose that these new hires don't recieve badges until they go through the academy. If they already have certs I think that they shouldn't get a badge until a certain amount of time. When they finally earn their badges I would like to have a ceremony and involve their company and family. Any one have any thoughts on this or any recommendations? Thanks

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    At what point are they sworn in as firefighters? That is when they should get their badges.



    And just so i can be the first one to say it. "Badges, we don't need no stinking badges!"

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    This is a paid department correct? If so most department I know of that makes you go through a academy because ie they have no experience or it is a requirment that you go through the departments academy. You will get you badge when you graduate the academy and there is a ceremony is this not how your department works? Most department if you have not gone through a academy you are hired but not technically a firefighter most places around st louis county, MO hire you as a medic and alls you do is ride the ambulance till you fo through the academy then you are a certified firefighter and elgible to ride on the truck. Hope this helps.

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    They aren't sworn in. Just hired.

    I'd like to implement a swearing in process and oath as well

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    Yeah like i said when you graduate the academy there is a cerimony that does all of that how many people are on your department?

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    And yes, this is a paid dept. Sometimes they won't have an academy class for a few months after they are hired.

    The Medics and EMTs on our squads are put on handlines during a working fire.

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    yeah most places around here dont even let you on the truck until the academy so you guys do it a little different there but all in all if they are fighting fire they are on the job. In my book that would consider them a firefighter regardless of training probably not the best approach to it but if thats what your department does then to me that means they should get it right away. You could be the light at the end of the tunnel and make a change at your department and start implimenting a way you do things such as no badges or being sworn in till completion of the academy. Thats what the fire service is all about making things better and safer for the firefighter.

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    No probationary firefighters get their badge until after they have served the 1 year probationary period. After they get confirmed for full status they get their badge during a nice ceremony.

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    FireLT1951,

    Do they wear anything in place of a badge? or a name tag that says Probationary?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg42 View Post
    FireLT1951,

    Do they wear anything in place of a badge? or a name tag that says Probationary?
    No they don't. They are allowed to wear a department patch though.

    Matter of fact, up until 1983, the only badge a firefighter had was his hat badge, this is also when we were given uniform name tags. No breast badges before that. Only officer's wore breast badges. We never had a department patch until 1987.

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    No shield until probation is over, which is one year after recruit school graduation of 26 weeks.

    All members have name and badge of department screened on the shirts.

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    Default Badges????

    The Department I retired from you received your badge at graduation from drill school. The Department I work for now they receive their badge when we hire them. They have fire experience but no academy experience. They all learn from local fire experiences or had the training funded by themselves. We are currently getting ready to send some of our firefighters to training in Idaho Falls and Chicago.
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    Recruits wear no badge on their shirt or leather shield on their helmet during the academy (although we have a couple "RECRUIT" leather shields around, they just don't go about the hassle of issuing them and getting them back anymore). During any ride outs for EMT or if their graduation ceremony is not immediately following the academy, that is what they wear. During their graduation ceremony, they are sworn in and given their firefighter badges (no different than any other non-officer's badge) and PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTER leather shield. Once they complete probation, they are issued a FIREFIGHTER leather shield with their apparatus number on it.

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    I agree, they need to get their certifications before pinning badges. We hire firefighters that have already been through the academy. We run a 2 month rookie school once they are hired on. At the end of that rookie school they have a badge pinning ceremony, family comes, cake is eaten... They are then on probation for the remainder of their first year.

    They are issued a Probationary helmet front. It is bright yellow, and from a mile away, everyone can see that he is the rookie. After their probationary period is over, the get the standard black helmet front with the velcro for the unit plate and their name on it.

    I think a probationary badge is a good idea. Make them understand the difference once they become a "made man."

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    They don't really have badges for us. I think I was told to buy my own if I really wanted one. I know chiefs have them, but definitely not firefighters. Their reasoning after I went through the academy was that badges are for cops. haha

    Unless in our class A uniform, no one really would wear them anyway. Most guys wear tshirts. Others wear the blue button up shirts, but they wouldn't put a badge on that. Usually collar brass and a name tag if they want, but we can pretty much do whatever.

    Probies wear the blue button up at all times with collar brass, their name tag on one side, and a red probationer tag on the other. Then their helmet has a red shield. The probation was just extended to 18 months. It's about an 8-month academy now followed by practical and oral tests every month in the company. After that they can wear whatever they want. Still no badges though.

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    Badges? We don't need no stinkin bages.

    That being said.

    1. Do you realy need a badge to be a firefighter. Does a piece of tin pinned on your shirt make you a " Firefighter" or is it the many hours of dedication to the education you put forth, the many sleepless nights running out of the station carrer, or running out of the house for the volleys, or the lives saved.

    2. Arnt there more important issues faceing the fire service IE budget cuts, funding issues, staffing, training etc...

    3. Networking is your friend, and I know guys in the fire service all over the us, and at federal instalations all over the world. Fact of the matter is most of the guys I know only keep a badge in their wallet for two reasons. DISCOUNTS at food joints, and getting out of tickets from law enforcement.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by VincentEng2; 05-15-2010 at 09:54 PM.

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    Vincent... I don't think it's so much about "needing a badge to be a firefighter," but the symbolism of having a family member (or special person) pin that on your shirt after the months of putting up with no life during the academy (and standing by you during that time). Every morning I pin that badge on my shirt I think of one of the happiest nights of my life when my wife and son pinned that on my shirt.

    I don't know about federal agencies or straight volunteer depts, but I know most career departments require them to be worn as part of your uniform. In my area, Mon-Fri during business hours all FFs wear a light blue shirt with name tag and badge on it for our uniform. Of course there's certain exceptions like PT, mowing and the such. Also, anytime we leave the station for non-emergency purposes or have a public event, we wear that uniform regardless of the time or day.

    As for the wallet badge, I rarely ever carry it. No real purpose in my opinion. I keep it in my glove box (with my credentials) in case there's that random situation that I happen upon a situation that requires it (I doubt anyone's going to ask for ID if you see an accident and hop out to help). Our dept has a policy that we are not supposed to accept any discounts that are related to our position.

    I think the OP wasn't really asking if we need badges, but how and at what point they are issued to new hires. There are definitely a lot of issues that are more important in the big picture, but this is an issue the OP is facing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg42 View Post
    My dept currently gives firefighter badges to new hires on their first day of duty. Many times these probationary firefighters have no certs and haven't been through the academy. I'm wanting to propose that these new hires don't recieve badges until they go through the academy. If they already have certs I think that they shouldn't get a badge until a certain amount of time. When they finally earn their badges I would like to have a ceremony and involve their company and family. Any one have any thoughts on this or any recommendations? Thanks
    I only issue badges at Fire Academy graduation... usually after they have been on the department a year and are done with probation or almost done. On a rare occassion when they got into academy right away, we have let them "borrow" a badge for the ceremony and presented them with their own after their probationary year was complete. Seems to work for us.. badges are expensive and if somebody washes out in academy, it's one less expense.. in my opinion, they don't deserve it till then anyway.

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    There are many issues that are more important in the Fire Service however this is an issue that is important to me, thanks to everyone that replied with something constructive. Sometimes you might not know the big picture and what's going on at the threadstarter's department. Sometimes the threadstarter can't control issues that ARE bigger "IE budget cuts, funding issues, staffing, training etc...", but can control issues such as pride and tradition. I'm not sorry that I'm proud of my badge, I earned it. Thanks again to all that replied. Stay safe brothers

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    the public nowadays seems to expect a uniform with badge if your going in the homes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firedawg42 View Post
    There are many issues that are more important in the Fire Service however this is an issue that is important to me, thanks to everyone that replied with something constructive. Sometimes you might not know the big picture and what's going on at the threadstarter's department. Sometimes the threadstarter can't control issues that ARE bigger "IE budget cuts, funding issues, staffing, training etc...", but can control issues such as pride and tradition. I'm not sorry that I'm proud of my badge, I earned it. Thanks again to all that replied. Stay safe brothers

    I don't think any member of the fire service would say that they are not pround of their badge. I certainly was and I wore several.


    Quote Originally Posted by xo70 View Post
    the public nowadays seems to expect a uniform with badge if your going in the homes
    If you are in a firemans uniform it better have a badge or one sewn on that looks like the one that you pin on.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    I really don't see any need for badges for firemen, whether probationary or not. Its not like we need some symbol of authority. If they don't believe we're firemen, tell them to look out the door at the big red truck.

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    At my department we had to have all of our certs to even be considered for hiring. After that we went through a month long academy and then were sworn in and given badges and station assignments. I think you have a good idea. Just food for thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    I really don't see any need for badges for firemen, whether probationary or not. Its not like we need some symbol of authority. If they don't believe we're firemen, tell them to look out the door at the big red truck.
    Getting my badge pinned on my chest was one of my proudest moments in life at the end of my 22-week recruit school many years ago. I earned that badge and am proud to wear it on my chest.

    Here in my little slice of heaven called Virginia, we actually have state code that dictates the authority given to fire department personnel when wearing their badge of authority.
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    If there is some state law requiring a badge, then thats of course, what you need to do.

    I certainly don't discount the pride angle of receiving something after training, but that symbol could be just about anything (different color turnouts or helmet, for example).

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