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  1. #41
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    For some departments having people that can actually fight fires and do whatever task is needed of them makes all the difference in the world.
    Yes you are right. Having Support personnel enables the people that can "fight fire" to do so.
    Bring enough hose.


  2. #42
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    In my world.. every firefighter has to be able to perform all of the tasks required. There is no "interior certified" and "exterior only" firefighters.

    Do the job right or don't do it at all.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    Yes you are right. Having Support personnel enables the people that can "fight fire" to do so.
    You missed the point.

  4. #44
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Ok I guess I did. Whats your point?
    Last edited by L-Webb; 08-09-2010 at 01:19 PM.
    Bring enough hose.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Negative.

    There is nothing wrong with compensating volunteers for thier time.

    It's call motivation, and it's a critical part of keeping the team rolling.
    I'm not a huge fan of internet posters quoting from the dictionary, but your comments beg for it.

    From Dictionary.com

    Volunteer --

    1. a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.
    2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

    You are enticing people to perform a job through (meager) compensation. I stand by my earlier statement. Those volunteers are just a much cheaper paid staff, in union terms, scabs. It's like the difference between an escort and a street prostitute. They both do the same job, but one of them does it for a whole lot less!
    Last edited by MBarnes; 08-09-2010 at 06:31 PM.

  6. #46
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    You are enticing people to perform a job through (meager) compensation. I stand by my earlier statement. Those volunteers are just a much cheaper paid staff, in union terms, scabs. It's like the difference between an escort and a street prostitute. They both do the same job, but one of them does it for a whole lot less!

    We are asking people to perform a community service and we are providing recognition and a slight reward for the time they put in.

    Amazing.

    This has nothing to do with a job. it is a hobby. yes, I used the dirty little word. Folks do this because they enjoy it. because they want a challenge. Because they enjoy the social aspect of the volunteer fire department. Because they have played on a team, and want to play on a team once again.

    And in most cases, they put in many hours and deserve something for their volunteer efforts.

    If you consider volunteers scabs, you must be drinking that union kool-aid by the gallon. And people wonder why have such disdain for the IAFF and career firefighters that walk the union line.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    In my world.. every firefighter has to be able to perform all of the tasks required. There is no "interior certified" and "exterior only" firefighters.

    Do the job right or don't do it at all.

    And in your world citizens are probably paying through the nose for fire protection.

    Again, please explain to me why every responder on the fireground must ne interior qualified?

    So we reject the truck driver with tens of thousands of miles of driving experience because he doesn't want to go interior? We reject the person who may be in great shape but simply does not want to wear a mask but can raise ladders, lug fans and pull hose and work on water shuttles? We exclude the EMT that wants to work rehab, monitor vitals and fill bottles?

    Sorry Gonzo, but your logic makes no sense to me.

    I guess those 3 or 4 guiys a shift are better left to working all alone that surrounded by a team with specific skills.

  8. #48
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You are enticing people to perform a job through (meager) compensation. I stand by my earlier statement. Those volunteers are just a much cheaper paid staff, in union terms, scabs. It's like the difference between an escort and a street prostitute. They both do the same job, but one of them does it for a whole lot less!

    We are asking people to perform a community service and we are providing recognition and a slight reward for the time they put in.

    Amazing.

    This has nothing to do with a job. it is a hobby. yes, I used the dirty little word. Folks do this because they enjoy it. because they want a challenge. Because they enjoy the social aspect of the volunteer fire department. Because they have played on a team, and want to play on a team once again.

    And in most cases, they put in many hours and deserve something for their volunteer efforts.

    If you consider volunteers scabs, you must be drinking that union kool-aid by the gallon. And people wonder why have such disdain for the IAFF and career firefighters that walk the union line.
    Cool, "brother"...sign me up to help ya'll out. You've been nothing but a help for all of your "brothers" over in the 9/11 thread.


    Go f#ck yourself. You're as welcome here as scarecrow was.

  9. #49
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    Here's the way I see it...... There are several "Myths" out there that, if you successfully defeat them, will, and should, go away. "Volunteers don't have the Training that Paid Firefighters do" is one. Not only should Volunteers be well Trained, they can be with few problems, IF Management is willing to work WITH them Fuuny thing is some of our volunteers have a higher level of training than our paid staff ...... "Volunteers Can't respond quick enough".... Our EMS qualified volunteers responding from home generally beat the paid staff housed in our Central Station in anywhere but the core area of our district. They can if they are in the Station. We usually have 2-3 volunteers in the station during the day and 4-5 at night supplementing the paid staff. Duty Nights (and/or Days Too) Can fix that problem. In our situation, we do not depend on anyone coming from home since Traffic and Call Volume are Crazy. We put Apparatus on the Street in 1 Minute or less. "Our Call Volume is too much for Volunteers"..... Now There is a real wrong answer. My part of the World has Totally Volunteer Organizations that handle in excess of 10,000 Incidents annually While we don't handle 10,000, we do handle more than jsut about any other combo department in northern LA. And by the way, we do it with the fewest number of paid staff......... "People just don't want to Volunteer any more".... Wrong Again. I know a Volunteer who drives over 80 miles to help out in a VFD....... Lotta bad info on Volunteering out there that shouldn't be allowed to continue....... There are a lot of bad attitudes regarding volunteers on this forum. It's really too bad.Places that have Volunteer Problems should fix them, and sometimes looking in a Mirror is a good start......

  10. #50
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And in your world citizens are probably paying through the nose for fire protection.

    Again, please explain to me why every responder on the fireground must ne interior qualified?

    So we reject the truck driver with tens of thousands of miles of driving experience because he doesn't want to go interior? We reject the person who may be in great shape but simply does not want to wear a mask but can raise ladders, lug fans and pull hose and work on water shuttles? We exclude the EMT that wants to work rehab, monitor vitals and fill bottles?

    Sorry Gonzo, but your logic makes no sense to me.

    I guess those 3 or 4 guiys a shift are better left to working all alone that surrounded by a team with specific skills.

    Yes, because when they are all that's left, and I'm lost inside a building with no air. Or, I am stuck inside inside pinned underneath a floor, they will be able to do as much for me as the ladies auxiliary.

    A fire scene is a dynamic situation, in which anything could and will happen. All people on that scene as a firefighter had sure as hell better be able to put a mask on and do firefighting work, otherwise they are useless.

    You claim to be about everyone going home; well, what about when your "non-interior" guys leave you to die, because having a beard was more important than having their mask fit properly, etc...

    Whatever; you're a joke.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper 45 View Post
    Yes, because when they are all that's left, and I'm lost inside a building with no air. Or, I am stuck inside inside pinned underneath a floor, they will be able to do as much for me as the ladies auxiliary.

    A fire scene is a dynamic situation, in which anything could and will happen. All people on that scene as a firefighter had sure as hell better be able to put a mask on and do firefighting work, otherwise they are useless.

    You claim to be about everyone going home; well, what about when your "non-interior" guys leave you to die, because having a beard was more important than having their mask fit properly, etc...

    Whatever; you're a joke.
    I'm sorry that your view of the world seems to be so narrow. For an experienced firefighter like yourself, I would think that you would understand the big picture, but you seem to not.

    I am in a rural community of 5K. Please tell me how I force personnel to all be interior qualified?

    Because if I do, and I tell them to hit the highway, I will have a department of about 10 people. Maybe.

    The fact is everyone can bring a skill to the table, and any department, with the exception of an all-career department that allows that skill to walk away are idiots. it's really that simple.

    As far as the guys inside, you call the next department over for RIT. It's honestly that simple. We do it all the time, especially in my volunteer department.

    You live in a world where you can tell people what to do because it's their job. We live in a world where we ask people for help and we take what skills they have and we use them to our best advantage.

    There are a lot of small career departments that may have to start living in the latter world if they want to keep providing services, unless of course, you know of a way yo start growing money.

    As far as claiming to be an expert about going home, I'm not, and never claimed to be. But I do know a thing or two about using the people around you and accepting their limitations.

  12. #52
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And in your world citizens are probably paying through the nose for fire protection.
    About an average of a dollar a day per tax bill for full time Fire and EMS on the residential tax bill.

    Again, please explain to me why every responder on the fireground must ne (sic) interior qualified?

    So we reject the truck driver with tens of thousands of miles of driving experience because he doesn't want to go interior? We reject the person who may be in great shape but simply does not want to wear a mask but can raise ladders, lug fans and pull hose and work on water shuttles? We exclude the EMT that wants to work rehab, monitor vitals and fill bottles?
    When you have all exterior firefighters on scene with people trapped, do you tell them..
    a: they have to wait for interior qualified personnel to arrive.
    b: they're screwed.

    Sorry Gonzo, but your logic makes no sense to me.
    Yours logic defies logical explanantion.

    I guess those 3 or 4 guiys (sic) a shift are better left to working all alone that surrounded by a team with specific skills.
    We have a minimum of 10 firefighters and 3 line officers, with full staffing its 15 firefighters, 3 line officers plus the Deputy.

    I'd rather have 3 to 4 trained interior qualified personnel than a bunch of yardbirds...
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 08-09-2010 at 07:46 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  13. #53
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    When you have all exterior firefighters on scene with people trapped, do you tell them..
    a: they have to wait for interior qualified personnel to arrive
    b: they're screwed.


    And given that we are discussing supplementing full-time personnel with a pool of volunteers, even if none of them become interior qualified, is that going to happen?

    Simply call for mutual aid to supplement the full-time interior and utilize the exterior folks to pump engines, establish water supply, ladder the structure, set up fans and perform rehab and bottle changing. How complicated is that?

    It's really simple - our exterior and support members support the full-time and volunteer interior members by doing all of the above.

    Have there been times when we have not had a sufficient number of interior personnel on scene for initial operations? No. For extended operations? Yes, and we simply called mutual aid and the problem was generally solved.

    Are there very rural departments that may show up with primarily or all exterior members? Sure as hell, yes. But that is a situation that simply cannot be prevented.

    Yours logic defies logical explanantion.


    You're right.

    Your logic where the best plan is to have 15 firefighters on scene is the most logical.

    My plan where I have 15 interior firefighter and 10 support and exterior personnel to take car of all the exterior tasks, leaving the 15 interior firefighters available to go interior and staff RIT, makes absolutely no sense. Silly me.

    You can't make someone do something they don't want to do in a volunteer organization. You can find a job or jobs that they can do and want to do.

  14. #54
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    We have a minimum of 10 firefighters and 3 line officers, with full staffing its 15 firefighters, 3 line officers plus the Deputy.

    I'd rather have 3 to 4 trained interior qualified personnel than a bunch of yardbirds...


    And what would you do if your staffing was cut in half tomorrow?

  15. #55
    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    Chirp chirp
    Bring enough hose.

  16. #56
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    And what would you do if your staffing was cut in half tomorrow?
    Still doing the job we were sworn to do.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    Ok I guess I did. Whats your point?
    That some departments choose to put personnel on the scene that can actually do the whole job rather than rolling the dice that enough people show up (and fast enough) with the necessary training for the tasks needed.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Again, please explain to me why every responder on the fireground must ne interior qualified?

    So we reject the truck driver with tens of thousands of miles of driving experience because he doesn't want to go interior? We reject the person who may be in great shape but simply does not want to wear a mask but can raise ladders, lug fans and pull hose and work on water shuttles? We exclude the EMT that wants to work rehab, monitor vitals and fill bottles?

    Sorry Gonzo, but your logic makes no sense to me.
    Of course his logic doesn't make sense to you. I don't think you understand the discussion. For one, we aren't talking about your little corner of the world. Additionally, we aren't talking about volunteer departments with some paid staff. We aren't talking about departments that have been operating as a combination department for a long time. We are specifically talking about a career department whose staffing is being significantly cut and your naive belief that injecting volunteers into the mix is the "cure all" solution.

    We "reject" these "specialists" because they don't meet our operational needs. We want personnel that can be assigned to any task immediately rather than having to search the fire ground for the right "specialist" for the task. For us it's not a "hobby", it's a job. So we want personnel that can do the whole job, not just part of it.
    Last edited by FireMedic049; 08-10-2010 at 01:28 AM.

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    I don't even know where to start with this one.... I'll just throw out some random thoughts and anecdotes....

    A lot of good points have been raised on both sides and thats usually an indication that there is no one size fits all solution. What may work in Bossier Parish is not going to work everywhere and in some cases shouldn't even be tried.

    There is a small city department near me that cut career (union) staffing more than the department in the OP (by 2/3!) and they are trying to add volunteers to supplement staffing. It is not going well. Recruitment is slow and training is even slower. I'm a volunteer and fully support the volunteer fire service however I believe that cutting career positions and trying to cover with additional volunteers is probably not going to work in most places. Working the other way, adding career staff to primarily volunteer depts works initially but I believe its a slippery slope, its the first step that can lead to the elimination of the volunteers. It's happened and continues to happen here.

    Departments seem to work best when they are either all career or all volunteer. There seems to be a lot of in-fighting in combo depts. In fact there are combo depts in my county I wouldn't even consider joining as a volunteer. Some say that every firefighter should be trained to do any job on the fire ground, I agree to some extent but what about when a combo dept doesn't even allow its volunteers to train to the same level? No driving/pumping? No interior? Can't even ride specific trucks? Or even call them firefighters! You're not going to have an effective volunteer force for long in that situation. Unless of course that's your goal.

    With all that being said, if it serves the community better to have career/union FFs then I am all for it, 100%. Even as a proponent of the volunteer fire service I generally oppose cuts to career staffing.

  20. #60
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    I fully agree that combo departments can be problematic.

    And yes, even we have our career-volunteer issues now and then, but by and large they are minor and get worked out. Several of the combo departments have had problems that have not been so minor, and have not been worked out. In most of the departments, that has lead to bad feelings on both sides, with a desinigration of the volunteer-career relations, resulting in a significant decrease in volunteer participation. In at least a few of the cases, the leadership has made no effort to do anything about the situation, and in at least one case, the Chief has openly stated that he has had the goal of eliminating the volunteers since taking over the department several years ago. Currently he cover over 220 square miles from 7 stations with 5 personnel a shift and a few volunteers that refuse to leave.

    The major issue when you intergrate volunteers into a career department is , IMO, the refusal of the career staff to accept the fact that the layoffs are, in almost all cases, permanent. There is always the hope that the laid off paid staff will return, and that is rarely the case.

    Given that reality, there are very few options. Volunteers in most communities can be recruited, however, that requires the accepatance of the paid staff and the full cooperation of the paid staff. There are often outside factors or groups that continue to stir the pot making this difficult. However, if both the offical and unoffical leaders within the department accept this as the solution, and accept the volunteers as members of the department rather than outsiders, or worse, the enemy, and work with the volunteers to train them and integrate them into the operation, this can happen.

    In some cases, the level of fire protection can actually improve, especially in departments that ran with fairly minimal staff. In other departments, the level of service may decrease, however, the decrease in servicwe may not be as significant if compared to the service levels that would have occured had the violunteer program not have been implemented.

    Volunteers in a combo department need to be given the opportunity to acheive the same level of training and have the same level of responsibility as the career members for this to be effective. This also includes the opportunity to attend the same outside training as the career firefighters. They need to have the ability to be promoted to meaningful officer positions with real responsibility. There are combo departments that do not allow this, which makes it difficuklt to motivate the volunteers to acheive.

    Again, what other solutions are available besides putting a significant added burden on neighboring career or volunteer departments due to increased needs for mutual aid assistance?

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