Everything we do is in the eye of the public and we need to act, speak and look professional. How you present yourself in the public is a direct reflection on your department and I am sure they all appreciate a good public opinion. We do write LEGAL reports that can be called to court and when you get called as the writer of the report and they make you look like a fool on the stand for how you wrote your report it does not go well. Not that any of us aim for that, but sometimes we all get lazy after a many hour call in the early hours of the morning with lots of personnel and water flowed and many things going on that all need to be recorded and reported. Just keep all that in mind.
As for the gear, it is hard in this economy for a department to justify getting new gear for many members let alone the explorers. I do feel that explorers need full turnout gear since they should be training right along with the rest of us and doing that in coveralls does not do justice. We have our recruits in the gear that has been passed down from when we could afford new gear and not all of it matches and some is a little wore out too. It is hard and I understand the frustration for not looking like the rest of the department.
Some suggestions would be check with local departments if they have any gear they could donate since it will be served at least somewhat near by. I would follow Explorer Asst Chief Fern advice and make fliers for them to be passed out as it looks like you are taking the time and is more professional than just swinging by and asking for handouts.
Good luck to you and take some advice from these fellas here that have a lot of time and experience in this profession. Sometimes the officers giving the interviews may seem to be grumpy tough skinned individuals that you will have to deal with and treat respectfully regardless of what they say to you.
New Gear and Juniors
1. Explorers/JRs will not be conducting any operations in the hot zone, just ask RS1606, nor will they be experiencing any life threatening situations outside of training scenarios.
2. LKQVFD499, when stating the safety of donated gear will not be up to par, why not have the Explorers conduct a gear inspection, afterall it is a hands-on skill.
3. The more sweat any Explorer or Junior puts into learning a new skill will serve them better on fireground operations and even stay with them throughout their fire service career.
4. Why spend precious resources on buying Explorers/JRs new gear when there are line firefighters who need gear more than them? Firefighters know how take care of new gear, Explorers/JRs might destroy them on the first day of receiving the gear.
Juniors here are issued the same PPE as firefighters, right down to the Nomex hood.
As a rule, they do not receive new gear, but the gear they are issued have passed inspection and have no holes, rips, tares or any other defect that would create a safety issue.
Basically, if we wouldn't issue it to a firefighter, it's not issued to a junior.
Our juniors are allowed to participate in live fire training, including burn house fires, and are often tasked to conduct overhaul at structural and vehicle incidents under the supervision of an officer or senior member as preparation for full duty at age 18. To issue them gear not up to the task would not be providing them with the protection they deserve.
There have been situations where juniors have received new gear. Generally, if they have been active, and have achieved a high level of training, we will purchase and issue new gear when they get within 6-8 months of turning 18.
It's one way of letting them know that you beleive they are ready and prepared to take the next step in the fire service.
Thats pretty hard to do.
Originally Posted by FIREguy2011
but possible if I might add.
Originally Posted by stevetc99