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    Default Tips for a newbie

    A little over a week ago I turned in my application for my county's Volunteer Fire Service. Since that time I've been doing everything I can to get a better understanding of what I'm getting into. I've researched common tools and terminology and spent a lot of time on this forum and other sites reading about techniques, common dangers and safety tips as well as fire behavior and other related topics.

    I know the first and most obvious thing to do is to pay attention to those who have been doing the job for a while, listen to their advice and learn from them and to attend the training which will be provided to me.

    What I was hoping for is any specific bits of advice anyone here could provide or perhaps links to some good learning resources for someone who is just getting into FireFighting.

    Thanks
    Eric

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    Default Advice

    Ask the officers about the training programs in the area. That'll be the best source of information. Be prepared to be bombarded with information. Be prepared to do what seems like "minor" stuff like cleaning the tools and the station. The idea with cleaning the tools is to get you more familiar with them.

    Be honest and let the officers know if your not 100% sure of the instructions they are giving. They would prefer someone who's honest then someone who's just "winging it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGregory View Post
    I know the first and most obvious thing to do is to pay attention to those who have been doing the job for a while, listen to their advice and learn from them and to attend the training which will be provided to me.

    If you are really doing that then you are well on your way.

    Is there a firefighter academy or some other source outside your department where you can reach ff1 level?? If so, do it. Most volly dept's that I've seen only train a few times a month and that's just not enough to get a good grasp on what you need to know.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    If you are really doing that then you are well on your way.

    Is there a firefighter academy or some other source outside your department where you can reach ff1 level?? If so, do it. Most volly dept's that I've seen only train a few times a month and that's just not enough to get a good grasp on what you need to know.
    There's a state (TN) mandated 16 hour training class which you have to take before you can legally respond to anything they give it about every 2 months here and the class is being given right now (Unfortunately my paperwork is still inprocess) so I'll be sitting around for at least that long polishing tools and receiving training around the firehouse. In addition to the 16 hour course there is a 64 hour course which is required to be taken within 3 years of becoming a firefighter in TN. I'm not sure how either of these compare with FireFighter 1 training.

    There are additional traning classes required before being allowed to respond to certain incident types (HAZMAT, First Responder, etc.)

    Unfortunately from a training standpoint I'll admit I don't know much more about the program, I figure that the officers at the station will help me with that portion but I'm still trying to find out as much about it as possible.

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    Listening > Talking

    Be the first to help wash a truck.

    Dress appropriately.

    Act as if your mother could walk into the station at any moment.

    Treat the fire service, volunteer or otherwise, like a CAREER and not a CLUBHOUSE.


    You'd be surprised what you can learn just by being at the station, doing more than what's asked of you, and behaving like you're at work.
    Last edited by downstate_firefighter; 09-10-2010 at 10:53 AM.

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    Don't get discouraged. It's easy to become frustrated when you're not able to do everything that those around you sometimes can. Don't try too hard to 'fit in', focus on learning the things you need to learn.

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    Dont be an "internet knowitall"

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Dont be an "internet knowitall"
    But don't be afraid to ask about something you've seen - you'll get one of several reactions:

    - an explanation by someone more than happy to share their knowledge with you.

    - "We don't do/use that here."

    - "Really? That sounds like it could be useful!"

    - "Never heard of it and don't care."

    Among others.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Welcome to the TN fire service. Take the 16, the 64 and then go to the live burn at the State fire acamdemy. That should give you the basics. Note that these requirements only came into being last year. Find out indirectly what level of training the rest of your department has. Many departments in TN are very well trained and professional, many are not. Hopefully yours is. Note the law for training excepted numerous counties from its requirements, since you know about the training hopefully you are not in one of those. For FF1 you have to take the 16, the 64, the live burn and then test for HAZMAT Awareness, Hazmat Ops and FF1 and have 1 yr of experience with a commission approved department, hopefully yours is. Caution - building size up and preservation of life are you primary duties. Don't rush in with out water supply to an empty building and don't drive like a maniac getting to a fire. We have too many fire fighter fatalities in this state from MVA and entrapment. Good Luck and stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFD258 View Post
    Caution - building size up and preservation of life are you primary duties. Don't rush in with out water supply to an empty building and don't drive like a maniac getting to a fire. We have too many fire fighter fatalities in this state from MVA and entrapment. Good Luck and stay safe.
    Well stated. Treat each incident according to the true nature of the emergency. Risk little to save little, risk alot to save alot.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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    The tips given are so nice and is so helpful to many newbies. These are really true and need to be followed to be a volunteer.
    _________
    gap year travel

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    Thank you to all who have replied. DFD258, thank you very much for the state specific training info. I'm in Montgomery County so we're not exempted from the state mandated training which is fine with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGregory View Post
    Thank you to all who have replied. DFD258, thank you very much for the state specific training info. I'm in Montgomery County so we're not exempted from the state mandated training which is fine with me.


    Take a peek at this.

    http://tn.gov/commerce/sfm/tfaca/courses/index.shtml#FS
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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