Thread: age requirments

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    Default age requirments

    Does your dept. have age requirments?
    Ours are 21yo for applicants and 67yo for retirment. We have been considering making some changes to the retirment age. Only having 25 members we need to make room for younger firfighters but we also don't want to lose the experienced guys. How would you react.

    The retirment age we affect the Chief and Asst. Chief in the next 4 years.

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    Why 21 and not 18?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Eighteen to join (and take NYS classes), no upper limit. Most folks realize it's a younger person's game, but that the old dogs still bring a lot to the table.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    Does your dept. have age requirments?
    Ours are 21yo for applicants and 67yo for retirment. We have been considering making some changes to the retirment age. Only having 25 members we need to make room for younger firfighters but we also don't want to lose the experienced guys. How would you react.

    The retirment age we affect the Chief and Asst. Chief in the next 4 years.
    Here it is 16 to join as a junior member and take the classes. We have no upper age limit, but most of the older members stick to driving apparatus or doing admin tasks.

    Sounds like you limit the number of members. Maybe that is a place to look if you need to bring in more members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Why 21 and not 18?
    At 18 most people are not finish with their education, we don't want to train people and then have them go off to college or move away for a job. The powers that be like to get folks with a steady job, a couple kids, and own a house. I have seen exptions made: but it's 21 in the bylaws.

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    Default Age

    If you have a combined fire department i.e. Paid and Volunteer I think 18 for the lower age and 67 is about right for the upper although there are plenty of us older guy's who can still help out. I would hate to be the one who tells the Chief or Assistant Chief they are out the door because of their age.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    At 18 most people are not finish with their education, we don't want to train people and then have them go off to college or move away for a job. The powers that be like to get folks with a steady job, a couple kids, and own a house. I have seen exptions made: but it's 21 in the bylaws.
    Then don't expect to get much of an improvement. Most places that take members at 18 (or younger) keep a good percentage of them as they get older and those people would not have joined if they weren't given the opportunity early.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    At 18 most people are not finish with their education, we don't want to train people and then have them go off to college or move away for a job. The powers that be like to get folks with a steady job, a couple kids, and own a house. I have seen exptions made: but it's 21 in the bylaws.
    Unfortunately by the time you do all of that, especially the house and kids, you no longer have a lot of time for the required training and to do the volunteer thing. There are exceptions, but the opinion around here is that it's better to catch them early when they have time to train and spend time at the station and then keep them through school and as they get older.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Unfortunately by the time you do all of that, especially the house and kids, you no longer have a lot of time for the required training and to do the volunteer thing. There are exceptions, but the opinion around here is that it's better to catch them early when they have time to train and spend time at the station and then keep them through school and as they get older.

    Absolutely!!......... You have hit it right in the center with those comments.


    HAFD - No disrespect intended, but your Rules sound like they are set up to discourage people instead of bring them in. I'm 68, about to turn 69, and if you started on me about "Retirement" (and you were serious) I'd be talking with my Lawyer..........
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Absolutely!!......... You have hit it right in the center with those comments.


    HAFD - No disrespect intended, but your Rules sound like they are set up to discourage people instead of bring them in. I'm 68, about to turn 69, and if you started on me about "Retirement" (and you were serious) I'd be talking with my Lawyer..........
    Right there with you Harve...

    A few years back, it was suggested I was too old to continue service. I proceeded to challenge the powers at be to a foot race, they can pick the distance and course. They decided that it was not necessary to discuss the issue further.

    I went ahead and decided to retire anyway since I really didn't want to work for people that didn't know what they were doing any given moment.

    That was the best decision of my career. It allowed me to serve on a contract basis for several other departments over the years. Plus, I have been able to live and work in several dream locations.

    Even mouse world gets old after a while.

    HAFD: Your dept is behind the times my friend. You need to understand that if you get a young persons attention early enough, you will be able to build your future rosters.

    Start when they are about 1st or 2nd grade and follow them until they reach 9th. Just change the message for older kids. There are plenty of things that will interest even a 12 and 14 year old. When the time is right, about 15, recruit them into a Cadet or Explorer Program.

    If you have the means, adopt a live-in program. Members live at your station while they go to college or technical school. They agree to respond or be available for defined duty hours in exchange for free housing, cable TV, internet, etc... Depending on the situation, you might find it possible to staff the station everyday with these people. Sure, they may move on, but use them while you have them.

    Don't overlook females. I have seen some that can run circles around some guys. My wife joined the service while I was on a exchange mission years ago. She even took my position. Talk about tough. She is... and now is Deputy Chief at a different department from where I am; another State.

    Morale: Change your thinking and expand your candidate pool. Listen to the guys that have been around a while... like Harve.

    I know, change is hard. But so is watching a house burn to the ground because of lack of manpower.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    18 to join, but you aren't really good at it until you are 40.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    18 to join, but you aren't really good at it until you are 40.

    Or 50.....
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    It was 18 when I started 41 yrs ago, but now we have Restricted Members that FF1. We have no upper end, but starting next year they are lowering the age we can start collecting from the LOSAP from 65 to 60. If you are collecting you can still participate and add to the plan. If you have only 25 members why would have to make room for new ones. We have over 100 members in our FD.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    Default Age Requirement

    Our state workers compensation coverage requires age 18 and older.

    Even if a firefighter completes FF1 at your department and eventually moves to another department, he will be an asset at his new department.

    I know it takes alot of time, energy and funding to train new firefighters to FF1, but if every department did this, all firefighters would have the training.

    I have had several members join our FD that completed FF1 at their previous FD. It was great getting a new member who already had the training.

    Those older guys who have been around for years, can be an asset as mentors to the newer guys. Showing them the ropes. Younger guys are eager to learn and one training officer cannot do it all. If any of those older members have an expertise and want to teach classes, let them do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Or 50.....
    Or 60......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    Does your dept. have age requirments?
    Ours are 21yo for applicants and 67yo for retirment. We have been considering making some changes to the retirment age. Only having 25 members we need to make room for younger firfighters but we also don't want to lose the experienced guys. How would you react.

    The retirment age we affect the Chief and Asst. Chief in the next 4 years.

    Try spelling and using grammar correctly!!


    Maybe your Mother or Father could help you!
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    Or 67....




    The guy that is 67 might have an issue if you try to put him out to pasture.

    Keep the veterans irregardless of their age.

    They can still do many things, like kicking the young'ens butts when they get too upity.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    captoldtimer sets a good example of why some dept. have a retirment age.

    I was just looking for help for trying to change these outdated rules.

    If you don't like the way I write just shut your mouth. Don't post. I write in a conversational way and have had success with it.

    Cap, If you think my mother and father somehow failed me in my education you kiss my...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    I write in a conversational way and have had success with it.
    For the record - the word is retirement. Conversational style or not, spelling is still important with regard to the written word...

    As for maximum age - it depends a lot on how the department operates. If everybody has to be fully pack qualified, then they go when they can't meet the physical requirement.

    If they can still adequately serve in a support roll and the structure of the department allows it, let them stay.

    It's perfectly understandable to want to move people out if there is a set number of firefighters allowed and they're blocking new blood from getting in.

    On the other hand, our "Fire Department, Inc." is really a social arm of the organization, and age isn't really a factor. So they can stay in and "active" 'til they die if they want. We just won't see them hanging off the tailboard, if you know what I mean.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    captoldtimer sets a good example of why some dept. have a retirment age.

    I was just looking for help for trying to change these outdated rules.

    If you don't like the way I write just shut your mouth. Don't post. I write in a conversational way and have had success with it.

    Cap, If you think my mother and father somehow failed me in my education you kiss my...
    Sounds like maybe you need some old timers around to keep attitudes in check.

    If you want to bring in some new blood, that's probably a good idea, but why do it at the expense of the experienced guys. What is the reason for limiting the number of members? That's the first place I would look.

    Again, we don't have any upper age limits. A neighboring department has a gentleman who has been active for over 50 yrs. He doesn't ride the apparatus, but he is still very active in fundraising and the administrative side of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    He doesn't ride the apparatus, but he is still very active in fundraising and the administrative side of things.
    This speaks to an issue in semantics.

    While he's still a member of the fire department (and we have folks who fit the same description, as do many volunteer FD's), is he really still a firefighter or just a social member of the fraternal organization?

    Traditionally, we often still call them a firefighter, out of deference to their experience and their time in the service, but in reality (and in keeping with the OP's question), they "retired" from firefighting years ago.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAFD112 View Post
    captoldtimer sets a good example of why some dept. have a retirment age.

    I was just looking for help for trying to change these outdated rules.

    If you don't like the way I write just shut your mouth. Don't post. I write in a conversational way and have had success with it.

    Cap, If you think my mother and father somehow failed me in my education you kiss my...




    Now now not a nice way to talk to anyone who is trying to help newer members. Rules are rules. If you can't abided by them, you can leave the company, department or outfit.

    Most states will allow members to be 18 years old to join and engage in active firefighting. Some may allow this at 16. IMO most 16 year olds aren't ready for serious firefighting. Some are, not all.

    As far as the age limit, the Civil Service has a cut off on the upper age. A lot of departments by union contracts and state laws will not hire anyone over 35 or 38, as this is so the member can get their 20 or 25 years and be at the retirement age of 63.

    Not saying members over that age can't do the job, as most are officers and some be of chief ranks. Hwoods and myself have been doing this job for ages. We still for the most part can outperform some younger johnnies and have the knowledge to help those youngins to be a better firefighter.

    I suppose you think that once a member hit 60 or 65, they just are dead and there isn't benefit from having them around.

    Who do you think us older guys learned from? I had members that came on the job in the mid 1920's to help and instruct me, and what I learned from those old guy, I still remember today!


    BTW your arz isn't worth kissing my friend!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    This speaks to an issue in semantics.

    While he's still a member of the fire department (and we have folks who fit the same description, as do many volunteer FD's), is he really still a firefighter or just a social member of the fraternal organization?

    Traditionally, we often still call them a firefighter, out of deference to their experience and their time in the service, but in reality (and in keeping with the OP's question), they "retired" from firefighting years ago.
    Point taken. We have several different classes of membership one of which is a administrative member to account for these individuals who still want to contribute but for whatever reason don't want to or are not able to run calls. My real point was that regardless of age, or ability to do the physical aspect of firefighting, they are still able to contribute to the department and releive some of the administrative burden from the "active" members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    This speaks to an issue in semantics.

    While he's still a member of the fire department (and we have folks who fit the same description, as do many volunteer FD's), is he really still a firefighter or just a social member of the fraternal organization?

    Traditionally, we often still call them a firefighter, out of deference to their experience and their time in the service, but in reality (and in keeping with the OP's question), they "retired" from firefighting years ago.
    The same can be said for most of the brass in the career departments across the nation.

    In my opinion if you've got a sharp mind, a quick wit, and are not dependent on a care taker; you can still contribute to your department in a some capacity. One of the best EMT/Paramedic instructors I've ever met was a retired RN in her 80s. She had more knowledge about prehospkital treatment of a patient than the combined experience of most established EMS Departments. Just because somebody isn't directly influencing the outcome of an incident, doesn't necessarily mean that the effects of their contributions aren't being felt.

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    At one time our membership was 35% over 70 yo. So the rule was made and the older guys were grandfathered.

    The 25 person limit was set by the administration because of the amount of wages and insurance. Its all about money.

    The big problem was 72 yo old guys would come to the station for a call after all the trucks were gone and check their name off the sheet and get paid! Or just pull the truck out the door and then go back in the kitchen and have a beer. This was all before my time and I don't think we need the rule anymore, but what do I know.

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