1. #1
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    Default Prospective Volunteer Seeks Info

    If you are a volunteer, how does the dept that you volunteer for view you applying for other paid departments?

    Is this something that's kind of expected?

    Thanks!

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    I suspect that like everything else, this varies from department to department. It probably depends a lot on whether the department has to pay for the training. It is also dependant on whether or not you will be returning to the volunteer department, or will be "lost".

    We have no issues with members applying to paid departments. In general, that gives them the chance to get a lot more experience than they would gain otherwise and bring it back to our department. We are fortunate that we don't have to pay for training of volunteers, so we aren't really out anything.

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    We'd pretty much ask you point blank why you are volunteering for the department.

    If it's because you live there and want to help your community...there'd be no problems.

    If you joined just to get training/experience for yourself and then leave...you'd get some slack from some people because in a sense, you are telling them your just out to improve yourself and the heck with the Department.


    I have a couple members following option 1. I have none following option 2.

    As for whether it's expected....I have yet to hear of any paid FD that has cared about prior volunteer experience. All the ones anywhere close to me put you through their own training, same as a guy that has 0 experience.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    This department does have f/t & p/t positions, being eventually hired on by them would be ideal. I am not one to mislead, so I want to be up front about my intentions.

    If I'm serious about making a career (paid) out of the fire service, which I am, I need to apply for any dept possible. Besides, I'm getting close to the age cut-off for the majority of paid departments in the area.
    Last edited by sachse1; 01-11-2011 at 01:45 PM.

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    We have had this issue come up, but rarely.

    We have felt that anyone who applied and was approved for volunteer membership, then stayed active. Attended meetings, training and of course, responded were completely honorable in attempting to become a professional firefighter.

    Where we have had a problem are those who have joined and failed to be an active volunteer.
    Last edited by jam24u; 01-12-2011 at 05:29 PM. Reason: where vs were

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    Thumbs up And............

    We support and encourage any of our Members who wish to pursue a Firefighting Career. Many of our volunteers (rough count - 31 ) have gotten Full Time Jobs in the Fire Service, (Including me) 11 of these have become Career Chief Officers, 9 more are/were Line Officers. The most prominent name on this list is Greg Cade, former U.S. Fire Administrator. We are, as you would expect, very proud of the accomplishments of all of these Folks......



    We do, however, have a problem with people who are in the EMT Course at the nearby Community College, and want to join so they can do field work to complete their Requirements for Certification. After a few came thru, we learned our lesson and have been saying No to others.

    By way of Explanation: Maryland requires anyone with EMT Certification to be a Member/Employee of a Provider Organization in order to hold a certificate and Practice as an EMT. If you are not a Member/Employee as noted, you have to surrender your credentials until you become affiliated again. Reasoning here is so that we don't have unsupervised EMTs doing what they want on the Street. Some folks who don't want to play by the rules have been a bit of a pain in the past, but the system seems to be working properly now.
    Last edited by hwoods; 01-11-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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    We wouldn't have a problem with it, aside from the fact that there are only two career staffed departments in the county (one federal) and only a few others close enought to commute. That would mean that we'd likely be losing said member if they got hired elsewhere.

    EMT is usually free for any member of an agency. Others would have to pay for the college tuition, as our local community college sponsors the course.

    Paramedic students at the same CC don't need any affiliation to complete the course, but cannot practice unless they are working under an MD's license. For those in established EMS agencies, that's the system medical director or the medical director of the service.

    It's entirely possible they could be hired by a non-EMS company and still be able to practice at their level of training, as long as they had the appropriate medical direction.

    We did have a problem with one person who joined the FD, took the EMT course (we paid for his book), and left, never having run a single call, fire or EMS. Haven't seen him since, either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Reasoning here is so that we don't have unsupervised EMTs doing what they want on the Street.
    What the hell kind of people are living in Maryland where that's even an issue? People were getting EMT licenses and listening to scanners and jumping calls? Come on.

    I SERIOUSLY doubt it was as big of a problem as whatever moron bureaucrat who came up with a stupid rule like that believed it to be.

    We've got a level of licensure for ambulances called "Advanced Life Support Limited." It means the truck is stocked with and inspected by the state with BLS and ALS equipment, but the agency is allowed to use a BLS crew for it if needed. We had it at the private I used to work for. I can hear the gasps- "ALS equipment and a BLS crew? How can you let Basics ride around with ALS gear? Oh the humanity!"

    Pretty simple secret really- the Basics know they're Basics, and know that they can't use the ALS stuff that they aren't trained for. Never one had an issue with it. Just like (watch this) an EMT who's unemployed knows that he/she can't go around treating patients.

    Anyway- sorry for the threadjack. As for the OP, happens all the time. Many, many people join volunteer departments in this area while they take career department tests. They often work for a private ambulance service as well, getting a paycheck and some patient care experience at the same time while they wait for "the call." The VFDs know it, the privates know it. They're both used to the turnover.

    The issue we've had is people getting the FD to pay for their EMT class and then either flunking out, dropping out, or not taking and/or passing the NREMT once they do finish.
    Last edited by emt161; 01-11-2011 at 06:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    What the hell kind of people are living in Maryland where that's even an issue? People were getting EMT licenses and listening to scanners and jumping calls? Come on.

    I SERIOUSLY doubt it was as big of a problem as whatever moron bureaucrat who came up with a stupid rule like that believed it to be.

    We've got a level of licensure for ambulances called "Advanced Life Support Limited." It means the truck is stocked with and inspected by the state with BLS and ALS equipment, but the agency is allowed to use a BLS crew for it if needed. We had it at the private I used to work for. I can hear the gasps- "ALS equipment and a BLS crew? How can you let Basics ride around with ALS gear? Oh the humanity!"

    Pretty simple secret really- the Basics know they're Basics, and know that they can't use the ALS stuff that they aren't trained for. Never one had an issue with it. Just like (watch this) an EMT who's unemployed knows that he/she can't go around treating patients.

    Anyway- sorry for the threadjack. As for the OP, happens all the time. Many, many people join volunteer departments in this area while they take career department tests. They often work for a private ambulance service as well, getting a paycheck and some patient care experience at the same time while they wait for "the call." The VFDs know it, the privates know it. They're both used to the turnover.

    The issue we've had is people getting the FD to pay for their EMT class and then either flunking out, dropping out, or not taking and/or passing the NREMT once they do finish.

    Our Problem is that the State Board of Education allows Community Colleges to Teach EMT Courses to any Student who applies. This includes people who can't, for various reasons, be a Volunteer (or get Hired full time) with a Fire Department. In Theory, a person who is turned down for a Valid reason like Failing a background Check by a FD/VFD could still Train to be an EMT. Our position is that by not allowing a person to hold an EMT Certificate unless they are a Member or Employee of a Provider Organization is one more way to ensure Professional Care for our Citizens. Provider Organizations are required to have a Medical Director who provides Oversight of Medical matters. This includes Quality Assurance, among others.

    Another thing that is different here, compared to most places, is that all EMS is Fire Based. Maryland doesn't have very many Private Ambulance operators, because Privates do not handle Emergency Calls except in very limited circumstances, They make their money on inter-Facility Transfers, etc. Most, but not all, employees of Privates are also Fire Dept members as well.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    In Theory, a person who is turned down for a Valid reason like Failing a background Check by a FD/VFD could still Train to be an EMT.
    Pretty simple solution to that issue that our state came up with- applicants for an EMT license must include a copy of their BCI check obtained from the Attorney General's office.

    Our position is that by not allowing a person to hold an EMT Certificate unless they are a Member or Employee of a Provider Organization is one more way to ensure Professional Care for our Citizens.
    Ok, that's fine.... but since they can't treat patients without being a member of a responding agency anyway, I still don't see what being an FD member before EMT school does for the patient. Either way they're getting an EMT who's an FD member. See what I mean?

    Another thing that is different here, compared to most places, is that all EMS is Fire Based. Maryland doesn't have very many Private Ambulance operators, because Privates do not handle Emergency Calls except in very limited circumstances, They make their money on inter-Facility Transfers, etc. Most, but not all, employees of Privates are also Fire Dept members as well.......
    Pretty much the same here, for the most part. People go to EMT school, get a job at a private, and somewhere in that time period join a VFD if there's one near them- but there's nowhere near enough VFDs to handle the number of people who want EMT licenses if we used that as a prerequisite.
    Last edited by emt161; 01-14-2011 at 11:33 PM.

  11. #11
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    Post Well.............

    Looks like there are a few differences from place to place. So be it.......

    I did forget one thing, people who are looking for a free ride for their own advancement........ Some years back we had a guy join and take a number of courses, and did well in all of them, and was active for a couple of years. Short story, he got married and kinda slowly disappeared. After he failed to pay his dues the following year, he was dropped from Membership. The following month, since he had not applied for re-instatement, my EMS Capt notified the State that we was no longer a Member. The State notified him that his certificate was suspended for failure to maintain affiliation. He got bent out of shape with us because that EMT Card was good for a $0.75/hour Pay Differential at his job, (His job was Not FD/EMS related, but his employer wanted EMTs among the employees so that immediate aid would be available on site) and by not having a valid EMT Card, he'd get a pay cut. He had to choose between losing the .75 or becoming an active Volunteer again. I haven't seen him since........
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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    I can hear the gasps- "ALS equipment and a BLS crew? How can you let Basics ride around with ALS gear? Oh the humanity!"
    No gasps here - in fact it's common in this part of NYS. The ALS stuff is usually secured.

    It's not at all unusual for an ALS squad to not have an ALS provider available, depending on a variety of circumstances. If they need ALS, it will usually come in the form of an intercept by an ALS squad.

    We haven't had a problem with unaffiliated basics showing up at scenes, and as I mentioned earlier, ALS providers have to be "on line," with up-to-date CMEs, etc, as well as affiliation, in order to practice medicine at the ALS level.
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    EMT161 - BLS-staffed ambulances with ALS equipment on them is very common around here.

    As for the OP's question, we also encourage our members to seek FT fire service jobs if they're interested in it. In fact, we had three members take tests for two different career departments this morning.
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    At the department I volunteer at, we have roughly 50 guys and its about half paid and half paid on call volunteer.

    Probably 8 or so of the full time guys volunteer or are part time at departments where they live.

    Another 5-10 of us volunteers work either for private EMS or have a paid fire job.

    At our department they encourage going out and getting more experience and getting paid for what you love to do.... as long as you still make enough runs as a volunteer and are an active member.

    I wish the state of Ohio had more requirements for EMS training. Any Joe Citizen can go out and get his EMT or even Fire card without any affiliation whatsoever. And the most shocking thing is that someone who has never worked the street can get their paramedic card. All they have to do is pass their emt test then go straight to medic school. Its downright scary!

    At my vollie department we have 3 Life Squads (ALS, Medic Units, whatever you want to call them) and the 1st out is always staffed with 2 full time paramedics but most times the 2nd and 3rd out are lucky to have an EMT-I let alone a Paramedic. But they are all fully stocked ALS units and we have never had a problem with EMTs transporting in an ALS equipped ambulance.
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    We don't have an issue.

    While I haven't kept track, I would estimate that we have had 10-12 members move on to career departments or career positions in combo departments in the almost 9 years I have been here.

    From what I have heard, I would say overall it's probably closer to 25 or 30 since this department was formed.

    We understand that some of our members want to go career, and they are using our training to get there. In all cases, they have given us thier all while here, which is all that we ask.

    That being said, many of them have chosen to still live in the district and continue to volunteer. Several have risen to officer positions, and have learned many skills and experienced things in the career gig that they could not have learned or experienced here.

    I will say that there have been a (very) few that have forgotten where they came from, and even badmouthed volunteers once they became career. To me, that is unaccepatable, and yes, I have no kind words for them.

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