Alright I have recently interested in volunteering at my local fire department and when doing research I hear things about "probies". Are probies new recruits who have to take responsibility for the chores until they earn there way in? How long are you considered a probie? Stupid question probably but hey, I'm new to this!
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Thread: Rookie question!
02-23-2011, 09:17 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
02-23-2011, 09:32 PM #2
yes .............typically 6 months to a year. Welcome.....IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
02-23-2011, 09:59 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
They have to call you something
02-24-2011, 04:22 AM #4
Gopher (go for this, go for that)
Restroom Hatmat Specialist
Note: The above are not in any particular order.
Any more questions?
PKHAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL
03-10-2011, 09:56 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Indianapolis, IN, USA
Recruit is what we call ya when you're in "recruit school"
Once you're out of recruit school, you're then called a probie for about a year. You're still the scum of the crew though. Get used to it...talk less and listen more. Just do what you're told (unless is compromises life safety)
03-10-2011, 11:40 PM #6
Rookie, booter, probie or what ever name your department uses, being the new firefighter has nothing to do with being "the scum of the crew" and has everything to do with learning and proving. Learning the job, your role, your companies area, the apparatus and it's equipment, your department's SOGs, how to stay alive and help keep your brother and sisters alive, and learning the dynamics of your department. It is about proving you really want to be there, that you will be an asset not a burden, that you are willing to learn and work, that you can and will do the job!
You may do the lions share of the cleaning and "grunt" work for a while, but it isn't because you are a "the scum of the crew", you are earning the respect of the established members my proving that you are there to work regardless of the task.
Like others have said, keep you ears and eyes open and talk just enough so the guys can get to know you. Always remember that as a new guy you will be somewhat of a burden to the members of your crew, you will require more supervision and training time. Be respectful and thankful to the established members."The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
"Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571
03-10-2011, 11:57 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
- Willoughby Hills, OH
03-11-2011, 02:04 AM #8
03-14-2011, 01:54 PM #9
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
I agree with aromania. ( and frankly, am glad I never worked with some of the earlier posters.)
"Probationary" Basically means you are being evaluated and in training. This meant that you were "exterior only" while you learned the ropes, our SOP's, our district, etc. Probies get to do support stuff on the fireground- making then very valuable indeed! You'll get paired up with an experienced member on scene. You WON'T be asked to do anything hazardous, like packing up and going inside; running a hydraulic or power tool at accidents, etc. Mostly getting items off the trucks, setting up and maintaining a tool "crib", setting up lights etc. Not to mention everyones favorite job: draining and repacking hose. Many officers will walk you through the area afterward, showing you what was done, how and why. This is a good time to listen and ask questions.
Those who, for one reason or other, don't make the grade by the end of the official period could:
Have their probationary period extended. Usually used for those who show promise, but need a bit more training.
Be let go. Sometimes individuals just aren't a good fit for the Fire Dept.
Be allowed to join as "social" or "corporate" members only. There are other ways to help besides advancing a pipe, or swinging an axe. Some folk's talents run more towards these areas.
Also, some depts will allow members to stay on as exterior only. Mostly in volunteer depts- career positions are too costly and few to go this route.
IMO, being a probie does NOT mean that you are a janitor or indentured servant. you're there to learn, and to prove yourself. ALL members should clean up after themselves.
Depending on the make-up of your dept, you'll probably get your stones busted a bit, as the members try to figure out who you are, how you deal with stuff, and whether you can be counted on. By all means, join in, but proceed with caution until they get to know you!
I can vividly remember my first couple of calls! Some members were like: " WOW!- the new guy actually shows up for calls!" and, after a dirty, labor intensive drill or fire: " hey, if you come back after this you're definitely ours!"
I drove the old guys nuts asking questions, and eagerly listened to their war stories.
Coming on too strong, running off at the mouth, and being a know it all, will not often endear you to the rest of the membership. Also, the time to question orders or ask why, is AFTER the "call" is dealt with or at the station/ during drills etc. NOT in the heat of battle!!! Those with problems with authority are weeded out quickly.
Really, it's the old "Give respect to get respect" thing.
03-14-2011, 02:07 PM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
The answer to this question depends a lot on where you are.
There are actually progressive volunteer departments that have come to understand that treating members differently because they are new is a pretty silly tradition that actually in some cases causes members to leave the department.
I hope that this describes the department you are looking to join.
I know for a fact that my current VFD does not expect new members to do anything that an established member doesn't do in the station, and the same is true of my last VFD as well.
The logic of wooing somebody to come in the door voluntarily and then expect them to perform tasks simply because they are new is well, frankly stupid and can easily undo all the effort that you expended to recruit them.
Having new members do the bulk of the cleaning has nothing to do with respect. It really has more to do with power and letting them know that they currently sit in a very low place within the department, which in today's society, especially given the difficulty in recruiting members, has no place in the volunteer fire service. And honestly, it has absolutly no place in the career fire service either.
Will they have limited duties on the fireground that intially will be very basic? Of course they do as they have limited skills and they require time to build thier skill base. But once back in the firehouse there should be no expectation that they will have to do anything differently than any other member in terms of chores and other maintainence responsibilities.
There still may be VFDs that subscribe to this nonsense, but if they are, they are just shooting themselves in the foot.
Just the idea that in 2011 there are folks pout there that still subscribe to the theory of new members "earning thier place" or "earning our respect" by performing non-firefighting tasks that others do not have to perform makes my blood boil. That is one tradition that if it still exists in your (especially volunteer) fire station it needs to end.
End of rant.
Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-14-2011 at 02:17 PM.Train to fight the fires you fight.
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