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  1. #1
    Forum Member VFF16's Avatar
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    Question How do you/ your department view Junior FFs

    I have a great time learning new things and helping the community in my VFD junior program. My chief sees the importance in encouraging the youth to become FFs and EMTs. We learn a lot and we praticipate a lot in calls and station work. But I just talked to a few friends who are juniors at a nearby department an they don't do ANYTHING. They tell me that the chief doesn't even know there names and they've been there for over a month! I thought that the whole program was to get youth INTRESTED in The department.

    I do understand that it may be hard sometimes to remember to find jobs for jrs but you can't forget them. I know my chief and officers have told me multiple times that an extra set of hands on a call is alot of help. My friends tell me that during calls they don't do anything but sit in the cab. There losing intrest very fast and will prob quit soon. I don't blame them. Does any of your departments not pay attention to juniors or just don't see the importance of them? Do any of your departments strongly believe in the jr program like mine? I'm open to all opinions on the jr program.


  2. #2
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    I usually look down......









    they are shorter than me.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  3. #3
    Forum Member VFF16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    I usually look down......









    they are shorter than me.
    Haha I'm tall for a 16 yr old

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by VFF16 View Post
    Haha I'm tall for a 16 yr old
    Just how tall are ya?

  5. #5
    Forum Member VFF16's Avatar
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    If it matters to you im. 6 foot 3

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VFF16 View Post
    If it matters to you im. 6 foot 4
    Holy hell, they thought I would get that tall, but I never got over 6'2". I hit that height at 12 or 13, and poof, stopped growing. I always thought, "WTF?" As hard as it is to find clothes that fit right for my hieight though, I'm glad I never got any taller. Watch out for low bridges man, .

    I miss having a junior program. When I worked for Dalton Fire Dept. in Georgia we had an explorer scout program there, good young men and very eager to learn and help out around the station and at calls. They did well in the competitions this year in Gatlinburg, TN. Anyway, the department I'm with now doesn't have a junior program, very limited resources, both monitarily and manpower wise. Maybe one day they can start one here. Good luck to you.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 02-27-2011 at 10:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member VFF16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefightinirish217 View Post
    Holy hell, they thought I would get that tall, but I never got over 6'2". I hit that height at 12 or 13, and poof, stopped growing. I always thought, "WTF?" As hard as it is to find clothes that fit right for my hieight though, I'm glad I never got any taller. Watch out for low bridges man, .
    Haha I corrected myself I ment 6 foot 3 but big difference. When I first came in to the station they thought I was 18

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VFF16 View Post
    If it matters to you im. 6 foot 3
    We got a simple fix for that. If you are taller than me we just take out your knees.

    Student firefighters is what we call our "juniors". A big reason I am still around is my faith in our program keeping kids out of trouble.

  9. #9
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    Our junior program is very important to us.

    Currently, our Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief and 3 of our 6 Captains have come from our junior program.

    We have sent easily 10-15 of our former juniors onto spots on career fire departments.

    We actively involve them in all facets of the operation, and at times. probably allow them to do a little more than we should in terms of fireground operations, but because of that, they are very prepared to assume the role of firefighter at age 18.

    They are an integral part of what we do.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Explorer Asst Chief Fern's Avatar
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    Red face

    My department knows the value of explorers. Many of our firefighters have come from our explorer post and have made great careers. Our chief makes it a point to know every single explorer (and we have over 15) and make them feel welcome every time they walk into the station. Other firefighters also understand our value and treat us, yes as juniors, but also as adults. We don't get any special privledges because our department is so thankful for us; we still wash trucks and do things any explorer post should do, but we are always respected and never treated poorly.

    One time we had a newer firefighter join our department and started talking bad about our explorers and said that we take up too much room, and that we're at the station too much... Needless to say, Chief straightened her out very quickly.

    Our explorers understand the time and money that goes into training us and we are so thankful for everything the department does. We are re-inventing the way our community looks at high schoolers. We are proud of what we do, and we know that not many people our age get the opportunities we do, and in return, our department treats us soooo well.
    Explorer Assistant Chief Alisha Fern

    Leadership: The ability to guide, direct, and influence others.

    Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.


    alisha.fern@firehousemail.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Ours are a little gassy when we change their dog food, but otherwise they are great.

    I started out at 17. Get 'em in, get 'em hooked, get 'em trained, and you'll keep them when they are adults.

    Meanwhile, I mostly look down. I'm 6'4" and most of our guys are rather short.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  12. #12
    Forum Member mtg55's Avatar
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    We have a lot of good turn around from our Junior program. We allow them to do as much as the law permits depending on their time in and training level. Most are very respectful and want to learn everything. Even watching them as we tell war stories is fun, the level of interest in their face reminds me of me. A few of them more recently have been very active in our fire prevention unit doing outstanding work there. They all know our SOG's regulating what they can do when, which is based off of state child labor laws. A few of them you forget are Juniors sometimes, and I have had them remind me at a few calls when I asked them to do something that was slightly beyond what they're allowed to do.....Ooops
    Matt G.
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  13. #13
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    Being in a rural vollie station the juniors are, in some ways, key to the survival of the station. Our dept currently consists of a lot of older guys - mid50s - who have been here damned well forever and me in my mid30s. If not for the juniors who just came up in the last year or so, that would be the compliment - no young guys to run hose or do the grunt work. We've recently changed the rules for becoming an active member from 16 to 19, but have modified the age of the juniors down to 13 from 16. This should allow us to bring people in a bit younger and grow their enthusiasm for being a firefighter :)

    It is fairly depressing, though, to see the lack of people in their mid20s to mid30s volunteering - this, to me, seems an ideal age for it. Young and still fit, but with enough maturity not to go hollywood-insane on the fireground.

  14. #14
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    Default Junior Program is great asset

    Our junior program is a great asset to our vfd. Many of our members were junior members and have gone through the ranks and training and developed into great firefighters and great people. I started as junior member at 16 and moved up the "food chain" a few notches. I have loved every minute of it. Its a great recruiting tool and helps kids serve their community in a way that many other people don't do and won't do. Our juniors are well respected by our department and they show that respect back to our senior members by working hard and training to be the best of the best.

  15. #15
    Forum Member IronValor's Avatar
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    We used to have a junior program at our Vollie Fire station but it fell by the way side for one reason or another. I for one was for it because it did give kids in the community something positive to do and something to look forward to as they got older. I always felt that we were giving kids an early advantage so Im for a Junior / Explorer unit
    Do not let the ghosts of our fallen brothers gaze upon you and ask " What have you done to my profession?" FTB DTRT EGH

  16. #16
    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    I started out as a "junior firefighter" in a small combination department (4 stations) when I was 14. Being able to be a part of something like that really allowed me to focus my efforts toward a career in the fire service. I learned alot about about being a firefighter and about life.

    This particular department's program was partially created out of necessity when, back in the predominantly volunteer days, dads were unable to leave their kids alone to respond to an incident. This allowed folks aged 14-17 to accompany their parent(s) in an "official" capacity to a scene and assist in a "safe" environment (i.e. non-IDLH environments). Bear in mind, what is considered "safe" in today's litigation-happy society vs. back then are two totally-different stories. In the "old" days, once a junior had the respect of the crew (through training, attitude, diligence, and hard work), he or she could directly assist in alot of "routine" type stuff - medical emergencies, grass fires, dumpster fires, and etc.

    Another aspect was recruitment of newer folks. By getting younger folks interested in the fire service, membership would hopefully not be an issue. This process allowed "pre-screened" applicants (i.e. family members of current members) to get involved and learn the "trade). If the "junior" liked the program and took advantage of what it had to offer, he or she could essentially be "ready to go" at age 18 for either "unrestricted" volunteer status or employment (if available).

    Let me go back to "juniors" earning the respect of the firefighters (career and volunteer). My particular department viewed the junior firefighter program as a screening process for members. Not unlike "rookie" duties and responsibilities in a career department, the juniors were expected to take initiative around the station, word diligently at any assigned duties, and take advantage of training available to them and other members of the department.

    It was not uncommon to see juniors hanging out at the fire houses after school and on weekend doing alot of things the "paid" guys were responsible for. One might assert the on-duty guys were lazy and taking advantage of hard work and although some may have fit that bill, these guys were great influences on these young people. The juniors were taught a multitude of fire service skills plus alot of life skills. Although the juniors might be outside washing a fire engine or reloading a crosslay, a "regular" firefighter was with them or nearby to provide guidance and assistance as needed. Some of the juniors attained levels of trust among the regular firefighters that they were given simple tasks to complete with little or no supervision with the help of other juniors or even rookie career guys.

    As far as life skills go, I can remember countless times hearing a firefighter mentor a junior with something totally non-fire department related. For example, advice on how to cope with parents getting a divorce, a break-up with a girlfriend, and etc. As a side-note, most of the career firefighters really took a stake in the junior's success whether it be in the fire department or in their personal life because they felt as if it reflected on them. If the junior displayed subpar performance at the station or an incident scene, they were quick to point out that improvement was needed. If they had poor grades in school or got into trouble, they got "pep talks" that were usually reserved for family members.

    Overall, it was a good program. It taught folks about the fire service and about life skills. Many of these folks have gone on to successful lives and careers (fire service and the private sector).

    I wish their were more programs like this for our youth who had a sincere interest in the fire service. The sad reality today is that the few programs like this that exist today usually have a political agenda attached to them.
    DFW



    "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

  17. #17
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer Asst Chief Fern View Post
    My department knows the value of explorers...
    Hey, Chief...there's a car on fire behind you.

  18. #18
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We have sent easily 10-15 of our former juniors onto spots on career fire departments.
    Awesome! I bet they freaked out when they saw their very first ladder!

  19. #19
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Awesome! I bet they freaked out when they saw their very first ladder!
    Ladder, or fire?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Awesome! I bet they freaked out when they saw their very first ladder!
    Naaaaaaaaaaa, they actually saw their first ladder during our introductory training.

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