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  1. #1
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    Default Which house is better

    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house. I plan to make a career out of firefighting when I get out of the military and I am wondering which house would be best. I apologizes if this topic has been discussed, I looked and had trouble finding information
    Last edited by tougeS2K; 07-11-2011 at 11:26 PM.


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    There are too many variables to really answer this question. Depending on the part of the country and local policies, the situation could be very different. A lot of the answer will depend on call volume, training opportunities, the relationship between paid and volunteers and what the volunteers are allowed to do in the paid house.

    A volunteer department with a high call volume might be better for you than a paid/combo department that relagates the volunteers to support roles. On the other hand, the combo department with a high call volume may be better than a volunteer station that runs very few calls.

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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house.
    If the volunteer house is not 'real', what is it? Imaginary? Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I'd perhaps start by not demeaning the volunteer firehouse by implying it's not 'real'.

    As to the question at hand there are a lot of factors you should consider that aren't mentioned in your original post. For example:
    What would you be doing at either firehouse? If one is an all-career department, can you even volunteer? If so, is it as a firefighter? How well is either department organized and run. Is the volunteer station more of a social club or does it maintain well-trained firefighters?

    Bottom line: It may take you a while to get a career firefighting job. Look into the details about each department and pick the one that will get you the most training and experience and one you can run with while you search for a job. It may take a few years.
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    As Eng34 points out, there are way too many variables.

    There are volunteer departments whose only clue to being volunteer is the sign out front - both in their demeanor and their run volume (in the thousands per year).

    There are career departments that might get out the door twice or three times a day, on a busy day.

    There are thousands of volunteer departments like mine - around 100 calls a year, counting the EMS first response stuff.

    Last time I checked, though, a two and one half story frame residential structure burned the same here as it does in Brooklyn.

    If you're looking for run volume, don't come run with my department - we just don't have that kind of volume. But there are departments that will keep you busy, and combo departments may even have an internal career progression from volunteer to paid.

    Voyager's advice is right on target.
    Last edited by tree68; 07-13-2011 at 09:38 PM.
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house.
    WTH are you talking about?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Neither. Do the fire service a favor and simply stay away.
    "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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    Depending on the level of commitment each asks and the run volume is there any reason you can't volunteer at the "Combination" department and the volunteer department.

    one hint for you. Don't use the term real in comparison to volunteer around the volunteer house. Spend some time around them and if it's a good volunteer house you'll realize that Volunteers are Real firefighters.

  8. #8
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house.
    Guess my duty night tonight will be spent at a "fake" firehouse....
    Career Fire Captain
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house. I plan to make a career out of firefighting when I get out of the military and I am wondering which house would be best. I apologizes if this topic has been discussed, I looked and had trouble finding information
    I'm pretty sure you just insulted every call/volunteer firefighter. You should check your wording before posting here. If vollie fire depts aren't real than why do they make up over 70 Percent yeah thats right, over 70 percent! of Fire departments in the USA. I guess all the lives and property saved in those 70 Percent communities by volunteers were just playing fireman.

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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house.
    Besides, if you're volunteering there, it's a volunteer house... Right?

    Unless you're talking about a combination department, and they're no more or less real than any other fire house...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Cut the guy some slack. obviously he does not have a back ground in the fire service. And is ignorant to the terminology of the fire service.

    the proper terminology you are looking for is-

    Should I volunteer at a combination house or all volunteer house?

    To answer this question their are far to many variables to answer this question on an internet forum.

    However If you are looking to volunteer just to get a career job then becoming a member of either departments is not for you.

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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    I'm having an identity crisis..... today I am a "real" fireman at work and tomorrow I will be a "fake" fireman at the volunteer house?


    ..... we run more fire at the vollie house anyways!
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    Amazing how many people got all butt-hurt about somebody (apparently) completely new to the fire service using the wrong terminology. I wonder how many people act the same to the citizens in their community. Like RFD21C said, cut the guy some slack.

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Neither. Do the fire service a favor and simply stay away.
    I'm with Bones on this one... we don't need you.
    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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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Cut the guy some slack.
    No, I won't.

    He went out of his way to emphasize "real"... he knew what he was doing.

    Obvious troll post.
    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."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    No, I won't.

    He went out of his way to emphasize "real"... he knew what he was doing.

    Obvious troll post.

    Me Too. And, why was this post made on this page?? Newbies seem to always post stuff on "Firefighting" until they learn their way around here.....
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    If your looking for a career then yeah jump on the paid fire dept that wants you BUT i will say if your looking to volunteer untill you find a paying job try to find a ALL VOLUNTEER dept you will move up FAST you'll be driving the engines before you know it and you'll get your feet wet REAL QUICK!!! I Love my volly department....... Remember this career started with vollies so i take so much pride in not getting paid like the old days...

    A paid department with volunteers you wont get to drive i dont believe and you know the paid guys are going to want to have the fun....

    ALL IN ALL..... THIS IS THE BEST CAREER IN THE WORLD.... COME GETCHU SSOOMMMEEEE.. HAHA

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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house. I plan to make a career out of firefighting when I get out of the military and I am wondering which house would be best. I apologizes if this topic has been discussed, I looked and had trouble finding information
    Are you talking about just observing or actually participating?

    You do realize at a all-career house as it's highly unlikely you will get to participate as you would not be a member and not trained, and hence, not covered under insurance? Obviously it would be the same situation at a volunteer house if again, you were just observing, but at a volunteer house you would have the option to join the department and participate as a member.

    I guess I am somewhat confused at to your intentions. Do you just want to observe or actually participate?

    And by the way, a volunteer house is just as real as an all-career house.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tougeS2K View Post
    Okay so I am stuck between volunteering at a "real" fire house or a volunteer house. I plan to make a career out of firefighting when I get out of the military and I am wondering which house would be best. I apologizes if this topic has been discussed, I looked and had trouble finding information

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    Alright, sorry it took so long to respond. I am US Miltary on my last deployment. I want to send out a applogy to all the men and women who volunteer their time and sweat to being a volunteer firefighter. I didnt mean any harm when I said "real", I wasn't saying that a volunteer is no less a firefighter than a full time paid firefighter. I just did know how to word my statment. I am currently getting ready to go home to prepare for a career as a firefighter. I went to a few firehouse meetings as a volunteer but as all my stuff was getting processed I got 3 days notice to deploy. But I have the up most respect for all those men and women, career or volunteer.
    Last edited by tougeS2K; 10-25-2011 at 01:50 AM.

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