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  1. #201
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I don't think anyone is saying the guy "handing out cups of water" is a firefighter. I think most of us, including myself, would clearly label him as support.

    The folks I'm talking about are the ones that don't or can't go interior but can and do work the roof, force door, man exterior hoselines attacking the fire or covering exposures, operate the pump and lay supply lines and run the tanker operation. They are clearly not supporting the operation, but are involved in the operation. They are functioning just as much as firefighters as the interior personnel. At least that's my opinion.
    They aren't. They are important, they know they are important, but they are not the same. That's quite obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Based on your postings, you would probably not classify the command staff at the incident as firefighters either.

    And again, this to you seems to be all about image and what a firefighter should be like in the eyes of the public. Young, fit and capable of doing anything. Unfortunately in much of the volunteer world, firefighters range from 18 to 65 with various physical abilities. To the rural community, they are look like and all are firefighters.
    We've already covered command staff, please at least make an effort to pay attention. If you want to label it an image thing, feel free. You've already made it clear in your 1000's of post you care not about your own image nor are you in touch with the perception your image to those you serve. It has nothing to do with being young nor fit. If you can not do the job, do something else and quit calling yourself something you are not. I could probably do the duties of my AC but I wouldn't bet on it nor should I go around saying I'm an assistant chief just because I play a support role to him. One day a logical thought will come into your brain and the world will be a much brighter place.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey


  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    They aren't. They are important, they know they are important, but they are not the same. That's quite obvious.


    We've already covered command staff, please at least make an effort to pay attention. If you want to label it an image thing, feel free. You've already made it clear in your 1000's of post you care not about your own image nor are you in touch with the perception your image to those you serve. It has nothing to do with being young nor fit. If you can not do the job, do something else and quit calling yourself something you are not. I could probably do the duties of my AC but I wouldn't bet on it nor should I go around saying I'm an assistant chief just because I play a support role to him. One day a logical thought will come into your brain and the world will be a much brighter place.
    No point in responding anymore as you and I clearly have different opinions.

    By the way, I'm very happy in my current role and have no issues with my image, and apparently neither does either of my departments. I enjoy not being primarily a firefighter with my full-time gig as my other responsibilities as just as, if not more, important. And I still function as the rank of Senior Firefighter, just below Captain, on the fireground.

    In fact, the National Fire Academy called today and told me that I've been moved through the system and approved as an adjunct contract instructor for Juvenile Firesetting Intervention and Public Education by the educational staff, pending the administrative process.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-21-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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  3. #203
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    In fact, the National Fire Academy called today and told me that I've been moved through the system and approved as an adjunct contract instructor for Juvenile Firesetting Intervention and Public Education by the educational staff, pending the administrative process.
    Come back at us when you are being asked to teach a class that actually matters, maybe one that involves putting on turnout gear and dealing with, oh I don't know, FIRE?
    Career Firefighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  4. #204
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No point in responding anymore as you and I clearly have different opinions.

    By the way, I'm very happy in my current role and have no issues with my image, and apparently neither does either of my departments. I enjoy not being primarily a firefighter with my full-time gig as my other responsibilities as just as, if not more, important. And I still function as the rank of Senior Firefighter, just below Captain, on the fireground.

    In fact, the National Fire Academy called today and told me that I've been moved through the system and approved as an adjunct contract instructor for Juvenile Firesetting Intervention and Public Education by the educational staff, pending the administrative process.
    Feel free to not respond at all anymore as you share absolutely zero opinions with anyone else here.

    No one cares about you, your department, or your ***-backwards way of doing things. No one asked for your opinion and, while you are free to express it, please refrain from acting like you're doing us a favor. Again, my condolences to your department for having to deal with you as an Achilles heel. I, too, know what it's like to be a member of a department that has some one like you to deal with. Please pass on my sympathies.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Is a school bus driver a teacher? They play a pivotal role in a child's education. Without them, many can't get to school. They do everything you do but don't feel like they should go inside the school. Should they too be labeled a teacher? What about the crossing guard? He's just as important. Cafeteria workers and janitors? If we allowed everyone to pick and choose their responsibilities and title, what would that do to the integrity of your title? Everyone plays a vital role but you can't say your a teacher just because you're a school employee.


    I'm just not with it I guess. We go back and forth about specific definitions and half of them leave out to many people and half of them include to many people. By this thinking the guys who run just Dive team water rescue and Haz-Mat calls out of Charlotte are not "Firefighters", they are support staff, when a Haz-Mat fire breaks out they stand in the yellow zone or green zone and consult books and experience on fighting Haz-Mat fires so the guys who are "Interior" can put water or foam on it.


    I mean frankly I don't give a damn, each department has the RESPONSIBILITY to make sure their firefighters are up to par on what the community expects (within reason) and are labeled as such. This is done through a number of ways in how the firefighters (those labeled as such) are expected to represent the department. I would be much happier calling an "exterior only" guy a firefighter of my department if he behaves and acts responsibly, has auto extrication experience, has medical call experience, and can participate on calls, than an "interior full fledged guy" straight out of rookie school who wears his fire department T-shirt out on the weekends and gets drunk. To me being a firefighter is owning up to what the department and community ask you to do. If the community and department expects that you can preform a basic auto extrication, but you send two firefighters out on a truck and the guy trapped in the car dies two hours later after the firefighters cannot competently use the tools, I would be hard pressed to call these guys good firefighters, they did reach the expectations of the community or the department. However if I have 40 guys on a rural fire department that see's 40 large brush fires a year and maybe 10 structure fires a year (only 5 of which are interior attacks due to response time) than frankly, the department and the community expects that every person on that fire department knows how to use a brush line and a brush truck and will do their best to save property (including land and buildings), This is more important to that particular community than knowing a guy can put an air-pack on and search a house.

    If you have the crew to get the job done, and the crew can meet department and community expectations, than the crew is made up of firefighters. Some communities EXPECT water rescue, and if the fire department cannot provide that than expectations will not be met and the firefighters are seen as unable to complete their job. Does water rescue skills make you a firefighter, not in most communities, but in some it does. Whatever the communities needs and expectations are, are the requirements of being labeled a competent firefighter in that community.

    As a side note - we have no guys that are exclusively exterior but we do have some who take the drivers role on their shift by choice as shift commanders and prefer to pump and run command than to go interior, this is generally due to their age or experience or a combo of the two.



    I would like to have all personnel on a fire scene interior capable. I would also like to have all personnel in great physical shape. This is a reality and an expectation in urban departments and urban communities. This is however not a reality nor (many times) an expectation in small rural communities. Frankly sitting here at home I would much rather have a paramedic show up on scene first for an emergency than a firefighter, why, because the majority of calls our department runs that involve life safety and preservation are more apt to be affected by a medic than a firefighter. The community I serve expects that we can pull out an airway, a BVM, a AED, and do CPR, place a patient on a backboard, and ride in with EMS to transport. They expect that we can enter fires interior and search and extinguish, they expect basic auto extrication. They do not expect water rescue, trench rescue, Haz-Mat response, these are not what they judge us on. However if you come to the community and attempt to be a firefighter but you can't use a BVM and an AED, the community will not see you as deserving of the label "firefighter". They expect competency in those areas and so that is what we are charged to give them.





    Sorry, that got long,


    TLDR Summary - In an ideal world, all firefighter in great physical shape and interior, and rope rescue trained, and haz-mat trained, and water rescue trained, and trench rescue trained, and paramedics, and etc....etc...etc...

    In the real world- The community expectations of what a firefighter should be and the department expectations and requirements are what we should shoot to fulfill, if we are doing a good job of that (individually and as a team) we earned and deserve the label "firefighters"

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The folks I'm talking about are the ones that don't or can't go interior but can and do work the roof, force door, man exterior hoselines attacking the fire or covering exposures, operate the pump and lay supply lines and run the tanker operation. They are clearly not supporting the operation, but are involved in the operation. They are functioning just as much as firefighters as the interior personnel. At least that's my opinion.

    Based on your postings, you would probably not classify the command staff at the incident as firefighters either.
    I think you're not following along well. It's not so much about what an individual typically does at an incident, but what the individual is capable of doing.

    Career department wise, the command staff will typically still be able to work interior if the need arose and would thus still be "firefighters" even though their current position doesn't need them to perform those tasks with any sort of regularity.

    And again, this to you seems to be all about image and what a firefighter should be like in the eyes of the public. Young, fit and capable of doing anything. Unfortunately in much of the volunteer world, firefighters range from 18 to 65 with various physical abilities. To the rural community, they are look like and all are firefighters.
    This has pretty much been the point of the discussion. Thank you for playing along.

    It's really not so much about "image" in the "eye of the public". It's more about "truth in advertising". Far too many communities are vulnerable to a "bait and switch" situation. They see the fire station, the fire apparatus and the people in firefighter uniforms and think they have a Fire Department, but that may not be what shows up when they have their emergency.

  7. #207
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    It's really not so much about "image" in the "eye of the public". It's more about "truth in advertising". Far too many communities are vulnerable to a "bait and switch" situation. They see the fire station, the fire apparatus and the people in firefighter uniforms and think they have a Fire Department, but that may not be what shows up when they have their emergency.

    I nominate the post above for post of the decade.

    The sad truth is while there are many highly skilled, trained, equipped, AND staffed volunteer/POC FDs, there are also some volunteer/POC FDs that may have a beautiful station and nice equipment, buy don't have the staffing available at certain times of the day, or the staffing they do have has inadequte training to do anything other than stand outside and burn things down slower than they would burn down on their own.

    Clearly this is more an issue with POC and volunteer FDs than career FDs. But the simple fact is there are less than stellar career FDs too. Unfortunately, no one knows until a horrific event unfolds and it makes the press and spreads like wildfire.

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  8. #208
    Forum Member Reese Jacob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reese Jacob View Post
    Then why do theyhave to have the same certification and training?

    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    They aren't. Is that where you're getting confused? A vast majority of departments won't require the same standards of "exterior only" guys and guy's willing to go interior. In Louisiana, you can drive any apparatus with just a driver's license. Many departments require further training to meet certain standards such as 1403, ff1 and some even require ff2 which all require a moderate amount of study and testing. While some may require training in operating the apparatus pump, it's not uncommon to see guys who just drive and pump the trucks. There are guys who just stand outside, they are not required to meet any standard, yet you find it ok to group them in with those who both meet a standard and have no objection to any specifics of the job?
    I most certainly do not and I didn't know this. This is quite offensive when and if this is the case. Thanks for the info.
    Grrrrr.
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  9. #209
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    has auto extrication experience
    hmmm, in my area that would make you a member of EMS as they are primary extrication in the area....but that is slowly changing.

    and I echo FyredUp...great post FireMedic049.
    "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?

  10. #210
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reese Jacob View Post
    I most certainly do not and I didn't know this. This is quite offensive when and if this is the case. Thanks for the info.
    Grrrrr.
    What tajm failed to tell you is that some of these exterior only folks have more years of service and fireground experience, and have worked more fires, than he'll, or most of the kids his age, will ever accumulate. They also served the vast majority of thier time when training was done at the department level and the goal wasn't to accumulate a wall full of certificates but to actually train the members on the skills they needed for thier operations, and the state initial training was 30 or 40 hours. In fact for many of them, there wasn't an alphabet soup bowl of certifications to accumulate as up until the past 10 years the fire service lived pretty well on what you knew as compared to how many dead trees you had on your wall.

    What he also failed to tell you is that with the exception of a handful of states that actually fund thier fire training the way it should be funded, most states woefully underfund fire training leaving in most cases, the rural areas and rural departments holding the short end of the resource bag. While here in LA LSU Fire training makes a great effort, they simply do not have the resources and unless the funding levels change, never will have the resources, to properly deliver fire training to the rural parts of the state. In addition, it's almost impossible to find classes like Instructor I, which allows members of small rural departments to get certified to handle thier own training in-house, or Officer I, at any other times other than Monday-Friday during the day when the typical volunteer is at work. The schedule for most of the advanced classes is built around career members, not volunteers, which is an issue that they need to address.

    The other issue in many states is the cost of the classes, which here can be up to $400 per firefighter. Given that my rural VFD has a total training budget of $1500 per year, it's not hard to see the problems that the cost of classes can cause. Yes, there are free classes here, but they are usually limited to haz-mat and non-certification National Fire Academy Outreach classes.

    I'm not bashing LSU Fire training as I help them out at Pine Country and likely will go to work part-time for them in the near future, but they can only take limited resources so far.

    Volunteers also don't have the luxury of being paid to attend a 16, 18 or 24 week recruit academy, unlike most career members, including more than likely tajm. They also don't live and volunteer, like tajm, a stones throw away from LSU's primary academy in Baton Rouge which allows him and departments in that area access to classes that 95% of the rural volunteers will never have the opportunity to attend unless they can drive 5-6 hours rountrip and the department can afford a night or two in a hotel (which are not cheap in Baton Rouge) plus meals.

    Somebody mentioned truth in advertising, so let's be honest about what's available to rural volunteers in many states regarding training.

    Yes, rural firefighters generally don't have the training of thier surburban volunteer counterparts, but there are very legitimate reasons. And volunteers will never have the training and certifications of career members for one simple reason ... They actually have to work for a living.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-22-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    With all due respect, I think that sign is referring to highway safety, and driving slower, not the fire department response. It seems to be simply a poorly worded highway safety message.

    Let's keep things in context.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-22-2011 at 09:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    hmmm, in my area that would make you a member of EMS as they are primary extrication in the area....but that is slowly changing.

    and I echo FyredUp...great post FireMedic049.


    Well yes, exactly my point, that is what is "expected" of EMS in your area, to be a full fledged EMS unit they need to posses auto extrication skills, in my area they don't need to. It is about the community expectations.

  14. #214
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    What tajm failed to tell you is that some of these exterior only folks have more years of service and fireground experience, and have worked more fires, than he'll, or most of the kids his age, will ever accumulate. They also served the vast majority of thier time when training was done at the department level and the goal wasn't to accumulate a wall full of certificates but to actually train the members on the skills they needed for thier operations, and the state initial training was 30 or 40 hours. In fact for many of them, there wasn't an alphabet soup bowl of certifications to accumulate as up until the past 10 years the fire service lived pretty well on what you knew as compared to how many dead trees you had on your wall.

    What he also failed to tell you is that with the exception of a handful of states that actually fund thier fire training the way it should be funded, most states woefully underfund fire training leaving in most cases, the rural areas and rural departments holding the short end of the resource bag. While here in LA LSU Fire training makes a great effort, they simply do not have the resources and unless the funding levels change, never will have the resources, to properly deliver fire training to the rural parts of the state. In addition, it's almost impossible to find classes like Instructor I, which allows members of small rural departments to get certified to handle thier own training in-house, or Officer I, at any other times other than Monday-Friday during the day when the typical volunteer is at work. The schedule for most of the advanced classes is built around career members, not volunteers, which is an issue that they need to address.

    The other issue in many states is the cost of the classes, which here can be up to $400 per firefighter. Given that my rural VFD has a total training budget of $1500 per year, it's not hard to see the problems that the cost of classes can cause. Yes, there are free classes here, but they are usually limited to haz-mat and non-certification National Fire Academy Outreach classes.

    They also don't have the luxury of being paid to attend a 16, 18 or 24 week recruit academy, inlike most career members, including more than likely tajm. They also don't live and volunteer a stones throw away from LSU's primary academy in Baton Rouge which allows access to classes that 95% of the rural volunteers will never have the opportunity to attend unless they can drive 5-6 hours rountrip and the department can afford a night or two in a hotel (which are not cheap in Baton Rouge).

    Somebody mentioned truth in advertising, so let's be honest about what's available to rural volunteers in many states regarding training.

    Yes, rural firefighters generally don't have the training of thier surburban volunteer counterparts, but there are very legitimate reasons. And volunteers will never have the training and certifications of career members for one simple reason ... They actually have to work for a living.

    Really? Because of all the exterior guys I've met at my busy city and just as busy rural volunteer, everyone echoes my point. As far as expeience, I don't care to debate which one of my 3 departments burns the most but ill say this.

    I write for a major website that averages more visits than you could fathom.
    I've been invited to FDIC, not just to stand and pretend I'm a firefighter but participate.
    I've taught across this state, not classes that people HAVE to go through but classes that firefighters want, need, and ask for.
    I've correspond on a daily basis with great leaders that you will never be included in.

    So, with all of your experience, why do you constantly prove to have little understanding of basic fireground operations, public interest, and the state of the fire service as a whole.

    You've said you have nothing left I say and I think everyone here agrees, so please sit down and shut up, your opinion and side notes mean less to us than your **** poor credentials you try to tought as impressive. And remember, the day you decide to be a firefighter, let me know, I'll give you a class for free.
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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Remember, too, that moreso than larger departments, rural volunteer fire departments tend to be 'all hazards' responders. We were once dispatched for a cow in a well...

    Many tasks that fall to other organizations, particularly in larger municipalities, fall to the fire departments "out in the sticks." Stuff like pumping basements and clearing fallen trees from the road are common responses.

    Traffic control at MVAs is pretty much expected - our police are often few and far between, and coming up with enough patrols to close off a major intersection would strip much of the county, where life goes on. The same goes for crowd control at incidents. That task usually falls to the older members - the folks we've otherwise put out to pasture.

    The point being that not every response requires an interior-qualified firefighter. Yes, they're good to have, and I wish I could muster up a department full of them, but that's simply not the case - especially when volunteer numbers are down as much as they are. But each of our members makes a contribution to the cause, and as far as the public is concerned, the generic name for a member of a fire department is "firefighter."
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reese Jacob View Post
    I most certainly do not and I didn't know this. This is quite offensive when and if this is the case. Thanks for the info.
    Grrrrr.
    No worries. I mean no offense by this but once you make it as a firefighter, you'll have a deeper understanding of what is and what isnt a firefighter.
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    It's really not so much about "image" in the "eye of the public". It's more about "truth in advertising". Far too many communities are vulnerable to a "bait and switch" situation. They see the fire station, the fire apparatus and the people in firefighter uniforms and think they have a Fire Department, but that may not be what shows up when they have their emergency

    My point was that in some people's minds this seems to be about protecting the image of the word "Firefighter" as some holier than thou iconic figure, not protecting the image of the "fire department".

    Again, define a firefighter as you want but that's not going to change that in the rural areas here, a firefighter is defined by the community as somebody that shows up and participates in the operation at either an interior or exterior level.

    While I fully agree there may be communties where the fire department capabilities may not match up with the communities expecatations, again, I have found that in most rural areas and small towns, the community is very much aware of what thier fire departement can and can't do, and in the vast amjority of the situations, they have no problems with that. They fully understand that the community has a limited manpower and funding pool and changing that would require an increased level of funding either for reasources and/or paid staffing that likely the community is not capable of coughing up.

    Call that sunstandard protection if you want. In many rural areas, they call it the best game in town and are plenty grateful for what they recieve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Really? Because of all the exterior guys I've met at my busy city and just as busy rural volunteer, everyone echoes my point. As far as expeience, I don't care to debate which one of my 3 departments burns the most but ill say this.

    I write for a major website that averages more visits than you could fathom.
    That's great but I have no desire to do that. Maybe someday, but not right now.
    I've been invited to FDIC, not just to stand and pretend I'm a firefighter but participate.
    Congratulations. Again, no interest in attending or teaching at FDIC. Primarily urban guys. Probably a nice and knowledgable bunch but not my crowd. I much prefer rural firefighters. If they can't converse about portable tanks we have little in common. I actually have a class that may work well there but it's more targeted for very small departments, so probably not so much.
    I've taught across this state, not classes that people HAVE to go through but classes that firefighters want, need, and ask for.
    Haven't taught much across this state as my previous jobs work schedule and my current M-F work schedule pretty much limits me there, but have taught across my region with classes members don't necessarily need. Did teach all over my previous state and was a member of a number of statewide task forces and organizations.
    I've correspond on a daily basis with great leaders that you will never be included in.
    Again, cool, but once again, I have no need or really any tremendous desire to converse with great leaders as I'm not a leader and make no efforts to be one. I'm a manager, and I teach and train as a manager, not a leader, and I have no qulams about admitting that. In my role as a LT on my VFD I manage people and manage, not lead, operations. It works for me.

    I guess your style is to try to put somebody down than actually discuss the issue at hand, which is the urban and surburban enviroment v. the rural enviroment in terms of community expectations and department capabilities, as well as the original topic of offensive v. defensive and risk v. benefit.

    That's cool. I will be happy to put my qualifications against your's anyday, especially in the area I made a choice to specilaize in 20 years ago.



    So, with all of your experience, why do you constantly prove to have little understanding of basic fireground operations, public interest, and the state of the fire service as a whole.

    Don't know. Maybe you don't get what I'm saying.

    You've said you have nothing left I say and I think everyone here agrees, so please sit down and shut up, your opinion and side notes mean less to us than your **** poor credentials you try to tought as impressive. And remember, the day you decide to be a firefighter, let me know, I'll give you a class for free.
    Something tells me i know a whole hell of a lot more about what it means to work a fire (yes, work, not fight) and be a firefighter than you'll ever know.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-22-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Let's keep things in context.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Seriously? Pot, meet kettle.
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  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Again, define a firefighter as you want but that's not going to change that in the rural areas here, a firefighter is defined by the community as somebody that shows up and participates in the operation at either an interior or exterior level.
    You just justified the attitude urban dwellers towards their rural counterparts.

    Thanks for letting us know all those hayseed stereotypes are true.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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