Thread: Joining local

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    Default Joining local

    Moved across the country and just applied to local VFD. (Paid/Volunteer)

    Spoke to Chief for a bit and it seems they have a waiting list Told me he would keep my app on for August when they do a new recruitment. Kinda bummed as I'm originally from a small town all volunteer dept.

    Oh well, have FF1, and a slew of other certs from MFRI so hopefully that waiting list is not too long! (Let my MD EMT-B lapse and starting Iowa EMT in January.)

    Great forum by the way, lots of good people with good info.

    In Iowa City, anyone from the area?

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    A waiting list to get on a VFD?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Station near me had a waiting list about 15 years ago. I know my Department has a limit of 60 members per my town's ordinance. Never were close to that many active members so never bothered to find out why.

    NJ used to have a limit on the number of members working towards State Exemption per Department...but I think that has gone away as well.

    Being that he mentioned paid/volunteer....I'd guess they have a limited membership due to amount of budget they have to pay guys with...thinking it's a Paid per call department.
    "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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    I've never quite understood having a waiting list for a volunteer department either. I guess I can understand if there are financial considerations for gear, training, or paid on call, but I would think that you would find a way to make more room on the roster. We have pretty good staffing, but always need more people, especially trained people.

    Good luck with the new department. I'd probably lose interest real quick if they told me that they had enough volunteers already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Station near me had a waiting list about 15 years ago. I know my Department has a limit of 60 members per my town's ordinance.
    I think this has to be one of the most asenine things I have ever heard, so I gotta ask......WHY?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Perhaps they only hire once or twice a year?

    I know we only do new member academies 2 times per year though we encourage new prospects to attend our training drills in the mean time to get to know people and see how things work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    A waiting list to get on a VFD?


    Yeah, I kinda chuckled when he told me. Thought he was joking at first. Not sure how they have it setup, all I know is that they are both volunteer/paid. I even wish I could sort of be around at least socially until August so I could just study the trucks, get to know some people etc.

    Oh well. Got my EMT-B two nights a week anyway starting soon so that will keep me busy enough.

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    warrior , in the mean time , ask the Chief if you can attend their drills as an observer.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    warrior , in the mean time , ask the Chief if you can attend their drills as an observer.
    Yeah, that's a good idea. Maybe I will give it a few weeks and stop by and talk to him again. Don't want to seem too overzealous and bothersome with him.

    I see all these posts with houses having trouble getting volunteers and feel bad. Wish I was a little further out in the country to help where help is really needed

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I think this has to be one of the most asenine things I have ever heard, so I gotta ask......WHY?
    Oh, I don't know...the money maybe?! Bunker gear, training, and station apparel doesn't grow on trees, you know.

    Let's look at the costs:

    FF1&2 academy: $2000
    Bunker gear: $1500
    Misc. gear: $500
    Station Apparel: $100

    All that PLUS the salary you'll pay them for runs.

    And thats just for the most basic of training....what about EMT? Or HAZMAT?

    Hell, even if the person comes in trained, it's a minimum of 2 grand for gear, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I think this has to be one of the most asenine things I have ever heard, so I gotta ask......WHY?
    Don't know. The ordinance has been around for over 40 years. It's been reviewed and updated a few times...but that number is still there. Being that I am fairly sure we will never see 60 active members...it won't be a problem.

    And there is no one in Town Govt that's been around that long to know why they put it there...and it was done by the Town, not FD.

    ATFDFF, in NJ the FF1 course is free. And there is no salary for my Department, no paid on call, no reimbursement, etc. And our budget is set by the Town at X amount of $. It's up to us as to what to actually spend it on.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Oh, I don't know...the money maybe?! Bunker gear, training, and station apparel doesn't grow on trees, you know.

    Let's look at the costs:

    FF1&2 academy: $2000
    Bunker gear: $1500
    Misc. gear: $500
    Station Apparel: $100

    All that PLUS the salary you'll pay them for runs.

    And thats just for the most basic of training....what about EMT? Or HAZMAT?

    Hell, even if the person comes in trained, it's a minimum of 2 grand for gear, etc.
    I can certainly see why houses should be hesitant on just accepting everybody. I saw plenty of people at my old house (all volunteer) come and take training and never be around, their turnout's just collecting dust.

    What's this talk about "paid per call?" From what I can gather, my local house is a mix of paid and volunteer. Are you guys talking paid per call for just the paid members? I can't imagine volunteers getting compensated for calls. (And don't feel that would be right anyway. That's the point of "volunteer.")

    I guess this is just new for me as back home my county was ALL volunteer and the city was ALL paid. Never had any experience with a mixed house.

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    That dept only brings on guys once a year. I believe the Chief and training officer are paid and everyone else is volunteer. It's been a while since I was up there killing time and talked to them. They get plenty of calls mostly med though from what I remember.

    Also there is North Liberty just up the road and a couple other depts in that area that might let you join in the mean time.

    I'm about 45min straight south of where you are.
    Last edited by Wbensm; 11-22-2011 at 08:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wbensm View Post
    That dept only brings on guys once a year. I believe the Chief and training officer are paid and everyone else is volunteer. It's been a while since I was up there killing time and talked to them. They get plenty of calls mostly med though from what I remember.

    Thanks for the info. They seem to run a decent bit from what I can hear from the scanner. Much different than the 200-300 we would run back in MD.

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    We have a wait list - mostly to match when training begins. Thankfully Indiana has a great firefighter training system thats free. Currently, we bring on a rookie class each year with pre-interviews, then training at the district academy (in town even), then once FF1 (or FF1/2) is done, they are cleared to respond with us and we finish 'local' training. It will take 3-6 months from start to finish to actually 'join' our department. The wait list reflects the commitment by our department to get new members trained before bringing on another group of probies.

    By law, you can't be part of our department (as a firefighter - see the thread about who is a firefighter if you need help on what that means) without at least Indiana mandatory Firefighter. The Indiana mandatory is almost FF1. So much so, our district is pretty much abandoning Mandatory in favor of a couple more chapters and FF1 cert. The mandatory curriculum is actually written in the Indiana code for content that must be covered.

    If you are already trained and certified, you can shortcut some of the training but its still 2-3 months to officially join.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roninwarrior View Post
    Thanks for the info. They seem to run a decent bit from what I can hear from the scanner. Much different than the 200-300 we would run back in MD.
    Are you buy chance a student? They just opened a second station not that long ago north of the highway. If I remember correctly they set the second station up so they could have live ins there.

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    It is November and you are in iowa....GET IN THE WOODS!!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    ...By law, you can't be part of our department (as a firefighter - see the thread about who is a firefighter if you need help on what that means) without at least Indiana mandatory Firefighter. ..
    Interesting. Fire Academies near me won't accept a person into FF1 unless they are a member of a Fire Department. First day of class you are to show up with your turnout gear, Department Fit Test records, and copies of your by-laws and/or SOG's.

    Always interesting to see what other areas do....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wbensm View Post
    Are you buy chance a student? They just opened a second station not that long ago north of the highway. If I remember correctly they set the second station up so they could have live ins there.
    Wish I could. Married and have two little ones. I remember the "live-in" days of my youth when we would just crash in the day room at night watching TV

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    I can see a situation where a VFD would have a waiting list. In addition to PPE/equipment reasons it could be related to call volume and how the VFD handles responses. If they're primarily duty crew based with in house crews then they may need a waiting list until there is an opening on a crew or until they can restructure to create a new crew.

    Having more guys then seats on a truck can cause guys to get frustrated if not handled right.

    More likely, though is that they only do their recruit training/FF1 a few times a year and they keep their prospective members on a waiting list until then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roninwarrior View Post
    Wish I could. Married and have two little ones. I remember the "live-in" days of my youth when we would just crash in the day room at night watching TV
    All the more reason...
    So you call this your free country
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    Quote Originally Posted by roninwarrior View Post
    What's this talk about "paid per call?" From what I can gather, my local house is a mix of paid and volunteer. Are you guys talking paid per call for just the paid members? I can't imagine volunteers getting compensated for calls. (And don't feel that would be right anyway. That's the point of "volunteer.")
    There are volunteer departments that compensate their members through either a flat rate per call, or an hourly rate for calls, training, etc. Some are known as POC (Paid on Call) departments, while others simply retain the "volunteer" name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    There are volunteer departments that compensate their members through either a flat rate per call, or an hourly rate for calls, training, etc. Some are known as POC (Paid on Call) departments, while others simply retain the "volunteer" name.
    Never knew that some departments were like that. I'd actually feel bad taking money per call. I feel that the training and connections you make as a volunteer more than make up for your time. I guess this is necessary in some places where turnout is poor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Interesting. Fire Academies near me won't accept a person into FF1 unless they are a member of a Fire Department. First day of class you are to show up with your turnout gear, Department Fit Test records, and copies of your by-laws and/or SOG's.

    Always interesting to see what other areas do....
    I guess there is a little bit of semantics. Our department provides the gear for the individual to go to the training center to complete FF1. They are sponsored by us, covered under our insurance but not listed as active firefighters on our rolls and are not able to respond to any calls.

    Once they have their cert, we can have them start coming to calls and list them as active firefighters as they complete the local department specific training.

    They officially 'join' our department once the intial training is complete.

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    You also need a fire department or Industrial Fire Brigade sign-off to take any LSU class.
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