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    Default Is there still a need for paid and volunteer firefighters?

    Hi all,
    I have wanted to be a frefighter for awhile but am now reconsidering. It seems that paid departments have plenty of firefighters and more than enough candidates to fill their spots.
    It also seems like although volunteer fire departments say they need volunteers they seem to have very sufficient numbers and not in need of any more? So, do fire departments really need more hands?
    Chilaha

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    Where in the world did you get those impressions from?

    Speaking as a volunteer fire chief, I can assure you that I never have enough hands. With an average of 66% of members who leave within the first five years, I want to have fresh members coming in, especially if I can provide the training, support, and encouragement to keep them past that mystical 5-year mark.

    That being said, I do know that there are departments in the US that have a cap on membership or even a waiting list, but those are certainly the exception, not the rule.

    Now, putting my other hat on, there are A LOT of potential candidate for career positions, but there's a reason that testing for those positions are so in-depth and drawn out - getting rid of the people who aren't qualified for those positions. My department is about 15 people short right now, and the "big four" departments in my area are each running at least one recruit school per year, if not two. Plenty of jobs to still be had out there...
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    There are vacancies for career departments all over the United States. You my friend, seeking a job, need to look for them.


    Look in the hiring section. Pick up information as where to look. There are web sites that list jobs for career department. Some will require an applicant to have certifications of some sort, while others do not. They will train you to their standards and certify you. There is always someone posting a city and county that has open applications for new hires.


    Some years are better than others, as some department have more folks retiring in a particular year than in others.


    This is a great job. If you want to belong to the fire service, you will look at various cities/counties that you may want to work at.


    A Google search is very easy for city or county fire departments.

    As an example if you are looking into trying to be hired by the Los Angeles City Fire department, Google that. If you want to work for Dallas Texas, Google them and so on. It isn't rocket science when one wants to search for a job in the fire service.


    Volunteer department for the most part are always looking for new members.
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    I don't know where you are looking but I know pretty much every volunteer fire department around me is needing more people. Most paid departments go through stages of not needing people one year to needing several the next year, either from opening a new station to having people retire.

    My department has only 11 members right now. We used to have anywhere from 20 to 25 people at times in the past. I don't know of a volunteer fire department anywhere that is denying people from joining.
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    There are jobs to be had you just have to look for them. Take texas for example there are new job postings almost every day. The pace here in georgia has picked up some as well.
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    Chilaha,
    Just like everyone has said, there are plenty of jobs out there as a career firefighter. All though smaller cities and municipalities may not hold yearly hiring, some bigger cities have spots that open up yearly. The thing is though, it is what you make of it. If this is something that you really want to do for a career, then you would be dedicated enough to do everything you can to get the job and be the best at what you do. You have to have confidence in yourself and your skills. It takes a lot of dedication as you will need to study your butt off, hit the gym, hit the track and then study some more.
    If you are looking for a new "job" to get by and pay the bills, no offense, but this is not the career field you want to get in.

    just like chief had said, the volunteer service has a decently high turnover rate. There will always be a need fore firefighters on the volunteer side of the service. I think what you are trying to reference are the departments that have a "cap" on the number of members they have. first, I do not agree with this nor will I ever. two, you will just have to look around.
    Just because station A says that they don't have room for more members (which I have ran into myself due to their "cap") does not mean that Station B does not have a need for more members.

    From my experience you get out of the fire service what you put into it. If this is something you really want to do, you WILL find a way to get done what needs to get done to get in the department, volunteer or career.

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    The need for firefighters will cease when....

    A. The sun grows into a red giant, then collapses into a black hole.
    B. Stupidity is outlawed.

    My vote is for A.
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    There was a day when a cap on membership for volunteer departments made sense - if you get too many people they get hard to control.

    We dropped our cap years ago, and even if we did have it today, we're well under it at the moment.

    The days when the VFD was the center of the community are long gone - people are working two or three jobs, commute out of town for those jobs, and have myriad other commitments (kids sports, f'rinstance) that they choose over the fire department.

    Many volunteer departments are looking at adding incentives, like pay-per-call and "retirement" programs.

    We can use the help.
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    I don'r know of a volunteer department in north LA that isn't looking for members.

    And for the most part, combination departments are looking for volunteers as well.

    On the career side, Shreveport has been running a class every 6 months, and many of the fire districts are hiring or preparing to hire 1-2 personnel.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilaha View Post
    Hi all,
    I have wanted to be a frefighter for awhile but am now reconsidering.
    Frefighter... I think it is a Mixed Martial Arts form. No, there is not a big need for more MMA fighters. There are already enough ****** bags walking around wearing AFFLICTION t-shirts. You should probably hang up the UFC dream and go be a fireman.
    ~Drew
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    ...There are already enough ****** bags walking around ...
    D O U C H E is blanked out? What if we were actually having a meaningful discussion on feminine hygiene? Nobody would know what we were talking about. Madness, like cats and dogs living together and eating Belgian waffles.
    ~Drew
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    D O U C H E is blanked out? What if we were actually having a meaningful discussion on feminine hygiene? Nobody would know what we were talking about. Madness, like cats and dogs living together and eating Belgian waffles.
    With blueberries or strawberries?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Like everyone said, there will always be a need for firefighters, both career and volunteer.

    For example, I am in the process of hiring paid on call firefighters. I received 7 applications in the past 3-4 months. Finally got approval to move forward on them. Interviewed 6 of them, and one washed out with a background check. I intend to hire 5 out of that 6. Time will tell, but I expect 2 of the 5 will last longer than 5 years.
    Jason Knecht
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    For example, I am in the process of hiring paid on call firefighters. I received 7 applications in the past 3-4 months.
    7 applicants over 3-4 months?! I would have thought you would be flooded with applicants. We get ~4 applicants every 4 months and we're 100% volunteer, I would have expected more for a POC FD.

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    I don't think POC really attracts many folks just for the money. The effort to pay ratio just isn't high enough. In other words, the same people that would sign up to be 100% volunteer are probably going to be walking in the POC door.

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    Well certainly not just for the money, I know those guys don't get paid enough to live on, probably not enough to even eat on! But I would think it would attract more than a pure volunteer FD. Isn't that the whole point of POC, to attract/retain members?

    I suppose you're right, POC is not common around here (unheard of actually) and I'm not very familiar with all the intricacies/details.

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