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Thread: When is a probie no longer considered a probie?

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    Default When is a probie no longer considered a probie?

    Just to get a general consensus of what the world thinks...

    In your eyes, or maybe even as defined by your department, what is a probie, no longer a probie.

    I'm finding that in my department members, mostly younger members, are of the mindset that just because they have completed the Firefighter I course that they are now of the senior membership and should no longer have to do grunt work or even be allowed to be called probie.

    Please try and keep it civil as I plan on showing these replies to the probies just so they know that the way I feel isn't just me personally attacking them as one or two of them have mentioned.

    FYI, my look on not being a probie any more is that you have to prove yourself and your worth to the company. Just because you are no longer on official probationary status does not mean that you've earned the respect you think you deserve. When people go, "Man, that Ralph, he's a good kid, really helping out.." That's when you aren't a probie any more.

    That's just my $0.02
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    Normally you are not a proby, when you have completed your probation.

    You may still may be the new guy, until someone else is hit=red or assigned to your compnay who has less time that you.

    When I first went on the job, the company/shift rookie, aka new guy, had 20 years on the job. He was so very happy to see me and welcomed me with open arms. I became the new guy or rookie, and had to do the transfers to another company, and all other chores that the new guys has to do.
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    A probie isn't considered a probie anymore once they've been able to put their skills to use on fire runs, ems runs, extrications, etc...and they are able to be trusted by their company officer and crew as to how things work and what to do without being micro managed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremieisaiah View Post
    A probie isn't considered a probie anymore once they've been able to put their skills to use on fire runs, ems runs, extrications, etc...and they are able to be trusted by their company officer and crew as to how things work and what to do without being micro managed.
    Ditto here. Or when the Chief says they are no longer a probie.
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    Once they complete their 1 year probation period, obtain their required training, and prove themselves to the other members and officers.
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    IMHO, a firefighter is only a "probie" for as long as s/he is explicitly on probation. (If your department doesn't have a clearly defined probationary period and/or training requirement to become a regular firefighter, it really should.)

    However, a firefighter can be a "rookie" for as long as it takes and/or until the department has acquired a sufficient number of newer rookies to displace him/her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    IMHO, a firefighter is only a "probie" for as long as s/he is explicitly on probation. (If your department doesn't have a clearly defined probationary period and/or training requirement to become a regular firefighter, it really should.)

    However, a firefighter can be a "rookie" for as long as it takes and/or until the department has acquired a sufficient number of newer rookies to displace him/her.


    Very true. I should of worded my post differently. They are a "probie" until their one year probation period is over. Then they are considered a "rookie" until they prove themselves to the membership and officers and complete the required training.
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    In my FD our probationary period is 6 months. It does not mater if you have no experience or were a Chief in another FD and have moved into our district. The membership must approve you for permanent membership but you still must get FF1 w/i 2 years.
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    Stephen J Bourassa
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    I really think it depends on the department.

    My volunteer dept runs about 500-700 calls a year. We have a set number of calls you need, plus all certs complete. I would like to see it a time period plus a probie book. A probie book could be a 3 ring binder with skill sheets, says 20-30 skills and you need to get it signed off after academy but before you are no longer a probie. If you can't get all the skills done on calls, because you miss all the big calls or something, then you could sign off the skills doing extra training.

    right now my department will not adopt that, so oh well. Poop in one hand, hope in the other. Which hand fills up first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45gggh View Post
    I really think it depends on the department.

    My volunteer dept runs about 500-700 calls a year. We have a set number of calls you need, plus all certs complete. I would like to see it a time period plus a probie book. A probie book could be a 3 ring binder with skill sheets, says 20-30 skills and you need to get it signed off after academy but before you are no longer a probie. If you can't get all the skills done on calls, because you miss all the big calls or something, then you could sign off the skills doing extra training.

    right now my department will not adopt that, so oh well. Poop in one hand, hope in the other. Which hand fills up first?
    So what skills would you need signed off that would come at an incident that you were not taught in FF!/FF2.
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    You are no longer a rookie when you don't have to ask if you are still a rookie and when everbody doesn't look at you when the coffee pot is empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45gggh View Post
    We have a set number of calls you need, plus all certs complete. I would like to see it a time period plus a probie book. A probie book could be a 3 ring binder with skill sheets, says 20-30 skills and you need to get it signed off after academy but before you are no longer a probie. If you can't get all the skills done on calls, because you miss all the big calls or something, then you could sign off the skills doing extra training.

    right now my department will not adopt that, so oh well.
    We've spent the past year putting a rookie book together ourselves. It will go into effect next month in fact. We're lucky that we've gotten a lot of support for this endeavor from both the probies up to the long-time life members. The probie will have 6 months from date of being voted in to have the book completed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    So what skills would you need signed off that would come at an incident that you were not taught in FF!/FF2.
    I agree that having a rookie book after the academy seems awfully redundant. Since my county only has one Firefighter I class per year, we'll use the rookie book to teach the probies skills and tasks that will be valuable on the fire scene while acting in a support role. They'll learn everything from donning & doffing PPE, equipment locations, starting electrical and gas-powered tools, being the lay-out man, establishing drop-tanks for rural water supply, etc. Not only will they go into FF1 with some training, but they'll also feel like they're a part of the department more quickly, potentially leading to less retention issues.
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    If we had only 1 FF1 class a year in my area, it would have 80-100 FF's in it. They run 3 a year in 1 county here and turn people away. It is my belief that there should be a FF1 class running all year long. We have 28 in the one that I am taking now, to update skills. The training classes today did not exist when I began my career in the VFD. FF1 is also what gets you in the door in my FD. I can see a small check list for things your FD may do different but I don't think it is a big deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    If we had only 1 FF1 class a year in my area, it would have 80-100 FF's in it.
    Keep in mind we're a rural county of only 30,000 with only 5 departments in it. We average 25 people in our annual FF1/2 classes. With those numbers, we have to have a rookie book to bring members up to speed, since it could be several months before they're even enrolled in a FF1 class, and then three months to finish the class.
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    Things do vary as you cross state lines. Now in Va. can you be a vol. FF or do you have to do that band-aid crap too, like in Md.?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    Things do vary as you cross state lines. Now in Va. can you be a vol. FF or do you have to do that band-aid crap too, like in Md.?
    Currently, we do not require our members to become EMT's, although it's strongly encouraged. About 20 of our 60 members are EMT's, and the EMS service houses an ambulance in our station that we're free to use in place of the Suburban we usually respond with.

    Maryland VFF's aren't required to do EMS, not sure what you mean by your post?
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    My POC department has appx. 50 members and run around 2000 calls a year. In order to technically be off probation, you must have been on for a minimum of 1 year, obtained Firefighter 1 and EMT certifications, completed the probationary booklet, and a protocol/sog test.

    The probationary booklet starts small, with explaining the phone system, chain of command, etc all of which has to be done and initialed by an officer or senior firefighter approved by the Chief. It then goes into apparatus numbering, radio communications, PPE, and station chores. The next section includes apparatus familiarization and a test (how much hose we carry, how its packed, where its located on each truck; location of saws, what is the proper fuel ratio for saws, ppv, etc, etc, etc) The next section is skill based. This is to guarantee that the probies have retained what they learned in the academy and can do things by our SOPs. These include throwing ladders, search, running lines, knots, hitting a hydrant, standpipe ops, etc.

    Throughout the year we also run probationary drills on a monthly basis where we can familiarize the very new people to what we do, help the rookies that are still in class, or practice and potentially check off the certified probies on their skills.
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    You are no longer a 'Probie' when you have more seniority than me at my department.

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    We kind of have 2 stages of probation. When a member first joins, they are administratively in a probationary status. That allows us to quickly remove them from the rolls if they turn out to be a problem, or just don't show up. That usually last 6 months and the member is expected to complete some basic training and be cut loose as an aid on the ambulance. They should have at least enrolled in either FF1 or EMT by that time.

    We have people that are probationary in an operational sense. They must either complete EMT as well as a minimum number of calls with a training coach, and pass a verbal review board before becoming a full EMT. For firefighters, they must pass FF1, get checked off on the apparatus and pass our field training program including our RIT/Mayday training before being cut loose.

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    Our members are "Probies" for 1 year after they've completed FF1. They must also complete their "Probie book" within that year or their probationary period gets extended. The book consists of a lot of tasks that are based on FF1 (hoseline, ladders, search, SCBA) but it also includes Department, Station, and Apparatus-specific tasks that help the member transition from the "Fireschool way". Not that we do things too different, but we have different equipment which sometimes dictates different tactics.

    The one problem we've had is that until recently the probie book included taking other classes (Ladder or Engine company Operations). While I actively encourage my guys to take those courses I didn't agree with requiring them in a Basic Skills book. This was especially true since they're usually only offered once a year so it was extending the probationary period of a few guys artificially.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    We kind of have 2 stages of probation. When a member first joins, they are administratively in a probationary status.
    One problem we have is that a member is a "Probie" from the time they're sworn in until they've completed their Probationary period. For most this is really two discrete periods: Sworn-in to completion of FF1 is one period and Completion of FF1 to completion of their probationary period (as defined above) is the other. The difference between the two is they can pack up and are considered Interior Qualified during the second period, though they're under much more supervision. We've been trying to get the distinction clarified in the SOG's and also in PPE (different helmets/frontace) but haven't made much headway.
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    St. Paul; probie-1 year after completion of the academy.
    rookie-depends on the individual and their skill
    load-some times an entire career....
    The decent POC departments follow a fairly simular program, but instead of an academy, it would be after the completion of FF1/FF2.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller337 View Post
    You are no longer a rookie when you don't have to ask if you are still a rookie and when everbody doesn't look at you when the coffee pot is empty.
    Love it!HAHAHA

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    How about when he has spent more time learning the job than worrying about his "title" ?
    ?

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    Once they've passed the required 18 month probationary period, they are no longer probies. They have graduated to "johnny" status. This lasts until they get some people in behind them. Depending on where they are assigned, this could take a while. A guy could have 10 years and still be the johnny. It's not a refection of ability, just time. He could be a great firefighter but he's still in the sink and making coffee. Of course, he will now have help.

    If we are talking entirely about ability and performance, time doesn't really matter. Some johnnies are very well respected firefighters. Some "senior men" are hairbags. That's just the way it goes.

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