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Thread: Sorta What I have Been Thinkin'

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    All I know is that if I had a small fire in my house and a bunch of guys showed up in fire trucks and said, "Sorry, we're all EXTERIOR firefighters so we have to wait for someone to go inside", I be ****ed to say the least. My opinion, but firefighting sometimes requires us to go inside.
    And that is you, and that expectation is based in part on where you live, the amount of taxes you pay, the overall level of the services that you expect from your government.

    When I grew up in the city I expected a fully staffed career engine, because I was in an urban area.

    The fact is the type of communities we are talking about when discussing exterior certification are areas where the volunteer is department is often composed of a mix of interior and exterior personnel, and sometimes that mix may lean more towards exterior. These are communities where taxes are very often quite low and often taxes don't even cover fire department operations and they must raise their own funds, EMS services are limited and may also be volunteer and law enforcement services are limited. And in most cases response times are higher than what you would expect in the cities and suburbs. And the community knows this, and very often accepts it as a cost of living in low tax or a rural area, or a small town, as compared to a city or larger community with better funded and better staffed services.

    They very often know exactly what they pay in taxes to support the FD, and realize that comes with limitations, and they often know multiple firefighters who compose the department, and know that some of them are younger and strong, but others are older or out of shape or have limitations.A and guess what? Because of that, they realize that these people are their fire department, so they understand when 5 strapping 10-year veterans all ready to go inside don't step off the 20-year old BRT pulls up.

    I have no idea where you live, or in what type of community you live in, but in many rural communities the public knows damn well what the fire department can and can't do, and in most circumstances they understand they aren't getting Johnny, Roy, Chet, Marco, Stoker and Captain Stanley. They understand they are getting 37 year-old Mike from the convenience store who limps a little bit on a bad knee, Don the 51-year old mechanic, Nancy the 45-year old slightly overweight teacher and maybe some young kids like 22-year old Dave from the feed store and 24-year old Ryan from the construction company.

    And in just about all cases, the community is happy, or at least understands the situation and is content with what they get.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-04-2012 at 03:48 AM.
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  2. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Developing trained and capable personnel able to operate on the your local fireground will never be determined by the FFI cirriculum. It's determined by determining local hazards, local training needs and local operations, and developing locally based training programs based on those local factors. Sure, if you want to use FFI as a broad guideline from which you add and subtract what you need locally, fine, and it works well for that purpose, but as a training standard, I'm not, and likely never will buy into standardized cookie-cutter training based on a generic training cirriculum designed to meet national needs.

    And that applies equally to career, industrial, combination and volunteer departments.

    As usual we have gotten off-track. Many departments need exterior members to operate, and what they are required to do will vary from department to department based on local needs and operations. Those standards for a firefighter - interior or exterior - should be department, not NFPA driven.
    Then why did you start a thread which advocates a state or national certification for exterior firefighters?

  3. #223
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    Then why did you start a thread which advocates a state or national certification for exterior firefighters?

    Because I can easily see that as a fairly short class > less than 50 hours > primarily generic materials geared towards the volunteer fire service.

    It could easily be a class built around some pretty straight forward principles and topics the are consistent from place to place > firefighter safety, ICS, extinguishers, fire behavior, basic ladders, very basic water supply ( with emphasis on rural water operations, unlike FFI) and some other components with minimal regional or department-to-department differences.

    I would also see the class as one with some built in Free time to teach regional or department procedures without having to lengthen the class.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-04-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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  4. #224
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ...It could easily be a class built around some pretty straight forward principles and topics the are consistent from place to place > firefighter safety, ICS, extinguishers, fire behavior, basic ladders, very basic water supply ...
    Add to this driving/pumping/aerial device operations and I'm good with it. This would be my driver only status. And I have no problem giving them different gear/helmets/etc to differentiate them on a scene. Nor do I have a problem limiting their response to 1 of them per vehicle.

    but my State says no....
    "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 Bones42 View Post
    but my State says no....
    That is ridiculous. What business is it of the state to say that you cant have driver only personnel? How does that help the community? It would be interesting to hear what Chris Christie, someone who believes in little government involvement (I do too), would say if he knew there was such a law. Granted that is not a very high priority for him, but. . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer534 View Post
    That is ridiculous. What business is it of the state to say that you cant have driver only personnel? How does that help the community? It would be interesting to hear what Chris Christie, someone who believes in little government involvement (I do too), would say if he knew there was such a law. Granted that is not a very high priority for him, but. . . .
    There are several states that mandate what firefighters can and can't do based on specific training levels or certifications.

    You are correct, sir ...... It's not right as that should be a department-level decision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    There are several states that mandate what firefighters can and can't do based on specific training levels or certifications.

    You are correct, sir ...... It's not right as that should be a department-level decision.
    I agree that a state should mandate what training is necessary to conduct interior fire operations (a firefighter), but I dont think a state should mandate that everyone be a firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer534 View Post
    I agree that a state should mandate what training is necessary to conduct interior fire operations (a firefighter), but I dont think a state should mandate that everyone be a firefighter.
    Well, some do, though thank god, it's only a few. For now.

    And that's the problem.

    If you are going to insist on FFI as the standard certification for interior personnel, than you, IMO, need a certification standard for trained exterior personnel which allows them to operate on the fierground.

    Too many departments rely on exterior personnel to exclude them from the fireground.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-04-2012 at 09:56 AM.
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  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    All I know is that if I had a small fire in my house and a bunch of guys showed up in fire trucks and said, "Sorry, we're all EXTERIOR firefighters so we have to wait for someone to go inside", I be ****ed to say the least. My opinion, but firefighting sometimes requires us to go inside.
    Me too. Noone is suggesting that there be NO interior firefighters. My point is not to throw away free help (with the appropriate level of training) in a volunteer organization.
    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.

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  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Me too. Noone is suggesting that there be NO interior firefighters. My point is not to throw away free help (with the appropriate level of training) in a volunteer organization.
    I would hope so as well.

    That being said, there are always going to be areas and departments where most, and sadly, possibly all, of the responders will be non-interior. Requiring them to be interior (or as some aould like it FFI) to be on the fireground will not change the fact that many of them, if not all, for one reason or another can't or choose not to acheive that interior status.

    All it will do is eliminate a large part or all of the fire department response, possibly allowing the fire to spread beyond the building of origin.

    They still can limit fire spread, even if non-interior, and that does serve a purpose.
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  11. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Add to this driving/pumping/aerial device operations and I'm good with it. This would be my driver only status. And I have no problem giving them different gear/helmets/etc to differentiate them on a scene. Nor do I have a problem limiting their response to 1 of them per vehicle.

    but my State says no....
    Or just have a Exterior Firefighter certification for those that may not want to drive, and an Exterior Firefighter-Driver, or Exterior Firefighter-Driver Engine, Exterior Firefighter - Driver Tanker and Exterior Firefighter-Driver Aerial, just like Driver/Operator.

    Down in this part of the country (TX, OK, ARK and north LA) I could see Exterior Firefighter/Wildland as being very heavily utilized as volunteer departments see mostly brush and wildland fires.

    All of those extras could be taught as add-on modules based on the department's needs.
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    I just dont see basing your training just on local "conditions" - training for local conditions should be in addition to having a strong baseline training.
    When wildland fire crews travel to a different area they bring a strong basic knowledge of firefighting with them. They then ADD to their knowledge by learning how to deal with local conditions.IFSAC FF1/2 is just a baseline or a foundation to build on.
    I have never seen anything good come out of lowering standards. I worked for a carpenter years ago and his famous saying was "the best you can do is just barely good enough" just where do you draw the line, you let a guy slide because he is claustrophobic -ok - you pump wizard that can draft out of a hoof print , but cant back a truck - ? now what - a pump only cert ?
    I know I am going to hear the manpower aspect , but I feel like a guy should be ssigned to a task on the fireground because he is is head and shoulder above every one else at it, not because he cant do the other tasks.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    I just dont see basing your training just on local "conditions" - training for local conditions should be in addition to having a strong baseline training.
    When wildland fire crews travel to a different area they bring a strong basic knowledge of firefighting with them. They then ADD to their knowledge by learning how to deal with local conditions.IFSAC FF1/2 is just a baseline or a foundation to build on.
    I have never seen anything good come out of lowering standards. I worked for a carpenter years ago and his famous saying was "the best you can do is just barely good enough" just where do you draw the line, you let a guy slide because he is claustrophobic -ok - you pump wizard that can draft out of a hoof print , but cant back a truck - ? now what - a pump only cert ?
    I know I am going to hear the manpower aspect , but I feel like a guy should be ssigned to a task on the fireground because he is is head and shoulder above every one else at it, not because he cant do the other tasks.
    I would agree to some extent if you added one word to "strong baseline training"... the word would be relevant.

    Training, especially when talking about volunteers with a very limited amount of time available needs to be releveant. As an example, us training on high-rise operations would not be relevant because I can say with complete confidence, we will never respond to such an incident. The simple fact is we can predict where and in what type of structures we will be operating, and our training, as well as my previous VFD's training has been successfully based around that simple premise.

    Yes, wildfire crews m ust be ready for a variety of conditions as they can travel from FL to OR. A small combo department in LA is not in that situation.

    Could we travel to south LA for a hurricane response? Yes, and we have. However, we only allow experienced personnel with FFI certification (preferably FFII) on those assignments simply because we do understand that a deployment to an unfamiliar area does require that level of training.

    Once again we are not lowering standards. This would actually establish training and testing standards for non-interior personnel, which currently do not exist.
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  14. #234
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    So how do you address volunteer departments, like the ones I work with, who not only have stand pipes but train and are outfitted to utilize them? Does your exterior only class train guys to a basic standard or only your standard? If its to a basic standard, what harm is there in learning something they might not use? How good can they be if they're great at a pump but can't understand basic standpipe operations? If they're exterior only, and are in a district where standpipes exist, are they allowed on to operate from the standpipe or just pump panel only? Do you not see what everyone is saying? There's a massive difference in training to be good at 3 things and training to be competent in your overall job description. A great operator can run a pump no matter what is asked of him, not just what he is use to facing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Too many departments rely on exterior personnel to exclude them from the fireground.
    Some department's have reputations and standards of service to maintain which completely discount this idea from ever happening.

    I still call your bluff on the whole "the public knows the service they are being provided" line. I doubt little Jimmy's mom will be quite as understanding when the "fire department" arrives and can't go in to get him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Some department's have reputations and standards of service to maintain which completely discount this idea from ever happening.

    I still call your bluff on the whole "the public knows the service they are being provided" line. I doubt little Jimmy's mom will be quite as understanding when the "fire department" arrives and can't go in to get him.
    And the worst thing is - most(Isaid most -not all) "exterior" guys will still try to go get Jimmy, And will generaly add to the problem.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    And the worst thing is - most (I said most -not all) "exterior" guys will still try to go get Jimmy, And will generaly add to the problem.
    Either that or they'll get Jimmy out and be awarded Firefighter of the Year.

    One reason they'll go in is because they used to be interior, but aren't up to that level any more.

    You don't see many 60 year old FF's in a career staffed department. They retire and get out of the game. You do see us old folks in volunteer departments. We bring our accumulated skills to the table, but don't take the fight inside any more. That gets left to the younger guys.

    I get the feeling that some folks here see a lower level of certification as something a new guy will get and never progress beyond. While we'll get a new member into the "Scene Support" class if we can't get him (or her) into FF1 right away, pretty much all of them can't wait to get into FF1 (especially the young folk), and eventually they do. The new member who never progresses beyond SS will be an older member, as mentioned earlier.

    Every FF1 class here for the past several years has been full, with a waiting list, and the county doesn't usually have the hours to run more without scrimping on other classes. Sometimes a Scene Support class means the difference between using a new member or not.

    There appears to be two schools of thought here - those who would like to see a cert level below FF1 (ie, Scene Support) and those who feel that even FF1 isn't really enough. I would submit that each school is looking through the eyes of their own experience. Thus we'll never agree.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    The answer is simple, as I see it ......Exterior fire operations not requiring SCBA as defined by the FFI ciriculum.

    So the answer would be, in the case of standpipes, no, as it is not a FFI skill.

    Many here have stated that they see FFI as a minimum, so we'll agree to use the exterior components of FFI as the cirriculum for the class.

    As far a the pump component, I would see a 20-hour basic pump class being a reasonable standard. And since standpipe operations are generally not covered in a basic pumps class, the answer would again be no.

    I would say that in my experience, most rural FDs without standpipes don't teach their members to hook up to and pump standpipes. You are likely an exception, and if that's your choice, but IMO it would not be considered a basic rural skill by most rural personnel or Chiefs.
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    Maybe, but as i stated earlier I have seen some exterior guys that can run circles around interior guys when it comes to ladder work, roof work and forcible entry.

    I guess if you think exterior members can't be part of a quality department, have at it. You're wrong, but have at it anyway.

    As far as "calling my bluff", really doesn't matter much to me if you beleive me or not, but it's the case. I would think that someone who knows that the only thing funding the fire department is a $4 per household surcharge on their water bill once a year would have an inclining that the department may have some shortcomings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    And the worst thing is - most(Isaid most -not all) "exterior" guys will still try to go get Jimmy, And will generaly add to the problem.
    Just like most cops and civilians.
    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."

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