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Thread: Sorta What I have Been Thinkin'

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Life is about compromises, and what we train our members to do is one of those compromises.

    I agree with this. I want this posted on every LODD for volunteer firefighters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    The rest of us are discussing fire departments staffed by firefighters. What you are talking about is a type of modern day bucket brigade.

    The bucket brigade of the past was not much more than a group of people moving water from one location to the fire and dumping it on it and repeating until the fire burned itself out. The organizations that you describe are just using more efficient means to move that water and put it on the fire.

    Really.

    What I am talking about is reasonable, relevant training at the volunteer level. That means teaching them what they need to know to do the job in as reasonable a time frame as possible and understanding that they do not have the time to train that career firefighters have.

    And not teaching them stuff that simply isn't relevant.

    My cobo department is not a typical combo in this region. We attract far more volunteers than any other combo or volunteer department and have a much greater number of volunteers who are career members elsewhere. because of that, we are capable of performing aggressive fire attacks and rescue operations that most other combo and probably no VFDs in this area can perform *** they bring significant training and experience with them.

    My VFD is far more typical. Limited funding. Very limited manpower with limited training time and much more limited in terms of it's abilities. That is what I am talking about.

    I would hardly call us a bucket brigade but I accept that with those limitations, and know that there are things we can change and improve on and things we can't.

    Certainly my last VFD had much greater capabilities, but was also supported by a far greater budget, larger community to pull members from, a culture of fire service volunteerism, a higher level of experience and strong, close mutual aid. Every region or area brings different things to the table.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, it's not a bet.

    You propose perfecting every skill in the book, which is fine if you beleive that your personnel have the time to do that. And by doing that you are limiting the manpower pool to members that have that amount of time to committ to a part-time advocation. Great, if it works for you.

    The fact is our members do not need to know every skill in the FFI cirriculum as either we don not and never will respond to the struture type that requires that skill or we simply do not own the tools for that skill. To me, that's not a bet. That's realistically looking at your operations vs. the cirriculum and evaluating what skills you need to effectivly conduct your operations.

    It's the same with the emphasis that we put on vehicle extrication, which following the logic of some of the members here who define FFI as the basic skill set, would not be considered a basic skill as it's in the FFII cirriculum. yet we have determined that for us, based on the number of extrications we perform, it is important enough to be a basic skill. Same with industrial operations. And the increased emphasis we put on wildland vs. the pitance covered in FFI.

    Yes, training volunteers is about compromise. That being said, if you are smart about it, it can be extremly effective and still not overly tax their free time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Please enlighten me...

    I fight fire the same way, to the same standard from my career, to my part time, to my volunteer department. How do the standards change according to pay?

    You're contradicting yourself. If I'm held to a certain standard because my city PAYS me to be a firefighter, how is that different than a city (even if partially) funds the local volunteer station to be staffed by (volunteer) firefighters? You get what you pay for, firefighters. The amount you pay should not diminish what you get, firefighters. Bigger departments, bigger set of issues, bigger amounts of money, bigger demands, that's all it boils down to. You opt for basic, you get a basic firefighter, nothing less.
    We disagree.

    You want to hold a volunteer to the same standard as a career firefighter where firefighting is his profession, and he is paid to train, so be it.

    I don't, and never will.

    I understand that volunteers have differing levels of dedication and time to committ to me for training and response. there are those that have the time and dedication to excel, and may want to do this for a living, which fuels the drive even more. There are those that want to be good at the job and have a reasonable amnount of time to commit, and will train when possible. And there are those that do the minimum, but still have value on the fireground.


    They all need to be trained.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Please enlighten me...

    I fight fire the same way, to the same standard from my career, to my part time, to my volunteer department. How do the standards change according to pay?

    You're contradicting yourself. If I'm held to a certain standard because my city PAYS me to be a firefighter, how is that different than a city (even if partially) funds the local volunteer station to be staffed by (volunteer) firefighters? You get what you pay for, firefighters. The amount you pay should not diminish what you get, firefighters. Bigger departments, bigger set of issues, bigger amounts of money, bigger demands, that's all it boils down to. You opt for basic, you get a basic firefighter, nothing less.

    When career members are trained off the clock I'll agree that career and volunteers should have the same training.

    Until then, we'll disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I don't know how much clearer I can make this..........none of us are suggesting that a mandatory FF1 requirement replace department level entry level training! We're saying that it should be the foundation upon which your department training is built.
    I think the "foundation: anology is right on. When you dig a footing you dig it to a minimun depth and thickness, if you know a section is goung to have a heavier load you pour it thicker, add more/heavier rebar etc. But you dont skimp or leave sections of the rest of the footing out just so you can beef up other parts. That little bit of concrete and rebar you "saved" will some day cost you.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    RyanK63...I've been in 29 years. Never once used a standpipe....is that really a skill I "need to know"? Just curious, how much time in do you have?
    I probably should have worded that differently. It should be a mandatory skill depending on your areas, but it's not something that should just be passed by like it's no big deal. Not sure about your area, but I know mine is seeing more and more standpipe systems being installed. And I'll have 7 years in this August.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, that's not what you are saying. There are several stating the the firefighter should be taught every component of FFI'FFII as basic training so that the firefighter will be well rounded, evebn if the department does not utilize that tool or operation.

    I strongly disagree.

    Yes, the applicable and relevant parts of FFI/FFII to that department and district should be the basis of department entry-level training. That being said, if a department has no standpipes, as an example, and does not nor ever will perform standpipe operations, that training is not relevant and not applicable to the operation, and simply does not need to be taught at the department level for the firefighter position. Same with a 35' ladder if a department never throws one, and certainly if a department doesn't even carry one.

    FFI/FFII should be a guideline where the department selects the applicable components and teaches them. If a component is not relevant to thier operations, rookie firefighters , especially volunteers with very limited time, do not need to train on those components.
    Again, you are blinded by your own little world on this matter and can't separate the issues. The discussion is about certification, not department training.

    In PA, the prep class for FF1 testing is called "Essentials of Firefighting". The class is not taught at the department level. The class is taught via the Community College System. Oftentimes, individual departments will "host" the class at their facility if they have members in need of the class. Unless they have enough to fill the roster, other departments in the area will send their members in need of the class.

    Even though the class may be taught by member(s) of that department (as State Fire Instructors), the class is not "department training". It is not uncommon to "tailor" the class to the students' needs, like spending more time on areas more relevant to their area and less time on things that aren't so much.

    The class and testing is 100% 3rd party administered (on paper at least).

    For the department in which I belonged to when I took my FF1 test, new members (if they didn't already have it) got enrolled in an Essentials class administered thru the Community College System. While waiting for the class to start, during the class and after it, the department provided training for the new members that prepared them for the FF1 test AND for the needs of the department. Worked pretty well too as the majority of members passed on the first try.

    With the exception of the couple major cities in the state, nobody teaches their own private FF1 class and nobody does it as "department training".

    You seem to want the certification standards (whether state or national level) to be tailored to fit your area specifically even though it's really not representative of the rest of the country. How very narcissistic of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Right and this discussion is about that broader scope of skills and knowledge and not about local level needs.

    And that is the crux of the disagreement.

    I really don't care if my rookie firefighter has a clue about a NY roof hook, as an example if we don;'t carry one. I am going to need him to know how to identify a fubar, a halligan, a 4' pike pole, trash hook and a sheet rock tool because thata is what we carry and that is what I am going to need him to be able to locate when I ask for it. That is where I need his attention. He needs to learn the tools we have, as an example, not on tools we do not possess.

    And that's where his attention should be when you are teaching him about your department, but again we aren't talking solely about your department and it's training needs.

    I really don't give a damn if he knows how to load a horseshoe load because we'll never load hose that way, and if we get a new Chief that for some reason wants to, we'll train everydoby on it.

    Rookie firefighters need to know what we do, how we do it and when we do it, and yes, it may be simplistic but that is what entry level training should be.

    Right and that's department specific entry-level training, not an entry level standard for certification.

    General knowledge training are the alternatives - the NY Roof Hook - and the decison-making skills that they need as they take more responsibility and begin to move into some level of responsibility. That is where FFI/FFII comes into play.
    WOW! You really shouldn't be teaching anybody anything if you think this way. General knowledge and skills ARE entry level training NOT post-entry level!

    We disagree. A rookie does not need to know the advantages and disadvantages of tools that we do not own. Yes, they need to know the pluses and minues of the tools we do own, and if you want to call that general knowledge, fine, but to me that is still simple entry-level knowledge stuff.
    A lot of entry level knowledge is also general knowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Again, you are blinded by your own little world on this matter and can't separate the issues. The discussion is about certification, not department training.

    In PA, the prep class for FF1 testing is called "Essentials of Firefighting". The class is not taught at the department level. The class is taught via the Community College System. Oftentimes, individual departments will "host" the class at their facility if they have members in need of the class. Unless they have enough to fill the roster, other departments in the area will send their members in need of the class.

    Even though the class may be taught by member(s) of that department (as State Fire Instructors), the class is not "department training". It is not uncommon to "tailor" the class to the students' needs, like spending more time on areas more relevant to their area and less time on things that aren't so much.

    The class and testing is 100% 3rd party administered (on paper at least).

    For the department in which I belonged to when I took my FF1 test, new members (if they didn't already have it) got enrolled in an Essentials class administered thru the Community College System. While waiting for the class to start, during the class and after it, the department provided training for the new members that prepared them for the FF1 test AND for the needs of the department. Worked pretty well too as the majority of members passed on the first try.

    With the exception of the couple major cities in the state, nobody teaches their own private FF1 class and nobody does it as "department training".

    You seem to want the certification standards (whether state or national level) to be tailored to fit your area specifically even though it's really not representative of the rest of the country. How very narcissistic of you.
    I ahve no issue with that type of class. My previous department had a 50-hour class which worked quite well, and elimiated the need for FFI.

    In fact, is was that type of class that was proposed a few years ago as the state minimum by the State Firemen's Association. Unfortunatly, it never made it out of committee but i strongly supported the effort as the best answer for the volunteer fire service. The class would have been given at the local level by local trainers certifed by LSU, with the testing administered by LSU.

    The only part of the proposal that I opposed was a requirement that if a member did not take FFI within 4 years of taking this class, he/she would have to retake this class.

    I compleltly oppose mandating FFI for volunteers to operate on the fireground. It will simply do more damage to the service in terms of recruitment and retention. FFI and other certification programs should be encouraged but not required after the members have completed a well-planned department specific-entry level training program.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    When career members are trained off the clock I'll agree that career and volunteers should have the same training.

    Until then, we'll disagree.
    Wake up and start paying attention to the discussions on here. Myself and several others have repeatedly told you that there are many, many career firefighters that are not "on the clock" when they take training classes. Many of us have even paid all of our travel expenses, including motels, fuel, etc. and used vacation time in order to take classes.

    Regardless, the discussion isn't quite about both having the exact same training, it's about both meeting the same standard. It doesn't matter if you can train a person to obtain the FF1 certification in 40 hours and I take 400 hours to do it, both have met the same standard. One may be "better" trained or "polished" than the other, but they are both certified at the FF1 level. That's the point!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I ahve no issue with that type of class. My previous department had a 50-hour class which worked quite well, and elimiated the need for FFI.

    In fact, is was that type of class that was proposed a few years ago as the state minimum by the State Firemen's Association. Unfortunatly, it never made it out of committee but i strongly supported the effort as the best answer for the volunteer fire service. The class would have been given at the local level by local trainers certifed by LSU, with the testing administered by LSU.

    The only part of the proposal that I opposed was a requirement that if a member did not take FFI within 4 years of taking this class, he/she would have to retake this class.

    I compleltly oppose mandating FFI for volunteers to operate on the fireground. It will simply do more damage to the service in terms of recruitment and retention. FFI and other certification programs should be encouraged but not required after the members have completed a well-planned department specific-entry level training program.
    Why?! Both police and EMS personnel are required to obtain mandatory state level certification in order to be police officers and EMT & Paramedics on ambulances. Why should the fire service be different? Why should they be allowed to create their own individual standards? What makes us so special compared to the PD and EMS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Wake up and start paying attention to the discussions on here. Myself and several others have repeatedly told you that there are many, many career firefighters that are not "on the clock" when they take training classes. Many of us have even paid all of our travel expenses, including motels, fuel, etc. and used vacation time in order to take classes.

    Regardless, the discussion isn't quite about both having the exact same training, it's about both meeting the same standard. It doesn't matter if you can train a person to obtain the FF1 certification in 40 hours and I take 400 hours to do it, both have met the same standard. One may be "better" trained or "polished" than the other, but they are both certified at the FF1 level. That's the point!
    You sell it to the rural VFD Chiefs and I'll fly with it.

    But they, by and large, and not going to buy in because they know it's simply not realisitic and will cost them some of their already very limited manpower.

    But you're more than welcome to give it your best shot and if you get them on board I'll work with it. After all, they'll be the ones that have to deal with the mess mandating FFI will create.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Why?! Both police and EMS personnel are required to obtain mandatory state level certification in order to be police officers and EMT & Paramedics on ambulances. Why should the fire service be different? Why should they be allowed to create their own individual standards? What makes us so special compared to the PD and EMS?
    Because most rural VFDs know they simply cannot reach that level without a significant cost in terms of manpower.

    The rural VFDs are not the police and they are not EMS. And they don't pretend to be.

    And in this state, the police are paid and all rural EMS is also paid - either parish 3rd service or private - so we are not talking apples and apples.

    But hey, as I said above, if you can convince rural fire Chiefs that it's a good idea, I'm in.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Why?! Both police and EMS personnel are required to obtain mandatory state level certification in order to be police officers and EMT & Paramedics on ambulances. Why should the fire service be different? Why should they be allowed to create their own individual standards? What makes us so special compared to the PD and EMS?
    Ya know - they shouldn't.

    The difference is in the training opportunities around here. I just attended a portion of a three day conference for EMS providers. All the training was approved by the state for CME's. It was less than a half hour from my house. If I make all of those conferences over three years I'll have most of my hours for my CME-based recertification.

    The state EMS conference will offer several days of state-approved CME hours classes this fall. Put just those two conferences together and I'll be pretty much set. But it means travel to the site (fortunately only 70 miles from here this year), lodging, meals, what-have-you. Sometimes your agency covers that, sometimes they don't.

    There is nothing like that offered for firefighters. The entire county gets about 900 training hours from the state, and each of the two FF1 classes takes up 300 of those hours. Trying to get a few specialty classes (extrication, pump operator, etc) can be tough, and there are only six instructors available to give them, unless a state-level instructors comes in.

    I can get some fire-oriented classes at the state chief's show, but the same travel, lodging, etc, factors apply. Not every fire department can afford to spend that kind of money, so it's on the individual's dime again. Oh, by the way, the state really doesn't have anything to do with anything presented at the chief's show, so while they look good in my training file, that's about it.

    We could really do with a system like EMS, but it's going to require a lot of administration that the state isn't going to want to do (or can't afford). They have enough trouble with EMS.

    At least one state is going that way for volunteers, so I hear. I'm sure it will come in time.

    But I'll also agree that a non-interior certification would be desirable. Our local EMS squad has one paramedic on the rig. Others on the crew may be EMT-B, or possibly just non-certified folks locally trained to drive (with an EVOC course) and assist the medic as needed (setting up IV's, hooking up the monitor, etc). It works.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    When career members are trained off the clock I'll agree that career and volunteers should have the same training.
    So far this year, I've gotten around 70 hours of work-specific training off the clock, with at least 24 more hours scheduled in the next two months.
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    I've been "lucky" enough to have our class training fall on my vacation, which means I come in for class, on a day off, unpaid.

    I just wish they'd let me pick and choose the calls I responded to so I could get a full nights sleep. But it's understandable, my boss just hates when I show up to my other job tired from fighting fire the night before. My spouse also hates the time I spend away from home and the dates and occasions I've had to miss. And then to think, after all of that, I go spend every third day at my career department....
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    Posted by LA
    When career members are trained off the clock I'll agree that career and volunteers should have the same training.

    Until then, we'll disagree.
    Well, it is then.. I know many career firefighters who attend training sessions ON THEIR OWN TIME to learn their craft and then bring what they learned back to their respective FDs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Because most rural VFDs know they simply cannot reach that level without a significant cost in terms of manpower.

    The rural VFDs are not the police and they are not EMS. And they don't pretend to be.

    And in this state, the police are paid and all rural EMS is also paid - either parish 3rd service or private - so we are not talking apples and apples.

    But hey, as I said above, if you can convince rural fire Chiefs that it's a good idea, I'm in.
    Actually for what I'm talking about, it's all apples, just different varieties.

    All three are part of the Public Safety spectrum and all three are an essential public service. All three have funding issues, some more than others. All three require specific knowledge and skills not usually commonly found among the general public. Yet only 2 of the 3 in most states have any sort of state level certification requirements of the personnel involved with the provision of those services to the public.

    You really don't see the inherent problem with this?


    BTW, I'm talking about certification and not necessarily exclusively of FF1. As I've said, I don't necessarily have a problem with these "lesser" certifications, I just strongly disagree with your position that they should be the "baseline" by which a fire department/firefighter is measured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Ya know - they shouldn't.

    The difference is in the training opportunities around here. I just attended a portion of a three day conference for EMS providers. All the training was approved by the state for CME's. It was less than a half hour from my house. If I make all of those conferences over three years I'll have most of my hours for my CME-based recertification.

    The state EMS conference will offer several days of state-approved CME hours classes this fall. Put just those two conferences together and I'll be pretty much set. But it means travel to the site (fortunately only 70 miles from here this year), lodging, meals, what-have-you. Sometimes your agency covers that, sometimes they don't.

    There is nothing like that offered for firefighters. The entire county gets about 900 training hours from the state, and each of the two FF1 classes takes up 300 of those hours. Trying to get a few specialty classes (extrication, pump operator, etc) can be tough, and there are only six instructors available to give them, unless a state-level instructors comes in.

    I can get some fire-oriented classes at the state chief's show, but the same travel, lodging, etc, factors apply. Not every fire department can afford to spend that kind of money, so it's on the individual's dime again. Oh, by the way, the state really doesn't have anything to do with anything presented at the chief's show, so while they look good in my training file, that's about it.

    We could really do with a system like EMS, but it's going to require a lot of administration that the state isn't going to want to do (or can't afford). They have enough trouble with EMS.

    At least one state is going that way for volunteers, so I hear. I'm sure it will come in time.
    Most of this is not exactly relevant to the discussion. We aren't talking about con-ed. We're talking about certification.


    But I'll also agree that a non-interior certification would be desirable. Our local EMS squad has one paramedic on the rig. Others on the crew may be EMT-B, or possibly just non-certified folks locally trained to drive (with an EVOC course) and assist the medic as needed (setting up IV's, hooking up the monitor, etc). It works.
    It works because the state requires the personnel to be certified to a uniform minimum standard within the state and more than likely, the state also certifies, licenses, etc. the ambulance service itself, dictating the minimum equipment carried and the staffing requirements for that ambulance to respond to calls and the level of care it can provide.

    It also works because ambulance staffing requirements are essentially based on the premise of one ambulance, one patient. Since the vast majority of calls are handled that way, having one Paramedic and at least one lesser certified provider works well.

    It's harder to apply that same approach to the fire service since there can be so many variables in play at any given fire and the amount of personnel needed for it. Regardless, all of the players should be certified in some fashion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Actually for what I'm talking about, it's all apples, just different varieties.

    All three are part of the Public Safety spectrum and all three are an essential public service. All three have funding issues, some more than others. All three require specific knowledge and skills not usually commonly found among the general public. Yet only 2 of the 3 in most states have any sort of state level certification requirements of the personnel involved with the provision of those services to the public.

    You really don't see the inherent problem with this?


    BTW, I'm talking about certification and not necessarily exclusively of FF1. As I've said, I don't necessarily have a problem with these "lesser" certifications, I just strongly disagree with your position that they should be the "baseline" by which a fire department/firefighter is measured.
    No it's not apples.

    Cops - Paid, and generally was paid while attending the academy.
    EMS - paid, and at a minumum id often trained to get CE hours
    Fire - Volunteer

    To quote the old sesame Street song .... "Which one of these is not like the other ......"

    You think that the same standard should apply to volunteers? Fine.

    Again, run that by some rural volunteer Chiefs especially where certification classes cost $$$$, and requiring certification will affect manpower and tell me how it goes.

    As I said, if they are in, so am I.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    I've been "lucky" enough to have our class training fall on my vacation, which means I come in for class, on a day off, unpaid.

    I just wish they'd let me pick and choose the calls I responded to so I could get a full nights sleep. But it's understandable, my boss just hates when I show up to my other job tired from fighting fire the night before. My spouse also hates the time I spend away from home and the dates and occasions I've had to miss. And then to think, after all of that, I go spend every third day at my career department....
    Gee whiz ... I've worked plenty of jobs where I had to work holidays and missed special occasions. I've even worked jobs where I was required to work overtime ... Wawawaaaaaaa.

    Don't really know what the point of all that whining was about. I think every job entails some level of sacrifice, so just get over it.

    It's the career you choose. You could have chosen some other job and just remained a volunteer.

    Fact is most career members do attend training primarily on the clock. Yes there are exceptions, but often that's not the case. I know several career personnel that simply refuse to attend training on their off-time.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  23. #323
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    Thanks for proving how stupid you really are. When you get a moment, check out the word sarcasm. Or just reread my post and try catch the obvious irony.


    I use to feel sorry for you. Now I really feel horrible for the guys who have to come into contact with you but aren't allowed to slap you in the head. That has to be frustrating.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  24. #324
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    Wow...

    I can't believe you haven't changed LAF's mind on this yet.

    Keep trying!
    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."

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanK63 View Post
    I probably should have worded that differently. It should be a mandatory skill depending on your areas, but it's not something that should just be passed by like it's no big deal. Not sure about your area, but I know mine is seeing more and more standpipe systems being installed. And I'll have 7 years in this August.
    Exactly what LaFire is stating too...

    7 years in....I thought you had stated you just finished FF1. Not a problem.
    "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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