I cant speak for the rest of the nation, but up in the northeast, especially NY or Philly metro area we are still primarily volunteer, excluding those very large municipalities. We have a very high call volume, and fire load. Last year my volunteer company ran 1,103 individual company runs *FIRE ONLY, WE DONT DO EMS* of which 179 were working structural fires. We get a lot of new members who are "only in it for the T shirt" but they seem to disappear within a few months. A rigorous mandatory training regiment will weed out the ones who don't really want to be there and leave you with a really good, highly skilled core group of firefighters. Thanks and stay safe.
Regarding the 60 - 90 it's definitely not every month, but it does happen for me. At my department we currently have an "Open" training night every friday just about, plus at least one required training every month.
In addition to that at the time I posted this I believe I had attended the 16 hr intro to firefighting and 64 hr basic firefighting class as well as having taken the 80 plus hour first responder class. In the last year I've taken a 40 hour TARS extrication certification (Over 2 weeks) as well as about an additional 50 or 60 hours over 2 months to complete HAZMat awareness, ICS300, Radiological Monitoring and HazMat operations. In October and the beginning of November I'll be completing HMTO.
I also intend on completing ICS400 as soon as it's offered plus as soon as the county announces the schedule I'll be attending the first responder refresher.
While the 60 to 90 hours on top of the 9 to 5 I can definitely say I have experienced it several times and will again in the future.
I dont have any certs but my cpr Ive been in the service for a month as of tomorrow which is the 18th. Ive already made more calls than 65 percent of the other volunteers and I have but one cert. It amazes me that people want to be a part of this services but never show up. I guess some people just dont have passion like me and the other 4 firefighter/emt's that show up. in the last month its been the same 5 guys show up everytime no matter if we have work in a half hour or we have family stuff going on us 5 are always there. I understand that some have career firefighting jobs but come on, if your going to be a part of a volly fire service be there. Hats off to you guys who show up every time regardless of whats going on. Heck this morning the tones went off for a possible stroke ive been beat to the ground between 70 hours of regular work and about 60 hours of volly work but i still get up and out of bed cause i know what my service means to my community. again hats of to all the men and women who show up every possible chance they can get.
A way to make yourself REALLY popular as a brand new probie is to start telling everyone how much more dedicated than they are you are.
Frankly, if all you have is cpr you have no business being anywhere near a fire scene in the first place. And other than as a gopher how useful are you at an EMS call? If you do ANYTHING medically beyond cpr you are opening yourself AND your FD up for liability.
I appreciate yur enthusiasm, but being cocky and spouting off about other's dedication is no way to enter the fire service.
It's not about other member's lack of passion, it's about having having other commitments. People have two jobs, family commitments, church functions, meetings at the Mason lodge, vacations, and about 10,000 other things that take their time away from the firehouse.
It's commendable that you're doing as much as you can at the firehouse, but it might be time for a bit of a reality check: with virtually no training or experience under your belt, you're little more than a civilian in turnout gear. You have a lot to accomplish still: basic training, experience on calls, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, attending meetings, etc. As you do these things, you'll find that there has to be a balance between work, family, volunteering, education, and other things.
There's nothing wrong with your enthusiasm at all. But to bash the other members of a department that you've been a member of for a month is a great way to alienate yourself altogether.
FyredUp - ditto, you said it all.
There is nothing worst than the know it all who keeps reminding you how he knows it all. No one will listen to him, even when he is right. The fire service is 3rd on the list behind family and the job. When he gets 5-10 yrs in the service he can tell us a little about the volunteer fire service. God, I hate that word, volly and I am not a newbie to the fire service.
To me most often the kind of blather I hear coming from guys like kwoo222 comes from 18 to early 20 year olds that have no family of their own and most often do not have a regular full time job.
Again, enthusiasm is good, stupid games are bad and break up the necessary cohesiveness of the fire department.
Sorry for giving my thoughts. I just thought I'd get in the post. My intentions were not to be cocky. I go on runs to learn. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe I do need a reality check....but in my eyes I've just scratched the surface and hardly know anything that's why I show up. I love to educate myself. And btw I have a full time job work 70+ hours a week selling vehicles I own my own trailer and have my head on straight. I'm 22! I take care of my priorities first then firefifhting. 90 percent of my calls just come in the middle of the night so I have nothing going on during that particular time. Again I know nothing I guess this is how a probie gets treated in the fire service. Best of luck to you all and stay safe... :) the probie who only holds a cpr cert.
30 whole days huh? Most of us have more time on the crapper than that.
Golden Rule for new guys is STFU AND LISTEN!
A lot of newbs hit a lot of runs at first, so naturally outpace the "older" folks. Nothing new there. I'd opine that saying so is just a statement of fact.
The same thing happens all through the spectrum. A few people make the bulk of the calls. I used to do a detailed synopsis of who made how many of each call. Besides being a review of what we ran for the year, I always hoped that it might entice some folks to try to get closer to the top of the list.
Since I try to make any call that I can make, I was usually at or near the top of the list. I'm convinced that some members thought that the only reason I put the list together was so I could show off. I would have loved to be fourth or fifth on the list, but I was't going to skip calls just so I could do so. The other members were going to have to step up and take in more calls. Never happened.
Of course, they'll always be there for the "big one," but they never seem to make those, either.
There was a day when the siren would bring in a dozen or more people. It took a significant working structure fire to require mutual aid. Not a lot of those responding were interior, though.
Nowadays we need three departments (stations) to get that same 12-15 people out the door.
This is an all too common occurrence in my dept. and area. We like to call em' IKE, KIA, or the ever popular 2-20 (Definitions to follow) I got OTJ in an era where a probie's job was to listen and learn, not talk. As an old-timer once told me many moons ago, there is no such thing as a probie with an opinion. Now I do encourage the newb's to participate as much as possible and to ask questions, but I also stress on a continuous basis at the firehouse to respect the senior more salty guys, just because they arenít in the upper echelon of percentage now, doesn't mean they werenít 15 years ago when we use to run a working fire a day.
IKE: I Know EVERYTHING
KIA: Knows IT ALL
and my favorite
2-20: On the job 2, thinks they are on 20.
I've put myself in check the last few days. Idk what got into me.
Don't misunderstand us though, enthusiasm is good, eagerness is good, a willingness to learn is good, a willingness to train is good, the ability to learn from the veterans and to listen to their tales of firefighting is good, and being available to go on calls is good. The problem is the cockiness, the know it all, the I am better than those that came before me, especially when you are essentially untrained and little more than a gopher at this point.
Keep your ego and your mouth in check and you may find out those who you criticized know far more than you give them credit for. Good luck.
knoo222 i am 48 been doing this for atleast 7 years so much for just because you 20 and new at this. i sympathise with you. we still have the same few people showing just like you do, and yes i have a problem with that. I am not beating my chest saying look at me, but if your a volunteer that means to me that your actualy volunteering to help. Some the only time they sow up when there is smoke is when we BBQ. Having only a few people on the fire ground is dangerous. EMR training is expensive so if the Dept. invests money to train you i expect a return on our investment. As for learning from the older guys yes you can but make sure they have the proper training to be able to teach you, not the I know cause i been here 10 years. Also i work 2 jobs but still responde whenever i can. Good luck and every Dept. should try to be the best they can be.
As an instructor I have taught at over 100 volunteer FDs and let me make this clear there are and will always be slugs, T-shirt firefighters, or guys that only show up for the big one. Many times this happens because locally the officers for some reason won't step up and say meet the requirements or you will be gone. They have some idea that a full roster, no matter how worthless some of those names on the list are, is better than having slots to fill and nothing but highly motivated people on the FD until those slots are filled. Personally, I intensely dislike those guys that never show up for training but are right there ready to go for the big one, even though procedures and equipment have changed and they are more in the way than anything else.
I am a big fan of the mentoring program where a newbie is assigned to a senior firefighter (one with actual skills, knowledge of the FD, and training) to mentor the new firefighters. Someone that they can go to with questions and for help. Someone that will guide them along not only on the firefighting aspect of the job but the social aspect of the department. Sadly, neither of my POC FDs do that currently, well at least not officially at this point.
People are all busy thse days, but my Dad always said if you want something done give it to a busy man because he has figured out the most efficient way to accomplish things. You work 2 jobs...Well, I have worked multiple jobs my entire adult life. I recently retired from a career FD, but while there I was a member of 2 POC FDs (still am), taught for the tech college, and picked up odds and ends jobs here and there. Funny thing is I was always in the top 5 for responses with my # 1 POC FD and in the top 10 in my #2 POC FD. To be honest it is the luck of the draw when you are a volunteer. If you are around when the call comes in great, if you are working or out of town, oh well you missed that one.
The truth is we often learn more with our ears open and our mouth closed, unless we are asking questions.