Volunteers have workman's comp coverage for medical bills but there is no compensation for missed days from work.
Career members either are civil service with full coverage for missed time from work up to 364 days in a calender year or if not a civil service department, does have lost wage protection from workman's comp at I believe 80%.
There have been numerous attempts, as I understand it, to get LA Workman's Comp to change it's position on the volunteer missed time issue but they have not budged. It was a major fight just to get them to cover Jr. Firefighters who may be injured.
I don't agree with giving 14 year olds gear, or a pager..I think that if they want to train, go ahead, come to drills, learn the equipment and how to use it etc but there is no need for a 14 year old on a fire truck, fire ground, or accident scene.
16 year olds on the other hand..in all honesty..if we allow 16 year olds to drive 2500 pound killing machines alone then I don't see an issue with them riding on an apparatus to a call..they can be an asset at times, freeing up senior interior members from tasks that they can perform. just my opinion..
and happy father's day to all you guys out there.
There have been several attempts by LSU Fire training to get a bigger share of the insurance rebate so they could offer free or very low cost training.
Unfortunately, there has been little support by the fire service as any increase in LSU's share would likely cut into the fire department's share. Obviously, because of the lack of fire service support, there has been even less legislative support.
Does ARK provide wage protection to volunteers injured during firefighting operations?
We allow 15 year-olds, if they have a relative on the department to be involved. They are assigned to me, and work fire prevention. They are issued gear but do not respond to calls.
At 16, they are allowed to go on calls and handle support tasks- lugging gear, changing bottles, setting up lighting, etc. They are allowed to participate in active fire supression during training under direct supervision.
I also stated that in the vast majority of situations, the person or persons that started the fire are long gone by the time the fire department arrives.
Your expertise is far better suited here.
Years ago, we had a 3 story house that was abandoned and boarded up. For a couple years, we would have 2 or 3 fires a year in the house. Was always discussion on whether to let it burn or put it out. Each time we made entry and put the fire out. Found kids/adults in there a few times. I know what we did to see if the building was empty or not....I'm wondering what you do/how you know?
We need a culture of risk management? We -are- risk management. We came about due to the risk towards unprotected, unskilled civilian by unrestrained fire. Our existence was built upon taking on the risk to help the odds of those in danger. Situations and scenarios change but we still exist due to the need for risk management. Boating is also dangerous and one would say that boats are much safer when in the harbor but that's not why boats were invented, is it? The same logic applies to us as we are much safer standing around outside and spraying water in (or not even responding at all) but thats not why we were invented.
Side note- The S. S. Eastland sank in the Chicago River, and took 884 people with it. That's over half of what the Titanic lost, and the Eastland never left the shore. Boats are safer in the harbor, but still not completely safe. We never invented boats to just float around in the safety of the harbor. We weren't invented to save ourselves, but to save others.
Yes, it could be occupied.
On a personal note, I would never make entry unless I KNEW that the building was occupied or allowing it to burn created the risk of damage to occupied structures. That's just me.
I have stated many times that risk is acceptable for lives and to a limited extent for occupied property with value.
As far as abondeoned property, in our area, including that VFD the possibility of occupancy is unlikely.
Again, part of my job is to make sure that my volunteers can go to work the next day. Sure, bruises, strains and sprains will happen but will likely not prevent the family from recievinbg a paycheck. More serious injuries will, and yes, that needs to be a a paramount concern for volunteer fire officers.
That being said, the risk of loss of human lives are involvedin avery small percentageof our non-EMS responses. Obviously an urban area will see more of these types of calls but I would still bet that a direst threat occurs less than 5% of the ime, even in the largest urban areas.
Yet, there are those that seem to treat every call as a direct threat to life. That is irresponsible.
As I said, in 33 years of doing this, structures were occupied a small handful of the time. And I would bet that most firefighters with a similiar background would have the same experiences. You, and other posters do a lot of talking about "saving victims" and while that does happen, far more often than not it's simply about property, and not saving lives.
I have saved far more lives running MVAs and EMS than I would ever save in fires. The situations in most communities are simply that infrequent.
Most of our calls can be handled with a cold response. Some may require a hot response, but in can be very non-aggressive hot response. Only a very small portion of our calls require a truly hot response.
And in the cases where a vehicle or structure is lost when we arrive, hit it with a master stream, then mop up.
We have the right to go home every single night and after every single call. The plight of a civilian does not take that right away from us. We have an obligation to do what we can within the resources we have on hand, but that obligation does not oblige us to become seriously injured or die in the effort.
We disagree on that and always will.
You knew the building was empty before they ever made entry or did they make entry and later find it to be empty?
I don't agree with our dept's policy with 14 year olds..it is in place and it is what it is.
As far as the drivers license justifying letting a 16 year old to ride a fire truck..I'll justify it by saying this..driving emergent to a call..would you say that it is more dangerous then letting a 16 year old go out on a Friday night driving around by himself or worse, with friends trying to impress girls and giving into peer pressure?
I know what my friends and I did when we were 16 driving around, we thought we were untouchable, and it had nothing to do with how I was raised or my morals/values..it had to do with having a new sense of freedom not having to ride with a parent all the time..it felt like we were adults, however, we obviously weren't.
Now, your faced with a choice..let your 16-17 year old son/daughter go on a call, with a qualified apparatus/driver operator..and operate under the direct supervision of firefighters like yourself..or giving them the keys to your car and tell him, hey, be back by 11.
Now, once again, this scenario does not reflect at all on you as a father or your wife as a mother or your parenting skills collectively..things happen, it is what it is. and in all honesty, what makes a 16 year old more mature then an 18 year old..or a 17 year old more mature then an 18 year old..or an 18 year old more mature then a 21 year old? a 16 year old who works 1 or 2 jobs and does good in school, plays sports or a 21 year old who smokes pot does dishes part time and lives in his mothers basement like a leach? maturity/responsibility does not have an age limit..if a 16 year old walks into my firehouse and is like I want to learn how to be a firefighter and he goes through the appropriate training and demonstrates he is responsible and mature there is no reason to not let him on an apparatus to go and assist doing jobs on the fire ground that aren't in the hot zone. Saying that letting a 16 year old child onto a fire truck is insane, but letting an 18 year old man is not..is equivalent to saying..it is insane to let an 18 year old FRESH out of high school to go to war..but it is ok to let a 21 year old to go and fight and die. If letting a 16 year old on a fire truck keeps him away from drugs or trouble and gives him interest in a career field..then I'm all for it.