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Thread: The danger of LAFE's way of thinking

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    How did they justify having time to go on calls but not study?
    As I understand it, Virginia basically hit the reset button and wiped out their past training and said they would have to take it all again. The number I recall them saying at the time was 800 hours. Not being sure of that, I check a VA website and found:

    "Paramedic (3 year certification)

    The Paramedic program is designed to certify the technician to the highest level of pre-hospital advanced life support care available in Virginia. This program fulfills all the requirements of the Virginia EMS Education Standards at the paramedic level.

    The Paramedic program expands on the skills and subjects contained in the Enhanced and Intermediate courses with a minimum of 781 hours of instruction. Of these hours, a minimum of 136 hours is devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty critical care units. Additional hours may be required to complete all the required competencies."


    I think that since they were older and had already put many years as volunteers (20+) they just decided it was time to hang up the hat.

    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Not assuming anything but what was their average turnout? I know medics are hard to come by but were they responding enough to justify their membership? Was their response numbers dwindling due to needing the time to study or vice versa?
    I don't know the number of calls they ran per week or year but they were quite active. Yes, they were responding enough. Usually during the day when they were most needed. Their response numbers seemed consistent from what I saw.


    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    What kind of learning options were available? What expected completion time frame were they given?
    This I do not know. Being a rural area, I know the training is usually done in the county with the hospital (which is about a 30 minute drive in a pov).

    I know they were saddened when the state said they had to start all over again despite their experience. There was no refresher course or such. This was all about 7 - 8 years ago I think. Our county has since hired some paid personal so I guess it worked out for some people.


  2. #242
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    Thanks for the information. Seems the downfall was in the way it was handled an not necessarily what was being handled. It's much clearer when I realized it was EMT training, which I agree can take a more considerable amount of time and effort. Best of luck to you and the department.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I nevber stated that FFI/FFII were useless.
    Yes you did. These are only a few of your replies to my posts but, since this thread is 13 pages long, I imagine this is a mere sampling.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    If there truly was a NATIONAL FFI class with the exact same number of hours in EVERY state, I may have slightly different feelings on FFI, but as it stands now, it's basically a load of crap.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I contention is that FFI is not relevant and applicable baseline training for the rural enviroment.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    As I have stated, FFI would be applicable in my previous 2 VFDs, but it's simply not applicable to the needs of either of my 2 current departments.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ...FFI is not truly applicable in our situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I could but I have way too much on my plate. If I considered the standards that important, I might.


    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 07-11-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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    Bobby just got OWNED! Nice work dfw!
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    good job ------
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    If there truly was a NATIONAL FFI class with the exact same number of hours in EVERY state, I may have slightly different feelings on FFI, but as it stands now, it's basically a load of crap.

    The line was in reference to the the "national standard" ine that some like to make FFI out to be when in fact, it's clearly not he case as only 7 states have adopted it as such.

    The facts clearly state there is no "national standard" as requirements for career and volunteer vary from 0 to a 90 hour FFI to a 240 hour FFI/FFII, depending on the state



    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I contention is that FFI is not relevant and applicable baseline training for the rural enviroment.

    Did you happen to miss the places where i posted that parts of FFI can be used for rural initial training such as fire behavior and extinguishers? Did you happen to miss my posts where I clearly stated that FFI, or at least large parts of it, could very well be quite relevant and applicable for my combo department in a few more years, depending on the rate of development, and that it likely is applicable to both of my previous VFDs? Look back on the last couple of pages. You will find those quotes as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    As I have stated, FFI would be applicable in my previous 2 VFDs, but it's simply not applicable to the needs of either of my 2 current departments.


    As stated, FFI would be applicable for my previous 2 VFDs in built up suburban environments. Wow .. I guess you did find those quotes after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ...FFI is not truly applicable in our situation.

    I guess I would not say "not truly applicable" and "useless" are the same thing. yes, there are elements of FFI that apply to a rural department, but not enough to justify requiring the entire course.


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I could but I have way too much on my plate. If I considered the standards that important, I might.

    And what does that have to do with me calling it useless? Being a part of the standards process is not something that I see as a good use of my time as I prepare for retirement. I am more concerned with other ventures to prepare for a source of secondary income after retirement. Being a part of the standards process does nothing in that direction.















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    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-11-2012 at 11:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The line that it's the "national standard" that some like to make it out to be is a load of crap. The fact that only 7 states have adopted it as such show that.
    Whether you or I like it or dislike it, an NFPA 1001-based Firefighter I and II training program is THE "standard of care" or "industry standard" that your department will be held accountable to/measured against if one of your members is injured or, heaven forbid, killed.

    You can do anything you'd like on top of that baseline training "standard". Not only "can" you, your FD has an obligation to prepare your members for the particulars of your response area ABOVE AND BEYOND a baseline, industry standard NFPA 1001 training program.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I guess i would not say "not truly applicable" and "useless" are the same thing. yes, there are elements of FFI that apply to a rural department, but not enough to justify requiring the entire course.


    Semantics.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And what does that have to do with me calling it useless? Being a part of the standards process is not something that I see as a good use of my time as I prepare for retirement. I am more concerned with other ventures to prepare for a source of secondary income after retirement. Being a part of the standards process does nothing in that direction.
    Being part of the "standards" process is not a good use of your time? Wow. Lets use the "S" word here (as listed above) and think about what that says...

    Preparing the folks that follow in our footsteps after you (and I) are long gone is not a good use of your time? That is truly pathetic. I'd be not only embarrassed to say that, I'd be ashamed to admit that in a public forum such as this.

    One of the unique aspects of the fire service is that, historically, we groom (i.e. educate and train) our younger/new people. Once you complete and successfully pass the NFPA 1001-based training program, our tenured folks teach the new folks how to apply all of this "book" knowledge to the streets and learn, i.e. gain experience. While that "new" person becomes the "old" person, the process continues ad infinitum.

    I've always tried to make the fire service, as a whole, a wee bit better than how I found it when I started in it back in 1985. If your concern for the fire service stops when you walk out the door, why did you even become involved in it in the first place?

    By the way, why are you "retiring" only to get another job? Wouldn't it be easier to "dance with the one that 'brung' you"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Whether you or I like it or dislike it, an NFPA 1001-based Firefighter I and II training program is THE "standard of care" or "industry standard" that your department will be held accountable to/measured against if one of your members is injured or, heaven forbid, killed.

    You can do anything you'd like on top of that baseline training "standard". Not only "can" you, your FD has an obligation to prepare your members for the particulars of your response area ABOVE AND BEYOND a baseline, industry standard NFPA 1001 training program.

    Fully aware of all of that. The leadership on my department believes that our programs meets the NFPA requirement for operations in our district. The decision on how we will train is made above my pay grade, but I have no issues with the program we use as it has proven to be very effective.

    Again, I suspect the majority of VFDs do not use FFI as a baseline, so we are far from alone in the boat..




    Semantics.

    Not here is a big difference between useless and not truly applicable.



    Being part of the "standards" process is not a good use of your time? Wow. Lets use the "S" word here (as listed above) and think about what that says...

    Fact is I'm not in a position to take the time from work to be involved in that process.


    Preparing the folks that follow in our footsteps after you (and I) are long gone is not a good use of your time? That is truly pathetic. I'd be not only embarrassed to say that, I'd be ashamed to admit that in a public forum such as this.

    There are things that I can do, and have done, on the local level that will be far more productive including spending my time working with other FDs in the region and working with the NFA..


    One of the unique aspects of the fire service is that, historically, we groom (i.e. educate and train) our younger/new people. Once you complete and successfully pass the NFPA 1001-based training program, our tenured folks teach the new folks how to apply all of this "book" knowledge to the streets and learn, i.e. gain experience. While that "new" person becomes the "old" person, the process continues ad infinitum.

    And your point is? Much like after we teach the new members on both my combo and volunteer departments the knowledge that we feel is relevant, we provide them with even more information, including general-knowledge stuff like in FFI? Ya, we use that process as well.

    I've always tried to make the fire service, as a whole, a wee bit better than how I found it when I started in it back in 1985. If your concern for the fire service stops when you walk out the door, why did you even become involved in it in the first place?

    Given that I have plans to continue teaching for the NFA and the state fire training service after I retire,,,,,,

    By the way, why are you "retiring" only to get another job? Wouldn't it be easier to "dance with the one that 'brung' you"?
    See above. My post retirement plans include continuing teaching in the fire service.

    You beleive that FFI should be the minimum for all firefighters. Fine. We disagree, as I don't feel it's truly relevant in the rural fire service.
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    Forum Member dfwfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You beleive that FFI should be the minimum for all firefighters. Fine. We disagree, as I don't feel it's truly relevant in the rural fire service.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    ...we provide them with even more information, including general-knowledge stuff like in FFI
    The above contradicts itself. Is it just me, or did I miss something?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Given that I have plans to continue teaching for the NFA and the state fire training service after I retire,,,,,,
    Please continue. You started off with an answer and left a fragmented reply. Why do you have an interest in teaching for the NFA when they themselves advocate industry standards (such as NFPA 1001-based training program)?

    As a side-note, everything at the NFA is now heavily NIMS oriented (per Federal mandate). You even have to verify completion of a minimum level of NIMS training to be "compliant" and eligible to submit an application to attend a course. I am guessing, based on your dislike for an NFPA 1001-based training program, that you only comply with certain aspects of NIMS because most of it is "not applicable" and thereby "useless" to your organization (in a rural setting)?

    I bring NIMS up in our NFPA 1001 Firefighter I discussion as it relates to your intention to teach at the NFA. Why would you want to be a part of a program at the Federal level that is the antithesis of your belief is that everything done best at the local level in spite of "industry standards"?
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 07-12-2012 at 12:45 AM.
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  10. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The above contradicts itself. Is it just me, or did I miss something?



    Please continue. You started off with an answer and left a fragmented reply. Why do you have an interest in teaching for the NFA when they themselves advocate industry standards (such as NFPA 1001-based training program)?

    As a side-note, everything at the NFA is now heavily NIMS oriented (per Federal mandate). You even have to verify completion of a minimum level of NIMS training to be "compliant" and eligible to submit an application to attend a course. I am guessing, based on your dislike for an NFPA 1001-based training program, that you only comply with certain aspects of NIMS because most of it is "not applicable" and thereby "useless" to your organization (in a rural setting)?

    I bring NIMS up in our NFPA 1001 Firefighter I discussion as it relates to your intention to teach at the NFA. Why would you want to be a part of a program at the Federal level that is the antithesis of your belief is that everything done best at the local level in spite of "industry standards"?
    Let's see...
    Bobby states that all fire protection and funding should be a strictly "local" issue, that there should not be any "by the book basic standards" imposed by anyone, yet he wants to work for an organizaton that stresses standards for firefighter safety and is funded by the Feds....

    Hows that for irony?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    The above contradicts itself. Is it just me, or did I miss something?

    Ok, let's try this one more time.

    I have no issues with FFI, FFII or any other certification training. I teach it. I encourage it. My combo department rewards it with $$$$.

    However, I see FFI/FFII as follow-up training however, designed to provide general knowledge after a department specific initial training program, as compared to you, and others here, that see FFI as the entry level followed up by department specific training. The fact is our people have to know how to do the job on our scenes using our tools following our SOPs before they are taught alternatives.

    Yes, some of FFI is relevant in the rural world and can be taught word for word. Safety, extinguishers, fire hopse, fire streams and fire behavior all fall into that area. Some topics, such as building construction and water supplyhave components that or more or less relevenat. And some content has no relevance. Yes, parts of FFI/FFII do apply. But others do not.


    Please continue. You started off with an answer and left a fragmented reply. Why do you have an interest in teaching for the NFA when they themselves advocate industry standards (such as NFPA 1001-based training program)?

    Not every organization is perfect.

    As I stated there are many areas where FFI, or at least a large part of FFI, would work well as the initial training cirriculum for volunteer departments. I stated that would be the case with both of my previous VFDs. I stated that in a few years, that may be the case here with my combo department.

    Instructor and Offficer are applicable in all settings. It's the same with Fire and Life Safety Educator and Inspector.


    As a side-note, everything at the NFA is now heavily NIMS oriented (per Federal mandate). You even have to verify completion of a minimum level of NIMS training to be "compliant" and eligible to submit an application to attend a course. I am guessing, based on your dislike for an NFPA 1001-based training program, that you only comply with certain aspects of NIMS because most of it is "not applicable" and thereby "useless" to your organization (in a rural setting)?

    I have no issue with NIMS. I am NIMS 700-400.

    My department uses NIMS on every run. My department uses NIMS for training. Hell, my combo department even uses NIMS to organize our Open House and Santa Day. When we did a station remodel last year, we used a NIMS system to assign and manage tasks.

    Again, I have no dislike for 1001. It simply is not applicable in it's entireity in the rural enviroment and is an ineffective use of training time as initial training.


    I bring NIMS up in our NFPA 1001 Firefighter I discussion as it relates to your intention to teach at the NFA. Why would you want to be a part of a program at the Federal level that is the antithesis of your belief is that everything done best at the local level in spite of "industry standards"?

    Again, I have no problem with NIMS and use it every day.

    While we rarely have the need for a greatly expanded structure, we train on it and use it when the need arises.

    You are the one that are claiming that I hate certification and NIMS. Certification classes have their place in the rural world. Their place is simply not as rookie training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Let's see...
    Bobby states that all fire protection and funding should be a strictly "local" issue, that there should not be any "by the book basic standards" imposed by anyone, yet he wants to work for an organizaton that stresses standards for firefighter safety and is funded by the Feds....

    Hows that for irony?
    Yes, the everyday delivery of fire protection including saleries and hardware, including rookie training should be delivered via local funding. That also includes LE and EMS.

    I have no issues with state and federal agencies providing training support and highly specilaized and technical training which would be impossible for the locals to deliver. That is a legtimate role.

    That being said, the bulk of the "everyday" operational training should be delivered by the local agencies.\They should have the expertise and ability to deliver that bread n' butter training.

    Training should be geared to the local enviroment. IMO, that includes rookie training. If FFI/FFI in it's enirety applies, that's fine. If parts of FFI/FFII apply, but others don't fine. If completly local training, or training such as 1403 with or withourt additional components provides what the department needs, fine. Bottom line is that should be the choice of the local fire department, not a mandate pushed on them by the state.
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    It is the fire service's responsibility that everyone who carries the classification of 'firefighter' be trained to the same basic minimum. If your department faces specific problems not covered by that basic minimum, it becomes that department's responsibility to train on those skill sets.

    It is not a debate, in no other job, career, business, corporation, sport, etc. would your ideology be considered logical.

    I don't think FF1 covers enough of the meat and potatoes. I don't feel hose handling, survival training, ladders, search tactics, and communication are close to covered enough. I will fully admit there are problems with our state's FF1 standard. Our disagreement is that I don't think it's enough but can sleep better at night knowing its 'something' while you think it's too much and, somehow, our state's FF'ers (no matter how busy they are) need less.

    I just can't comprehend how you can wave the "safety trumps all and lower our LODD numbers" flag yet proclaim that lower TRAINING standards can be anything but deadly. Despite what you think, I work alongside the exact same kind of departments you are speaking of. It's not an increase of burdens placed on those volunteers that will kill them, it's the continual degradation of both training standards and, even worse, expectations.

    Please, please try and understand that if you continue to allow those small volunteers to fall out of grace by saying things like "they just can't handle that", "they aren't set up for that", etc. then you are only going to make it that much harder for them to receive any sort of help in the future. Why would anyone want to help the department that is often forgotten or rarely helpful? You know just as well as I do that PR is a huge part of what helps a department financially, especially at that level. No one, and I seriously mean NO ONE in a community accepts that calling their fire department is futile. No matter how little they have to pay for it, the community demands that their department be worth existing.

    A local rural department in my part-time FPD has a population of 523 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parks,_Louisiana). The department receives money from the parish government and its semi annual fish fry. It isn't even the smallest or best department in that district. The Chief, while being pretty good, is my age, 25. There are 8 total members. Average apparatus age is about 15 years old, though they are next in rotation for new apparatus within 2 years. There are absolutely no real structures they can handle without the aid of neighboring departments in the district. This is not a knock on their capabilities but evidence of the severity of low manpower. They recently staged a mock mass decon with the local, small, hospital. They have brought in coast guard instructors to give classes about water rescue for their small bayou that runs through the town. They had applied, received, and utilized grant money to set up a very small but effective water rescue squad. They are made up of members ranging from current career guys to cane farmers. All of them can drive. All of them can pump. All of them can go on air and go inside. This is required for new membership. There are a handful of retired members who assist, they carry no gear, and stay on the other side of the barrier. They are issued a beeper and a radio. They are treated like kings in the station. They have had to turn down a few candidates but no matter how many show up, anyone can do anything asked of them. The tallest structure in their town is the water tower, tallest occupied structure is a one and a half story house. There are actually no true two story buildings. They can all throw 35' ladders. They have standpipe kits on their engine. They are good, quality firefighters.

    There is a name-withheld department of TWELVE times their size in the district. The department has a roster of 45. 15 of the members are just gf's of ff's that have to be on the roster to ride the apparatus with their bf. There are no standards or requirements for membership. There has been countless times when they would not respond to their calls due to no one responding could drive an apparatus. Everyone is given the title ff'er or captain. I have been reprimanded by their chief for ordering (sternly) a member to assist in pulling line in a door and not telepathically knowing the ff'er was a 17 year old gf of a firefighter and not expected to hump hose. Training is nonexistent. Beer cans litter the common area. A surplus was distributed to each department as a gift from parish government. Only thing purchased was a big screen TV and a massive bbq pit that seemed to walk off.

    The town with the horrible department is absolutely fed up with them. Council members are asking that no more money be sent to them until, and I quote "They do what they suppose to do". When times get tougher, who do you think will feel the pinch more, Bobby? Not the little podunk department doing its job, being out in the public, and being seen training. Everyone in that little town knows they will never use a water rescue team. No one has drowned in that water in over 30 years, not saying it won't happen but if you apply your cost/time vs. probability, it's very one sided. But the town gladly supported expanding it with their own money because they know it will be used if needed.

    And that's the point of those smaller, rural departments. The cost/time vs. probability of need leads you to believe they are expensive to maintain. When your house is burning, your family is danger, they are worth their weight in gold, that is, if they are capable of doing what is expected of all buildings, apparatus, and people wearing the name "Fire Department".

    How you can not see that the decline of STANDARDS will lead to a decline in EXPECTATIONS which will lead to a further decline in SUPPORT which will ultimately lead to an elimination of EXISTENCE is truly horrifying.

    You can't cry when no one feeds a dog then, at the same time, claim the dog isn't worth feeding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    See above. My post retirement plans include continuing teaching in the fire service.

    You beleive that FFI should be the minimum for all firefighters. Fine. We disagree, as I don't feel it's truly relevant in the rural fire service.
    Give it up. You just hanged yourself. Best part is you weaved the rope.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We disagree, as I don't feel it's truly important in my rural fire pow-wow meetings.
    Fixed/ translated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Training should be geared to the local enviroment. IMO, that includes rookie training. If FFI/FFI in it's enirety applies, that's fine. If parts of FFI/FFII apply, but others don't fine. If completly local training, or training such as 1403 with or withourt additional components provides what the department needs, fine. Bottom line is that should be the choice of the local fire department, not a mandate pushed on them by the state.
    So when I retire from the fire service and decide that maybe a career-change is in order, I should be able to move to Bossier Parish and become a medical doctor without any formal training as long as I know what type of injuries/illnesses are germane to Bossier Parish?

    After all, if everything is driven at the local level (i.e without state or Federal oversight because the "big picture" is not relevant to your part of the world), then I should be able to skip med school and internship; forgo licensing necessary to perform as an MD at the local, state, and Federal level; and merely open up "XYZ's Doctor's Office"? As long as I've looked at the history (and not the potential) of local illness/injury "trends", I can skip all the extra stuff that a doctor DOESN'T need to know in your town?

    I've never been really good a chemistry so maybe all that cellular-level book knowledge can be skipped because, after all, knowledge of all the extra things that never happen in Bossier Parish is just wasted brain-power, right?

    Maybe I am starting to see the light. I hope the third-world medical schools keep this concept under wraps because now our "not everyone can be an astronaut", "cannot quite make the grade" med-school hopefuls could just find someplace where "most of what they teach you is useless" and set up shop.

    I'm still struggling with the fact that I probably wouldn't take one of my daughters to see that "common law medical practice" doctor though. Would you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    So when I retire from the fire service and decide that maybe a career-change is in order, I should be able to move to Bossier Parish and become a medical doctor without any formal training as long as I know what type of injuries/illnesses are germane to Bossier Parish?

    After all, if everything is driven at the local level (i.e without state or Federal oversight because the "big picture" is not relevant to your part of the world), then I should be able to skip med school and internship; forgo licensing necessary to perform as an MD at the local, state, and Federal level; and merely open up "XYZ's Doctor's Office"? As long as I've looked at the history (and not the potential) of local illness/injury "trends", I can skip all the extra stuff that a doctor DOESN'T need to know in your town?

    I've never been really good a chemistry so maybe all that cellular-level book knowledge can be skipped because, after all, knowledge of all the extra things that never happen in Bossier Parish is just wasted brain-power, right?

    Maybe I am starting to see the light. I hope the third-world medical schools keep this concept under wraps because now our "not everyone can be an astronaut", "cannot quite make the grade" med-school hopefuls could just find someplace where "most of what they teach you is useless" and set up shop.

    I'm still struggling with the fact that I probably wouldn't take one of my daughters to see that "common law medical practice" doctor though. Would you?
    I guess if you want to compare a medical doctor to a rural volunteer firefighter that may answer 20 or 30 cals ayear and a couple of structure fires a year, have at it.

    The big difference is that the medical doctor will make a whole lot of money and the volunteer firefighter will pull in a hefty sum of 0.

    You want to make the standards the same. Fine. But don't be surprised when a whole bunch of VFDs don't have the manpower to answer runs because you expect thiose small town volunteers working 40, 50 or 60 hours a week to train to the same standards on their off-time as career members who are often paid to attend the academy for initial training and then are paid to train while working shift.

    Most small community rural members can be adequatly trained to begin operations on the firground in 50 hours. Will that tech them everything? No. But it will give them more than adequate training to respond and start to operate on the fireground under supervision. We disagree on that and always will. Funny thing is I have seen that type of training work quite well.

    Continue to comapre volunteer firefighters to doctors, or as others have airline pilots. It's two very different situations, but hey, keep on with it if you wish.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  18. #258
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Given that I have plans to continue teaching for the NFA and the state fire training service after I retire,,,,,,
    Apparently his hypocrisy has no bounds...He disagrees with what they say and do, but will gladly take their money...
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  19. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    It is the fire service's responsibility that everyone who carries the classification of 'firefighter' be trained to the same basic minimum. If your department faces specific problems not covered by that basic minimum, it becomes that department's responsibility to train on those skill sets.

    It's really about protecting the title, isn't it?

    What minimum skills are required to be a firefighter varies by community. maybe you don't see it that way, but I do. The minimum skills needed by the members in Shreveport, and different than the members needed in my combo district, which are different than the skills needed by my VFD personnel. Structures, apparatus, equipment and auxiliary responsibilities such as haz-mat, extrication, rescue and water supply all factor in.


    It is not a debate, in no other job, career, business, corporation, sport, etc. would your ideology be considered logical.

    And there are very few others careers or businesses where there is such a wide spectrum of skills needed to perform the job. What a volunteer firefighter will see is dependant on the community, and the mutual aid communities they respond to. The skills needed for those occupancies and building types can be identified, especially in smaller rural districts. Training needs can be defined.

    On the other hand, a doctor could see just about any type of injury or illness. A EMT or paramedic the same is true. A cop could see just about any type of LLE emergency. Even a pilot can just about any type of aircraft emergency, even thouggh interestingly enough, they are checked off to fly specific types of aircraft.


    I don't think FF1 covers enough of the meat and potatoes. I don't feel hose handling, survival training, ladders, search tactics, and communication are close to covered enough.

    Would I love the time to spend more time in some of those areas? Sure. Do I think that every single FF should have at least 20 hours of FF Survival before entering a structure? Hell yes. But I also know that the time required to cover everyhting that I feel is important during rookie class for volunteers in simply unrealistic. it's not that I don't want to give them additional training. From a time perspective it's unreasonable and unrealistic.

    We are on the same page. It's just you feel the book should be longer and I want to condense it, so that training time is reasonable for volunteer personnel.


    I will fully admit there are problems with our state's FF1 standard. Our disagreement is that I don't think it's enough but can sleep better at night knowing its 'something' while you think it's too much and, somehow, our state's FF'ers (no matter how busy they are) need less.

    I never said they needed less. I am saying that if we are to retain volunteers and continue recruiting what we need we have to be very aware of the training demands we are putting on them. the volunteer fire service will only survive if we can continue to recruit, and to so that, training requirements must be realistic and reasonable. And in many of these places, the volunteer fires ervice is the only option available.

    I just can't comprehend how you can wave the "safety trumps all and lower our LODD numbers" flag yet proclaim that lower TRAINING standards can be anything but deadly.

    Reduced manpower on the fireground can be just a deadly. How will a firefighter knowing about standpipes and sprinklers in a district that has none have any effect on his/her safety and LODDs? Yes, we need to and MUST train them to the skills they need to operate in thier areas and at the service level their department has decided to provide. That's exactly why I have said that a district like my 2 former VFDs would be a place that volunteers should have FFI. The needs of the district, especially the commercial responses, fully justify FFI. My combo, and especially my VFD, do not have those issues and do not see the variety of sstructures, especially aprtmernts and commercial structures, that my previous VFD did.

    My only beef with FFI is that it is geared towards rural and urban personnel. There are buildings, tools and skills discussed that a rural VFD will never see or perform. Taking stuff out that does not apply and will likely never apply to thier operations does nothing to put them in harm's way. A reduced number of volunteers on the fireground because of the length of class in part that covers irrelvant material, which discourages new members from joining, can very easily be a factor in LODDs.


    Despite what you think, I work alongside the exact same kind of departments you are speaking of. It's not an increase of burdens placed on those volunteers that will kill them, it's the continual degradation of both training standards and, even worse, expectations.

    I'm not talking about degrading anything, but I am talking about training them in a way that is relevant and applicable to their community, resources and operations. Again, a skill they will never use is not a skill that will be missed. A skill that they will use and not trained on will be missed. Volunteers in a rural community don't need to know about alarms, sprinklers, standpipes and hald-a dozen hose loads. But they do need to more about manufactured homes and rural building construction and hazards, brush fire operations and water shuttle operations more than currently covered in FFI.

    I fully support reasonable weekly training standards and support requiring each volunteer to attend a reasonable amount of departmnet training (75% plus) and a minimum number of outside training each year. I don't support taking the time to teach them skills they do not use.


    Please, please try and understand that if you continue to allow those small volunteers to fall out of grace by saying things like "they just can't handle that", "they aren't set up for that", etc. then you are only going to make it that much harder for them to receive any sort of help in the future. Why would anyone want to help the department that is often forgotten or rarely helpful? You know just as well as I do that PR is a huge part of what helps a department financially, especially at that level. No one, and I seriously mean NO ONE in a community accepts that calling their fire department is futile. No matter how little they have to pay for it, the community demands that their department be worth existing.

    They need to be prepared to do the job and perform the job. We do not disagree on that. My issue is that FFI contains a lot of information that they simply do not need to do the job in most rural departments, and there is information that is lacking in FFI that they need to do the job.

    I fully understand the role of PR and fully understand that how they perform will have a tremendous impact on how the community views them. And that will equate to support for continued or additional funding. That being said, teaching them skills they will never use will have no impact on how the community views them.


    A local rural department in my part-time FPD has a population of 523 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parks,_Louisiana). The department receives money from the parish government and its semi annual fish fry. It isn't even the smallest or best department in that district. The Chief, while being pretty good, is my age, 25. There are 8 total members. Average apparatus age is about 15 years old, though they are next in rotation for new apparatus within 2 years. There are absolutely no real structures they can handle without the aid of neighboring departments in the district. This is not a knock on their capabilities but evidence of the severity of low manpower. They recently staged a mock mass decon with the local, small, hospital. They have brought in coast guard instructors to give classes about water rescue for their small bayou that runs through the town. They had applied, received, and utilized grant money to set up a very small but effective water rescue squad. They are made up of members ranging from current career guys to cane farmers. All of them can drive. All of them can pump. All of them can go on air and go inside. This is required for new membership. There are a handful of retired members who assist, they carry no gear, and stay on the other side of the barrier. They are issued a beeper and a radio. They are treated like kings in the station. They have had to turn down a few candidates but no matter how many show up, anyone can do anything asked of them. The tallest structure in their town is the water tower, tallest occupied structure is a one and a half story house. There are actually no true two story buildings. They can all throw 35' ladders. They have standpipe kits on their engine. They are good, quality firefighters.

    And that's great. I disagree with them not utilizing exterior personnel and driver-only, but as I stated before, it's their call, not mine. I know of several small VFDs just like this as well and they are doing what needs to be done.

    Their leadership has decided in what direction they want to go and the department is headed that way. Cool.

    And they are doing it without a mandate, which is my point. Leadership has made a decsion and is taking the department the way they want to go.

    Sounds like my VFD. When I joined a couple of years ago they were a very average rural VFD. They weren't bad but that was nothing out of the ordianry about the performance or the training, and the Chief admitted as such

    Over the past 18 months, we have ramped up training. We have gotten just about all of the active fireline mebers to the Operations level. We have implemented and enforced weekly training attendence requirements. We have purchased new tools, and have developed a new fire attack mode (Transitional Attack) and have set up the engines for that mode. And we are now purchasing rescue struts, cribbing and some other tools so that we can stabilize and remove glass before the arrival of the next town's over heavy rescue. And that didn't happen because of state mandates. It happened because of internal leadership.


    There is a name-withheld department of TWELVE times their size in the district. The department has a roster of 45. 15 of the members are just gf's of ff's that have to be on the roster to ride the apparatus with their bf. There are no standards or requirements for membership. There has been countless times when they would not respond to their calls due to no one responding could drive an apparatus. Everyone is given the title ff'er or captain. I have been reprimanded by their chief for ordering (sternly) a member to assist in pulling line in a door and not telepathically knowing the ff'er was a 17 year old gf of a firefighter and not expected to hump hose. Training is nonexistent. Beer cans litter the common area. A surplus was distributed to each department as a gift from parish government. Only thing purchased was a big screen TV and a massive bbq pit that seemed to walk off.

    And I know departments like this too. And it's not cool.

    But would mandated training standards doing anything in this case? No. They would likely be ignored.

    This department sounds like a mess but the change needs to come from within, not a state mandated standard. The leadership needs to change and take the department in a very different direction, but again, a training mandate won't do that.

    I don't condone departments that don't train. I don't condone departments that are more of a social club than a fire department, though certainly, a social element is needed and needs to be addressed at a VFD to attract members. All VFDs need to be able to do the job. Some will be able to do more of it than others. And some of that has to do with leadership which is an internal matter that mandated training level;s will not address.


    The town with the horrible department is absolutely fed up with them. Council members are asking that no more money be sent to them until, and I quote "They do what they suppose to do".

    And that is the community's right and role. There are times that needs to happen if the department can not take care of that internally. it's unfortunate and messy but at times neccessary.


    When times get tougher, who do you think will feel the pinch more, Bobby? Not the little podunk department doing its job, being out in the public, and being seen training. Everyone in that little town knows they will never use a water rescue team. No one has drowned in that water in over 30 years, not saying it won't happen but if you apply your cost/time vs. probability, it's very one sided. But the town gladly supported expanding it with their own money because they know it will be used if needed.

    No disagreement there, though there is a point where a small department offering aservice that is both costly financially and costly from a time and training perspective is not worth while.


    And that's the point of those smaller, rural departments. The cost/time vs. probability of need leads you to believe they are expensive to maintain. When your house is burning, your family is danger, they are worth their weight in gold, that is, if they are capable of doing what is expected of all buildings, apparatus, and people wearing the name "Fire Department".

    And as I stated there will be small rural VFDs that can do more than others, and there are alot of factors involved in that including funding available, response times, manpower and the like. Should all of them train as such? Yes. Should all of them operate in amanner that makes a solid response more likely? Yes. But that being said state mandated standards will improve training but do nothing for the operation if the leadership is bad and doesn't "get it".

    Yes training is part of the answer. But there are many other issues that you have mentioned in this post that will not be solved via training, and certainly not be solved by mandate training.


    How you can not see that the decline of STANDARDS will lead to a decline in EXPECTATIONS which will lead to a further decline in SUPPORT which will ultimately lead to an elimination of EXISTENCE is truly horrifying.

    I support training standards that are applicable and relevant to the job at hand. I fully supported the mandated training program put forth by the state firefighters association in conjuction with LSU because the content as relevant to rural operations and reasonable at 50 hours. I may support FFI if there was rural version with more time on building construction found in the rural world, more discussion on brush fire ops and more discussion on rural water, and less time on water systems, foccible entry and some other areas.

    Again, my issue is not with reasonable training standards and expecting members to perform. My issue is with FFI because it just does not prrovide that the rural world needs, and that training can be done in less time
    .


    You can't cry when no one feeds a dog then, at the same time, claim the dog isn't worth feeding.

    I want the volunteer fire service to be better, but that doesn't mean we have to demand more time for training. I beleive that we can improve things in many cases simply by being smarter and more productive with the training time we have, and yes, that means not simply adopting a generic class that is not geared towards the rural fire service. If that means working on the development of a Rural FFI, then maybe that is the answer.

    I also beleive that most departments have the ability to identify their needs and design training, even if it is simply selecting relevant material from FFI, to meet their needs.

    Yes, rural VFDs can be professional and still not demand any more time than many already are.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-12-2012 at 03:26 PM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  20. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Apparently his hypocrisy has no bounds...He disagrees with what they say and do, but will gladly take their money...

    And what exactly do I disagree with?

    I have clearly stated there is a role for state and national training in the areas of specilaized and technical operations, such as haz-mat and technical rescue where most departments do not have that type of in-house expertise, and leadership, management and officer development.

    And I have no issue with NIMS.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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