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Thread: We're not firefighters anymore.

  1. #26
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    Emergency responders is a better catchall phrase to cover all of us.

    In my job we are only firefighters when we die working, the rest of the time we are just forestry workers so I'm strongly on the meh side of the argument. I have a fire engine, I go to fires, I'm happy with that.
    I frequently tell people I provide daycare for adult children when asked what I do for a living.
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    I'm on both paid and rural volunteer departments. Being called a volunteer never phased me until finding this forum and seeing how it is used as an insult by some here. It seems that "volunteer" has now been ursurped by "first responder" as the ultimate slap in the face for a firefighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    I for one am furious over this! As a matter of fact, if we survive 12-21, the assault weapons ban, the fiscal cliff, Prince William and Kate's awful morning sickness, threat level whatever, TSA underwear checks, Moonshiners, earthquakes, global warming, ancient aliens, Todd Hoffman busting out on another gold claim, Travolta getting happy endings from dudes, the government, Christmas vs. Xmas, Snookie, or whatever else. If we survive all that, I'm going on a personal crusade to end this atrocity being heaped on...uh...firef...no,...poli,..no...ambula...no..f irst responders!
    Who's with me?!!!
    You forgot honey boo boo...
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I seem to remember a bumper sticker from the early 1980's that stated...

    "When the experts panic, they call the FIRE DEPARTMENT"
    ...

    not "first responders"...
    bcjack, tbzep and RyanK63 like this.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #30
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    Funny, the few people who really don't care wouldn't be mistaken for a firefighter in a room of kindergartners. Common denominator, 2 clowns that talk and try to prevent, while the rest of do and perform.
    I will give credit where credit is due, at least they are not pretending to be what they so obviously are not.
    Call me what you will, but I did not go through 13 weeks of fire academy training to be lumped in with a janitor with a CPR card and a band-aid....
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  6. #31
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    Indeed, the term "first responder" seems to trivialize the work we perform. Nonetheless, when Joe Public sees us in action or elsewhere in the field, I would bet that he's not thinking of "first responders" - he's thinking firefighter/EMT/paramedic/rescuer. So, who cares what the media calls us.

    But to that point, a more accurate title is "emergency responder." In my region, the fire department responds to every kind of emergency situation you can think of, from gas odor to extrications, from medical emergencies to fires, and even some crime matters (people in my community often ask for fire dept because they arrive much faster than police). Like someone else mentioned, fire suppression is about 10% - 15% of the job these days. Yes, it's still an essential service to the public. But it's not the way it used to be.

    One might say that using the term fire department is akin to referring to the police department as the "bomb squad." Yes, they respond to bomb threats, but its not representative of the overall job. Maybe not the best example, however, you get the point.
    I know we want to hold onto the 'firefighter' title, with all else secondary to it (e.g., firefighter/EMT or firefighter/medic). But the reality for the overwhelming majority of us is that we are functionally EMT/firefighters and Medic/firefighters - and that's ok too.

    If today's model for our line of work was used as the prototype back in the Ben Franklin days, I would bet the terms firefighter or fire department would never have been used to describe our services.
    Last edited by laddernhook; 12-21-2012 at 06:23 PM.

  7. #32
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    I find it extremely annoying because it really sells the fire department short. I understand its easier for the newscasters to say first responders, but in many cases we are doing the lion's share of the work. When we go to a fire, motor vehicle accident with entrapment, person in the water, person stuck in a hole, the FIREMEN are doing the work. We put the fire out, we pull the people out. EMS and the police do their share, but in the end this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for us. When someone gets shot or stabbed, my local news stations never say "first responders" responded for a person shot, its the police responded for a person shot, even though fire and EMS come too. It just seems that the only people that aren't called by name at "their" events are the fire department. We are never called by name on the news, then wonder why people think all we do is play cards. I've seen news reports that said "emergency crews responded to a house fire last night", I respect the police and EMS, BUT during that incident the firemen were in the building doing the work. The cops were sitting in their car at the intersection blocking traffic, the EMS people were standing on the sidewalk with a gurney incase some one needed it. The firemen were the ones going inside and putting the fire out.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Funny, the few people who really don't care wouldn't be mistaken for a firefighter in a room of kindergartners. Common denominator, 2 clowns that talk and try to prevent, while the rest of do and perform.
    I will give credit where credit is due, at least they are not pretending to be what they so obviously are not.
    Call me what you will, but I did not go through 13 weeks of fire academy training to be lumped in with a janitor with a CPR card and a band-aid....
    So much for civility.

    Of course, I'm not the one of the two that you are referring to.

    Ya, I guess being a line LT at my VFD excludes me from being a firefighter.

    Dumb***.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So much for civility.

    Of course, I'm not the one of the two that you are referring to.

    Ya, I guess being a line LT at my VFD excludes me from being a firefighter.

    Dumb***.
    No one's named was mentioned, and one could have just let this go but no.... one's narcissism triumphed again... and one wonders why one seems to enjoy getting the living crap beaten out of them on the forums....
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Well then allow me to ask: Do we do this job for the people we serve or for recognition? If it is the people we serve then I could care less what they call me because I am willing to bet that the term they use has very high value in their eyes no matter what they call us.

    It's about society and values. We have to conform to what society wants, values, perceives, etc. That comes with uncomfortable changes but change we must to remain relevant in today's society. Today people to not perceive a threat from fire. They worry about natural disasters, terrorism, shooters, heart attacks, strokes, hazardous materials, etc. Who comes to save them when these threats hit "First Responders." So do we really want to compartmentalize ourselves to one category and one threat?

    I explain it to firefighters I talk to this way: if we do not change and conform to society and what they need we will become that FIRE extinguisher on the wall. It's ugly, no one really wants it, they try to hide it, invest only enough money they need to because they are required to have it... and the ONLY time people will give it any thought or any value is when there is a fire.....

    Keep that in mind when thinking about defining who we are and what we do.....
    When we are getting blamed for the deficit and having "gold plated retirements", I want people to know exactly what they're paying me for.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbzep View Post
    I'm on both paid and rural volunteer departments. Being called a volunteer never phased me until finding this forum and seeing how it is used as an insult by some here. It seems that "volunteer" has now been ursurped by "first responder" as the ultimate slap in the face for a firefighter.
    Being called a Volunteer by another firefighter as an insult only shows the ignorance of that firefighter. Now there are those (on both sides) that act like amateurs, but that's a different story. And I'm a firefighter on both sides as well.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    When we are getting blamed for the deficit and having "gold plated retirements", I want people to know exactly what they're paying me for.
    Agreed 110%. However you do ALLOT more than put out fires (while that is the most demanding) to earn your pay. If all you did was put out fires then most people would question why your needed because most people do not fear fire. WE know the dangers of fire, WE know the risk of fire, WE know why we need the resources we do to fight thses fires - however WE do a very poor job in communicating that to the public in terms they understand and value (unless they have had a fire). Probably because we talk and not text - but that's for another forum!

    While I completely understand what you are saying - don't sell yourself short. You earn your pay and then some - really think about your shift day and all you do, are exposed to, what hours you do this, what weather you do this in, what holiday or child's birthday you do it on, who in your family is sick that day while you're helping others, how much you sacrafice in the stations by using your own skills, money, and tools to save the tax payer a buck, etc.

    Keep boasting what you have said!! You are correct! But think about all that is REALLY behind that statement and don't sell yourself short! You'll find, and probably already know, they still owe you...

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    I for one am furious over this! As a matter of fact, if we survive 12-21, the assault weapons ban, the fiscal cliff, Prince William and Kate's awful morning sickness, threat level whatever, TSA underwear checks, Moonshiners, earthquakes, global warming, ancient aliens, Todd Hoffman busting out on another gold claim, Travolta getting happy endings from dudes, the government, Christmas vs. Xmas, Snookie, or whatever else. If we survive all that, I'm going on a personal crusade to end this atrocity being heaped on...uh...firef...no,...poli,..no...ambula...no..f irst responders!
    Who's with me?!!!
    HA! Put this in perspective very well!! You're one of "those guys!" (and not enough of them) LOL!! Awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    No one's named was mentioned, and one could have just let this go but no.... one's narcissism triumphed again... and one wonders why one seems to enjoy getting the living crap beaten out of them on the forums....
    Ya. you are right, no names were mentioned, but we all know exactly who he meant.

    Ya want to keeping make attacks, fine. You have heard that most here are sick and tired of your, as well as other posters, crap regarding attacks but "the gang" keeps at it.

    Really doesn't matter to me but if you and your ilk want to keep dragging this place down, have at it.

    And no, I'm not going to sit back and let comments like that pass.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So much for civility.

    Of course, I'm not the one of the two that you are referring to.

    Ya, I guess being a line LT at my VFD excludes me from being a firefighter.

    Dumb***.
    Throw a rock at a pack of dogs and the one that yelps is the one that got hit!

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Ya. you are right, no names were mentioned, but we all know exactly who he meant.

    Ya want to keeping make attacks, fine. You have heard that most here are sick and tired of your, as well as other posters, crap regarding attacks but "the gang" keeps at it.

    Really doesn't matter to me but if you and your ilk want to keep dragging this place down, have at it.

    And no, I'm not going to sit back and let comments like that pass.
    AND YOUR NAME WAS NOT MENTIONED! If you weren't such an egomaniacal narcissist you wouldn't search these forums for times when you believe you were attacked. For the love of God man, you love this nonsense and you perpetuate it every chance you get so you can cry about being the victim. Maybe just one damn time if you shut the H e l l up and let it go it would slow down or stop. YOU SIR are as much to blame for this idiocy as those you would vilify for supposedly attacking you when your name is not mentioned.

    By the way, I have not egaged in any of this for days and infact asked, no demanded, people that tried to take over my post to knock it off and go elsewhere.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Ya. you are right, no names were mentioned, but we all know exactly who he meant.
    I'm pretty sure he meant me, I know this because he wrote
    2 clowns
    That just happens to be my Native American name given to me by my grandfather, Running Scared, my father, Hides In Fear, and my grandfather caught me peeing in the smokehouse on the woodchips. When he was done whipping me with a knotted leather strap, my buttcheeks looked like 2 clowns.
    IAFF

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    Thanks Snowball... I just sprayed coffee all over my computer monitor and have to change my shirt!
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Throw a rock at a pack of dogs and the one that yelps is the one that got hit!
    Calling the person you are referring to a dog is an insult to dogs....
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Calling the person you are referring to a dog is an insult to dogs....
    Stuck hog squeals the loudest ?
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Stuck hog squeals the loudest ?
    Dog-onit! You just insulted all forms and variaeties of Bar-B-Que!!!

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    And while we're at it, Fire Departments should remain Fire Departments, and Firefighhters should remain Firefighters. Lumped in with all other First Responders???

    I was a member of a volunteer rescue squad for many years, and a busy one at that. I don't recall stretching a line through a smoke-belching doorway and making an initial attack a single time in all of those years.

    Police Officers are considered first responders..Don't recall seeing a cop open up a roof a single time in all my years as an EMT or as a fire scene photographer. They do have a tendency to 'TAke The Hydrant'...but that's another topic for another thread.

    Power Company...Fire Departments usually gotten the fire knocked down by the time they arrive.

    The fact remains that with all of the other tasks that have been given to fire departments in the last couple of decades, they are still the only agency that is equipped and trained to fight fires. Therefore, Fire Departments and Fire Fighters they are, and always should be.
    slackjawedyokel likes this.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Thanks Snowball... I just sprayed coffee all over my computer monitor and have to change my shirt!
    At least you didn't get a Cozby sweater!! (urban dictionary)
    IAFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    At least you didn't get a Cozby sweater!! (urban dictionary)
    You are a very sick individual... don't change!
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    At least you didn't get a Cozby sweater!! (urban dictionary)
    I had to look that one up. I wish I hadn't.

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