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Thread: We're not firefighters anymore.

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    Default We're not firefighters anymore.

    Does it irk anyone else on here when people in the press, on FB firefighter fan sites, or just people you talk to constantly refer to you (as a firefighter) a first responder? I was on a VFD once and one member of the department who was more EMS oriented wanted to change the name from _VFD to _FRO (first responder organization). I understand the nature of the job is changing but it seems this is getting too politically correct. I'd hate to see the day I'm not longer titled a firefighter but a "first responder." Then our occupation loses it's distinction and is lumped in with PD, non-fire EMS, the power company, etc. Thoughts......

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    Funny thing is that it doesn't bother me in the least as that is what we are.

    Most fire departments go to, as percentage of total calls, very few fires, unless it's a department that does no EMS.Even my little VFD, that runs no EMS, goes to fires less than 10% of the time.

    The bottom line is that our job has changed and "First responder" does better reflect what we do. Of course, some don't agree with that but in the end does the title really even matter?

    As far as being "lumped in" with PD and non-fire EMS, they do the same job in the end that we do with an equal amount of risk, so I have no issues being part of that group.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    It's not exactly a new phenomenon. It's mainly done by the media, because it's easier/quicker to say "first responders", than it is to say "police, fire, EMS, power company", when multiple agencies are working an incident.

    It's grown into a generic term that gets used to describe all of the above, at any time. I don't see it as malicious, or political correctness, just lazy reporting, or lack of understanding.

    As far as getting "irked"? Nope. I save my "irks" for politicians and administrators that intentionally do things to try and harm us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    It's not exactly a new phenomenon. It's mainly done by the media, because it's easier/quicker to say "first responders", than it is to say "police, fire, EMS, power company", when multiple agencies are working an incident.

    It's grown into a generic term that gets used to describe all of the above, at any time. I don't see it as malicious, or political correctness, just lazy reporting, or lack of understanding.

    As far as getting "irked"? Nope. I save my "irks" for politicians and administrators that intentionally do things to try and harm us.
    Pretty much sums it up right there.

    We are by definition first responders. I don't mind being lumped into a group that includes fire, ems, and police. It's teamwork, right?
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    To me it has the same ring as "caregiver". I am not my children's "caregiver" or "baby daddy", I am their PARENT and FATHER. In the same vein, I am not a "first responder", I am a Firefighter/Paramedic. I worked hard to get that certification. A "first responder" to me is some civilian with advanced first aid training.
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    I have to go with johnsb on this one. When people ask me what I do I say I am a Firefighter/EMT, not a first responder which in Wisconsin indicates someone with emergency medical services training a level below and EMT Basic.

    I prefer the distinction of being known as a member of the FIRE DEPARTMENT that is a Firefighter/EMT.
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    I too, reply to a question of "what do you do" as a Firefighter/EMT-B, But I don't mind the First Responder name tag.

    Yes, I'm a fireman, Yes, I go inside fire's, I do the whole shabang. And yes, I'm an EMT-B (A.K.A. Ambulance Driver), I do CPR, I wrap your broken arm, I assist medic's in any way shape and form. But I'm also a member of the Police, Fire and EMS alliance. If you ask me, I think that there should be more common ground with the 3 services then there already is. Its kinda like branches of the military to me, we each have separate yet similar training, we all work with each other in the field, why not give each other abit more respect?
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    Call me a "first responder" and you'll need one. Seriously though I despise the term, I am a Fire Fighter/EMT not a 'first responder.' My wife says to ignore those who use the term since they have no idea what it is like to be a fire fighter. I'm beginning to think she is right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    To me it has the same ring as "caregiver". I am not my children's "caregiver" or "baby daddy", I am their PARENT and FATHER. In the same vein, I am not a "first responder", I am a Firefighter/Paramedic. I worked hard to get that certification.
    Another similar comparison would be referring to doctors, nurses, patient care techs, respiratory therapists, nurse's aides, etc. as "healthcare workers".

    A "first responder" to me is some civilian with advanced first aid training.
    That's part of the issue I have with it. Up until a couple years ago, "First Responder" was an EMS certification level just below EMT in my state. They've since retitled it to "Emergency Responder".

    Another reason I don't particularly care for it is because the term kind of sounds like it's somebody that just shows up first and then stands around waiting for somebody else to come take care of the situation. Which for the most part isn't what any of us actually do.

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    That's what I'm getting at. By definition a first responder is "a person who has completed a course and received certification in providing pre-hospital care for medical emergencies. They have more skill than someone who is trained in basic first aid but they are not a substitute for advanced medical care rendered by emergency medical technicians....paramedics." A school bus driver can be a first responder, technically.

    I can't take credit for being labeled with an occupation that takes bad guys off the streets. I couldn't do police work and it does them a dis-service to have me lumped in with them. Likewise they don't go into burning buildings.

    I've seen this a lot more on a local FB page that monitors local public safety emergencies. It's the civilian populace that likes to call us "first responder" I understand if they're commenting on a wreck where we all show up. But a local FD made a wildland fire and one comment said "Thanks [city name] First Responders." It's like she couldn't say "Fire Department."

    Another issue is tradition. Why do some departments have helmets with fancy leather shields? Why do we still use military-style rank titles? Why do we use bugles to identify rank? Because it's our heritage. This first responder fad is taking our very title away from us. We're getting one that is much more watered down.

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    I was talking to my dad about how when things are classified different from each other, it seems more special or something.

    For example, I grow carnivorous plants. There are Venus Fly Traps, Pitcher Plants, and Sundews (along with hundreds more). Each one is unique and different from each other. But what if we said "okay, this is too complex. From this point on, they won't be Venus Fly Traps, Pitcher Plants, sundews, etc. Everything will simply be a 'carnivorous plant'".

    When everything gets lumped together, it just seems like a step backwards.

    Personally, I would prefer we be called firefighters instead of first responders. Yes, there usually aren't alot of fires, but it's not a cop who will go into a burning building, or a Swat member, etc.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

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    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.....

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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.....
    So you conform to what society wants ? Good or bad , you conform ? Ooooookay
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    So you conform to what society wants ? Good or bad , you conform ? Ooooookay
    Is this really that big an issue?

    The fact is that we have evolved from the days when "fireman" just went to fires, or primarily to fires. We now go a wide range of incidents. Heck, the two career departments in this area even handle the bomb response duties, not the police.

    If our image as separate responders is that critical to you and/or your organization, get out and become far more viable, especially to the media. Let them get to know you as the "fire department" and maybe they will refer to you as such.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    So you conform to what society wants ? Good or bad , you conform ? Ooooookay
    HA! Really? Not even going to waste the effort to answer. I don't have crayons and can't draw pictures so you probably wouldn't understand it anyway....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picc.93Truck View Post
    I too, reply to a question of "what do you do" as a Firefighter/EMT-B, But I don't mind the First Responder name tag.

    Yes, I'm a fireman, Yes, I go inside fire's, I do the whole shabang. And yes, I'm an EMT-B (A.K.A. Ambulance Driver), I do CPR, I wrap your broken arm, I assist medic's in any way shape and form. But I'm also a member of the Police, Fire and EMS alliance. If you ask me, I think that there should be more common ground with the 3 services then there already is. Its kinda like branches of the military to me, we each have separate yet similar training, we all work with each other in the field, why not give each other abit more respect?
    In going with your logic utilizing the military... Ask a Marine if he is in the Army and see what kind-of response you get.

    I'll stick with Fire Department thank you.
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    I would prefer to be called a firefighter, but I don't mind being called something else. As long as I get to serve my community when they are in need, I'm a happy dude.

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    Seriously -do you care to make your little "cutesy" comment to my face ?
    ?

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    Not too long ago, there was a thread on here about calling all members of a fire department...firefighters. Some agreed, some didn't. Guys that were only drivers were not to be labelled as firefighters...cuz they didn't meet certain standards. Guys that only did exterior work....not firefighters.

    Now we have a thread where a different "title" is being discussed....and now everyone is to be called a firefighter.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Seriously -do you care to make your little "cutesy" comment to my face ? .
    I rest my case!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
    I would prefer to be called a firefighter, but I don't mind being called something else. As long as I get to serve my community when they are in need, I'm a happy dude.
    I was recently sent one of those Facebook posters by my daughter who is about to be an Army officer. Being a former Marine our family dinner table discussions can get pretty creative, especially around the Army v Navy football game time.

    The poster showed members of all the services in their uniforms with the caption "Despite our rivalries we're all family, it's just no one likes to be called by their brother's name." I think that sums this up and MidazoWHAM you hit the nail on the head - well put!

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    I am first and foremost a FIREFIGHTER.

    Just so happens that I am also an EMT, US&R Rescue Specialist, child unlock expert, picking old ladies up out of the bathtub guru, water leak finder, cutting down trees out of the roadway technician, welfare check wizard, HAZMAT decon setup demon, public education performer, band aid distributing genie, stretcher fetching scimitar, elevator unlocking, gas leak sniffing, car cutting, drunkard consoling, anxiety attack relieving, cool dude.

    The day we forget that we are the only public safety organization that can enter a burning building, rescue people and save property we fail at our profession. All the other stuff is excellent, but when it comes down to it and Mrs. Smith's kitchen is ablaze, is she relieved when the cops or an ambulance pulls up? No she wants the big red truck with hose humping engine guys and knuckle dragging truckies.

    [/rant]
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    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?!!!
    IAFF

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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?!!!
    Don't forget the Amish Mafia!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    I am first and foremost a FIREFIGHTER.

    Just so happens that I am also an EMT, US&R Rescue Specialist, child unlock expert, picking old ladies up out of the bathtub guru, water leak finder, cutting down trees out of the roadway technician, welfare check wizard, HAZMAT decon setup demon, public education performer, band aid distributing genie, stretcher fetching scimitar, elevator unlocking, gas leak sniffing, car cutting, drunkard consoling, anxiety attack relieving, cool dude.

    The day we forget that we are the only public safety organization that can enter a burning building, rescue people and save property we fail at our profession. All the other stuff is excellent, but when it comes down to it and Mrs. Smith's kitchen is ablaze, is she relieved when the cops or an ambulance pulls up? No she wants the big red truck with hose humping engine guys and knuckle dragging truckies.

    [/rant]
    Amen......
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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