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  1. #21
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    This is bugging me, so lets break it down. TCFP, which controls paid firefighters, wants to take over the volunteer portion of firefighting in Texas. SFFMA, the State Fire Marshall which is over the volunteers would be out of a big portion of their jobs.

    Also of note, volunteer firefighting is not what it is in say Pennsylvania (which by the way has no mandatory standards for volunteers either, and lets it up to individual departments to pursue FF I & II). But in Texas, almost all cities with a population of over 10,000 have a paid fire department. There is not the large tradition of volunteer fire service as there is in the northeast. The volunteer departments we do have are mostly brush trucks and tenders, covering vast open county rural areas. They almost never arrive to a structure in time to save anything. There are some big volunteer departments, mostly made up of big city paid guys that live out in the country, that hold up FF II training standards, but they are rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Well, check out what’s happening in Texas. Right now, the State Senate is moving to enact SB-766 that does what was just described.

    And incredibly, the bill is being vigorously supported by the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA), as well.
    SFFMA governs the volunteers, has no set standards that need to be met for volunteers, does cerfify volunteers under a training program, but is not required to be a Jippy-Joe (Texas version of a Wacker).


    The bill prohibits the state from regulating any volunteer fire department and prohibits the state from requiring a volunteer firefighter or industrial emergency response team member to obtain a license or certification.

    The SFFMA says that the bill will, “make it clear, once and for all, that the state should not impose mandatory licensing, regulation and red tape on volunteer firefighters."
    If SFFMA would agree that they need to certify the volunteers, then it would only make sense to roll up the certs under TCFP. Essentially, if SFFMA does what is right, they cease to exist.

    The group claims that in these tough economic times, it has become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and, “those that do, should not have to ask Austin bureaucrats for permission first!”

    While paid firefighters in Texas will still have to be certified to NFPA Firefighter I and II standards, the volunteers want no such encumbrances to their firefighting activities.
    This is where TCFP comes in. And we have two organizations doing the same, but opposite things.


    The SFFMA still encourages volunteers to get as much formal training as possible, but does not want the lack of training to stand in the way of facing the red devil.

    It seems to me that because many states mandate certain levels of training before a firefighter can don gear at a fire, and with nationwide standards such as NFPA 1001, mandating basic and advance skills training, it is beyond all rational thought that no matter how well intended, this bill would allow inexperienced firefighters to operate in dangerous environments.
    You get the fire protection your community is willing to pay for. You want more than a brush truck and a 70 year old dude in overalls showing up, you need to fund it. If you want a fully paid, ISO certified, career fire department, pay for it.

    Either way, the situation in Texas between SFFMA and TCFP is ridiculous. Need to roll it all into TCFP, make mandatory certifications for structural firefighting with the volunteers and get it over with.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist


  2. #22
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Some can't see that in many, many places that is the reality of the fire service, and mandated standards will destroy what little bit that they have.
    You, the messsiah of safety, see absolutely no problem with no standards whatsoever for volunteer firefighters. This is where your apple cart of nonsense gets tipped over. How can having no recognized standards of any sort make any occupation safer? Come on LA explain that? And to what other agencies would you extend that same power of no recognized standards?
    Last edited by FyredUp; 05-04-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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    “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...

  3. #23
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Some can't see that in many, many places that is the reality of the fire service, and mandated standards will destroy what little bit that they have.
    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Or could the standards start a culture of competence and attract members who would rather be good than lucky?

    MAN! I still cant figure the quote deal out!
    Fixed it for ya.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    Lowering training requirements to allow more bodies on the fire scene will not make us safer.

    Contrary to what you believe, LA, bodies with a pulse do not equate to safe fire ground operations. It equates to having more people to stand in the yard watching, because their level of training and confidence is so low they're scared to do anything.

    Aggressive training, attendance at state offered classes, taking your personal time to go to other classes/schools offered around the area makes for a safer fire ground.
    Never have I advocated for "bodies with a pulse" on the fireground as being acceptable.

    I have advocated for each department being able to decide what thier local needs are based on how they operate and the services they provide, and then designing their department specific training around those department specific needs.

    If the department decides that they want primarily external operations, that is thier call.

    Simply put, local control of training vs. the dictate of the state.

    Let's be accurate.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    You, the messsiah of safety, see absolutely no problem with no standards whatsoever for volunteer firefighters. This is where you apple cart of nonsense gets tipped over. How can having no recognized standards of any sort make any occupation safer? Come on LA explain that? And to what other agencies would you extend that same power of no recognized standards?
    First of all, volunteer firefighting is not am occupation. Hobby? Vocation? But not an occupation.

    Sure, requiring FFI will make it safer. Requiring FFII will make it even safer. requiring D/O for drivers and Officer I for officers will make it even safer. No disagreement there. None at all.

    But what will having 20%, 30% or maybe even 50% fewer volunteer firefighters in a small town do for safety? What will having 20%, 30% or maybe even 50% fewer volunteers available for mutual aid do for safety? I see it making it even more unsafe.

    Training needs should be determined locally by each department.

    As far as extending the same power of no recognized standards to other agencies, that's none of my concern.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  6. #26
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    Also of note, volunteer firefighting is not what it is in say Pennsylvania (which by the way has no mandatory standards for volunteers either, and lets it up to individual departments to pursue FF I & II). But in Texas, almost all cities with a population of over 10,000 have a paid fire department. There is not the large tradition of volunteer fire service as there is in the northeast. The volunteer departments we do have are mostly brush trucks and tenders, covering vast open county rural areas. They almost never arrive to a structure in time to save anything. There are some big volunteer departments, mostly made up of big city paid guys that live out in the country, that hold up FF II training standards, but they are rare.

    Question ...

    Seemed like there were many large VFDs represented at the Harris County School at A & M I attended a couple of weeks ago with my VFD?

    Is that unique to the Houston area?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Or it will make them better and attract the type of folks who are interested in that level of competence.

    When you say, "destroy," you really mean your involvement will no longer be required. And that scares you.
    No, and ummmmmmmmmmm ... NO.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  8. #28
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Never have I advocated for "bodies with a pulse" on the fireground as being acceptable.

    Not by that name, you call them "Exterior Firefighters." Essentially bodies with a pulse that won't do the complete job of firefighting.

    I have advocated for each department being able to decide what thier local needs are based on how they operate and the services they provide, and then designing their department specific training around those department specific needs.

    Of course you have, because if somene else dictates a minimum training level most of your power disappears. The fact that you refuse to see that mandating a minimum training level does nothing to eliminate each department's ability to set nhouse training standards above that minimum standard shows your true agenda.

    If the department decides that they want primarily external operations, that is thier call.

    And I don't disagree that if a bunch of "Good Old Boys" want to ride around on firetrucks painting the illusion of a fire department that is their call. Your continual lie that the communities they serve know that is where we part ways. If those FDs would stand up at a community meeting and clearly state that they are incapable, because of training, of do interior firefighting or rescue, then I could buy your idea that the community knows. They also need to say exactly what that means to the community, like "If we can't put the fire out from outside your home will burn down, and if Gramma, or little Billy, are inside and can't get out on their own they will burn to death." Straight forward HONESTY, not cutesy little half truths like "We have a fire department."

    Simply put, local control of training vs. the dictate of the state.

    I am all for that...IF, all of those home control FDs are willing to give up any chance at federal grants. During normals times and times of emergency. If the Feds don't get to set standards for performance then you don't get to come crying with you hand open begging for money.

    Further let me ask you the question you have refused to answer. Who else gets a pass on any standards from the state? EMS? Police? The local drugstore? Doctors? Hospitals? Grocery stores? Butchers? WHO ELSE? You see the whole house of cards collapses if you believe anyone needs standards that work with the safety of the public. So, do tell...


    Let's be accurate.

    I am 100% accurate. I have seen for myself what absolutely no standards for training of firefighters led to and under no circumstances am I interested in going back to that.
    Just more blather that in the end means nothing other than you are afraid of outside pwoer over your job standards only because it makes you less important.
    “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...

  9. #29
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    First of all, volunteer firefighting is not am occupation. Hobby? Vocation? But not an occupation.

    But wait, aren't you one that calls even being a volunteer firefighter a professional?

    If you are doing it right it goes way beyond being a hobby. Funny thing is I looked up the word vocation and over half the definitions online include the word occupation in the definition of vocation. So even you in a back handed way are calling it an occupation. What college did you go to again?

    Frankly, whatever you call it people expect a professional, skilled, trained response from the fire department. Not a bunch of yokels spraying water on the smoldering remains of their possessions.


    Sure, requiring FFI will make it safer. Requiring FFII will make it even safer. requiring D/O for drivers and Officer I for officers will make it even safer. No disagreement there. None at all.

    Then get the heck out of the way and let it happen.

    But what will having 20%, 30% or maybe even 50% fewer volunteer firefighters in a small town do for safety? What will having 20%, 30% or maybe even 50% fewer volunteers available for mutual aid do for safety? I see it making it even more unsafe.

    Like so many have said here they would rather have a well trained smaller group that can do the complete job than a few that can do it all and a large group of lawn ornaments. Again, if I call for mutual aid and you send me exterior firefighters they won't even get off the rig before I send them home and then remove your FD from my mutual aid card.

    Training needs should be determined locally by each department.

    Fine just don't EVER ask for any state or federal money. Seems a fair trade off.

    As far as extending the same power of no recognized standards to other agencies, that's none of my concern.

    Ah, the standard cop out answer. Suppose the police said to the state "Why do we need standards? The fire department doesn't?" Or how about EMS? Then what? Is it now your concern?

    Just more nonsense and evasion from you. You know you can't logically defeat that rationale so you say "None of my concern."
    Just more LA blather...
    “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...

  10. #30
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, and ummmmmmmmmmm ... NO.
    How would you know since you always seem content to say it is okay for those volly FDs to seek the lowest common denominator?
    “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...

  11. #31
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, and ummmmmmmmmmm ... NO.
    Yes, and ummmmmmmmmmm...YES.

    I dare you to prove me wrong. Quit the VFD and walk away.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Yes, and ummmmmmmmmmm...YES.

    I dare you to prove me wrong. Quit the VFD and walk away.
    And exactly why would I walk away?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Simply put, local control of training vs. the dictate of the state.

    Let's be accurate.
    Oh, if we're going to be accurate, it's more like local control of training with absolutely no accountability or oversight vs. local control of training plus state certification as a firefighter (like police and EMS personnel are required to have).

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Oh, if we're going to be accurate, it's more like local control of training with absolutely no accountability or oversight vs. local control of training plus state certification as a firefighter (like police and EMS personnel are required to have).
    And how is the control local when they have to take a state mandated certification test at a state-mandated level?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And exactly why would I walk away?

    That would be a long list of why you should.............

  16. #36
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    Perhaps one of the Texas based FF may be able to elaborate, or correct any misunderstanding. When I was in Bastrop in 2011, the local firefighters I was working with were all members of tax supported Community Service Districts. Although these were 100% staffed by volunteers, they were not considered VFDs. They said that the volunteers at the CSDs had to meet the same standards as the full time paid departments, while the fund raiser supported VFDs had no minimum training requirements.

    This was simply chit chat with the guys so there is plenty of room for misunderstanding the system on my end.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And how is the control local when they have to take a state mandated certification test at a state-mandated level?
    Simple. "Training" and "certification" are not the same thing.

    Training from a fire service perspective is essentially education or practice.
    Certification is the process by which a 3rd party verifies specific knowledge and/or skills.

    The certification that we have been talking about is FF1, which the rest of us agree is a baseline minimum entry-level standard. We all agree that FF1 does not cover everything a firefighter will need to know in order to effectively operate in their own department and therefore will require each department to determine the training needs for their personnel. All fire department's have control of the training they offer to or expect of their personnel.

  18. #38
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And exactly why would I walk away?
    To prove me wrong in my belief that you are incapable of leaving because it would cause you to lose your pathetic status in your community.

    It's obvious you are not capable of anything worthwhile and that you derive your identity from being a quasi-authority figure amongst the ill informed of your fellow denizens. All of whom have no idea that you're a joke and your FD is as pathetic as you.
    Last edited by scfire86; 05-05-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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  19. #39
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Question ...

    Seemed like there were many large VFDs represented at the Harris County School at A & M I attended a couple of weeks ago with my VFD?

    Is that unique to the Houston area?
    Yes, very unique in the Houston area, Katy, Kline and Community VFDs come to mind. There you have volunteer departments like you'll find outside of Philly, New York, Jersey and PG county. They are big VFDs that cover urban areas and have intensive training standards... this is why you saw them at TAMU training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Here and there View Post
    Perhaps one of the Texas based FF may be able to elaborate, or correct any misunderstanding. When I was in Bastrop in 2011, the local firefighters I was working with were all members of tax supported Community Service Districts. Although these were 100% staffed by volunteers, they were not considered VFDs. They said that the volunteers at the CSDs had to meet the same standards as the full time paid departments, while the fund raiser supported VFDs had no minimum training requirements.

    This was simply chit chat with the guys so there is plenty of room for misunderstanding the system on my end.
    Not familiar with CSD, maybe ESD (Emergency Services District) which is a tax generating entity. Some areas that do not have a city fire department will be covered by an ESD. The ESD is an elected board of trustees that either fund their own department or contract with a nearby city to provide fire protection. An ESD fire department can be career, volunteer or combo. The ESD board will set whatever training standards for their volunteers they deem, many set higher standards because they are paying for fire protection and can afford to send their volunteers to classes.

    Possibly in Bastrop were you talking to people wearing green pants? The Texas Forest Service (yes, third agency involving fire) certifies forest firefighters, and identifies them quickly from volunteer brush fire units with green pants.
    ~Drew
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  20. #40
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And exactly why would I walk away?
    Why not? What exactly are you bringing to the table?

    Please don't say knowledge and experience, because based on your posts here that's certainly not the case.

    You won't walk away, because you fear that if you walk away, your department will undo all of the "change and progressiveness" you've brought to them, and will actually start fighting fires, and that scares you, because that means that you and your mindset were wrong all along.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

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