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  1. #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.

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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.
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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.
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  4. #29
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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...
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  5. #30
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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?
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  6. #31
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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."

  7. #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.

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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).

  9. #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.

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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.............

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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.

  12. #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.

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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 12:49 PM.
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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.
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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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    Frankly LA, I don't give a Tinker's damn if LA stays or quits. The best part of his staying there is he isn't anywhere else.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Frankly LA, I don't give a Tinker's damn if LA stays or quits. The best part of his staying there is he isn't anywhere else.
    That's too damn true....
    "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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    What are you loosing control over? A fire department that who's potential is being suppressed by several who would rather protect their ego and cling to whatever power they have? I live in Montana, a state that has no minimum standard. We have some kick butt vol. departments in very small towns because the leaders got over the power trip and decided the citizens were more important than the good ole' boys club at the station. The good ole' boys club complains when the state come up and gives us wildland training if the training is not 100% applicable to our little 2040 square mile response area. They are not smart enough to apply what they have learned to where they live, they need it spoon fed or cast it away as useless. We had training on wildland urban interface and members thought it was a waste of time because we have no WUI. I got mad and said "look, our little town is smaller than some subdivisions they burn down in California!" It would be like state mandated smoke reading training in a three story building to which some would reply "well, we only have two story buildings in town so this training is worthless."
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    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.
    Sorry, yes ESD. These guys were doing a lot of wildland (it is why I was there), but they were full structure departments with nice equipment and seemed to be competantly trained. They did received some funding from TFS but that wasn't their primary gig, and I didn't see any of them with green pants, in fact wildland gear was in short supply.

    I've seen the primarily exterior / wildland VFD's you are talking about on prior assignments to Texas, and that is why these guys really stood out. Decent equipment / PPE and they seemed to be competantly trained with some actual leadership for their departments.

    It sounds like this is just their county fire board setting a higher standard for tax supported fire departments rather than a state wide effort.

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    Volunteer fire departments make up about 78% of Texas' 1,400 fire departments across the state, he said. Between four and six are killed each year while on duty





    by Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

    Updated: 05/05/2013 09:12am

    Recent processions and eulogies memorialized the 10 firefighters killed last month in a West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, but making their names a permanent part of Texas history may prove difficult.

    A 50-foot-tall memorial to Texas volunteer firefighters killed in the line of duty located on the Texas Capitol grounds in Austin has run out of room to add more names. The bronze statue of a fireman with a baby cradled in one hand, a lantern in the other, is one of the oldest monuments in Austin and one of most prestigious recognitions of fallen volunteer firefighters, said Chris Barron, executive director of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas. The last name was added in 2011: Thomas Araguz III, a captain with the Wharton Volunteer Fire Department who was killed the previous year fighting a fire at an egg farm in Boling, Texas, near Houston.

    The association, which owns the statue, needs to raise more than $100,000 to build an expansion to the memorial, Barron said. The West explosion — one of the deadliest incidents involving firefighters in Texas history — has injected a renewed sense of urgency to the project, he said.

    "We need to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice," Barron said. "The only way to do that is to expand the monument."

    Volunteer fire departments make up about 78% of Texas' 1,400 fire departments across the state, he said. Between four and six are killed each year while on duty.

    Erected in 1896, the volunteer firefighters' statue sits on the south lawn of the Capitol and is the second-oldest among the 22 monuments spread across the grounds, said Ali James, Capitol curator. Only the Heroes of the Alamo monument, erected in 1891, is older. Visitors coming into the Capitol are greeted by the firefighter's towering pose and are drawn to the 138 names etched in the pedestal, she said.

    Names on the monument range from the 27 volunteer firefighters killed in the 1947 Texas City ship explosion, to the 19 killed in a 1956 refinery fire in North Texas, to more recent firefighters who have died battling wildfires. Since the monument filled up, seven more names have been added to a temporary granite slab laid next to it, James said.

    The West firefighters — all volunteers — deserve to have their names permanently etched next to their fallen colleagues, she said.

    "It's a very important structure," James said. "It really gives you a chance to reflect on their service."

    State Rep. Drew Springer said he found out the memorial had no more room for new names last year while attending a memorial for fallen firefighters from his district. He called Barron and pledged to help create a fundraising strategy and line up potential donors to raise the necessary money for the expansion, he said.

    The tragedy at West puts the effort in the spotlight, said Springer, a volunteer firefighter himself from Muenster, Texas.

    "It's our only spot in the state where we're recognized," he said of the memorial. "To have it at the Capitol means an awful lot."

    Before the memorial filled up, new names were added every other year in a ceremony that included an honor guard march and solemn pipes-and-drum dirge, Barron said. More than 1,000 spectators usually attended, including several hundred firefighters.

    It'll be a shame to squander that level of recognition for volunteers who put their lives on the line for free, he said.

    "They're getting paid nothing," Barron said. "We can at least honor them by putting their names on an historical artifact."

    http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2131617

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    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.
    Don't think that the command staff on my VFD would agree. In fact, I know they wouldn't.

    I quite willing to operate aggressively at fires when there is viable property and enough training, experiences and resources on the fireground to guarantee that my personnel will walk away and go to their full-time jobs the next day.

    Funny thing is that VFD agrees with that, and also fully understands what we cannot do.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Don't think that the command staff on my VFD would agree. In fact, I know they wouldn't.
    I don't believe you

    I quite willing to operate aggressively at fires when there is viable property and enough training, experiences and resources on the fireground to guarantee that my personnel will walk away and go to their full-time jobs the next day.
    If the planets align and the fifth moon of Jupiter is rotating on an even axis, that's when you'll operate interior right? Sorry, not gonna buy it. From the guy who has repeatedly chastised interior, or aggressive operations performed by other departments, and has also stated he won't lift a finger to help a child burning in a car, I can't believe there's a point in time that you even get near the building until the fire is out.

    Funny thing is that VFD agrees with that, and also fully understands what we cannot do.
    Yeah, okay.
    The problem is, and simply remains, that YOUR definition of "viable property, enough training, experiences, and resources" vastly differs from the rest of the fire service.

    Regardless of what you want to believe, your thought process and values are NOT the norm, sorry.
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    "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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    Scary thing is that a lot of the big shots seem to agree with LA, and because fire has changed it is too dangerous to try to save property and lives. What reassures me is that the men and women on the ground seem to be in favor of doing their jobs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Don't think that the command staff on my VFD would agree. In fact, I know they wouldn't.

    I quite willing to operate aggressively at fires when there is viable property and enough training, experiences and resources on the fireground to guarantee that my personnel will walk away and go to their full-time jobs the next day.

    Funny thing is that VFD agrees with that, and also fully understands what we cannot do.
    So you just detailed for us why you never have to do the job.

    Nothing new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Scary thing is that a lot of the big shots seem to agree with LA, and because fire has changed it is too dangerous to try to save property and lives. What reassures me is that the men and women on the ground seem to be in favor of doing their jobs.
    The "big shots" are the ones that will have to justify the risk and the operations in front of OSHA, NIOSH and at the civil trial if things go bad ... and you won't. Bottom line is that they are protecting the departments butt in terms of answering to the regulatory agencies, and heavens forbid the courts.

    Just keep that in mind.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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