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Thread: Hey LA! This one's for you!

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    So... What's my excuse then? When I took Wisconsin's Entry-Level Firefighter class, I was in my senior year of high-school, going to school full time, working 25-35 hours a week as well.

    When I took Firefighter I and Firefighter II, I was working 40+ hours a week, and going to other college part time for some general education credits.

    When I took FADO, I was working part time (15-20hrs a week), and running 250+ hours a month on the ambulance.

    When I took EMT-B, I was running 350-400+ hours a month on the ambulance.

    When I took EMT-IT, I was working 35 hours a week, and running 250-350+ hours on the ambulance.

    I have a wife, and daughter, and bills too.

    I don't/didn't/won't make excuses not to train, because excuses don't end emergencies, training does.


    And you are the top 10% of the volunteer fire service.

    That is not a reasonable expecation for most volunteers. Sorry, it isn't.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.


  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    It is the make-up of the department that matters and good leaders can take a rabble with junk and turn them into a firefighting force to be reckoned with. Or they can sit in the corner and weep and go on as a nothing forever. The choice is their's.
    ^This is more what I was getting at. I wasn't trying to say that their is department leadership looking guys in the eyes at their meetings saying "You all suck."
    "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

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And you are the top 10% of the volunteer fire service.

    That is not a reasonable expecation for most volunteers. Sorry, it isn't.
    I beg to differ. Maybe in your area, settling for less than the best, is the norm. But that's not how it is up here. People don't want to settle, they want to be the best they can be, and if that means sacrificing a little bit of personal time to take a class or go to training, they will do it.
    "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

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And you are the top 10% of the volunteer fire service.

    That is not a reasonable expecation for most volunteers. Sorry, it isn't.
    Actually it is a reasonable expectation for those who choose to strive for it.

    Your pathetic group sounds like it is okay with being in the bottom 10% or worst.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And you are the top 10% of the volunteer fire service.

    That is not a reasonable expecation for most volunteers. Sorry, it isn't.
    Well, 100% volunteer department that runs both fire and ambulance. We require first responder within the first 2 years, but are discussing changing that to EMT-B. We also require FF1 in order to pack up. That is on top of CPR and BBP. All fire apparatus drivers have to have FF1 as well as EVOC and pumps.

    It's not an unreasonable expectation here. I took FF1 while working full time with a 2 and 4 year old at home. FF1 is the starting point for all of the fire departments in the county (all volunteer). Granted, we have a good deal with MFRI offering night classes at least 4 times a year in our region, and day classes as well. There is no shortage of classes available.
    voyager9 and Chenzo like this.

  6. #46
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    LA, and anyone else in LA's position as far as training and certification, are any of you working to change this? Are you striving to make training and certification more accessible to your members? Or are you sitting on your hands saying woe is me and doing nothing to fix it?

    If you're sitting on your hands, why? Why aren't you working to make things better for you, your members, your department, and most importantly, your community?
    "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

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    LA, and anyone else in LA's position as far as training and certification, are any of you working to change this? Are you striving to make training and certification more accessible to your members? Or are you sitting on your hands saying woe is me and doing nothing to fix it?

    If you're sitting on your hands, why? Why aren't you working to make things better for you, your members, your department, and most importantly, your community?

    Ummmmmmmmmmmm... let's think...................

    Have taught at least 2 Awareness and 2 Ops classes for my VFD. I have taught 2 FFI classes for my combo department plus a FFII class. I am currently helping 2 neighboring districts teach a FFI class. Helped one of those districts teach a FFI class 2 years ago.

    And that's not even counting the 14 or 15 or so Smoke reading classes I have done for other departments throughout 4 parishes, the 8 or 9 Large Vehilce Fire Operations classes and the 3 or 4 12-hour Search and rapid Intervention classes I have done in the past 3 years for other departments, in addition to teaching every other week at my VFD and 8 or 9 times a year at my combo department.

    Nope .. Just sitting on my hands.

    Any questions?
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 05-07-2013 at 08:26 AM.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Well, 100% volunteer department that runs both fire and ambulance. We require first responder within the first 2 years, but are discussing changing that to EMT-B. We also require FF1 in order to pack up. That is on top of CPR and BBP. All fire apparatus drivers have to have FF1 as well as EVOC and pumps.

    It's not an unreasonable expectation here. I took FF1 while working full time with a 2 and 4 year old at home. FF1 is the starting point for all of the fire departments in the county (all volunteer). Granted, we have a good deal with MFRI offering night classes at least 4 times a year in our region, and day classes as well. There is no shortage of classes available.
    What is the population of your district?

    Problem is that in many places in this country there is a shortage of classes and there may not be qualified instructors locally, or they may not have the time to plug the gaps in state training.

    Marylnad seems to fund fire training well. Seems like it's the same with Fryed in Wisconsin. In many states that's not the case and the funding will simply never be there.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  9. #49
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    LA, and anyone else in LA's position as far as training and certification, are any of you working to change this? Are you striving to make training and certification more accessible to your members? Or are you sitting on your hands saying woe is me and doing nothing to fix it?

    If you're sitting on your hands, why? Why aren't you working to make things better for you, your members, your department, and most importantly, your community?
    Training in NJ is basically free. Many courses offered by county academies, some local academies, and some community colleges. The state of NJ requires FF1 for all firefighters. Volunteer through full paid...it's the same FF1. I have been teaching parts of it for about 15 years now and have had people of all types in the classes....and yes, mostly volunteer but also paid guys. MOST paid departments will then put their FF's through additional training.

    There is a slew of training available in many topics/areas's of the fire service.

    Availability and/or cost is not the issue around here......time is. Between work hours, family time, and whatever else people are doing with their time....they have less time available to get themselves trained. For them...it's just not a high enough priority in their life list. There are a few who make the time, but they are a very low minority.

    As for what "we" are doing about it.....we are now up to 7 or 8 instructors in the department so "we" can offer more trainings at more times. But we can't make people show up. We post catalogs, send out notices, encourage trainings....but can't make people go. We have minimum training standards for the department already...and we make sure they are met.

    If I had the power to make 30 hours in a day instead of 24....
    "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?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    What is the population of your district?

    Problem is that in many places in this country there is a shortage of classes and there may not be qualified instructors locally, or they may not have the time to plug the gaps in state training.

    Marylnad seems to fund fire training well. Seems like it's the same with Fryed in Wisconsin. In many states that's not the case and the funding will simply never be there.
    Not sure of the population, but we cover about 40 sq miles with a power plant in the first due and a LNG plant that we are 2nd due to. We run just over 2000 calls a year.

    I understand that not every place has the training opportunities that we have in Maryland. We are very fortunate. I still say in general that it's not unreasonable to expect volunteers to meet the FF1 and EMT standards. If they want to be a firefighter, they can find the time. The fact that the infrastructure isn't in place in some areas is a little bit of a different issue, but I will admit that it affects volunteers more than it would paid departments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And you were able to go to school for 16 weeks, 40 hours or more a day, without having to worry about your "real" job.
    Hey SC,

    I can only get 24 hours out of a day. Being able to get a few more hours out of each day could really help me to get caught up with all of the stuff I need to do. How'd you manage to get 40+ hours out of a day? Is it a west coast thing?

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Not sure of the population, but we cover about 40 sq miles with a power plant in the first due and a LNG plant that we are 2nd due to. We run just over 2000 calls a year.

    I understand that not every place has the training opportunities that we have in Maryland. We are very fortunate. I still say in general that it's not unreasonable to expect volunteers to meet the FF1 and EMT standards. If they want to be a firefighter, they can find the time. The fact that the infrastructure isn't in place in some areas is a little bit of a different issue, but I will admit that it affects volunteers more than it would paid departments.
    My point witht the question about your population was asked to determine your mapower pool. Given that you run 2000 calls per year, it's likey that you have a pretty descent sized population, and because of that a pretty deep manpower pool. You have the luxury of being able to demand specitic training standards.

    A community of 500, 1000 or even 2000 does not have that luxury.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Hey SC,

    I can only get 24 hours out of a day. Being able to get a few more hours out of each day could really help me to get caught up with all of the stuff I need to do. How'd you manage to get 40+ hours out of a day? Is it a west coast thing?
    Ok .. 40 plus hours a week .. damn typo.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  14. #54
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    We have a similar problem with course availability here. Most courses (except insurance company EVOC) are state-run, and free, but are limited by the amount of instructor hours the state is willing to pony up for. A single FF1 will eat up a third of the county's available hours. County leadership tries to run two FF1 a year, 20 students in each. Every now and then they are able to eke out a third. You want to have advance notice of when they'll start taking reservations, since the classes will be full by noon on the day said reservations open.

    On the other hand, "lesser" courses often have space available. Firefighter safety & survival (maybe one a year) usually fills up, as does FF2, but a few various classes have been cancelled due to lack of attendance.

    Time is usually the issue. I have one member who needs FF1, but works better than an hour away. I'm considering checking to see if he can get into a class in that county, but that still leaves him with an hour+ commute after class, and having to go to work again the next day. It's a challenge.

    We're mostly past the point where being the best firefighter one can be wasn't the goal - it was getting a beer or two when you got back from the calls. The beer is long gone, and so are most of the "social" members (I almost called them firefighters), but they were the core of many departments "back in the day" and the reason we could field 20-25 people for most incidents. Of course, most were "yard breathers" who never got closer to to actual firefighting that standing in the yard with a hose during a "surround and drown" evolution.

    When those folks joined, the sole requirement was the 39 hour "Essentials of Firemanship." Sure, there were other courses you could take, but the minimum was Essentials, and that's as far as some of them ever went.

    We've also seen a quantum shift in the nature of employment. At one time many, if not most, members worked locally - local businesses, farms, etc. The mills were running, providing lots of shift workers who could handle daytime calls. That's all gone. Most people work out of town - my hamlet is a virtual ghost-town during the day. We managed four people today for an MVA - mutual aid because the home department couldn't get a truck out the door.

    And so it goes.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My point witht the question about your population was asked to determine your mapower pool. Given that you run 2000 calls per year, it's likey that you have a pretty descent sized population, and because of that a pretty deep manpower pool. You have the luxury of being able to demand specitic training standards.

    A community of 500, 1000 or even 2000 does not have that luxury.
    I understand the point, and we are fortunate to have a good mix of people, inlcluding shift workers that can cover the daytime calls. Given the area we cover though, we probably have the smallest population to draw from. Some departments close by have larger population pools to pull from, but are not as fortunate regarding staffing for various reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    I beg to differ. Maybe in your area, settling for less than the best, is the norm. But that's not how it is up here. People don't want to settle, they want to be the best they can be, and if that means sacrificing a little bit of personal time to take a class or go to training, they will do it.
    And who says that they need a piece of paper saying "Firefighter I" to be thier best?

    I know of some pretty damn good firefighters that never took Firefigther I, but recieved thier training through department training and non-certification outside training, and backed it up with experience at a lot of fires.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And who says that they need a piece of paper saying "Firefighter I" to be thier best?

    I know of some pretty damn good firefighters that never took Firefigther I, but recieved thier training through department training and non-certification outside training, and backed it up with experience at a lot of fires.
    What qualifies them as pretty damn good? Your opinion?

    NJ FF1 is a pretty objective review of a FF's skills and knowledge. Opinions don't play into the mix too much. One of the first skill tests is getting properly dressed. There is a time limit. If the required gear is in place in less than the time allotted...they pass. If not....they fail. No opinion there.

    Uneducated experience at a lot of fires is a lot of uneducated experience. If you do a task wrong 1000 times...it's still wrong. Doing it 1000 times does not make it right.
    "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 tree68 View Post
    We have a similar problem with course availability here. Most courses (except insurance company EVOC) are state-run, and free, but are limited by the amount of instructor hours the state is willing to pony up for...
    Whoa, your instructors get paid? I want to move there....
    "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?

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Ummmmmmmmmmmm... let's think...................
    Don't hurt yourself.

    Have taught at least 2 Awareness and 2 Ops classes for my VFD. I have taught 2 FFI classes for my combo department plus a FFII class. I am currently helping 2 neighboring districts teach a FFI class. Helped one of those districts teach a FFI class 2 years ago.
    Then why are you coming here and saying it's hard to get training and certification? Which is it? You're teaching classes and training your members, or the training just simply isn't feasibly available?

    And that's not even counting the 14 or 15 or so Smoke reading classes I have done for other departments throughout 4 parishes, the 8 or 9 Large Vehilce Fire Operations classes and the 3 or 4 12-hour Search and rapid Intervention classes I have done in the past 3 years for other departments, in addition to teaching every other week at my VFD and 8 or 9 times a year at my combo department.


    Nope .. Just sitting on my hands.
    [COLOR=RED]In the specific post you quoted, I didn't accuse you of sitting on your hands, I asked if you're not working to make it better, why not? (for the record, I full believe you're more or less sitting on your hands, because it's easier for you to make excuses than try to promote change.)

    Any questions?
    Not really. Sounds like more excuses and justification for your lack of action than anything.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And who says that they need a piece of paper saying "Firefighter I" to be thier best?
    Nobody is saying that. We know there are/have been/will be people in the fire service whose "best" will not be able to meet that standard and there are/have been/will be people in the fire service whose "best" far exceeds that standard.

    I know of some pretty damn good firefighters that never took Firefigther I, but recieved thier training through department training and non-certification outside training, and backed it up with experience at a lot of fires.
    I know some too, but that's irrelevant.

    FF1 certification is no more of a measure of how "good" of a firefighter one is as EMT certification is a measure of how "good" of an EMS provider a person is.

    Despite what you think, professional credentials are the norm in the real world and firefighters should be credentialed just like EMS and the PD are required to be.
    FyredUp and Chenzo like this.

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