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Thread: Most Important FireFighting Question You want Answered: Please Suggest

  1. #151
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    I have helped several volunteer fds get started. Our purpose was to "provide fire protection where there was none" - If and when they get annexed and served by a full time FD, job done. End of story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Just to straighten things out bro ... This is my combo department with a $1.2M budget, 8 full-time members, a couple of part-timer slots and 90 members including support personnel and dispatchers.

    And yes, it is an issue. As we hire more career members the role of the volunteers becomes less and less on the routine, everyday calls that are being increasingly handled by the career staff. At some point that will lead to volunteers being less involved and engaged, and will lead to some of them leaving the department.

    And yes, that is an issue and it happens when career members are added. And in the end that could lead to having to hire more career members to replace the volunteers who feel disengaged and leave, costing the community more for fire protection.

    We have always been a department where the career staff exists to support the volunteers, not a department where the volunteers support the career staff, and I fear that we may be slowly drifting in that direction. If that happened, not only would it be an insult to the volunteers who are still willing to provide effective service, but it would also be a disserve to the residents who will end up paying far more for career staffing if the volunteers become less involved in day to day responses, less interested, and leave the department.

    And yes, I am very concerned about the volunteers on this department. I don't want to see it go the way of the other 2 combo departments in the parish, and most of the combo departments in the neighboring parish to the west where volunteers have become far less important in their operations.

    As far as the citizens, the EMS delivery system was working quite well before the addition of the second paid shift member.
    Nothing you said made anything I said a moot point...

    My point was, and still is, the citizens are getting fire protection and EMS care. Who the hell cares if it comes from vollies or paid guys. (Trick question, obviously you care)

    You're so strong and supportive of vollies, and so opposed to career members, yet you keep reinforcing that you can't hold vollies to the same standards as career members as far as training and attendance goes, but you still hold your vollie members to a higher respect than your career members even though your facilitating them being a lesser trained, essentially sub-par firefighter.... You're an odd duck, Bobby.

    And before anyone jumps on my *** about the vollie comments, I AM a vollie, on two departments. I guess I just hold myself to a higher standard than some.
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  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    Nothing you said made anything I said a moot point...

    My point was, and still is, the citizens are getting fire protection and EMS care. Who the hell cares if it comes from vollies or paid guys. (Trick question, obviously you care)

    You're so strong and supportive of vollies, and so opposed to career members, yet you keep reinforcing that you can't hold vollies to the same standards as career members as far as training and attendance goes, but you still hold your vollie members to a higher respect than your career members even though your facilitating them being a lesser trained, essentially sub-par firefighter.... You're an odd duck, Bobby.

    And before anyone jumps on my *** about the vollie comments, I AM a vollie, on two departments. I guess I just hold myself to a higher standard than some.
    You don't think it makes more sense to have better trained personnel in a support role to lesser trained personnel when it comes to providing fire protection and ems services to the community?
    In my book, doing it for free does not equal dedication.
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  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    You don't think it makes more sense to have better trained personnel in a support role to lesser trained personnel when it comes to providing fire protection and ems services to the community?

    Quite frankly, I don't care how it happens. Better trained supporting lesser trained, lesser trained supporting better trained, career, volunteer, paid on call, combination. To me, it's all about delivering the services to the community that you signed or applied to protect. As long as the necessary services are provided, and you don't make excuses for doing the job, I don't care if it's a volunteer department, a career department, vollies supplementing the career guys, or career guys supplementing the vollies. Whatever works best for your area. Unfortunately for LAFE, his beliefs got over ruled here. It would appear as though they thought adding another career member would be what's best for the community.
    In my book, doing it for free does not equal dedication.
    Dedication isn't determined by whether or not you get paid to do the job. Dedication is determined by how willing you are to do the job, and how far you're willing to go to help your fellow man, show up for calls, and train to be the best you can be. Career or volunteer, it applies to both.
    Volunteer departments don't work everywhere. Career departments don't work everywhere. Combination departments don't work everywhere. All I care about is that whatever department fills the role in a certain part of the world is dedicated, professional, and willing to train hard enough to be the best they can be at the job. Not whine about, in the grand scheme of things, piddly little schitt like not being able to go on the grandma fell down, or guy who's been sick for 3 weeks with no change in condition and wants to go in right now call at 3am.
    "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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    I couldn't agree more Chenzo. I was doing a poor job of playing sarcastic devil's advocate. When I hear firefighters whine about what is best for themselves and forget about what is best for the community I get mad as hell. I have dealt lately with firefighters who care more about power and ego than the community, and I am mostly at a loss, completely at a loss.
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  6. #156
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    Conrad427,

    You have it exactly right. Firefighters, whether volunteer or career should become firefighters with the thought in mind that they are there to serve the citizens and the community, not for the fire department to give them an ego boost, or to make them feel important. Once the mission gets lost in the self esteem gobbledegook then the drama starts and the FD gets tossed into turmoil.

    Frankly, LA's merry band of vollies sound like chidren who when they don't get their way throw a tantrum. The MISSION is no longer the priority in LA's mind, soothing ruffled feathers of vollies that don't get to do whatever they think they should be doing is. Great way to try to run an FD.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 08-10-2013 at 06:33 PM.
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  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Conrad427,

    You have it exactly right. Fifrefighters, whether volunteer or career should become firefighters with the thought in mind that they are there to serve the citizens and the community, not for the fire department to give them an ego boost, or to make them feel important. Once the mission gets lost in the self esteem gobbledegook then the drama starts and the FD gets tossed into turmoil.

    Frankly, LA's merry band of vollies sound like chidren who when they don't get there way throw a tantrum. The MISSION is no longer the priority in LA's mind, soothing ruffled feathers of vollies that don't get to do whatever they think they should be doing is. Great way to try to run an FD.
    Which is exactly what I saw happen with the vollies in my old department. When it became apparent there duties were going to be relegated to their home areas.

    They were livid when the department changed policy so they were no longer going to be sent out of the county. And many of them quit.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Conrad427,

    You have it exactly right. Firefighters, whether volunteer or career should become firefighters with the thought in mind that they are there to serve the citizens and the community, not for the fire department to give them an ego boost, or to make them feel important. Once the mission gets lost in the self esteem gobbledegook then the drama starts and the FD gets tossed into turmoil.

    Frankly, LA's merry band of vollies sound like chidren who when they don't get their way throw a tantrum. The MISSION is no longer the priority in LA's mind, soothing ruffled feathers of vollies that don't get to do whatever they think they should be doing is. Great way to try to run an FD.
    And where did i say that anyone was throwing a tantrum?

    They are concerned that volunteers seem to be a little less needed on routine EMS calls since the addition of a second shift firefighter. they are concerned that the volunteers seem to have become alittle less critical to department operations. And they are concerned that the department may be going a route where volunteers will become less and less needed dispits the fact that they are still providing very effective response.

    All very legitimate concerns.

    The addition of the second shift member really added no significant response capabilities, especially during the evenings when the volunteers were providing more than adequate response. Yes, they have made some difference on the admin, maintainenece ans testing side, but have had little effect on the response side.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And where did i say that anyone was throwing a tantrum?

    They are concerned that volunteers seem to be a little less needed on routine EMS calls since the addition of a second shift firefighter. they are concerned that the volunteers seem to have become alittle less critical to department operations. And they are concerned that the department may be going a route where volunteers will become less and less needed dispits the fact that they are still providing very effective response.

    All very legitimate concerns.

    The addition of the second shift member really added no significant response capabilities, especially during the evenings when the volunteers were providing more than adequate response. Yes, they have made some difference on the admin, maintainenece ans testing side, but have had little effect on the response side.
    I was going to type a big long response but then I decieded not to waste my time on your dumbass. I have better things to do than worry about you being butt-hurt. My short answer is this. Someone in leadership (not you) saw that things (maintence and testing) was not being completed in a timely enough manner by the volunteers to meet the objectives and goals of the department and took corrective action by bringing on additional paid help.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    I was going to type a big long response but then I decieded not to waste my time on your dumbass. I have better things to do than worry about you being butt-hurt. My short answer is this. Someone in leadership (not you) saw that things (maintence and testing) was not being completed in a timely enough manner by the volunteers to meet the objectives and goals of the department and took corrective action by bringing on additional paid help.
    And I have no issues with that, except that it would have been much more effective if they had been brought in as daytime, not 24-hour shift, staff, which is where the admin, maintainence and testing needs are.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And I have no issues with that, except that it would have been much more effective if they had been brought in as daytime, not 24-hour shift, staff, which is where the admin, maintainence and testing needs are.
    If the new staff is also going to help with ems and fire I don't see what the problem is.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
    Captain Dave LeBlanc

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And I have no issues with that, except that it would have been much more effective if they had been brought in as daytime, not 24-hour shift, staff, which is where the admin, maintainence and testing needs are.
    Golly LA, then it is too bad YOU aren't a command officer and get to make those decisions. I am sure you would be VERY popular among the paid guys if you were...Your comments about them just drip with disdain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    If the new staff is also going to help with ems and fire I don't see what the problem is.
    You just don't get it conrad427, the vollies got their feelings and self esteem bruised. They are no longer the top dog for those middle of the night pick grampa off the toilet, or haul gramma to the ER because she has been sick for a week and now wants to go in, or pick up the drunk who fell on the sidewalk type calls.

    Nevermind that in reality not a damn thing has changed. The vollies still first respond in, make an assessment, start treatment, and if not needed further, hand off care to the paid fire guys or the ambulance crew. That's sounds horrific to me!!

    What is the mission? To serve the public or build self esteem and make the vollies feel important?
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  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    If the new staff is also going to help with ems and fire I don't see what the problem is.
    The fact is that we have no issues with fire or EMS volunteer response during the evening. We average at least 22 volunteers for evening fire calls, as well as major MVAs, so evening manpower has never been an issue.

    We average about 12 volunteers for daytime fire calls, so supplemental paid staff is much more needed during the day as compared to the evening.

    The problem is that we had plenty of volunteers responding during the evening, and now fewer are responding as there is no longer the need for them on scene. Over time, this will affect their desire to stay on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    We may just have to agree to disagree.
    Sorry, but I was on vacation all last week.

    I was referencing an earlier post about the community center. We do not have one. The church and the station serve those purposes. We do not have an actual community center. Meetings and gatherings are either held at one of those 2 places.

    I will go along with this. I will agree that we have different viewpoints and see things differently and therefore do not agree on this issue. Thank you for a good discussion and respectful argument. I appreciate when discussions can be held where there is honest discourse between 2 even if they don't agree and it doesn't go down the name calling avenue. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The fact is that we have no issues with fire or EMS volunteer response during the evening. We average at least 22 volunteers for evening fire calls, as well as major MVAs, so evening manpower has never been an issue.

    We average about 12 volunteers for daytime fire calls, so supplemental paid staff is much more needed during the day as compared to the evening.

    The problem is that we had plenty of volunteers responding during the evening, and now fewer are responding as there is no longer the need for them on scene. Over time, this will affect their desire to stay on.
    How many volunteers were responding to a call? If 1 more paid person is responding...is that replacing 1, 2, 3, 4, etc volunteers on that call?

    And if that 1 more paid guy is causing more than 1 volunteer to not show up anymore....you have to ask yourself why 1 paid guy is equal to so many volunteers?
    "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
    How many volunteers were responding to a call? If 1 more paid person is responding...is that replacing 1, 2, 3, 4, etc volunteers on that call?

    And if that 1 more paid guy is causing more than 1 volunteer to not show up anymore....you have to ask yourself why 1 paid guy is equal to so many volunteers?
    We were averaging 2-3 volunteers on the routine EMS "sick person" call. That is now down to one or maybe 2.

    We still get 3-5 volunteers on the SOBs, cardiac and trauma runs.

    And I have always wondered why one paid member does not equal one volunteer myself.
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    Not to take anything away from volunteers, I am one, but it has to come down to peace of mind as far as how many paid guys to how many volunteers.
    We have 23 volunteers in the department, that number seems needed to get four or five out the door for sure.
    If there is an Iron Maiden concert in town, or the world championships of punkin chunkin comes to town volunteer response might be compromised. If four paid guys are on duty, how many get to go to the Lower East Side roller derby tournament instead of a routine ems call?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We were averaging 2-3 volunteers on the routine EMS "sick person" call. That is now down to one or maybe 2.

    We still get 3-5 volunteers on the SOBs, cardiac and trauma runs.
    So you went from 2-3 guys to 1-2? Plus the 1 paid guy.

    And this is demoralizing your volunteer department? Really?


    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And I have always wondered why one paid member does not equal one volunteer myself.
    Guess it reflects on the dedication of your volunteers.
    "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 LaFireEducator View Post
    We were averaging 2-3 volunteers on the routine EMS "sick person" call. That is now down to one or maybe 2.

    We still get 3-5 volunteers on the SOBs, cardiac and trauma runs.

    And I have always wondered why one paid member does not equal one volunteer myself.
    Because the paid member (while on duty) will ALWAYS be able to respond with the appropriate apparatus for the call, in a timely manner. He will not be at the rodeo, home with his sick child while is wife is out of town etc. He will respond even if he is in a ****y mood, because his livelihood depends on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    We were averaging 2-3 volunteers on the routine EMS "sick person" call. That is now down to one or maybe 2.

    We still get 3-5 volunteers on the SOBs, cardiac and trauma runs.

    And I have always wondered why one paid member does not equal one volunteer myself.
    Because the paid member (while on duty) will ALWAYS be able to respond with the appropriate apparatus for the call, in a timely manner. He will not be at the rodeo, home with his sick child while is wife is out of town etc. He will respond even if he is in a ****y mood, because his livelihood depends on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And I have always wondered why one paid member does not equal one volunteer myself.
    I can explain this for you, and frankly it is so obvious that I am surprised you need to ask.

    With volunteer/POC FFs there is no guarantee of a response by any set number. Well, unless you have assigned duty crews that are mandated during their duty time to respond. With paid career firefighters you will ALWAYS have at least the number of on duty firefighters responding. I know at one point the ISO rated one paid member on duty the equivalent of 4 volunteer/POC FFs.

    Look at your volunteer FD LA, you simply can't guarantee any number of responders on any given day. A paid FD ALWAYS guarantees a minimum number of responders EVERY DAY.
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    Yes, a guaranteed minimum number of members AND all arriving more quickly AND simultaneously AND with a rig full of equipment.

    Staffing and timing are two of the biggest factors in a successful outcome at just about any fire or emergency.

    Could any reasonable firefighter actually argue against that?

    PS Please don't tell us about station cleaning or maintenance or any other ancillary function. They are only support services to our mission.
    Last edited by captnjak; 08-18-2013 at 01:45 PM.

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    post deleted
    Last edited by conrad427; 08-18-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Not to take anything away from volunteers, I am one, but it has to come down to peace of mind as far as how many paid guys to how many volunteers.
    We have 23 volunteers in the department, that number seems needed to get four or five out the door for sure.
    If there is an Iron Maiden concert in town, or the world championships of punkin chunkin comes to town volunteer response might be compromised. If four paid guys are on duty, how many get to go to the Lower East Side roller derby tournament instead of a routine ems call?
    It might be especially hard to get a volunteer response if it were the playoffs. Just joking of course, I don't even know how to skate.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
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