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Thread: Junior firefighter and radios

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    Default Junior firefighter and radios

    This is my first post, so don't be to hurst on me. I just turned 17 and I'm a volunteer at a local fire station. I'm the only junior firefighter at my station and I go all calls. My chief told me I could buy my own pager and I figured since I got to for a pager I might as well buy my own radio. I use different people radios when we on scenes. I'm kinda scared about buying a radio and I don't know if my Cheif would agree with me buying a radio for calls. I have my CRP and I'm getting Fire responder.


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    If your making all the calls already why are you worried about buying a pager or radio ? When you say radio I assume your talking about a portable radio that you can talk on. Do you need to talk to people when your on a scene ? If so then your department should provide you with a radio. I think your wasting your money buying a pager or radio. You should check with your county and state law's and regulations to see if you can even have a radio.

    just my opinion

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    hey don't be "hurst" on him.
    ?

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    If a call goes out, I'm allowed to ride along in any truck. When we on a scene, I sometime do the pager work, direct traffic and help out. My department provides you a radio when you turn 18 and my next birthday is a year from now. I been with the department for a year now.

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    Sounds more like you're a "firefighter in training" than the junior firefighter most folks think of.

    Assuming that you need a radio to do what you're allowed to do, and if you can afford it, fine. If you can wait, let the FD foot the bill. Sounds like they've got the resources.

    I'll also assume that you're learning radio discipline. Far too many firefighters (and folks in other professions) seem to think that if they've got a radio, they've got to talk on it.

    However, the most important factor is the one you mentioned - are you allowed to have your own personal radio? If so, you'll need the permission of the license holder to use it (transmit, anyhow). You'll also be responsible for ensuring that it is properly programmed, as well as for any repairs.

    I'd wait.
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    I want to convince my Chief that it can be beneficial for my having my own radio

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    There several threads on this subject in the volunteer, junior section several groups below this group.


    As far as you buying a pager or radio, I would say no. Let the fd supply that to you. Beside usually juniors don't really have a need for a two way portable radio.
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    I would suggest learning other aspects of firefighting prior to mastering the radio
    Let it ride

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    Frankly, if the chief told me I had to buy my own pager and/or my own radio, I would tell him, well, if telepathy lets me know we have a call I will be there, otherwise I guess not.

    Seriously, how damn stupid is it that you have to buy your own pager? And further if he won't assiign you a pager what makes you think he would approve of you buying a radio? Who will carry the license for YOUR personally owned radio?
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-24-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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    Piggy-backing on what others have said here, what do you have to offer that makes it necessary for you to have 2-way radio communications prior to your department issuing you a portable?

    It's kinda like the "ace" volunteer (we call them "blue-lighters" in this part of the world) who drives a 1978 rusted-out piece of junk and can barely pay their bills yet they have about $6000 in LED lighting and other warning devices on it. The best part about it is that the "ace" volunteer has no certifications (and therefore cannot do anything once he arrives) yet has a front-row seat to watch (i.e. not participate) all the action.

    In most places, there is a safe location for this person to be: the "crowd" side of the fire line tape.

    Sit back, enjoy the opportunity to learn from your fellow firefighters, stay out of harm's way, and do not get hurt. Prove yourself now by demonstrating maturity so when you turn 18, your chief will be more than willing to equip you to handle your department's business.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 09-24-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.F.D 27 View Post
    If your making all the calls already why are you worried about buying a pager or radio ? When you say radio I assume your talking about a portable radio that you can talk on. Do you need to talk to people when your on a scene ? If so then your department should provide you with a radio. I think your wasting your money buying a pager or radio. You should check with your county and state law's and regulations to see if you can even have a radio.

    just my opinion
    If you're serious about being a firefighter, there's far better things you can spend your money on then a pager and a radio that the department will supply you in a year. Take that money and buy yourself some personal tools/gear etc. A good set of gloves, some hand tools for your pockets, webbing, possibly a gut belt, etc etc. The list could go on and on. For the price of a radio and a pager, (that you said will be issued to you in a year anyway), you can outfit yourself with some damn good personal equipment for a fraction of the cost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Piggy-backing on what others have said here, why do you have to offer that makes it necessary for you to have 2-way radio communications prior to your department issuing you a portable?

    It's kinda like the "ace" volunteer (we call them "blue-lighters" in this part of the world) who drive a 1978 rusted-out piece of junk and can barely pay their bills yet they have about $6000 in LED lighting and other warning devices on it. The best part about it is that the "ace" volunteer has no certifications (and therefore cannot do anything once he arrives) yet has a front-row seat to watch (i.e. not participate) all the action.

    In most places , there is a safe location for this person to be: the "crowd" side of the fire line tape.

    Sit back, enjoy the opportunity to learn from your fellow firefighters, stay out of harm's way, and do not get hurt. Prove yourself now by demonstrating maturity so when you turn 18, your chief will be more than willing to equip you to handle your department's business.
    Great post. Especially the last paragraph. Why is it so many young people that want to be in this profession want to run before they have even learned to crawl?
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    So how do you know when there is a call?

    First of all a communications device should be an issued item, not something that anyone has to purchase. My recommendation would to not purchase a pager or a radio, especially if you don't know the department's policy on juniors using a radio as a junior.

    It sounds like that if the Chief felt there was a need for you to have a pager or a radio, the department policy would allow one to be issued to you.

    Both of my current departments issue a radio to junior members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    First of all a communications device should be an issued item, not something that anyone has to purchase.
    The fire department bought the first Plectrons here. Before that they bought three scanners for the three white hats. Everyone else either had their own scanner or had to listen for the fire siren (and both).

    Our firefighters bought their own pagers at first (as a couple of group buys). The money simply wasn't there for the fire district or the fire department to buy pagers.

    Eventually, all of the pagers were "bought back" by the fire district and are now issued to the members.

    So I can understand how a department with limited resources (another topic entirely) may be reluctant (or unable) to issue pagers and/or portable radios to those who need or desire them.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    The fire department bought the first Plectrons here. Before that they bought three scanners for the three white hats. Everyone else either had their own scanner or had to listen for the fire siren (and both).

    Our firefighters bought their own pagers at first (as a couple of group buys). The money simply wasn't there for the fire district or the fire department to buy pagers.

    Eventually, all of the pagers were "bought back" by the fire district and are now issued to the members.

    So I can understand how a department with limited resources (another topic entirely) may be reluctant (or unable) to issue pagers and/or portable radios to those who need or desire them.
    We had fire phones in several homes where they could set off the fire siren when they received a call. The siren was replaced for activating volunteers when the FD bought the first pagers about 15 years ago.

    My kid says it was before that so I will say he is correct and say it was 91 or 92.

    I'm sorry, but I just can't picture myself buying a pager or radio for use at a fire department. If the best they could afford was the fire siren than that is just what it is.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-24-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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    My first department in my home town started out in similar fashions.

    When telephones came to prominence, folks (i.e. almost anyone in town) could listen in, via party line, to the person reporting a fire. When telephone technology advanced a bit, the person "on duty" for dispatching purposes would utilize a "round robin" approach: he'd call two people; they'd, in turn, call two people, and etc. until the members of the department were notified. When the first firefighter arrived at the fire station to drive one of the fire apparatus, he would write the address of the fire on a chalkboard on the wall of the apparatus room. Crude, but effective.

    A Civil Defense siren was later mounted atop the central fire station (and the only station at the time) to augment the notification process.

    Then came the "fire phones" installed in select person's houses. You had to let the fire phone ring at least twice before picking it up to ensure all phones were "activated" to ring. Those folks in turn were able to expedite the round robin as more folks now knew about the fire.

    Plectrons came to be in the 70's followed by Motorola pagers (the size of a brick) in the 80's. Improved Motorola pagers came in the late 80's. By the mid-90's, in addition to Motorola pagers, many folks had the option, through the local cell phone provider, to lease an alpha-numeric pager for both departmental and personal use. This complemented the Motorola systems but it not replace it.

    Technology continues to advance but the issue now is that folks have become lazy and complacent. Most of the firefighters we've hired today have never experienced a society without all of the fancy technical stuff that everyone has come to take for granted. If the Mobile Data Computer (MDC) isn't functioning, they have a melt-down and now need the dispatcher to repeat the incident address and other relevant information. I still write down the address of the address we are dispatched to. I guess I could be considered a dinosaur. I am, however, a sucker for nostalgia.

    Next time you are sitting a red light, watch all the idiots in the cross walk wander past you in a daze with blank looks on their faces while they stare, completely fixated, at the screen of their smartphone (with absolutely no sense of situational awareness).

    That is our zombie apocalypse.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 09-24-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Piggy-backing on what others have said here, what do you have to offer that makes it necessary for you to have 2-way radio communications prior to your department issuing you a portable?

    It's kinda like the "ace" volunteer (we call them "blue-lighters" in this part of the world) who drives a 1978 rusted-out piece of junk and can barely pay their bills yet they have about $6000 in LED lighting and other warning devices on it. The best part about it is that the "ace" volunteer has no certifications (and therefore cannot do anything once he arrives) yet has a front-row seat to watch (i.e. not participate) all the action.

    In most places, there is a safe location for this person to be: the "crowd" side of the fire line tape.

    Sit back, enjoy the opportunity to learn from your fellow firefighters, stay out of harm's way, and do not get hurt. Prove yourself now by demonstrating maturity so when you turn 18, your chief will be more than willing to equip you to handle your department's business.
    Ditto. Well said.

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    firstly its your goodness to be volunteer for firefighting job at the age of 17. if you go for your own radio and pager it would be a great benefit for your firefighting career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iquince View Post
    firstly its your goodness to be volunteer for firefighting job at the age of 17. if you go for your own radio and pager it would be a great benefit for your firefighting career.
    Are you insane? How is buying his own pager, or getting a radio that if he doesn't get aproval from the chief to operate and license under the fire department license he won't even legally be able to use, a "great benefit" to his career? My bet is it will be a detriment and if he does get a radio he will get in trouble doing something stupid with it.

    I am assuming by your incredible writing skills you are a junior somewhere too.
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    When my company first started, a train engine wheel was modified and hung outside the firehouse. When there was a call, a guy would bang that wheel with a steel hammer. We have progressed a little bit since then

    I have to ask....if you already answer every call.....what do you need a pager for? And what is the benefit of you having a radio?
    "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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