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Thread: Are we all firefighters or not?

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    There's your answer. The Parish should be providing that service. As long as your costume wearers are present they will never be motivated.
    Parish wide fire departments do not exist in LA with the exception of one heavily populated parish bordering NO.

    A parish wide fire department would not solve any of our problems as all of the districts are financially and manpower challenged. Funding would not allow for more than the current 2 career members parish wide, excluding the city.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I can honestly say the "vollies" in my old dept. sound a lot more like LAFE's than yours.

    They only showed up to the meetings to hang out and get out of the house for a couple hours. There was rarely if ever any training done. When myself or any of the other career captains would ask them if they were going to go anything fire related they would immediately complain to the BC or DC level that we were harrassing them.
    You obviously didn't do a good job of explaining to them WHY they should be training. If you were a captain, leadership is part of your job. And your BC and DC should've mandating training to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    OK, but to what extent will that person be participating in calls until that certification is obtained?
    To the extent that their dept. allows. At this time Ohio allows you to be a volunteer once you get your 36 hour card. You must have 18 hours of continuing for a total minimum of 56 hours every three years. Adding a FFI requirement after 18 months or so is an improvement.If they are standing on the proverbial "sidelines" during that time period, then take all the time you want. However, if the department intends to use them in all aspects of response to incidents while working towards certification, then I see no reason to extend any time requirements as it's obvious that the department isn't worried about certification compliance.
    It's not always possible for a dept. to pay for or perform the training needed. Your claim is completely unfounded.It's entirely possible and reasonable for it to be obtained within one year.
    If it were entirely possible and reasonable, every VFD would be doing it. Letting them have more time makes it more feasible to get it done.

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    Not sure why you quoted my post for this, but I'll play along.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    On Saturday the voters of my volunteer district approved a 5-mil 10-year bond to replace our 1966 mack, and more importantly build a training facility with a burn building, a tower and 4 concrete pads for vehicle fires, vehicle extrication and such.

    It will also fund the purchase our 12 new SCBA with composite cylinders replacing some of our 20-30 ear old SCBA with steel bottles.

    We just ordered a new 4000g tanker 2 months ago and we budgeted 2 members to attend FDIC next year.

    So much for SC's assertion that they are unhappy with what we provide.
    Wow, a 10 year loan to replace a 47 year old fire truck and SOME, NOT ALL of your 20-30 year old SCBA cylinders. That's clearly a thumbs up from the community.

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    Wow. 47 years old sounds a lot worse than 1966. That's a loooong time.
    I hate the fact that our communities continue to enable us to be mediocre.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    OK, but to what extent will that person be participating in calls until that certification is obtained?
    To the extent that their dept. allows. At this time Ohio allows you to be a volunteer once you get your 36 hour card. You must have 18 hours of continuing for a total minimum of 56 hours every three years. Adding a FFI requirement after 18 months or so is an improvement.

    If they are standing on the proverbial "sidelines" during that time period, then take all the time you want. However, if the department intends to use them in all aspects of response to incidents while working towards certification, then I see no reason to extend any time requirements as it's obvious that the department isn't worried about certification compliance.
    It's not always possible for a dept. to pay for or perform the training needed. Your claim is completely unfounded.
    I think you may not be understanding my point. The post that I was responding was suggesting extending the time to obtain certification from 12 months to 18 months. This left me with the impression that certification for FFs was a requirement. If a member is not restricted in what they can do while obtaining the required certification, then the department is already allowing them to operate without the required certification, so what benefit does extending the time frame provide since the member is already operating when they shouldn't be?

    It's entirely possible and reasonable for it to be obtained within one year.
    If it were entirely possible and reasonable, every VFD would be doing it. Letting them have more time makes it more feasible to get it done.
    Not necessarily. My state has no mandatory requirements for firefighters. As such, the time frame for firefighters to obtain FF1 certification is unlimited. The county I have lived and worked in for the past 15 years has the most VFDs in the state and a county fire academy with full-time staff. FF1 testing is pretty accessible, but the main thing motivating them to get their members certified is not that it is "possible and reasonable" to do so or even the belief that firefighters should be certified, but rather the fact that the availability of grant money is now linked to the percentage of members that are certified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Not sure why you quoted my post for this, but I'll play along.


    Wow, a 10 year loan to replace a 47 year old fire truck and SOME, NOT ALL of your 20-30 year old SCBA cylinders. That's clearly a thumbs up from the community.
    10 year loan vs what my town does, which is bond for 20 years.

    As for SCBA....we stagger our purchases in bunches as well. We don't replace all of them at one shot as that puts all of them at the same life span. Purchase a set number every few years and then you end up with updated SCBA every few years. As they get older, put them as backups/training units.
    "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 FireMedic049 View Post
    Not sure why you quoted my post for this, but I'll play along.


    Wow, a 10 year loan to replace a 47 year old fire truck and SOME, NOT ALL of your 20-30 year old SCBA cylinders. That's clearly a thumbs up from the community.
    Replacing all of our SCBA is not feasible as we have 34 of them.

    We will be putting 4 each on the engines that respond to the vast majority of the calls and moving those that have been purchased in the last 10 years to the engines that now carry the oldest units.

    Given our current response, we will be able to put all of our responders into new SCBA.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-21-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Wow. 47 years old sounds a lot worse than 1966. That's a loooong time.
    I hate the fact that our communities continue to enable us to be mediocre.
    It's actually in surprising good shape for a 47 year old truck, but it still is 47 years old. We will likely be donating it to another department to our east where it will be a welcome addition.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    10 year loan vs what my town does, which is bond for 20 years.

    As for SCBA....we stagger our purchases in bunches as well. We don't replace all of them at one shot as that puts all of them at the same life span. Purchase a set number every few years and then you end up with updated SCBA every few years. As they get older, put them as backups/training units.
    We try to do that as well and as I understand it, they were up until a few years ago when some budget issues stopped allowing us to purchase SCBA.

    Bonding on the fire side is pretty rare in LA. The vast majority of the departments go out to vote on a milage for x number of years.

    Not sure if it's simply a preference or a legal issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Bonding on the fire side is pretty rare in LA. The vast majority of the departments go out to vote on a milage for x number of years.
    I mentioned millage one day to an area town supervisor - he thought that was an interesting concept...

    In NY, it's usually just a matter of adjusting the municipality's budget, going through the necessary hearing(s), etc, and the new assessment shows up in one's tax bill.

    Bonding allows us to have the money up-front - then we can pay it back via the increased tax assessment.

    Michigan uses millages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    You obviously didn't do a good job of explaining to them WHY they should be training. If you were a captain, leadership is part of your job. And your BC and DC should've mandating training to begin with.
    You jest. Since you were not here to witness this first hand you labor under the delusion that wasn't impressed upon these individuals. It was, more than once. These were grown men. Some older than I. Had I been dealing with mature individuals you would have a point. That wasn't the case. The BC's and DC's were more scared of their own shadows. The vollies would call their local city councilman (claiming union harrasment) who would call the chief who would then bend over and issue an off the record edict stating there should be no interaction with said vollies. Who was their conduit for that message? I'll take BC's and DC's for $2000.00 Alex.

    It wasn't as bad at the end of my career. At the beginning in the late 70's they were worse. A typical tactic would be for them to respond. When they got back to the station they would leave demanding the professional crew clean their equipment and ensure it was ready for response. All supported by the chief. Their rationale was that we were being paid and they shouldn't have to maintain their equipment.

    The chief's mindset was such that it was better to be accomodating to the vollies and not get negative phone calls from the politicians.

    Fortunately, the whole program finally imploded a couple of years ago for all the reasons that plague all vollie programs. Lack of response, high turnover, suspect training. We even had a couple of episodes of them signing in to get credit for the response (for their $7/call stipend) after the allotted 5 minute limit. Many were absolutely shameless in their behavior. The greater majority were trying to get hired as full-time professionals. The good ones would get jobs in OC or elsewhere. When the bad ones got rejected they would get bitter. One old time vollie told me he shouldn't have to go through the normal hiring process since he had been "serving" the community for almost two decades. Such was the sense of entitlement that pervaded their ranks.

    It was the biggest scam of taxpayer dollars so a couple of guys could ride around on a firetruck and impress their wives or girlfriends or both. If you know what I mean.

    They could be depended upon to do zero actual work when they got onscene. We had some we called the Blister Brigade. They could always be depended upon to show up after the work was done.
    Last edited by scfire86; 11-21-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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    When you put it like that SC, it's a lot more palatable than when you put the entire volunteer system on blast.
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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    Wow. 47 years old sounds a lot worse than 1966. That's a loooong time.
    I hate the fact that our communities continue to enable us to be mediocre.
    Not sure how long we'll have to hold on to the 1972.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    When you put it like that SC, it's a lot more palatable than when you put the entire volunteer system on blast.
    SC believes that since his Chief's were dysfunctional when effectively managing volunteers all Chiefs must be equally dysfunctional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    SC believes that since his Chief's were dysfunctional when effectively managing volunteers all Chiefs must be equally dysfunctional.
    And you believe you have an adequate volunteer fire department with 5 stations when you say 10 scba will outfit all the current responders with new scba. Who is more delusional?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    SC believes that since his Chief's were dysfunctional when effectively managing volunteers all Chiefs must be equally dysfunctional.
    Not true LAFE. I only feel that way about folks who look the other way and rationalize lower levels of training and standards with the line, "we're only volunteers." All the while claiming they are firefighters.

    You know the type. You see one every time you look in the mirror.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And that is part of my point.

    If the funding or the system is not in place to deliver FFI to all areas of the state and within a reasonable drive time (less than 30 minutes, especially for night classes that may go to 9:30 or 10) it simply is not a reasonable demand to require FFI.

    That would be a significant issue in LA as most rural departments do not have enough qualified instructors, which would limit where courses could be taught, requiring long drive times.

    The other issue in this state is that the state fire training agency is simply not funded to deliver that volume of FFI/FFII classes and the departments do not have the funding to pay for them.

    And I'm sure this is the case in other primarily rural states as well.
    That's the problem we run into trying to get training to be certified. Most of the classes we can get funding for are run out of A&M. From where I live now, that's 275 miles away. The rules read they are supposed to teach a class on location if at least 15 people will attend. But lately it has been clear to me they do not want to do that. If I get 15 people to sign up, they tell me they re-ran the numbers and now need 20. If I get 20 people to sign up, they cancel and tell me they got busy and need to reschedule. So far it has been a very frustrating process.

    We are trying to sign up for one this spring that's an area fire school over the course of five weekends, but even at that, we are looking at about 1000 miles of driving when it is all said and done. The state will reimburse for the training, but that's all. And the training doesn't get us fully certified.

    The state tried to put minimum qualifications on volunteers last year. Some legislators wanted to give us six months, others a year to complete new state minimum qualifications. The minimum qualifications were going to be 468 hours of training. The state wasn't going to fund the training any more than they do now, they were just going to require it. Right now, state maximum reimbursement on training is $500 per member per training. Even the state school would cost five times that. We couldn't afford that, and most of our members couldn't take the time off to attend that much training.

    Texas charges a fee on insurance premiums that is supposed to go to the volunteer fire department assistance fund. The fund will generate around $36 million this year. The state only actually uses around $11 million for volunteer fire departments. Around $7 million goes to A&M for administering and distributing the $11 million, and the rest goes into the state's general fund. There was a long heated battle about our training and funding this past legislative session. The legislature decided they would rather keep the money than pay for additional training, so that's where we are now.

    I don't object to certification or minimum standards, as long as whoever is going to require both is going to provide the means to acquire both. I will object to state or federal minimums if they are just going to add unfunded mandates and expect us to figure out how to fund them. Our annual budget from the county is $10,000. Next year, it is being cut to $6,500. That doesn't fund a department, so we have to raise any other funds we need ourselves. Until something changes, then we are going to stick with departmental-level training. It is what we can do and what we can afford.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    And you believe you have an adequate volunteer fire department with 5 stations when you say 10 scba will outfit all the current responders with new scba. Who is more delusional?
    No, I don't believe that is adequate fire protection.

    But apparently that is the best that we can provide given that we just completed a coordinated membership drive (mailers to all homes, posters/roadside signs and newspaper article and ads) and netted 2 new members.

    And there will never be enough funding for career members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Not true LAFE. I only feel that way about folks who look the other way and rationalize lower levels of training and standards with the line, "we're only volunteers." All the while claiming they are firefighters.

    You know the type. You see one every time you look in the mirror.
    Are you referring to me?

    Given that as a "Volunteer" before being hired, I was certified to FFI, FFII, Instructor I, Instructor II and Fire & Life safety Educator I & II levels, your statement would be quite inaccurate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Are you referring to me?

    Given that as a "Volunteer" before being hired, I was certified to FFI, FFII, Instructor I, Instructor II and Fire & Life safety Educator I & II levels, your statement would be quite inaccurate.
    I wasn't talking about your certs. You are truly a dense soul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I wasn't talking about your certs. You are truly a dense soul.
    So what are you talking about?

    Training? Desire?

    Again .. Your efforts to belittle me while those who I work with have no issues with my performance (or ever have) amuses me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So what are you talking about?

    Training? Desire?
    We've already covered this ground more than once.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Again .. Your efforts to belittle me while those who I work with have no issues with my performance (or ever have) amuses me.
    Why would I care what they think? You amuse me, and many others with your claims of fire service experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVFD705 View Post
    I don't object to certification or minimum standards, as long as whoever is going to require both is going to provide the means to acquire both. I will object to state or federal minimums if they are just going to add unfunded mandates and expect us to figure out how to fund them. Our annual budget from the county is $10,000. Next year, it is being cut to $6,500. That doesn't fund a department, so we have to raise any other funds we need ourselves. Until something changes, then we are going to stick with departmental-level training. It is what we can do and what we can afford.
    This.

    Some places have the resources and achieve the goal. Others don't and make do with what they have.

    The general public frankly doesn't care what certifications the firefighters have, as long as they bring those BRTs and do their best to put out the fire when they're called.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    This.

    Some places have the resources and achieve the goal. Others don't and make do with what they have.

    The general public frankly doesn't care what certifications the firefighters have, as long as they bring those BRTs and do their best to put out the fire when they're called.
    Exactly.

    And the most of the residents of most rural communities understand that the resources and capabilities of their rural members are limited, just like they understand that EMS and LE will also be limited.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-21-2013 at 04:26 PM.
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