Thread: Some Guidance

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    Default Some Guidance

    Hello All,

    I'm new to these forums and firefighting as a whole but I live out in a small town in South Georgia and I'm currently trying to get on with a fire department here. I'm just trying to be a volunteer and what I want to know is what all do I need to have completed in order to be certified to extinguish fires, (as in courses and such) and furthermore how hard all of it is. I'm a smaller guy my weight actually totaling out 140 soaking wet. I've gotten a lot of **** about that because I have gone down there and spoke to them but they haven't yet given me a date on when I'm going to start with that course. I guess because they need to run the background checks and such first.

    Anyways, if anyone could give me some sort of guidance on what to expect and how to get through this thing, I'd appreciate it.

    Pigeon. (Excuse the nickname, given to me by my other half)

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    They will let you know and should give you the training

    A lot to learn give it time

    Best thing is get in the best physical shape you can, suggest a gym with a trainer

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    You need to consult with the organization for any specific prerequisites to join. Most volunteer organizations have no training requirements to join, but to ride to fires and work is an entirely different story.

    As long as you are in good physical condition your height is not an issue.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You need to consult with the organization for any specific prerequisites to join. Most volunteer organizations have no training requirements to join, but to ride to fires and work is an entirely different story.

    As long as you are in good physical condition your height is not an issue.
    Right yea that's what I'm hunting to do. I'm out in Georgia and from what I've recently heard, they'll let the explorers (aged 14 to 17) put out fires that are outside and they haven't completed any time of course. Is that unheard of at all? Apparently they ride with the truck out to the fire and then as long as it's not outside they put it out.

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    I cannot speak for Georgia. I am in Pennsylvania and Explorers here are associated with the Boy Scouts of America, for which I cannot speak of either.

    My Volunteer Department has two categories for members under 18: Cadet and Junior Firefighter. Cadets are ages 14-15 and can come to drills, train, and help with station activities. They can ride on apparatus to drills but may not respond to fires. Junior Firefighters are bound by Pa Labor Laws and Company regulations. They are ages 16-18 and can respond to fires during certain hours. They can pretty much do anything on the exterior of a building as long as they do not enter an IDLH environment or hot/collapse zone. They must be under the direct supervision of an officer or Senior Firefighter at all times.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 04-29-2014 at 08:15 PM.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I cannot speak for Georgia. I am in Pennsylvania and Explorers here are associated with the Boy Scouts of America, for which I cannot speak of either.

    My Volunteer Department has two categories for members under 18: Cadet and Junior Firefighter. Cadets are ages 14-15 and can come to drills, train, and help with station activities. They can ride on apparatus to fires but may not respond to fires. Junior Firefighters are bound by Pa Labor Laws and Company regulations. They are ages 16-18 and can respond to fires during certain hours. They can pretty much do anything on the exterior of a building as long as they do not enter an IDLH environment or hot/collapse zone. They must be under the direct supervision of an officer or Senior Firefighter at all times.
    Interesting. So I'm guessing that what I was told was accurate. I know these states laws vary greatly but I'm going to assume that I heard correctly. Which to me is pretty crazy, even though it might be exterior it's still a fire. Which again frustrates me because they're all to young to take the firefighter course that required for me to be able to do any of it.

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    Pigeon: I, like FWDBuff am a "Pee Aye" Volunteer firefighter, so my comments will reflect the standards and norms associated with this part of the country. A volunteer fire department is several different organizations that seemingly are rolled into a single organization, but not really. My job as a Director of a non-profit organization, is to secure trained manpower to man the City's apparatus and function as unpaid employees of the city at the time of need. I have a responsibility to the organization, individual members and to the city to select qualified or potentially qualified members who can contribute to the organization and the city. This includes making certain (as much as possible) that new recruits are honest & trustworthy because they will be in Our House (fire station) and our customer's houses many times unsupervised. As a bare minimum, I am charged with examining the integrity of any proposed member. Because of the laws concerning discrimination, I must also treat EVERYONE equally. So I might have the son of a long time firefighter, who has been around the station and grew up knowing and being around the crew, but I still need to run a complete background check because the next person might come from half way across the country, and no-one here knows his background. Sometimes this takes several weeks to run a complete background check on an applicant. Be patient with the process, so that both you and the crew get to know each other. It might seem that this business is pretty easy, like jumping into gear, grabbing a nozzle and squirting the fire, but as you become more aware of all the things that occur, could occur and affect you in performing your job... You will find out that "The more you learn, The more there is to know about this firefighting business". I am now starting my 46th year, have been studying and teaching for the Pa. Fire Academy for nearly 40 years, have functioned as a Lt., Capt., AC & DC; and still I find things that I've not been taught, not learned or not read about. I am not saying you should be complacent, or lazy, or not ask questions... What I am saying is that everyone of the firefighters you will be working with need time to find out who you are, what you are able to do, and develop a trust in you that will allow them to place their life in your hands and judgement. This trust does not come into being when you interview, get voted into the department, nor when you get some time in the department. It will come as you are observed, talked to, and perform your job. The best of luck to you as you make this "Journey of a Lifetime" into the firefighting world. May you always be "Quick to learn, Ready to teach, and adept at applying your skill to the job at hand".

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuh shise View Post
    Pigeon: I, like FWDBuff am a "Pee Aye" Volunteer firefighter, so my comments will reflect the standards and norms associated with this part of the country. A volunteer fire department is several different organizations that seemingly are rolled into a single organization, but not really. My job as a Director of a non-profit organization, is to secure trained manpower to man the City's apparatus and function as unpaid employees of the city at the time of need. I have a responsibility to the organization, individual members and to the city to select qualified or potentially qualified members who can contribute to the organization and the city. This includes making certain (as much as possible) that new recruits are honest & trustworthy because they will be in Our House (fire station) and our customer's houses many times unsupervised. As a bare minimum, I am charged with examining the integrity of any proposed member. Because of the laws concerning discrimination, I must also treat EVERYONE equally. So I might have the son of a long time firefighter, who has been around the station and grew up knowing and being around the crew, but I still need to run a complete background check because the next person might come from half way across the country, and no-one here knows his background. Sometimes this takes several weeks to run a complete background check on an applicant. Be patient with the process, so that both you and the crew get to know each other. It might seem that this business is pretty easy, like jumping into gear, grabbing a nozzle and squirting the fire, but as you become more aware of all the things that occur, could occur and affect you in performing your job... You will find out that "The more you learn, The more there is to know about this firefighting business". I am now starting my 46th year, have been studying and teaching for the Pa. Fire Academy for nearly 40 years, have functioned as a Lt., Capt., AC & DC; and still I find things that I've not been taught, not learned or not read about. I am not saying you should be complacent, or lazy, or not ask questions... What I am saying is that everyone of the firefighters you will be working with need time to find out who you are, what you are able to do, and develop a trust in you that will allow them to place their life in your hands and judgement. This trust does not come into being when you interview, get voted into the department, nor when you get some time in the department. It will come as you are observed, talked to, and perform your job. The best of luck to you as you make this "Journey of a Lifetime" into the firefighting world. May you always be "Quick to learn, Ready to teach, and adept at applying your skill to the job at hand".
    Thank you so much for your response. Very well written and a very nice perspective. I've been being patient and I've run into issues here and there, I only hope that things will clear out and I can get through this wonderful journey.

    I did however finally get that date, the patience definitely paid off, I also got my gear for the training so I'm moving right along. I've hung out at the house and gone on several calls, they've all been medical with the exception of one MVA. It's been great and I'm loving every minute of it.

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