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  1. #1
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    Default Junior/Explorer programs

    Sorry if this has already been examined previously, but we are currently looking at our Junior program and some of the guys want to change the program from a starting age of 16 to 14. I voted against this because we are currently understaffed with volunteers and often have more work to do in one night then there are people to get the work done. The experience we have had with younger members is that they need LOTS of supervision and we don't have the personnel for this. Some of us want to up the age to 17 so that we can train them for a year on the firehouse operations, SOGS, etc. and then send them to the academy at 18 to get a full certification. What are your age requirements, etc. for your program and have you encountered any problems?
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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    In our company we have a starting age of 14. 14 and 15 year olds are called cadets. We sometimes have cadet classes to get the cadets used to the equipment. In our state Juiors between the age of 14-18 are allowed to take Firefighter 1. All the cadets and juniors are great kids. We havent had a problem with them yet.

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    Juniors here can also go to the academy but they cannot get FULL certification..meaning no going in and getting certified to wear a pack. We have one junior now who means well but ends up causing more work for us then he is worth. He is a good kid too, and we all like him, but we don't have enough people to watch over him. I wish we could lower the age, and encourage more kids to come around, but the simple fact is that we are responsible for these minors until they turn 18 and right now they would be in danger because we only have a handful of people that will deal with them, or that show up on a regular basis to work at the firehouse.
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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    Everybody who has cadets going through fire training needs to be careful OSHA came down hard on the South Carolina Fire Academy and on several depts. for allowing members under 18 to undergo the training and do the work. Cadets here cannot even be on an appartus if it is enroute to a call. One of the local depts in my area got finned 2500 for just that offense. This crackdown has effectively eliminated the vast majority of cadet programs in SC. Just be carefull about how things are done with your cadets.
    When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

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    whether you lower or raise the age limit is a catch 22.

    Raise it - eliminate numbers of younger people to make more pre-probies

    Lower it - have the oppertunity for more members, but they'll more likely be immature.

    Tough call!

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    I'm 15, I joined last year. I understand what you’re saying about being to young and needing supervision. But we know when to be serious and do what we are told.

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    We have ahd a cadet since he was old enough to be one!! He is the greatest damn kid in the world.He runs our radio and takes care of some paperwork.We have another cadet that is the son of one of our firefighters and just like the first a damn good cadet!!
    We are also understaffed and all,have you thought about taking this kid under your wing and explaining what the problem is?It might help maybe sety down some rules but please dont stop your program.I was a 14 yo cadet at one time and would like to thank all those that helped me along.If not for them I dont know where I would be today.
    This includes the kids that stop by when the doors are open remember to give them the nickle tour.he could be your next chief

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    Our Junior-Explorers is under the Boy Scouts of America (I can actually say I was a Boy Scout for a year before I joined the dept.) and it's 14 to join. The problem we face is that if a girl wants to join, they need a female co-leader and I'm pretty much the only female that's in the dept. and I don't have time.....It's unfortunate...

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    We haven't had any troubles wiith our Jr.s! Starting age is 14, and that's where started! I started as just manning the radio at the station, while being trained every other Sunday until I knew as much as they thought was necessary. Then I was aloud to respond on the second truck(or after) out on the calls, unless they didn't have enough to roll first truck. We basically had a probation period. And starting that early on learning what we needed to know really helped me out, especially as I'm going to take my 36, and 240. So give them a chance! It'll work out eventially!
    fireman_1

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    We've gone away from our junior program all together. You have to be 18 unless you have a parent that's a member. I think it's a shame, too, because at my station, all of our officers (including myself) and most of the experienced people who are still active, started as juniors (Age 16-18). Yes they require more supervision, but I think it leads to better retention and a stronger force...
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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    Don't get me wrong...we need the help, and he is a great kid...we all love him dearly, but he is very young, and we often have to redo work that he has done or supervise everything he is doing so we don't have to. I let him help me a lot but I check what he is doing, and keep him right next to me. He sometimes goes overboard mainly because he wants to help so badly, but I have seen him almost get hit by a truck because he was in such a hurry to do something...luckily one of the guys grabbed him and stopped him before he got hit. He is just way too excited. He turned 14 yesterday, came down for our drill and was already talking about how in 2 years he is gonna be "one of you guys". He means well but we don't have enough people to watch him and I certainly don't have that much time...I am an Engineer on a truck and I run 5 of the committees at the firehouse, and I am responsible for SCBA checks, etc. I try to let him help me do the small stuff...but most times it is just keeping him from getting hurt or getting in the way. And it is definitely a tough call with the age thing - do we go lower to get more members, or higher and risk losing good people? Thanks to everyone for your input.
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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    howdy all
    here it is 16
    you are on probation and not allowed to do much but as the only one that stuck it out it helped my greatly
    have been a fulll firefighter for a year and hope to do it until i die.
    sit down with him and explaine the rules to him and let him help out
    also do you have a grade requirment
    i had to maintain a c averge to be allowed at the station
    have some one talk him under there wing
    it would help if it where one of the younger guys
    2197 10-8
    stay safe have fun and stay healthy

    [ 08-21-2001: Message edited by: ff21 ]
    2197 10-8<br />stay safe have fun stay healthy<br />
    nc firefighter/emt-d
    RFB-FTM

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    i too am from pa im have been in my fd for 2 years im 16. but i have never heard of anyone being under 18 allowed to take fire fighter 1

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    I guess it was just my academy who changed the age. In our company the juniors and explorers are allowed to do alot. There allowed to be on commitee's, go to all the company drills, and do other things around the station. We also include them in our drills so they learn to work with the members. Everybody has a tight schedule so just let them have a chance.

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    Ok well we started our program up 3 years ago we also are ran under BSA. Our Explorers have really impressed the firefihgters more than most of the firefihgters ever thouhgt. Most of them took the majority of what seems to be your all's attitude towards them they are more trouble, you got to baby them and all. Well let me let your guys in on a secret I started on our program 3 years ago I was the 5th person to come on board as a firefighter from it. What we do is incorporate the cadets/explorers whatever you call them into the same training as the firefighters.

    Just because they are kids does not mean that they can't do the jobs if you train them right and treat them like adults the will act like it. Hold them to the same standards as you do your firefighters. Make them feel welcome. Let them learn cause us Volunteer departmnets need all the help we can get and this is a good way to get em in and get em used to it..

    My opinion
    "A 4x4 **** son plywood comes in bigger sheets than that make that hole bigger boy" There are those out there that know what I mean!!!!!!

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    same here Tw93Andrew93 its great.
    we can respond to all calls do all drills attend meetings only thing we cant do is vote were treated like adults cause they have never had a problem with any of us. there r 4 of us and not that many active fire fighters. we run alot of qrs and mva calls but its fun.
    also can we really take ff1 im 16 and that would be great im crazy about this job

  17. #17
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    Firefighter88 talk to somebody from your fire academy. Last august I was 14 and they told me I could sign up for FF1. I did everything the adults did. But like i said maybe its just my fire school. Good luck

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    so ur certified in ff1?
    were r u located at
    im located in mercer county
    its close to ohio

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    I am the Junior captain at my station and our policy is that you can join at the age of 16. Years ago before I joined though it was 14 and we had a Junior member die while getting ready for a call. Now due to insurance we can join at 16 and only ride in the cars, and help in non life-threating situations.Once your reach the age of 16 you can enroll in the fire science program our county offers, ocne you recieve your firefighter 1 certification you may ride on the trucks and preform the full duties of a firefighter. I personally think 16-18 is a good age for kids to join the company.
    If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

    These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

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    hey sorry to hear about that jr.
    but i think that pa up here has laws that are stupid. im sure ppl dont think they r but at 16 ur pretty much mature. u have a better chance of dieing in a car wreck than in a fire. i feel if were old enough to have a job and drive a car and if ur mature u can enter a structure fire but not with out training. i really wanna be the best i can be i love fire fighting and all tho i no ill never understand everything about fire i want to learn as much as i can

  21. #21
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    Firefighter88
    Im certified in ff1 and the national certification too. I live in bucks county. The community college took over and lowered the age to 14. They even let us do the burns. Bucks county is located about a 45 minutes north Philadelphia.

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    I also have my firefighter certifications. By the age of 16 i had my Firefighter 1,2, Haz-Mat Awareness,and Haz-Mat Operations. By the age of 17 I recieved my May-Day Firefighter Down certification, and my Emt-B certification. So i agree with Firefighter88 that 16 is a reasonable age to join a fire department.
    If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

    These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

  23. #23
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    Trey M
    I have the same certifications as you but next week when i turn 16 im allowed to take ff2. I think were the only juniors who can take these classes before we are 18. Were you allowed to take the burns?

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    Our junior program has been dormant for a while, but at the last officer's meeting we accepted 2 new Jr members -- both age 12. Ages 12-15 are limited to support activities at fires. Ages 16-17 may conduct interior firefighting operations, subject to the Officers' approval and written permission from their parents.

    The Jr members are allowed to ride apparatus to calls, if there is an open seat on the truck. There are also some fairly strict rules about academic performance at school.

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    TC yes I was allowed to take part im the burn evolutions. They are a requirement for the FFI & FFII classes here. You must pass the burn evelutions to be able to test here. Is it the same for u?
    If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

    These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

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