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  1. #21
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    I corresponded directly with no name because I thought we were far afield of the topic.

    Wait a minute, Mike. I think you might have misunderstood me. 99% of all applicants are good people you are going to take in a heartbeat. No problem. If you do a thorough background and contact the references, you will get all the rope you need. It is foolish to let a guy wreck the name of your department in order for you to prove a point.

    Too many departments in NJ probably don't have the objective criteria. I just see that law as not being as concrete as you do. The Legislature defintely did not intend to force FD to put people on who are morally corrupt.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.


  2. #22
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    George,

    I am the last person that you will find that follows everything to the letter of the law, but I feel that the greatest strength of the United States is equal rights for all. Remember that there are people that volunteer at thousands of Departments around the country. Out of those volunteers that have made mistakes to, but never got caught, and are currently firemen.

    I guess that if you offered your application criteria I would understand more completely what you are trying to do. What are the reasons for rejection? Do you follow the rules that have been adopted by our State when rejecting applicants?

    The first step by me is to have each applicant fill out an FBI investigation report. Then we have the Chief of Police review the Report from the FBI and a local background investigation. The Chief of Police makes his recommendation to the Fire Chief. The Fire Chief is not required to follow the recommendation of the Police Chief. After that the applicant is sent to the Fire Department Doctor for a complete physical and must obtain medical clearance.

    Then we interview candidates and we explain to them what we expect from them. Then, if they feel that they can fulfill the obligation, them we give them two consecutive 6-month probationary periods. That member will be released at anytime during the probationary period for not meeting the requirements of our By-Laws. All members are held to the requirements of the By-Laws at our Department. This has been proven successful. All members of the company monitor the probationary members. Any personnel issues are reported to the Chief for a formal investigation and documented in the candidates membership file.

  3. #23
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    Mike, I am a full-time public fire investigator with 17 years experience. I am also a 24 year vol. FF. My agency has arrested 34 vol. FF for arson during my career. This is a subject that is important to me. I speak from experience.

    What is an FBI Investigation Report? An FBI Agent completes an Investigation Report and I'm pretty sure they are too busy these days to complete background checks on FF. If you mean the return after a fingerprint check, that is hardly a background check. A background check includes a credit check, a psychiatric history check, a driver's license check, neighbor/employer.reference interviews, etc. That is the ONLY way to paint a complete picture of a person's background. You have a person sign a release for this information at the time of the application.

    Does my FD do this? Absolutely not and they never will. Neither does most FD's. Why? Because it is too difficult, time consuming or complicated for them to do. Many departments take any warm body off the street in order to fill their ranks.

    That is also the reason that the FF Arson problem is largely ignored by the fire service. Many FD's enjoy the action. I have old war stories from one of the departments in my jurisdiction where you weren't allowed to become a member until you set a building on fire.

    This problem will not go away until the vol. fire service gets serious about candidate selection.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  4. #24
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    These people are not Firefighters as others have said. They are nothing more than worthless criminals that get the glory out of riding "Big-Red" and Stomping out the Fire that they created. Real Bright...Yet in the end Our Justice System gives them 3 Hots and a Cot and says they are troubled individuals that need extensive counseling. Where does this money come from ? You and I the decent, Hard Working Folks from this great nation. Again Volunteers will get a bad name in the public eye all because These Morons had nothing better to do with thier spare time

  5. #25
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    First of all I want to say that these people were young and so they were used to the image a firefighter get on TV(ya know hoping of the truck and running into a building w/ only his turnout gear on and no whose so he can rescue someone.)Now I am NOT trying to take up for them, I also dont think they are firefighters. I would also like to say that I am from Loisiana and have grown up arounfd firefighting my whole life, and I have never heard of anyone wanting to go set a fire because they werent getting any, if anything they were happy because none was loosing their home. I think these folks are a disgrace to all La firefighters,and all vollies,and that all I have to say about that.
    LADIES LOVE ME.
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  6. #26
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    George,
    I was unaware of the excessive firefighter arson problem in the Flanders area. And yes, you are correct, the FBI backround check is just a fingerprint check. The only other check that is made is the check done by the PD. (NCIC and local record)

    Again, what is your procedure for accepting and reviewing applications? What grounds do you reject applicants on?

  7. #27
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    SE Michigan
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    Everyone here seems to pick on the vollie. Everyone seems to forget that paid guys have been popped for the same thing. I think the biggest one I remember was John Orr I think thats spelled correctly) in southern CA. He worked for LA as an arson investigator and he killed a couple of people if I remember correctly. All public saftey sevices (police, fire and ems) need higher standards in some places. If these guys are guilty then they are dirt bags to say the least, not firefighters, voiilie or otherwise. Stay safe

  8. #28
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    You are not reading Mike. My post clearly states that my FD does not do a good job of following the statutes that no name set forth. I think you also better be sure that your PD is using the the NLETS and CCH systems properly in conducting applicant checks. Nothing beats getting out and talking to the people that the applicant puts down on the application.

    The reasons that applicants have been rejected for in the past include; physical fitness (not passing the physical). Past criminal convictions. Known substance abuse and association with a criminal element. Maybe they don't fit a broad interpretation of the law, but I would say again that the NJ legislature never intended for FD's to be forced to put on people who would bring disrepute to the organization. Remembering that I said that the overwhelming majority of applicants are accepted, we have never been challenged.

    BTW, There is no widespread FF arson problem in Flanders, NJ. Those arrests were made during the past 16 years as a Detective with the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Arson Unit.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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