1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Junior Firemen: My Perspective

    Recently I have seen a lot of posts regarding Junior Firemen with such questions and oppinions on such topics like, "Should Junior Firemen be allowed to ride the Apparatus?", "Should they respond to MVA's?", "Should they be allowed to leave high school for a call?" (I myself have answered that one), etc, etc. I started out as a Junior Fireman and I think that it is an excellent program. In the previous posts a lot of you gave your feedback as to what you expect out of Junior Firemen. It wasn't much.

    Let me take a minute to describe the Junior Fireman Program that I was a part of and what my roles were both at the firehouse and fireground.
    The basics:
    Must be between the ages of 15-18

    Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or a C+ average
    eligibilty slips turned in to officer first drill of every month. If you didn't meet the requirement you couldn't respond or attend any fire department function until the first of next month when you turned in your slip. Yes the rules were tough but a good incentive both for school and the fire department.

    Attend 75% of annual training meetings and drills.

    Can participate in same bi-weekly training as firemen with approval from Duty Officer.

    Issued a full set of turnout gear. Badge number, uniform and our helmet shields were bright orange to indentify us as JF on the fireground.

    Role at the Firehouse:
    NOTE: JF could only be there for day tours (8am to 6pm) But could respond at anytime.

    If you volunteered to work a tour you would
    assist firemen during the tour whether it be house chores, cleaning the apparatus bay and the apparatus, sometimes even cooking. You are treated just as everyone else. If you want to eat, you pitch in five bucks. It is up to both the Chauffer and the Officer to allow you to ride. In order to ride you are tested by the Chauffer on what the equipment is on the rig what compartment it is stored in and it's primary use. This was something that you had to memorise for all apparatus. LEARNING

    Role at the fireground:
    NOTE: The JF is only allowed to respond when a box is struck. Unless ofcourse the JF is already at the firehouse then it is up to the descretion of the Company Officer and Chauffer as mentioned above. Juniors were seen as members and went on MVA's, HazMat, Water Rescue and various Public Assistance calls. The officer would always find something for you to do.

    Assist Chauffer with the hydrant hookup. The JF always rides behind Chauffer. LEARNING

    Assist firemen with what ever they needed i.e. getting tools from the apparatus (After informing the Chauffer you are about to do so!) LEARNING

    Set up staging area for the job with tarps and extra tools and SCBA Bottles. LEARNING

    Man the Air/Light Truck by changing/filling SCBA bottles and assisting the Ladder Company with running reels and setting up lights. LEARNING

    No Junior Fireman was allowed into a fire building or be allowed into the Hot Zone of a HazMat worker.

    Mop Up/Take up duties. This is really when the JF worked. Repacking hose on the pumper all the while LEARNING how to do it... Correctly! Back at the firehouse: Cleaning tools, Masks, washing the apparatus to put it back in service and hanging hose in the tower.

    After what you just read, do you see a common theme here? LEARNING. Be patient with your Junior Firemen. They are there to learn and assist us because they are interested in doing what we do. We are there to teach them. Not to mention Juniors are great targets for firehouse pranks. "Hey Junior, Go get me a left handed axe"... I only fell for that once!

    I'm glad I could share with you what my Junior Fireman Program was like. I really learned a lot from it. To sum this up I guess my question would be for all of you is "If you have a Junior Fireman program what are their roles and what do they do?"

    Those of you whose departments are considering starting Junior Fireman Progam feel free to e-mail me and I would be glad to offer any help in development of such a program.

    Glen Bordas

  2. #2
    Turk II
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Looks like the key element to the Junior program is "learning." This is the same case in my department's junior program.

    I joined my department as a Junior at age 16 and spent two years watching the older members and helping them out anyway I could. I packed hose, changed air bottles, carried equipment, and learned the basics.

    A few months after I turned 18 I took my Fire I course through a different department. With the exception of the two other people from my department, none of the students had ever put on a pair of turnout gear or handled a hose. My learning experience as a Junior definetely helped me throughout that course as well as in other situations.

    Good luck to all Juniors - past and present.

    - Turk
    - FF2, NR-EMT

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    They key in my post is definitely LEARNING. Explorers have their own training every Sunday, and also may attend any training that the FireFighters hold. Explorers are expected to keep a GPA acceptable to their parents. A note is sent to the parents at the beginning of a school semester, and the parents decide if the Explorer may continue with the program, be suspended until the next mailing, or be terminated from the program. Explorers may also respond on the apparatus for any call except Mutual-Aid to another municipality and HazMat. Explorers(with the proper training and experience) may also run the base radio. I also am currently attending FFI and FFII classes, and after being on the Explorer post for a year before starting the classes, I definitely have one up on the ones with no previous fire experience, and it makes me feel good. Our Lead Advisor knows more about Fire than alot of people I have ever met, and is a wonderful learning tool. He is very committed to us, and he is a great guy who works very hard for our benefit. Learning is the main point in our post, and it should be in every post.

    Nick Funk
    Explorer Captain
    Swartz Creek Area Fire Dept.
    Post 41

    "FireFighters Walk Where The Devil Dances."

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    i've been in the junior firefighter program for two years now. i have two years to go until i'm eightteen and become a senior. i can honestly say that if a company somewhere doesn't have a junior firefighter program going to get one imediately. you will get about 99% good out of it. of couarse there is the 1% of problems but mainly nothing no problems with the kids that join. all you have o do is point them in the right direction and if they want to learn they will. i've gotten nothing but great resuts so far as a junior firefighter. i know how to do the basics of firefighting and more, due to learning, watching and asking questions. it's a great program and i hope that the organizations that don't have one started up will very soon because it is a great way to teach new recruits the basics and you'll be surprised at the results you'll get.

    Robert A. Klinger, Jr.
    stay low..stay safe!!!

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