Thread: Junior Firefighter Programs
04-17-1999, 06:06 PM #1BVFDFirehouse.com Guest
Junior Firefighter Programs
I am interested in beginning a Junior's Program on our Dept. I would like those of you who have them to send any info. you can on them, especially as this is a new idea in our area. Thanks for your help!!
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04-23-1999, 06:18 PM #2DrewboFirehouse.com Guest
In Elizabethtown, Pa. we have Junior Firefighters. We let them start at age 16. They recive a helmet that identifies them as junior (red dome compaired to yellow dome for probie's and traditional leather for senior FF). Durring there probie years we train them in all the Haz-Mat, rescue, fireground, etc... Then when they are 18 they take their fire courses and become a senior FF. The time from 16 to 18 retains them for the future. Getting them young builds tradition, and after their 18 they stay in the department. In the event of a fire, they are let on the apparatus by the officer and usualy are given the roles of hydrant and go-for. All in all I think it is a great program.
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06-22-1999, 12:59 PM #3TigerFirehouse.com Guest
Don't reinvent the wheel.
Start a Fire Fighter Explorer Post through the Boy Scouts of America. They have a wonderfully structured program that takes care of all of the administrative headaches like liability and insurance, etc. and offers the host dept. the flexibility to tailor their post to the needs of the kids, the community and the fire dept.
Check them out at www.scouting.org or www.exploring.org or contact me for more info.
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07-07-1999, 06:56 PM #4Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
I'm also in PA, so I'll probably be a bit repetitive, but I can add a little also. Historically, the Junior Firefighter program in Mohnton has been one of the most successful forms of recruiting. Three of our six current officers started as juniors in Mohnton, including me, and six of our firefighters and engineers started as juniors either at Mohnton or nearby. Our total active roster contains about 20 people (including our three current juniors), so that's about half.
The way in which our junior program works is largely dictated by state law, which basically prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from entering a hazardous atmosphere, operating pumps or hydraulic equipment, operating power tools, working on ladders, operating hose lines, and driving apparatus. All except driving apparatus can be done during training under strictly controlled conditions (only after age 16 for some of these items). There are also legal restrictions on hours juniors may be in service both during and after the school year, and some other details.
Apart from these, mainly fireground, restrictions, we try to involve juniors in operations as much as possible. There are no restrictions on riding apparatus, they are assigned any tasks they are legally permitted on the fireground, and encouraged to participate in all training that they feel that they are able to do. What we're after is a situation where juniors that become seniors are ready to hit the ground running almost immediately when they turn 18.
We also make a concious effort not to single them out with different helmets, different gear, different uniforms, or anything else. We work closely enough with our mutual aid companies that everyone's officers know who's who, and we can avoid any problems. More importantly, the juniors know when to say "no" if an officer with another company happens to mistake them for a senior crew member. Treating them like anyone else as much as possible seems to be a big plus in retention. Juniors tend to resent being assigned only things that others won't do, especially if they are always reminded that it's happening because they are juniors.
These programs are a good thing to start, and they usually pay off, as long as you have a set of rules and an organized game plan from the start. Most companies in my area have juniors programs, and they appear to be successful across the board.
Lt. Bob Snyder
FFC#2, Mohnton, PA
[This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited July 07, 1999).]
08-31-1999, 03:28 PM #5ShadowFirehouse.com Guest
We just started an Explorer program in our department through the Boy Scouts of America. The program is about 3 months old. We currently have 11 members that are super active. Of the 11 we have 1 captain, 2 Lt's.We are in the middle of getting them through our Level II training which will allow them to ride along with one of our engine companies. They help us with hose testing, home fire inspections, and the smoke detector program, they are also trained to a medical first responder level. (those that are at least 17, the others start off at an advanced first aid level). Contact me if you have any questions. I would be happy to send you what we have!!
09-08-1999, 06:55 PM #6BURNSEMSFirehouse.com Guest
What extra activities do the boy scouts require, how about adult participation and insurance ect. Sounds Like a good Idea Let me Know the Good and Bad
09-21-1999, 12:16 PM #7joe dilmoreFirehouse.com Guest
We have had a junior program for a long, long time now. Both my father and uncle have gone through the program, as i did 10 yrs ago. For a long time, we had the age limit at 16. The township has recently allowed us to expand that to 15. The important things to remember are three things 1.Make sure your township is aware of the program. 2. be careful about the child labor laws and 3. MOST IMPORTANTLY-MAKE SURE YOUR INSURANCE WILL COVER IT. This is the biigest hurdle while most departments sho don't have junior programs. Junior program is very important. Most kids get interested in this field when they are younger. Many who have to wait will move on to other things if they all ready haven't been exposed to it. On one hand, their usefulness is very limited. BUT look at it this way-while you're short handed, that's one less qualified member who needs to drop what he's doing to run for tools, run a message, etc. Good luck!
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