1. #1
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Who's gonna ask the first question?

    Oh, wait, I just did that!

    Now that the ice-breaking is out of the way, how many here are from combination departments? 100% career departments?

    I'm on a combination department, but our call people don't staff the stations - they respond directly to the fire scene. We had an A/C who thought the call people needed to learn how to drive and pump the trucks (I also half-agreed with him - I think everyone on the fireground should be able to operate the pump panel. Since our department isn't set up for the call people to drive, I don't think that part was necessary) Anyway, one call person was learning how to put the pump into gear, and as she put the truck back into "road" mode, she thought the standard transmission was in neutral - it wasn't! That poor old truck popped a "wheelie" and hopped a few times before it stalled. It was only pure luck that nobody was standing in front of the truck! Also, the still-attached soft suction was torn at the hydrant coupling, and the hydrant was turned about 45 degrees! No, it didn't even leak. But when the accident report hit the administration, that was the end of anyone but the full-timers being in the driver's seat.

    IAFF 1176

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our fire Department has 3 paid men. They work 24/48. When they are at the station, they do the usual station duties, and the phone and pager tests. When an alarm comes in, they take the information, page it out, and drive the truck to the fire. Volunteers show up in their personal vehicles to the fire and some go to the station. Any volunteer can drive a truck, and the #1 rule the Chief wants is that if you drive a rig, you better know how to pump it. This way if you are first on scene for a second fire, and a rookie shows up as your second responder, you can at least do something. Personally, I have driven and pumped every truck we have during drills and at a couple of fires. We have 2-grass rigs, 3-pumpers, 1-hose tender, 1-Rescue truck, 2-Suburbans, and our newest addition, a Pierce Quint with a 75 foot ladder. Training is the key, and it really pays off when the alarm sounds and your in the driver seat.

    Ed Brando

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hi Ed, I was thinking the same thing last night, I started to post something, but it was getting late and I had no idea what to post. My dept is all paid 24 total, 8 on duty, doing 24/48. The dept at one time had some paid on call but it did not work out, it happened before my time. You are right everyone should know how to operate the trucks, I am a Firefighter but some times I will have to drive, even though its not my normal job I have to be able to move up and fill the jobs that are open. This will help me when its time for me to move up to a drivers job.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Joe Decker
    Local 3905
    Rolla MO

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm a member of a fully paid department 1 hour down SR224 from Ed, although he doesn't know me. We have 45 men, 2 stations and we staff 2 engines and a ladder/medic combo company. Each of our 3 shifts has 14 men, 8 men on-duty minimum. It's nowhere near ideal, but it's what we have. We also have a 55' squirt, a reserve pumper, a foam trailer, an air truck, a back up medic and our really old ambulance is now the technical rescue equipment truck.

    We just completed a station location study and it indicated a need to move the current 2 stations and add 2 more stations in the next 10-15 years. We'll see if that flies over in city hall.

    I work in an old industrial town with an aging population resulting in a lot of fires and EMS runs for such a small department with one staffed EMS truck - Approx 3500 per year. Our mayor is big on annexation to provide land for growth of the city. All this annexation and a new high school is changing the demographics of the city, bringing in young families. I expect to be working in a totally different type of city when I retire.

    All members of our department have to be able to drive, pump and operate all our pumpers and ladder trucks. We don't have the numbers to dedicate members to engineer operations only.

    We have been full time since around 1906, an IAFF local since 1932, BFFA Local #329.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Does anyone know when the IAFF was organized and what was the first department?

  6. #6
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry for butting in... I'm a vollie.

    try and check www.iaff.org

    They should have the information that you are looking for
    ......I'm outtta here.... 'fore I get in trouble.....

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Great ice breaker! My dept. is full-time, although started back in early 1900's as volunteer. Somewhere in our rule book it says everyone should know job above and below you. Luckily when I started in 85, I had a Capt. that saw to it that I was taught how to drive/pump the engine. Never actually 'drove' to fire as tailboardman, but they took me to the park to practice frequently and let me be 'driver' at many training drills.
    Now...we have a lot of newer FFs and there does not seem to be as much chance for them to practice/learn the ropes. There was talk at one time of beginning a Driver Training Program to start a sub-class of FFs that were capable/qualified to drive...it would also have been a prerequisite for taking driver's test. However, that apparently has gone by the wayside. Many Capt's still do train their men on own though.

    As a Capt now, I can say that I have had experienced, paid drivers who scared the $h#* out of me :-0; most of newer FFs have enough sense to realize their limitations as an acting driver, but I feel it's probably in everyone's best interest to have someone driving, especially on a hot run...that is familiar enough with the engine to feel comfortable. At least that way, the Capt doesn't have to make the entire run with his eyes closed!

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The answer to the above question is IAFF Local 1 Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Pittsburg was the first fire fighters union chartered by the AFL in the early 1900's. The IAFF was founded and chartered by the AFL on Feb. 28, 1918.

    My place is an almost fully paid district. 14 years ago we were fully volunteer and in another 5 years the last of the volunteers will probably be gone. Represented by Local 3410 IAFF.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    My engine company has two full time members each shift (a captain and a firefighter/paramedic) we complement that each shift with two reserve firefighters (paid per call). Our department does not distinquish between the two except for pay. Each is expected to attend the same amount of training and perform the same duties. It works out well, I think because the paid-per-call firefighters are treated as the equals they are, they don't mind attending training etc.

    Our engine is manned with 4 firefighters each shift (24-7), a minimium of one is a paramedic.

    We run over 2700 calls for servcie each year and operate on an automatic aid system with a major fire department where we are treated as an equal (as an ALS engine comapany). All of our members recieve training and are expected to maintain the same standards as these surounding departments.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello Ed - "DoDo Occurs" - We are a combination dept. with total of 8 fulltime ( 1 - Lt 1- Sgt. divided between 2 stations and 2 - 40hr daytime (Fire Marshal and T.O.). Our paid on call are encouraged to drive after training, written and practical tests. We have had "accidents" occur by both fulltime and paid on call. It will happen to anyone no matter status or seniority or gender.

    ED C.
    "Doin' it for lives and property !"
    http://www.freeyellow.com/members8/ptfd21/index.htm" Pittsfield Twp. F.D.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are still a young department of 25 years. The department I work for, is a county run department. We operate out of 31 stations with 2 to 3 men per station. 4 battalion Lieutenants, 2 in-station Lieutenants, 1 Training Officer, 3 shift Deputy Chiefs, 1 Service and support Deputy chief, 1 Volunteer Cordinator, 2 Fire Mechanics, approx 150 firefighters, and 130 pieces of rolling stock. We were orginally formed to support the Volunteer departments on manpower, but that has changed over the years. Now the volunteers support the paid firefighters. The county department now supports the stations with what they need to operate.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are an all paid department with 52 stations (it used to be 48 but they have four new stations open following some anexations) and something like 2000 folks on the job. Our apparatus staffing is a mimimum of 4. If a piece of equiptment drops below four (say one man goes to the hospital with the unit for manpower) then that apparatus is on limitted manpower and can only respond to first responder calls until they are back to full strength.

    Larry Boothby
    Truck 3 A-shift
    Local 1784

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Howdy all:

    I work for a combination department, we have seven halls and 30 apparatus. we protect a population of 85,000 and an area of 130 square miles. We have 168 firefighters on call, approximately 22 per firehallgive or take. There are 18 career positions in our department. Seven District Chiefs, one per firehall, an assistant Chief of operations, an assistant Chief of inspections, a Fire Chief, Two training officers (I'm one) two public education officers, and two fire inspectors the rest are clerical staff.

    All of our actual firefighting staff is employed on a paid-on-call basis, and there is no manned halls. each of our members can drive and pump, all are trained in auto extrication basics (Three of the halls have dedicated rescue units and have specialist training) all members are licensed EMA First Responder level III among many other courses and qualifications available.

    I'm particularly fortunate as I make my living as the Training Officer for the department, but I also am able to continue as a paid-on-call Captain at one of the halls

    This system works for us, and there is no indication that we will be changing our organization in the forseeable future.


    "We're not heroes, we're professionals"

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Do any of your departments have a ride along policy or an explorer post? if so what are some of the rulse and restrictions?

    John Barker
    Wish me good luck ,
    im presenting to get
    an explorer post started!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are a comination Paid/Call with 20 fulltime and 22 call. Call FF's do not man the station they respond from there homes.
    Under our collective bargining agreement Call FF'ss cannot operate any fire apparatus, this includes pumping or driving and cannot be used for ems. This was placed in our contract because several years back the town tried to go back to all call. Many Call FF's supported this idea but the voters overwhelmingly rejected it.

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Ptffd had it right, DoDo occures. Whats to say that if your dept. was vollie that it wouldn't happen, or what if she was at the acadamy in a recruit class. Is it because this person is a vollie that your upset? You had to learn at one time too. Don't be so hard on your volunteer members, hopefully your all their doing the same job for the same reasons.

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a combination department, 15 career (Chief, 5 Platoon Chiefs, 9 career firefighters) and approximately 35 volunteers. One station, 4 engines, 1 truck, 1 rescue, 4 support vehicles. Our community is predominently residential, 6 square miles and 34,000 population. We run about 1600 fire calls/year. Career staffing varies from 2-3 on nights and weekends, with 4-7 on duty weekdays - this reflects the availability of volunteers (hard to get during the day). All career personnel are apparatus operators, and currently 5 volunteers are operators. Same criteria apply to both groups - CDL, state-certified 40 hour pump and aerial classes, and in-house training program prior to becoming an operator. We've had this type of department since sometime in the 1950's - it works well. Fast initial response with off duty and volunteer backup not far behind, plus allows for good community relations, maintenance, prevention, and inspection programs. Check out our web site at www.mtlfd.org

    R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

    [This message has been edited by raricciuti (edited November 10, 1999).]

  18. #18
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey Whip,

    I'm not being prejudiced in any way, and I'll bet you can't find anything in what I posted that would make you think otherwise, if you look at it objectively. I said we were training one of our call people in driving the apparatus, and she made a mistake. That mistake could have killed anyone who happened to be walking or standing in front of the truck at that time. She also damaged a hydrant and a section of hose. That's what happened. The call person was a woman - would you also say I'm knocking women firefighters?
    If I was "upset that the person who did this was a vollie," I'd have said so. Don't go trying to slew what I write - I'm capable of saying what I mean.

    IAFF 1176

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello from Indy. We are 755 strong. We have 26 Engine Companys, 14 Ladder Companys, and several speciality vehicles. We work 24/48s with a Kelly day.

    Be Safe

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