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  1. #21
    Bri
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    An IC is an IC. Doesn't matter if they are paid or volly. Where I work we are surronded by a lot of volunteer departments. Most of us drop the egos and work well together. Being career or volunteer does not make you better then the other. It is your training, education, exprience, and most importantly your ability to perform that counts.


  2. #22
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    I thought this thread had died long ago. In our jusisdiction aint no volunteer incident commanders. Firtst arriving Captain from our Dept takes over. I should add I've never heard of any complaints from any of the 10 or so volunteer depts in the area. I guess thats the way they want it. Dont blame them really, to the best of my knowlege there is no training for fire officers in any of the volunteer depts up here

  3. #23
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    Originally posted by ArmyTruckCompany:
    Volunteers in Pa. saving millions??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! NOT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa!!!! My god, there are some volunteer departments there that spend money like it grows on trees!!! (OR in Taxpayers trees!!!) What I want to know is, why do some of these (so-called money saving) volunteer houses spend 400 or 500,000 on a new pumper, and up to 900,000 on a new ladder truck, when the one they have now is perfectly fine?? Oh my gawd!!! The 9 year old ladder truck with 13,000 miles on it got a scratch!!! CALL PIERCE!!! DON'T PUT IT OUT TO BID!! SOMEONE MAY OUTBID PIERCE!!!......Then there's the time-honored tradition of....."Hmmmmmmm...Company X just got a brand new Rescue truck...bigger than ours...We better nip that in the bud"....."Hello, Seagrave??.....We have us a problem here....." (ooops, don't put that one out to bid, either, we want Seagrave...and if someone finds out, we'll just write the specs around Seagrave!!) Volunteers may save in salaries and benefits, but certainly make up for it in overspending on non-needed items!!!!!

    I have to agree with ArmyTruckCompany on this one....I'm in a Volunteer Department from South Jersey and the Same thing happens in this state with spending...It's out of control and on occassion some companies get jelous of other ones and truck purchases start {Example: A town near mine wants a Ladder Truck They have nothing over two and half stories high but their philosophy is "If we buy a ladder truck than our mutial-aid runs will increase" I have actually herd this from a member there}
    ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

    Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

    Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com

  4. #24
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    The paid guys are going to love this. In New Bern FD The volunteers outrank the paid. You WILL take orders from volunteer officers. Our arrangement works on a staggered level the volunteers and the paid each have their own chiefs and capts and so forth. The volunteer officer always outranks the officer that is paid. However, a paid capt outranks a volunteer Lt. A firefighter or Specialist takes orders from ANYBODY wearing a yellow hat. It all goes down to responsiblity. Our charter staes that The volunteer chief is in charge and this has been held up by our Town Board of Aldermen. I have no problem taking orders from any one that is above me regardless of age or career status.
    We proved to the city manager just last year that the volunteer training was better than the paid. As long as the training is the same (and here it is) we are all firefighters at the scene. We are all taking the same risks and doing the same jobs. Our volunteers do not just direct traffic, we get up close and personal with the smoke and heat.

  5. #25
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    Chief Montgomery

    I believe your issue should be more with the leadership and the abilities of the officers
    in charge at an incident. I, like you have seen several near misses caused by the leadership of both career and volunteers. I've been both a career and volunteer for just over 13 years. I am a federal firefighter and we are surrounded by volunteer departments and have a pretty good working relationship with them. My concern when we run with the volunteers is that I may have to take orders from an 18 year old kid that may have just got out of firefighter 1 six months ago and the only fire thay have seen has been a few bails of stray burning in a burn building, but because they work hard around the firehouse they're appointed into an officer position. In that situation you have to do what you think is right fall back on your training and experience and watch out for you and yours. If you feel a situation isn't safe and someone may die as a result of being unsafe pull them out and deal with the B.S later reguardless if the orders come from a career or vollie officer. Going home at the end of your shift is the most important thing!!

    Staf safe

  6. #26
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    Chief Montgomery,

    I believe that this topic should be about training and everyone that has a problem with taking orders from either career or volly officers, needs more! Thats right I said you need more training in taking orders. If this is a problem then your respective training officers needs to set up several inter-department training sessions. Having the officers interacting with each other. The troops will learn to work together easier if they see leadership working together.

  7. #27
    Forum Member BucksEng91's Avatar
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    Where I work as a volunteer, we don't have many career people around us...and don't really want 'em... Just kidding - I can feel the IAFF breathing down my neck!

    Actually, in the few cases where I've worked incidents with the few paid guys that work in some nearby communities, they took orders from the volunteer IC just like everyone else. It's simply a non-issue where I am. You either have the training, or your don't. Just because the township gives you a $300 check each week doesn't necessarily mean you have what it takes to be an IC. And just because you do it for "the love of it", and you'd never take money to do this thing you love so much, doesn't necessarily mean you have what it takes to be an IC.

    It comes down to experience. That trumps everything, all the time. Generally, the people who hold positions of authority, in either paid or volunteer organizations, are there because they have the experience. I'd take orders from either - doesn't matter to me. And it shouldn't matter to anyone if the experience is there.

    It's just that ego thing - and everyone knows we have buckets of it to spare.

    Be safe!
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

  8. #28
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    In the military, rank is rank, regardless of full time or part time (reserves) status.

    Requirements should be the same for ranks, with the possible exception of specialty training (EMS, Haz-Mat, Rescue)

    NFPA 1710 should apply everywhere, any exceptions shouldn't be based on vol/career, but on density / population protected. (i.e. low density rural vs. med density suburban va. high density urban)

  9. #29
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    In our outer suburbs of Melbourne in Australia we also have the Vol and Profesional firefighter problems. Out here we respond to the fires in the volly areas, put the fires out and when they finally manage to get a crew on nuffer vollys together we let the do all the cleaning up and we go back to station. i reckon if they want to push water and mop up at grass fires and stuff, they can have it. they never get to actually fight a fire as they are never available. The average volenteer responce time here in melbourne Victoria is between 15 and 40 minutes to get on scene. If it wernt for professional firefighters, haf the city would have been on fire for the last 20 years.

    Cheers

    Rob

  10. #30
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Dr. Inferno,I hope you're not suggesting from your post that you wouldn't take orders from a non career officer for that reason.If as the CO,I were to call you for mutual aid and you responded and refused to take orders from me because I'm a paid call and you're a full time what do you think the results are gonna be?Especially when I have 30+ years in protecting this district and you have say 10 yrs as career?Do you really think you have a better vision of the problem than I do?Pardon me if I'm dubious.There are excellent officers on both sides of the fence as well as some not so good.For what it's worth I've also served as a career FF.T.C.

  11. #31
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    Boys and Girls, STOP, When we get down to it, the fire is what we are fighting, not each other! Vol/part time or "pro", it (the fire) does not care.

    God Bless America
    and All Firefighters

  12. #32
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    AHMEN!

    Here we (vollies) have the same training as the full time people, only differnce is I work another job and am on call 27/7, 365 days a year, fulltime..10 days a month. yes they may have more runs..but by no means any better than the vollies.

    As far as being in charge...if IC is Full time fine, If IC is a vollie fine...job needs to be done, everyone will have a differnt way of doing things, as long as the job gets done and no one gets killed..then it's all good. be safe

  13. #33
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    Having been both vol/paid call and now paid I have come to realize a couple of things. Any man/woman willing to give up his time for free to do this job has all of my respect in the world. Those departments that have the money are blessed, most are not and have sub-par equipment and they make do w/what they have. I think paid does it better because your job is to be trained and to train constantly, not trying to train after you just worked 8 hours to support a family. Either way, I don't care if the man with the red or white hat gets paid or not. I sit backwards and the only decisions I truly need to make are the ones that ensure me and mine get back on the truck and go home safe after the call, paid or not.

  14. #34
    blackb16
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    dr inferno posted that paid departments have lower fire insurance than volunteer departments. Would you care to post a source for that statement?

    Here is a source that sets virtually all the insurance rates in the US. They say community rating not whether a department is paid or volunteer is what matters.
    Loss per $1000 valuation
    Source: ISO™
    Class Commercial Residential
    1 $0.25 $0.37
    2 $0.30 $0.37
    3 $0.35 $0.42
    4 $0.37 $0.45
    5 $0.38 $0.49
    6 $0.45 $0.55
    7 $0.55 $0.75
    8 $0.60 $0.7 9 $0.68 $0.79
    10 $0.85 $1.10

    The volunteers have for departments and on average better ISO rates. Look no further than Delaware with two total fully career departments. Or compare New Jersey and California. In fact some of the best FD's and lowest insurance rates areheldby volunteer and combination departments.

    What is funny is when the standards for paid and volunteers are the same everyone gets along fine. Take example, California, Nevada. When someone requests 200 strike teams, no one cares if they are paid or volunteer because everyone had to jump through the same hoop to get on the list to be called.

    "volunteer houses spend 400 or 500,000 on a new pumper, and up to 900,000 on a new ladder truck, "

    Gee, FDNY just paid $900,000 for a new ladder and over 400K on engines. YOu don't wantr to know what they paid for the heavy rescues.

    "!!) Volunteers may save in salaries and benefits, but certainly make up for it in overspending on non-needed items!!!!!"

    Well, you certaily didn't make your case above. If communities want volunteers in exchange for good fire services and newer better fire trucks than some of their paid brethren all the power to them. That is what being an American is all about. Choice. The people vote the vollys buy. Gee, just like a paid department.

    "In regards to the "Fireact", if it wasn't for the Fire Unions lobbying for this, the money would not have been reinstated. "

    Reinstated? 5 billion requested and only 100million dolled out. OK the union saved the fire service. And what difference did the FIRE ACT money make? A whopping 53 dollars per firefighter. Everyone got a pair if gloves or something?

    United we grow, divided we stay right here where we've always been.

  15. #35
    Forum Member DrInferno's Avatar
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    Lovelock: To start off ISO doesn't mean anything where I live in regards to the fire service. I said that "I'm certain that insurance companies have done studies to say that a career department would have saved them money." I didn't quote any one so I'm the source and it is fairly logical. Picture a volunteer department that can't get any more than 1 truck out of the station going to a structure fire you have to admit that the dollar loss is going to be higher than if a career fire department was ready at the station. Hell they could be on the fireground before the first volunteer got to the station so right away the fire could still be in it's incipient stage. Remember fire doubles its size every minute so every minute counts. As for your comparisons with the fire trucks I have no clue as to what you mean besides a fire truck doesn't put out the fire a well trained available firefighter does. As for the fire act being reinstated if the union didn't lobby for it then those volunteer stations wouldn't have gotten anything. By the way it says they may hire 75,000 new career firefighters in the U.S. so get your resume out, because there is no way a proud career man would slam the union like you did in that statement about the union saving the fire service.

  16. #36
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    Greetings,

    Lovelock, apparently, your F.D. like mine did not get a federal grant.

    In reference to the Fire Act, it is very true that the Fire Unions lobbied to get this through. Granted, the amount awared was only 100 million, but it was a start. And that "comment" about this FireAct comes down to every firefighter getting $53.00 to buy a pair of gloves? Childish remark................IF, you look at some of the grants awarded, there were some LARGE amounts going to some F.D.'s, in particular volunteer. Maybe on the next go around our respective F.D.'s will get an award.

    As for ISO........apparently Dr Inferno's comment was very much distorted by you. And also in reference to ISO, I thought that the highest number assigned would be a "9", not a ten. If there are not any hydrants, all F.D.'s start out at a "9". As soon as you place hyrdants in a district, the number drops down to a "6". From there, to obtain a better ISO rating, ALL factors come into play. Especially staffing. But they look at all aspects (i.e. training, hose loads, mutula aid pacts, etc.....) So, if you are going to quote someone, please quote accordingly and have your facts available.

  17. #37
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    As a volunteer chief (an Educator by job) I find it appalling that people are taking sides on this matter. Our paid professionals run mutual with our department and many other departments in the area. As IC I look to them for their knowledge and experience (I have 18 yrs vollie exp.) and use them as another tool at my disposal. As for Volunteer Departments spending too much money, I wish we had that kind of money to spend. Our area must be blessed with Fire Departments that do not want to replicate services, in effect spreading the money we do have, and making our community better. Career firefighters have chosen thier profession just as volunteers have chosen to volunteer and neither group should be made to feel inferior. As far as the fire loss argument that career firefighters have lower insurance loss...show me the study. I would have to believe it to be the same..I could be wrong. God bless all who partake in this honorable endeavor to make our communities safe.

  18. #38
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Dr. Inferno ... picture a volunteer company that can get an 8 man engine crew and a 6 man truck crew out w/in 4 minutes at night. No, I am not exaggerating. Daytime, 6 man engine crew and 4 man truck crew w/in 4 minutes. Sure beats the 3 man engines and two man engines (that are running as trucks) in the nearby paid world. Is paid better someplaces? Yes. Is volunteer better some places? Absolutely. Deal with it.

    Stay Safe

  19. #39
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    WOW!! What a mess, but I can see both sides of the picture. I'm presently employed in an all career department. I spent 9 years in a combination department(as a paid firefighter) and 3 years volunteering in a DC suburb prior to that. I don't think the mutual aid issue is a problem. You do as you are told as long as you aren't gonna get hurt. The real problem is in a combination dept., the one I worked in as well as the state of Georgia has no real qualifications to be an officer except to be popular! There is nothing more fustrating or dangerous than listening to a MORON that wears a white hat and doesn't have a clue to what really needs to be done. The DC area has some of the most exprienced and qualified volunteers I've ever come in contact with. It all revolves around required training for all officers, career and volunteer. They should be required to meet the same basic standards so that there is no question.

  20. #40
    Forum Member DrInferno's Avatar
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    PA Volunteer: Good for you and your community. I live in an area that is presently protected by composite(Combination)staffing during the day time. Fortunatly they can provide decent service as well but I can say that the neighbouring municipalities aren't so lucky. Fortunatly the community that pays my wages has been wise enough to implement minimum manning so a 3 man engine is non-existant. But the question posed was Career people taking orders from a volunteer officer and I can't see how it makes sense that a fellow who is a ______ (fill in the blank) by trade has more fire ground knowledge and skill then a fellow who goes to work every day in the fire house. I would imagine that in most businesses of today that it is logical thinking that the full time employee would most likely manage the part time employees. I don't think that is really a hard concept to grasp.

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