I am a 21 year veteran of the fire service. I recently resigned as Deputy Chief of a department due to a new job in another state. Now, in the new department, with lots of "paper" to back up my experience, I am still being treated like I just decided to join the fire service last month. This new department has a comprehensive recruit school that makes the new members well-trained and at least FF-I certified upon completion. But, what they are lacking is handling experienced firefighters who move into their district.

There are 5 in the new class with varying degrees of experience, with me being the "old guy". Frankly, I am very frustrated right now. I have been pumping for 17 years, and have been operating aerials for 5. Yet with that documented information, I've been told to forget about driving for (possibly) several years. As I'm being told this, others are complaining about not having enough apparatus operators.

For what it's worth, when I moved to my previous department seven years ago, my training and experience was welcomed, and I went pretty much straight to work in the department. My new department is remarkably different.

I'd be interested in hearing from other volunteers who have had to make a transfer to a new department, and how their transition was. Also, any paid members who have had similar or opposite experiences in moves, please chime in.

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Rick Reed
Do it right, do it safely, do it once.