Does your company have any type of Probationary period for new members? We currently don't and are thinking about changing to a 6 month probationary period to see if guys will stick around. We seem to loose some people after they are made members and we are thinking this may aide us is knowing who's going to stick around. They will still be able to participate in trainings, calls (once rider qualified), fund raisers, etc. they just won't get a key to the station until their 6 months is up. If we don't see them in 6 months, chances are we won't see them ever.
Thanks in advance for your replies.......
Washington Fire Co. #1
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Thread: Membership ?'s
04-17-2001, 04:34 PM #1PoinFirehouse.com Guest
04-17-2001, 06:38 PM #2ENGINE18-3Firehouse.com Guest
Our new members are Probationary Firefighters until they complete FFI at the Academy. They are allowed to respond to all calls, attend all Drills and Dept. Meetings. When responding they aren't allowed to get on the 1st out Engine and the Ladder. They can get on the 2nd out Engine but any Sr. FF can bump them from the truck. They are allowed out on the 4th and 5th out pieces and on the Fire ground they hit the hydrant, set up ladders and lighting, and after its all over they roll hose and repack the hose beds. They just aren't allowed inside. They get the key to the building after 6 months.
The statements above are my own opinions
FF Greg Grudzinski
Oaklyn Fire Dept.
04-17-2001, 07:54 PM #3oz10engineFirehouse.com Guest
Every firehouse loses new people for lack of their own interest or other reasons. People are going to stick around because they want to, regardless if they're on probation or not. The people that show interest because they want to, are the one's you want, not the probationers that HAVE to show interest just to get out of the probationary period. So you put a new member on probation for a few months,and tell them they have to come around. So they come around from time to time to fufill their probationary requirements and then the month after their probation is up you don't see them. They just waisted all your time you spent training them. ...... I think the key thing is a VERY BAD IDEA. Think about this. You get a new probationary member in,tell them they need to come around. So they drive or walk up to the firehouse to show their interest and they can't get inside because they don't have a key. How many times would this happen before they lose interest? The key thing happened to me. I am a daytime only volunteer, and we all know how tuff it is to get people in the daytime. I have my national certs and drive a fire engine for a living. So I don't need much training to get started riding or driving. I joined a firehouse which is about 15 minutes from my home, and that has trouble getting out during the day. They welcomed me in, but said I can't get a key for 3 months (policy). Within the next month I drove to the firehouse about 10 times to show my interest and availability, all during the day and only got in about to the firehouse about 5 times, because I had no key and nobody else was there. I finally became disgusted and lost interest. Needless to say I joined another firehouse nearby that doesn't wait to issue keys. I am one of their top daytime runners and drivers. I listen to the other firehouse on the radio and hear them getting re-dispatched all the time for a driver and/or crew and I laugh at them. It's they're own fault.
04-18-2001, 03:56 PM #4PoinFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the input......
We are also thinking about a clause that states once a Probie has passed his riders test (basic equipment knowledge and location) and is also pack qualified, the Chief can then ask to waive the remaining probationary time.
Do you think this type of setup would have made a difference in your situation or would you still have moved on???????
04-19-2001, 02:28 AM #5steveoFirehouse.com Guest
In my dept. we have prby class for 1 year. During that time they go to firefighter1, and attend training every 1st and 3rd wednesday. We do it from 7:00-9:00pm. During this time they are taught the equipment locations and uses for every piece of equipment in our building. If during this time the proby remembers everything and can pump, drive, draft, knows equipment, procedures, and sop's then we can bring them in earlier. We tell them this during there interview so they know what is expected. They do get a key and full gear the day that they join.
04-19-2001, 09:58 AM #6D.SCHWERFirehouse.com Guest
6 months proby period or until SCBA qualified under a live fire drill for first timer with no experience.
3 months for the qualified experienced
No voting privilages while under probation
Key to fire house YES
Assign proby a member/officer as a mentor
Proby are off limits for pranks
(pranks are for rookies after proby period)
Assign house work to probies
The views and opinions expressed herin are my personal views and opinions and not those of any organization, department I may belong to or represent
04-19-2001, 12:54 PM #7oz10engineFirehouse.com Guest
Poin... The idea of waiving the probationary period after the SCBA & apparatus test sounds like a good option,a good incentive. Do I think it would have made a difference in my decision to move on? No, Reducing the probationary time/requirements would have not solved my problem. I still wouldn't have access to the firehouse to go over the equipment so I can get tested on it. Think about this,if I went to the firehouse and couldn't get in I would think, they tell me I need to get tested on SCBA & apparatus to get off probation. So I come up here to go over the equipment, and I can't get in the firehouse to do that. What the hell is up with that? Why am I wasting my time ? ....In my situation if everytime I went to the firehouse someone was there and let me in I probably would have stayed. A key would have solved the problem. I think you should afford access to the firehouse all the time to your new members so they can accomplish their requirements and keep their interest.
04-19-2001, 06:16 PM #8Lewiston2CaptFirehouse.com Guest
Ours is similar to D. Schwer, it goes as follows:
key and gear issued at first drill.
limited scene access
take essentials (and EMT if interested)
attend company meetings (3rd Tues of month)
Attend every drill you possibly can.
No voting privileges.
We allow pranks although they don't happen that frequently.
The way we see it the probationary period is there to familiarize the new FF with how the department works and learn the basics of fighting fire.
I do like the idea of having a mentor. Right now we tend to believe it takes a whole Dept. to train a probie.
Shawn M. Cecula
Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2
04-19-2001, 08:19 PM #9PlattsFire1Firehouse.com Guest
Wow. I guess we are kind of old fashioned. There is a 6 month "Trainee" period, but all that consists of is wearing a yellow helmet. Newbies must complete FF1 within one year though. But whatever calls you make in your first six months, you better be ready to LEARN. We've got a lot of great guys who love to teach. Just no interior attack, with the exeption of live burn drills.
04-20-2001, 10:34 PM #10pokeyfd12Firehouse.com Guest
Our probationary period consists of a one year company level time period. In the first year, the probie must finish FF1 (Basic FF), attend drills, meetings, clean-ups and probie training nights. After 6 months, they are give an oral test of knowledge to see if they are actually attending drills, looking over the equipment and if they are generally interested. If they are lacking on attendance, they have 6 months to improve or they are removed from the company. At their one year anniversary, they are given a written test of knowledge which consists of just about everything they have been taught either in FF1 or around the firehouse, drills etc. If they do not pass the test, they are removed.
Probies are allowed on the second out piece of apparatus until they pass FF1 (Basic) and intermediate (SCBA cert.). They, along with all other members, must make a minimum of percentage for all alarms in a 1 year period or they are removed from active duty.
All new members get a key and have full use of the firehouse. They are encouraged to spend as much time as possible learning the firematics. Sometimes we get members that only join because of the recreation room, weight room, parades or whatever. They are usually weeded out after their first year.
Probies are not allowed in buildings unless SCBA qualified and then again ONLY with a senior FF or with officer supervision. They can do everything else though, stretch hose, throw ladders, hit the hydrant
Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)
04-25-2001, 05:10 AM #11latigoFirehouse.com Guest
6 Month Probation period. We use an electronic keypad door lock, so all members-even probies, can get in. No restrictions on calls, just do not do more than you have been trained to do. Go put your back into whatever needs doing, and prove that you want to be an important part of the department. The official probation stands, but the Chief does know who does the work, sweeps the station, etc., and you then are "rewarded" with doing the work at various functions/incidents.
Eddyville Volunteer Fire and Rescue
"The views expressed by me are soley my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to." Too bad that in this day and age we cannot express opinions for fear of offending people we don't know and casting a bad light on people we associate with. Especially here in the Fire/EMS community.
04-26-2001, 12:16 PM #12firefighter26Firehouse.com Guest
In my department new guys are considered "probies" until they have passed a "porbie test."
For this test they must know the inventor on all the trucks, all the hose lays, how all the small engines work, dress in an SCBA, how all the pumps work, the roads in the district, traffic control and general firefighting stuff (nozzle work, ladders, radio etc).
It normally takes 6 months to 9 months before new guys are ready for the test. It is done one truck at a time (we have 4) during the weekend. In order to drive any particular apparatus, they have to have passed the probie test for that truck as well as that trucks drivers test, and of course, have the proper DL.
04-26-2001, 02:07 PM #13APG1Firehouse.com Guest
Heh. This whole topic is kind of ironic for my local position. I am in Fire Dept. A's district. I live 5 1/2 minutes from it's primary station. During the day, Department A has problems getting a truck out the door. It has a membership cap of 50 members. But I can't be on here, membership is full and I'm 'Not politically correct', per my parents. (heh). Gotta love small town politics.
Department B, which is a near by department, which I live, ironically, -4- minutes away has less then 20 members, no cap on membership, and has lots of trouble getting a truck out the door. Ironically, even as I write this post, they've toned out their people 5 times for a elderly female having severe chest pains. She's only four minutes away from me, a liscensed, EMT-Basic/Defib with over 100 hours in the back of a rig.
But I can't be on their department, because I live out of district. Because I live on the east side of a cornfield, instead of the west.
Hope they get over there soon.
[This message has been edited by APG1 (edited 04-26-2001).]
04-26-2001, 02:16 PM #14NCRSQ751Firehouse.com Guest
With us it's a 6 month period, but broken up.
You get voted on initially for your first 90 probationary period. During that time you can only come to training, no calls.
After that 90 days is up you are voted on again.
If you pass that vote you can respond routine traffic (no lights etc.) to calls and either observe or participate up to your current level of training/certification.
After the 180 days is up you are voted on again and if you pass that you are a full member with all rights and privileges.
There are exceptions for past members coming back or transfers from other departments but that's the general rule. It works well and you get to see what people are made of.
Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
Griffith Volunteer FD
04-29-2001, 04:29 AM #15eyecueFirehouse.com Guest
Following a background check and inquiry by the membership, a probationary member has to get a physical and then is allowed on the dept for a one year probation. The first three months they arent issued lights or sirens. After one year on, If they have the minimum required number of calls made and training hours, they are subject to a popular vote by the membership to see if they are to be retained.
04-30-2001, 04:52 PM #16pfpchiefFirehouse.com Guest
6 month prob. period superivised by the chief. turnout gear , pager issued at 1st drill. the key is discreationary . i give them out to some guys right away . to others we wait and see ,based on maturity level. they have 18 months to complete ff1 training . failure to complete this is termination of membership.they can go to all calls and all drills. only one probie on the first engine . he is the hydrant man/ engineers helper. in this day of declining intrest among people to vol. this is the most important time for a new member.you either get a member or you turn off a guy to vol. service forever. pranks are not allowed . we encourage our new members to learn new skills and a new culture as quickly as possible but we dont beat the heck out of them if they dont get it all right away.they are mentored by myself or tha asst chiefs if there are several at once . we meet with them several times a month to see if they are having any problems with our expections.so far so good i could go on but you get the picture this is not a time to look for ways to drum guys out its the time to solve those little problems that make guys leave
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