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  1. #1
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    Default What Do you firefighters think of Juniors in your Department?

    Hi i was just wondering how you guys felt about the junior in your department? do you get along, cnstanly fight, avoid them, or do you enjoy haveing them around?
    Always Remember:
    FireFighters Never Die,
    They Just Eat Smoke and Breath Fire!


  2. #2
    Forum Member LT.Chouinard's Avatar
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    my Departmenet does NOT have JR members...we tried but they caused a lot of trouble.....
    Lieutenant
    Joel Chouinard
    Rescue Co. 106 "When Push Comes To Shove"
    Engine Co. 307 "Pride Of The South Side"
    Cairns Leather, the only choice!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Having been a junior some 11 years ago, I have to say that for the most part, our juniors today are a good bunch of kids. Some of them have brothers or fathers in the dept. and, well, sometimes they think they know it all or can get away with things.....Unfortunately, most join the department when they're 17/18 and then leave when they graduate high school to go away to school or the military. Rarely do they come back after they graduate and I can't blame them, it's an expensive place to live (I'm an exception, I went away to school for three years and came back). I wish we could "attract" the female population....
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber AFD368's Avatar
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    Default Junior FF's

    Having previously been in a Department that had Junior FF's, that were unorganized, its a relief to now be in a Department that has dedicated and well trained Juniors. The Junior FF program here is well trained and disciplined as to what they can and cannot do at a scene. They do role hose and help pick up at the scene, which is a load off the FF's after working a job. We limit our Jrs. to ten members and they are given basically the same training as the FF's.
    They all know the rules, i.e. no calls after 10pm on school nights, or after midnight on weekends. They participate in any functions that the Fire Department sponsors, and work side by side with us.
    As I said before, its a pleasure to have these young men and women around.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member

  5. #5
    Forum Member LT.Chouinard's Avatar
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    Default

    we had a major problem with them stealing....so because of a couple bad eggs we got rid of that program.
    Lieutenant
    Joel Chouinard
    Rescue Co. 106 "When Push Comes To Shove"
    Engine Co. 307 "Pride Of The South Side"
    Cairns Leather, the only choice!

  6. #6
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    We have a Jr. Firefighting program that is about 6 months old. So far I would have to rate it a definite success. It has been a pleasure to work with these kids and share their enthusiasm. And at the end of the day they just might insure the survival of the volunteer service in our community.

    I hope that one bad experience with Jr's does not rule out future programs because the amount of adults volunteering for this job are dwindling fast. And with our kids in the community in need of positive role models we owe them our best effort!!!!!
    "Firefighting is a team Sport, so know your place and do your job"

  7. #7
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Juniors a must...but program must be well supervised!

    Having started as a junior firefighter at age 13 (yes...13...before anyone cared about the Labor Laws) I will say that the Junior Firefighter or Junior Explorer program is a must.

    When I joined we washed trucks, rolled hose, raised our own money and TRAINED..... When you turned 16 (keep in mind this is the 70's) and if you had taked state training courses amounting to about 90 hours you were eligible to become an advanced junior. You took a written test and then a practical and if you passed you had the clearance to fight fire just like the "Senior Members". In fact...during the day, we juniors fought a lot of fire after school and in the summer. We watched and learned and trained and worked hard, we kept all the equipment and apparatus spotless...and we toed the line. We were all once suspended for having a water fight in the station... It was an honor when our company banquet came around to be the advanced junior who was picked to sit at the "stand by table"

    As years went on, the discipline became less under different regimes. I felt the juniors that joined did so to have a place to "hang" to get out of work at home.

    Then it swung the other way. And now they are back up to standard.

    Our school system had a program (adopted by the dept of education for the state)that allowed an active volunteer firefighter in the 11th grade to take firefighter I & II and their HazMat Awareness and Operations. In their senior year they could come back and take EMT and in some cases instructor I. This "fire science" was critical to keeping the volunteer system alive. My son joined at age 16 and went through this program. Although I am not in the state anymore and no longer active with the Department, I am told that he benefited tremendously from this program and is a "darn good firefighter". I am very proud of him and my old department for the length of time they supported the Junior Firefighter system even in bad times.

    Because of the Junior Fire Department, my son has made a career choice and is actively competing in hiring processes in his area.

    Work hard, Train Hard, Listen, Respect other, Keep your mouth shut and be safe.....Watch and Learn! That is my advice to you junior firefighters.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  8. #8
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    We have had jr's for about six years now and I have to say they have worked out well for us. Several have gone on and became good firefighters. There are alot of things they can do to help, but they need strict guidelines to follow. Yes you can get ones but you can also get bad firefighters also. It is a decision we don't regret.

  9. #9
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    I think everywhere you go to a firehouse there will be some younger folks running around...well those younger folks are gonna be the firefighters of the future boys and girls...
    My dept consists of approx 75 active members, 2000+ calls/yr.(www.stvfd.org)
    Up until about a month ago anyone under the age of 18 was considered a junior, basically a gofer on a scene, unable to actually be involved in any actual supression activities, but at the same time gaining valuable time running calls, learning equipment, taking classes and learning as much as possible and waiting for 18 to roll around.
    The county gov't has recently changed the criteria for the junior ff's, allowing anyone between the ages of 16-18 WITH FF1 certification AND meeting all departmental criteria will be allowed to operate in an R-DOT(acting as a released firefighter when operating with a company officer). This adds a whole new realm for these younger people, bringing them much closer to the fire then ever before...with an officer they may do interior attacks and anything else any firefighter would normally do. While this is still in the trial stages it has already proven to be very valuable, not only to the firefighters themselves as a confidence booster but also to the brigade as a whole, realizing that they have become a part of the hard work and dedication put forth to bring these young people to the point they are at and knowing that they are capable of preforming any tasks in front of them....

    Now we all know we may give them some ribbing now and then but hey...it's a firehouse...it happens...

    5-5-5-5


    FDNY
    Seminole Trail Fire Dept.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Our dept has juniors. I think the junior program is wonderful. It gives kids the opportunity to do something productive with their free time. It also gives them the chance to learn the basics, appliances, hose work (rolling and packing that is), and fundamentals. The only problem that I have is the maturity level. It seems as though you get a few that are lazy, smartmouthed, and already know it all. We usually get that out of them, though.

    Even though kids today are different; they would rather play video games than say ride their bike, they have few chores to do around the house, and things we did as kids are things of the past. But with all that, if you have one or two that really take an interest, and really work hard, try to learn, and keep their mouth shut and ears open, it makes up for all of the ones who cause a few problems.

    We are currently building our jr dept back to where it was 10 or 15 years ago. With members hard to find, it pays to get some started young.
    Begin with the end in mind.

    Be safe out there!!

  11. #11
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    Default Juniors...

    Our Juniors are a mixed blessing. We only have two, and the program has only been in existence for about a year. One is the son of a captain, and the other is the son of a state fire marshall. They're both good kids, and can be alot of help, except that lately (they are both nearing their 18th b-day) it seems that alot of what is required of them is "beneath" them. There is a definite attitude that they believe they can do everything as well or better as us. Maybe I'm just old-school, but respect goes a long way, and everyone should know their place! In general though, I'm happy to have juniors, and have a great time working with them and teaching them what I can.

    Stay Safe,
    CS
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

  12. #12
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    Default

    Our Junior Division has been around since 1971. Sure we have had a few rotten apples, but who hasn't. Most of our best firefighters have come out of our Jr Div program.

    Currently 8 out of our 13 officers are former Juniors, and that ratio will continue to grow.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
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    Thumbs up

    I started as a jr firemen at the age of 14. I couldn't wait till the day I could join and that was 18 years ago. I am now the 1St asst. chief. When I joined there was 12 Jr. members and it swelled to around 18. We now have around 8 Jr. members and as a hole they do well to carry their weight. Several will make great firefighters someday. I would have to agree that they need to be well supervised, but we have our jrs. train as hard as we do. 4 of our current officers were jrs firemen in there day. we have had a Jr. dept since a few years after we organized over 40 years ago.

  14. #14
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Station7Cadet's Avatar
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    Pittsville Volunteer Fire EMS Rescue Department, Inc. Pittsville MD "Pittsville Pride"
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    Default

    Be aware I am answering this as a cadet:
    In my department the firefighters do get along with the cadets but the cadets make it so hard, some of my cadets act like little punks and I know that I am sick of it I know the other firefighter are, they make it hard

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber gordoffemt's Avatar
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    Default No thanks

    We've never had "juniors" or "cadets" and I'm very glad of that.

    If I wanted to babysit, I'd stay home with my own kids. There are enough things to worry about at a fire scene than whether or not the cadets are only doing what they're allowed to do. I would not want to be the person responsible for them when one of them gets hurt trying to do something that they are not trained to do, but their "invincibility" tells them they can. You're asking for trouble when you tell a kid that he can't do something and then invite him along to watch everybody else do it.

    If the program works for you and it helps you recruit and retain, good for you. But not in my backyard.

    *The opinion stated above is mine alone.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  16. #16
    Member northhfd068's Avatar
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    Default

    Well after hearing the harsh words of gordoffemt I had to reply to stick up for all of those cadet/juniors past and present. I was at one time a junior member at the ripe old oage of 16. That was the age required to be in the program so on the day of my birthday I handed in my papers to join this fire house. Over the years,(3 to be exact...can you guess my age?) this program has helped me in so many ways I could write a book about it. As a matter of fact that is one of my goals in life is to write about how it was to grow up as a fireman. Now that I am 19 I am starting to see the young kids starting to join. I always tell everyone that I was never like that but they laugh and say hoe much worse I was then anyone they had ever had. Here I made lifetime friends who when I come home from college they are there to pick me up at the train station rather then my parents because they want to take me out on the town right away. These guys are the best anyone can ask for and I love them to death. Without being in the firehouse I would not have a summer job, someone to call at 3am to come and tow my car or someone to talk to because I don't want any parental advice. As far as scene safety goes that is up to the officers to put them in the proper situation so they can be watched and learn at the same time. I know that it made me hungry to watch these guys go into buildings and rip stuff down. I guess you can say that I am lucky because I got to know these guys on a personal level and not just a working level. They came to my high school graduation and threw a wet-down, and I got really wet, party for me before I went away to college. The program is not just about watching little kids, it's developing and changing a kid into a man with the high expectation and resposibility a fireman has. The program only works if both the company and the individual are willing to work together to achieve a common goal. So I think that I have written enough for one post so stay safe all my fellow brothers' and sisters'!!!

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