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  1. #1
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    Default What are your Firefighting principles?

    About what makes you tick with respect to the fire service, what principles do you hold steadfast too on the issues below. They need not be eloquent but just to get an idea of where you stand on major issues. I will list mine.

    Fireground Operations: Strong aggressive interior attack coupled with ventilation. This judgment must be based on sound risk-benefit analysis.

    Training – A strong proactive approach to training that emphasizes, as much as possible, hands on approach. Training officers must be selected for their experience, teaching ability, knowledge, and understanding of fire dynamics. Training should not be performed to get training done, but rather for the purpose of learning and applying what is learned.

    Fire Chief – A leader who can get the job done and inspires the department. We do not need managers though the chief should have basic management skills. If the chief does not understand why one of his or her companies is performing an evolution on the fire ground then he/she is out of touch.

    Requirements for Chief – Experienced in firefighting and other areas related to the fire service, i.e. – Hazmat, Medical, etc. A Bachelors degree or higher. Oh, and no degree by mail.

    Hiring firefighters – A complete background check including a psychological examination and polygraph test. NO QUOTAS! Person must be able to pass entrance exams and show a desire to serve.

    Promotions – Civil service exams followed by oral interview. With respect to volunteers, I do not have enough knowledge to make a statement on their operations.

    Unions – If the department has one, join it. Be sure to read the bylaws, etc. Make sure you know what the IAFF stands for before you sign your name. I would say join and be active.

    Volunteers – I believe the majority are good firefighters and very dedicated. I say that based on area’s I have visited and watched in action. Career versus volunteer? Personal choice.

    Federal Funding – A requirement and much needed but local government should not feel like they do not have the responsibility to fund emergency services. Also a proponent of private donations to the fire service.

    Progress – Important and vital. However, progress for progress sake is not good for the service.

    Tradition – An important and vital item. We should seek to preserve our roots while embracing new ideas that are proven.


  2. #2
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    Default

    A good list for the most part. I agree with what you wrote except for the following...

    Promotions - Civil service exams followed by oral interview...

    And then their performance is reviewed. They're up to the challenge on the test and in the interview, but are they up to the challange in the field? Will their people follow them? Do they have rapid decision making skills or do they need 20 minutes to solve a problem that needs an answer in 30 seconds?

    'Can they lead' cannot be determined by an exam or interview.

    Federal Funding - A requirement and much needed

    Absolutely no federal funding for local fire service - unconstitutional as heck.

    Fire protection is a 100% local issue and should be funded locally 100% either through taxes or donations or both.

    Why is it the responsibility of the citizens of Dallas Texas to fund projects for the Phoenix FD when the Dallas FD doesn't have enough funding to pay it's personnel properly? (just to pick two departments)

    Why should the citizens of Upper Unkton have money confiscated for Lower Unktons new truck when Upper Unkton needs one just as bad or worse?

    100% of the communities in the US are funding their fire protection to the level that community wants.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Do the job, everybody goes home.

  4. #4
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Smoke286 has a good point.

    HmmmmJLT..I think we may agree on some of this stuff.

    If I dont comment on them....you can "ASSUME" that I agree

    Chief Qualifications
    I do not feel.....strongly... That a degree is required. You can be a good Chief without a degree. You can be an effective leader with a degree. I am not going to get into the debate on the "Mail Degree" but it is obvious that in light of recently debated issues, there are very effective fire service leaders who have not graduated from big name schools. No one ever questioned their credentials until recently because everyone "assumed" they had the "big degree" I have been exposed to "leaders" that could not lead a colony of ants to a picnic and they had more credentials that you carry in a 27' moving van.

    ...off the soap box and onward

    Promotions
    Assessment centers are the way to go in my opinion. In volunteer systems, establish requirements and stick to them.

    IAFF membership
    I would support being a member and say if you join be active. But....make sure what your particular local is all about. Some are there to be a source of continuous controversy...especially in combination departments. If the local is for the improvement of conditions for the firefighters and works toward betterment of the benefits etc....then go for it. If their mission is to party and continuosly try and decide where the next party is or how drunk they can get at convention...avoid it. just my opinion here
    folks.....don't get off the subject and go balistic on me.


    Ok...I think that covers it...
    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.

  5. #5
    JTL
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    I have been exposed to "leaders" that could not lead a colony of ants to a picnic and they had more credentials that you carry in a 27' moving van.
    CapStan : You are right Cap. I think we have seen that many times over. I believe it is preferable, though not necessary, to have someone who has received a college education because in the future it will be a standard. By no means does a college education "define" a leader. Its just my humble opinion that as we move forward, it is a good idea.


    MONGO


    Absolutely no federal funding for local fire service - unconstitutional as heck.

    I believe that you are correct. That is my Conservative political philosophy. I should have stated that since it is being offered it should be utilized. One point though: Our national defense has become more important now, in the wake of 11 September, than at anytime since the end of the cold war. The fire service must be considered a part of our national defense. How do we integrate the two?

  6. #6
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    This is something I still can't understand. We in the fire service are always saying we don't have enough funding, but when the federal government FINALLY makes money available, people make a big scene saying that it's unconstitutional and that fire funding should be the perview of local and state governemnts. Can we make up our minds on this issue? Federal funding is used for police departments, and has been for years. What's the difference if taxes from the people of City 1 help pay for fire protection in City 2?

    The way I see it, as long as SOMEBODY benefits, why are we arguing? Aren't we in this profession for the public good anyways? Or is federal funding only unconstitutional if your neighbor gets a grant but you don't??

    Let's put the political BS away and do our jobs.
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

    --Kurt Vonnegut

  7. #7
    JTL
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    trumpeter75 Said:

    What's the difference if taxes from the people of City 1 help pay for fire protection in City 2?
    So you would pay higher taxes so Cleveland could have more equipment? Its a political philosophy.



    Let's put the political BS away and do our jobs.
    Is that not whats going on now? It seems people are doing the job. The federal money is there for now. It will not be forever. My hope is that local and state governemnts don't say "Hey, we no longer have to spend because the feds will do it". This is a discussion, not an attempt to end federal funding. That will happen of its own accord.

  8. #8
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    You're right; this IS a discussion. I didn't mean that the feds should take over all fire funding. You're absolutely right, local and state gov't should still be the main source for this money.

    As for paying taxes so that Cleveland can have more equipment, sure, why not? It's the same system that's in place for, education, say. I pay my Ohio taxes, and then the state determines where it's needed. I don't think it should be any more controversial if the taxes are used for the fire services, or if it's federal taxes. What I guess I was trying to say in my clumsy way was that taxes are taxes are taxes, and whether federal, state, or local they work the same way. But the minute you start talking about giving this federal money to the fire service, people get bent out of shape; I don't know why. Volunteer pride? Professional pride? Pride and honor have historically caused more problems than they've solved.

    I guess I'm trying to say, why not take advantage of the federal money while it's available? It's not unconstitutional for the federal government to help out where needed. And there's a LOT of fire departments that need it.

    Anyway, this thread was about principles. Mine on funding are: take the money and run if it's offered to your department. And the people who don't get grants this year might get lucky next year.
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

    --Kurt Vonnegut

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