1. #1
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    Default Getting Very Discouraged

    Shortly after the 9-11 attacks last year, President Bush put out a call for volunteers to help in protecting that homeland. Well, I was one who made the effort to answer that call, only to get "rewarded" with a slap in the face, which came in the form of my first physical last January which was at a time I was getting a physical conditioning program for myself underway. I even procured a blue light for my pickup ( revolving beacon style), which is still functional, but of no use to me. I intend to continue the conditioning program, even ramp it up, I am starting to wonder if my community even has any use for me at all. I am willing to take on administrative duties as a start. It has been a year since Mr. Bush issued the call for volunteers. Why I opted for my hometown department was that they were there when I needed them after my involvement in a bad traffic accident 5 years ago and I do want to give something back to them and my community, but have been in limbo for almost a year. It makes me wonder does my community need me for anything or what? Frankly, I am getting rather discouraged. Not trying to whine or anything like that, but I do have a strong desire to give something back to the community and it is being stymied, not just from my failure to do my homework beforehand, but a variety of things beyond mine and my hometown department's control. Right now as part of my program I now do a walk route delivering Pennysaver type publications to all the houses on my route and get a good work out loading and unloading the tote boxes I use for my inserts and made up pennysavers to and from my pick up. The walking is terrific, too. I am trying to correct what I can as a result of my physical, on which I got cleared for administrative tasks which I am ready and eager to tackle any time I get the go. I cannot help but feel a little discouraged after a year, but the desire to serve is there. After all they were there in my time of need. Is it only right that I give something in return?
    Jim Mancuso

  2. #2
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    Default

    ?????????
    Once upon a time, at a firehouse far, far away.....

  3. #3
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    Default What I am doing in the Mean Time

    What I am doing in the meantime is a walking delivery route on weekends involving a Pennysaver/Shopper type tabloid that involves a great deal of walking on a route that I divide in to several portions, each of which I park my pick up at a central location and load my bag to the maximum weight I can safely tote over my shoulder,(I estimate about 30-40 lbs loaded) and when using tote boxes with covers to handle my inserts and made up Shoppers in, each of three weighs approx. 68 lbs loaded and if all that doesn't give me a good workout, I don't know what does. At least that is a start. Nevertheless, my desire to give back to the community and hometown dept. in particular is still there. Being in limbo is getting downright discouraging and at times makes me wonder if I really am needed. That is what I am trying to get at. Besides I care about the community in which I live and the nagging question is, does the community have any use for me? That is what has been getting at me ever since I so enthusiastically tried to answer the call for volunteers. I am trying to whip myself into shape as safely as I can, I hope that will do the trick. I hope there is nothing on my last physical that is uncorrectable. That is what worries me, the effort being for naught.
    Jim Mancuso

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    Default ?????

    do you work for you hometown fire or ems dept? is you home town fire dept volli ot paid-on call orfull-time? why do you have a blue warning light??
    live free or die

  5. #5
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    Default

    My hometown department and ems are all volunteer and that is what I have been trying to do after the 9-11 events of last year and our President called for volunteers to help defend the home front and since the department was there when I had my accident on 7-21-97, I thought it would be fitting to give some service to my volunteer fire department for being there in my time of need. As for the blue warning light, I got it from my brother who had a relative who once had use for it in anticipation that I would have gone through training and have need for it to respond to calls. That is why I have the darn thing. I am debating whether to sell it or turn it into scrap metal since my last physical only qualified me for administrative duties, which would be a great start. The deparmental by laws are where the hang up is. I want to serve in any way I can and with my efforts to get in shape eventually become fit enough to qualify for at least some active duty assignments in exterior work. I hope this explains everything satisfactorilly, especially the desire to give back to my hometown department and community. I feel like I have been a "sponger" long enough.
    Jim Mancuso

  6. #6
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    Default I'll take a stab here.

    I don't know how big your town is, but it sounds like your physical condition is the main problem. If a doctor only certified you for admin. duties, that is probably the biggest problem. There really aren't necessarily a lot of admin duties in a small volly dept. Turnout gear, air packs, etc are heavy. Hose is heavy. You mentioned by-laws being a problem. What are those by-laws specifically? Also, remember, those were put into place for a reason. Are back problems what is holding you back? What have the doctors told you as a prognosis? If you cannot join the full department, could you join the auxillary and support your local department that way. I know that traditionally that is made up of wives of FF, but if you cannot be on the department, think outside the box. And you would be a big help that way as well. This could also entail following units to structure fires with coffee, water, sandwiches, etc for rehab. Something for you to consider. I applaud you wanting to help. That is why most of us volunteered in the first place. But, I think it is possible that your local department is looking out for your best interests if you cannot perform the physical aspects of the job. The job looks tough. It is tougher than it looks.

    Good luck and be safe.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

  7. #7
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    Default HI Ranger Jim

    There are other ways to support the home town other than
    the fire dept and ems. The police have aux and if this is
    not an option, try your local church or red cross chapter.
    there are lots of way to help out. I vol with the fire dept and
    my wife with the church meals on wheels and other school
    programs. So there are lots of ways to help out.
    We have an honorary ff in town with some phyicial disabilities
    he come around on sundays and help with cleaning the trucks and
    the station. I going to guess that you have join the citizen corp.
    org for fema. They have a few ideas that may be of interest to you.
    check them out.

    well take care and hang in there.
    Gods Speed to our Troops!

    If you can't stand the heat, Get out of my way !!!
    MEMBER OF I.A.C.O.J.

  8. #8
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    Default

    I have to agree with the comments to think outside the box. The reply to consider the Red Cross is also very good. I have completed 4 of the Core 5 Red Cross Training programs and can tell you that there is much to do. After training with them you should ask about joining the Disaster Action Team which goes out to house fires and assists families with shelter and other essentials. I don't know exactly what your physical problems are but it seems that your department may be trying to protect itself from recruits who may injure themselves doing the job. Most vollie departments don't set the standards as high as the career departments when it comes to physical limitations so keep trying.

  9. #9
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    upinflames60's Avatar
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    Default

    I dont know how your local dispatch works, but it sounds like that would be a good job for you. i have a few freinds who are dispatchers. That is an excellent way to help. A good dispatcher is very benifical to the fire departments, one that can work with you instead of acting like a smart *** when your woken up in 3 in the morning by the pager and you want the dispatcher to say the address again. That is something you could check into.
    Burgess Wills
    Firefighter/EMT
    Windsor Vol. Fire Department
    Chuckatuck Vol. Fire Department

  10. #10
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    Default Update on this thread

    Since I first started this thread, I have first signed up for Citizens Volunteer Corps through the USA Freedom Corps. website and more recently reported a vacant house located on my delivery route to the Fire Department as a potential working fire waiting to happen as well as a health hazard to to its appearance as being a dump. I think I will look into my local chapter of the Red Cross as well. I also have reported two other vacant houses that have the potential of being lit by mischievous kids come this Halloween as well. So, if I have to, I will take some initiative myself, within bounds, of course and without unnecessary risk to keep the Dept. apprised of any potentially dangerous situations as I see them. Thanks and God bless everyone.
    Jim Mancuso

  11. #11
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    Default

    Jim, I'm guessin that you don't have `em up by you, but Fire Police are a seperate and very valuable resource for us down here in So.Jersey. They hafta go thru school and many women and former f.f.s who wanna be active and have the time do this.
    Perhaps you can initiate some kinda program similar to ours in your area.

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