View Poll Results: Should OH require more training for Volunteers?

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  • Yes - FF1 within 1 year and FF2 within 2 years.

    37 49.33%
  • Yes - FF1 within 1 year.

    28 37.33%
  • No - 1A is good enough.

    10 13.33%
  1. #1
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    Default OH FF Certification Levels

    Does anyone else think it's time Ohio updated the training and certification level for Volunteer Firefighters?

    Michigan requires their vollies to complete 240 hour Firefighter II. Why can't we? Or at least FF I.

    IMHO, the current 1-A training gives us just enough knowledge to get into trouble.

    Anyone else have an opinion on this?

    (And before anyone jumps on me, I am a Volunteer)
    Last edited by WTFD10; 11-30-2002 at 09:03 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Volunteer Training

    I do believe that Ohio should update the training requirements.
    The 36 hour class is a joke. It does not prepare people as firefighters. I feel sorry for the folks that only get their 1-A and nothing else.

  3. #3
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    Question

    what are we going to do about those who were "grandfathered in" when the state decided to organize the firefighter training, and what about those who were trained to vff before the current 1-A,1-B,1-C, came about. are they going to require them to obtain the new training?, It would be beneficial for them but if most dept. are like mine....."It aint gonna happen". I for one am all for changing the current system. most of the 36 hour ff's I have seen just know enough to get thesmselves or somebody else killed. I beleive there should be a continuing education requirement for all FF, if they dont meet the hours they get their FF certs. pulled. just like EMT's, and I also feel that there should be an age limit for being consdered an active firefighter.(that should start something :0), i just dont feel comfortable arriving on scene with a crew of 4, and of them 3 being over 60. i have ranted enough.

  4. #4
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    Default cert level

    while it would benefit all departments to move to higher cert levels ,until the state puts funding into departments with the training as prerequisite ,little is going to happen .If your dept is like many those 36 hr greenhorns will need much guidance from the experienced members,whether they have that ff1 level
    And about the age limits ,a group must be very careful not to restrict participation without cause for any reason ,let alone age . Aparently ,firedan ,you are prepared to fight fire by yourself if you dont allow older ff to respond

  5. #5
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    Default "Firefighters" term used too loosely???

    My feelings are that there should be an obvious and apparent differentiation among levels of firefighters. I am personally a career full time paid firefighter and am as proud of my profession as are other people that call themselves "firefighters" I don't see those in the medical field who don't complete the medical programs afforded the name of doctor or pysician, they are known as a physicians assistant, those that are not surgeons are surgical assistants. The list goes on and on such as journeyman, technician, auxilary, etc,etc. I am offended that my profession allows people who have little and sometimes no training to be known as firefighters. How about we call those who want to be "firefighters", but don't have the proper certifications or training "Firefighter assistants" or something other than firefighters???Would you go to someone for a cardiac condition and accept them as a physician and call them doctor if they only 1/8 of the training as those who complete the medical program???What do you think???

  6. #6
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    It seems to me what needs to be remembered is that the 1a class should only be used as a structured orientation to the fire service. 1a certification should not be the destination but instead a step in the right direction, whether the Firefighter goes on to be a level 1 or 2 or instead learns the job through training at his dept. is what is important. I am a career firefighter but have also spent a large portion of my service (T&I cert. in 1976) as a volunteer. If your department does not have a comprehensive on-going training program for its members then we have met the enemy at it is you. Also I am proud to serve with and share the title of Firefighter with any member that is willing to get up on those cold february mornings at 0200 hrs. and go and do their best to help. It is way to easy to look at a member who works 40+ hrs a week to support their family and say you need to be level 1 or 2. Remeber we are all brothers and sisters just doing what we can, it would be great if all of us could commit to training to level 2 but we have to be realistic. Be safe and watch out for each other.

  7. #7
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    1a certification should not be the destination but instead a step in the right direction, whether the Firefighter goes on to be a level 1 or 2 or instead learns the job through training at his dept. is what is important.
    PFink you are correct, however, how many Firefighters go beyond it? My experience is not many. If the state required it, they'd have no choice. My department has one two hour drill per week but how much can you get done in two hours?

    It is way to easy to look at a member who works 40+ hrs a week to support their family and say you need to be level 1 or 2.
    They do it in Michigan. They attend one or two nights a week and an occasional 8 hour session on Saturdays.


    Also I am proud to serve with and share the title of Firefighter with any member that is willing to get up on those cold february mornings at 0200 hrs. and go and do their best to help. Remember we are all brothers and sisters just doing what we can
    I share your opinion on this and chose not to reply to the post by someone who obviously has some strong anti-volunteer opinions.

    My point in this thread is that Ohio should mandate further training for all firefighters just like neighboring states do. This would provide two great benefits:

    1) ALL Firefighters would be safer, more competent and better trained.

    2) "Full Time Professional Fire Fighters" would have to find another reason to look down on those of us who are "always on call"

    Stay safe!
    Last edited by WTFD10; 01-04-2003 at 10:49 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Default OH FF Certification Levels

    My response to your post must be a problem for you, I apologize for any interpretation on your part. I am a proud IAFF Firefighter and am not ANTI-Volunteer. I was just raising another question on your topic and expressing my opinion. I just do not feel that as inherently dangerous as the job of a firefighter is that all who receive a certification of ANY level from the state should be performing the same job & duties & call themself by the same name of "firefighter". I agree that there should be more training, maybe right now there are too many certification levels????Maybe there could be mini courses or continuing education to achieve the next level of certification and duty performance. My point is the job is dangerous and safety should be priority #1, and how can it be if all levels of certification are performing the same duties and functions daily in the real world in the communities that we live in.
    Maybe those who are in charge for each community, if they really care about the community and those who will respond to fire related emergencies will do the right thing and train people to the level I&II, and won't allow those with levle 1-A or B perform duties and functions that they have not been certified for.
    I know that there is a need for firefighters other than full time paid career firefighters. Not all communities can afford to have career and/or paid personnel,I have no problem with those communities or those firefighters.

    For those who want a better understanding of the Ohio certification levels see the Ohio Dept of Commerce web site they state that "Certified Firefighters" are those issued a certificate of completion by the division of EMS. the levels are 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, Level 1, & Level I&II. There is an in-depth explanation of these levels.
    The levles of firefighters that are recognized by the Ohio Revised Code are "Permanent full-time paid", "Volunteer", & "Part-time firefighter". These are recognized as levels of employment, not certification

  9. #9
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    Cool

    I am going to stand on the other side of the fence on this one and offer a different option. It is hard enough now for many volunteer departments to recruit and maintain members. By increasing the number of hours of "basic" training, you will futher deter potential membership. However, I do agree that the 36 hour course certainly does not prepare one to go into burning buildings with enough experience to do so safely.

    What I would propose is to change the laws so that you accomplish what the 36 hour class was intended for. That would be to require additional training on a regular basis in order to maintain certification, just like the EMT certification requirements are in Ohio. As I am led to belive, technically a person can join a fire department, complete 36 hours of basic training, and never have to submit to any further training for the rest of their career. Your FF 1A certificate has no expiration date on it and the Department of Public Safety does not require you to re-certify every three years.

    So, with that in mind, I would prefer to see firefighter certifications go the route that EMT certification has gone. Have three levels (1A, 1B and 1C/2) and then require refresher or on-going training every 3 years.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  10. #10
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    ProFfrL474-

    Just a bit of clarification.....

    Ther are levels I-A, I-B, I-C, I, and II, but once you go from the I-A to the I-B, you are a FF-I. Then if you go and take the I-C, you become a FF-II. You still get the same amount of hours you would as if you went through the whole academy (240 hrs), but it's just split up.

    As for the levels per the Ohio Revised Code, that basically says that (I believe)
    In order to be a "Volunteer" FF, you must have at theast the I-A. To be a "part-time" FF, you must have at least obtained the FF-I (or I-A + I-B), and to be a "full-time" FF, you must have at the FF-II (or I-A, + I-B + I-C)

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    Default

    I do believe that yes the State does need to modify the way things are done. The FF level 1-a is slowly being phased out, and it should be, this was never a good idea. I believe that everyone (PT or volly) should get at least a level 1 card. I would then love to see the state say that you cant take the level 2 class (1-c) for at least a year or two. The experience that you gain running calls will enable you to get more out of the level 2 class.
    This is very similar to the person who takes EMT-B and then jumps right into EMT-P. They are not (my opinion) as ready as the person who worked as an EMT-B for a while.

    And just for the record, I'm a vollunteer firefighter, hold a civilian staff position at another department and am also a certified Fire Instructor.

    Scott

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    Default

    Thank you, Scott...you hit the nail on the head. The 36 hour is being phased out, and eventually will be done away with. I recently certified Level 1 and right away, a Captain at my new department told me if I wanted to hurry and sign up for Level II, one was starting...I knew immediatly, I was not ready for that just yet. Let me get my Level I skills nailed first. Give me that year...

    I also understand a possible yearly recertification is in the works...what do you guys think about that?

    The only thing that bothers me are the comments about the old-timers. Yes, they were grandfathered but they come from a time when volunteering meant exactly that. Most I know now will still not except any type of compensation for their time. And they have something a lot of us do not: years of experience. I'm more comfortable in a situation with these guys than most of the younger ones. I have a great deal of respect for the old guys, even they can't get that experience proved on a 125 question test...

  13. #13
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    Default Cert Training

    On the subject of levels of training, Yes i do agree that
    thier needs to be an increase!!! I believe that wholeheartedly.
    But the requirement for CE's, I know that it is enough of a pain to get CE's done for EMT's much less having to worry about a FF CE.

    And yes I am a part-time Firefighter(am I allowed to say that since I only have my FFI)and I am currently in class for my FFII. I believe that part of the problem is the individual departments. My department
    pushs more education and further training. If the department only cares that you have a FF1A then thats all most people will get.

    And i believe that the "Pro-Union" people need to remember that we all do the same job, just some of us get paid for it and some do it
    because the feel a need to derve the community and help others.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    Default cert levels

    i am taking my 120 may 28

    i was offered to take the 36hour

    the thing is the 36 hour is a joke as was said before and most departments that are volunteeer in my area make their firefighters go through a 120 course becasue of how bad the 36 hour certification is

  15. #15
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    Default cert levels

    just why does everyone scowl at the 36 hr class? isn't it just like military basic training
    where recruits are started on the way . nowhere in the course outline can you say that the person is ready to fight fire -just that the basics of safety and self preservation are taught along with some understanding of fire attack ,mostly the mechanics of it. it is the responsibilty of the local FD to see that the higher skill levels are taught to these new ff.
    should this be done -certainly ,should it be forced on each and every volunteer -maybe not .
    what situation would you want - a pumper being controlled by an operator skilled in water supply and operation but but not in hoseline tactics or a 120 hr cert person with few supply skills -to automatically require these extra hours for all members may not really increase the departments on scene abilities -yes it would be great for a volunteer unit to have multiple skilled people available at every position on the fireground -nozzlemen that are great at ventilation and water movement and search and overhaul but i think most departments would be happy with a crew of capable people at each needed position -a good pump operator ,good hosemen ,etc

  16. #16
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    The 36 is just enough to get you killed....120 should be the minimum for structural firefighting....as far as CE each department should have SOP'S that cover them. For example,40 hrs of training a year or you don't get to put the wet stuff on the red stuff!!!!

  17. #17
    tdfahrney
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    I am a career firefighter and have been for almost 15 years. I have also been on the volunteer side as well. I served the community that I now work for 6.5 years part-time/volunteer.

    As far as the training question I've never experienced the question you ask, I didn't wait for an orginzation to tell me what level I needed to be to be called a firefighter.

    Anyone in this business for any length of time will tell you that it really does not matter how much education we have "it's never enough". If you think that even achieving level 2 in Ohio will prepare you for what is ahead you're dead wrong. Let's face it OJT comes into play no matter where you chose to work.

    If you strive to be a fireman you will ALWAYS be in some type of school learning more stuff. If you wait on someone to mandate it you may be a hazard to yourself or others.

    IF you really want to do this job you will be getting the education on your own and not waiting on burecrats who have never been on a fire scene to decide how much you need.

    Almost every training class I attended I did so at my expense, I worked a full-time job and then went to school in the evenings for several years to educate myself and others.

    I say all this because there are people out there looking at the situatuion saying what's in this for me. IF you're a fireman there is only one thing in this for you and that's the feeling of doing the job the right way the first time and seeing it work.

    I try not to subscribe to the Vollunteer vs full-time debate. I do see merit in several previous post's reguarding experience but to say we're on duty more than you and just because we are that makes us better is just plain wrong. The only measure of a job well done is the fact that we come home the next morning and are not any worse than when we went in. Also that we saved a few along the way. Sometimes we can't.

    Try to put differences behind and ALWAYS WORK ON EDUCATIONG YOURSELF AND OTHERS AROUND YOU. You never know it may be that person who pulls you out of the hands of the fire tonight.

    WORK TOGETHER, BE SAFE,

    Dale Fahrney

  18. #18
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    Angry STANDING UP FOR THE VOLLEYS!!

    OK ProFfrL474 and others its time someone tells you how it is in reality "Or at least in Volunteer Land" since you being a "Paid Firefigher" dont seem to understand.. Yeah the FF-1A class is a joke a BIG JOKE, But you learn the basics thats why its a "Basic Fire Class". The Volleys "Like Myself" that work 40+ hrs a week and are not going to Fire School and being paid like most Paid Fire Departments, I would be fired if i took enough time off to take my 240. However I do agree more training should be done and there are some things that are not in the FF-1A that should be added. But as I was told from Retired Firefighters and also "Paid Firefighters" you dont learn how to fight fire in a class room or watching a video or anything you learn it by Doing it. You take your Rookies in with you and show them just what it does and how to properly attack the fire. My Fire Dept. is all volunteer and I would like you or any of you other Apparent Volley Haters to see some of the stops and saves we 36hr guys have made and i have seen my guys "and gals" go in a kick some ***** and knock the fire down, and I have seen them save lives and do repeling and various other things that the stupid 240hr Class teaches. And they were tought how to do this NOT by sitting in a class room in Reynoldsburg or any other training location but by Learning from doing it and Vet Firemen. But anyways I hope that this didnt offend any Paid Firemen cause we are lucky enough to have 2 Full Time Firefighters that work on our Dept as Volleys as well.. I Guess the Paid life just isnt exciting enought for them they had to come into Volleyland. . Ohh and by the way about 98% of our Department is FF-1A and thats it. Thank you

  19. #19
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    Talking Ohio Firefighting Levels

    Hey brothers,
    I feel that the 36hr class is a great class for volunteer departments, as long as the firefighters progress after their thiry six hours. For example, I joined in May 2002, and began my 36hr. class within 3 weeks. Approx. 2 months after I had passed the 36hr t I began and finished my level one trans. and am now taking my level two.
    The 36hr. gives the motivated volunteers a chance to get in the field a little bit quicker. I do agree strongly though, that firefighters should have their level 1 within their first year.

  20. #20
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    To valley09, I too am a vol in a community that gives 30 members with 2 pumpers, one tanker, a squad and a brush somewhere around 20k a year to pay for EVERYTHING. We all work 40+ a week as well as farm in most cases. But, I too have a solid, foul distaste for the 1-A. It is true that most vollies get that, maybe an EVOC and Haz awarness and call themselves "firefighter". They are not. They are a FireFighters in training. It took me 4 years, but I have my level 2, haz tech, and EMT B. As I grew and learned in this field of practice, I became more and more aware that technical competance is the key. If you ever get the chance to see (or host a seminar from) Bt Cheif Chase Sargent in his "Buddy to Boss" seminar, the light will dawn. If you can't do the business of the busniness, don't leave the house. This is a seriouse line of work, paycheck or not. You can not learn the skills as the house burns and the people jump. It is all good that you have helped your community out, and are willing to sacrifice your time. All good people help out their communities. We are good people. But when you do this stuff, it's for keeps. Go visit a burn unit for a day. Could be you, or a vic that got steamed from a vollie who didn't know vent or stream placement or.... well you get the point.The training NEVER ENDS here. If you are too busy to put in the time, or stop because the state (trust the gov?) says "that's good" then you are a statistic in waiting for NIOSH. Please, keep traing so you are safe. The 1-A is a death trap. Jason

  21. #21
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    Valley09,
    I've been a volunteer for over 20 years now. I started off before there was even a FF1-A course. It was the 36 hour "T&I" - Trade & Industrial course then. I thought I knew alot once I finished it - couldn't have been more wrong. Fortunately, the dept. I was on had lots of experienced personnel and we had twice a month mandatory training for fire and 1/month for EMS. It was those trainings and actual calls where I learned alot.

    However, that only happened because there were experienced folks to train us. If the whole department has only minimal training and minimal experience, there's no one to learn from.

    That's why education MUST continue. If you can get it from experienced members - that's good. But you're seriously wrong if you think that that's the only way to learn. The classes at Reynoldsburg and other schools have lots of hands on. If you'd been through my last FF1 class you would have pulled hose, raised, climbed, & lowered ladders, taken victims up & down stairs & ladders, and burned a house down.

    Bottom line - you need both the classes and the in-house training to be competent. Then, you need continual practice to stay proficient. This isn't anti-vollie at all. Vollies need scheduling flexibility and accessible training - NOT lower requirements.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  22. #22
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    bump..........
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  23. #23
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    Default Rethinking my position on this subject

    As I stated in a thread almost as old as this one (that Josh has not bumped... yet):

    I'm a big advocate for higher certifications for volunteers (even though I haven't made it to I-B or I-C yet) and I started a thread on this very subject back when these state forums were first put up. Since then, I have changed my opinion slightly:

    The Michigan county just to the north of me requires ALL of their firefighters to complete FF II (240) within 2 years of being hired (paid) or joining (volunteers).

    That being said, my department (most of us only have 36 hours) can run circles around some of their departments on the fireground. And I don't mean to sound arrogant when I say that.

    I feel the reason is we have required weekly 3 hour drills that build on what we were taught in the 36 hour class and much of the info taught in FF II is learned that way.

    Yes, the 240 looks great on paper and inititally you will be much better trained than a 36 hour firefighter but you must have continuing education throughout your career.

    FF I or even II would be great for volunteers but I now feel that a continuing education requirement similar to EMS would be even better.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  24. #24
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    Well put, Moe....... Actually I have heard that sometime after we are done with the FF-II class (go figure) there is a strong possibility of the state awarding certifications to people based on their amount and type of training done in-house. This would have to be signed off by an official "school" (can't think of the word I'm looking for!!), but we would most likely go to Oregon to sign off for us......

    Sorry if the post is screwed up and isn't clear what I was trying to say.......

    Had a HUGE brain-fart......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
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    They would need to be signed off by certified instructors from a chartered training facility.

    Is that what you were trying to say?

    First I heard of this...
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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