1. #1
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    Angry One of your own saying " It's only volunteer"

    I could not believe my ears. I was speechless. I blurted out something to the effect of " we volunteer to join but we are committed to professionalism." But that still did not convey what I felt. What would you say?

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    ???? I think a little more information on what it is that you are talking about would be helpfull.

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    This was a response to the member not following sop's and being
    questioned about it.

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    You mean something along the lines of:

    "Hey, you are not supposed to do that"

    "Yea, well I only volunteer here so oh well."


    Tell him that he is not Volunteering to do whatever he wants. He is volunteering to be a member of a professional team that follows rules and SOPs, unlike what he has done.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Yes what nmfire said!!

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    Originally posted by Airborne
    Yes what nmfire said!!
    Amen and Amen!
    You only volunteered when you first walked in the station and said "How do I join"....after that, one had better toe the line and learn the business from those who have been there and be a professional about it. In this line of work, a second of slack can potentially cause the death or injury of the brother or sister or citizen next to you. You could get away with something for years, but it only takes that one time for disaster to take everything.
    Career,Volunteer,Professional, whatever, Fire is an equal opportunity killer.

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    It's not a valid excuse in my book.

    Along the same lines, I get tired of hearing "We'll never...." as an excuse.

    My department is all-volunteer, rural and poor. That doesn't mean "we'll never" be faced with anything.

    Don't let someone else's poor attitude bring ya down!!




    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    "Hey, you are not supposed to do that"

    "Yea, well I only volunteer here so oh well."


    As fire chief this is on of the little things that sets me on fire. Believe me, it takes alot to set me off. About a month ago I have the same thing happen in our station. I told the guy "your right" and over there is the door! We ended up at the next town board meeting. The guy HAD 8 years in. No one wants this crap in their department, but we all face this everyday.

    I guess I was lucky, this guy never hurt anyone, but now he's bad mouthing me and my department, like I care! You must ask yourself, What kind of person would say "I'm just a volunteer" and I bet you can answer it like this, the bottom 1% of your department.

    Its not the truck, Its not the person.
    It's the heart that makes the difference

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    We have a few members that confuse the meaning of volunteer with that of "spare time"; like the volunteer that passes out magazines at the hospital or reads to the elderly. They would like to see the department stay lax, so they can be a part and not left behind.
    Now, I am not saying that those others that volunteer their spare time in other noble causes aren't doing a great thing, but there is a BIG difference compared to what is expected of a firefighter.

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    One of our Auxiliary members actually said, in our own Firehall, that we're not real firefighters because we're ony volunteer and don't get paid to do it. It wasn't said in front of any firefighters, just Auxiliary members. Needless to say she was straightened out in a hurry and advised to never even think of saying anything like that again, especially in front of us.

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    I'm with ram and everyone else on this issue.

    But imagine when it's your chief uttering those words!!

    Guess that's another one of the reasons he ain't chief no more.....
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

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    Angry I HATE this crap...

    I really really hate this sort of attitude, and all of its variants: "We're only volunteers, so you can't expect us to follow too many rules; you can't expect us to put in too much time doing things we don't want to do; you can't expect the outside world's rules (legal, liability, etc.) to really apply to us or whatever (fill in your own gripe here)."

    I hate it so much, in fact, that, last year, I resigned an officer's position in mid-year and went down the road to start over from scratch at a different fire company largely because I felt that just such an attitude was becoming prevalent (especially among some of the officers) where I was at that time (and for most of my 20 years in the fire service). I argued against acting this way, tried to educate people not to act this way, tried to set a good example by not acting this way, and eventually ruined friendships and came to verbal and written obscenities with people over it (some long stories there). Then, I just got fed up and left. That was one of the better decisions I've made recently, if anyone was wondering.

    I realize that people make mistakes, people sometimes get frustrated, things slip, and unprofessional situations arise sometimes, but I, for one, can't - and simply won't - tolerate the "we're only volunteers..." attitude as a steady diet. It's a load of b&@#*!it and it is one of the things that needs to stop, I believe, if the volunteer service is going to have a real future in the long-run.

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    Not to scare you all but you think this is an issue in the fire department, it is worse in the military reserves. And the worse part is that most units are so worried about keeping there numbers up,(Funding depends on it) That is goes by unnoticed. This is such an epidemic now, because its not stopped, and in many ways has become acceptable attitude.

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    OK, I'm trying to imagine a Volunteer firefighter tossing down the hose, walking off muttering that he is only volunteer and he doesn't have to follow orders. Now I'm trying to imagine an Army reservist throwing down his M16 and proclaiming that he is only volunteering and doesn't have to follow commands orders.

    I can't understand that way of thinking, maybe I'm just too bull headed. I figure if you love what you do, you'll want to do it to your best ability in the safest way possible and to do that, get the most and best training that you can.

    Bob, I'm proud of you, and wish you the very best in your new dept.
    MGB&KY&Y-FDNY 9/11/01

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    Originally posted by CFD14

    I figure if you love what you do, you'll want to do it to your best ability in the safest way possible and to do that, get the most and best training that you can.
    That's certainly the way I feel towards being a member in my Vol Fire Department. Maybe I'm only involved with it through volunteer, but I am going to put forth 110% effort and commitment to get trained and respond because I know just because it is volunteer that doesn't mean the lives of the people in our town and our fellow fire fighters doesn't depend on our training and commitment. So maybe it is only volunteer financial wise, but I am sure if this fire fighter who believes it is "only volunteer" were to inadvertantly cause the death of a fellow fire fighter, he would feel different towards his usuall attitude of "we'll never face that" or "why do we need to know that"

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    Well he is right we are just volunteer.

    We just volunteer to join, and with that we just volunteer to follow the rules set by our departments. We just volunteer to run the calls in the middle of the night, we just volunteer to do everything that is involved with being "just volunteer".

    I am damned proud of being "just volunteer", and do it to the best of my ability. That kind of attitude has no place in the "just volunteer"
    fire service.
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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    Cool

    I first joined the Volunteers in 1986 stayed in for three years and the got out, I have since re-joined in another Dept. and yes
    I VOLUNTEERED (LOL) Why did I do it so I could ride those Big Red Fire Trucks (Kidding), No realy it was for the caliber of people that I wanted to be around.

    All My F/F friends agree that if you joined the Volunteer FD. to just have the status of being a Fire Fighter or a Woo Woo the you are the type of person that would get sombody into real trouble or cost someone there life and so this service is not for that kind of person.

    Being a Volunteer does not mean a free ride it means that in your heart you are willing to do somthing for free and to give back

    And by the way I do get paid for being a Volunteer Fire Fighter,
    When I go into a burning home and come out with a child (alive)
    and the parent come's up to me look's me in the eyes and say's
    Thank you for giving me my child back and God Bless You
    That's why Im JUST A VOLUNTEER

    Be Safe
    Winger

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    How many on here get the feeling that we could accomplish twice as much with half the number of people? IE if we got rid of the deadweights and hangersons and the trouble makers that undermine moral and discipline in every volunteer dept, then the rest of us that remained could achieve a lot more for the benefit of our community. Certainly the officers in my dept would be able to achieve a lot more if they didn't have to spend so much time sorting out disputes between members and trying to control the rebels who think that rules are made for members other than them.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    I'm a volunteer. I have been in the fire service for 11 years and I am also an Instructor. Killer phrases like "I'm only...",or "It's only..." has no place on the fire service. Whether we are paid or volunteer we are all professionals and should act that way. We all start at the bottom and work our way up. I'M ONLY A VOLUNTEER, THAT IS CALLED TO ASSIST PAID DEPARTMENTS. We do have standards that we should live up to in the public eye, and there is no place for the I'm only attitude.

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    Angry volunteer

    Nothing makes me madder than when some rumdumb says " we are only volunteer" Thats true until the bell rings than there is no difference between a volunteer dept and a carrer dept.

    And if anyone wants to challenge that fact I will be happy to compare training and exprience with anyone. I'm not saying I have done it seen it all but I have been around a fire scene or two.

    I don't care if collect a paycheck or pay union dues or just like helping people its the same job.

    What it comes down to is a fire is a fire or a wreck is a wreck no matter if it happens in Little town America or it happens in Big town America. Thanks for letting me vent!!!
    " Be safe brothers, WE ALL GO HOME"

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