Thread: Volunteering??

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    Question Volunteering??

    i am going to start volunteering for a local department here in the near future and was just wondering EXACTLY what it entailed.... like are there specific days worked, what i would be doing, how to better prepare myself, etc.. it has taken me this long to start this because i wanted to get my EMT-B license before i began anything and now that it is happening i just want to make sure i am as prepared as possible. any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! thanks again.

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    Default NOT TO BE A SMARTASS OR A JERK (IT'S TOO EARLY FOR THAT)

    But, if you are about to enter the world of Volunteer, the best description of duties I can offer is look in the dictionary for the definition. I am a member of a Volly station and to answer your question on "specific days" worked in particular, well other than designated meeting/training days, you will probably be on 24 hour call.

    My station runs a regular weekly practice every Thursday evening for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, and then once every couple of weeks we will have a one day weekend scheduled Duty Crew, for station, equipment and apparatus maintenance. Additional training days may be scheduled if we are doing speical training, with either Certified Instructors or if for example in September C.A.R.S. will be up Island, hosting AUTOEX 2003. So we will have a team working extra hours to hone our auto extrication skills - lots of things to cut and break in the coming weeks WWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!

    That's it in a nut shell really. As a Volly in most stations, you can expect to put a lot of hours in to get things done because usually there won't be any "day staff" to do it for you. That's not so bad, most of the time, but there will be days when you "wonder why"? Don't worry though, that's all part of it. And "what will you be doing?" Well, pretty much everything in the end. I can't speak for your specific station of course, but again, around here we only have a "regular" crew of about 12-14 so we get to do it all. Some days I'm the Pump Op, some days a line geek, and other days a tool man. That goes for us all. There is no specific rotation of duties, we just get there and get it done.

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    Talking not a smartass or jerk at all.....

    thanks for the info. it is exactly what i was looking for. basically i just was trying to figure out the best way to work it around my work schedule. i do know that as a VOLUNTEER i will be doing many of the menial tasks and such, but i also realize that i have to start somewhere... all i want to do is get experience under my belt and i want it yesterday! thanks for the advice... any others would be appreciated. thanks again!

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    Default Re: not a smartass or jerk at all.....

    Originally posted by intraining
    i do know that as a VOLUNTEER i will be doing many of the menial tasks and such
    Menial tasks???? Please clarify what you mean here. As far as I'm concerned any task done by any member, of any department is an important one. Any task issued is important to the running and upkeep of any department. I don't believe that there are any menial tasks, I believe each task to be an important one. Sure you may not be in the inner circle at a scene for awhile, and yeah you may be stuck on traffic or being the "gopher", but guess what, those are probably 2 of the more important jobs, when I'm on traffic I keep the scene safe for my brothers and sister, when I'm getting them the tools they need, I'm helping them to better do their job. I think you should re-think your view of volunteer, we do a similar job, and take the same risks as anyone else, we still train regularily and we still take great pride in what we do.
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    Default Re: Re: not a smartass or jerk at all.....

    Originally posted by PFire23


    Menial tasks???? Please clarify what you mean here. As far as I'm concerned any task done by any member, of any department is an important one. Any task issued is important to the running and upkeep of any department. I don't believe that there are any menial tasks, I believe each task to be an important one. Sure you may not be in the inner circle at a scene for awhile, and yeah you may be stuck on traffic or being the "gopher", but guess what, those are probably 2 of the more important jobs, when I'm on traffic I keep the scene safe for my brothers and sister, when I'm getting them the tools they need, I'm helping them to better do their job. I think you should re-think your view of volunteer, we do a similar job, and take the same risks as anyone else, we still train regularily and we still take great pride in what we do.
    whoa there buddy, it isn't that i have a bad view AT ALL about volunteering and i do realize that i will be doing very important jobs... i guess i should have worded it better instead of saying menial, i guess what i meant to say is that i will be in charge of the cleaning up after, etc..... i honestly could care less what they have me do, i just want to be a part of it.... sorry for the miscommunication..

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    Default RE: volunteering

    Glad to hear that you are donating back to your community . I am the assistant chief in a small volunteer community and have been done everything from running extrication to gophering tools . As it was said before all positions are important. Also rember the time you spend training and responding with your newfound brethren is time away from loved ones. Be sure to spend time with those you love between all the time spent out there serving the community

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    Default Volunteering

    Congratulations on your EMT. Will you be using that training at your Station? (Does your Department run EMS calls?)
    If you want to contribute to your Department now that you have chosen to Volunteer, plan on taking all the training you can, and try making any calls you are available for. Advance your career at a steady pace and don't "rock the boat" as the new guy. Listen to people and learn from mistakes made by you and others. There is a great Brotherhood awaiting you and You, Your Community, and Your Department will benefit from your membership.
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    Congratulations on becoming an EMT and wanting to Volunteer in your community.

    The hours, shifts, training etc vary widely depending on what part of the country you are in and what your local dept does. Some have assigned shifts. Most you are on call whenever you are available.

    There will be mandatory training, meeting, etc. Make an effort to attend all of them. Take any outside training they offer or is offered in your area.

    Start by talking to your local department, give the chief or an officer a call and talk about the requirements for getting on the department. In our department you talk to the board of directors, where they explain what will be required, types and number of calls we make, and the meeting and drills you will be attending. Then you attend 2 months of meeting and drills as an observer so we can get to know you and you can get to know us. We will then take you on as a probationary firefighter and the real fun begins.

    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Once your hooked your hooked.

    30 yrs and still loving it.
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    Definately do as much training as possible...you will lose gopher status a lot quicker when you are the one they turn to because of the training you have. I have more training hours then even I can believe, hundreds upon hundreds of hours. The really important and good starting points are, FF1, and First Responder. I went on from there to get my HAZMAT-Awareness, Vermont Emergency Care Attendant, CAMEO/ALOHA/LANDVIEW, advanced vehicle extrication, and all the required training that the dept does. I plan on advancing to EMT-B and as many other certs as I can. And I did my gopher time and traffic time, it may seem like a job that is less than desirable but the better you get at it the more the officers notice you. I didn't really realize how important traffic control was until I finally got to work at a accident scene on the interstate. Congrats on entering the Emergency Service's world and the brotherhood.
    This statements made above do not represent the agency i belong to in any shape or form. So if i say something stupid its just me.

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    Train, train, train some more, and when you're done with that do it all over again... I think some of the best training we do is just keeping up on basics, especially if you will be on a small department that doesn't run many calls. A good first step is just learning where everything is on your apparatus and knowing what it's used for. Then, when you're sent to grab a halligan, you'll return with a halligan and not a *whatever*. If you take the initiative to learn all that you can, your officers and other firefighters will greatly appreciate it.

    The line we use at my department: Keep training and maybe one day, when you're REALLY good, we'll increase your salary...from $0 to $0...

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    As everyone else already posted; training-all the training you can get. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don't understand get someone off to the side and go over it on a one-to-one until you do. Open every department on the trucks and see what is in them, find out what each tool is used for and start memorizing it. As one of the newbies I can tell you, be prepared to walk a lot of hoses, scrub a lot of hoses, roll a lot of hoses. Clean and check mask after each call and check air tanks. After trainings don't go running off, stay and help with clean up. See a mess in the firehall, clean it up. Trash needs taken out, just do it. If you do run EMS calls, be sure and keep track of what you used and make sure that what ever you used is replaced. Make sure o2 tanks are full.
    As far as wanting to know it all yesterday. I understand where you are coming from on that one. Once you actually start it is almost over whelming how much there is to learn. I go to everything that I can and it still feels like I know only a 1/8 (if even that much) of what I need to know. If I don't know something I'm not affraid to speak up and say "I don't know how but if you show me I will do it".
    My stiff new turn-out gear speaks for itself, "newbie".

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    Default Re: Volunteering

    Originally posted by AFD368
    Congratulations on your EMT. Will you be using that training at your Station? (Does your Department run EMS calls?)
    If you want to contribute to your Department now that you have chosen to Volunteer, plan on taking all the training you can, and try making any calls you are available for. Advance your career at a steady pace and don't "rock the boat" as the new guy. Listen to people and learn from mistakes made by you and others. There is a great Brotherhood awaiting you and You, Your Community, and Your Department will benefit from your membership.
    the dept's here do run EMS calls so i will be doing that, i appreciate all the feedback. i talked to and did a ride along with the dept. here and basically what i found out was that as a volunteer you are required to have at least 40 hrs a month at any given time that you can come in on shift and obviously also if you are needed in an emergency. it was definitly nice being at the station though because the O.I.C. showed me around the trucks, what was in them, what they were used for, and how to use them. now at least i have somewhat of an idea of what i am getting into.

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