Thread: Ride Alongs

  1. #1
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    Default Ride Alongs

    I know that some EMS providers allow people who are interested in becoming EMTs to ride along. Also, most police departments do it.

    However, I contacted the paid department close to me and inquired about it and they said they do not provide ride alongs. I explained that I am a certified FF (same level that is needed to be part of this department), but they said no. Mainly because of insurance.

    I was wondering if other paid departments have the same restrictions. I think it would be interesting, especially for volunteers, to have the chance to work with paid departments.

    I do not mean that they would do interior work, that is a team effort which the "rider" has not been prepared. But there are many other things that need to be done at the fireground.

    Just wondering.

    Thanks

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    I havn't tried to go on any ride alongs but I know people who either have or have tried and mostly what I have discovered is that in the midwest the departments are extreamly scared that something would happen on a ride along so I don't know of any departments in the midwest (MN, SD, IA, WI) that allow them.

    However, I hear all sorts of great stories about guys riding along in Boston and NY and many other east coast cities. Granted, this may be firefighters riding with firefighters and not people who want to be firefighters riding with firefighters (I don't know if that makes a difference or not).

    I guess it never hurts to ask. Good luck.

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    Default ride outs

    Vollie,
    My Department has the same rules as most around here, absolutely no rideouts for Fire Apparattus. Our EMS division offers rideouts for certain paramedic students but thats it. I think you nailed it on the head when you guessed that insurance was the issue here.

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    We don't have any ride a long programs in my dept either. We do have a "commandeer" clause though.

    Basicly, it allows an officer to "commandeer" any certified firefighter that happens to be in the station or on the scene of an emergency call. One caveat, you have to make sure this clause is in the insurance your dept carries. Once they are commandeered, they are considered members of our department with full insurance coverage during the call.
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    Some of my buddies on the vol FD did a ride along in Chicago. The didnt get the ride the trucks, they had to ride with the Chief in his car. They had a blast.

    They has some connections though, I dont know if this is the normal ride along.
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    We do that too 4BUGLES...the "commandeer" clause thing.We only do it becuase of our rediculously low understaffing and when other firefighters visit our Dept and we happen to get a call with with few of our members to "answer it" then the "commandeering" thing comes into play.So it kinda benefits us a little bit.Our VFIS insurance guy(Bob) is pretty lenient on alot of things under certain circumstances...but yes...usially "ridealongs" are a VERY big issue.

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    My volly department does not allow any ride alongs. I can remember as a younger kid though going on some great ride alongs. My first ride along was with and engine company in Harlem, I was only like 9 so I don't remember the company. But some other ride alongs I did were with 44 truck in the bronx and 48 engine in the Bronx. One day I even caught a 3rd alarm on arthur ave. Those ride alongs hooked me!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default I have yet to do it...

    ...However the plans are in the works to ride with my friend who works for:

    St. Louis Pumper Co. 28 - H & L 15

    I am extremely psyched about this! 28's is the busiest co. in the city and average between 10-30 calls a day...and from what I understand, approximately 2 calls a shift are working structure fires... So yeah, I'm looking forward to that! I think they are 30th busiest engine in the Nation as well if you look in Firehouse Magazine for the 2003 run survey...

    I also have connections to ride with Memphis,TN next time I go down. I am looking forward to that as well.

    As far as my department goes...We allow ride alongs for whenever an "approved rider" is at one of our stations. They MUST sign a release of liability waiver and be approved by the chief through an application process. But after that, they are clear to ride whenever they are with us.

    Anyone wanna come ride?
    LREngine135
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    Thanks to everyone who responded. It sounds mainly that ride alongs are not allowed. I can understand and respect this, a fireground is a dangerous place, even for the experienced.

    I appriciate you openness and honesty to me.

    Thanks

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    i'm on a volunteer dept. i've done several ride alongs with chicago fire. a buddy and i rode with a squad company and got up close. after we rode enoug times with the same shift and earned their trust and respect they alowed us in on some overhaul and some minor fires. i learned alot and and have some experiences i'll never forget. to do this you'll need to fill out some paper work. cotact the chicago fire commissionr's office for info.

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    We don't have any ride a long programs in my dept either. We do have a "commandeer" clause though.
    As the fire department is a state-wide run thing out here, the great thing we have is that all 60,000 of our firefighters are able to ride at any of our 1,200 stations without having to worry. I've heard stories of vol stations being paged out for a going structure fire, having a full crew with no driver, having a firefighter on holidays from the other side of the state drive by and pull in to "See what the deal"... who ended up saving the day.

    We also have entire stations, especially ones centered in major tourist destinations (like snow fields) whose lifeblood is firefighters on holidays. Some will offer deals like reduced accomidation or food for firefighters if, in turn, they take a pager and run with the station for the week or so they're in town. No big deal anyway as these stations will do 50 runs in year....

    Whenever i'm going away in the state i'll shove the gear in the boot of the car and rock up at the local station to see if they need a hand. 9 times out of 10 they'll thrust a pager into your hand before you've even sat down.... It's usually good fun, as these stations will usually be in rural, remote or seaside areas and they talk to your like your a god because your station has more than one fire truck in it.....

    However, It is a little scary when you see guys running into stucture fires with just overalls on, no helmet and a CABA with the belt-strap not done up..... ahhh you gotta love hicks ;-)

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    Originally posted by GreatPlainsFF
    However, I hear all sorts of great stories about guys riding along in Boston and NY....
    Just a note here...NY as in FDNY does not have a ride along program.
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    we have the ability for ride alongs, and it is not a well known thing....mostly reserved for instructors who come in or our medical director and his residents..the person must sign a waiver of liability each tiem they ride and they are ready .....
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