1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    19

    Default Enough of the Double Standard

    I a sick of reading LODD NIOSH reports due to the same cause and effect over and over again, lack of trained firefighters, drivers, or officers making decisions that get themselves or others killed or injured.
    Why is it in EMS that personnel must work to the level of their training (ECA, EMT, or EMT-P) while firefighters, drivers, or officers can basically show up and go to the scene with often deadly results.
    If firefighter safety is going to stay a state issue versus a federal one, then states must adopt minimum standards for different levels of firefighting just as they have for EMS.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default Re: Enough of the Double Standard

    Originally posted by dufferfbfb
    I a sick of reading LODD NIOSH reports due to the same cause and effect over and over again, lack of trained firefighters, drivers, or officers making decisions that get themselves or others killed or injured.
    Why is it in EMS that personnel must work to the level of their training (ECA, EMT, or EMT-P) while firefighters, drivers, or officers can basically show up and go to the scene with often deadly results.
    If firefighter safety is going to stay a state issue versus a federal one, then states must adopt minimum standards for different levels of firefighting just as they have for EMS.
    Excellent point!

    Unfortunately, this is going to occur over and over again because of different factors...

    Politicians who think with their wallets instead of their brains.

    Chiefs who kowtow to the politicians and forget where they came from.

    Electing officers by popularity instead of by education, training and experience.

    Ignoring established standards.

    Failure to adequately staff apparatus.

    Failure to maintain apparatus and equipment.

    Failure to keep ourselves physically fit to do "da job"

    Lack of training, fire prevention efforts, and public fire education efforts.

    Lack of background checks (especially for the volunteer ranks)

    Complacency at incidents.

    Failure to properly wear PPE.

    There are many more factors... anyone else?
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 12-19-2003 at 06:00 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    31

    Default EMS Standards / Fire Standards

    This brings up a good point. There are many parts of the fire service similar to EMS which aren't regulated as closely...

    EMTs / Medics must recertify/relicense every other year. A Fire I certificate is good for life.

    Ambulances must be inspected and licensed annually. Stick a red light on anything you want and call it a fire truck.

    Ambulance Call Reports are often reviewed for quality assurance. Going against protocal is often grounds for termination. Fire run forms are often used only for statistical purposes.

    Others?

    Turk II

  4. #4
    Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Gonzo, I think you are talking about my former department. These guys keep the tow trucks and hospital emergency rooms in business. When you ask them about what happened the answers have nothing but excuses. Some people can do no wrong. The lord has blessed them, no LODDs so far and I pray we never have any.
    IACOJ (ret)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    Police powers in most states, too.

    Connecticut at a legal minimum of 480 hours I think is behind the curve now (we were near the top 20 years ago) -- I've seen 600-800 hours in other states for mandated training to be a entry level, unrestricted Police Officer.

    The differences?

    Couple. EMT dudes operate under strict regulations because they're "Practicing Medicine" -- State Medical Societies get involved 'cause they don't like people stepping on their turf.

    Police get regulated 'cause they're in the courts & legal system day in day out. Lawyers like rules.

    And when EMTs and Cops screw up, they obviously kill & injure other people. We just kill ourselves and blame the fire for the rest of the casualties.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    Ok, while I'll agree with the logic that our Training should be required and refresher training mandatory....one problem.

    We continually fail to learn from the lessons our brothers have paid for with their blood. Mindset goes a long way toward improving your training and abilities, and for some reason we (not all, but you know a few) are comfortable saying, "yeah, that was him, it won't happen to me" and "we have been doing things this way for a long time, why should we change things".

    Then of course there is the tremendous amount of time we spend training for things that may never happen, or happen very infrequently. Now don't get me wrong, all training has value. But when a guy can't dress the hydrant right, but can tell you the right way to rig a 2 to 1 mechanical advantage...maybe there is a problem.

    When departments are not using all the tools in their arsenal to Size Up and attack fires.....maybe there is a problem. When we complain that the cops have it easy cause the get all the grants....maybe there is a problem.

    We, as a service, need to convince the powers that be that mandatory training and refresher training for Firefighting is essential. Then we have to embrace that concept on our own. No thats backwards...we have to accept it first, as a service, then sell it.

    The fire Service has never been able to present a good, solid front to the Pols. There is always the argument that a Standard is too tough for the vollies to live up to. Or that one Standard can't adequately cover both sides of the Service. Does anyone, for one second, think that fire gives a poop if you are career or vollie? Does anyone think that that training Standards should be different?

    People will ultimately pay for the level of Fire Protection they think is necessary. Likewise they will support and pay for the level of training they think is required. We, all of us, need to convince 'em that more training is needed, that the Standard is too low.

    Dave

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    Originally posted by hfd66truck

    People will ultimately pay for the level of Fire Protection they think is necessary. Likewise they will support and pay for the level of training they think is required. We, all of us, need to convince 'em that more training is needed, that the Standard is too low.
    I certainly agree, but I think you have to add that people will always be limited by what they can afford, and they must be taught to recognize when they should be stepping back and letting it go as a result.

    Many small communities struggle with finding funding for NFPA compliant equipment and training. The traditional rural mentality has been to "find a way", and "make it work". Rural and small-town firefighting has often involved running a portable pump out of Billy-Bob's pickup truck. This is still not far behind us today. Any of the departments in my neck of the woods could find themselves overwhelmed at any given time with little to no backup to call upon. These are the times when you start taking shortcuts, and eventually the problem catches up to you. You are short on experienced officers to promote, and so you soften your policy on recruiting officers. The next thing you know, FF's or members of the community are dead.

    The headlines are full of these issues every day, and the aren't going away. I personally don't think they ever will. I can't speak to the problems with f/t FF's, but you will never be able to train every vollie FF to the ideal standard. Turnover and lack of volunteerism will always be prevalent in the industry, and policy and standards will only be as strong as your current roster. Small towns will always run with outdated equipment. That is just the sad truth, and no amount of "convincing" will ever wring enough cash from the pockets of the overtaxed public to completely satisfy the need.

    The problem in my view doesn't come from a lack of training and equipment, but rather from the inappropriate use of existing training and equipment. Teaching your guys that a dead hero helps no one is just as important as teaching them how to fight the fire.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    Originally posted by hfd66truck

    People will ultimately pay for the level of Fire Protection they think is necessary. Likewise they will support and pay for the level of training they think is required. We, all of us, need to convince 'em that more training is needed, that the Standard is too low.

    Dave
    I think this statement really points to the crux of the matter.

    Yes, people are willing to pay for the level of protection that they think is necessary - but how many members of the voting public know what that means in practical terms?

    A town near me is struggling with that problem now. They have just split their public safety department into separate police and fire departments. They have spent $10 mil. plus on city parks, but don't know if they can come up with the $40,000 or so a year that they feel they can hire a competent fire chief for. Right now they can't even scrape together 12 firefighters (in a combination department of 20 paid and 12 volunteers)for a first alarm.

    I honestly think that they would be willing to cough up some more money for their department but for their ignorance of the level of protection they actually have vs. what they could have.

    This department, like every other department in the country, will be expected to take on scenarios far beyond their capabilities because no one has said "we can't do that".
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    Yes, people are willing to pay for the level of protection that they think is necessary - but how many members of the voting public know what that means in practical terms?
    Bingo..!

    Most don't. Why? 'Cause we do a ****ty job of informing/teaching/selling ourselves, what we do, and how we do it.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    NFD159's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northwood, OH
    Posts
    253

    Default

    Bingo..!

    Most don't. Why? 'Cause we do a ****ty job of informing/teaching/selling ourselves, what we do, and how we do it.Bingo..!
    Agreed, but whats the solution? Our residents don't know anything other than if they call 911 we show up. They don't know that the guy/girl that gets off that truck/ambulance or whatever may not have the training or knowledge to handle the problem at hand,or may be from a neighboring department because mutual aid had to be called because their town dosen't have the manpower or equiptment needed.
    Last edited by NFD159; 12-19-2003 at 11:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    Originally posted by NFD159


    Agreed, but whats the solution? Our residents don't know anything other than if they call 911 we show up. They don't know that the guy/girl that gets off that truck/ambulance or whatever may not have the training or knowledge to handle the problem at hand,or may be from a neighboring department because mutual aid had to be called because their town dosen't have the manpower or equiptment needed.

    Why don't they, because we don't tell 'em.

    Get in bed with your local media. Start a Citiziens Fire Academy. Use all the tool sin your toolbox. Invite the Pols in for coffee, show 'em what you do. There cannot be a stone left unturned. Start locally work globally. If we can all start doing this, then eventually we will acomplish our goal. Will we convince everyone? No. But there are a lot of people that we will.

  12. #12
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    Originally posted by ullrichk
    A town near me is struggling with that problem now. They have just split their public safety department into separate police and fire departments. They have spent $10 mil. plus on city parks, but don't know if they can come up with the $40,000 or so a year that they feel they can hire a competent fire chief for.
    ullrichk- Check your mailbox. I sent you a PM.

  13. #13
    Member
    RedBank24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Yes, people are willing to pay for the level of protection that they think is necessary - but how many members of the voting public know what that means in practical terms?
    Part of the problem is people don't know if they aren't getting the proper protection because we are the only profession where even if you screw up the public is going to pat you on the back 99.9% of the time.

    I have been on fires we ran mutual aid to where the IC honestly burnt people out because they wouldn't know their anus from a hole in the ground, then have to look away when the homeowner came up and patted us on the back and said "hey...good job. You did all you could do."


    There's always the .1% of the public who does know....but one day the rest of them is going to get wise and there's a bunch of fire departments out there who are going to be in for a rude awakening.

  14. #14
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    randleman, nc, usa
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Gonzo I agree with you 100%.... We have officers in our dept that are not even at a Level 1 status and they are shouting orders on every call. We run a lot of medical calls as well and we only have 2 officers that are at the EMT level... Makes for a great scene when the OIC has no idea what is going on or stays in truck "because it's only a medical call"!!!!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register