1. #1
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    Default Juniors, Explorers, Rookies, and the diffrences between

    Please forgive my ignorance with this, but I hear all these diffrent types of crew members. I understand that Explorers are affiliated with a BSA type group. So, what is a Junior Fire Fighter exactly?

    It sounds as there are many more people involved in the FD then the guys who drive the red trucks and get in the hot stuff. I want to become a FF, but im working on my EMT/Paramedic first. Im 23, so I think im out of the junior FF range, but is there something for me to do a the FD? I would be happy to help the guys clean and such, in return for hanging out with them, and learning, mabye running a couple calls.

    So is there something like this for older people, or just kids (no offence intended to younger members, yall know much more then me).

    Thanks for the info, and again, forgive my ignorance, I just realized that FF/EMS was what I am supposed to do with my life.

    Russ

  2. #2
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    Hi Russ.........well mostly it goes like this .......but it certainly will differ through the great land of ours but 'round here Explorers are sponsored by the BSA. For places that have non sanctioned programs they are sometimes refered to as juniors. Cadets may also be in this category or they may be the offical name for porbationary FF who are on the job awaiting completion of said period.
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  3. #3
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    Most Explorer programs are through the Boy Scouts and follow their guidelines, and they exist in both the fire and police departments. However, I've heard of a few departments changing over to non-BSA sanctioned programs because they don't agree with the BSA's politics. Explorers generally participate in both department-wide and special training activities to learn about the police/fire service, may participate in ride-alongs (depending on the department) and assist with non-emergency duties.

    Junior FF programs, so far as I understand it, operate in a similar fashion but are department-specific programs. We don't have any such programs in our area that I'm aware of.

    In our department, Trainees are the first level of official involvement with the department. Typically, we have individuals come as guests for 3 to 6 months to learn about the department and watch, but not participate, in drills (except occasionally as a patient in an EMS drill). They're then given an application, and if they pass the background check and physical/psych evaluations, they're made a Trainee. Trainees participate in training and routine maintenance, and may respond to the station during calls. They generally don't respond to the scene, but may assist with non-emergency duties (rolling hose, staffing the EOC, filling SCBA bottles, etc.)

    After 3-6 months as a Trainee and if their Captain recommends them, they're eligible for a vote by the membership to be moved up as a Probationary FF.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Thinking about this has opened another question in my head. What would be the best way to go about obtaining my career goal of Fire Fighter. Where I live it is mostly city FD's. I was considering getting my FF1 cert on my own, then trying to get hired. Would it be better to approach a FD and try to "hang" out with them and eventually get into some training? Should I find a close by Volunteer FD to sign up with and serve with them while getting trained? Do you have to live close to Volie Departments, I think the closest ones are about 30 mins away. I am allready an EMT-B, and have plans of starting Paramedic school in the near future, but if I can get some experience, at least ride along experience, I think that would be great before starting medic. It would also give me a foot up on FF.

    So, whats a 23 year old EMT to do? Suggestions for getting into the Fire Service? I appreciate it, this is something that I am dying to do, but am not sure the best way to go about it.

    Thanksa again all,
    Russ

  5. #5
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    I was considering getting my FF1 cert on my own, then trying to get hired. Would it be better to approach a FD and try to "hang" out with them and eventually get into some training? Should I find a close by Volunteer FD to sign up with and serve with them while getting trained?
    In Colorado, at least for any volunteer departments around my area (from as far as Colorado Springs), is (for most Volunteer Fire Departments) you have to have a CPR/AED, Haz-Mat Awarness, and Firefighter One. I know very few FD's that are anywhere near my area that don't require Firefighter One. My local FD requires EMT-B and heavily suggests (although they don't say, the paid FF's say if you don't have it, you don't get hired most of the time) that you have a ***. in Fire Science (you go through their own Fire Academy for Firefighter One).

    I would best advise, since you already have EMT-B which is great, that you get your Firefighter One on your own and go to a voluntter FD. Still, from what our paid FF instructors said during the Fire Academy, is there is still a seven to nine year wait to get onto a paid department, regardless of age. And yes, volunteer experience helps a lot!
    "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."

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  6. #6
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    The requirements vary greatly from one part of the country to another. You need to learn what is required where you live (unless you plan to move).

    How do you get hired? You have to pass a test. The best way to prepare for a firefighter examination is to take firefighter examinations whenever you have the opportunity. Most exams do not test your knowledge of the fire service. They are used to determine if you have the intelligence to become a firefighter and successfully complete the academy. Some Civil Service boards will give you credit for military service, paramedic certification, residency, etc. but that is about it. I know of no departments in my area that give an advantage to an applicant with a fire science degree. That may not be the case in other parts of the country. (Note: A degree in fire science does become valuable once you become a firefighter and start taking promotional exams.)

    IMHO, I would not pursue FF1 on my own. I have taught in firefighter academies for 20 years and most require a sponsoring department before you can even be admitted. This could be costly for an individual since you would have to provide your own set of turnout gear and an SCBA. Most paid departments in my area would require you to attend an academy after being hired since FF2 is considered the minimum requirement.

    You mention that there are no volunteer departments in your area. Another thing to investigate is if any of the paid departments have an "auxiliary" program. Some of the larger cities in my area have auxiliary firefighters who can ride with assigned companies, attend monthly training sessions and respond to multiple alarm fires, when called. Some paid firefighters frown on auxiliaries while others encourge their participation. You can find out more by talking to a number of firefighters within the department.

    The important thing for you to do at this point is to find out about the opportunities and requirements in your local area. The second thing is to start taking every firefighter exam you see listed. That is the key. A high score on the test is what will open the door for you.

    Good Luck

  7. #7
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    The requirements vary greatly from one part of the country to another.
    That is very true. It seems that Colorado, even for the very basic of volunteer departments (unless you don't plan on going anywhere else\ in the Fire Service) require Firefighter One before you can get on.

    I was talking with a PA Volunteer who was taken aback by Colorado's requirements. It seems that in PA, requirements are more relaxed (hence Junior Firefighters). In Colorado, to even ride with a Fire Department, you have to be 18 years of age. If there are different laws to this rule, then I haven't seen them or heard about them. A lof of FF's (at least the ones I talk to) do not like, as they say, "liabilities," Junior Firefighters and Fire Cadets coming under that title as well.

    I've seen a trend here in Colorado and a few instructors/FF's agree. If you want a future, beyond volunteer, then you better have the following before you think about testing seriously:

    - ***. in Fire Science (almost always required for most paid FD's; at least they highly suggest it, best advice is to just get it)

    -EMT-Basic (experience, i.e. private EMS or public EMS, HELPS A LOT. Just don't get it, but get some experience.)

    -Firefighter One (Unless they send you through their own Fire Academy, however the experience with the Fire Academy will HELP A LOT.)


    -Jason
    "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."

    "One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." - Henry Ford

    "Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there...and light the bloody thing yourself." - Sara Henderson

    "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings...to bind up the broken hearted." - The Healing One

  8. #8
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    Thank you gentlemen for your opinions. I didnt realize that my location wasnt posted. If it helps I am in Cleveland Ohio. Both of your posts make much sence, but I am still confused. My long term goal is to be a career FF/Medic. That being said, I dont mind volunteering, and would love to do so. Having a good paying Medic job, and volunteering would be great too. As long as I have my hands in EMS and Fire somehow ill be happy. I am currently an EMT-B, and I plan to start Paramedic school this winter. I am putting myself through Paramedic, and am not associated with a private company, or FD at this time.

    Questions about Volunteer stations-
    Do you have to live close to, or in the city you are serving? Like I stated before, the closest that I know of is about 30 minutes away. This would suck for responce times. Do vollie stations have on call times, where I would need to be in the city or at the station, for people who live far away. My full time job is in downtown Cleveland, and im poor, so moving isnt a viable option.

    All (or at least most) of the City Career FD's around the area are full (not hiring), as far as I know. As I understand it, the area is saturated with Firefighters. Thats one of the reasons I thought of going through FF1 myself, so by the time I was done, mabye someone would have an opening, and allready having the cert would give me an edge. But as HM said, I doubt I could affort it.

    Too many options (I guess thats better then not enough). Just dont know which way to go. But the bottom line is the same across the board. Some way, some how I WILL be a Firefighter/Paramedic, and that thought is what will carry me through all the decisions, schooling, and hard work. I cant wait.

    Thanks,
    Russ

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    Cleveland is not hiring (they are actually laying off firefighter) but the suburbs are. Berea has an exam next month (August 2004). They require that you be a paramedic by your appointment date (shouldn't be a problem), that you live within 25 miles of Berea (you're already there) and that you pay $25 to take the test. Sounds like a golden opportunity to me.

    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/bereaf...mployment.html


    The city of Westerville (N side of Columbus) is offering a test August 28. They are supposed to have a firefighter application packaged available at www.westerville.org , but I haven't seen it yet. Westerville is 2 hours for Cleveland, but I've driven further to take a firefighter exam.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by HM604OH; 07-21-2004 at 11:27 PM.

  10. #10
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    In Colorado, at least for any volunteer departments around my area (from as far as Colorado Springs), is (for most Volunteer Fire Departments) you have to have a CPR/AED, Haz-Mat Awarness, and Firefighter One. I know very few FD's that are anywhere near my area that don't require Firefighter One. My local FD requires EMT-B and heavily suggests (although they don't say, the paid FF's say if you don't have it, you don't get hired most of the time) that you have a ***. in Fire Science (you go through their own Fire Academy for Firefighter One).
    Compare that to my combination department where we have no requirements for FF1. The paid personel are supposed to have at least First Responder medical training but FF1 isn't required. Vollies can serve for years and get voted into Officer positions without ever taken a written test given by any school.
    Everywhere you go has different standards. Good luck.

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