Thread: Junior "Firefighter" Program
09-24-2004, 09:48 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2004
- Empire Georgia
Junior "Firefighter" Program
Just recently, we started a junior program, ages 15-18, so they can start learning some of the ropes. We are a solely volunteer dept. that gets no money for ANY call we respond to. Well my question is, what dept.s here, if any, have this program going on. If you have this going on, what are your guidlines? I.E. you allow them to ride on your apparatus; how much can are they allowed to do on calls; fire scenes, medical, mva's. I was asking mostly tho, because I've had someone come up to me and said it was state law here that juniors could NOT be on the apparatus, and do certain things at the scene, it might even be a federal law, i don't know yet. If anyone would happen to know where I could look for this, either state (GA) or federal, I would greatly appreciate it. Im tryin to keep our dept from being set up for a law suit, should the worse happen. Thank you ahead of time everyone.
09-24-2004, 10:00 AM #2
Junior programs can be a great asset when they are managed. Child Labor Laws apply and that restricts some of what they can/can't do. Our Juniors are 16-17, at 18 they apply to become full member. There are some things they can train on, but can't do at scenes. During the school year and on school nights, we restrict them from answering calls between 11pm and 6am as we want them to get a good night sleep for school the next day. They do not wear SCBA so can't do any activity that may require that. They are shown where equipment is on the trucks and are expected to learn that. They are expected to remain with a truck/engine when they respond to a call and act as a "gopher". They assist with hydrant operations and clearing the handlines when they are pulled, making sure it's all of the truck and spread out. Myself and another FF are state instructors, so we kind of grab them and teach them as much as we can at a fire scene, when safe to do so. Of all the juniors that I know of since I was one (1982-83) more than 1/2 have remained with the company and have been assets to us.
Good luck with your program."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
09-24-2004, 11:23 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- KS, USA
From what I know of, the biggest deciding factor in what your Jr's can do is up to your insurance carrier. Call your insurance people who cover your dept and ask them, the last thing you want to do is let a Jr do something that won't be covered by insurance and have them get hurt.
Also, I know some insurance companies require you to be an actual Fire Explorer's post or have something setup with the local school district to sponsor your program.
I hope this helps. Be Safe.
09-24-2004, 04:58 PM #4
My name is Jake Hoffman, and I am a member of a fire explorer post in Ohio. I joined our post 7 months ago and have had the time of my life. We have had great training oppourtunities. Waaaay before i got on like late 80's early 90's (i think), when we just started, local companies donated what they could to us. Pilkington Glass (formerly known as Libbey Owens Ford or LOF) donated to us gear, hose, and other supplies from their industrial fire brigade. They also donated to us an old Jeep fire engine that they didnt need anymore.
Toledo Edison, power company, gave us turnouts, helmets, and Scott SCBAs from the late 80's. We have used all of this equipment and have taken great care of it all. We are availible to respond to calls all day during the week except from 10pm-6am, on the weekends, on school holidays or during summer vacation we are availible 24 hours a day. At fires we can stretch hose, hook up hydrants, retrieve tools for firefighters, perform tasks for the engineer, and help with firefighter rehab.
A great activity that we do is the Explorer Mock Disaster Day in Monroe, MI. Numerous drills are set up all day long and posts are divided into stations, with either apparatus from their department or a couple of spare pieces from departments in MI. One of the best things we did that day was put out a fire in a conversion van that had 8 tires in it and 5 gallons of gas to start it. Then they had a main disaster where a "tornado" struck and all stations were paged out in the middle of lunch. They had 20-30 victims a couple in a smoke filled warehouse, stuck under tables, wounded all over, and one sitting on a box on a telephone pole 12 feet high.
Explorers or juniors are a great way to learn teamwork, responsibility, about the fire service, and just how to have fun.------------------------------------
These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
09-25-2004, 09:26 PM #5
Well I was a Junior from 14 until this past year when I turned 19 and was placed on Active Membership....My guidelines were very few...No hotzone..Not to be on First Due for House fires...Any other calls it was fine...Not to respond on medicals unless I was the only other person on scene...Lastly was no operating power tools like Jaws etc.....If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
09-26-2004, 02:03 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
Well, I dont really know about Georgia, but here at my department in Virginia, we have been doing it wrong for a while now> About 2 months go we had some issues come up about our junior program. I looked into it. I spoke with our local Commonwealth Attorney and found out some interesting facts. The Labor laws in Va states that 14-15 year olds are not allowed to participate in any fire ground activities. 16-17 may participate but are not allowed to enter burning structures. So I went back to the department and posted that facts....If you are 14-15 stay at home when we have calls. Now with the 16 and 17 yo we have, the Department of Fire Programs in our state says that 16 and up are not allowed to participate in training unless; the county, city or town has adopted an ordinance and the department has proper insureance and proper documentation from parents on file then they can participate in the training. Well our county has not adopted that ordinance yet so we will not let our 16-17 yo juniors not do much of anything outside being "gophers" and directing traffic. I know it dont seem as if they can do much. But we had to cover our butts. We also make strict rules on grades. If you are getting a failing grade in school its the we snarl on that. We usually leave it up to the parents to deal with. However, we have a "reward" program for the juniors that achieve the honors roll. If you achieve a A honor roll receive a $50 gift certificate from walmart. Those who get a AB honor roll receive a $25 gift certificate. Before they could be on a exterior attack line with a senior member and do quite a bit of things. I know Im just raving ong about this but the advise I have to you is like someone said before, check with your state Child Labor laws and your local ordinances. Hope this helps alittle.
09-27-2004, 03:06 PM #7
Get in touch with the Boy Scouts of America to get some assistance in establishing an Explorer Post. Along with the support they have to offer from other their experience with such programs, they also bring along an insurance policy to cover your members who may be injured while participating in the learning experience the Explorers offer. IMHO, it makes no sense whatsoever to run a "junior" program without the backing that the BSA will give it that will protect the department and the community it serves.
I just did some checking online and found this link:
Perhaps the BSA is out of this program, or maybe this is a division of BSA... take a look. Lots of good information there.
Last edited by MetalMedic; 09-27-2004 at 03:23 PM.Richard Nester
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
"People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter
10-02-2004, 01:35 PM #8
I am an advisor to our Explorer program. On thing to remember is that a junior does not fit the definition of a public safety official, as shown by the Chris Kangas tragedy. This is why we went the Explorer route. The Boy Scouts are very straight forward in their guidelines. Explorers may not climb a ladder over 35 feet, go on aerial devices, use hydraulic, power, or di-electric tools, and cannot go into a fire situation. They must be over age 14 and have completed the eigth grade up to age 20.
I would recommend chartering an Explorer Post since all of the problems caused by creating SOPs/SOGs, insurance coverage, etc has already be done under the auspices of the Boy Scouts. One of the other posts has the Learning for life link in it. This is part of the BSA.
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