View Poll Results: Do you allow 16 year old firefighters to do interior Attack?

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  • Yes

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  • No

    77 93.90%
  • Only with older crew members

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  1. #1
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    Default 16 Year Old doing Interior Attack

    We recently had a meeting at the department and one of the items brought up at a county meeting last month was allowing 16 year olds to fight interior fires. It has been up to now never been an issue. Does your department allow 16-17 year olds to do interior attack? We cannot train 16 year olds in burn buildings due to state regulations so I don’t see how these folks can even get training to do interior operations. If they can’t train how can they operate in real life situations?
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

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  2. #2
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    Why was the subject even brought up in the first place?
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    There has been some ongoing discussion as to whether or not juniors/cadets/explorers should be allowed to operate on fire scenes at all. I'm inclined to think that observation, assisting pump operators, and go-fer tasks are appropriate. I'm not sure that responding, per se (whether by POV or apparatus), is a good idea. I'm dead certain that interior ops are a very bad idea.

    For what it's worth, it would be a violation of Child Labor Law for us to allow 16 year-olds to operate in ANY IDLH environment, operate certain power equipment, etc.
    ullrichk
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    Better check Federal law about placing a minor in dangerous workplace. Also the legal aspects of a minor in an airpack. Plus no 16yo kid should be inside a structure fire anyways. If your dept. is hurting that bad for firefighters you need a serious revamp of the recruiting efforts.
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    RspctFrmCalgary

    The only think I can think of would be a manpower issue or lack of it. We are a rural county and membership numbers have been going down over the last few years in the 18-40 Y.O. range but now 16-17 are gaining so departments might respond with 50% under the age of 18 and when you only have 12-15 show for a fire some people see warm bodies and not birthdays. I would hate to be the one that had to tell any family member that they were hurt or dead but 16 Y.O. think they are bullet proof and I could see the chance for injury or death to be higher in the 16-17 Y.O. range if this passes even if it's possible.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

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    (Lat., "Don't let the *~#%&S grind you down.")

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    This is a situation where your Chief needs to step in NOW and say "NO". I am very sure that a 16 year old being envolved in ANY firefighting operation in which there is potential contact with the fire or smoke is ILLEGAL in any state and will result in a very heavy fine if you are caught. Thats not even talking about the civil liabbility that your department and your chief may face personnally should this person be hurt or killed. This is not cool at all and needs to be stopped right away ....

    Just my thoughts AND the authority in your state responsible for enforcing the LAW.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs down Not just no.....

    ...but HELL NO! If your FD can't muster an appropriate response of interior trained FF over the age of 18, go defensive. Stay OUTSIDE, surround and drown, call for mutual aid if available. The alternative is unthinkable.

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    Default CHILDREN belong in school, not on Hoselines....

    There is no need to place CHILDREN on an interior attack crew. If you must depend on CHILDREN to get your apparatus out during the day, than it is time to consider hiring some people to keep the CHILDREN in school.
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    16:

    Can't go to war.
    Can't vote.
    Can't drink.
    Can't drive.
    Can't fight fires!

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    NO WAY!



    At a recent Structural Firefighting Practices class at the Massachusetts Fire Academy, there were a few "firefighters" who when asked to produce a form of ID to verify their age could not... turns out that they were 16 and Explorers, yet their "Chiefs" sent them anyway.

    The minimum age for a Firefighter to take a MFA course is 18.

    Any "fire chief" who allows a 16 year old to be anywhere on the fireground other than a support capacity (rehab, filling air bottles after proper training etc. ( and even then I have extreme reservations about them being there) should have his/her head examined to see if they actually have a brain!
    ‎"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

  11. #11
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    Default

    Originally posted by E229Lt
    16:

    Can't go to war.
    Can't vote.
    Can't drink.
    Can't drive.
    Can't fight fires!
    When I was 16...

    War-No
    Vote-No
    Drink-Yes
    Drive-Yes
    Fight Fire-Yes

    Sometimes I even did a few of those at the same time...ah the joys of youth.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

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    I most certainly agree that a 16-17 year old should not be allowed to attack fire from the interior. I do think that they should be allowed to be on scene because this is where they can learn alot, by being a go-fer and such. Anyways this brings up my next question. Should these youth be allowed to drill, at live burns that is. I noticed that CaptainGonzo stated that in Mass they were absolutely not allowed to take part in the class. To me that makes sense but at the same time it does not makes sense. Mainly becuase a live burn is a "Relatively" safe situation and it gives the younger ones a great learning experience and some excitement that will hopefully keep them very interested in the fire service.
    OVERALL-- No interior fire attack
    -- Training burns/classes should be allowed IMHO

  13. #13
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    Default I am large supporter of "explorer rights"

    A 16,17 year old fighting fire is....

    CRIMINAL!


    ANY jr, explorer, cadet should NOT be counted as part of 2 in 2 out.
    Last edited by stm4710; 11-03-2004 at 01:05 PM.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    ANY jr, explorer, cadet should be counted as part of 2 in 2 out.
    I really hope you mean NOT counted.
    "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?

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    Opps Duely edited bones.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Didn't we discuss this a few months back?
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    This shouldn't even have to be discussed...

    Any department that allows minors to do interior attack should be shut down. PERIOD.

    Same goes for allowing minors to drive apparatus, run with red lights, and all that other "stuff".

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    ABSOULTELY NOT!

    Aside from the common sense reasons, Alabama law specifically bars the 'employment' (including as volunteers) of persons under 18 as firefighters.

  19. #19
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    While I absolutely say no, New York will take 16 and 17 year olds and put them through a full firefighter I course. that includes SCBA and live fire training.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    I slightly disagree with the majority of you. I joined my volunteer fire dept about 3 weeks after my 16th birthday. That very day I started the required training as an entry level firefighter. The course was operated by the local tech school. The required live burn was completed about 2 months later, I was certified FF1 before my 17th birthday. I was allowed to do interrior attack. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, I found my career goals and it helped me grow really fast. perhaps more should do it.

  21. #21
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    42VTExplorer "This shouldn't even have to be discussed..."

    Why not?

    VinnieB "Didn't we discuss this a few months back"

    I looked but didn't find it. May be called it something else.


    We will never allow 16-17 YO to do inter. ops., I can't see anyone in the state changing the training to fit 16 YO into the picture. I think someone in the meeting spoke before they checked on it with the people in the know.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

    - Gen. Joseph Stilwell
    (Lat., "Don't let the *~#%&S grind you down.")

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    DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!!
    You may not like it, you may not agree with it, but in VA it IS legal under specific conditions.
    For the record this post does not constitute my endorsment or condemnation of the use of Junior Firefighters for interior atack. I am merely passing along relevant information.
    Source: http://www.vdfp.state.va.us/JrFFinfo.htm

    Virginia Department of Fire Programs
    Junior Fire Fighter policies as defined by Department of Labor and Industry

    The occupation of Firefighting has been declared hazardous by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry pertaining to Teenagers.

    Code of Virginia Labor and Employment Law reads:

    § 40.1-79.1. Exemptions from chapter generally; local ordinance authorizing participation in volunteer fire company activities.-

    A. Any county, city or town may authorize by ordinance any person sixteen years of age or older, with parental or guardian approval, to work with or participate fully in all activities of a volunteer fire company, provided such person has attained certification under National Fire Protection Association 1001, level one, firefighter standards, as administered by the Department of Fire Programs.

    B. Any trainer or instructor of such persons mentioned in subsection A of this section and any member of a paid or volunteer fire company who supervises any such persons shall be exempt from the provisions of § 40.1-103 when engaged in activities of a volunteer fire company, provided that the volunteer fire company or the governing body of such county, city or town has purchased insurance which provides coverage for injuries to or the death of such persons in their performance of activities under this section.

    Code of Virginia § 40.1-103 Cruelty and injuries to children states;

    It shall be unlawful for any person employing or having custody of any child willfully or negligently to cause or permit the life of such child to be endangered or the health of such child to be injured, or willfully or negligently to cause or permit such child to be placed in a situation that its life, health or morals may be endangered, or to cause or permit such to be overworked, tortured, tormented, mutilated, beaten or cruelly treated. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Explanation

    In February 2003, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) requested a review of Section 7 of our Instructor Manual on Junior Firefighters from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). Our intent was to make sure that we were current and up to date with current code and sections as stated in the Virginia Fire Instructors Manual.

    In May 2003, we received the following reply. (Click here to view return documentation)

    Failure to comply with Code of Virginia §40.1-79.1, any trainer or instructor of such persons can be charged with Code of Virginia § 40.1-103 Cruelty and injuries to children for non-compliance to this standard. This provision is enforced by the appropriate local Commonwealth's Attorney, who should be contacted for his or her interpretation as whether COV § 40.1-103 may apply even if all conditions of COV § 40.1-103 have been met.

    Policy

    Effective July 1st 2004, VDFP shall enforce the following policy for all Junior Firefighters (16/17 years of age) attending VDFP programs.
    * Local jurisdiction shall have adopted an ordinance consistent with Code § 40.1-79.1.
    * The Junior Fire fighter shall reside in a locality that adopted said ordinance. Evidence of residency shall be provided by the junior fire fighter.
    * The Junior Fire fighter shall present a letter (original, not a copy) of parental (or legal guardian) consent that permits Junior Fire fighter participation.
    * The Junior Fire fighter shall have a copy of the locality/department current liability insurance for Junior Firefighters.

    Junior Firefighters attending all other VDFP training shall meet the above policy. To progress in VDFP training, the Junior Firefighter must be certified NFPA 1001 Firefighter Level I. All documentation will be submitted to, and retained by, VDFP or authorized instructor prior to commencement of training.

    If you have any additional questions concerning VDFP Junior Firefighter training, please contact:

    Mr. Larry McAndrews, Branch Chief - Operations

    lmcandrews@vdfp.state.va.us

    Template Examples:

    The following are two examples of Code of Ordinance recognition templates used by Virginia localities.

    Note: These are two examples and are not inclusive. VDFP does not advocate for of against either of the samples provided. For more information regarding Code of Ordinance or Fire Department Operational and Liability issues, please contact your town/city/county attorney and/or Commonwealth Attorney.

    Example One

    Pursuant to the authority of section 40.1-79.1 Code of Virginia, the county/town hereby authorizes any minor sixteen (16) years of age or older, with parental or legal guardian approval, to work with or participate fully in all activities of a volunteer fire company, provided such minor has attained certification under National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1001, Level One, fire fighter standards, as administered by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

    Any trainer or instructor of such minor or any member of a paid or volunteer fire company who supervises such minor shall be exempt from the provisions of section 40.1-103 Code of Virginia, provided the volunteer fire company or the board of supervisors has purchased insurance which provides coverage for injuries to, or the death of, such minor in the performance of activities under this section.

    Example Two

    Subject to any restrictions that may be adopted by the volunteer fire company, any person who is sixteen (16) years of age or older, after first obtaining his/her parent's or legal guardian's approval, in writing, is authorized to work with or fully participate fully in all activities of the city's volunteer fire company, provided such person has attained certification under the National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1001, Level One, fire fighter standards, as administered by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. The certification record and parental or guardian consent shall be kept on file in the office of the volunteer fire department for each participant who is enrolled pursuant to this section.

    If you have questions on Fire Department daily operational issues involving Junior Firefighters, you can go the the following DOLI link (FAQ #8) to reference FAQ's involving Junior Firefighters.
    Last edited by N2DFire; 11-03-2004 at 03:58 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Well Ill be darned.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

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    Originally posted by Firefighter430


    VinnieB "Didn't we discuss this a few months back"

    I looked but didn't find it. May be called it something else.


    I don't remember what it was called......but I remember discussing it with DrParasite. In NYS 16 and 17 y/o's are allowed to fight fires...I was 16 when I went into my first fire....but after I had been to essentials and initial....

    Each dept has thier own rules regarding this age group...most call them "juniors". What most AHJs do is follow their insurance co. request on not allowing junior to engage in interior fire operations..which includes OV and Roof Ops. My current dept has this policy. We will send them for training but they can not go "interior".
    IACOJ Member

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    Oh yeah...I will admit that I am the only 1 "yes" vote. If that make me a criminal...well...I have been called worse. I was well within the confines of NYS Law....and besides...its up to the AHJ to adopt policy.
    IACOJ Member

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