1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Baldwin Co., Alabama
    Posts
    129

    Question Officer Quilifications

    Ok, time to get on my soap box. The vollie department I operate in currently has no quilifications for officer besides the fact of being active in the department for a certain amount of time. We elect officers very year, and basically anyone can be nominated. Some people just do not need to be officers and until recently we haven't had a problem. The current Chief has decided to step down from the chief's position leaving the position to be filled in the up coming elections. The current Asst. Chief would do well to fill the position and will most likely be elected.

    The problem we are running into the the fact that the are several guys in the department the think the have "earned" and officers position because they have been in the department for "x" amount of years. These people haven't really earned anything in the eyes of many of the firefighters. They don't training regularly, don't show for calls, etc., etc. However, there is a possibility that one or more of these guys could be elected this coming year.

    Off my soap box now

    I said all that to get to this point. Any who can offer information and officer quilification exams and other quilifications for officers would be greatly appreciated.
    LT/EMT Wright
    I A C O J
    LOXLEY WARRIORS
    All opinions expressed are solely of my personal opinion and in no way reflect those of my department. This is for those of you who use a large stick to stir excrement.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    cellblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    St Gabriel, La
    Posts
    708

    Default

    The vollie department I operate in currently has no quilifications for officer besides the fact of being active in the department for a certain amount of time. We elect officers very year, and basically anyone can be nominated.
    It's the same in my little corner of the world. No FF1 or other certs required. Heck, you don't even need to know how to read or write. Just get enough friends and family to vote for you each year and you too can wear the white shirt.
    Good luck.
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    123

    Default

    That's a problem with volunteer fire departments. Most of the time officers are voted on based on popularity and not merit. The volunteer fire department that I belong to requires the Lieutenant candidate to have a minimum of 2 years of active service in the department (personally I think that's too little), to be certified to operate/drive all of the apparatus, and to have taken certain classes (I don't recall exactly what classes they are off hand.) I believe the Captain candidate is required to have 1 year of experience as a Lieutenant and 1 additional class (again, I don't recall off hand which class it is.)

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    236

    Default

    I can't immagine a department with unskilled personnel, how do you get insurance? Here, it's easy to know how much training officers have. We made a county-wide fire dept., in a sense, so that we could set up SOP's for every dept. to follow. Therefore, all officers have the same qualifications (or more) in every company. The only difference in SOP's from company to company is Rescue and Truck Co. operations. Ten departments, four have lite-duty rescues; one has a heavy rescue and one has an aerial ladder.

    Our officer qualifications (I'm reading from the SOP & Bylaws book):
    Fire Chief
    Ten Years Active Membership
    Served at least one term as assistant chief
    Has taken the following state approved fire schools:
    Essentials
    Firefighter 1
    Pump 1 & 2
    SCBA (Trained with current models)
    Ventilation
    Hazardous Materials Tech.
    EMT-Basic, CPR & AED
    Officers Training Course
    EVOC
    Aerial Ladder Safety
    Truck Co. Operations
    Basic Vehicle Rescue
    HIPAA

    Assistant Chiefs must have the same Qualifications as chief

    Captains, Lieutenants:
    Serve five years active membership
    Has taken the following state approved fire schools:
    Essentials
    Firefighter 1
    Pump 1
    SCBA (Trained with current models)
    Ventilation
    Hazardous Materials Tech.
    Standard First Aid
    Officers Training Course
    EVOC
    Aerial Ladder Safety
    Basic Vehicle Rescue
    HIPAA

    All of them must be certified to drive fire apparatus.
    Anyone that ride w/ aerial must have both Mfg. safety course and Truck Co. ops; anyone that rides rescue or is involved w/ patient care and extrication must have HIPAA.
    Last edited by blueeighty88; 12-25-2004 at 08:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    84

    Default

    ya'll are preachin to the choir, guys. there are some volly depts that really have gotten it together and i applaud them. there are others, mine included, where it ain't what you know, its who you blow. the only problem i have with this system is that people's lives and property are at stake. people get hurt and killed under the buddy system, people's homes needlessly burn to the ground when they don't have to.

    in my opinion a points system is the best approach. award so many points for each class attended, so many points for calls that were responded to, and so many points for years of service. make it where each rank must have a certain amount of points before a member is eligible to run for that particular position. then vote. then let the chips fall where they may.

    the point system would allow everyone a fair chance but still require that persons in a leadership position be qualified in one way or another. it would be benificial to the members that have taken the time to attend training classes, but it would not shut out the experience of those who participate and make calls, and it would take into account senority as well. if someone who is a jack***** happens to get a lot of points, the membership would still have the chance to vote for or to vote against each individual eligible to run for rank.

    maybe this isn't the best way, but it sure as hell beats the buddy system........
    Last edited by peon30; 12-25-2004 at 09:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    236

    Default

    People lose thier property b/c of lack of properly equipped departments, mutual aid and planning; not b/c of the buddy system. If they have no uniform system planned for the attack of incidents, you just may fail.

    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    We vote in our civil officers, and our chief line officer; from a list of qualified personnel. We keep that on hand for every election. The other line officers are appointed by the chief, president, ambulance chief, and one membership person. They are also appointed from a list of qualified persons.

    We still vote on the final list of officers, but just so everyone gets a fair shot at thier opinions. If we see a problem or a personality conflict; it will be taken care of as needed.

    We require a copy of all training certs/letters for all personnel so we can keep track of what does what. But we also require that they actually be ACTIVE on a percentage of the runs, to be considered an Active Member. If someone has all that training I listed, and even 20 years in; but only attended 1 call every 2 years. That person is not qualified. It's skills and expirence we're looking for; HANDS ON is what we like.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    84

    Default

    lack of equipment, mutual aide, and lack of planning are also contributing factors to loss of life and property, however, the buddy system promotes lack of planning in that it allows people to be in leading roles who don't know how to plan or how to lead.

    all too often do losses happen and nothing is done to fix it until after the loss has occured. planning changes this, and we need qualified people who know how to plan. it's too late to fix the fence once the horse gets out.

  8. #8
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Cool Well......................

    No organization of any kind should operate without guidelines and minimum requirements for both positions and operations. I would stop short of saying that the "Good ole Boy" system burns houses down, since I've seen parking lots built by very well qualified Officers. I do, however, understand where we end up with a system that allows folks to be placed in office by popularity contests. We, and our neighbors, are governed by a set of minimum Training requirements established, and written into law, by our County. If you are a very fast mover on training, it will still take seven years to become elegible to be a Chief Officer. Our Chiefs must have 4 years in a lower office, Certifications as Fire Officer II, Instructor I, EMT-B, and quite a few smaller things. You must also get 12 hours of Continuing Ed credits each year. On a personal note, I encourage everyone to get National Pro Board Certification for anything that they can. If you come to Maryland from out of state, your training is acceptable to us.

    We also use a rather comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures that govern Apparaus placement and function, Crew duties and responsibilities, and other areas. As a result, we do a pretty decent job, but there are times that something doesn't work properly, so we have the leeway to adapt and overcome.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,338

    Default

    The problem with a lot of departments is that they don't want to set higher standards that they would have to live up to from now on. Tennessee recently passed legislation defining fire departments and what requirments they need to meet, including training and equipment. Of course, the good ol' boy political machine swung into action, with even a letter circulating among our departments that stated how much control and independance the departments would lose if the legislation passed. The lawmakers balked, and the legislation was reduced to a water-down version that amounts to pretty much a joke and doesn't really help or change anything at all. If the State lawmakers were really serious about change, they would make it happen. Unfortunately (for the people), all they worry about is re-election. If departments want to change for the better, they'll have to do it themselves.

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Question Hey Bob.................

    Would the Tennessee legislation, in it's origional form, created a financial hardship on those who could least afford it? That's something that we've had a problem with here. I strongly support minimum standards, but the Governing body that sets the requirement MUST fund it. My position from day one, and the position that I'll take to my grave is that ALL Training and Education for Fire/Rescue Members, Volunteer and Career alike, MUST BE FREE OF CHARGE to the student AND the student's department. Period. That is what our system has evolved to here, and every Firefighter nationwide should have that benefit.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,338

    Default

    Would the Tennessee legislation, in it's origional form, created a financial hardship on those who could least afford it?
    I shouldn't think so. Most classes offered by the State are very affordable and are scheduled so that anyone who is serious about learning can participate. It isn't a money thing, for the most part, but rather a "we've never had to do it, we aren't going to do it, and you can't make us do it" thing. When you look at the fact that roughly only half of Tennessee's fire departments even use the incident reporting process, you begin to understand the real reason we are so behind in all aspects of the fire service. Lack of funding is not really a problem, at least in my county. Most departments I know of around here have more than enough money to send their people to classes, and to their credit, a lot of them have finally started to do so...but only after recent changes in leadership within their departments. Things look like they are getting better, but at a pace that is very slow.
    The bottom line is that there are no state minimum requirements for firefighters in Tennessee...and that's stupid, in my opinion.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 12-26-2004 at 11:45 AM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    What I dont understand is how these towns/cities continue to assume the liability of not accepting nationaly recognized minimum standards that people in postitions of authority should be required to meet.

    And Nozz, I cant belive that Tennessee doesnt have a minimum FF standard.

    WOW.

    Dave

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    US
    Posts
    32

    Default

    loxfire16, I know exactly what you are talking about. Our volunteer department is run by a group of "good old boys." We are so behind in everything from training to guidance. We have no leadership. The Chief and Asst Chief are voted in by majority vote.

    Elections are coming up and I hope for the safety of the fire dept and the community that the Chief gets replaced.

    I will keep you informed, he's to hoping for a safe future.

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Default

    Originally posted by Dave1983
    What I dont understand is how these towns/cities continue to assume the liability of not accepting nationaly recognized minimum standards that people in postitions of authority should be required to meet.

    And Nozz, I cant belive that Tennessee doesnt have a minimum FF standard.

    WOW.

    Dave
    Well, there are a lot of ways to avoid the "Standards" Here in Maryland, We got a law passed barring part of the NFPA 1901 standard from being used. NFPA said they required a device that turned off certain vehicle warning lights when the parking brake was applied. We did not agree, and now it is illegal to use such a device in Maryland. A lot of "Standards" are invented by people who do not use them in the real world.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    826

    Default

    I am career FF on a 60 man Dept. The ONLY requirement for each rank is time in previous grade. Seniority counts for 60% of your overall score. So...2 FFs taking the LT's exam..1 has 15 yrs....the other has 5 yrs. (min. time on)....All the senior guy has to do is pass....Even if the other guy gets a 100%!

    The only 'special' requirement for rank is the chief must come from the ranks of the officers.

    We had an incident at a fire right before Thanksgiving this year where 3 brothers were caught in "flashover like conditions". Maydays were called, but went unasnswered. It would not have mattered because the IC did not have 2in/2out established let alone a RIT. Thankfully they escaped with minor burns.

    We were cited by the Indiana Department of Labor for NOT having a written 'Mayday' procedure or 2in/2out.

    After further investigation by the IN Dept. of Labor it was found out that senior officers on the scene had NO training on any of this. They went on vacation when they found out this training was taking place.

    We have been pushing for years for min. qualifications for each rank. As you may have guessed we have had strong opposition from the senior members. Many have sat in their recliners for 10-20 years BARELY passing each promotional exam just so they won't have to wash the rigs anymore....heck they don't even write the reports...they win every time because of their time in grade.

    I was a vollie for a number of years before I was hired here. So I know what you guys are going through. I never imagined it would be practically the same way on a "professional" department. Go figure.


    fieldseng2

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,338

    Default

    NFPA said they required a device that turned off certain vehicle warning lights when the parking brake was applied. We did not agree, and now it is illegal to use such a device in Maryland.
    Here, any forward facing clear/white lights must go off when the vehicle is parked. At night, many drivers attempting to navigate by an accident scene with multiple response vehicles may be literally blinded by all the flashing lights. My dad is a truck driver and he has mentioned this to me several times.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    Here, any forward facing clear/white lights must go off when the vehicle is parked.
    does that include an emergency vehicle's headlights?
    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!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Thumbs up Partly.......................

    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    Here, any forward facing clear/white lights must go off when the vehicle is parked. At night, many drivers attempting to navigate by an accident scene with multiple response vehicles may be literally blinded by all the flashing lights. My dad is a truck driver and he has mentioned this to me several times.
    I don't take issue with your comments. Your dad is correct, and one real problem that is not covered in all this, and which is out of reach of the NFPA, is the Police Car's "Takedown" lights. Those suckers ARE bright. Our position is that control over what lights to shut down should remain with the Driver, not be done by a electronic device. We try to minimize any "Bright White Light" problems, however, traffic does not approach/pass thru our emergency scenes. (except our own, of course) Maryland law prohibits any vehicle being operated within 500 feet of an emergency scene, unless directed by a PD or FD person.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Sitting in my chair, listening to the scanner while the young kids respond
    Posts
    375

    Lightbulb Back on topic

    First of all, firefighters must complete FF2 and first responder within two years of joining. Junior officers must have Fire Officer 2 and Chief officers must have fire officer 3.

    Membership votes every two years but it is more a "nomination" as final confirmation is up to the fire board which is appointed by the city and the township.

    When this policy was put in place, some of us were "grandfathered" but I took the training anyway. I was the last of the grandfathers to retire and now the rules apply to everyone.

    When I watch and take photos of various departments at fires I can sure see the difference that traing qualifications can make.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Originally posted by Dave1983

    And Nozz, I cant belive that Tennessee doesnt have a minimum FF standard.
    Dave
    I am a member of a volly department in Tennessee, and you can believe it. The department I am on has alot of training avail. to members, but it is on the same stuff over and over again. Our "good-old-boy" Tenn department would never meet the proposed standards.

    -mmUTK

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    cellblock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    St Gabriel, La
    Posts
    708

    Default

    I cant belive that Tennessee doesnt have a minimum FF standard.
    Neither does Louisiana.
    There are no requirements for the volunteers nor the paid guys. I am going in to work my 12 hour shift in a few minutes and I will be releiving a paid FF with no FF1 cert.
    I got my FF1 only so I could receive $300 a month in State supplimental pay. If you don't care about the extra pay you don't have to go through the training.
    Quotes from white shirts like- "You can't make requirements for volunteers or they won't join the department." or "Training? Every call we go on is a training fire." - tell you what kind of department you are in.
    Steve
    EMT/Security Officer

  22. #22
    Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    sitting at the watch desk
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Here in SC the only requirement to become a firefighter is you must pass the 1152 OSHA 80hr course.
    I have not seen any requirements for officers.
    Each department and each county may have some sort of requirement set forth in the departments or counties SOGs.
    Here in the county I volunteer in, there are loosely followed standards for Fire Officers set by the individual departments (even though we are a county fire service)...most of the time the "standard" is munipulated or changed by the chief to keep himself in office.
    We have chiefs in this county that don't even posses a H.S. diploma.
    We have many chiefs and officers that have little or no training above the basic 1152 and have been in the fire service for less than 2 years.
    We have chiefs that rule by fear and will not allow their firefighters to recieve additional training because they are afraid the firefighter may end up knowing more than the chief does.
    What this means is we have a fire service full of officers that have no training in ICS,Safety, Building construction, Leadership skills,ETC.
    This is a time bomb waiting to go off. Firegrounds have no accountability, there is no control, freelancing is the standard and each department responding does its own thing when they arrive on the scene.
    All of this and we have the most state of the art fire academy 40 miles away...but most people wouldn't know it because you can't get them to go
    "where is my second due?"
    I.A.C.O.J. 2003

  23. #23
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Again, WOW

    I can almost see no volunteer standard, but paid?

    Here in FLA, to be hired as a paid firefighter you have to complete a state certified basic class, which now is up to 400+ hours (I think).

    They now have a volunteer course as well, which is 140 hrs.

    Dave

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,338

    Default

    does that include an emergency vehicle's headlights?
    I should have said "any forward facing lights that flash", which includes wig-wags. I believe it's even recommended in the IFSTA training manuals to kill the headlights when you're on scene. I know that some ambulances are now made with switches to dim the strobes and LED warning lights at night. Sorry about the highjack, fellows.
    I am a member of a volly department in Tennessee, and you can believe it. The department I am on has alot of training avail. to members, but it is on the same stuff over and over again. Our "good-old-boy" Tenn department would never meet the proposed standards.
    Good to have another TN firefighter aboard the forums! As our department's training officer, I think training and drill should be two separate things. Drills are running through what your people already know to keep their skills sharp. Training is when you teach a new concept, or a new way of performing a certain task. Our approach on drill night is to incorporate new ideas and concepts into things we already know how to do. Whenever possible, we run drills as a response, just like we would do in a real world scenario. I also prefer to use live fire and smoke whenever possible. Not only is this more realistic, but it sure beats pushing around a couple of traffic cones with a stream. Try new concepts when you train, including working as teams/companies, competing against each other, or the clock. While it's not the most important thing, a little friendly competition between units helps make things a little more interesting. Be on the look-out for houses and buildings that can be used for training, even if you aren't allowed to burn them. As always, safety is most important.

  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Our Volunteer departments, most do not have ANY requirements other than who likes you. to be VOTED in as an officer. Thats the way we ran it for 20 years here in my Department. In 2000 our chief had put together a plan that ALL Officers shall have minimum FF1. Then with that All Chief Officers shall have minmum FF2 preferrably FO1. FO1 is a very hard program and does take a long time to complete. So that's why we relaxed this requirement. Our Department is made up of about 85% Firefighter 2 Certified firefighters with 7 FF's still working on it. Roster is 41 people. Of course it makes it easier when the class is held by the college in our station or a nearby station.

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