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    Question Starting new Jr. department...need advice!

    Hey, folks, wondering if you guys could offer any assistance. We are trying to get a junior firefighter program started here, and rather than re-invent the wheel, I was wondering if I could get some information from ya'll...specifically:

    Is your group an Explorer post or it it some other type of organization? Any particular reason why?

    What is the age range that participates in your program?

    What kind of insurance, if any, do you carry for junior members?

    Do juniors have to have any kind of parental permission or waiver to join?

    What activities are juniors allowed/not allowed to participate in?

    Also, I would be interested in seeing any kind of operating guidelines, permission forms, by-laws, etc. you may have regarding your Jr. program. Any info would be appreciated.

    We are debating the idea of going with the Explorer program, or just doing something in-house, on our own. Pro's/con's of each?

    Thanks for your time.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    try looking at my thread, some people may not want to type so much, as soon as i get my Sop's for my Jr. program done i will put an attachment on here for it.

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    Is your group an Explorer post or it it some other type of organization? Any particular reason why?

    - The junior program in my department is run and managed by the department. It has no connection to BSA whatsoever. I believe this is becasue this allows the department a little more freedom over what the juniors can and cant do, and lets them keep tabs on them.

    What is the age range that participates in your program?

    15-17 year olds can join.

    What kind of insurance, if any, do you carry for junior members?

    Regular insurance im fairly sure, juniors are allowed to do alot, but at the discretion of the insurence company they are not interior certified, and cannot operate chainsaws or the cutters or spreaders, except at drills.

    Do juniors have to have any kind of parental permission or waiver to join?

    Yes, they must have both, and an interview is carried out in which a legal parent or guardian must attend.

    What activities are juniors allowed/not allowed to participate in?

    Juniors train along with regular firefighters, and go to regular scheduled drills every month. We are issued gear, pagers, the regular equipment. We are allowed to run fire calls as well. The only restrictions against juniors are:
    Absoloutly no interior firefighting, (except at drills), no operating dangerous equipment (cutters, chainsaws, ect.) on accident scences, but under supervision at drill it is allowed. We also cannot run mutual aid calls, or respond to haz-mat incidents. Thats all I can think of for restrictions.

    We are debating the idea of going with the Explorer program, or just doing something in-house, on our own. Pro's/con's of each?

    I would say definatly do something in house. My experience with it has been extremly positive, and as I said, I think it offers the dept. much more control over the program, than if a third party was the main organization running it.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for the input, folks....keep it coming!
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Is your group an Explorer post or it it some other type of organization? Any particular reason why?

    we have a junior program that is operated and run by us, no connection to BSA or their explorer program at all.

    What is the age range that participates in your program?

    16-17

    what kind of insurance, if any, do you carry for junior members?

    not sure exactly what kind of insurance it is, but i know we're covered under the same one that covers everyone else in the firehouse

    juniors have to have any kind of parental permission or waiver to join?

    yes, we must have a form filled out/signed by our parents

    what activities are juniors allowed/not allowed to participate in?

    at my department, we do everything the regular guys do except of course interior ops and extrication. but we do the same drills, same meetings, expected to make the same percentage of calls.

    We are debating the idea of going with the Explorer program, or just doing something in-house, on our own. Pro's/con's of each?

    i would say go with your own program, you have more control of what your juniors can/cant do.
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    Juniors train along with regular firefighters, and go to regular scheduled drills every month. We are issued gear, pagers, the regular equipment. We are allowed to run fire calls as well. The only restrictions against juniors are:
    Absoloutly no interior firefighting, (except at drills), no operating dangerous equipment (cutters, chainsaws, ect.) on accident scences, but under supervision at drill it is allowed. We also cannot run mutual aid calls, or respond to haz-mat incidents. Thats all I can think of for restrictions.
    Chief, I appologize for this.

    WHY ARE JUNIORS GOING INTERIOR AT ALL!? HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Even if it's training, and you think everything is going to be a-okay, one of you KIDS is going to be KILLED.

    OSHA says no on all of the "at the drill it's okay" things too.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    Chief, I appologize for this.

    WHY ARE JUNIORS GOING INTERIOR AT ALL!? HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Even if it's training, and you think everything is going to be a-okay, one of you KIDS is going to be KILLED.

    OSHA says no on all of the "at the drill it's okay" things too.
    Hey, I was just asking what everyone else was doing....didn't say I'd agree with it all...

    I agree, there are certain activities that juniors simply are not allowed to engage in....interior firefighting (including training) is one of them....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc
    Hey, I was just asking what everyone else was doing....didn't say I'd agree with it all...
    Wasn't aimed towards you, at all... If I ever even thought about going interior, I know my Chief's boot would be so far up where the sun don't shine... you get the idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    Chief, I appologize for this.

    WHY ARE JUNIORS GOING INTERIOR AT ALL!? HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Even if it's training, and you think everything is going to be a-okay, one of you KIDS is going to be KILLED.

    OSHA says no on all of the "at the drill it's okay" things too.

    if you re-read it, he said they do absolutely no interior
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    I think I may have worded that wrong. As junior firefighters we are not certified interior firefighters, and are NEVER treated as one. However, at a controlled burn at our drill tower, we are allowed to pack up, and go inside with a crew. We are always under the direct supervision of a firefighter, and made sure we are not put in harms way. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

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    Chief LeBlanc:

    My department's program is an Explorer Post. The main reason for this is BSA's supplemental liability insurance. In my opinion, this is about the ONLY reason to affiliate with BSA. It's been my experience that they don't have much else to offer in the way of support for your program. They seem to be mostly concerned with and able to support their traditional and venture scouting programs.

    Our age range is 14 to 21, however most members will become regular firefighters as soon as they turn 18.

    In addition to the BSA insurance, my department has VFIS and they also cover the Explorers.

    Yes, the parents are required to give their permission for their sons & daughters to participate in the program.

    Our activities and restrictions are similar to everyone else that has posted. With regard to participation in interior operations, I believe that BSA's safety restrictions limit participation to training evolutions in a RECOGNIZED TRAINING FACILITY (training tower, burn building, etc.) where the highest possible level of safety can be achieved. They DO NOT allow and I personally would not permit the Explorers to train with live fire in an acquired structure. While it is not possible to make ANY activity completely safe, it is my opinion that participating in a youth program with these common sense safety rules and restrictions is significantly SAFER that participating in contact sports at the high school level. It is common to hear about young athletes being seriously injured or even killed, yet there seems to be no outcry to stop our nation's youth from playing football.

    From my perspective, the only reason NOT to affiliate with BSA is if you want to allow your members to do something that BSA prohibits. Personally, I don't believe any of their restrictions are unreasonable (to see a list of their restrictions, you can visit their web site www.learningforlife.org).

    If you'd like to see the bylaws from my explorer post, visit www.nucfd.com/post315

    Good Luck!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaytallica45
    if you re-read it, he said they do absolutely no interior
    How about YOU re-read it.

    And I quote -

    Absoloutly no interior firefighting, (except at drills), no operating dangerous equipment (cutters, chainsaws, ect.) on accident scences, but under supervision at drill it is allowed.
    Hmmm. Seems like they are going interior. His words, not mine.

    As junior firefighters we are not certified interior firefighters, and are NEVER treated as one. However, at a controlled burn at our drill tower, we are allowed to pack up, and go inside with a crew. We are always under the direct supervision of a firefighter, and made sure we are not put in harms way. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
    Hmmm, sure looks like you are being treated as an interior firefighter. "It's just a training burn, it's okay"... NO. IT IS NOT OKAY. You are going to get yourself killed. Accidents happen. If you get killed at a training fire because you are interior, that's not an accident, ITS MURDER.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    res343cue, with all due respect, I feel you are overreacting a little bit to this.

    The burns I have been in are very small, I was surrounded by at least 3 firefighters the entire time I was in the building. The vast majority of the time the fires were just to get the training tower smokey and hot, to simulate fire conditions. I wasent on the nozzle, first man into a raging structure fire. The fires are small, controlled burns inside a concrete building. I feel perfectly safe putting my life in the hands of the guys that go in with me, and feel my experiences inside the burn tower were fantastic, and I learned greatly from it. Is it necessary? Of course not. It is a great privialge. If the fire is deemed too intense on a certain burn, we stay out. Simple as that. If a freak accident happens, it happens. However you know as well as I do, I have a monumental greater chance being killed going to school in a car than inside the burn tower. Does that stop me from going to school daily? No.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitsua98
    res343cue, with all due respect, I feel you are overreacting a little bit to this.

    The burns I have been in are very small, I was surrounded by at least 3 firefighters the entire time I was in the building. The vast majority of the time the fires were just to get the training tower smokey and hot, to simulate fire conditions. I wasent on the nozzle, first man into a raging structure fire. The fires are small, controlled burns inside a concrete building. I feel perfectly safe putting my life in the hands of the guys that go in with me, and feel my experiences inside the burn tower were fantastic, and I learned greatly from it. Is it necessary? Of course not. It is a great privialge. If the fire is deemed too intense on a certain burn, we stay out. Simple as that. If a freak accident happens, it happens. However you know as well as I do, I have a monumental greater chance being killed going to school in a car than inside the burn tower. Does that stop me from going to school daily? No.
    So, you're saying that since you had a couple guys with you, and because it was just hot and smokey that it's okay? Seriously, come on. Any lawyer that ever got involved in this is going to say "What about the NFPA and what they suggest? Why aren't you listening to the experts?", and you better damn well know that they are going to turn around and say "Why were you violating OSHA regulations?". It is ILLEGAL for you to be in a IDLH environment as an minor.

    If a freek accident happens, it happens.
    So you're completely okay with a freak accident taking your life when you're in a fire when you should NOT be? There's a reason they don't allow children inside of a burning building, and that's because they are CHILDREN.

    Driving to school and fighting fires are two completely irrelevant topics. Apples to oranges in this case.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    We had an Explorer Post at my old dept. I am looking to start a Junior Firefighter program at my new dept. The only thing that I can see different is the insurance from the BSA (you do have to pay for it). So if you are supplying insurance that is a mute point. No matter what program you do go with, just remember, you must follow the child labor laws in your state. Usually, anything that is considered dangerous is off limits (Whether it's firefighting or traffic control).

    We are working on the applications, consent forms, and by-laws. What I saw earlier about a parent conference makes great sense. Maybe we could bounce things off each other along our way. Good luck and stay safe.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    I've read down this thread and it seems most are offering the common list of what they do and don't do.

    Can't be interior firefighters, can't use hydraulic tools or saws, etc..

    regardless of what program you run, this stuff is regulated. BSA does set restrictions, but if you have a junior program, you have the same restrictions set by OSHA or whatever authority your state uses. You have to decide if you are going to adhere to the laws provided.

    BSA does have some positives....

    Leader training, insurance, assistance in recruiting, administrative resources like secretary and treasurer packets. (which by the way can be downloaded and manipulated for Junior Depts)

    Some of the BSA polices do help keep you out of trouble too. Like two deep supervision by advisors as well as a minimum of two explorers. So you need at least 2 and 2 to conduct a meeting or training. Eliminates accusations of improper conduct.

    As far as the interior training issue...

    In NY we give our Explorers and Juniors an opportunity to visit the State Academy for a weekend. I'm not sure what is included there, with the number of Juniors in my program and limited fundraising we do, the price would have to be passed to the families. Instead, the local council of BSA organized a program utilizing local state instructors and they have their own weekend training once a year that includes live fires in a training tower with propane fires only. With a proper instructor/student ratio and the use of the propane with deadman controllers, BSA approved the program.

    Ages for the Explorers are 14(and completed 8th grade) thru 21. Juniors in my area start at 13. My county has also implemented a restricted firefighter program for 16-18 year olds which allows these firefighters to start answering alarms in a limited exterior basis. I'm not sold on this yet and have not put it effect within my program, but others have and talk about the success of it.

    Hope this helps this thread along.....

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    Res343cue, this is what the laws of my department says pertaining to Junior Firefighters entering the burn tower.

    "No Junior Firefighter will enter the training building during live fire or smoke training without being accompanied by an officer or experienced member of the department, one member to one Junior Firefighter. Only Junior Firefighters who have had training and are familiar in the proper use of SCBA will be allowed in the training building during such evolutions"

    Other than that, I don't really know what to tell you. If the Captain or Chief says its allright for me to go inside, I go inside. They know the do's and don'ts and I trust their judgement. I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

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    It depends if our juniors are allowed to do interior.

    Calls-NO WAY IN HELL.

    Drills- If someone volunteers to take the junior in with them they are allowed to go in. I got to do my first interior work a couple weeks ago. I was approached by another fire fighter and he wanted to take me in and teach me what to do so I packed up, got on the nozzle and went in with an officer and Fire 2 certified FF and we had a second team waiting at the front door incase something happened. The fire was small and contained and had a third team wth a charged line at the window next to the fire. It was som wood crates and hay burning in a corner of a room. The officer let the fire start rolling onto the cieling, had me knock it down a little bit. It was really controlled and it was a great experience. I learned alot from it and it was fun too. Not all the juniors got to do it though.

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    dmleblanc,

    Did you get the PM I sent you???
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT
    We are working on the applications, consent forms, and by-laws. What I saw earlier about a parent conference makes great sense. Maybe we could bounce things off each other along our way. Good luck and stay safe.
    I liked that idea, too. The parents should have the opportunity to meet department members and look over our operation before they sign that permission form. They should be informed and have confidence that their child will be safe and well-supervised.

    Some of the BSA polices do help keep you out of trouble too. Like two deep supervision by advisors as well as a minimum of two explorers. So you need at least 2 and 2 to conduct a meeting or training. Eliminates accusations of improper conduct.
    I used to be a Cub Scout leader so I'm familiar with BSA's child protection rules. Even if we don't go the Explorer route, some of those rules make sense and will probably be incorporated in our guidelines.

    My department's program is an Explorer Post. The main reason for this is BSA's supplemental liability insurance. In my opinion, this is about the ONLY reason to affiliate with BSA. It's been my experience that they don't have much else to offer in the way of support for your program. They seem to be mostly concerned with and able to support their traditional and venture scouting programs.
    I agree. BSA's website doesn't even have any links or references to Exploring, only to Venturing and the "traditional" Scouting avenues. Type in "Explorers" on BSA's site search and you'll come up empty. Learning for Life evidently has some affiliation with BSA, but is not a function of that organization. I'm not quite sure how the relationship works but it seems disjointed at best.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    i am 14. at 16 i will become a cadet at the department here (volunteer) they have a cadet program.
    you have to:
    * be 16 -18 yrs (become a volunteer at 18)
    * have at least a 3.0 (b) average
    *you can only leave school when there is a car wreck or a fire
    *first they train them to work with the EMT's. (they do no work on the patient, but they have to fetch tools etc.)
    *after showing a good effort with the EMT's they let them decide to be with the truck or the engine. they help them out (fetching tools etc)
    *after doing good with that, they let them go into burning buildings, save people from car wrecks, CPR etc
    *since it is volunteer, i don't think there is any insurance
    *i don't think (not for sure) that parents have to sign a consent form. it would be a good idea to have them do that.

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