1. #1
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    Question What do I need to ask the officers?

    Well I'll cut to the chase...Earlier this evening, I called my local Fire & Rescue Dept. and asked if they were currently accepting Volunteers, luckily they are (after being nervous for 4 days of not calling, lol.) She told me they have meetings on Tues. @ 6 PM, to come down there fill out an application, and talk to the officers.

    Question 1: What do I need to ask the officers?

    Question 2: Will I need to take anything to the first meeting?

    Question 3: Should I be nervous or come off as confident?

    Ack! help

    A little about me:
    I'm 22, currently a Nursing student but, I start my EMT Basic class in Jan., I'm CPR/AED, PALS certified and am really into Emer. Med.| I drown myself in information, I guess I'm guilty of being an info/medical junkie, (in fact I carry a Medic Bag in my car just incase I see a wreck or something, it's came in handy a few times.) I've been wanting to be a medic since I was about 9...and am starting to take interest in perhaps becoming a Fire-Medic?!

    Well sorry to bore ya, any help would be great...~

    Thanks,
    Casey

    ~B'ham, Al.~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokryphos
    Well I'll cut to the chase...Earlier this evening, I called my local Fire & Rescue Dept. and asked if they were currently accepting Volunteers, luckily they are (after being nervous for 4 days of not calling, lol.) She told me they have meetings on Tues. @ 6 PM, to come down there fill out an application, and talk to the officers.

    Question 1: What do I need to ask the officers?

    Question 2: Will I need to take anything to the first meeting?

    Question 3: Should I be nervous or come off as confident?

    Ack! help

    A little about me:
    I'm 22, currently a Nursing student but, I start my EMT Basic class in Jan., I'm CPR/AED, PALS certified and am really into Emer. Med.| I drown myself in information, I guess I'm guilty of being an info/medical junkie, (in fact I carry a Medic Bag in my car just incase I see a wreck or something, it's came in handy a few times.) I've been wanting to be a medic since I was about 9...and am starting to take interest in perhaps becoming a Fire-Medic?!

    Well sorry to bore ya, any help would be great...~

    Thanks,
    Casey

    ~B'ham, Al.~
    Question 1 - They should tell you everything that you need to know. But don't be afraid to ask any questions.

    Question 2 - Every dept. is different. But I would bring drivers license and proof of insurance. They will need to do a background check on you.

    Question 3 - Just be yourself. (unless you are overconfident and cocky ) Then just be yourself toned down a bit.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. Take care & 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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    yeah be yourself, they LOVE getting new people to help out, so they will most likely tell you a lot.

    When i called i asked what they did, what hours they operated between, what the shift schedules were like, where do i goto school, do they pay for it, can i ride while im in school to get a feel for how things are done, all that good stuff.

    I recommend you ride while in school if you can, you will be that much smarter when you come out, and in school... riding lets you see the things you learn about and actually see how things are done.

    We allow observers with CPR to ride with us as they are in EMT school, its really a good method if your town allows it.
    Adam, EMT-B

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    So be myself and speak up, basically . I can handle that...I'm usually a quiet person, but thanks to Public Speaking classes in RN school that's starting to change.

    I know they pay for calls or something, that's what my fiance said...she use to Volley for them. She being a Medic/RN/Flight Nurse won't really give me any insight on that Dept. mainly b/c she says they are rednecks, and are arrogant or something? Idk. But I deal -c ppl like that all the time.

    I'm keeping a list of the Questions, you guys have suggested. I really appreciate the help...I have my CPR/AED/BLS cert. and am a Medical fanatic but, I still a little new...lol.

    So I ask them if I can ride along on calls? Cool...I'm counting down the days, and I hope all goes well...I'll this thread up-to-date, if that's okay -c the Mods.

    Thanks for the suggestions, anyone have anything to add? Again thanks very much.~

    ~Casey~

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    I was nervous as hell when I first showed up at the volunteer fire department meetings/training. I am shy (at first, but watch out later!), and yeah, rural departments can have some "rednecks" of course. I thought they all hated me for a while... but I have since figured out that a lot of people come to volunteer all gung-ho, and a few weeks later are nowhere to be found... or they come and train just long enough to get some gear issued, and then decide it's not really for them... so I think the old-timers are stand-offish for quite a while, until they know that you are sticking it out and are going to be a useful addition. Don't feel bad if you are not exactly welcomed with open arms - keep going, train hard, pay attention, bring food for everyone (very important!), don't be cocky, and over time you will (hopefully) prove yourself and be accepted and find that it's a GREAT experience.

    Keep us posted, indeed!

    Sharon
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

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    Hell im real shy, but i love being in a powerfull position, so its kinda odd, lol, its nice to be on a scene and people look at you beng the "smart" one... cops asking you what you need done, its a real different twist...

    i love it still, sometimes i hate the BS calls but when you get a call and you pull someone back from going south, there is really no greater feeling, its such a rush and you feel like your king of the world

    dont be afraid to ask questions, and DONT be afraid to say "i dont know" if you dont know how to do something, nobody knows everything, everybody needs a lil help sometimes...

    one piece of advice: if you cant lift a patient, dont say you can, you'll hurt yourself AND your partners, you'll come into problems like that and you wont wanna show you cant do it, but you really hafta just say "i cant do it"
    Adam, EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam07003
    i love being in a powerfull position... its nice to be on a scene and people look at you beng the "smart" one... cops asking you what you need done...
    LOL. So far my most "powerful" position has been heeling the ladder... so far only a blithering idiot looks at me as the "smart" one... and so far the only thing a cop has asked me for is my liscence and registration . Guess I'm not there yet!

    But seriously, don't get involved in this because you want power and to look smart. Mostly I'm just all sweaty and muddy and often feeling rather dumb.
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

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    Getting into the dept. is the easy part. They do the work for you. After you're accepted is when you have to prove yourself. I've been in a little over 2 yrs. and the best advice I can give is to be a sponge. Listen to what you're told to do, and how to do it,and if you don't know how to do something ask.
    This past summer we took our rescue truck apart, EVERYTHING came off it and the capts. explained and showed us how to use all the tools etc. The chief was observing and after they explained how to start a saw he asked if everyone knew how to start it, and of course everybody nodded their heads. The chief then chose one of us to start the saw and the ff he picked couldn't start it. She was embarassed. So if you have questions ask. If you feel funny asking while everybody is there wait 'til after. There's nothing worse than getting to a scene and not knowing how to use a tool.

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    The only thing I advice I can offer...

    Keep your ears open, and your mouth shut....

    We've all been there, good luck, looks like you got the right attitude
    listen to the senior people.... They'll learn ya right!
    Giggity - Giggity!

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    Don’t “keep your mouth shut”!!!!!!!!!!! However, ask intelligent questions - don’t ask a question just to hear yourself talk. You’ve received some good advice above in that you should ask questions if you don’t know how to do something. You can’t do that if you “keep your mouth shut”.

    Don’t brag about your medical background. There may be a question on the application form regarding your background. Answer it honestly, but don’t broadcast it to everyone. Nobody likes a braggart - it’s only human nature (and most fire fighters are human). If not, keep quiet until the subject comes up.

    Show up for every call you possibly can - even at 0300. It doesn’t matter if all you do is stand around and watch - you were there, and it will be noticed.

    Get your “hands dirty”. When it’s time to pick up and clean up after a fire - do it. Don’t stand around and watch others do it. That will be noticed also. It’s called “paying your dues”.

    Questions to ask:
    1) What is the application procedure? (It may be just an application form. It may be a vote of the membership. There may be a background check. Let them tell you.)
    2) What training is required before you can respond to a fire call?
    3) Does the FD respond to medical calls? BTW, are you only interested in medical calls. If so, let them know. Remember, fire calls can be medical calls when you consider fire victims and fire fighter injuries. This is where you may be able to insert your medical background information.
    4) Does the FD run a medic unit/ambulance?
    4) Does the department issue gear or do you have to buy it?
    5) Is there regular training - When? and Where?

    Don’t be gung-ho. Be reserved. Learn by looking and listening - ask questions when you don’t understand something. When it comes to learning to use equipment, you learn best by “doing”. As exemplified by bunkers2big, if it was the intention to teach everyone how to start the saw, they all should have started the saw - several times. At the next training session, they all should start the saw, again. Just showing someone how to do something, simply does not work. You learn by doing and doing it repetitively.

    Do a search of this forum for “whackers”. That will give you an idea of what NOT to do.

    You say you drown yourself in medical information. Remember, you don’t know everything - not even everything you should know. When you can converse with me intelligently regarding the impact of cytochrome aa3 oxidase on fire deaths, then you will impress me. I say this only because I fear you are over confident and will get a reputation from the start of being a braggart which will take a long time to live down. Please be careful. That FD may need you more than they know. You have the potential of being a great asset, don’t blow it.

    Finally, do not bring food on your first visit!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh yeah, WELCOME to the best career in the world.

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    Thumbs up

    Thank you all for your responses, I have taken notes and am feeling a bit more confident about this. I appreciate the help you all have given me.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireH2O
    You say you drown yourself in medical information. Remember, you don’t know everything - not even everything you should know. When you can converse with me intelligently regarding the impact of cytochrome aa3 oxidase on fire deaths, then you will impress me. I say this only because I fear you are over confident and will get a reputation from the start of being a braggart which will take a long time to live down. Please be careful. That FD may need you more than they know. You have the potential of being a great asset, don’t blow it.

    Finally, do not bring food on your first visit!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh yeah, WELCOME to the best career in the world.
    Thanks FireH2O, I appreciate the advise and candor of your post, but please let me assure you that I am far from over confident. I, in no way meant to come off as bragging or cocky or anything of the sort, I was simply trying to give you all a bit of my background, so you could better decide what advice would be most beneficial. I do understand where you are coming from, and I respect your honesty and forwardness. I thank your for your advice in confidence that you know what your talking about.

    lol, So no grub on first visit...gotcha'. First visit is Tuesday at 6pm, I can't wait!

    Thanks again everyone for everything ,
    ~Casey L. Mena~

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    Good luck! Hopefully you return Tues. night with some good news.
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    Why the "No Food"? I'd be open to the new guy bringing food on the first night. I've usually gotta leave the house on meeting nights before my family sits down for dinner. Any firefighter bringing treats to a meeting can't be all that bad. Unless of course you can't bake/cook!

    Lemon Bars, White chocolate macadamia nut cookies, or chocolate brownies with a layer of caramel would do the trick. (I don't get a lot of these treats at home - Mrs. says my age is beginning to show)

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    Now H2O... You know what I mean by "keep your mouth shut".....
    Giggity - Giggity!

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    Default "no food"?????

    I also question the "no food on the first visit" line. Can cookies every be a bad thing? Not at my department!
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

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    I could be wrong, but the way that I interpreted the "No Food" was don't walk in eating a Big Mac with the sauce all over you face saying that you are interested in the department.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam07003
    Hell im real shy, but i love being in a powerfull position, so its kinda odd, lol, its nice to be on a scene and people look at you beng the "smart" one... cops asking you what you need done, its a real different twist...

    i love it still, sometimes i hate the BS calls but when you get a call and you pull someone back from going south, there is really no greater feeling, its such a rush and you feel like your king of the world

    dont be afraid to ask questions, and DONT be afraid to say "i dont know" if you dont know how to do something, nobody knows everything, everybody needs a lil help sometimes...

    one piece of advice: if you cant lift a patient, dont say you can, you'll hurt yourself AND your partners, you'll come into problems like that and you wont wanna show you cant do it, but you really hafta just say "i cant do it"
    Adam:
    Please don't take this as criticism; I'm only trying to help you here. It will come in handy if the local newspaper ever asks you about your service to the community.
    First of all, you didn't mean to say "powerful". You meant to say "knowledgeable" or "I love being in a position where what I do could have an outcome on the incident". When you say "powerful", it infers that you can dispense what you know as you wish and not according to a protocol or a medical director. The jaws and cutters are "powerful". You control them.
    And they might not be looking at you as the "smart" one; you might be the "only" one. So you rise to the challenge and control the scene until help arrives.
    If a cop asks you what needs to be done, don't answer. It's a trick question.
    Train yourself to believe that there are NO BS calls. At the time the call was made, the person on the other end of the line felt that they needed you. Whenever you have contact with the public, it isn't BS; it's good PR.
    And you're absolutely right; there is no greater feeling than having a positive outcome on the patient. But avoid using the term "king of the world". Instead, say "on top of the world".
    Keep the "I don't knows" in the class room, back at the station or in the rig.
    Exude confidence with the patients; if they feel like you "don't know", then it will be one of those that "goes south". Prepare, plan, then apply what you learn. Then you will know.
    Yeah; good advice about not getting hurt. Call for additional bodies to lift assist.
    Outwardly show confidence. Inwardly, celebrate your successes. People think we're a little weird when they hear us talk about a "good save" or having a "good fire". That's stuff we talk about here or at the fire station.
    Apok:
    You got anything else for me?
    Let me know.
    CR
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    Apokryphos

    Good luck Tues. It's seems like most post on here everyone gave some good advice. My only advise is be yourself, listen first and ask questions. If you don't ask you won't know. When we talk to our new members the first time we are usually just getting a read on who they are and what they expect. Good luck and don't be nervous.
    When opening up the roof remember plywood comes in 4' X 8' sheets.

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    Well it's been a minute since I've last posted...I'm just updating.
    Last Tues. I had to work over, so I was unable to make the first fire meeting, but I just got back from Mt. Olive Fire District about well maybe 15 minutes ago. I filled out an application, and talked with someone, not sure who, but he said meetings at 6:30 Pm, park in the back. He asked if I've ever fought fire before, of course I said no. But I am going to BSCC for their Medic program, he said that was good...that's real good. yadda, yadda, yadda...

    Anyway, so I'll update again tonight after I attend the first meeting and talk to the chief. I'm going to refrain from taking food this time, lol...but maybe next week.

    Well thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and advice on this. You've all been most helpful.

    Thanks again,
    Casey

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    I've been in our company for a little over a year and am halfway through fire school, from what i've seen/experianced so far, DON'T think you know everything, you won't, DON'T get in the front passenger seat if you dont know what you're doing with that vehicle, and DON'T bring food unless you have enough for everybody

    the DO'S however...

    DO try to show up for as many "other" functions as you can (fund raisers, parades, community nights) it'll help with your percentages.

    DO realize you might (and probably will) get broken in, (rolling hose and the occasional gag)

    and if all else fails, dont be afraid to have some fun, but remember to leave the fun at the door once the whistle blows

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    Its going to seem wierd to you if and when you get accepted into the department. Most people go in with the hey I'm volunteering, they need me attitude and some get upset when they get to the academy/training part of it and get hammered on a bit. You start thinking hey I'm volunteering for this why should I get hammered on attitude. Yes you are volunteering BUT you are providing a service that deals with the life and death aspect of society. Take the training in stride and realize that many many people before you have gone thru the same training and those are the people you look up to and someday you will be the person somebody else looks up to. Learn all you can from the training for this reason dont just squeak by. The first few months are going to be trying too. You will get to your station and hey guess what YOU ARE THE NEW GUY. Get ready for all the horrible jobs and jokes/pranks thrown at you. Realize that someday you will be telling the new guy "Thats nothin you shoulda seen what I had to go thru hehe". Its a right of passage. Yes the water in the bunker boot gag is always anoying but laugh it off, learn to laugh at yourself sometimes and someday you will be the joke player instead of the reciever. Take any oportunity to learn anything new, any outside classes, etc. There is never a better feeling when you know something others don't and can instruct/teach them these things. Don't get wrapped up in the naysayers of the department. Every dept. has them. You know the guys that show up for drill once every two months, never run any calls but are the first to point out all the "problems" with the dept. Steer clear of them. And last (I promise) realize you are just as big as a rockstar or sports hero to kids. Honking and waving or just stopping for a sec to say Hi at the store to the kids will be huge to them. This also goes for the adults (revert back to training snippet above). They will be looking for you to be the super human know all when your on scene (or at least look like it) so again KNOW YOUR STUFF. *steps off soap box*
    Thanks, Please tip your waitress

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    Default :::::update:::::

    Well it seems like I've been writing this update for the past 3 days...or so... but I've had to work crazy hours, and then family time and such so here it is.

    Tues. I went to the FD showed up at about 6:15 PM (yeah 15 mins. early). Met everyone outside, and most seemed cool...a lot of rednecks, and they are definitely proud of it.

    But anyway, time passed and the drill/meeting started...the medics decided to teach medical stations...Splints (traction, inflatable, SAM), Backboards, KED, Medical Bags...all of which I knew how to use and operate, lol. But there are people in there that didn't even know what the hell a non-rebreather mask was...but I don't expect them to know it all, b/c I don't know it all...I'm far from knowing it all.

    It's just strange to me that some have no interest in Medicine, or Fire fighting...and such. I don't know...Anyway, I volunteered for the Backboard...b/c they told us (split us up into groups of 4) to demo the backboard, since I already knew I laid on it. Anyway, it was cool.

    All in all, it was cool everyone was nice...I see that some won't be there a lot of the time, and they are only doing it b/c their friends are there...but if I'm hired on as a volley then I'm staying.

    They do paid calls, and you get hired on...they don't vote...the chief decides if you get in or not...he wasn't there, but I stayed any way. There's about 25 ppl which includes the officers and Medics...I think I'll like it...if I can get passed the "if we tell you to direct traffic then do it" and the cockiness of some of the others, but you've gotta start somewhere no matter what you know...or don't know...and I'm willing to do that.

    Thanks for the support guys...and I'll be updating again to let you all know if I get in or not...thanks for everything.~

    ~Casey
    Last edited by Apokryphos; 01-08-2006 at 02:30 AM.

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    Apok:
    Sounds like you did it right.
    Confidence but not cockiness.
    Knowledgeable but not a "know it all".
    Teacher who is still learning.
    But the remark about rednecks disturbed me.
    You're in Alabama. "Redneck" is the official breakfast of champions in that state. Don't act surprised!
    But, other than that, it sounds like you are on your way.
    Congratulations.
    CR
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    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokryphos
    ...I think I'll like it...if I can get passed the "if we tell you to direct traffic then do it" and the cockiness of some of the others, but you've gotta start somewhere no matter what you know...or don't know...and I'm willing to do that.~Casey
    Casey,

    This statement reminds me of a live fire training class I took some time ago. I was getting ready to take the FF1 test and needed this class (and it's certificate of completion) so I took the class with a small rural fire dept over 150 miles away. I was the only student in the class that was not from this fire co, hence I was a stranger in a strange land.

    Most of the guys were VERY friendly and accepting of me and this was appreciated since it was a 16 hour class. I was impressed by the fact that this company, which gets about 30 calls per year was training so hard. There was however one FF who was a total snob and he went out of his way to make me feel uncomfortable. The funny thing about it was this individual probably weighed 350 or more Lbs and couldn't climb a ground ladder if his life depended on it. I mean this guy had two speeds, slow and slower. At 140 lbs I felt like a pip squeek next to him but when the "S" hits the fan I'm there and that's what matters. So, I really shrugged the whole thing off and made sure that I showed my appreciation to the hosting FC by doing everything I could to clean up after the drills.

    For me rolling hoses and repacking tools is just part of the job and doesn't bother me but I know some guys like to tell the rookies to do this as a sort of a power dominance thing. This is one of the reasons why I train hard, so that I know that I'm qualified to do most of the jobs at the fireground even if I end up doing grunt work, it's all the same to me but the guys in my FC are really good guys that appreciate everyone that puts in the effort and that is the key, put in the effort.

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    Default :::Update 11/29/05 :::

    Weeelll, it's time for another Tues. night update, lol. Well I went to meet the chief tonight, b/c tonight was their 5th Tues. of the Month, "Food Night" so I told the chief that I filled out an app. last wk and came to the drill. He found my application, and asked me to step into his office...Well then he proceeded to explain how things work. "You will have some training...we'll go over drills every tues. night, get you CPR certified, and all...we'll get you driving the vehicles, the Pumper, Fire Engines etc. and this and that...You aren't allowed to respond to any calls right now, until they feel that you are compentent enough, and then you'll get a pager, and a key to the station."

    *screeeech* Wait, did he just say compentent enough? Grrr...that's when I whip out my CPR/AED card...he said, "Oh okay...well that's good. Any other training? Well I am a Nursing student, I have had a supportive fiance who is a CCEMT-P,4, BSN, I can read rhythms, start I.V.s, Use a KED, Spineboard, Laryngoscope, E.T., and Combi-tube proficiently and could probably start a chest tube if you needed me too... (Okay, so I got a little cocky...but the whole competent thing, made me a little uneasy...) I also said, I had to leave early to register for my Basic classes, and he was pretty happy about that.

    All in all, I'm in so far, they told me I could come up there and hang out anytime I got ready, stay the night, and ride out with them, and the medic said that it'll be about Jan. when I get a key, and a pager but if I had a scanner then I could get their channel.

    So I guess I'll suck it up and do what I got to do.

    Thanks for listening...~
    Last edited by Apokryphos; 01-08-2006 at 02:33 AM.

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