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  1. #1
    Forum Member Apokryphos's Avatar
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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.~


  2. #2
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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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" **

  3. #3
    Forum Member Adam07003's Avatar
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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

  4. #4
    Forum Member Apokryphos's Avatar
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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~

  5. #5
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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

  6. #6
    Forum Member Adam07003's Avatar
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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

  7. #7
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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

  8. #8
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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.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber WMFF12's Avatar
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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!

  10. #10
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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.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Apokryphos's Avatar
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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~

  12. #12
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Good luck! Hopefully you return Tues. night with some good news.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  13. #13
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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)

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber WMFF12's Avatar
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    Now H2O... You know what I mean by "keep your mouth shut".....
    Giggity - Giggity!

  15. #15
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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

  16. #16
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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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.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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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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    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  18. #18
    Forum Member PFDTruck2's Avatar
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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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  19. #19
    Forum Member Apokryphos's Avatar
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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

  20. #20
    Forum Member bmanrkg3's Avatar
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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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