Thread: Firefighter one

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Question Firefighter one

    Hi everyone,
    I was sitting in a meeting at the firehouse last night and heard something very dioscouraging. Apparently there is a group of people in my volunteer agency that is dead-set against firefighter-1 training for our volunteers.
    One reason is that no one in their right mind would want to invest that kind of time anyway,...
    and the other was that apparently the practice of interior fire attack is going to be a thing from the past soon.

    Now, I have been a certified firefighter for years and have a degree in fire science. I have never heard of this.
    Can I have some input from some of you - especially (though not limited to) members of volunteer or combination agencies?

    We are having a shortage of recruits because we are in a bedroom community and not a whle lot of people are around during the day.
    I think that by supplying training to new members (even though most of our older members don't have it) we could make ourselves into a department people would like to be active with.

    What are your thoughts?

    Arno van Zoeren, ff-emt
    Simla Vol. Fire Dept.
    Simla, Co

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    East Hampton, CT USA


    While firefighter one was a long course about 4 months of ever wednesday and every other saturday sunday weekend, it was very much worth it. it lets you know, as a department that your people, if passed fire1 are held to all the same standard of a basic firefighter. i dont know what their thinking is, but this is how LODD's happen. Firefighter safety to me is #1.
    -Eric Valli
    Better Live for something, Or you will Die for Nothing.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2005


    Its called CHANGE alot of vollies dont like it, especially old timers(personal experience there) our present chief was the first togo to NFA and he found the letter in the garbage one day, put there by one of the old timers.
    gotta stop i could write paragraphs about this

    You can never get enough training, and when a person thinks they have its time to KICK them off the department because thats when they become real dangerous

    PFD 1st LT

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Upper Midwest

    Unhappy Firefighter I

    I am an instructor in Wisconsin, I do alot of teaching in smaller departments.

    First of all I haven't heard anything about live burn training being discontinued. Things have obviously changed over the years with asbestos inspections, lack of structures, safety needs, liability, etc. As far as I know if all the proper measures, legal requirements, and safety issues have been met we would still conduct a burn. We are obviously very careful during them and I know most others are too. We also have a burn trailer as do other schools in our state, a few have burn buildings, they both come in very handy for "first ins".

    Regarding "CHANGE", I've got 25 years in as a volly and no, I don't always like it. I've always said when I decide I can't tolerate it anymore, rather then fight it I'll step aside. I've seen lots in the past years and most for the best. Regarding time requirements, most older ff's will agree with me that besides fire department requirements, our society and lives have also increased in time demands. How many times a week are you running your kids to sports? How many times a week do you participate in a recreation activity? How many committments do you have besides the FD and your job? Life has changed for many of us over the years to busier schedules, more going on, more committments. We need to prioritize the best we can. And I also warn our younger members, to NEVER put the fire department ahead of their family. Don't spend too much unnecessary time at the FD if you should be home. Not a lecture here, but I've seen problems occur and can speak from experience.

    Lastly, if your going to do the job, you have to invest the time. We lose more newbies every year once they find out the time demands, even after you explain and reexplain when the join the department. They come to drill late, they come to class late, they didn't listen or believe when we told them what was expected of them.

    Training, simply put, you can never have enough. In 25 years I've seen training change from spraying some water and bs'ing, to structured classroom activity with monthly written schedules. It's great.

    Firefighter I up here is 13 nights, 3 hours per night. Pre-requisitie is entry level firefighter I and II, or the basic 60 hours. Our people are pretty good about going into I when they finish the required basic, but again some don't make it through.

    This was a good post. You can have good training that can be enjoyable at the same time. (except haz mat refreshers!). Just keep at it, remember the "older" guys eventually go away! (as I'll probably soon be doing)

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2005


    Department held live burns are still common here in VT once the red tape gets processed. The State Fire Academy holds a "live burn" its good for new FF.

    Here in VT change is hard to come by "we've been doing this since 1972 what do we need to change for it works for us" this is a normal comment I here not only in the fire service but also school system, NOT acceptible.

    Here at our department when you fill out an application to join you meet with all the officers and the first thing we tell them;
    1) Family comes first
    2) Job and business
    we fall down below these first 2

    Time requirments for our department you are filled in on at the officers meeting.
    We require 50 hours training a year or you get removed from the roll call and as a member. Since we offer 120 hours a year of training theres no reason some one can't meet our requirments, thats all in house training hours, that doesn't include state fire schools and the NFA.

    I definitely agree with you on spending to much time at the firehouse, when I first got on , every waking moment not at work I was there it did put strain on marriage, and after 3 years of this I got BURNED OUT. The third year FYI I did 100 plus hours of in house, level 1 course which was 136 hours that year, and our fire call hours of about 80.

    Hazmat refresher thats not bad, we have a hazmat decon trailer in our department now just another thing to add to the list.

    Oh by the way I own my business, I do the estimates, meet the customers, go do the work(if the pager doesn't go off in the mean time) go home write the bill, mail it, enter all paper work int o QB, and now I'm considering to take the VT Instructor Course on top of all this other stuff.

    "The older guys go away" we have a guy been on 27 yrs still makes his 50 doing level 1 here and in NC. but after that years on start dropping, but the experiance they bring to the table is PRICELESS!

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Houghton NY


    Hi I am a newly trained firefighter in NY and am I glad I took FFI we had a lot of great training including the smoke tower where it was about 800 degrees heavy smoke etc. Well a few months ago we were mutual aided for interiors too a working structure fire and all the training came into play there.
    Our dept requires FFI within 2 years of joing the fire dept. This is a great course too take and I plan on doing firefighter II soon.

  7. #7
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    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Nieuwsgierig

    Hoi Arno,

    Verrassend om een Nederlander tegen te komen op deze site. Ik ben even nieuwsgierig vandaar dit bericht. Ik begrijp dat je in de USA woont en werkzaam bent bij een vrijwillig brandweerkorps, waar doe je dat en ben je al lang in Amerika?

    Ik heb eigenlijk een vraag aan je, eind mei vertrekken mijn vrouw (Anita) en ik voor twee jaar naar Chicago. Zij wordt uitgezonden voor haar werk. Zelf werk ik bij de brandweer in Arnhem, op de afdeling preventie, en ben werkzaam als brandweervrijwilliger bij de brandweer Houten. Ik zou wat meer willen weten over de brandweer organisatie in de USA. Kan ik je hierover eens mailen?

    Je kunt me bereiken via deze site of op mijn eigen E-mail adres;

    Lex de Wit

  8. #8
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    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Our current FF1 class is about 140 hours. Yes, it's a lot of time. Most of it is worthwhile, parts of it are not. It is a requirement of my department that you complete FF1 within the first year of membership. Yes, we require it. Yes, we are volunteer. One of the first points we get across to new members is that the last time they volunteered was when they volunteered to join and follow the rules. From that point forward, they don't volunteer to follow or not. Set standards for your membership and follow them. It will weed out the dead wood and make you a better department. That might actually help with recruiting more worthwhile members.

    As for the "no interior attack" thing, that is not even worth discussing.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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