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  1. #1
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    Question New Applicants/Firefighters

    What type of check offs do your departments do in regards to operational issues for new members. What type of skills check off is required.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber WMFF12's Avatar
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    Well, a 6 month probation as a substitute FF. During this period the applicant will get to know everyone, and everyone will get to know them, as well as seeing how things work around the "house".

    Then after a written test and the observations of the rest of the members, the applicant is brought up to a second class status. Which will last another 6 months, during that period the applicant is expected to utilize thier time learning operations of the apparatus, the SOP's, and various skills, etc. Or, during this time they will be going to the Academy.

    Once the applicant has met thier time & other requirements, they will be tested once again by a lengthy written test (just like taking the FF1 test), as well as a VERY lengthy "hands on" test (knowing where everything is, how to use it, and knowing every piece of apparatus) . These tests are officiated by Line Officers.

    Now... Once the applicant has passed said tests, then comes the good old membership vote to a First Class Firefighter!

    Just so you know during the timespan of Sub & Second Class, the applicant can be bumped off the apparatus by a higher ranking member. They cannot drive the apparatus unless ordered by a senior member. Nor do they go into ANY dangerous situation, unless they are a certified FF and cleared.

    The tests that are conducted are very rigorous, which is good, that way when someone jumps on the rig and sees this person in either the driver's seat or the jump seat, they think to themselves " OK, so and so made First Class, they know thier stuff ".

    Our FD, like a whole lot of others, takes great pride in everything we do, we have excellent officers, members, training and equipment.

    Fellas, we are truly fortunate to have what we have...
    Last edited by WMFF12; 02-17-2006 at 07:02 PM.
    Giggity - Giggity!

  3. #3
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    In our department the first thing you do is you apply. then you go thru a background check. if good then you go infront of a interview board. (two officers and two members) if you are cleared then you are put on probation for one year. in that time you have to get at least one of two certs. FF and /or EMT. and you have to pass a test of knowledge/proficiencies. which is set by the chief. after one year you then have to be voted on by the department. an in that time you can not drive.

  4. #4
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Potential new members have to pass a thorough background check, medical exam (which includes a cardiac stress test, lifting exam, and chest X-ray besides the routine stuff) and psychiatric evaluation before being assigned as a Trainee to one of our three crews. The Trainee period lasts approximately 6 months during which time the Trainee can participate in all drills and events, but cannot respond to calls. The Trainee is not put forward for Probationary Membership until his/her senior crew Captain recommends that he/she be moved up. The main skill requirements at this point are being able to: don an SCBA in under a minute, hit a hydrant, throw a ladder and operate a hoseline to the Captain's satisfaction. The Trainee must also have a valid first aid and professional rescuer CPR certification along with SIDS awareness training at a minimum, though about a quarter of our new members come in already having EMT-1 certification.

    At this point, the Trainee is subject to a vote by the Regular Members (everyone except Trainees, Probies and Reserve Members). Once "promoted" to Probationary Membership, the Probie can respond as cleared by his/her Captain. In some cases, the Probie may be restricted to responding as a 5th FF on an engine (we usually run a 4-man engine) and on other cases may be cleared for all duties. We get people with varying backgrounds, so this is handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Probation lasts one year, and during this time, Probies have a specific number of training hours in various topics and a three-page list of skills assessments that must be satisfactorily completed. They also have to attend 50% of all drills and 25% of all calls. Their progress is reviewed by their Captain on a quarterly basis. The Probie must also pass the map test within the first 3 months, perform a physical agility exam within the first 6 months and complete a 70-some question Probationary Worksheet and a 3-4 page Knowledge of the City Worksheet (basically finding the addresses to the major businesses, schools, churches and institutional facilties in town) by the end of the year. Probies are also supposed to complete EMT-1 (Basic) training during the year, but this doesn't always happen depending on the availability of classes. At the end of the year, assuming they have completed all of the requirements, the Probie's Captain will so report to the Chief and the Probie will be moved to Regular Membership.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  5. #5
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    Just how many volunteers is your department able to recruit ....and retain in
    an average year, with these requirements?

  6. #6
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    SafetyPro - Just a question, in your FD would I have to be an EMT if I wanted to be a FF? Also with a need for making 25% of the calls in a year, how many calls do you run in a year? WE run over 600 fire calls a year and making 25% in this day and age can be very difficult.

  7. #7
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    Breathing ___ check yes or no
    Are you a felon___ y/n

    If you checked yes or no to 1 or 2 you pass.

    j/k but it's not anything like what's been posted.

  8. #8
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    We use a firefighter skills checkoff sheet based on Firefighter1. In addition to the checkoff, the new members are also required to view a series of Firefighter1 dvds and complete the tests. There is also a written test of 50 questions that covers SOPs, tool location, hydrant markings, organizational structure, etc.

    Areas covered in the skills checklists:
    PPE
    Ladders (moving, raising, carrying tools, etc)
    Hoselines (types, advancing, streams; water supply, hydrant setup )
    Ventilation (fans and techniques)
    Power Tools (operation, safety, basic maint.)
    Basic Extrication Equipment & Support (focus on setup & supporting tool man)
    Hand Tools/Forcible Entry/Overhaul
    Ropes & Knots
    Equipment Location
    SCBA (including a minimum of 3 live burns or fire scene use w/ an officer)
    Safety & Survival class (in-house)
    Haz-mat Identification (very basic placard famililarity)
    Preplanning (introduces member to building construction)

    Usually takes a new member 8-12 months to complete though we have had some gun-ho ones that have knocked it off in 6 months. Usually the equipment location is the first one to be completed, followed by SCBA and hoselines. It has been fairly effective.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 02-24-2006 at 05:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51
    SafetyPro - Just a question, in your FD would I have to be an EMT if I wanted to be a FF? Also with a need for making 25% of the calls in a year, how many calls do you run in a year? WE run over 600 fire calls a year and making 25% in this day and age can be very difficult.
    Technically, yes...all Probies are supposed to get their EMT certification by the end of their first year. In practice, however, this isn't enforced, particularly when the department isn't able to offer an in-house course. We currently have about a half-dozen or so members who don't have their EMT.

    Even without being enforced though, there's a lot of pressure put on new members, both by the officers and by the other FFs, to get their EMT cert. Staffing the ambulance nightly and on weekends is something we all take turns doing, and you have to be an EMT to do that, so anyone who doesn't get certified in a reasonable amount of time is seen as not pulling his/her weight.

    All of the paid FDs in the area require EMT at a minimum though and many are beginning to require (either officially or unofficially through hiring preference) Paramedic.

    As far as meeting the numbers, its not difficult. We average about 45 calls a month, which means you have to make 11-12 calls a month as a Probie. Given the fact that you're required to be in town and respond to all calls every third weekend plus 2-3 weeknight duty shifts per month, that's usually not too hard to do...assuming you respond when you're able to and don't just sit at home and ignore the pager. We're ahead of the average this year due to a major windstorm (45 calls in 24 hours), so our YTD is 163 calls. I personally have been on 93, or 57%, of those, but I both live and work in town and can respond to more. Even if you remove all of my daytime responses though, I still responded to 32% of all night/weekend calls for these two months. I have a wife and a 2 year old daughter and a very active life outside of the FD, and I by no means sit around waiting for FD calls...I just respond when I can.

    Our retention's pretty good. We're currently low on numbers, but we've had several retirements in the past year. I'd say most new members stay at least 3-4 years at a minimum, and many stay longer than that. Most of our attrition is either due to people getting hired as paid FFs (at that 3-4 year mark) or due to retirement. We generally get 5-6 new members a year. The fact is...there's a lot of competition for paid FF jobs in this area, and we're one of the very few VFDs around. People who want to be volunteer FFs are willing to put in the effort because we're one of the few opportunities available, and people who want to move onto paid positions are willing to put in the effort to get the extra experience and possible advantage in the hiring process.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  10. #10
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    1 Appply.
    2 Background check, then be accepted or denied depending on results.
    3 Probation; no structure entry, outside help only, until you are able to attend the next county fire school and attain firefighter I cert. If you fail you may remain in the FD, but again, no structure entry and outside help only. Probation only lasts as long as it takes to get through the county fire schools firefighter I cert. Except for Jr's. They are on probation until they reach the age of 18.
    4 ConEd, either in house or through outside classroom and hands on training.
    5 Additional training and certs through the county fire school and EMMCO West for EMT Basic through paramedic.

  11. #11
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    I look forward to the day that we can be a little more picky...ours is a little stricter than JackBauer24's--but not much.

    First, you apply. Requirements are that you be at least 16, hold a valid driver's license, and be a dues-paying member of the fire district.

    You must make three consecutive meetings to be nominated. These can be training, FF meetings, work days or Board Meetings.

    Meet those requirements and the Chief will likely nominate you for membership of the fire department.

    The Board of Directors is supposed to vote this month on implementing multi-state criminal, driving and sex offender background checks on new applicants prior to being accepted as a FF. I'd like to see us go a step further and require new recruits to perform a probationary test that tests their knowledge of department SOGs and equipment operation.

    Baby steps, baby steps.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  12. #12
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    Are we talking Volunteer depts here?
    We have you apply, we vote you on, you get gear. Nothing about qualifications, then you are on a 6 month probationary period. End of story.

  13. #13
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    Well, it is in the "Volunteer Forums" section....
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  14. #14
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    apply
    interview / background check
    must make a minimum of 12 hrs training and 1 business meeting in a 12 week period ( all members follow this rule, we train every tuesday )
    voted on by membership to be accepted to 90 probationary period
    after 90 days, membership votes to make you a full member or extend your prob. period.
    once a full member, you still are considered probie ( orange hat ) until you take the required 96 hr rookie class, and are checked off on the apparatus and airpacks by an officer.
    if the officers give the okay, the probie becomes a blackhat.
    time in is still considered, ( a blackhat with 15 yrs, can bump a new blackhat off the truck if he wishes to )

    bryan

    www.forestbendfire.com

  15. #15
    Forum Member bfranse's Avatar
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    We have a Drivers Training program. This year I added a yearly Basic Pump class to be allowed to operate an appartus.
    We're not spliting rocket hairs here people!

    Training is like building a pyramid, if you want it to last, you don't built it pointy side down!

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