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  1. #1
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    Default Volunteer vs. Career

    I just want to hear other expeirences in this topic.

    I'm pretty new to my station. My station is a career station with volunteers. It seems most of the volunteers are angry all the time and they never want to train. The don't think they get called out enough, which is true for the fact most of our calls are medicals and our volunteers are not EMT's. Obviously I'm confused. I don't understand the problem. I like the fact that there will be volunteers if needed and I go to there meetings when I can or when on duty. It seems like some vol. are thinking of quiting becuase they get upset.

    I was just wondering if there is friction between vol. and career at other places.


  2. #2
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    I don't know about were you are from or the station you are one but I can tell you that around here the paid stations we have are slowly but surely getting rid of there volunteers. MOST career personel see volunteers as not REAL firemen.... which is bull because the fire service started with volunteers. Its an on going battle that will probley go on forever. I see that in the next 20 years... its a shame
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  3. #3
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    Yes, that's exactly what I see. To be honest, the other career firefighters on our dept. don't have a problem with volunteers. The volunteers just seem to get an attitude. The only thing that it might be in my opinion is that they don't have as much responsibility anymore and maybe that upsets them. But if we had a big fire, I would love to have extra people there that have the training to help. I wish they could keep better attitudes.

  4. #4
    Forum Member BFDNJFF's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    Do the volunteers wear hoods or no hoods?
    Do they like smooth bore or fog?
    Leather helmets or metro's?

    Just wondering...

  6. #6
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    Ok, whose got the pictures of the dead horses??

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    Exclamation Everyone stop! Pleask back away from the thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by johnson8
    I just want to hear other expeirences in this topic.
    I see that you don't have a lot of posts here at Firehouse, so let me give you from friendly advice from someone who has been here since the beginning.

    The subject of career vs. volunteer is pointless. It's worse than arguments over politics or religion. If this thread follows historic precedent, it will soon spiral out of control. Vollies will post how great they are because they volunteer. Career guys will post how great they are because it's their job. Folks like me will say that it doesn't matter, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL GET SOLVED, and then the Web Team will shut it down.

    If you want to have a discussion about the attitudes in your department, then let's discuss that. But labeling anything career vs. volunteer guarantees that it will become a big stinking mess and accomplish nothing in the process.

  8. #8
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    Well, this is bound to get stupid in a hurry.
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    I am on an all volunteer department near Iowa City. Quite a different situation here. We realize we are volunteer, and that has its advantages. However, Iowa City Fire is TOTALLY dependent on aid from area volunteer departments. They cannot operate more than a structure fire, or a major structure without mutual aid. They are not equipped to fight field/grass/woodland fires, and like most city departments they do not haul water.
    We have mutual appreciation for each other. The lack of respect comes from the community of Iowa City and its government. I think they should hire more of the volunteers.
    Remember, there is a huge difference in volunteers. Some on our department are full-time in Iowa City, others are more experienced than a younger paid guy, and still others are rookies.
    I will admit there are some disrespectful young volunteers. They can get gung-ho, and cocky because they have a certificate/training. However, a paid firefighter should respect any firefighter, especially the older guys.

  10. #10
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    Oh he didn't just bring this out
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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    Forum Member SFD13's Avatar
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    Next topic - solid vs fog nozzles
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    Last edited by ShuswapFireF; 06-21-2006 at 05:36 PM.
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  13. #13
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    the best thing to do with this thread is just ignore it. im sorry that there are vollie/career problems where you are. we have some problems where i am as well. lets not argue over who is best. as long as you believe you are doing a good job then thats all that matters.

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    While everyone is so caught up in arguing "career vs. vollie", these guys are quietly taking over.


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  16. #16
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    -Volunteer AND Career

    -Smoothbore

    -Leather

    -Hood, no earflaps
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  17. #17
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    Johnson8, we have a combination department as well. Mostly career. Volunteers like me respond to brush fires, structure fires, and ride out periodically. We are actually rebuilding the volunteer component right now. I am pleased to say that after a few rough years, we have a great relationship with most of the career guys. Not all of them appreciate the volunteers, but frankly, not all of our volunteers should be appreciated. It goes both ways. But when I roll up to a structure fire, I report to the IC and he/she tells me to grab a SCBA and what to work on--right next to the career FFs. As I said, most appreciate and respect the volunteers, and we are earning that appreciation and respect over time.

    There is no question but that the volunteer service is evolving. I am convinced that in our situation, recruitment is the way to build a respectable volunteer component. We have to work harder to recruit more FFs who are willing to make the commitment to train and work hard. Once that recrutiment of quality FFs takes place over time, the attitude will change and those who should not be volunteers will leave.

    I have also found that my setting the example has made some difference. Not that I am all that, but I am involved, I show up and want to learn. That inevitably rubs off on folks. I don't hold an office or an officer's position because I don't have the experience or training yet...but I can still help set the tone. You can too. Face it--volunteering as a firefighter is not the same as volunteering at the local food bank. This is a second job (sometimes the first job!) that just happens not to pay a salary.

    So keep up the good work--be the example--and help proactively recruit good people you want in your department. In time it will pay off.

  18. #18
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    Oh Oh........
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    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  19. #19
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    And your prize is....
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  20. #20
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    Default Just in case we are having a "Communication Breakdown" here.

    Management Advice - Deceased Equine Strategies:

    Dakota Tribal Wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

    However, the Harvard Business School (in a project underwritten by several well-known consulting groups, including the Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte Global, Accenture and BearingPoint, Inc. - formerly KPMG) offers alternate proposals:

    1. Buy a stronger whip.

    2. Change riders. (Preferably, to one with an MBA)

    3. Harness several dead horses together to increase speed.

    4. Appoint a committee to study horse performance in context - past, present and how it's done in Europe, Japan and China. Issue a white paper.

    5. Develop a series of training sessions to increase managers' riding abilities.

    6. Hire outside contractors to ride the dead horse. (Or ship it to Bangladore and have it ridden there.)

    7. Request that a major vendor develop a product to make dead horses run faster.

    8. Provide additional funding to increase the horse's performance.

    9. Form a Brainstorm Circle to find preofit-enhancing uses for dead horses.

    And - if all of the above fails ....

    10. Promote the dead horse to a senior management position!
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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