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    Default Junior Firefighter Radios/Pagers

    Hey guys, this is only my second post, so please bear with me. I have a question for ya. At my department(s), we are required to purchase our own radios/pagers before we can go on runs. Now, the only problem I see is with this system is this: Say a junior quits the department/is terminated/or otherwise not affiliated with the department any more. What happens to their radio? I have asked this question to a few people and they have no idea. Now, I have sold/loaned pretty much all the radios to all the juniors in the departments that I cover, and the only logical thing I could think of is kindly ask the person nicely if I can reprogram the radio (seeing how I'm the only person in the county with the supplies to program these particular radios, RELM RPV599aPlus, Black Box, Midland, and a few Vertex VX510's) to exclude the public safety frequencies, which pretty much only leaves the NOAA weather channel. What if they refuse? I mean, if they have bought it outright, then what can we do? Keep in mind that I do not set the policies,nor can I cange them, so any helpful answers would be much appreciated!

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    If they bought it and quit the department, fine, it's still their personal property. The best they could probably hope for is to resell it. And if they can't get rid of it, they're stuck with it. That should be taken into consideration when you buy stuff like this.

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    Lol, if that were the primary concern, my life would be a piece of cake . I know 99% of the time, they will probably just throw it into a closet and forget about it, or sell it (come to think of it, I might offer a radio buy-back program , thank you for giving me the thought of the idea MichaelD77). But, what if they cause problems with it? Whose shoulders does that fall on? I'm getting mixed answers on that one. Some people tell me it's the person who programs the radio. Others tell me that as long as the licence holder gives you permission to program the radio, then it falls upon the owner/user of the radio. I know all our juniors, and I don't think they will cause any trouble (in fact, some of us are more responsible with our radios than our adult counterparts. Currently, we have several grown, certified firefighters without radios because all they did was goof off with them), but I just want to see what you guys think would be the best way to handle a situation like that. I just want to make things easier on everyone involved, and possibly try to get the SOP's changed to where we work fundraisers to buy our radios, that way the department owns them.

    You have gave me an idea.. I knew I smelled something burning

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    Wait.. so your Junior Firefighters are getting portable radios? Not just voice pagers? Before I carry on.. I just want to know those answers.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    But, what if they cause problems with it? Whose shoulders does that fall on?
    It would most likely be the operator, that's a question for the FCC. I doubt it would be the person who programed it, because how could you prove who programed it last? Nevermind, it's not the programmers job to keep tabs on what so and so's doing with their radio.

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    Is there really a need for explorers/juniors to transmit? If not, just tell them to get a scanner, or TX inhibit the portable.

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    On our Dept you get a hand me down pager that hardly works, and then work you way up when people leave, after 90 days you might get a radio.......only took me 13 months to get a radio. But I think if you buy it, its yours. The only thing with them keeping your channels, you go to a call and they are there, the last thing people know is that they work for your dept. But dcrowe40380 I see where your coming from.....Has a Motorola Minitor 4 and a Motorola HT750 Handheld

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    I just do as I am told, lol.. We're currently in the middle of a radio crisis in our county. We have repeaters that do not work correctly most of the time. Our DES is being forced to by radios one at a time (the big Kenwood digital compatible things that cost 2500 each, I don't remember the model numbers). Plus, I can get radios cheaper than I can get pagers (I can get a 16 channel 5 watt VHF portable for 125 with shipping, compaired to close to 300 for a Minitor 5) so there is the cost advantage when I present them with their options. We are all issued unit numbers (which come in handy sometimes, such as during bike races and other events we help with), however, 99% of us can count our total number of transmissions on one hand. Yes, it is imperitvie that we transmit. A lot of the time, we outnumber the regular members on scene (one mutural aid call we did, we had two members on scene and four juniors.) and a lot of us are on the rescue squad (ever been lost in the woods? lol, around here our cell phones quit just as soon as we step into the woods, so that's not an option). So, yeah. I was just wondering if I needed to set aside a couple thousand dollars to bail me out if someone goofs off, lol. Thanks a lot guys. You've really gave me some valuable input.

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    The department has a license for the use of the frequency. If someone buys their own radio, the department "may" allow that frequency to be programmed into their radio, but it should state in writing that when/if that member no longer belongs to that agency, their frequency will be deleted. Not sure, but you programming a personal radio (since they bought it, if they are not reimbursed the full amount - it's their personal property) you may be violating the FCC license. You may want to do some legal checking into what you are doing.

    And I'll echo the comment that explorers/juniors do not need to be transmitting.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    And I'll echo the comment that explorers/juniors do not need to be transmitting.
    Exactly.. you'll never convince me that it is absolutley necessary for explorers/juniors to be able to transmit. None of the jr. firefighters at neighboring departments carry radios (in fact, they don't even carry pagers) and trust me, they're doing just fine. There has never been a case when one has gotten lost, needed to say something over the radio, or anything else... it's all about limiting their freedom on the scene and keeping them in one area (e.g. rehab).
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    But, that doesn't happen. That's the whole point. The department says radios. Even if I say "No Radios", that won't change the departmental view. Juniors are treated the same on scene as regular members. We have never set up a rehab area. I don't even think we have even had enough members respond to scene to need one. Someone usually just passes around a jug of water while we're leaning on the truck and we all go back to work. Occasionally we hit the hydrant, occasionally we work the dump tank, and you bet your bottom dollar that if someone is stuck/trapped/hurt in the Red River Gorge, there will be more juniors up there than regular members (and there arent that many juniors, mabey six in the whole county). I've been there, so I know this for a fact. Plus, if there were ever a CSEPP emergency at the Bluegrass Army Depot, there would be a total of five regular members that would be able to set up decon, run the decon, and assist the police with crowd control and other duties, which is pretty much impossible, so we are training with CSEPP to assist in support duties. While we are not able to enter an IDLH environment, we train and work alongside our older counterparts. Take this for example: We had a bike race a few weekends ago. I was stationed at a busy intersection of four roads, all by myself, and I (alone) was responsible for making sure that the bikers (over 300 of them in all) were not put into a dangerous situation at my intersection. I has no assistance from LEO's or any other members. We were to release the cars after each group to keep traffic to a minimum. How was I supposed to know when all the "straglers" were gone and it was safe to release traffic from my intersection? Around here, we have more activities like that than fires. Rescues are also a huge part of our runs. So, I don't see how you can get by with saying that juniors should no be able to transmit without knowing the situation that a department may be in. Besides, I do not have to convince anyone here of anything. That's why we have soldiers fighting in Iraq. We're all entitled to our own opinions, and if you don't agree with me, chances are I do not agree with you. But that's the beauty of America, we all have the right to think the way we see fit and to express our opinions.

    I also have called our district radio tech. I asked him about the radio thing. He said as long as I got permission from the licence holder to have the radio on that frequency for each radio I program, then it is perfectly ok. He said that a lot of the regular members choose to do this so they can have a mobile, which are not supplied by the departments
    Last edited by dcrowe40380; 06-26-2006 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Thought of something to add

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    Juniors are treated the same on scene as regular members.
    That mentality can really get your department into trouble, especially if one of the kids gets hurt.
    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    We have never set up a rehab area. I don't even think we have even had enough members respond to scene to need one.
    If there is 1 member on the scene, they need to rest, rehydrate, and recoop. before they go back to work. It is even more important to have rehab with the fewer number of members. Why? Because those (few) members are still expected to do the same job (as, say... 20+ firefighters), meaning more than likely they will be over-worked.
    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    you bet your bottom dollar that if someone is stuck/trapped/hurt in the Red River Gorge, there will be more juniors up there than regular members (and there arent that many juniors, mabey six in the whole county).
    So wait... you're telling me that your department can not get more than 5 people to respond to an incident? Maybe some of the money being spent on portable radios for the juniors needs to go towards recruiting and/or additional training, since you're only going to be working with 5 firefighters.
    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    Rescues are also a huge part of our runs. So, I don't see how you can get by with saying that juniors should no be able to transmit without knowing the situation that a department may be in.
    Why would a junior need to know "what situation the department may be in?" First, what formal EMS training do the juniors have? I'm assuming that none are over the age of 18, so they obviously are not certified as EMTs. With that being said, I sincerely hope the juniors are performing patient care.. and also hope that they, in no way, are in contact with patients. That, my friend, is a huge liability as well as a huge risk for those juniors. If something happened, and a junior got sick due to contact with a patient, I seriously doubt the department insurance would cover that... due to the fact that the junior should not have been in the situation to begin with.


    Just a side note.. are you a junior in Madison County, KY?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTMPTB15
    That mentality can really get your department into trouble, especially if one of the kids gets hurt.

    If there is 1 member on the scene, they need to rest, rehydrate, and recoop. before they go back to work. It is even more important to have rehab with the fewer number of members. Why? Because those (few) members are still expected to do the same job (as, say... 20+ firefighters), meaning more than likely they will be over-worked.

    So wait... you're telling me that your department can not get more than 5 people to respond to an incident? Maybe some of the money being spent on portable radios for the juniors needs to go towards recruiting and/or additional training, since you're only going to be working with 5 firefighters.

    Why would a junior need to know "what situation the department may be in?" First, what formal EMS training do the juniors have? I'm assuming that none are over the age of 18, so they obviously are not certified as EMTs. With that being said, I sincerely hope the juniors are performing patient care.. and also hope that they, in no way, are in contact with patients. That, my friend, is a huge liability as well as a huge risk for those juniors. If something happened, and a junior got sick due to contact with a patient, I seriously doubt the department insurance would cover that... due to the fact that the junior should not have been in the situation to begin with.


    Just a side note.. are you a junior in Madison County, KY?
    First off, Juniors are not there for the paitent care. It's tough to carry a stokes basket while trying to bag someone and start a saline drip while doing suction. Remember the critical hour? Around here, that critical hour is usually gone by the time we get on scene, let alone get the person out. And with falls that usually average over 70 feet, you need to get that person out as soon a possible. So juniors usually get the "grunt" (carry) work, which I'm not complaining about. However, WE DO WEAR GLOVES, and protect ourselves in every way possible to prevent the most remote chances of coming in contact with a disease.

    Second, the department is not buying radios for juniors. I'm purchasing them (with my own money for the people who cannot afford one) and those who can afford them are paying for their own.

    Third: Yes, we do have problems with members showing up. Most of our members work out-of-county, and those who work in county are usually not allowed to leave work for a fire run. For example, a mutural aid run we did a while ago to a mulch fire, we only had two regular members show up. We also had four juniors. We were purely water supply on that one (we have two of the three tankers in the county), but it takes more than two people to expediently set up a drop tank, portable pump, strainer and drafting hose. Heck, it takes more than two people to lift the portable pump.

    Fourth: On the subject of rehab, It has been my knowledge that we have no dedicated area and team. If we need a break, we go lean on the truck and get a sip of water. No one forces you to over-work, you work to your limit, then you cool down. It's always been that way around here. If you need water, by all means, go get some. We are not forced to do anything we feel would be dangerous doing. So far, this system has worked for us.

    Fifth: We are not put into dangerous situations. Nor are most of the regular members. We are not allowed to enter an IDLH envionment, rapel, or anything like that, but then again, most of our other members do not do that also. Everyone treats each other the same. We occasionally help with mopup, and small things, but for the most part, our runs are either mobile homes (Surround and Drown ring a bell?), wildland rescue, or "Special Detail", which includes assisting with traffic control, escorting people, or other misc. things.

    No, I am not a junior in Madison County. However, we are a CSEPP county, which means if the crap hits the fan at the depot, we're in big trouble. Our county is one of the PAZ counties, which means that there will (according to the army) be about 10,000 people come here to be decontaminated. We're a small county. Most of our members are hard-working joes who want to give back to the community, however, when their community needs them, so does their family. I will be the first one to admit that we need to change our ways around here, however, I do not set the guidelines. I don't really have any input in them. However, someday, I wish that I could help make our departments the best in the country, or possibly the world. Everyone here is like family to me. Their kind, understanding, and they really have some good ideas on how to pick up chicks (a badge and a radio works wonders , just joking, I didn't join for the badge and the radio. I joined to help the community.).

    Thank you for your concern. I really didn't mean for my post to sound like that. Pappy (our assistant chief) would never let any of us get hurt. He loves us like his own. I guess I kinda flew off my rocker there for a minute (idk why, loL). Thank you for your input. You have really made me think about some things that I could suggest that could better myself and my department. Sometimes it takes an outsider, I guess, but you have really made me think...

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    I got a pager from my firehouse, only because I was the only active junior in my station at the time. I usually grab a portable at a fire scene because I usually take charge of air supply, tool aquisition/accountability or some other support function and I may need to speak with the IC directly via radio. I usually get about 4 or 5 other juniors to work under me. While I am not given my own portable radio by the department, I can always grab one off of a truck or from an officer who is not using his/hers as he/she is with someone who already has one. I don't see a PROBLEM per say with giving juniors pagers or the junior officers portables, but its like everything else, it depends on the maturity of the people you are dealing with.

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    Well, with our juniors, maturity is no problem. Some of them are more mature than some of our older members. For instance, we have two or three regular members banned from using the radio for life because all they did was goof off on them. I am a radio tech, and I've used radios for years, so it's no big toy for me, just another tool that makes my job(s) easier and a lot safer. We have never had a problem with juniors having radios in the history of our junior programs, so I guess time will only tell.

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    There are times when Explorers need to transmit.

    Those times are few and far between.

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    Amen brother. The radio is an invaluable resource. As long as you don't screw up, you should have a chance with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    First off, Juniors are not there for the paitent care. It's tough to carry a stokes basket while trying to bag someone and start a saline drip while doing suction. Remember the critical hour? Around here, that critical hour is usually gone by the time we get on scene, let alone get the person out. And with falls that usually average over 70 feet, you need to get that person out as soon a possible. So juniors usually get the "grunt" (carry) work, which I'm not complaining about. However, WE DO WEAR GLOVES, and protect ourselves in every way possible to prevent the most remote chances of coming in contact with a disease.

    Second, the department is not buying radios for juniors. I'm purchasing them (with my own money for the people who cannot afford one) and those who can afford them are paying for their own.

    Third: Yes, we do have problems with members showing up. Most of our members work out-of-county, and those who work in county are usually not allowed to leave work for a fire run. For example, a mutural aid run we did a while ago to a mulch fire, we only had two regular members show up. We also had four juniors. We were purely water supply on that one (we have two of the three tankers in the county), but it takes more than two people to expediently set up a drop tank, portable pump, strainer and drafting hose. Heck, it takes more than two people to lift the portable pump.

    Fourth: On the subject of rehab, It has been my knowledge that we have no dedicated area and team. If we need a break, we go lean on the truck and get a sip of water. No one forces you to over-work, you work to your limit, then you cool down. It's always been that way around here. If you need water, by all means, go get some. We are not forced to do anything we feel would be dangerous doing. So far, this system has worked for us.

    Fifth: We are not put into dangerous situations. Nor are most of the regular members. We are not allowed to enter an IDLH envionment, rapel, or anything like that, but then again, most of our other members do not do that also. Everyone treats each other the same. We occasionally help with mopup, and small things, but for the most part, our runs are either mobile homes (Surround and Drown ring a bell?), wildland rescue, or "Special Detail", which includes assisting with traffic control, escorting people, or other misc. things.

    No, I am not a junior in Madison County. However, we are a CSEPP county, which means if the crap hits the fan at the depot, we're in big trouble. Our county is one of the PAZ counties, which means that there will (according to the army) be about 10,000 people come here to be decontaminated. We're a small county. Most of our members are hard-working joes who want to give back to the community, however, when their community needs them, so does their family. I will be the first one to admit that we need to change our ways around here, however, I do not set the guidelines. I don't really have any input in them. However, someday, I wish that I could help make our departments the best in the country, or possibly the world. Everyone here is like family to me. Their kind, understanding, and they really have some good ideas on how to pick up chicks (a badge and a radio works wonders , just joking, I didn't join for the badge and the radio. I joined to help the community.).

    Thank you for your concern. I really didn't mean for my post to sound like that. Pappy (our assistant chief) would never let any of us get hurt. He loves us like his own. I guess I kinda flew off my rocker there for a minute (idk why, loL). Thank you for your input. You have really made me think about some things that I could suggest that could better myself and my department. Sometimes it takes an outsider, I guess, but you have really made me think...
    Different department... different mentality, I guess. It really all boils down to safety, safety of both the firefighters and the juniors. It's horrible when a firefighter gets injured, even worse if a junior gets hurt because more than likely they were somewhere (or doing something) they shouldn't have been. Good luck with your department, did the department consider applying for grants to help?
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    We're working on it. So far, we havent had much luck with grants... We also do not get assistance from the county or city either. Everything we have has been bought with money from fundraisers, donations, or members "chipping in". I know I have donated three pair of turnouts, as well as purchased my own turnouts/radios/other equipment to keep the costs down for the department. We are also looking at the possibility of having CSEPP to get us a new truck instead of those inflatable portable decon things, because you know if the crap hits the fan over there, we're not going to use those decon tent thingies. We're going to set two trucks side by side and run people thru the fog stream. It would literally take days to get the people done with the tent things, but a good ol fog stream can handle more people quicker. Besides, from what we are told, if the survived the trip over, the decon is going to be mostly psycological, so it really doesn't matter. Thanks for your input tho. And, would you know of any grants for a small department like ours to buy some new equipment and fix some our broken stuff? We do most of our maintence ourselves, but you can't fix everything. It would be worth a try to get a few extra dollars to replace the seals in our first due engine (all of the '99 pierce pumpers in the county leaks quite severely at times, and we were told that it is probably the seals) and possibly get some new SCBA's (we also have problems with them leaking... They are Dreger, and the leak around the pressure gauge. Sometimes the amounts are nominal, and sometimes it requires a complete refill, possibly temperature changes?).

    Thanks!

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    I dont really understand why your juniors are taking Dept. radios home, regardless if its thier property or not. It is kind of stupid that they are purchasing them (Maybe our Depts are different). They should be Explorer Post property, and if the explorer wants to use it, they 'oughta have an amateur radio license or something. Second, they should pay a security deposit to use the radio. In my department, not turning in the really crappy beat up turnout gear gets you a knock on the door by an Arson Investigator and a Police Officer, and if you dont have the gear...well you can guess the rest. Sure, there are times in which I needed a radio as an explorer to call for water etc... but taking it home would be pretty close to suicide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDExplorer
    I dont really understand why your juniors are taking Dept. radios home, regardless if its thier property or not. It is kind of stupid that they are purchasing them (Maybe our Depts are different). They should be Explorer Post property, and if the explorer wants to use it, they 'oughta have an amateur radio license or something. Second, they should pay a security deposit to use the radio. In my department, not turning in the really crappy beat up turnout gear gets you a knock on the door by an Arson Investigator and a Police Officer, and if you dont have the gear...well you can guess the rest. Sure, there are times in which I needed a radio as an explorer to call for water etc... but taking it home would be pretty close to suicide.
    From what I gather, I think the Radio is taking the place of a pager...correct me if i'm wrong.

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    Well, around here, that's the only way that we know when to respond to a call. Scanners do not get good reception without an external antenna (an inherent design flaw with scanners is that the antenna is "multi band", meaning it's designed to work "good" on all bands, but not "excellent" on any band in paticular, so sometimes you get the tones, sometimes you do not.) and hardly anyone can afford pagers. Plus, we do not keep handhelds on trucks. It's the members responsibility to keep up with their portable and keep it charged. This has led to some problems in the past (IE: lost radios, raido "bandits", etc.), but this is the way that our system is set up.

    Yes, the radios are taking the place of the pager. On all radios in the county, there is a "page" channel. It's set up to catch just the tones of your department, however, hardly anyone uses this channel. We just monitor the fire channel due to the fact that we occasionally get a call about meetings, and other "special detail" that they do not tone out on. Plus, if someone higher up the chain of command wants to get in contact with you, they will just holler at ya over the radio. It's a bad system, I know. Plus, a lot of the people keep a mobile/portable in their vehicle so they will know what's going on out in the county, because our radios come programmed standard with the police frequency and some of the frequencies of our sourrounding counties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe40380
    banned from using the radio for life
    I'm at a complete loss as to how completely ridiculous this sounds to me.
    "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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