1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Don't blame the volunteers. Blame all of the companies all too willing to sell a wide array of whacker chic!
    Now, before some of you jump on me for that statement, let me qualify it by saying: if it's a badge that identifies your department and it was provided by the fire department, then I think that's great.
    But, if the badge says "volunteer" on it and was purchased by the firefighter, then that is whacker chic. Add to that all of the other "volunteer" tagged items and companies like G****; whoops, I almost said it, make a fortune off of the newbies who are so proud that they finally got to join a volunteer department, that they max out the credit card buying the stuff.
    I still have a jacket that I bought that has reflective "fire/rescue" on the back, down the arms and on the left breast area. Fire department at the time didn't even have work shirts or nothing.
    Anyway; I like the idea of embroidered badges or other insignias that identify you as a firefighter.
    As I have previously said in other threads; I have always had a personal problem with wearing a Class A uniform as a volunteer. I always thought that the uniform belonged to the career firefighters. I can wear a nice suit to a fire department function. I will wear a lapel pin that signifies fire service and just leave it at that. I know many volunteer departments lay out the entire Class A attire and that's good for you. But I am going on 25 years and still going and still have no desire to "suit up".
    Badges are an unnecessary expense and so are Class A's. For volunteers.
    It's how you feel inwardly and not how you dress outwardly that's going to make the difference in what you do as a firefighter.
    IMHO.
    CR
    Just remember brother that the history of the fire service is one of volunteers and the vast MAJORITY of our great fire service are and always will be volunteers ! If you want the check - great - I love being a firefighter and don't need or want the money - but we are all in this together. Not sure why you make a demarcation between paid and volunteers in regrds to uniforms - I have seen both paid guys and volunteers that look like bums - and both that looked extremely professional.
    Last edited by FirstDueCTVol; 09-11-2006 at 01:43 AM.

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    FirstDue;
    I have never known ChiefReason to belittle volunteers; I think the demarcation for response was because volunteers are often looking for and buying their own fire items. They may or may not have any SOG's that guide them in their search and use of items. They may be overwhelmed with choices. I think ChiefReason was pointing out the fact that they may be targets of advertising.

    Career FF's probably have SOG's that cover these issues and career management is responsible for issuing the items that their members are required to have. I wouldn't know for sure; I'm not career. It just seems logical to me that this would be the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstDueCTVol
    Just remember brother that the history of the fire service is one of volunteers and the vast MAJORITY of our great fire service are and always will be volunteers ! If you want the check - great - I love being a firefighter and don't need or want the money - but we are all in this together. Not sure why you make a demarcation between paid and volunteers in regrds to uniforms - I have seen both paid guys and volunteers that look like bums - and both that looked extremely professional.
    If you're a volunteer department that can afford badges and Class A's, great.
    That exactly what I said.
    There IS a line of demarcation between career and volunteer...on several fronts. There is the obvious one.
    And like I said, I can look pretty "official" or "professional" in a nice gray suit.
    And I saved the department about $600.
    You want to wear Class A? I won't besmirch you. Read what I said.
    I'm not picking a fight. I stated MY reasons.
    You disagree? Good for you.
    I stand by my previous post. I see nothing that is inappropriate.
    CR
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    We must be a little redneck here because we get a ball cap and a t-shirt if you buy one.Our dress uniform is a clean t-shirt and ball cap.Most people identify us when we drive up in a fire truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    If you're a volunteer department that can afford badges and Class A's, great.
    That exactly what I said.
    There IS a line of demarcation between career and volunteer...on several fronts. There is the obvious one.
    And like I said, I can look pretty "official" or "professional" in a nice gray suit.
    And I saved the department about $600.
    You want to wear Class A? I won't besmirch you. Read what I said.
    I'm not picking a fight. I stated MY reasons.
    You disagree? Good for you.
    I stand by my previous post. I see nothing that is inappropriate.
    CR
    Chief - maybe I misunderstood your post- I agree on the saving money thing- I just think if you can get everyone in class a for certain things that it is nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    As I have previously said in other threads; I have always had a personal problem with wearing a Class A uniform as a volunteer. I always thought that the uniform belonged to the career firefighters. I can wear a nice suit to a fire department function. I will wear a lapel pin that signifies fire service and just leave it at that.
    and you will probably be the sharpest looking civilian there.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    I know many volunteer departments lay out the entire Class A attire and that's good for you. But I am going on 25 years and still going and still have no desire to "suit up".
    Badges are an unnecessary expense and so are Class A's. For volunteers.
    It's how you feel inwardly and not how you dress outwardly that's going to make the difference in what you do as a firefighter.
    IMHO.CR
    Class A's have their uses. at 25, you don't want to suit up, cool, I won't twist your arm.

    If you want to go to a town meeting in a suit and tie, I won't belittle you.

    If you want to attend your new members firefighter I graduation in a suit and tie, I have no problem with that.

    If you want to march in a funeral for one of your own in a suit and tie, that is your choice.

    however, in each of the above three examples you will be looked up and viewed by the public as a civilian. yes, you may have the title, or even the rank, but you still look like a civilian. if you are going to be a firefighter, and want to give off a professional aura, then you should be in a proper firefighters uniform.

    A dress uniform (as well as a work uniform) has a place in both the career fire service and in the volunteer fire service. a uniform is one of the easiest ways to differentiate a civilian from a firefighter. and yes, the public can tell the difference.

    IMHO, of course.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    As I have previously said in other threads; I have always had a personal problem with wearing a Class A uniform as a volunteer. I always thought that the uniform belonged to the career firefighters. I can wear a nice suit to a fire department function. I will wear a lapel pin that signifies fire service and just leave it at that. I know many volunteer departments lay out the entire Class A attire and that's good for you. But I am going on 25 years and still going and still have no desire to "suit up".
    Badges are an unnecessary expense and so are Class A's. For volunteers.
    It's how you feel inwardly and not how you dress outwardly that's going to make the difference in what you do as a firefighter.
    IMHO.
    CR
    You had me until that bit about the Class A's. I agree with you about the whacker junk, and to some degree I think that stuff actually makes you look UNprofessional. But I cannot understand your logic about volunteers not wearing Class A uniforms. "The uniform belonged to the career firefighters"? I don't understand that, the Class A uniform has been worn by the volunteers for CENTURIES, well before any career firefighters were wearing them, or were even in existence for that matter. I'm certainly not arguing your opinion, but I think your logic is a bit flawed. Perhaps we should even take it a step further and say that only the military should wear Class A's?

    I personally find it disrespectful for a firefighter, volunteer OR career, to not wear their Class A uniforms to a wake/funeral service or memorial service. I consider it a justified expense for the district/company/department. Furthermore, I don't distinguish between a city having to pay for its career firefighter's uniforms and a town having to pay for its volunteer firefighter's uniforms. What's the difference, really? Clearly Class A uniforms are not work related attire, they are for special occasions and circumstances. A firefighter is a firefighter, plain and simple. Believe me, the public at large makes absolutely no distinction between the two. As a matter of fact, it would probably reflect poorly on the volunteers in the public's eye to NOT have and wear Class A uniforms when appropriate. And in the end, isn't it more professionalism we're always striving for?

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    Believe me, the public at large makes absolutely no distinction between the two.
    I dunno about that one... I have a set of Class Bs that I wear for station staffing, prevention presentations, and medical standbys. However, unlike the career guys, I am not issued a badge for my Bs...if I want one, I can buy one, at the going rate for replacements for the paid guys (somewhere about $60-ish). As of right now, that's one expense that I just can't justify to myself.

    However, when out in the public with the paid guys, I often get asked why it is that they have badges and I don't ... when I explain that I'm a volunteer Firefighter, the next question is invariably: "Oh...so when're you going to do it for real?" (yes, you can hear the italics in their speech )

    I've been in many different organizations over the years...Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts, the California State Military Reserve... and I recall a statement I heard once at a CAP training that has become a foundation of my mindset with respect to my "volunteer" time and experience:
    "There are two types of people in organizations like this (at the time referring to CAP--the "volunteer Auxiliary of the US Air Force"): Volunteers, and Unpaid Professionals. The difference lies in that Unpaid Professionals go a step above and beyond, giving that extra bit of effort to be, look, and act professional at all times that they're representing or working for their organization. Now it's time to ask yourself: which are you, and which do you want to be?"

    I've always strived to be the Unpaid Professional...sure, they won't turn me away for showing up to do prevention education or a standby in a dept T-shirt and clean blue jeans...but I would rather go the extra mile and present the "professional" appearance.

    From my POV, there's nothing wrong with that. If you want to purchase and wear department-approved Class Bs for station staffing, training, public education, etc, more power to you. If you want to go out and drop several hundred on Class As for parades, funerals, etc, it's your money. As long as you stay within the standards set by your department, and use good taste and judgment, what's the problem?

    A final thought: nobody needs stinking badges... hit em with some Febreeze, it works miracles for stinkin' badges.

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    Every time I see some one with one of those wallet badges --- I think of the time we got a call and as the engine arrived at the intersection one of the local whackers was trying to stop traffic for us by holding his badge up.

    All I could think of was CITIZENS AAARRREEESTTTT

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    Maybe its a new england thing- almost everyone I know up here carries a wallte badge - not just the vollys but most of the paid guys too. Why? I am really not sure - everyone just seems to have em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6
    Well, first off, volunteers don't get "hired". Secondly, I imagine whether or not they get a badge would depend on the specific dept's policy. I would venture a guess that EVERY firefighter, paid or vollie, has at least one badge for their dress uniform. Wallet badges are probably less common, however.

    First off, if you don't think you are "hiring" volunteers on a volunteer department, you have another thing coming. Even though a volunteer may not be paid, the government looks at them as "HIRED" when they start working. Very important legal distinction.

    Secondly, in many parts of the country badges may be common, but in many others, unheard of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man
    I dunno about that one... I have a set of Class Bs that I wear for station staffing, prevention presentations, and medical standbys. However, unlike the career guys, I am not issued a badge for my Bs...if I want one, I can buy one, at the going rate for replacements for the paid guys (somewhere about $60-ish). As of right now, that's one expense that I just can't justify to myself.
    I don't blame you for not paying for one out of your own pocket. Badges should be issued by the department and returned should you decide to leave said department. I wouldn't pay for one, especially because if you decide to move or leave the department, the badge becomes useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man
    However, when out in the public with the paid guys, I often get asked why it is that they have badges and I don't ... when I explain that I'm a volunteer Firefighter, the next question is invariably: "Oh...so when're you going to do it for real?" (yes, you can hear the italics in their speech )
    and that, my friend, is why ALL firefighters should be issued badges. you want to say people get them after a year (or however long their probation is)? fine. but when you are out in public, you shouldn't be volunteer firefighters or career firefighter. you should be FIREFIGHTERs.

    Then again, if I was on your department, I would either demand to be issued a badge, so I can look as professional as the career staff. If the chief/membership/commisioners/etc refused, I would simply say that I will not be doing anything that required me to be in uniform (fire prevention, anything dealing with the public, duty shifts with the career staff, etc), because I lack a complete uniform, whose standard is set by the career staff.

    but that is just me
    Perhaps we should even take it a step further and say that only the military should wear Class A's?
    nah, probably should limit it only to full time, active duty military members. wouldn't want them to be confused with the part timers
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    in my volunteer dept. firemans releif pays for badges for Fire police and the line officers. if a ff wants a badge they have to buy it them selves but it has to be all the same badges. its kinda weird the way this is run

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    Then again, if I was on your department, I would either demand to be issued a badge, so I can look as professional as the career staff. If the chief/membership/commisioners/etc refused, I would simply say that I will not be doing anything that required me to be in uniform (fire prevention, anything dealing with the public, duty shifts with the career staff, etc)
    That's all well and good, but the argument that would be raised, at least in my department, is that the County provides Dept/Company T-shirts to volunteers, and Class A/Bs are optional for us. There's no written rule that says volunteers assisting with prevention/standbys/station staffing must wear Bs. At least here, there's technically no written rule saying you even have to wear your FD/Company t-shirt to such events.
    Therefore, it could (and would, should anyone demand Bs or badges) be argued that since said items are optional for us, then they should be purchased at our expense.

    Then again, there are certain people among both the paid and volunteer staff who believe that volunteers wearing Bs, doing staffing time, and working prevention/standby details are engaging in "career wannabe-ism", and those doing so should "get a life"... *shrugs* Welcome to the Fire Service, I guess. *LOL*

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    My station here requires us to wear our class B's at certain events and even our class A's at really formal ones. We are issued everything though (except shoes, and underwear....only place I've been that issues underwear was the Army...) badges included. During our intial candidate status we are only issued a T-Shirt, but once we become probies we are issued the remainder of our uniform.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6
    You had me until that bit about the Class A's. I agree with you about the whacker junk, and to some degree I think that stuff actually makes you look UNprofessional. But I cannot understand your logic about volunteers not wearing Class A uniforms. "The uniform belonged to the career firefighters"? I don't understand that, the Class A uniform has been worn by the volunteers for CENTURIES, well before any career firefighters were wearing them, or were even in existence for that matter. I'm certainly not arguing your opinion, but I think your logic is a bit flawed. Perhaps we should even take it a step further and say that only the military should wear Class A's?

    I personally find it disrespectful for a firefighter, volunteer OR career, to not wear their Class A uniforms to a wake/funeral service or memorial service. I consider it a justified expense for the district/company/department. Furthermore, I don't distinguish between a city having to pay for its career firefighter's uniforms and a town having to pay for its volunteer firefighter's uniforms. What's the difference, really? Clearly Class A uniforms are not work related attire, they are for special occasions and circumstances. A firefighter is a firefighter, plain and simple. Believe me, the public at large makes absolutely no distinction between the two. As a matter of fact, it would probably reflect poorly on the volunteers in the public's eye to NOT have and wear Class A uniforms when appropriate. And in the end, isn't it more professionalism we're always striving for?
    I am very familiar with the history of the fire service and Class A uniforms.
    And perhaps in New York and the Eastern States in general, they find it necessary to carry on the history and tradition and PAY for it; one way or another. Here in the Midwest and particularly the area that I live in, Class A's among volunteer fire departments is non-existent. I guess it's a cultural thing, I don't know, but I can tell you that for many years, the vollies would not wear Class A's or even WEAR their badge out of respect for the career departments.
    See; I don't know about the rest of you, but there was a time when volunteers were looked down upon by career. I was a part of the change that occurred here locally and today, we have developed great friendships and relationships with our local career departments. We go to each other's events, promotion ceremonies and retirement parties. They wear their Class A's; we don't.
    I have attended firefighter funerals where you could not sit down on the floor unless you were wearing Class A's. I have no problem with that.
    And you know something else? I have seen vollies attend a firefighter memorial wearing bluejeans and their department's jacket and I think that is great, because that's all they have!
    Remember; there are still departments in this country that have to take up donations to put gas in the rigs.
    I strongly doubt that you will see them in Class A's anytime soon.
    Now; let's get back to badges; something else they won't be buying anytime soon!
    P.S.
    Dr. D: I am not 25. I am 53. I have over 25 years in the fire service.
    Also; do departments that get Class A's for their firefighters take them back if a firefighter gets off the fire department? What about the badge?
    Is anyone else thinking "impersonating a firefighter" besides me?
    CR
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    What possible need could there be for a volunteer to have a badge in their wallet? It serves no purpose whatsoever other than to "show off" to anyone who might give a crap. For that matter a badge is not a legitimate piece of identification for anyone. Is that not what photo ID's are for? If a department chooses to outfit its members with uniforms/badges for use at funerals/ceromonial functions, fine. Its a nice way to honor fallen members. Thats about it.

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    Interesting discussion.

    Coming from the northeast, I guess to me Class A uniforms is something that any department should provide thier members, if they can afford it. As I said, I have been on volunteer departments that provided shirts, pants, brass and hats all the way to departments that provided all of the above plus shoes and blouses. I have been also on rural departments that could not afford to provide anything. The professional image which a sharp Class A provides to the public is beneficial for both volunteer and career departments. The thought that only career firefighters deserve a Class A or that a volunteer department would not issue Class A uniforms out of respect to career departments befuddles me. What exactly makes a career firefighter or a career department deserve some special respect of a volunteer member or volunteer department, as we all do the same job?

    Right now my department, where the classic Class A is not quite as important as it is in the northeast, provides only a dress shirt. There has been discussion about providing uniform pants, and recently the 3 chief officers have been bought dress blouses for state functions, etc. We have strict policies regarding what volunteer and career members must wear to specific funtions if they wish to attend them (example: senior members, who are issued long sleeve instead of short sleeve dress shirts, are required to wear ties with the long sleeve shirt at events designated by a chief offier).
    Collar brass is specified for all members and only designated brass can be worn.

    If you wish to rideout, all volunteers must wear the department issued polo, blue pants and black shoes. Again, we want the crew to step off the truck dressed the same so the public will not know who is being paid at that moment and who is running as a volunteer.

    To me, a Class A is a fire service tradition, that if a department can afford, should be continued, regardless of paid or volunteer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Dr. D: I am not 25. I am 53. I have over 25 years in the fire service.
    Also; do departments that get Class A's for their firefighters take them back if a firefighter gets off the fire department? What about the badge?
    Is anyone else thinking "impersonating a firefighter" besides me?
    CR
    I was referring to your time in the fire service, not your age.

    as for class As, all patches and badges are turned in upon leaving the department. They are issued to the member, akin to a pager, key to the firehouse, and turnout gear. all the items are issued to a person when they join, and must be turned back in when they leave. It's all about accountability, and having officers that keep track of equipment.

    I think you are the only one thinking impersonating a firefighter. maybe you are being a little paranoid?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    The professional image which a sharp Class A provides to the public is beneficial for both volunteer and career departments. The thought that only career firefighters deserve a Class A or that a volunteer department would not issue Class A uniforms out of respect to career departments befuddles me. What exactly makes a career firefighter or a career department deserve some special respect of a volunteer member or volunteer department, as we all do the same job?
    ...
    If you wish to rideout, all volunteers must wear the department issued polo, blue pants and black shoes. Again, we want the crew to step off the truck dressed the same so the public will not know who is being paid at that moment and who is running as a volunteer.
    ...
    To me, a Class A is a fire service tradition, that if a department can afford, should be continued, regardless of paid or volunteer.
    could not have said it better myself.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Also; do departments that get Class A's for their firefighters take them back if a firefighter gets off the fire department? What about the badge?
    Is anyone else thinking "impersonating a firefighter" besides me?
    CR
    Yes, everything is returned to the company.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Is anyone else thinking "impersonating a firefighter" besides me?CR
    Ever seen a Gall's catalog? You can impersonate anyone real easy.
    "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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    Also; do departments that get Class A's for their firefighters take them back if a firefighter gets off the fire department? What about the badge?
    Is anyone else thinking "impersonating a firefighter" besides me?
    So far, I'm with the apparent majority--you're alone in thinking "impersonating a firefighter".

    Oh wait...can't one use a photo ID for that same purpose???? Guess we better not issue those, either.

    Even better--what exactly is "impersonating a firefighter" going to get you, precisely? In most places I've been, a firefighter badge and $2 will get you a cup of coffee in most restaurants or convenience stores... but then again, so will the $2.
    Considering that FFs, minus arson investigators, have zero "powers" (i.e.--arrest powers) from flashing a badge, what other good is it going to do? Again: nothing.
    Well, I guess you could flash it to chicks at the bar and try to use it to pick them up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man
    So far, I'm with the apparent majority--you're alone in thinking "impersonating a firefighter".

    Oh wait...can't one use a photo ID for that same purpose???? Guess we better not issue those, either.

    Even better--what exactly is "impersonating a firefighter" going to get you, precisely? In most places I've been, a firefighter badge and $2 will get you a cup of coffee in most restaurants or convenience stores... but then again, so will the $2.
    Considering that FFs, minus arson investigators, have zero "powers" (i.e.--arrest powers) from flashing a badge, what other good is it going to do? Again: nothing.
    Well, I guess you could flash it to chicks at the bar and try to use it to pick them up.
    I thought Chicks dig scars?
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    I thought Chicks dig scars?
    That too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    I thought Chicks dig scars?
    Yes they do, but you have to turn them in when you leave your department!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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