Thread: Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Questions

    Hey guys I signed up for my local volunteer department and they prefer we stay at the station while answering calls instead of responding from home. Anyway, the volunteer Chief told me to get with him so he could get me over there to start. I wanted to ask, how long should I stay to answer calls? I mean, a few hours, a whole shift? Whats a good time frame? There are 2 FF's on staff so they need help but I know after a while they probably wouldn't want me around the station all day. They told us we could ride the engine any time. I'm a new volunteer so I don't know any of the paid guys yet so I know I'll feel weird at first.
    Last edited by miked2424; 01-05-2007 at 09:58 PM.

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    I would find somebody that you know from the station and find out when they will be there. That will help to get things started. Find out when they have drills or other events and start showing up then.

    You also said that the Chief told you to get with him to start. I would do exactly that. He should be able to let you know what is expected and introduce you around.

    There are a lot of posts on how to get along in the beginning. Listen, learn and don't be afraid to work. Help out with station duties without being asked. Soon you'll get to know people and fit in.

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    I am all about listening and learning and staying busy, my life is practically firefighting and studying the job. However I just don't want to feel, as a volunteer, like I am imposing on the paid guys working at the station, I guess you could say. While I hope to go paid soon I don't want to NOT know what to do.

    Eng34- what's a good time to go in and then stay for? I mean, an entire shift, few hours, something like that?

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    It's hard to say when a good time is. It's different for every department. The best I can say is to ask other members of the department. I assume that the volunteers have drills and/or meetings. I would start with those and get to know people, then increase the time at the station.

    Depending on the relationship with the paid crews, they probably won't mind having an extra person around to help out. Hopefully that won't be an issue.

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    I would hate to know I could only respond to calls from the station as a Volunteer. I guess I have never been with a department that was like that. I have been a reserve on a paid department and we just hung around the station in our spare time. I would say if you have the time, I would go during the day for several hours. If you are free at night maybe stay all night with them to go on calls. I would say do like 10 or 12 hours at a time.
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    Default There must be some subtext to this...

    ...that I am missing, because I just don't see the issue. The Chief told you to get with him so he could get you started. So you get with him so he can get you started. You need to know how much time you should be spending at the station. Well, you will be with the Chief anyway, why not ask him how much time you should be at the station?

    I'm confused.

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    Don't spend so much time at the station that your wife demands an ID check before she opens the door to you or your dogs forget who you are.
    Other than that,2 or 3 hours of your spare time at first isn't that much to spend at the house.Just spend it learning what is where on the rigs so you know what someone is talking about when you are given a gopher job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randsc View Post
    ...that I am missing, because I just don't see the issue. The Chief told you to get with him so he could get you started. So you get with him so he can get you started. You need to know how much time you should be spending at the station. Well, you will be with the Chief anyway, why not ask him how much time you should be at the station?

    I'm confused.

    No, just the first day, I mean he's going to send me over there, introduce me and everything. After that I can come and go on my own but I was wondering what the right time was to come and go.

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    Default Talking to wrong people

    You need to be talking about this with your chief and the other members in your department. We can not tell you what is "normal" in "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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  10. #10
    35monroeffemt
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    Talking Prepare

    Either way your now a probie, so prepare to be filling coffee cups, cleaning toilets and pretty much any other undesirable tasks that the senior guys don't want to.

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    The best advice that I can give is that the more time that you spend down there, the more experience you will get along with that fact that you will have a better realtionship your paid firefighters. I would start off taking it a little slow and getting the hang of things, and then slowly working into more hours. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    .

    There are a lot of posts on how to get along in the beginning. Listen, learn and don't be afraid to work. Help out with station duties without being asked. Soon you'll get to know people and fit in.
    And don't be affraid to ask questions ,as well as go over stuff a couple of times, no matter how dumb you think they might be. And most of all don't develope a know it all attitude. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson View Post
    Don't spend so much time at the station that your wife demands an ID check before she opens the door to you or your dogs forget who you are.
    Other than that,2 or 3 hours of your spare time at first isn't that much to spend at the house.Just spend it learning what is where on the rigs so you know what someone is talking about when you are given a gopher job.
    good advice, and also don't let volunteering override your family, or your job.

  14. #14
    35monroeffemt
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    Default Keep the calls at the house

    Depending on your family situation. I would suggest keeping the calls at the firehouse. I have found that some guys like to talk about the calls with the families which is not a bad idea for debriefing if something is really bothering you. By all means if you need to talk to somebody do so. But unless you have a spouse or significant other that is also in emergency services or hospital based ie nurse, doctor etc. I would try to limit the amount of unpleasantness of what you will see and talk about to a minimum. You really don't want to tell your family about how you were almost burnt to a crisp, or how you had to pick up peices of a trauma vic. Most of that talk will just result in your family resenting your job for the risks that you have to take.

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    1. Learn the apparatus and equipment, the paid guys can help with that.
    2. Take training, FF. learn by laws.
    3. Have the Chief set up weekly or monthly goals for you. Once achieved and off probation and you become an active member you should be able to run calls like other members of the department. I volunteer for a small un-manned department in augusta county, virginia. We are the only department that is unmanned but we have better response times that even some of the paid departments due to how close proxisemity of some of the members live. Most of our members either go to the scene or respond to the station for additional apparatus. If you find that you feel you are not being adequately trained, let your chief know. Don't get bored. There is always too much to learn to do that. Have fun and enjoy. The paid guys should also have daily check sheets and tasks they need to perform, ask to help (but don't be there scut monkey), you are there to learn. A general good rule is no more than 8-12 hours a week max too.(What was the requirment when you joined?)
    Sandy H., FF/NREMT-P

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