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    Default A question for Volunteers. I need some guidence

    I am currently a carrer firefighter. I live outside of my district in a different county. Where I live is an all vol. dept. what I'm wondering what is your opinion on a carrer firefighter becoming a volunteer? How would you feel about this? Has anyone delt with this before does it work. any advise would help. Thank you.

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    I volunteer in an all volunteer department. We have a few career firefighters and EMT/Paramedics who volunteer as well. My experience has been that the career guys (and ladies) bring a lot of experience and ideas to the department, and are more exposed to new technology and techniques in the fire service. I know some paid departments don't allow their employees to volunteer for various reasons, so I would suggest checking with your employer before joining the volunterr department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARL2819 View Post
    I am currently a carrer firefighter. I live outside of my district in a different county. Where I live is an all vol. dept. what I'm wondering what is your opinion on a carrer firefighter becoming a volunteer? How would you feel about this? Has anyone delt with this before does it work. any advise would help. Thank you.


    We have a few career guys that volunteer in my station because this is where they live. We have no problem at all , in fact it's great having "new"
    members who are already trained. Never had any of my guys upset over career guys joining. One piece of advice for you , leave your "career status"
    at the door every time when you walk into your vollie house. Not saying that you would , but never act like your better or know more than your fellow vollies just because you do it for a living , that could create a problem. Just my 2 cents. You should definately join and give back to your community.

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    Why not? You will likely hear some flack from some but, if your local is OK with it, and the volunteer department is asking, go for it!

    Stay Safe

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    You'll find some very strong opinions on this topic. Our department is all volunteer and we have a few that are paid at the local military basis. As long as the department is all volunteer, there shouldn't be a problem.

    RESQBOSS gives some good advice. Nothing bugs our guys more than the paid guys telling us how they do it at work. It may be a better way, but the presentation is the key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriTownship600 View Post
    Why not? You will likely hear some flack from some but, if your local is OK with it, and the volunteer department is asking, go for it!
    *LOL* "likely hear some flack"??? Heh...understatement of the century there, I'm sure. I know some posters on these forums will have an aneurism as soon as they discover this thread...and the subsequent "career vs volunteer" antics will ensue shortly thereafter...anyone want to take bets on how long it takes?

    To the OP:
    Personally, I wouldn't see a problem with it. Just remember, though, that you'd be highly offended if one of the volunteer guys got hired on your dept and walked in your station telling your guys "how-to" on stuff because he'd been a volly for 10 years...so keep in mind they'll probably have the same reaction if you walk into their house and do the same because you've been a career guy for 5 yrs or however long.
    That being said--I'll be the first to admit that career guys do see more calls, get more "jobs", and there is a big difference both culturally and operationally between working 24, 48, or 72hr shifts at a firehouse (yes, I've actually worked 24s and 48s alongside the career guys in my dept occasionally) and coming in "as-needed" for meetings, calls, and weeklies.
    If the all-volunteer guys are smart, they'll recognize that there probably is a difference in experience level (in your favor), welcome you with open arms, and be ready and willing to utilize your training and experience.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    Thumbs up

    For what it is worth.

    I agree 100% with the above posts. Your knowledge and experience will be welcome. We have had career guys (still do for that matter). One that is on the department repsonds when he is in town. And if I am doing training and want a new perspective, guess who I call. Not because he special or nothing, But he is receiving training all of the time, and I want to take advantage of it. He is a great guy. He started with us and wants to give back for getting him started. I have done this for, well lets say awhile, and I learn something new all of the time. I do not think this is a career vs vollie question anyway. I am sure I will get corrected on that statement.

    Stay Safe.
    T.J.

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    I do not think this is a career vs vollie question anyway. I am sure I will get corrected on that statement.
    I don't think it is, either...but you ever get that feeling in the back of your head that something's just gonna happen? It picked up as soon as I finished reading the original post.... so, you in for it taking 10-15 posts to become a flamewar? Best odds right there...

    In short:



    Last edited by the1141man; 04-01-2007 at 10:23 PM.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    To become a volli. i suggest you do. If you really love fighting fire then you just want to do it all the time. I am a volli the captian at my station. but i am also a paid fire fighter with usfs. i started as a volli it has showed me what i want to do for the rest of my life. alot of the paid guys from las vegas are not allowed to become vollies do to the union.

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    Thanks guys. I really think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to my attitude and approch the their organization. In no way would it be my intention to step on anyones feet nor do I want to convert anyone to "my way" And Resq I think you are absolutly right when you say I need to leave my carrer status at the door. I deffinatly know that I will catch hell from the union. Thanks again.

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    ARL,

    I would take the opportunity to do it. I am a two-hatter...been career for 7 years, but volunteer for 14. In fact, I am the chief of my VFD, and have been for three years. I really enjoy both sides of it, you'll find a lot of differences & similarities between the career and volunteer side of things.

    As for the union issue, I am in the union, but with Virginia being a right-to-work state, the stakes are a little different. Our local is not strict about our guys volunteering in thier home counties, and a lot of us do (we have over 500 suppression personnel, so you can imagine that a lot of them came from the volunteer ranks). The local does ask that you don't volly in a county with career staff, but a few still do. My volly county is all-volunteer.

    I think you'll enjoy your experience...

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    And remember, Volley "Rookies" have to clean thier own toilets, mop thier own floors, and cut their own grass, etc. No union janitors there.

    Good Luck with it.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    We have lots of career guys, either from small cities in this part of PA or county departments in MD, who volunteer in the suburban and rural fire companies around my area. It's win-win...they get to do more of what they love to do, and the volly companies get some of the benefits of their training and experience. I'm a fan of career FFs who volunteer as well.

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    If you show up for meetings,answer the calls and do the housekeeping jobs on Detail Sunday,you'd be welcome at my old volunteer department.Yes,I've seen a Captain with 26 years on helping to scrub the floors and clean the bathroom.It's just an attitude of doing the job that needs doing.
    Any new knowledge that you had would be expected to be shared.My old department has people who had been paid firefighters all their professional careers and guys that never worked for a paid department before and were surprised when they started the points system(1 point for each call made turns into $3.00 per call every 6 months for gas usage).
    Everyone knows something that can be useful.Just don't argue about how long to leave the burgers on during a cookout.

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    also remember, even though you are a career FF, you still have to make your volunteer obligations as well. I think it was VinnieB (a then newly hired FDNY guy) he didn't want to run calls for 24 straight hours at his paid job and then answer a CO alarm at 3am on his off duty time.

    ditto for department trainings and alarm response. don't think that because you train daily at work means you don't have to attend dept trainings (even though you do know what is being gone over like the back of your hand). Also, if you end up too busy with work (hey, it does happen) follow the proper protocols for your volunteer department about leave of absence or resigning in good standing. Don't think that everyone will just allow you to break the department rules just because you are a career FF.

    Also remember that a career FD and a volunteer FD are different cultures. Both have their advantages, and I would encourage you to join your local volunteer department.
    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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    We've got three guys that are career on my vollie department (including myself). I love it! Career guys often gain more experience and have higher training levels compared to the vollies in this area. Most of them will in turn help out the rest of the vollies in that regard (instruct training, bring ideas of how to do things, etc). But like someone said, it's all in the presentation, which as long as there isn't an attitude is usually not an issue.

    Our union local actually has no issue with our guys volunteering. 50% or more of the guys on my career department vollie somewhere, usually the department they were on before they got hired. Hopefully yours is open to it.

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    We have had the experience where our volleis actually become paid FF'S or on the paid EMS area or both, so it has never really been an issue with us. Most paid personnel generally start out in Volley comapnies and work their way forward to the paid job which is great for them and people should always help them reach that when possible.

    As for someone paid wanting in that never served as a Volley before. Why Not? If you, like the rest of the members have the time to handle what is required to be a member of the department, and if you are able to work within the departments S.O.G.'s (P's) then no one would turn you down here.

    However, as stated, you will need to leave the paid job at the door, because we tend to do some things a little different than the paid folks. Not because we believe things to be different and all that crap, we just have different personnel we deal with, and we generally have to carry everything from the sink to the head on the rigs, whereas the paid folks can have specialty vehicles more often than not.

    It would actually be good for you to do this, so that you will have that sense of the fire service from both sides of the world. You will however, find that not all things are that different and that for the most part, we all are actually a little nuts to be doing this for free or for money.


    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!

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    Have at er in my mind. I doubt many vollie depts will turn away a career guy lookin too volunteer
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    My vollie dept has 5 career (including myself) and we have no problems enteracting each other. We (career) were all vollies long before we started our career.Like most people have said check your career status at the door and enter with an open mind! I say GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!! STAY SAFE

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    Default Career Guy's

    Our Department has 9 paid and the rest volunteers. Our career guy's are Fire Commissioners who run the Department. Two of us are retired Fire Fighters from a large City and I think that helps with the running of the Department. We know what can be done and what needs to be done.

    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley, Fire Commissioner
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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    A lot of good advice being offered

    if you join you're local vollie outfit, make the commitment to train with them

    and BTW, it's not always the same

    If you are on a large city fd, and live in a rural area you may need to train on drafting, tanker shuttle, wildland fire techniques and other "rural" techniques. (you can have people that train about 4 times/year on drafting, and still have difficulty )

    From what I've observed in my local, you would be more likely to see class A foam ops or a CAFS operation at the suburban to rural end than from the traditional "city" departments.

    What I have seen with full time FFs from busy city departments - They bring a sense of urgency to aspects of training that we sometimes lack at the vollie level. Like busting butt to get lines off and ladders up.

    a full time ff trained to FFII can bring so much to the table for a vollie dept....it's eye opening

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    We have four career guys on our department,our roster is only around 30 including medics.Two were volley first and hired with the local city,two were city guys first and joined to play on their off days.They have better training and have brought some good ideas to us.One had an attitude and still feels some calls arent worth his time,but he is getting better.If the department is liek mine theyll take you with open arms.

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    So how is it working out for you?
    ex Chief 500

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    Spoke with some of the volunteers recently and they seemed okay with it. Just trying to finish up some stuff with the family. Thanks for all the good advice. Stay safe.

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