1. #1
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    Default Training favoritism

    Ok....I am a member of an all vol. department and it is becoming obvious to a few of us that those with more training and experience are taking seats in the trucks/engines over than those with less, even to the point that the members who where already on the apparatus ready to leave are being told to get out in favor of the other persons. My take is that due to alot of scheduling conflicts it is hard for many of us to travel to take training classes and they are not being offered in our district, even though we have requested it, especially firefighter I, which many of us need, and if we are unable to go to calls then we are loosing out on the practical experience, even though we went through a probie phase and had classes and attend drills weekly. Am I wrong to think this is unfair, and if it is unfair, how should I bring up my complaint to the officers who are infact commiting said "favortism"?

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    You probably don't want to hear this, but I wouldn't hesitate a moment - and don't hesitate, actually - to put the best trained and qualified person in a seat over someone else who is less qualified.

    As far as I'm concerned, you volunteer to join, and after that, it's your job to get the qualifications needed to do the job. That means finding a way to get out there and get the classes and take the tests, even if it isn't the most convenient thing to do. If you pursue only the minumum training, you'll be down the pecking order for seats in my mind, as compared to where you'd be if you pursue advanced training, certification, etc. And frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that. This is an unpaid job, not a hobby, and it needs to be treated like a job.

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    Yup, sorry Paintballa, but what you are describing is not "favoritism". If you've got four seats on an apparatus, and more than four people show up, the officer can indeed pick and choose who goes on the call - and using "experience and training" as the criteria makes perfect sense. Now if they were using good looks and favorite baseball team, you'd have a valid complaint. You say that it is difficult to get the training - how did those people get it? If they put out the extra effort, good for them. Perhaps they are young and single without children and with more time to devote to traveling for training... perhaps you have a job and a family and more domestic responsibilities? Those are the breaks, though.

    My main point - try to press and do what you can for more accessible training options, but don't complain about who's getting on the rigs.
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    I agree with the first two posts. It is completely appropriate for an officer to use training levels and experience as the guideposts. In fact, I'll go further. An officer who takes whoever shows up first, just so feelings won't be hurt, and leaves better-qualified personnel behind, is endangering his crew and the public and should be removed.

    Suck it up, get the training, or accept a lesser role. You can still be helpful to a vollie department in other ways.

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    especially firefighter I, which many of us need
    In my department, you have very little chance of riding the truck/engine without having FF1. If the seat is empty, you can ride, but be prepared to get out of the seat to let someone else in.

    It's not favoritism, it's common sense.

    Why would you NOT want to take the most trained/experienced?
    "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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    Paintballa,

    If I were to list to you all of the inconveniences that I had to endure it get myself to FF1 level it would make your head explode. I took many many hours of class out of county, some of them way out of county. One of the big reasons why I went through all of this effort? So that I wouldn't get bumped once seated.

    By the way, my fire co doesn't have any requirement for state training. But this is a dangerous job and training is important. I have observed that those who put off ff1/ff2 because they are not required to have it, never get it.

    My advice, suck it up and do what you have to do, get the paper. Then you can watch your friends get bumped because they sat at home watching Cops on TV while you were driving all over the countryside getting an education.

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    As a rookie myself I have actually gotten off the engine for more trained people to ride without being asked to. Why wouldn't I want the best on scene. I go to school from 7am-2 pm and FF1&FF2 from 6pm-10pm. You have to put in extra effort to stay on top in this job.
    Last edited by TNFF319; 11-06-2008 at 02:23 PM.

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    Default re...

    I totally understand and agree that the most trained and experienced should go out first. I also do travel to train when I am able and do so often. I am just in the middle of nowhere in college and dont have the ability to travel 3 hours each way 3 nights a week to take a class. I go out very often of weekends to get training out of county and in county as well as do IS courses online to gain knowledge. I was just checking, because we have instructors in house, that we have asked for classes and are not getting them, and without them we are not able to serve the dept. as well as we would like to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paintballa View Post
    Ok....I am a member of an all vol. department and it is becoming obvious to a few of us that those with more training and experience are taking seats in the trucks/engines over than those with less, even to the point that the members who where already on the apparatus ready to leave are being told to get out in favor of the other persons.
    Ok, lets ay you have a working fire with confirmed entrapment and if I quote unquote had a crew of inexperienced people at the station along with a group of experienced people I'll have the best crew I can have on that 1st truck thats 1st due. Would you want a group of experience or inexperienced firefighters on that truck?? We must realize there is several operations on the fireground and I know it's fun to spray water at the fire but other fireground operations need to be performed as well and as far as I'm concerned can make or break the operation so I will say suck it up and deal with it.If you don't have time to do whats required then leave and come back when you do.

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    S.O.G. and riding assignments dictate that we will take a more trained member over a member with lesser or no training. You will not find that showing favortism as others have stated, just good common sense, and if this has offended you already, or others in the station you run with, you need to rethink your options and why you are there to begin with.

    And again, as stated, there are ways to overcome the scheduling conflicts with the needed training if you really want to take the training. Not having the needed training in house or local is an inconvenience, but you will find in your volley career if you stay long enough, there are going to be inconveniences. That is part of the way it goes for us.

    Keep pounding the Chief and Training officer to get it for you, make contacts yourself, or ride the Bo-Bo-Buggy.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangebuster View Post
    S.O.G. and riding assignments dictate that we will take a more trained member over a member with lesser or no training. You will not find that showing favortism as others have stated, just good common sense, and if this has offended you already, or others in the station you run with, you need to rethink your options and why you are there to begin with.
    I'd say that statement should pretty much clear things up!

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    Seems I have to agree with the others here brother. I started out as a Volunteer 13 years ago and ran my tail off between working a full time job and going to classes on weekends and during the week. Yes, we had a few classes offered at my station. But most of my training was at other departments across the state. I have stepped back and let the experienced folks go ahead and fight the fire before. After it was controlled, then I got to go in and help with overhaul and mop up stuff. Now, I am still a volunteer but have those 13 years experience under my belt and I am a Fire and Rescue instructor for the state. If it comes to having 4 experienced firefighters or leaving one behind for a rookie to get a seat, then I would ask the rookie to step down and follow behind on the next truck to get the experience to the fire.
    Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paintballa View Post
    we have asked for classes and are not getting them, and without them we are not able to serve the dept. as well as we would like to.
    See, THIS is the issue to stress, not the part about who's on the rigs. There could be a lot of different things causing this problem... In my department, the training guys are paid FF in other cities, and so their time is indeed limited and even when we do schedule a training they sometimes end up having to cancel because of pulling an extra shift or whatever. Also, a lot of in-house training is hard because not enough people from our department show enough interest in a particular class at a particular time, and they are not going to hold the training for just a couple of people. Talk about this at meetings, talk with the Chief, talk to your fellow FFs... but stick to "we want to train more" (no one's going to ding you for that!) not your other beef! How about getting together with neighboring volunteer departments for training? Pooling your training resources would mean more potential trainers and trainees... might make local training opportunities more practical.
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    If you don't have the time due to school,work,kids and family,etc,etc, etc,then go when you CAN make the calls,stand by the station if you get bumped or ride the second due truck and when you can put in the training time,then you put it in then.That's what volunteer departments do:go when you can and stand by hoping nothing worse happens when you can't go.
    You won't always be in the situation of getting bumped.As others have said,it's just a matter of paying dues and learning what you need to know on the job.
    It can be a real thrill when you hear an officer holler"Hold up!"to the driver so he can catch the rig and then have him decide that you're okay to sit in the officer's seat because he figures that you know what you're doing now.
    It's only happened once for me and I rode the whole way trying to remember what I saw when watching officers sitting where I was.I didn't want to screw up.
    Like a lot of folks,I had a "real" job where I'd make plans and then have to go in to replace someone who wanted time off without making arrangements earlier.I never did that.I took my days off and if I needed an extra couple days,I arranged it ahead of time so my replacement didn't have a reason to cuss me every step of their cover shift.I'm not saying they didn't but I never just walked off expecting that someone else would do my work for me.
    Last edited by doughesson; 04-03-2007 at 01:21 PM.

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    Here is my two cents. My volunteer department offers FF I once a year for everyone in the county, it is sponsered by the University of Kansas so a certificate is earned. After that is complete one must be qualified by the officers to enter a structure fire. Now here is where I differ from the others. We worked for years without FF I and relied on good training within the department to qualify members to enter the structure. So if there is good training I really don't care about a piece of paper. Now if I have at least one person that has expierence I will take someone with me who does not, even if there is another expierenced person ready. How else is that person going to get expierence? They got to start somewhere.
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    Gotta agree with some of the guys. Gonna take the more trained person opposed too the not so trained one who wants to get a bit of call experiance
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    Hey Lt., it is not a matter of where do they start or how do they get the experience, it is about common sense when and where needed. Granted, there are calls that may not require a rig full of personnel with experience, and you can bet that at some departments there are going to be the dumpster fires, hay bale fires, and rubbish fires that the guys with experiece will back off from. But in general, if we have a cooker, and you take a non experienced person you are setting yourself up for a major problem.

    Again most of our riding assignments have to deal with S.O.G.'S (P'S) and with that it is outlined the experience factor also. I would hate to have to tell someone why I left an experienced person behind for the benefit of getting someone their experience.

    Now, Once these members get their certifications, they have the chance that they may be able to get some ride time with some local paid crews or, they keep training in house until they get to be where they need to be in regards to their own sense of assuredness and other members faith in them as well.

    That piece of paper you mentioned is to CYA. If you choose to go against that then that is your departments decision, and in my eyes only, that is a bad decision to make.


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    I know where you are coming from, but like almost everyone else posted experience comes before anything else. I remember my first call I had after being promoted to LT. I was hustling to be in the officer seat, when a Capt. came along and told me he was taking it, I was furious. But many years later and another jump in rank has taught me alot, looking back I realized I was an inexperienced officer ready to show the world how he could handle things, and it would have shown how much I really didn't know.

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