View Poll Results: are you a career or volunteer ff?

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  • career

    12 29.27%
  • volunteer

    29 70.73%
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    SapphyreBlues's Avatar
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    Default career/volunteer question

    Ok, I am definitely not trying to start trouble. Having said that, I wanna ask this question: Why don't career ff's and vollies like each other? Please feel free to PM me your reply, because while most are civil, some are not. See, I'm not a FF and I'm new to this site, and I've seen some, well, heated discussions about this subject and I am just curious as to why.

    As for the poll, I was just curious to see how many of each are on here.

  2. #2
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    Default Here we go...

    I'm a Lt. with a volunteer department. I was a career FF for 3yrs. and couldn't stand the politics (that was 23 yrs. ago). I get along with all the career guys in our area, Some I worked with at other departments and we have county wide drills. We're in a rural area so we all work together. We call career guys for help and they call us. It works out grate.
    GFD748 First in... Last out.. Everyone goes home.... Do the best job you can and do it safely

  3. #3
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    I'm a volunteer firefighter. Paid EMS Supervisor. I don't fit in anywhere.

    Shayne
    "Being talked to death is a terrible way to die"

  4. #4
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    So politics plays a large part of it... I can see how that would be a problem.

    And yeah, perhaps I should have put a few other choices in there...like "both" or "non-firefighter"

  5. #5
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    im a Vol. FF, the town we call in for an Ambulance is a Paid/Vol. dept, the only paid dept in our county. its staffed by 1 crew 24/5. we get along good with the paid guys, but some of them have a "Im special, im paid" attudue to us.

  6. #6
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    That attitude is unfortunate.

    Here's another question...suppose a paid and vol. department both have to respond to a call. Is there still some kind of friction there or is it all laid aside? I'd hate to think that it's brought to the scene with them. Just curious.

  7. #7
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    not realy, we lay asside our problems for the most part and get the job done. what happens at a structure or most any fire we call for Mutual Aid is our cheif or senior officer establashes command, conferrs with the officer from our mutual aid and they help us where we need it.

    Norwich, (paid dept) has an unusual staffing problem, the fire cheif isin realy a fire cheif. he is the police cheif. not kidding, when the old cheif quit they wanted the deputy to step up. nope, he refused. so did the 1st and 2ed assistant cheifs. so...they ask the Police Cheif. He refuses, they tell him after about 3 months that he IS NOW the cheif of the fire dept as well. he is more or less there for singing the firefighter's pay checks, and thats it.
    But around here in Chenago county we manage to get along pretty good as long as we try not to step on another department;s ego intenontaly, were good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty27 View Post
    not realy, we lay asside our problems for the most part and get the job done. what happens at a structure or most any fire we call for Mutual Aid is our cheif or senior officer establashes command, conferrs with the officer from our mutual aid and they help us where we need it.

    Norwich, (paid dept) has an unusual staffing problem, the fire cheif isin realy a fire cheif. he is the police cheif. not kidding, when the old cheif quit they wanted the deputy to step up. nope, he refused. so did the 1st and 2ed assistant cheifs. so...they ask the Police Cheif. He refuses, they tell him after about 3 months that he IS NOW the cheif of the fire dept as well. he is more or less there for singing the firefighter's pay checks, and thats it.
    But around here in Chenago county we manage to get along pretty good as long as we try not to step on another department;s ego intenontaly, were good.
    Dang he's got his hands full. Glad to hear that everybody gets along good though. As for stepping on egos...if someone did it to me on purpose, I'd be a bit miffed too

  9. #9
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    Our Volunteer Dept. get along great with the neighboring Career Dept., We're toned out with them on first alarm structure fires, and in our northern part of our fire district they're dispatched when we are for structure fires, we train with them, we have an excellent working relationhip, make things go alot smoother on scences that way.

  10. #10
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    My volunteer department gets along pretty good with the few neighboring paid departments, we have mutual aid agreements. As a matter of fact, I never knew there even was a conflict between volunteer and career guys until I started reading these forums.
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

  11. #11
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    I belong to a combination department, I am one of the full time guys. We are union and I belong. Where I start to draw the line is when the vollies come in trash the station ie: dirty dishes, laundry, don't stock the bus, don't do truck checks, ETC...... and expect us to do because we are "paid" and we don't do anything else. Little do most of them know what really goes on down here. It is getting better due to the fact that we have told them time and time again that we don't have time and that we will leave the mess in their locker if we know who did it. But for the most part that is my main complaint. And as far as politics there is that in every job you are in. We see people in their worst times we need to look professional and act that way too. Treat every person like family especially brothers and sisters paid or not.

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up Well.................

    As one who has Been a Volunteer Firefighter for the past 49 years, and also a Career Firefighter for 29 of those years, I've probably seen a lot (NOBODY has seen it all) and dealt with problems as they came along. BOTH groups have their problems, just as both groups have their good sides. I've worked in a Fully paid department (4 Years) in a major east coast city, a Combination department (20 years), and a State Forestry department (5 years).

    First job: Right out of high School, I got a job as a Firefighter with the State Forestry department, stayed 2 years.

    Second job: Some of the part timers at Forestry were members of a Career department and helped me with the process of getting hired on there, Stayed 4 years.

    Third job: When the county that I Volunteer in started hiring their first Career Firefighters, I made that move, Stayed 20 years.

    Fourth job: After 19 years, came out of retirement to Fight Fires for State Forestry again. Stayed 3 years, left this past May 1st.

    Here's the good and the bad:

    Career dept - Lowest Salary in the region, Old Apparatus, Great people, Big Fires.

    Combination dept - Better Salary, Sharp Apparatus, Newer House, Shorter Hours, Closer to home, Again, Great people.

    Forestry - Good Salary, Not too bad on Apparatus, Great People, The most assinine Bureaucracy on the face of the Earth.

    Conclusion??..... There is no perfect department, only what YOU make of it.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  13. #13
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    Ok, I am definitely not trying to start trouble.

    ...she said as she stirred vigorously.

    Having said that, I wanna ask this question: Why don't career ff's and vollies like each other?

    Some don't. I volunteer in a large combination department (in the county next to Chief Woods'). I get along fine with the career people, and most of them get along fine with me.

    Please feel free to PM me your reply, because while most are civil, some are not. See, I'm not a FF and I'm new to this site, and I've seen some, well, heated discussions about this subject and I am just curious as to why.

    Where there is enmity, there are various reasons:

    - Volunteers who think they are superior because they do it for free (or essentially free), and careerists who think they are superior because they get paid. Equally idiotic.

    - Volunteers who refuse to accept the need for paid FFs in areas with booming populations and demographic changes which hinder volunteering. They hang around and gripe about having to take more training and how the career guys are taking over "their" station even though their sole contribution for the past few years has been making popcorn.

    - Careerists who think that volunteers are simply relics of the past, even in combination systems with a strong core of active and capable volunteers. They pretend all volunteers are living in the 1800s, even when their training and equipment is 21st century.

    - Union disparagement of volunteer departments as "rival organizations" and pressure against paid FFs who volunteer elsewhere, even in places where there are no paid FFs from which to "take away" jobs. They seem to think that making experienced and dedicated volunteers disappear would magically create a cornucopia of high-paid union jobs.

    - As a volunteer, I admit one partly legitimate reason for dislike from careerists: volunteers who treat firefighting (and EMS where applicable) as a hobby rather than an unpaid profession. The ones who who sign up for duty nights but see them as optional, or only show up for "fun" events or calls, or show up and head straight for the TV or the computer to start IMing their friends. Uh-uh. Volunteering doesn't mean you get to choose when to live up to your commitment, and it doesn't mean the firehouse is your playground. Show up when you say you will, do your share of the housework, and train. There will be time to goof around between calls after we take care of business. (And you sure as h*** better mean business on a call, whether it's a house fire or a 3 AM EMS call for a stomach ache.)

    As for the poll, I was just curious to see how many of each are on here.

    Don't think the poll is going to tell you much; Web polls are notoriously, well, useless.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies It makes a lot more sense now.

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