1. #1
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    Default Exterior ops only?

    I was a Vol FF 15+ years ago. I've had my fair share of the adrenaline rush, being first on-scene, being on the nozzle, etc. Worked up to driver/operator. Now, a couple of guy from the local department have been after me to join up.

    If I join them, right now, I have absolutely no desire to do interior operations. btdt, more than once. I'd just as soon save that for the youngsters. At this stage (age), I will be just happy to be a grunt and do the dirty jobs, outside.

    So, is it realistic in today's volunteer departments, to request/limit to be exterior only? Or am I likely to run into the officer that says -- you are a FF, you are going in?

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    Arrow Risk assesment.

    I think that comes down to risk assesments. Does your department have enough FF's to go interior? What is the experience level of your department?

    If you don't have enough FF's to provide a Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC Team) and other safety conderations (Like communication) then there should be nobody going interior without there being a life in danger inside needing to be rescued.

    Then what is your area like? Is it rural? If so, it could be that by the time you get there the real task at hand will be keeping it from spreading so there'll be no need to consider that.

    Are you the most experience and there's enough FF's to cover the safety issues? If so then you may want to consider being on the RIC team that way your experience will come in handy with some young and eager rookie who manages to get him/her self into trouble. If you do have a good deal of experience it'll be one of your responsibilities to look after your fellow FF's. I know this last part goes without saying, but this is where your experience will come in handy.

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    Post Do what works for you

    Cowboy815, my advice is to do what you feel you are capable of doing. I've got 30 years on the job and my days of going inside are also long gone, but I still contribute. I am currently the Safety Officer in my department, along with being a driver/operator when needed.
    I keep up with our required courses and make as many calls as I can. I would think with every department in need of personel, you should be welcomed with open arms.
    In New York we have a course called "Scene Support Operations". It is the FF1 course with the interior attack and Haz Mat Ops removed. We have a few people in my department that have joined and gone this route. Since Haz Mat Ops is not taught in this course, we require them to take the stand alone Ops class.
    If you come across an officer that tells you to do some thing that you are not capable or trained to do, tell them. In my experience I would rather be told up front than to have some try some thing and get them selves or their team hurt.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    Default

    I agree with mdcook, there are always things to be done that will free up the firefighters who want to go interior. From tanker/tender drivers to pump operators, accountability and staging people and rehab. I have several people on my department who serve in this capacity and they are just as much a member in good standing as everone else.

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    We have people who do not go in. They stay outside and throw ladders, write reports, grab gear, maintain accountability.....
    Do what you can like said above. Every little bit helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy815 View Post
    I was a Vol FF 15+ years ago. I've had my fair share of the adrenaline rush, being first on-scene, being on the nozzle, etc. Worked up to driver/operator. Now, a couple of guy from the local department have been after me to join up.

    If I join them, right now, I have absolutely no desire to do interior operations. btdt, more than once. I'd just as soon save that for the youngsters. At this stage (age), I will be just happy to be a grunt and do the dirty jobs, outside.

    So, is it realistic in today's volunteer departments, to request/limit to be exterior only? Or am I likely to run into the officer that says -- you are a FF, you are going in?
    If you don't want to do interior then you shouldn't have to. We have a guys who only drive, we have some who do only exterior jobs i.e. sitting on a line outside,staging jobs,accountability etc etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong IMO with what you want to do.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    We are the same as ndvfdff33.....If you dont want to or cant do something, there are other people that can and will. Personally, There is nothing that I wont do but, I would rather be inside than anywhere
    Buck
    Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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    Thanks for the positive responses.

    I am meeting for lunch next week with a friend that is one of the department officers, and talk it over.

    I don't know the statistics, but this dept seems to run a majority of MVA's. That's really where my interest is anyway, and I will be most interested in pursuing advance training in that area. Extrication, etc.

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    Good onya Cowboy - go for it! You do what you can. I'm one of the oldest members of my Brigade (we don't have Departments here...) and in fact only got into the job six years ago. But I'm fully qualified and will do anything needed. Internal work isn't a problem, but although Hazmat Tech qualified I'm not keen on gas-suits!
    You want to do the extrication stuff? Not my favourite, but then we aren't a road accident rescue unit, so don't get too many of those calls. But in our own area we'll always have our pumper on-scene long before a rescue gets anywhere close, so have to start the work. Another way of doing what you can?

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    All of our FFs are trained and capable to go interior, but some prefer not to and they most often don't need to. We have some guys that primarily drive/run pump, some you like to be OIC, etc.

    We try not to make anyone do anything they are not comfortable with. But it's still nice to know they could if it was necessary.

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    Default Ammo to use in adopting exterior ff program

    I am a volunteer for a career/vol combination department in the Pac NW. We have traditionally had two components to the vol program...Combat, which is basically ff1 cert (able to do interior) and Support (limited to tender ops and rehab). Our vols are rarely first-in and only true "interior" work is overhaul in most cases. We have a dedicated group of Support vols, many EMT-B's that would love to do more ff activities on fireground including exterior ops and anything else short of interior ff. Those folks signing up for the Combat program are almost exclusively young and looking for an "in" to career...many of us that are in Support are only there because we have careers/familes/etc. and have a difficult time going through the 10-week, every weekend and two weeknights Combat Academy. The NY program mentioned in one of these posts is what we're looking at. Need to get some different examples of what other programs look like to pass along to Volunteer Chief. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy815 View Post
    I was a Vol FF 15+ years ago. I've had my fair share of the adrenaline rush, being first on-scene, being on the nozzle, etc. Worked up to driver/operator. Now, a couple of guy from the local department have been after me to join up.

    If I join them, right now, I have absolutely no desire to do interior operations. btdt, more than once. I'd just as soon save that for the youngsters. At this stage (age), I will be just happy to be a grunt and do the dirty jobs, outside.

    So, is it realistic in today's volunteer departments, to request/limit to be exterior only? Or am I likely to run into the officer that says -- you are a FF, you are going in?
    My department has several members that are exterior operations only, from Jr. firefighters grabbing us interior guys extra tools, setting up rehab, to 80 year old men and women doing fire police operations. If you're not comfortable doing interior operations anymore, let them know as soon as you join. And if they have a problem with that, don't join, it's not worth the risk. There is PLENTY to do on the fire ground!!!

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    poolsidemike, you can go to the web site for the New York State Department of State, Office of Fire Prevention and Control. There should be a general description of the Scene Support Operations course. You also might want to try to contact some one in the Training Division and they might be able to give you more information.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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    Cowboy815 I first would like to thank you for being honest and aware of your capiblities. One of the things I try to drive home with the firefighters I teach is know your limits and comfort levels. Leave the pride and ego at the house. Our chief has recently scaled back his duties letting others take some of the responiblitys on the scene.

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    Thumbs up

    You brought up a great topic. We have a few guys here that only want to drive... you can't turn them away. Staffing is a MUST! Think about it this way... you have a guys that only want to drive, they'll be masters at driving and pumping! Hope that helps...
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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    Pretty much more of the same from me.

    My VFD is rural and we have no employers in the district, so we're short-staffed a lot.

    We have people who aren't trained or aren't in the right physical condition to do interior work, and they get other jobs on the fireground.

    Realistically, most of our structure fires are well-developed by the time we get there (volunteers plus long travel distances in the district....a many, many mobile homes) so interior work isn't usually an option.

    Oklahoma has developed a course called Rural Exterior Firefighting for people in our situation to combat the reality that many departments don't have the people, resources, or response times to perform an adequate interior attack.

    I'm sure that they can find a place for you. If they can't, they're one of the few VFDs in the nation that has all the people they need.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    There are way to many other important jobs at a scene that needs done and everyone cant be on the attack team so talk it over with the members where you want to run and everything should be cool. Had a kid go in with me on a worker and got to the seat of the fire asked him to pull more hose and he decided to up and leave me there. I thought something happened so I had to leave to try and find him tiptoeing though the home thinking maybe the floor gave out and came helmet to helmet with a crew coming after me as they thought something happened because of the way he came out of the house.... you talk about being a little ticked off!!!! The house was saved with as little damage as possable but the moral of this is that if he didn't want to go in it would have been nice to know before getting left there without knowing what happened. Now I'm not saying that you would leave someone but if I would have known he didn't like going in I wouldn't have taken him and nobody would have had a problem with that which is why I dont think you'll have one either. Good luck and have fun!

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    I was on one dept before i moved that had a rule, DO WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF! Thats it. I was told when I started that there were guys on the dept for 10 years and never once climbed a ladder. And thats perfectly okay. If you dont feel comfortable doing something, the best bet is DONT DO IT!. Chances are that you may be seriously injured when someone who is more able to do things likethat would have been okay to just run into a house draggin hose and all that stuff. So I still look at it that way, all it does is keep your fellow vollies safer if someone who can do the job is by them rather than someone who is not sure..

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