View Poll Results: Enough training?

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  • Yes!

    12 25.53%
  • No

    14 29.79%
  • Training? What's training?

    0 0%
  • We do enough, but we could/should be doing more

    21 44.68%
  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Recruitment and training in today's volly fire service

    Are training requirements for volunteer firefighters too lax? How about for volunteer officers? Aren't we placing ourselves and the people we are serving at risk by not doing everything we can to become well trained? Does your state have minimum training requirements for volunteer interior firefighters and officers?

    How about recruitment and retention of volunteers? How many ACTIVE members do we really have in our departments? I'm talking about the guys you can count on to come out at 3am for the wires down or the water problem, not just the "knife-and-forkers" or the "roll over resetters" who are on the "active" rosters.

    Are we doing enough to bring new people into the volunteer fire service, train them properly, and get them to stick around? What more could we, the volunteer fire service as a whole, be doing to improve our ailing membership numbers and sometimes sad training requirements?

    My opinions are my own and do not, in any way, reflect those of any agency to which I am affiliated...

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    Default Wow!

    Arkansas has just placed 24 hrs required training a year. The idea is great, the final is horrific! We have already seen a decline in staff in the volli arena. Now with gas at $3 a gallon, the economy in a sad state, and a general I dont care about any one but my self attitude in our contry. Who are we going to get to volunteer? It is expensive to be a vollie and getting more expensive! So what have we done? Instead slightly trained firefighters responding in a matter of minutes to a residental fire with people trapped, we will have highly trained firefighters responding from 30 minutes away. Just my 2 cents, this should get interesting...

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    medicd if you think about it 24 hours of training over the course of a year really isnt a lot. it's equates to 2 hours per month, which for most departments would mean coming down on training night once a month at the most. i dont feel that is an unreasonable expectation, but I'm afraid I might be in the minority on that opinion...
    My opinions are my own and do not, in any way, reflect those of any agency to which I am affiliated...

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    I agree, personaly I do at least 75 a year. But I also started as a career FF, and know what it takes to be a good FF. But I also see what is happening in our county. My department trains 8 hrs a month, and is considered one of the best in the state. We also have made a automatic structure mutual aid agreement with a department that joins our district. There average age is about 60 years old, and do good having enough FF to show up on structures. This is not a unusual problem with volli departments in this area. And know of several departments that say they will shut down due to lack of staff once they are required to let FF go that have less than 24hrs training. Holly what are we going to do when there is no fire protection in these area's?

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    It's funny.. You go out and do recruting and when you ask people to volunteer they tell you ( What are you going to pay me) In these times of people having two or three jobs it is really hard to get volunteers. I ran a house fire the other day where I had three from my dept and 4 from my m-aid dept.... The paid depts don't really care to m-aidthe county vols because they are real busy.. I am a paid firefighter as well as vol fire chief and i hate the fact that it's so hard to get a good volunteer with out that something for me attitude...

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    Default

    ...........
    Last edited by Irish6019; 07-01-2008 at 03:58 AM.

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    Talking

    Yes Irish, remember different departments do things differently. And service areas are different. Were I am at now we have paramedic 1st response, nearest 1st responder and paramedic go in POV's, closest one to the station picks up a rescue truck. On fires the closest to the fire gose to it, closest to the station gets the trucks everyone else in POV's. I averaged 9 miles to a call last year, thats 18 miles round trip. Went on 217 calls last year, do the math and PM me when you have my check ready. LMAO :-)

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    Kentucky requires a minimum of 20 hrs of training for a volunteer before they start going on calls. This covers Admin and organization, safety, fire behavior, extinguishers, PPE, forcible entry, ventilatin, ropes, ladders, hose/nozzles/appliances, fire control, salvage, overhaul, and drivers training for P.O.V. Then new firefighters have a 2 year period from the date they join to get 150 hrs of training for the "volunteer" certification through the state. 112 of those hours are broken down and mandated as to how many hours in each subject you have to have, and the other 38 are elective. After that certified firefighters are required to maintain 20 hrs of training a year to keep their certification by the state. Most departments have a higher minimum then that for there members to stay active and some just go with the state min.
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    North Carolina requires 36 hrs of con ed a year to mantain your FF I & II cert. On top of that if you are a 1st. responder, thats another 24 hrs a con ed. It is not that many hrs. This year NC is giving all Vollies a $250.00 state tax refund, for those members that are in good standing and have completed their training hrs. It is not that much, but it is better than nothing

    At my dept. we having training every monday night. We are starting up a extra "training day" a month (one weekend a month, Fri. evening, all day Sat) to assist members in getting their FF I & II cert. On top of that most of our members attend at least one fire school a year. Our officers also have an extra training night each month on top of the regular training.

    To Answer your Question "Do we train enough?" I realy don't think that any body realy trains enough. You should always strive to learn as much as you can, to take every chance that you come across to train. If you are unwilling to train/or learn then you take take the chance of being left behind. As my old college football coach, was fond of saying "Men, you either pratice hard and get better, or you don't and you get wrose. There is no inbetween."

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    Quote Originally Posted by medicd View Post
    Holly what are we going to do when there is no fire protection in these area's?
    Consider hiring professionals.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    We have a small roster of members, but one thing we are requiring for all who join is to take and pass the NIMS courses that are required to receive federal grants. I'm not sure of the percentages (our secretary would have specifics), but since we rely on the grants, it is very important that we maintain the percent of NIMS trained volunteers to qualify.

    Usually, the people who want to join, but never show up for training or incidents don't stay on the roster for long.
    I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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    [QUOTE=BULL321;909648] This year NC is giving all Vollies a $250.00 state tax refund, for those members that are in good standing and have completed their training hrs. It is not that much, but it is better than nothing

    QUOTE]

    Bull, are you sure you read that right? This notice is at the NC Dept of Revenues website:

    No Special Deduction For Law Enforcement Personnel or Fire and Rescue Squad Workers

    House Bills 251, 295, 344, and 1114 were introduced during the 2005 session of the General Assembly that proposed special deductions for active law enforcement personnel and fire and rescue squad workers. Contrary to information being circulated among some law enforcement and fire and rescue squad personnel across the State, none of the proposed legislation was enacted into law.

    If you filed your 2005 North Carolina income tax return and claimed the deduction, you must file an amended 2005 income tax return to correct the error.

    Last modified on: 10/31/07 03:53:16 PM

    Go here: http://www.dornc.com/taxes/individual/nodeduction.html
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    I'm not sure where MEDICD is from, but we have the same problems here in the Ozarks. The 11 people we now have that actually show up to fires have all gone threw the 24 hours already. Or at least close to it. But most of the departments
    in the county won't come close to it. The state was training 3 nights in a row, with one on Wendsday night. Can't miss the prayer meeting. So just like your area, we will lose many FF and whole depts will be useless. It's all up to the chief. Our new chief demands training, and so does the town next to us. Everywhere else in the county is in the same shape.

    We also respond to calls POV. And at $3 gal, my truck burns a lot for my department. But that hasn't cost us any members yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhvfd1214 View Post
    We have a small roster of members, but one thing we are requiring for all who join is to take and pass the NIMS courses that are required to receive federal grants. I'm not sure of the percentages (our secretary would have specifics), but since we rely on the grants, it is very important that we maintain the percent of NIMS trained volunteers to qualify.

    Usually, the people who want to join, but never show up for training or incidents don't stay on the roster for long.
    "Everybody" is doing NIMS/ICS classes, but that's a one time deal. What I'm talking about is continuing educations basically. It seems like it's non-existent in some places...
    My opinions are my own and do not, in any way, reflect those of any agency to which I am affiliated...

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=kvfd56;909721]
    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    This year NC is giving all Vollies a $250.00 state tax refund, for those members that are in good standing and have completed their training hrs. It is not that much, but it is better than nothing

    QUOTE]

    Bull, are you sure you read that right? This notice is at the NC Dept of Revenues website:

    No Special Deduction For Law Enforcement Personnel or Fire and Rescue Squad Workers

    House Bills 251, 295, 344, and 1114 were introduced during the 2005 session of the General Assembly that proposed special deductions for active law enforcement personnel and fire and rescue squad workers. Contrary to information being circulated among some law enforcement and fire and rescue squad personnel across the State, none of the proposed legislation was enacted into law.

    If you filed your 2005 North Carolina income tax return and claimed the deduction, you must file an amended 2005 income tax return to correct the error.

    Last modified on: 10/31/07 03:53:16 PM

    Go here: http://www.dornc.com/taxes/individual/nodeduction.html

    No offense brother but I hope that you are wrong. I first heard about the NC state income tax refund on FIRENEWS.NET

    "This release came from the NC Fireman's Association. I also asked Paul Miller, Executive Director, whether a career firefighter is eligible for this deduction if they are a member of a volunteer department in another jurisdiction and maintain at least 36 hours of training at that department. He said that they would be eligible. It may not be what all of the fire service wanted, but it is a step in the right direction. Here is an excerpt:

    The North Carolina Legislature passed the following legislation during the past session:
    Firefighter / Rescue Squad Tax Deduction
    Section 31.24.(a) G.S 105-134.6(d) is amended by adding a new subdivision to read: ?(d) Other Adjustments.?The following adjustment to taxable income shall be made in calculating
    North Carolina taxable income:
    (6) A taxpayer who is an eligible firefighter or an eligible rescue squad worker may deduct from taxable income the sum of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). In the case of a married couple filing a joint return, each spouse may qualify separately for the deduction allowed under this subdivision. In order to claim the deduction allowed under this subdivision, the taxpayer must submit with the tax return any documentation required by the Secretary. An individual may not claim a deduction as both an eligible firefighter and as an eligible rescue squad worker in a single taxable year. The following definitions apply in this subdivision:
    a. Eligible firefighter.?An unpaid member of a volunteer fire department who attended as
    least 36 hours of fire department drills and meetings during the taxable year.
    b. Eligible rescue squad worker.?an unpaid member of a volunteer rescue or emergency medical services squad who attended as least 36 hours of rescue squad training and meeting during the taxable year.?

    --------------------
    Glenn Rainey
    Colington FD
    Dare County, NC
    CFD webpage
    OBX FOOLS

    END QUOTE"
    I asked my cheif, who had advised that the dept. had recieved a letter from the NC Fireman's Association, stating the samething. I hope that this helps. If I was misinformed or misunderstood what I was told I'm sorry.

    BULL

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    We do 2 hours a week as a minimum and I take the new guys out when they get the itch to pull hose a couple extra hours a month.

    Its hard to keep people so I try to keep them busy.

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    Average 15 hours per month for 11 months of the year (January excluded). Members expected to attend at least 50% of the training per year. Full volunteer, no payments for anything. Fuel here is around $4 per gal (in US terms). Smallish area, suburban.

    Information about training requirements scares off some prospective newbies. Things change, if you don't train, you're stuck in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Consider hiring professionals.
    So how do you propose we pay these professionals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LCFD1L101 View Post
    So how do you propose we pay these professionals?
    The same way anyone else gets paid. The city council either figures a way to find the money in the budget. Failing that they take their case to the citizens and ask for it. If the citizens refuse, they are willing to accept substandard fire protection.

    Pretty simple stuff really.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Ok, let's do the math.

    Let's say a community of 3,000. A few small businesses. Typical rural area.
    Maybe 25 square miles.

    Let's say we can hire guys on the cheap. 25K a year. 40K after benfefits.

    Let's say 4 guys per shift. 40K x 3 for firefighters and let's say the shift officer makes 45K w/ benefits. That's 165K per shift x 3 shifts. Thats 495K for shift crews.

    You need a chief at let's say 40K plus benefits which would be 60K.

    That's 555K without a secretary and overtime.

    Let's say the commercial base handles 30% of the costs. That leaves about 390K for the residencial base. At 3,000 folks thats roughly $1300 per person for the FD budget.

    Not really an option SC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not really an option SC.
    Yes it is. If the citizens are unwilling to pay about $100/month then they have accepted the belief of living without fire protection.

    Pretty simple.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    I don't beleive that anyone in a rural area is going to cough up $1300 ayear on thier taxes for fire protection alone.

    I think most rural folks are generally quite happy with volunteer fire protection. They are realists that understand thier situation and don't expect a response equal to a response they may get living in the cities.

    I know out here that's the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I don't beleive that anyone in a rural area is going to cough up $1300 ayear on thier taxes for fire protection alone.

    I think most rural folks are generally quite happy with volunteer fire protection. They are realists that understand thier situation and don't expect a response equal to a response they may get living in the cities.

    I know out here that's the case.
    LFE - Two things,

    First, you're wrong about those folks being realists. I don't care if you live in downtown NYC or BFE, when a house or builidng is on fire the homeowner and/or neighbors are standing out front wondering where you are, and why it is taking you so long. Those folks aren't realists.......they're taxpayers who saw the word "fire" on their property tax statement, and want to know why they aren't getting their bang for their buck.

    Second, your math is short-sighted. Starting with your base number of $550,000 start reducing for the following:

    1) Improved maintenance on equipment, apparatus, and stations
    2) Less money spent on volunteer recruitment
    3) Less money spent of overall training due to rapid turnover
    4) Lowered ISO rating, subsequently lowering insurance costs
    5) A number of intangibles like station security, more time spent specifically working on fire department issues, improved pre-fire planning and inspections, etc., etc.

    Don't read into this that I am anti-volunteer and pushing a pro-career agenda. What you and many others need to realize is that a number of volunteer agencies across the nation are struggling to not only recruit new volunteers, but to keep the experienced veterans. Those agencies will do anything, and that includes spending large quantities of their funds, to revive a failing program without looking "outside" the box.

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  24. #24
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    Just to give you some perspective on the tax issue here:

    All residential properties in Louisiana recieve an exemption for the first $75,000 of assessed value. That means in poorer communties a large pencentage of the homeowners pay NO property tax at all. They pay nothing into the fire department or district. In our district we estimate 35%-40% of our taxpayers pay no property (and no fire) taxes.

    I have a house a property assessed at about $120,000. My property tax bill this year was $45.78, which included district fire taxes. According to my calculations, based on our milage and the assessed amount beyond the 75,000 exemption, my fire taxes for the year was about $11. We are in the middle of the pack as far as our milage.

    We are lucky in that we have a refinary and oil wells, which covers a chunk of our budget. Our woodland also have a bit higher tax value than most because of the timber value. Most rural communties don't have that.

    In our parish we also pay a seperate $26.00 EMS fee which gives us free, unlimited transport all year.

    When I say that most rural residents would not pay $1300, this is the comparison as to what they are paying now, down here.

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    Default Combo FD

    Well I agree with most of you, that we do not do enough training, but my issue is the quality over the quantity. I come from a combiniation department where we have roughly 400 volunteers and 200 paid personnel. All of our rookies are required to complete a 140hr. Cadet class. We have no "required" amount of training to do every year, but our department holds roughly 300 training activities every year, not to mention any outside training that we do. Due to many regulations by Homeland Security and the Sate of Texas, we have some strict guidelines as to who can participate in Fire Department "goings-on." All that said, I have a few recent graduates of Cadet class that can't tell me when to use a power cone over a full-fog pattern, and when I as for a "door-pop" they want to know where the closest service station is. I understand that they go through copious amounts of training, but what are we all really learning from hours and hours of training. Who gets the attention they need to fully grasp what's going on? That may be up to the instructor/department themselves, but what is it we can do to make sure everyone "gets it?" Didn't mean to rant. Holla.

    Sam

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