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The only difference from a volunteer and paid fire fighter,is you are in a city,you get paid.
We all have to go though the same training and all the courses,we have to keep our license up,or certificates,we have on our walls. Just because and fire fighter is paid,hey,that makes no difference.,from and volunteer...The small communities,that have volunteers who put their butts out there ,and do the same jobs,as fire fighting..I think volunteer departments should get paid..every single one..I wonder just how much our small towns,think.,when we go put out those structure fires,how much it cost our departments,and the up keep of all trucks and etc.
volunteer are paid,makes no difference.,we are fire fighters...who have to do the "Best" we have been taught to do. The Only Difference........NONE.......

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I'm a Firefighter in a large career department but also volunteer where I live serving as a Fire Captain and the Training Officer. We have the good and bad on both sides of the coin.
First, my career department. We make 100,000 calls a year (Fire, EMS, Haz-Mat, Rescue). Our training program is a joke. You receive your FF I and II while at the academy and that's it. Everything else you learn is from a senior man or through hard knocks. Once you receive your FF I or II cert in Tennessee, it's yours for life. No recerts, no live burn requirements, no minimal training hours......piss poor. Many of the people on my career department are not firemen, they are just employees that are there for the paycheck, days off, and the benefits. There are pockets of pride and professionalism scattered throughout the city, but we we have a long way to go as a whole.
My Volunteer gig is rare for the area I'm in as well. We have a very progressive Chief who is an advocate for training, equipment, FF safety, etc. Our minimum training standard far exceeds my career departments. We have several monthly training opportunities, provide community services during the week (address signs, home inspections, free smoke detector installs, etc., while responding to an average of 4-5 calls per day (not bad for volunteer). The bad part is we are the exception, not the rule. The majority of Volunteer organizations in our area have little to no equipment, substandard training if any at all, poor leadership, and no desire to change any of it. It is a "club" for people to get away from life as they know it. The thing most of them have is "good intentions" but when pressed into action, it would have been better if they did not come at all. Not all Volunteer organizations in the area are like this, but it is a high percentage.
If the member is a well trained, job competent volunteer....I'll take them 8 days a week. They are usually involved for reasons other than personal gain. They participate because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to.
I work with great firemen on both sides (career and volunteer), and they are good at what they do. There are shortfalls in both sectors that must be addressed. I feel blessed that I can do what I love for a career, but I also love being a volunteer in a community that can't afford to pay salaries for our service.
Kinda late on this one, but...
There is a difference. Now pride, dedication may all be the same, but volume of calls and real life experience are where the line is drawn. I have a vollie town by me, that have officers that can't make calls or drills due to their real job. Then they make the rig after 6 months of no training and expect to be fresh and ready, not going to happen! Career firefighters are going on pin-ins, house fires, full-arrests a lot more than the vollies. Again, that is where the line ends. You miss a rig for 3-6 months, are you up to date on reading smoke, fire behavior, moving line inside a structure? Again, the pride and dedication may be there, but the experience may not. My station went to a 2-11 this morning, My guys were making a hallway with the line on the second floor of a sfd. One member of a vollie job was with them, 3rd on the line. All made the hall except the 4 man, he was humping hose, a door gave way and the fire in the room flashed down the hall. Now experience told my 2 guys, in front of the vollie, that the fire would burn off the un-burned particles of combustion in the hall, then recied back into the fire room, they hunkered down, hit the ceiling with the line quick, next thing the fire was gone and they made the room and hit the fire. The vollie screamed and tried to stand up. The 4 man had come up stairs and held him down. Outside the vollie said he thought he was going to die in a flashover. More experience would have told him otherwise.

That is all I am saying. No slams against vollies at all. I have the utmost respect respect for those that do the job for free or close to it. But someone almost died this morning, or got real crispy, from a lack of knowledge of fire beh and interior experience. But you better be dam sure he had a 'no fear'. 'follow me', 'rehab is for quitters' stickers on his helmet.

Please don't come at me with mad replies taht I am a career guy that hates vollies. Read my bio, I teach for one of the largest Fire Training Institutes in the world. I see tons of vollies come through for live fire training. They tell me themselves that they have a huge lack of real experience. I have some people say they have not been in a fire in 2-3 years. There is a serious lack of experience there.

All be safe and KTF.
Joe,
Well put brother! The exception to the rule for vollies is on the east coast. It's not uncommon to find vollie depts. especially along from VA through PA that run better than 2,500 calls all volunteer. It's not uncommon to find these depts. in a big city atmosphere like Prince Georges County, MD.

Yes Pride is still a factor... it takes A LOT of Pride to run over 2,500 calls!

It's weird... in the chicagoland area vollies are the minority, but in many of the east coast states PAID personnel are the minority. I love riding out in the eastern states... talk about BROTHERHOOD!!! They always put me up in the firehouse... of course lack of sleep comes along with having my hotel be a firehouse, but hey it's FREE! lol

Joe McClelland said:
Kinda late on this one, but...
There is a difference. Now pride, dedication may all be the same, but volume of calls and real life experience are where the line is drawn. I have a vollie town by me, that have officers that can't make calls or drills due to their real job. Then they make the rig after 6 months of no training and expect to be fresh and ready, not going to happen! Career firefighters are going on pin-ins, house fires, full-arrests a lot more than the vollies. Again, that is where the line ends. You miss a rig for 3-6 months, are you up to date on reading smoke, fire behavior, moving line inside a structure? Again, the pride and dedication may be there, but the experience may not. My station went to a 2-11 this morning, My guys were making a hallway with the line on the second floor of a sfd. One member of a vollie job was with them, 3rd on the line. All made the hall except the 4 man, he was humping hose, a door gave way and the fire in the room flashed down the hall. Now experience told my 2 guys, in front of the vollie, that the fire would burn off the un-burned particles of combustion in the hall, then recied back into the fire room, they hunkered down, hit the ceiling with the line quick, next thing the fire was gone and they made the room and hit the fire. The vollie screamed and tried to stand up. The 4 man had come up stairs and held him down. Outside the vollie said he thought he was going to die in a flashover. More experience would have told him otherwise. That is all I am saying. No slams against vollies at all. I have the utmost respect respect for those that do the job for free or close to it. But someone almost died this morning, or got real crispy, from a lack of knowledge of fire beh and interior experience. But you better be dam sure he had a 'no fear'. 'follow me', 'rehab is for quitters' stickers on his helmet. Please don't come at me with mad replies taht I am a career guy that hates vollies. Read my bio, I teach for one of the largest Fire Training Institutes in the world. I see tons of vollies come through for live fire training. They tell me themselves that they have a huge lack of real experience. I have some people say they have not been in a fire in 2-3 years. There is a serious lack of experience there.

FYI... you taught me some valuable knowledge during Coordinate FG several years back!

All be safe and KTF.
oh boy a heated topic for years.... I come from bolth diciplines so please do not jump down my throat. I have points from bolth sides but i will end saying 9 out of 10 paid depts are better than volunteer. but we will get to why I think that so calm down. When I was a volunteer 12 years or so, I will say they had more pride and respect for the profession than I have seen in a paid dept. The dedication that I witnessed was fantastic and the want to truelly be better was mind blowing, I have nothing but respect for the world of volunteer fire depts. That being said when it all boils down to what really matters in the scope of things, paid depts are better. Reason being its a numbers thing, most of the vol depts around here( meaning where I live) have at best half the training that rookies coming on do but thats besides the point and can easily change. The numbers thing... well I will explain, the paid depts just have more experience plain and simple when you have 6 fires a week, at one dept and 6 fires a year someplace else, who's gona be more proficient and better at it? Its the same thing where ever you look I know I couldnt build kitchen cabinets as good or as quick as somebody that does it everyday. Its just the way it works. Around my town we have a big problem with vol depts and that is the lack their is of people dedicated that want to help. I blame that on the new generation, it seams as if people just dont care the way they used to. I do have alot of respect for vol depts, people do not realize the training you do on your time the calls you answer on your time the life you risk for free.... I have respect so please dont over analyze anything I said. My sole argument again is the numbers thing and thats the only diference, that and your pride is mind blowing. Keep up the good work I do apreciate you. My only advise is dont get to caught up in the politics of things, and train...train and then train some more . we are all professionals and we are all brothers and sisters no matter what. Be the best you can be.
Rob and Shawn. I totally agree with both of you. I will go one further, a lot of career people are very arogant and ignorant towards vollies. I do not like that way of thinking. We all bleed the same and die the same. The number of fatals for career against vollies is also something to look at, carrer guys are dying in fire and vollies are dying in tanker rollovers and responding to calls in their own cars. That is something to look at as well. Why is a 16 year old driving a 3000 gallon tanker? I agree that maybe the vollie dept does not have enough manpower and needs someone to drive the rig, but why a kid? I have 18 years on the job and have never driven a 3000 gallon tanker. Not sure I want to.

And Rob, I agree with you about there being some very busy vollie jobs out there. My friend Eric just got off probation at the Kentland fire department in Maryland and he loves it. He is a live-in.

This battle will rage for the rest of time. Lets just keep it friendly.
Joe

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