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Hello all my brothers and sisters in both Career and Volunteer Fire Dept's. What do you think of the fire service today? Remember when you joined, your want to help those who needed you, your want to make a difference.Do you still love the job as much as you did when you first joined, if so why. If not why. What in todays fire service has changed the way you feel since the day you joined the ranks of the fire service. Thank You in advance for any replies, oh and be honest.

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First I didn't know what all to expect because I had always done EMS but because the EMS service was paid when I moved I checked out the fire department and got on. Fire fighting has become a third love of my life, my wife comes first then fire and EMS are close seconds. I love it because of the challenge, the variety, the constant need to learn, the new tools and equipment that comes out.

What started as a chance to volunteer actually became a job, if you call it that. If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life has definite meaning. I still volunteer only in a different capacity and it is still an outlet for me. I really enjoy the opportunity to learn and to mentor people. I've seen people try to tear others down to make themselves feel better but I think if you help build someone up (through training and mentoring) you improve along the way.

When I got on I of course was at the basic level of fire fighter development, I had to have the nozzle. With more training and experience it became apparent that the back up guy can do a lot more to influence the fight than the nozzle man. Then you start to see why ventilation is so crucial, what roles the pump operator plays and finally how IC is almost the ultimate challenge on the fire ground because of everything going on. In a way I consider this to be how a fire fighter develops, from nozzle, to back up, to water supply, to pump, to IC. Maybe not always in that way but as a fire fighter grows they look for the next level, they mature. Some never get past the need to be on the nozzle.

I enjoy the challenge of training, improving the training grounds or specing out a new apparatus, find new ways to do things. The opportunity the fire department provides to help shape where it is headed.

The fire service has changed in regards to safety, there is more of a spot light on it. This affects apparatus, operations, training, everything. The fire service continues to evolve due to the hazards we have in todays products and construction. I also feel that maintaining the heritage of the fire service is important for its identity. Tradition is great and if there is no reason to change it then leave tradition alone but if there is a better than traditional way then evolve. I also think that the fire service has become rather complex because of all the roles (HAZMAT, EMS, NIMS, WMD, etc) but the fire service has to evolve to meet these challenges.

This is the beginning of my 15th year on the volunteer side and 6th on the paid side, definitely doesn't seem that long. Time does fly when you are having fun.
I have been in the fire service for about16 years. I began as a volunteer during high school in my home town. In those couple of years I fell in love with the fire service and knew I wanted to be a fireman the rest of my life. Today I would have to say I love it more today than when I first started. I now know that there is a lot more to it than just than getting on a truck when the buzzer hits. In the last 16 years I have seen the fire service grow along with my department. When I got on the job I worked for a volunteer department supplemented with paid staff. We ran 1 engine monday through friday 8a-5p. Today my department has three 4 man engine co, and a 4 man ladder. The service has gotten tougher with newer regulations but if it was easy anyone could do it. Some of the changes are for the better and to make it safer for us but i believe we make it tougher on ourselves.
What makes me love it more today is my better understanding of the job, what the job has provided for me and my family and the people I work with. The fire service is the greatest job in the world and has provided me with wonderful oppurtunities. I met my wife at the firehouse, and I have with worked with the best guys I could ask for. Today with the unemployment I am very thankful for the job I have. I remind my guys everyday that we are fortunate and we have got it made. I have many friends who have been laid off or work in the corp world and don't know if they will have a job next week.
Working out at the gym this past week I ran into a state trooper and he was telling me that he used to work in the fire service when he was younger. He left the fire service to join the state highway patrol and stated he had it made when he was in the fire service and it was the best job he had. He was just to young to see it. That says a lot to me.
No the fire service it's not what it used to be but it its up to us to make it the best it can be. What hasn't changed is it takes certain people to be firemen and fireman make it the job it is today.

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