Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

Why are Volunteer firefighters hated so much??? I have been wondering this from the day I started. I never thought is was as bad until we had lager 100,000 sq commercial fire. We where on seen with in 5 min and when I pulled on scene the building was already burning from one side to the next. We had 6 towns helping us. We never sent anyone in because the building was empty and we knew the building was not safe. When the fire hit the papers the bad mouthing started online. Call us scabs and it burned because we are volunteers and if we were full time it would never happen. But the 2 full time depts up north from me lost a appt building and the other lost a larger home, they got "great good". It really makes me mad we have the same training and certs and we fight the same fire. My town has been vol from day one, we have been trying to have some full time but the state keeps cutting money. Don't understand their problem, in my eye there are a disgrace to the fire service. I could understand if my town was w full time dept and they went to vol but thats not the case. What do they expect when town don't have money to run a vol dept how the hell are they going to pay full timers. The funny thing is all these full times that talk crap moved to a vol town, go back to your full time city. Why can't we get a lot and help each other.

Views: 24837

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I wouldn't say that volunteer firefighters are "hated" per se, but they do not receive the same level of respect. It's like comparing a soup kitchen volunteer, to a full-time charity worker. Yes we appreciate your intent but at the end of the day this isn't your profession so you aren't making it your priority to stay on top of procedures, training, equipment upgrades, etc. If every volunteer routinely checked fire service news sources (they have fire service news apps now, for heaven's sake) then they'd be more informed and earn more respect.

Not hated, just not respected - as much. Volunteers don't train constantly, or are aware of current events/techniques/policies/strategies/etc... At the very least, anyone participating in fire service or emergency medical services, should keep themselves updated onfire service news so they're actually helpful and not just getting in the way of professionals.

To be honest it's just most career fire fighters have never been a volunteer. If you want a career as a fire fighter I always tell people try a volunteer department first that way you can know for sure. I have respect for volunteers and careers I've seen career departments call in volunteer departments to help with calls. In my opinion if you signed up to put your life in harm's way to save a life and it's not if it happens it when it happens then God dammit you deserve just as much respect then the guy who gets paid to do it. Here's an example when I was in the Army on active duty we never respected the national guard but we had a national guard unit deploy with us and they were extremely squared away. I joined the national guard after 4 years of active duty and the company I went to every sergeant and higher were ranger qualified. I've seen volunteer departments out do career departments. I've seen volunteer firefighters at their stations every single day training working out checking their engines and equipment and no it's not just the chief it's the crew. The difference between a volunteer and a career is one gets paid and the other one doesn't. I've seen this to volunteer fire fighter spending time with his family kids birthday party taking his wife or gf on a date he gets a tone he is out the door and gone. Career fire fighter he's at the department ready for a call he's expecting a call for the next 24 to 48 hours after that he goes home for 48 to 96 hours if his department gets a tone during those 96 hours oh well. Volunteer in most cases aren't getting paid you can get 8 tones in one day and I've seen it but he ain't getting paid. I've seen career departments get one call in a day. He's still getting paid. The fire fighter community is suppose to be non biased doesn't matter if your paid or not and I respect both. We showed up second to a call one time a volunteer department was already attacking the fire so we had to run supply one of our guys didn't agree and said well they're just volunteers they don't know s***. I pulled him aside after we got back and I told him I better not ever hear him talk down on another department again career or volunteer and those volunteers did an outstanding job. It doesn't matter if your paid or volunteer you deserve the same reapect.

Reply to Discussion


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of


© 2024   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service