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I'm pissed - and have been for months about this topic. I can't begin to tell you how much I hate the divisive and contentious career v. volunteer crap!! I see this play out too many times as it tares good, well trained, dedicated departments to shreds. I'm tired of volunteers whining about their lack of respect, tired of career snobs with their sanctimonious snub of anyone not working a 24/72 shift, and tired of combination firefighters who do a little of both. Here's a revelation folks; THE FIRE SERVICE IS BIGGER THAN ANY OF US.

Fire doesn't care if you're career, volunteer, combination, white, black, latino, male, female... and guess what, the people who call 911 don't care either. They want you to make their bad day go away - period! Furthermore, a fire fought by a career department is no more or less dangerous than one fought by volunteers. The tactics may change, but the science of fire and the physical material it's consuming are the same.

Like it or not, we are ALL on the same Fire Service team, playing different roles that focus on a common goal - to protect those we swore to protect.

BROTHERHOOD is more than a t-shirt slogan or IAFF membership!

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Comment by FF Timothy Kelly on July 27, 2010 at 4:01pm
I see this all the time. Thank you for posting it. I have meet great volunteers in my career and great career firefighters. The uniform does not make us good firefighters, it is what is inside that matters... when the call comes in, we all do the same job !!
Comment by Paul Combs on July 26, 2010 at 6:58am
Very well said, Sonny!
Comment by Sonny O'Connor on July 25, 2010 at 11:23pm
I am going to paraphrase here, but I belive the quote goes something like this....."for he who sheads his blood with me is my brother"....we can change the wording around and say she or how ever you want to make it more P.C. but it's true...the blood, sweat, tears, laughter, coffee, late night wake up calls we've all shared together make us a brother hood. great cartoon Paul
Comment by Christopher Drake on July 24, 2010 at 12:13pm
Thank you for giving us an excellent visual demonstration for this issue. I started out as a volunteer in '86, and started career in '98. It still irks me to no end when I hear guys I work with trash talking volunteers. Many of these guys got their start as volunteers as I did, they've just forgotten where they came from...I haven't! Thank you again and keep up the outstanding visual commentary.
Comment by William Bills on July 22, 2010 at 8:53am
Thank you Paul for posting your latest cartoon as well as your thoughts. You couldn't have been more clear and CORRECT! I have this problem within my volunteer department itself. It is eroding the very foundation that we aer all supposed to be upholding each and everyday; As a Captain, I struggle with this issue daily. Thank you also to all of my Brothers who have offered their support and thoughts as related to this post. I appreciate your support more than you will ever know, and knowing that others a dealng with similar issues makes it a little easier for me to breathe. God bless all of you, stay safe and keep it real!
Comment by Joe Heim on July 22, 2010 at 6:28am
Well Said, I don't understand what the difference is either, too many firefighters sometimes seem to forget what they are all there for and that is one thing and one thing only is to serve the public, no one owes us, we owe them and we also need to stand together no matter what we are career, volunteer, combination, etc.....
Comment by Dave Van Putten on July 21, 2010 at 5:53pm
This problem is not only between Full time and volunteer but also between full time departments themselves and volunteer departments themselves. Too many guys get a "Holy-er than thou) attitude which is a bad virus that eats at the brotherhood. I just did some work for a volunteer department that has problems with neighboring departments because of attitude! There is always going to be the human element that we have to work with but it would be really nice if everyone would "get it" when it comes to the fire service and brotherhood!
Comment by Mike France on July 21, 2010 at 5:51am
Regardless we all do the same job, should it matter if we are Paid or Volunteer.
Comment by Dan Rice on July 20, 2010 at 3:06pm
Thanks for posting this! its a great topic!
Comment by Paul Combs on July 15, 2010 at 2:28pm
Amen, Captain!!

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