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Ride Alongs.

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  • Ride Alongs.

    Hi. Well, I am going on my first ride along tomorrow. I'm really nervous. See, Im a 15 year old girl and I dont want to seem like im just taking up air and space. So far I've been told by other firefighters to stay quiet, stay out of the way, dont have opinions, and to bring some sort of desert. What else is there for me to do, so I dont come off as some dumb teenage girl?


  • #2
    Before you get too excited. Make sure that someone has checked on local laws. Typically, they don't allow anyone under at least 16 to ride emergency vehicles.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.


    • #3
      I would definitely suggest bringing a carton of firefighter's favorite dessert (possibly favorite food, period), ice cream! I would suggest wearing something modest, but not overly dressy. A nice polo shirt and comfortable slacks would be appropriate. The chief or company officer will hopefully tell you what they expect while you are a guest at the station, how they expect you to conduct yourself on a call, etc. Generally, you should pretty much stay out of the way as the crew goes about their routine at the station, but don't just sit in a corner, make sure you're able to watch what's going on. The crew will likely be happy to answer your questions, as long as they aren't busy on something. You'll figure out pretty quick when it's appropriate to ask questions. Generally, conduct yourself as a guest in someone else's house.


      • #4
        Thank you.


        • #5
          Originally posted by AllStarWS45 View Post
          Hi. Well, I am going on my first ride along tomorrow. I'm really nervous. See, Im a 15 year old girl and I dont want to seem like im just taking up air and space. So far I've been told by other firefighters to stay quiet, stay out of the way, dont have opinions, and to bring some sort of desert. What else is there for me to do, so I dont come off as some dumb teenage girl?

          Don't get mad, but you are to young to do ride-a-longs.

          Even if you are an explorer or junior they are state laws regulating who can ride and age has a place in this picture.
          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers


          • #6
            Assuming your state laws do allow someone to ride-out at 15 (ours do, so long as there is a parental waiver signed), here are some suggestions:
            - bring a dessert
            - dress professionally, yet comfortably (esp with shoes). Remember you could have to climb into an engine or ambulance quickly. Heels would NOT be appropriate. Avoid light colors (fire apparatus can be quite dirty despite how much they are cleaned).
            - Help the crew out. Ask "What chores can I help with?" and not "Do you want me to do anything?"
            - If the officer doesn't pull you aside shortly after you get there, ask him or her to spend a couple minutes with you to explain expectations. They should assign you a seat and tell you what you can and can't do on certain calls.
            - During the middle of a call, don't ask questions. But take mental notes and ask them after the run. Don't make them sound like you're questioning the method. "I noticed you did X when Y happened. I don't understand why X made it do Z. Can you explain that to me?"
            - Don't be the first in line for food. Only after the crew eats, or pretty much instructs you to get your plate, is it your turn.
            - Be the first up to help with dishes WITHOUT being asked.
            - Have some good questions ready as a time filler.
            - Before sitting down (table, recliner, etc.) ask where the empty seat is. Most crews have a routine and certain people always sit in the same spot. They might not say anything, but it will drive them crazy.
            - Make sure every one of the crew has a recliner before you sit down. If needed, pull up another chair.
            - Offer to pay for your share of the meals. "How much are meals today?"
            - Be early by about 10-20 minutes, but check in and then stay out of the way.
            - If asked your opinion, or if you have a truly important contribution to the conversation and you've been invited into the conversation, then it is okay to speak. But otherwise, keep your mouth shut. NEVER call out a FF's opinion and avoid using "immature" language. It's like the old saying, it's better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you're an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.

            Remember that this is your first impression. Even though you may not be applying for another 3-5 years, you will be remembered if you stand out (positively or negatively). In my dept, ride-alongs are guests (esp if it's just a community member). We don't usually ask much of them. Applicant/candidate ride-alongs are always being watched.

            Above all, have fun and enjoy your ride-out.


            • #7
              Tell someone you are new to all of this and that you are nervous!

              I disagree with being quiet. You need to be reserved. Ask good questions and be interested! Don't get in the way though.


              • #8
                A Case of cold beer and a Carton of Smokes!!!


                • #9
                  take a digital camera with you, and ask if any restrictions on taking pictures,.

                  You can document your ride out, and also maybe put together some printed pictures to give back to the fire department.

                  what the resaon for the ride along??????????????????


                  • #10
                    Give us some feedback!!

                    So by now you've gone on your ride along....how was it and was it what you expected???Why or why not??

                    "The Axeman"


                    • #11
                      Well when I am an adult, I wish to become a firefighter. It's something I've wanted to do be ever since I was a child. It's just what I want to do.

                      Yes, I went on my ride along. It was awesome. Uhmm, I foudn out some pretty interesting things. I was able to ride in the Engine when they went on a drill. No Calls. However, It was awesome. Without asking, I got to hear some horror stories. I handle them well. Also, I got a few high fives and "hell yeahs" when I had good comebacks.

                      One guy decided to make fun of my height. I made fun of his aswell. (Im short, he was built like a Redwood. ) Uhmm, He said that i was short, if he sprayed hose. He'd miss. I said that sounded like a personal problem cause a firefighter should be able to aim a hose. That was a good moment.

                      Was it what I expected?

                      Im not sure, It was great. They were people I could imagine hanging around. I knew there would be playful banter. I knew they would eat and check things over and over again. I didnt know they'd hand me an axe and turn-outs. But they did.

                      I also got to gamble with them. That was fun. I rolled doubles.

                      All in all, It was fun. I just want to do it again.


                      • #12
                        Yeah you got the typical ride-along curse; no calls!! Glad to hear you had a great time...be careful on engaging in a lot of "cramming" or comebacks. You'll be surprised to find out that some firefighters have fragile egos, and you don't know how that may come back to haunt you later on! Be the 'snotty nosed' kid that shows up with hat in hand, ice cream in the other and just glad to be riding along and learning something!!

                        "The Axeman"
                        "Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields Power and Dominion IN ACTION!!!"


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