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What to expect at a VFD?

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  • What to expect at a VFD?

    I'm new to the forum and needless to say this site is a great resource.

    In the next few days, I will be attending training rotations at a local combination department with the intent of becoming an intern. What can be done to increase my chances of gaining the title and what should I expect at a rotation that focuses on ropes and knots for example? Should I expect that people attending be novice or experienced in anything related to the fire service? I am a little nervous because I am in a new state (Oregon) and am unfamiliar with their SOPs. I hope to get some experience if anything. Thanks!

  • #2
    Are you new to the fire service altogether or just new to the area? If you have some experience as a firefighter, even a volunteer, you have a slight advantage.
    I started at a civilian VFD about a year ago and love it! The guys have accepted me and I get along pretty good with everyone. (I am the only female on my department). I have a tiny (really tiny) bit of firefighting experience from my time in the Navy, so I jumped right in and have been doing well to get the majority of my certification classes finished ( I have 6 more until my FF1&2 are complete). The best thing to do is see who is the most willing to teach you and go from there. Ask lots of questions and make every meeting you can.
    Stay safe and have fun!


    • #3
      Here is a link to a site that will help with some knots if you are concerned about that.


      I am reading between the lines here a little bit, but it sounds like you will be, or want to become, an intern (not a volunteer) with the goal of becoming a career firefighter...is that correct?

      In Oregon, an internship is often associated with a community college fire science program. It is the hands on practical experience portion of a degree program.

      Here, SOP's/SOG's govern individual department's day to day operations and practices. The State of Oregon (DPSST) certifies fire training based on NFPA requirements. http://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/

      Your new fire dept. should be gearing its training so its members can obtain NFPA certifications through DPSST. Here are some other links from DPSST's web site. It is not the easiest to navigate if you are not familiar with it. Pay attention to the Fire Fighter I forms and packets.



      http://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/FC/TaskBooks.shtml (These will make your head hurt.)

      Your department may have its own forms and training manual that does not look like what's on DPSST's site, but the training you receive should allow for eventual NFPA certification.

      Also, I would think that this department would provide you some sort of info about roles and expectations of your training.

      If you have any more questions, you can post here or shoot me a PM.

      Just noticed the date of the original post was almost two months ago. Hope this helps anyway.
      Last edited by TVFR9923; 12-27-2010, 04:37 AM. Reason: Just noticed the date of the OP.


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