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  • #16
    I received almost 90% of my AS degree before getting a chance to join my dept, and am extremely glad i did. The first couple of months around the station and on calls I understood everything verbally, and understood and could picture the operations. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to pick up these things that actually allowed me to do what I could as i was starting out.

    3 months went by before I had a chance to attend fire academy, and what hands on experience I recieved there was incredible! I'd do it every year if i had the opportunity.

    With the book knowledge first I was able to understand the why's and what for's while in training and on scene. Both my education and hand's on have been priceless to me through my 3 years as a volunteer.

    I don't consider myself a highly experienced firefighter yet as everytime I go on a call I'm always learning something new, and that is why I really love the fire service!

    I can't say now, and don't know that I will ever be able to say if either education or hand's on experience is better than the other. I believe they are both just as important, and neither of them should ever be considered "in the past." I believe both should always be continued or expanded upon.

    If you do have a chance for the education whether before entering fire service, or after, take the chance, you won't regret it.


    • #17
      Thomas15, I'm sure many others have experienced the same thing you have in regards to other members opinions as to getting certifications and training. I started seeing it almost immediately. Sure some guys have a ton of experience with MOV's and extrication etc.. but how long did it take them to get that experience? I took the first available extrication class i could, so i had a reference and understanding of what I was doing before i started doing. When I got my FF2 other members then became interested.

      I love learning new things regardless if i get a certification or not. I'm working on educating myself in any way possible so that I may hopefully soon be doing what I love as my career.

      Then you'll have some that say that dept's like hiring new guys without experience so they can train them their way, I'll take my chances and just look at it in the way that many other dept's are looking for educated and experienced FF's.


      • #18

        Gentlemen: Been There, Done That. Did NOT get the "T" Shirt. With Forty-Eight years in this business, I guess you could say that I have some experience. BUT, to me, Experience is NOT everything. I currently hold 11 National Pro Board certificates, including Fire Officer IV, Instructor III, and HazMat Tech. My opinion is that it takes a combination of Education and Experience to make a good Firefighter. Like Kevin posted above, I'll keep taking courses until I am too worn out to respond on calls. You can never learn Enough, and you can never get enough Experience either. There IS a difference between getting 20 years experience, and getting 1 years experience 20 times over. Learn the difference, and be guided accordingly. Best Wishes for a long and rewarding Career.
        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
        In memory of
        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

        IACOJ Budget Analyst

        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



        • #19
          Originally posted by Pyrophoric
          Both my education and hand's on have been priceless to me through my 3 years as a volunteer.

          I can't say now, and don't know that I will ever be able to say if either education or hand's on experience is better than the other. I believe they are both just as important, and neither of them should ever be considered "in the past." I believe both should always be continued or expanded upon.

          I guess i could cut mine more short to make it simple, like mentioned above........both!


          • #20
            As mentioned previously by wiser brothers than myself. Don’t ever stop your education.

            Improving the education of firefighters serves the firefighter, their brothers/sisters, their company, their organization, their community and the future of the fire service.

            Most “new guys” that went to school to learn the “job” tend to act like they know the job on their first call.
            You try and help them or show them something and they would prefer to show you how much they know just like the “new guys” that didn’t go to school.

            If you are better educated then your brothers and sisters good for you! If you need your brothers and sisters to know “I am better educated then you”. What will be perceived is “I am better then you”.

            Originally posted by thomas15
            I know that there are guys in my dept that are very good FFs but couldn't sit through a 16 hour class or pass the FF1 written test if their life depended on it. Then along comes some new guy that rips through it like nothing (at least to them it seems like nothing, they don't know how much prep work it really takes) and suddenly the cert is no big deal, beneath them to even consider getting.
            You are right. And it has been occurring since the first guy walked through the door with the very first cert! I had been in the fire service a few years when I moved to go to school for the fire science, I found my way down to the local firehouse and signed up. The Chiefs favorite pass time was belittling the 3 members going to school. When he would attend in house classes he spent our time arguing with the instructors. He didn’t believe in using the incident command system or any form of accountability. He did believe that only officers should have radios and that anyone riding backwards didn’t need to hear the radio traffic on the way in because then they might form their only ideas about what to do. The point of my ramble is, every where you go there is going to be someone that likes things just the way they are or something that you just can’t stand. Those someones aren’t around forever. Serving, OJT, book learnin and time will eventually put you in a position to change those somethings.

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            we don't want the title inexperienced any longer than we have to.
            You are going to be inexperienced in some form or another for a very long time if you stay in the fire service and move up through the ranks.

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            I just can't help but feel bad after two years of us completely owning the calls and leaving the experienced FF's and LT's at the station.
            IMO you don’t “feel bad” at all. Or you would….

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            slow down my response on some calls and give my seat up if the senior people wouldn't trash my education as much as they do.
            You want respect for your education, tough. You don’t get respect in the fire service for anything other then hard work and dedication. If it wasn’t your education the senior people were “trashing” they would find something else to “trash”. You have to give respect to get respect.

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            there is no substitute for "real world experience" "so I guess that means the people who live farther away are going to sit at the station, writing the reports.
            Someday you might have a new Chief, who could be one of whose members that sat around writing reports, instituting changes to your response matrix allowing bumps for seats based on seniority. Firefighters hold onto traditions and grudges for a lifetime.

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            While we go get the knowledge which they, myself, and all of you perceive as the most valuable part of being a firefighter.
            Don’t mistake knowledge for experience. Learning from your experiences is valuable. Learning from the experience of those senior people you leave behind is the most valuable.

            Originally posted by trizahler26
            When the tones go off, it is game on to make the truck!
            As it should be.
            We're not spliting rocket hairs here people!

            Training is like building a pyramid, if you want it to last, you don't built it pointy side down!


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