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  • bfranse
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pyrophoric
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • hwoods
    replied
    And..........

    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pyrophoric
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pyrophoric
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • thomas15
    replied
    trizahler26, to add some more. I run with a very good volunteer company. They guys are great and disclipline is high. But, all I need to do to get national pro board FF2 is take basic vehicle rescue operations, a 16 hour class and then send in the application (and study).

    When I get FF2 next spring, I will be the first in my companies history to do so. So actually I feel sorry for some of the guys with more real life experience than me. I'm talking about those who feel the need to constantly bust chops and remind me that they have years of experience because as time goes on I will get the experience but they will never get the certs. And even if they decide to go for it, I will have the satisfaction of knowing that one of the reasons that I worked like a dog preparing for this was because if I had failed on my first attempt, then they would have had a field day busting my chops about being teachers pet and still couldn't get it. But if they try it and fail they have to live with the knowledge that little old Tom got it first time and they didn't and that's real pressure for ya baby.

    Leave a comment:


  • trizahler26
    replied
    Agree

    thomas15-

    I couldn't agree more, well said.

    Leave a comment:


  • thomas15
    replied
    trizahler26, I think you are asking a very good question and one I think about from time to time. The guys are talking about us behind our back, with our book knowledge and all.

    I will be the first to say that practical real world experience, there is no substitute for it. But this is the 21st century and we use lots of very expensive and technical equipment. 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. In this state if you don't have essentials class, there are lots of classes you cannot take so instead of lowering themselves and take essentials-getting it over with, they put down the probies who do.

    Part of my real world training has been to learn how to get to station fast. This means living my life expecting the call at any moment. When I first started I had problems making any truck, now I'm making 1st due on a regular basis. So I'm starting to get some of that real life experience but even after I have enough time in to brag, I hope I don't sour on schooling, I really do. And I've said it before, guys that told me 2 years ago that I may never see flames up close are the ones that I notice now can't make up their minds which line to pull.

    If you run a big city paid dept then of course you will get lots of real world experience. But for us in rural areas, where if we are lucky get to see flames once a month, training and schooling is the way to stay sharp and I don't know how anyone can argue otherwise. I mean can you get real experience when there is no opportunity? The answer is of course no, so you do the next best thing.
    Last edited by thomas15; 11-14-2006, 12:06 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BKDRAFT
    replied
    An A.S. Degree in Fire Service Technology is a huge assest and gives you a great base upon which to work from.

    Leave a comment:


  • backsteprescue
    replied
    Here the only way you can boot another guy off a truck is if you have higher certs such as FFII or III or are a medic compared to an EMT.

    Leave a comment:


  • trizahler26
    replied
    Kevin-

    We have a response matrix that is very disciplined for a paid on call department. We have a chief or two respond in their chief’s vehicle, and the rest of us respond to the station. All of us, no exceptions!

    Very rarely will a FF, Lt., or Capt. respond to the scene in their pov. They are usually reprimanded for this. We believe in making sure that there are enough people to pull apparatus each and every call.

    We have a one or two very knowledgeable and experienced ff's that live as close as the rest of us rookies. They guide us and teach, as for the rest of the senior people and LT.'s they usually miss the apparatus, even on large calls when our response matrix dictates the pulling of multiple apparatus, they still don't make the trucks and light rescues.

    I agree with you all completely, about "real world experience" that is why myself and all the other rookies are fighting like dogs to get on the apparatus, we don't want the title inexperienced any longer than we have to.

    The chiefs love having the quick response and getting us trained up the right way. So I guess this is a good thing, 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.

    Our Chiefs and Capts. all say "You snooze, you lose, so get on the truck as fast as you can!"

    My point here is I would be more willing to 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.

    Thanks for replying, I understand your viewpoints, 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.

    While we go get the knowledge which they, myself, and all of you perceive as the most valuable part of being a firefighter.

    When the tones go off, it is game on to make the truck!

    Leave a comment:


  • Golzy12
    replied
    I went out and earned my fire science degree right after I got out of high school. Then when I finished my degree I joined a POC dept that runs about 750 calls a year. I've been on the department for about a year now and I feel I've learned more from being on the dept for a year then I learned from my degree. The point of the story, is that experience is more beneficial then education in the fire service.

    Leave a comment:


  • fireman4949
    replied
    I'm glad your a nice guy and that you are respectful. I'm in no way trying to imply that you are not. I simply don't want you to feel that you are tactically superior to a more "experienced" member, simply because you read it in a book. That is the kind of attitude that can potentially get youself, or someone else hurt, or killed.

    As I stated earlier, education is important...Very important. It is not however, a substitute for sound tactical judgement, which comes primarily from having gained sound tactical experience.

    I am glad to hear that you are pursuing your education. It will only benefit you in the fire service. Hopefully your dept. will take education seriously and will recognize and encourage the need for ALL of its members to continue to learn.

    I work in a career only department where education is VERY important for career development and advancement. We even receive compensation for certain specialized certifications, as well as for related college degrees.
    It is required for those of us who wish to be on special teams (Haz-Mat, USAR, TRT, etc.) to have the specialized training necessary to be able to be a part of that particular team.

    I still take classes to further my education. I take full advantage of any additional training that I possibly can, and I will continue to do so until the day I retire.

    Please clarify for me, if you will, the policies and procedures of your department...For example, if you take the seat in a unit first, before a more senior member may have time to get to the station, cannot the other member(s), regardless of seniority, still go directly to the scene and perform their assigned functions on the fire ground? Granted you may be among the first crew on the scene, but isn't there still a command structure that dictates duties and responsibilities based upon rank, training and experience within your department?




    Kevin
    Last edited by fireman4949; 11-12-2006, 03:34 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • jerry4184
    replied
    One problem i seem to have, is going by what you've said, you're getting real world experience, without a veteran hand to guide you. By your own admission, the senior guys are left back at teh firehouse. So who is there telling you what to be careful of, or watching you guys to make sure it's all getting done right?

    Also, education is never going to have like a fifty percent share as far as training goes. That degree, and all the book learning in the world, doesn't necessarily make you a good firefighter. Some classes can help, but they don't make you experienced. Experience is what matters in this business. I don't care if you've got fifteen PhD's, and a list of certs as long as i am tall, if you get to a call, and have never actually put the wet stuff on the red stuff, you aren't telling me what to do. Most book learning anyway, tells us we're all dumb for doing what we do to start with, as it's totally against common sense, and standard safety and human reasoning. LOL!

    But really, some classes are good. Take them, and go with it. However, don't think your classes are automatically making you a better firefighter. I'll take a guy that's been through ten thousand burners, over a guy, that's been through five, but has more certs. That first guy has the most important thing when it comes to the fireground, the experience, and PROVEN know how, to get my arse, and his out alive.

    As far as officership goes, in my department at least, there is a list of minimum certifications like EMT, vertified pump operator, ariel operations, trucks, engine ops, and all that, but the big one, is more than three years experience on the fire ground. Right now, none of our officers are even close to that minimum. Our youngest officers right now, are working on twenty, to twenty five years in FIRE/EMS.

    Leave a comment:


  • trizahler26
    replied
    Mouth Shut, Eyes Open.

    Not a problem, I don't step out of line. I always make it a point to keep my mouth shut and eyes open, but I do it at the scene.

    I make ninety percent of all our calls for the last two years, and so have many of my fellow rookies, are getting all the routine calls and all the working fire/rescue calls.

    Point is I am gaining on what is and has been a minimum twenty-five percent call answer department. I am going to the calls getting the real world experience, keeping the mouth shut and eyes open.

    M<y point here was not for anyone to take me down a few notches, don't worry, I'm really nice and respectful.

    I just wanted to know if any other departments maybe value education?

    I am curious because I would like to take a look at their systems of education and experience that determines officer candidates and proficient ff's.

    Myself and other rookies are actually feeling bad that we are leaving all the senior ff and officers behind except for a rare few because we bought homes so close.

    I want them to go on more calls, but for the last two years they have kind of been non-existent on calls. Due to the simply fact that our departments mantra is "real world, nothing comes close."

    I agree with you guys and so do the other rookies, that is why we are so aggressive about living close to the station and making all the calls. “Real world experience is what is all about” I agree, truly!

    We just don't want to be labeled inexperienced rookies any longer than we have to be. And “What is the best way to get rid of that label, go to a few car wrecks with decapitations, partially fall through a floor on an aggressive fire attack, slip and catch yourself on an icy roof, while you’re trying to vent it” Actually go out and do it!

    I am doing it.

    No need to get personal. Just curious if education will ever be given a fair share of the credit for making a good ff, instead of preaching "only real world experience" which I think tends to make people selfish about riding apparatus and not sharing with other ff's who may not be able to respond as quickly.

    I am not here for an argument.

    Leave a comment:

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