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  • #61
    Putting this into perspective in RRU, the plan is to correct and upgrade an outdated program. The County of Riverside has changed tremendously in residents and staffing of career firefighter over the last 10-15 years. Yet the volunteer program has not updated at all or minimally.

    The current proposed program is an attempt to upgrade this program and not a single individual is being cut loose unless he/she choses to leave. The basic requirements are 48 hours of service (including coverage, response, training and community events) per month. Training to same four hours of required training from the department as per their calendar.

    There are additional requirements of a background check (required by County Ordinance for all County Volunteers in any dept), the same very RPP medical they get now and the requirement to fill out a single application so the department has the same info on every individual.

    I know that is a basic explaination, but in a nut shell it is not a tough or demanding program. I would be interested in hearing why an opponent of this actually opposes the program. I have read all the posts and I am not looking for "because look at what happened in OC" or it eliminates us. Just state facts as to why this is an issue.

    Comment


    • #62
      Volunteer and career firefighters need the same training standards whether or not career firefighters are more likley to exceed them. Both need to meet the same minimum standards.

      It;'s the minimum standards I'm worried about. Firefighter I certification as an example, by the end of year 2, as example would not be an issue as long as the class is taught when volunteers can reasonably attend it.

      A requirement of Firefighter I by the end of the first year if the class is only taught during the day would be unreasonable.

      Anything beyond that I would consider unreasonable.

      Do volunteers do the same job or not? Yes or no.

      No.

      Volunteers in most communties do it on a more basic level than career members, especially when you start talking about specilized operations like high-rise, heavy duty wildland or marine firefighting, or specilaized/technical rescue.

      That doesn't make them or thier departments second rate.

      There are exceptions, but by and large, you don't see volunteer departments getting into those types of responses to the level of career staffing, unless they are lucky enough to have volunteers currently working FT as career.

      So, the answer is no.

      And I have a feeling that in this case, the volunteers provide a basic initial response to less complex situations with Cal Fire and career Riverside units responding. I have a strong feeling that much of the urban operations, technical rescue and wildland operations is handled by the RC career or Cal Fire staff.

      FWIW, I never had any problems meeting or exceeding minimum standards as a volunteer. I accepted it as an aspect of professionalism. Why should anyone else have such hard time?

      Some people don't. But most do because of job, second job or family. I really don't expect a volunteer firefighter to get a whole bunch of certs behind his/her name. I accept the time limitations and the training limits. I expect them to know how to do the job on the structures in thier community using thier apparatus/tools in thier community under thier SOPs.

      The current proposed program is an attempt to upgrade this program and not a single individual is being cut loose unless he/she choses to leave. The basic requirements are 48 hours of service (including coverage, response, training and community events) per month. Training to same four hours of required training from the department as per their calendar.

      4 hours of training a month is not the same thing as requiring the same minimum training for the volunteers as the career staff.

      I am taking away from this that they will be required to have the equivilent training as the career staff gets at the academy which is likely FFI, FFII, Operations, NIMS, Red Card and maybe Driver/Operator. That is obviously unreasonable for a volunteer.

      I guess I need a clarification on that before I can comment further.

      As far as the station time, I don't get it. And sorry, requiring somebody to spend 12 hours a week at the station will drive members out who can respond from home and still be valuable.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #63
        [/QUOTE]What attempt? They're reorganizing a dysfunctional program. How is that driving anyone out?[/QUOTE]

        What is dysfuntional about it?

        Comment


        • #64
          LAFIRE,

          As I understand it, you are in Louisiana correct? Ever had experience with Riverside County? I have and it is a different animal than most models. I would find it hard to comment or criticize your situation in LA without direct knowledge.

          As for the four hours, every month the training bureau puts out a calendar of training events one hour for each week. Of course there is more for the career and volunteers but the department is trying to adapt this as a minimum standard for the volunteers, just as it is for the career staff. This proposal does nothing more than bring the RCOFD into one department instead of individulized entities.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Bfish View Post
            LAFIRE,

            As I understand it, you are in Louisiana correct? Ever had experience with Riverside County? I have and it is a different animal than most models. I would find it hard to comment or criticize your situation in LA without direct knowledge.

            As for the four hours, every month the training bureau puts out a calendar of training events one hour for each week. Of course there is more for the career and volunteers but the department is trying to adapt this as a minimum standard for the volunteers, just as it is for the career staff. This proposal does nothing more than bring the RCOFD into one department instead of individulized entities.
            I dont think youl find any volunteers in Riverside County compaining about the training we get and are offered. The training staff in this department are top notch and the chief in charge of training is especially on the ball. Most volunteers commit at least nine hours of training a month at the station level(at least at my station) then what ever classes they can get into as well.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Calphenix View Post
              I dont think youl find any volunteers in Riverside County compaining about the training we get and are offered. The training staff in this department are top notch and the chief in charge of training is especially on the ball. Most volunteers commit at least nine hours of training a month at the station level(at least at my station) then what ever classes they can get into as well.

              You are right, at least that was my experience. Good training was provided and most volunteers took advantage of that. From what I have been told and read, it seems that from the training aspect they are trying to get everyone on the same page. It is a difficult task when there are 50 or so VFC's to deal with and participation of volunteers and career staff differs.

              While change is hard and some will not like it, I would think that any change to bring the fire department as one is a good or positive change.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                SC ..

                I would prefer not to give names, however, they are folks that I would expect to have insight on the topic.
                So you resort to rumor mongering. Until you cite specifics and proof this is hearsay and worthless. Why would you expect them to have insight? Did one of them fall off a bar stool at one of the local watering holes one night after class?

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                I was told that there are significant problems in the career-volunteer relations and much of the paid staff makes it quite clear they have little use for the volunteers, and do little if anything to make the situation better.
                When I would hear the phrase "I heard" it was code for "I have no idea what I'm talking about." One of the reasons there was little use for the reserves was the simple fact that they didn't respond and they rarely trained.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                As I have said before and will say again, people will not volunteer, or may start the process and then leave if it's made clear that they are not wanted, not trained because those with the skills make no effort, and not utilized in meanignful roles and emergencies, not recognized as being important and not given the oppoortunity to be promoted to a level of responsibility within the organization.
                Again, what specifically did the career firefighters do that caused the reserves to not respond? This locale is not exactly labor friendly, so it can't be that career firefighters controlled the political environment.

                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                If you can honestly tell me that OCFD gave thier volunteers the opportunity for all of the above while you will there, I will say shame on the volunteers. If you can't, then I will say shame on the career staff and administration, and will place little to no blame on the volunteers for not being involved.
                I can tell you unequivocally the volunteers got away with things that would have gotten many career firefighters fired. Incidents I witnessed first hand. Things that caused career firefighters to be disciplined. And then the volunteers would boast of accomplishments that never occurred.

                Until your sources cite specifics, it is a completely false statement you are propagating.
                Last edited by scfire86; 08-26-2010, 08:15 PM.
                They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by GTRider245 View Post
                  If we had a station that was manned by volunteers, and responded to 20 percent of the calls it was dispatched too, I would have little use for them too. Making 1 out of 5 calls just makes the paid personnel expect you NOT to show up, and tactics will reflect that. Not to mention overall attitudes towards the volunteers as a whole.
                  And that is exactly what happened.
                  They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                  I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Calphenix View Post
                    I dont think youl find any volunteers in Riverside County compaining about the training we get and are offered. The training staff in this department are top notch and the chief in charge of training is especially on the ball. Most volunteers commit at least nine hours of training a month at the station level(at least at my station) then what ever classes they can get into as well.
                    Our training requirements were 10 hrs/month for reserves and 20 hours for career personnel.

                    Training academy was double the hours for career vs reserve.

                    Yet the reserves always like to portray themselves as our equivalent. It was one of the many reasons there was ill will towards them.

                    That and the reality that they didn't respond most of the time. One of our chief officers (aka management) put it best, "the only worse than the RFF not showing up, is when they do show up." For all the reasons I stated.
                    Last edited by scfire86; 08-26-2010, 08:17 PM.
                    They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                    I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
                      .




                      I can tell you unequivocally the volunteers got away with things that would have gotten many career firefighters fired. Incidents I witnessed first hand. Things that caused career firefighters to be disciplined. And then the volunteers would boast of accomplishments that never occurred.

                      Until your sources cite specifics, it is a completely false statement you are propagating.
                      Could you please site specifics of what volunteer got away with. You dont have to name names but I would like to know what it is exactly that they got away with.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        You can pm me if you want
                        Last edited by Calphenix; 08-26-2010, 08:28 PM. Reason: chekcing to see if hyperlink worked

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
                          Our training requirements were 10 hrs/month for reserves and 20 hours for career personnel.

                          Training academy was double the hours for career vs reserve.

                          Yet the reserves always like to portray themselves as our equivalent. It was one of the many reasons there was ill will towards them.

                          That and the reality that they didn't respond most of the time. One of our chief officers (aka management) put it best, "the only worse than the RFF not showing up, is when they do show up." For all the reasons I stated.
                          So you really think it's viable to have the same training requirements for volunteers as career.

                          So you would have not have an issue completing the basic academy on your own time while jholding down a full-time job before you were employed? You would have no problem completing all your 20 hours of monthly training off the clock if the volunteers did the same thing?

                          Sounds pretty silly, huh? Well that's exactly what you are asking and seem to expect.

                          When the career component has to complete thier basic training on thier time before being hired and after hire they complete all monthly training requirements in the same way I'll entertain any discussion about volunteer training requirements.

                          By the way, that's how we do it here. before being hired, all appplicants have to complete FFI/FFII/Operations and EMT on thier own time. We expect that before hire.
                          Train to fight the fires you fight.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                            So you really think it's viable to have the same training requirements for volunteers as career.
                            If you expect both groups to perform the same roles, work together, rely on each other, and be taken seriously, then YES.

                            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                            So you would have not have an issue completing the basic academy on your own time while jholding down a full-time job before you were employed? You would have no problem completing all your 20 hours of monthly training off the clock if the volunteers did the same thing?

                            Sounds pretty silly, huh? Well that's exactly what you are asking and seem to expect.
                            Expecting initial, and follow-on training from all responders is not silly. The only thing silly is your belief that a system composed of two groups, one trained, the other not, would not self destruct at the earliest opportunity.

                            There are many combination systems very similar to the one I believe is being proposed. Just look at the large County Departments on the mid-Atlantic coast.

                            For those systems to work you HAVE to have comparable training across the board. If you expect 2nd-class training from the volunteers, you'll get 2nd-class effort/responses. They'll be treated like 2nd-class citizens/members and pretty soon the whole system falls apart.
                            So you call this your free country
                            Tell me why it costs so much to live
                            -3dd

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Calphenix View Post
                              Could you please site specifics of what volunteer got away with. You dont have to name names but I would like to know what it is exactly that they got away with.
                              Originally posted by Calphenix View Post
                              You can pm me if you want
                              I'd rather not. I don't have any way to prove my claims.
                              They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                              I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                So you really think it's viable to have the same training requirements for volunteers as career.


                                So you would have not have an issue completing the basic academy on your own time while jholding down a full-time job before you were employed? You would have no problem completing all your 20 hours of monthly training off the clock if the volunteers did the same thing?
                                I want people to be at least as well trained as career personnel. Especially if they are claiming to be my peer.

                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                When the career component has to complete thier basic training on thier time before being hired and after hire they complete all monthly training requirements in the same way I'll entertain any discussion about volunteer training requirements.
                                No one really cares what you are or are not willing to entertain.

                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                By the way, that's how we do it here. before being hired, all appplicants have to complete FFI/FFII/Operations and EMT on thier own time. We expect that before hire.
                                And why should we care about that? The OCFA had its own policies and procedures. Even if a candidate came to the organization with all those in place, there was training done to ensure the individual complied with the organizational goals.
                                They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

                                I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

                                Comment

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