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  • Brand new Vollunteer...

    Just got on with Sunnyvale Fire Rescue last night. Got my T-shirt and call # (but no pager yet, they were out of pagers).

    Any advice? I want to show up and learn as much as possible. I'll volunteer for all the "gofer" jobs just to learn where stuff is and how it works. I'm really glad to have this opportunity.

    Also one more thing - when is it ok to wear my station's shirt/cap? Only when making calls?
    Last edited by Gambit7; 01-28-2011, 09:25 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
    Just got on with Sunnyvale Fire Rescue last night. Got my T-shirt and call # (but no pager yet, they were out of pagers).

    Any advice? I want to show up and learn as much as possible. I'll volunteer for all the "gofer" jobs just to learn where stuff is and how it works. I'm really glad to have this opportunity.

    Also one more thing - when is it ok to wear my station's shirt/cap? Only when making calls?
    Congrats on joining. I'm sure you'll find it fulfilling.

    My advice: Be a sponge. As you said, show up and do as many jobs, and learn as much as possible. Also meet as many of the other members as possible.. camaraderie is a big part of it.

    As for FD-wear.. it depends on the department. I suggest talking to the other members. Some places encourage the free advertising. Others limit it to while on-duty. In general: If a picture in the press or on the internet would embarrass you or your FD.. you probably shouldn't be wearing your FD stuff... Common examples: out at a bar, concert, robbing a bank, etc.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
    -3dd

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    • #3
      Originally posted by voyager9 View Post
      If a picture in the press or on the internet would embarrass you or your FD.. you probably shouldn't be wearing your FD stuff... Common examples: out at a bar, concert, robbing a bank, etc.
      That last one espeicially would be a bad time to wear one to. It tends to give the cops a great place to start looking for suspects.

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      • #4
        Voyager is right! Be a sponge. There are years of knowledge to be had by just listening.

        A good easy thing I would do is know your apparatus. If your asked to get the cribbing or airbags at a MVA your only going to have a few second before someone else comes to grab them for you. Take a camera and photograph every compartment and look at them till you know where each tool is stored (by name and what it does).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mncowboy96 View Post
          A good easy thing I would do is know your apparatus. If your asked to get the cribbing or airbags at a MVA your only going to have a few second before someone else comes to grab them for you.
          That is one of the first things our new members are set to. Know the trucks. They cannot fill out a seat on a truck until they've proven they know where everything is (and what its called).

          In most cases new members won't be pack qualified so their primary job on scene will be to get equipment. If I'm inside I am relying on them to know where stuff is and get it quickly.. on Scene the driver, and most of the senior members are going to be too busy to hold hands.

          When I first joined I made a point to go through all compartments on every truck at the start of duty crew.. only took a few weeks before it was second nature.
          So you call this your free country
          Tell me why it costs so much to live
          -3dd

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          • #6
            Make a list of questions you have, pull a firefighter that you may have some aquintance with and ask them some or all. Try another firefighter and get any that you missed or the first didn't know. If all else fails go to your officer and ask them. Learn what you can, train when you can and like before make friends with you brothers and sisters. They will be the ones watching your back while in the midst of it all. It makes life easier to be on good terms with the people you spend time with and who help you learn and have your back.

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            • #7
              Know the trucks. There is little you can do if you cannot find the tools.
              A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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              • #8
                Sounds like good advice. Learning the trucks can take awhile (Depending on how many you have to learn) We have 13 including our rescue truck (6 of those are grass rigs with foam and gel systems) I spent a few saturdays down at the hall locating tools. We do truck check once a month, and each truck has its own check list to go over, so I started with #1 and found the stuff, worked my way down the line. I am on rescue and 1 grass rig, so it is alot easier for me to know where everything is on the rescue truck, which is the most complicated one (in my opinion) to know where to go for the tools/cribbing. Also our truck companys will do "work partys" every once and ahwhile to go through, clean out compartments, organize and whatever else needs to be done. If they do this on your dept. go to ALL of them, not just your company. The guys on my dept. were more than happy to walk through with me as they were doing it letting me know where each tool was, what its job was etc.

                edit* Also have one of them show you how to swap air packs out. It is a quick thing to do, but can be very helpful on a good working fire.

                reminds me of a quick story. During FF1 class one night we had just learned how to change and fill packs. I was still at the hall just hanging out with the guys playing air hockey when we got a call for working structure fire. It was great to know how to change packs while still fresh in my head.
                Last edited by jdschmidt; 01-28-2011, 05:29 PM.

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                • #9
                  Never miss a chance to work.

                  Never miss a chance to train.
                  We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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                  • #10
                    Its "Volunteer"

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                    • #11
                      Again.......

                      Voyager - You got me again. "Robbing a Bank" caused my second cup of Coffeee to be everywhere except in the Cup. My wife has prohibited me from reading Snowball and a couple of others while drinking anything, you'll probably be added to the list........


                      Back to the O.P. - Everyone else said it already, Train, Train, Train. Listening instead of Talking isn't a bad habit to have at times like this.......
                      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.

                      www.gdvfd18.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hwoods View Post
                        Voyager - You got me again. "Robbing a Bank" caused my second cup of Coffeee to be everywhere except in the Cup. My wife has prohibited me from reading Snowball and a couple of others while drinking anything, you'll probably be added to the list.....
                        I'll throw $1 into the jar for the Chief's New Keyboard fund..
                        So you call this your free country
                        Tell me why it costs so much to live
                        -3dd

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                        • #13
                          I will share my trick getting to know the apparatus.
                          During station coverage I happened to have my digital camera with so I went around each apparatus and photographed each compartment.
                          I put each apparatus in its own folder on the pc so I could look up the truck and go by file name to each compartment till I had it figured out.

                          My only down fall was I forgot to photograph the power connections so my first fire I pulled out the fans to start ventilation and then I realized I had the plug with no idea where to plug it.
                          Ended up the truck was set up a little inconvenient and there was only one plug and it was on the opposite side of the truck to where I set up.
                          I had to make some adjustments that took 2 minutes longer but sure seems like the longest 2 minutes in the world when you got guys inside asking for that fan for ventilation.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone for the advice! I will take all of this into consideration, and I will be sure to learn as much as I can. And I'll make sure and try to help out with as many calls as possible, and I'll try and make friends with everyone at the station. They all seem like really nice people.

                            Thanks guys!

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                            • #15
                              How was the interview...much like those for paid positions?

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