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Volunteer VS Career

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  • Volunteer VS Career

    Hello!

    I am doing a research and I would like to know, in your opinion what might be some issues that normally arise between volunteer and career firefighter (if any).

    Thank you

  • #2
    Probably the single biggest issue is the level of training of the volunteers, particularly if they are not a contingent of the career staffed department (ie, combination departments). In some areas volunteer departments are every bit the equal of their paid counterparts and are thus highly regarded. They may be part of the regular run cards for the career departments. In other areas, not so much (and sometimes hardly at all).

    In some career departments, individuals who volunteer with their local fire department are frowned upon, in others the practice is accepted.

    Political issues and bad blood are another animal altogether.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by fire5555
      on the same department?

      or

      Adjoining cities

      Or ?????/
      Same department

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tree68 View Post
        individuals who volunteer with their local fire department are frowned upon
        Originally posted by tree68 View Post
        iPolitical issues and bad blood are another animal altogether.
        Why would this happen? What's wrong with volunteering?
        What is the political issue?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by arrobarriba View Post
          Why would this happen? What's wrong with volunteering?
          IAFF officially takes a dim view of their members also being volunteers. Some places take that more seriously than others.

          I know of one career department where volunteers don't show said affiliation on their personal vehicles (via placards, decals, or emergency lights).

          And another that doesn't care one way or the other.

          What is the political issue?
          Some years ago, Podunk showed up at our fire and made us look bad. We hate them. We'll only call them if absolutely necessary, and then they get the s**t jobs. Yes, that still goes on.

          Or witness the recent story about a department that refused to respond mutual aid because somehow they weren't being paid to do so any more. I still haven't figured that one out.

          Or subscription departments. Nobody has figured that one out.

          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you to both for your responses!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tree68 View Post
              one out.

              Or subscription departments. Nobody has figured that one out.
              Seriously, what's to figure out? The local FD is funded by subscriptions collected from people that want fire protection. If you pay your subscription you get full service, if you don't the FD, in most cases, will respond, complete rescues and then protect subscription paying exposures, but nit fight your fire.

              If they fought the fire with the intent of collecting the fee afterwards how do they keep the doors open and the trucks fueled? Pretty soon no one pays unless they need the FD and the fire department closes because of insufficient funding. You don't keep getting cable or internet if you don't pay. Same with your lights and heat. So why would you expect, under the subscription system to get fire protection if you don't pay?

              If the citizens want the subscription system gone then petition the politicians to add it to the tax roles.
              Crazy, but that's how it goes
              Millions of people living as foes
              Maybe it's not too late
              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

              Comment


              • #8
                Now to answer the original poster's question. In my mind the biggest issue is in some career firefighter's minds is some sort of automatic superiority because it is their career and volunteers are just "Hobbyists." In some volunteer firefighter's minds it is the sanctimonious attitude that they are better because they do it for free, or as a side job, so they are somehow care more. There are turds and trouble makers on both sides of the aisle, just as there are rock stars and great people on both sides of the aisle. It is human nature and it really is as simple as that.

                Having been a career firefighter, and a volunteer(paid on call), at the same time, here is my opinion. Pay or lack of pay does not make a quality firefighter. A quality firefighter is one that is dedicated to learning the craft of firefighting and serving the community they are a firefighter in.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                  Seriously, what's to figure out?
                  Many places that have tried to institute a tax-based support system for fire protection have seen the effort fail, from what I've read in the past.

                  What's to figure out is why people would not be willing to pay an amount that would probably be less than the subscription fee to guarantee universal fire coverage, vs "Did I pay the subscription fee this year?"

                  Subscription supported fire departments are outliers - I'd opine that they are a tiny percentage of the total.

                  I understand how they work. What many posters on threads concerning the most recent (whenever it was) house that burned because the homeowner hadn't mailed the fee yet can't figure out is why, in this day and age, such a system continues to exist.

                  Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                  Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tree68 View Post



                    I understand how they work. What many posters on threads concerning the most recent (whenever it was) house that burned because the homeowner hadn't mailed the fee yet can't figure out is why, in this day and age, such a system continues to exist.
                    They exist because people are cheap and they will risk not needing the FD over paying a yearly subscription fee. They gamble their lives and their property over the cost of the fee and when they lose they blame the system instead of their own stupidity.
                    Crazy, but that's how it goes
                    Millions of people living as foes
                    Maybe it's not too late
                    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

                      They exist because people are cheap and they will risk not needing the FD over paying a yearly subscription fee. They gamble their lives and their property over the cost of the fee and when they lose they blame the system instead of their own stupidity.
                      Exactly. And the rest of us just shake our heads...
                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most subscription departments now a days will respond to any call, do everything they can, often a great job, and bill the snot out of non subscribers after the call. Insurance companies have been successfully sued when they fail to pay. Some insurance companies require proof of a subscription for coverage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And depending on where you are, subscription departments are still out there in large numbers

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                            Most subscription departments now a days will respond to any call, do everything they can, often a great job, and bill the snot out of non subscribers after the call. Insurance companies have been successfully sued when they fail to pay. Some insurance companies require proof of a subscription for coverage.
                            On my homeowners insurance policy, it requires me to subscribe to any subscription fire protection service that is available to me. Check your policy, as it may be in it, too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by arrobarriba View Post
                              I am doing a research and I would like to know, in your opinion what might be some issues that normally arise between volunteer and career firefighter (if any).
                              It really depends on the area. Some are more adversarial the others. I know plenty of City FFs that volunteer in their home towns that don't have, and never will have career firefighters. and I know some career FFs who moved to volunteer covered areas, and will bash said volunteer department every step they can, and never lift a finger to help.

                              the IAFF considered volunteers to be the enemy, because they are taking away union jobs.... which is a lie, because those jobs don't exist. So they go out of their way to make it difficult for their members to be volunteers on their day off. many two hatters have no problem ignoring that rule.

                              In general, career FFs complain about volunteer firefighters when it comes to background checks, training, qualifications, and response times. volunteer firefighters complain about career firefighters when it comes to cost, preference to call other career departments when volunteer departments are closes, attitude.and other stupid stuff.

                              combination departments can be an entirely different set of headaches.

                              I'm a firm believer that whether you are paid or volunteer, you should be held to the same training standards. If response times are a concern, than the AHJ has the ability to chose not to follow them (and deal with any consequences). There are volunteer departments that allow people to be interior firefighters without firefighter I certification.... this is scary. Almost as scary as the career department that will fight a structure fire with only 2 engines, with 2 to 3 guys on each truck, and won't call mutual aid because they are volunteers. Everything is ok until someone dies, and then the investigation lists all the issues that everyone knew existed, but refused to address.

                              If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                              FF/EMT/DBP

                              Comment

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