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Volunteer VS Career

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  • #16
    And depending on where you are, subscription departments are still out there in large numbers

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    • #17
      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.

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      • #18
        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

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        • #19
          Originally posted by drparasite View Post
          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.
          In many communities (mine for sure) there would be an absolute need for paid firefighters if the volunteers all walked away. Necessity dictates the town, county, state, etc would be forced to provide fire protection.

          It's all about response time. For structural fires I suspect very few volunteer departments are getting sufficient resources on scene in sufficient time. Fires just develop too rapidly. The average detached frame private dwelling fire can fully involve the structure before many departments (and their mutual aid help) can muster sufficient resources to fight the fire.

          Most departments spend most of their time and energy on MVA's and medical emergencies. And most people don't believe their home will burn. So there is no big push to provide increased protection.

          A career department with two engines and six guys that arrives within minutes has a chance at holding a fire in check. Not my idea of adequate protection but it can work. A volunteer department that has to wait in quarters for minimum staffing to arrive has a major handicap.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
            In many communities (mine for sure) there would be an absolute need for paid firefighters if the volunteers all walked away. Necessity dictates the town, county, state, etc would be forced to provide fire protection.
            respectably disagree. If all the volunteers walked away, some other type of protection would be needed. Would the AHJ hire their own paid firefighters? maybe. would they contract with the neighboring town to provide fire protection? maybe. would they bring in rural metro (or some other private company) to provide fire protection? maybe. would they hire one guy per shift? two guys? three? four? would they staff 1 truck with 4 guys, 4 trucks with one guy?

            So I don't blame the IAFF for being anti-volunteer. but to say they are taking IAFF jobs is crap, because at the present time, those jobs don't exist, and even if the volunteers did go away, there i no guarantee that IAFF jobs would appear, nor is there any guarantee that the community would be in a better position without the volunteer department present.

            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
            It's all about response time. For structural fires I suspect very few volunteer departments are getting sufficient resources on scene in sufficient time. Fires just develop too rapidly. The average detached frame private dwelling fire can fully involve the structure before many departments (and their mutual aid help) can muster sufficient resources to fight the fire.
            you know there are volunteer departments that staff their stations right? just look at the DC metro area. And I will also say that if your statement was correct, than areas covered by volunteers would only be basement savers, when many will tell you that isn't always the case (and by the same token, often those career departments are so far behind that when they pull up, all they can do is protect the exposures).
            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
            Most departments spend most of their time and energy on MVA's and medical emergencies. And most people don't believe their home will burn. So there is no big push to provide increased protection.
            a fair statement.... use the resources you have to handle the majority of your call volume.
            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
            A career department with two engines and six guys that arrives within minutes has a chance at holding a fire in check. Not my idea of adequate protection but it can work. A volunteer department that has to wait in quarters for minimum staffing to arrive has a major handicap.
            Sure, and a career department with 2 engines and 6 guys who have an 8 minutes response due to distance to travel vs a volunteer department with 3 engines and a ladder with 12-16 guys and an 8 minute response (taking shorter response area, but adding the response to the station) is what you are facing.

            Your assuming your career engine arrives within 4 minutes. you remember what happens when you assume.... outside of the urban areas, that doesn't always happen.

            I'm not saying career firefighters are bad, nor am I saying volunteer firefighters are good. I've work urban, rural and suburban, and have seen all types of things work. If volunteer fire protection was so bad, you would see homes burning down constantly; and if paid fire protection was so good, they would never have a fire go more than 1 alarm, and they would always quickly extinguish the fire (both of which we know is a lie). Career FFs are great, but they come with a huge financial cost, one that many communities are unable to or unwilling to afford. So if you don't have a career FD, volunteers are often used, in many areas providing a level of service acceptable to the AHJ. It all depends on what your community wants to use.

            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


            • #21
              Originally posted by drparasite View Post
              respectably disagree. If all the volunteers walked away, some other type of protection would be needed. Would the AHJ hire their own paid firefighters? maybe. would they contract with the neighboring town to provide fire protection? maybe. would they bring in rural metro (or some other private company) to provide fire protection? maybe. would they hire one guy per shift? two guys? three? four? would they staff 1 truck with 4 guys, 4 trucks with one guy?

              So I don't blame the IAFF for being anti-volunteer. but to say they are taking IAFF jobs is crap, because at the present time, those jobs don't exist, and even if the volunteers did go away, there i no guarantee that IAFF jobs would appear, nor is there any guarantee that the community would be in a better position without the volunteer department present.

              you know there are volunteer departments that staff their stations right? just look at the DC metro area. And I will also say that if your statement was correct, than areas covered by volunteers would only be basement savers, when many will tell you that isn't always the case (and by the same token, often those career departments are so far behind that when they pull up, all they can do is protect the exposures).
              a fair statement.... use the resources you have to handle the majority of your call volume.Sure, and a career department with 2 engines and 6 guys who have an 8 minutes response due to distance to travel vs a volunteer department with 3 engines and a ladder with 12-16 guys and an 8 minute response (taking shorter response area, but adding the response to the station) is what you are facing.

              Your assuming your career engine arrives within 4 minutes. you remember what happens when you assume.... outside of the urban areas, that doesn't always happen.

              I'm not saying career firefighters are bad, nor am I saying volunteer firefighters are good. I've work urban, rural and suburban, and have seen all types of things work. If volunteer fire protection was so bad, you would see homes burning down constantly; and if paid fire protection was so good, they would never have a fire go more than 1 alarm, and they would always quickly extinguish the fire (both of which we know is a lie). Career FFs are great, but they come with a huge financial cost, one that many communities are unable to or unwilling to afford. So if you don't have a career FD, volunteers are often used, in many areas providing a level of service acceptable to the AHJ. It all depends on what your community wants to use.
              Hiring a private company is no different than hiring their own firefighters. Either way there are paid jobs being created. Different cost factors but jobs nonetheless. The IAFF is not wrong about that.

              What if the neighboring department can't handle the load? What if they are a struggling volunteer department too? How can they provide protection to neighboring areas if they struggle to cover their own?

              I believe the volunteer departments that actually staff their stations full time is a very small percentage. That area around DC is one of the only ones I'm aware of.

              The distance from the station to any given incident is always the same whether volunteers or professionals are responding. The station with a crew assigned will get there quicker every time.

              Volunteers do save structures. Professionals do lose structures. That does not change the laws of physics. Time is a crucial element in successful structural firefighting. A full time staffed department will be more successful than a volunteer department unless that department is one of the few that is staffed full time.

              The county I live in is 450 square miles and has almost 1.4 million residents. Ten states have less people than this county. Yet fire protection is all volunteer. We pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. There won't be paid firefighters anytime soon. People just aren't willing to buck up for something they think they don't really need.
              Last edited by captnjak; 05-08-2018, 04:57 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by captnjak View Post

                The county I live in is 450 square miles and has almost 1.4 million residents. Ten states have less people than this county. Yet fire protection is all volunteer. We pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. There won't be paid firefighters anytime soon. People just aren't willing to buck up for something they think they don't really need.
                It is that way because those who oversee the budget don't make it a priority.
                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


                • #23
                  Originally posted by scfire86 View Post
                  It is that way because those who oversee the budget don't make it a priority.
                  They don't make it a priority because the people who elect them don't make it a priority.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Yup........
                    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


                    • #25
                      When the cost of a single fully staffed engine company runs well over a half million dollars a year (just for the firefighters), and the current fire protection budget is in many cases a quarter of that, the taxpayers will settle for volunteer coverage.

                      In our local situation, the current budget, which includes replacement funds for apparatus and other high-cost items, is just under $400K for something like 80 square miles of land, plus "The River." One career staffed company cannot provide the necessary coverage - so a combination department becomes the reality.

                      Raising the levy to cover the career staffing would increase the fire tax on a riverside home from around $150 on the low end to better than double that - on top of the rest of the town and county taxes that are due. We're worried the taxpayers won't approve a ten cent increase so we can build a station to replace the uninsulated concrete block garage we're now using...

                      This to cover a township that generates just 250 calls a year.

                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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