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Where is the line drawn?

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  • Where is the line drawn?

    I want to know what everyone here thinks about this.

    My fianc? is a volunteer firefighter for the department here in our very small town. Currently he is at a structure fire. Now here?s my problem... he has ZERO structural firefighting training. I, myself, have been through rigorous hours of training. As soon as I left the military, I started my book training for structural firefighting and went through my academy.. since then, I have been part of both a paid fire department in a big city and a reserve firefighter in a different city until I moved here, now I?m just a wildland firefighter who very much misses the structural stuff. I have my state firefighter very along with confined space, hazmat, firefighter survival and the list goes on. HE on the other hand, has nothing. It bothers me to the core whenever he runs off to an involved structure knowing he has zero experience and no training to back it up. This little volunteer department, they have training BUT my fianc? says that they are nothing but a boys get together and nothing to do with training at all.

    How do volunteer department get away with not properly training their people. I understand money is a huge issue but it would be a bigger issue if they sent a body into a structure, who ended up getting killed ultimately due to no training and not knowing what they are doing. Firefighting obviously is risky as heck and even the highest trained person can get killed or seriously injured but there is an inherently higher risk sensing people in who have nothing to back them up.

    are your volunteer departments like this? I know most departments require certifications at least. This place has nothing set in place for people who want to join...


  • #2
    well......

    your an experienced FF, who has certifications, and just moved to a small town..... your fiances is an untrained FF.... he goes to calls, and you miss the structural stuff.... yet you haven't joined up? what's wrong with this picture......

    Most volunteer departments don't require any certifications or experience to join. If anything, they will send you to get your fire certifications once become a member.

    Every state has different rules for firefighters. Contact your state's fire marshal's office, and ask them what they require. Some are more strict than others.

    But based on your entire story, me thinks much of what you are saying is less than 100% truthful.
    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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    • #3
      My dept trains at least every other week, usually every week. We dont get many structure fires, but when we do, only guys certified or that are trained go interior. The rest of us do exterior and support ops. We go in and help with overhaul.

      If you have trained and participated in enough control burns to show youve got what it takes to go interior, the chief can clear you.

      Im with drparasite here, I think youre not being 100% truthful.

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      • #4
        I'm personally in that same boat as well (on your fiances end). Our first structure fire consisted of 8 fresh probies, Dept chief, Chief and 1 Captain. I followed in Captain to assess, but structure was too far gone and suppression on external environment was the only thing left to do. We were down a pump as our 500g truck pump flooded, so we were left with 1000g to begin suppression until secondary water truck arrived. This was a very rural fire so it did take 20 min before second water truck showed, which was a local farmers truck that he filled at the farm. From initial call, drive time, lack of initial crew (5 min behind us), waiting on Power/gas (20 min from call out to dispatch to start Power Kill), troubleshooting the 500g truck and preparing hose line/tools for attack, fire took the structure. All those factors hindered our ability to save the structure.
        I think in your case if your fiance is truly smart, he'll listen to his command and follow whatever orders are given. No smart FF would attempt any interior until training is provided, or freelance-which kills not only the body, but team work, if your don't die.
        Our local Volunteer dept's dont have a basic requirement to join, all training is provided over time to their men/women. Its not a matter of 'getting away with no training", its more a time factor. If the dept has provided no training over the course of a year then yes, there may be a problem but as a volunteer, i take my training at home with what i can, as should your fiance. Train, or die.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drparasite View Post
          well......

          your an experienced FF, who has certifications, and just moved to a small town..... your fiances is an untrained FF.... he goes to calls, and you miss the structural stuff.... yet you haven't joined up? what's wrong with this picture......

          Most volunteer departments don't require any certifications or experience to join. If anything, they will send you to get your fire certifications once become a member.

          Every state has different rules for firefighters. Contact your state's fire marshal's office, and ask them what they require. Some are more strict than others.

          But based on your entire story, me thinks much of what you are saying is less than 100% truthful.
          I had the same question. You have the certs and want to get back into structural firefighting but don't hook up with the local VFD. Yes, it does make one wonder.

          As far as training, you will find that it runs the gamet. As a state fire instructor, I see the whole range of departments and their training levels. Legally in Louisiana, there is no requirement for firefighter training. Many of the departments are rural and do little in the way of interior training. In many cases, it's simply because they don't have burn facilities to do interior fire training, and don't have the money to build them (even if several pool their money). Most of the rural districts don't have instructors with formal Instructor 1 certification and many have department instructors that may not even have a Firefighter I certification. And many don't train interior simply because their response times, staffing and water supply may either preclude them from safely going interior unless it's a very small fire or the building is on the ground when they arrive so they concentrate their training on exterior operations and water supply.

          I know of rural departments that have a policy that they don't go interior. if they can't knock it down from the exterior, the building burns. In some cases it's simply because they don't have the volunteers to operate interior and help is a long way away. In one cases it's because they have no burn facilities and recognize that if they can't train, they shouldn't go inside. At least they recognize that.

          Before moving to Louisiana, I was in Vermont for 20 plus years, and it's often the same situation there.

          Sometimes they don't train because they are lazy and it's too much work. Yes, I know of some of those. Sometimes it's because they are so understaffed that they simply may not have the time to develop a formal training program as there is a ton of needed stuff to do and not many folks to do it. And often it's because they simply don't have the training (and yes, some choose not to train and some simply don't have access to the training) to train effectively. Should they? Yes. Could most? Yes. Do some have legitimate reasons why they don't? Yes Some, but not as many as believe they do.
          Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-15-2019, 03:19 PM.
          Train to fight the fires you fight.

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          • #6
            As a career firefighter, I joined the rural VFD that covers the township that I live in. I figured that if I REALLY want to have a say in how things are done, I should actually be a part of the organization. Having said that, you should find out what the state requirements are.

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