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Older Shy Volunteer Hinderance?

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  • Older Shy Volunteer Hinderance?

    I have been on fire department for last 5 years as a volunteer. I have very little time to give on non emergency issues (picnics, get togethers, other department related things). I live about 3 minutes away and usually first on scene. I am a really shy person around 40. I have multiple kids ranging in ages. Most people on department are younger and don?t have kids. I tend to be quiet but can carry a conversation. I am not the strongest but am extremely hardworking. I am up to date on all my training and certification. So I?m wondering how am I perceived within the department.

    I guess I?m wondering if I am a hindrance to my department. Would people not trust or rely on me because of my lack of getting together outside the department and my shyness?

  • #2
    The way volunteer fire is slowly fading in the US, I would say you've got nothing to worry about.


    • #3
      There are all kinds of personalities in a department.

      no problem

      Suggest hook up with a couple of mentors to help you along.



      • #4
        In a similar situation myself, kids and family take a bunch of my free time. A number of our guys work for the city and so are running all the calls I can't respond to (work too far away) and that helps develop a camaraderie that I don't always feel apart of.
        All that being said, strive to make the picnics and whatnot. Bring the family. Make every attempt to attend the training days. Those guys are your family just the same regardless of whether or not you feel included. The way I look at it is, as long as you're training with your guys, they know your abilities and they are counting on you to have their back same as you are on them.
        Never once when advancing a line and I feel a forearm support my back, have I wondered who it was.


        • #5
          I think shyness is sometimes the fear of the unknown. Get to know it. As OutOfOffice said - make time for the non-fire functions and before long the unknowns will fall away.
          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.


          • #6
            I judge other members of our company by how they act on scene. I try to do as much as I can, bingo, dinners, other fundraisers, but it doesn't bother me that some don't. One of our engineers is a little older, he is usually the first one to the station when the pager goes, he drives the engine, pumps water, we getback to the station, he fuels the truck, fills the tank, and leaves while a few of us stand around spreading the general BS. Nobody really cares that he never sticks around.


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