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    I am considering applying to a vol dept. I want a full time position on a paid dept and have also recently applied to a few paying depts. I really am eager to begin training in fire fighting tactics and feel getting on a vol fire department would be a good way to get my hands dirty. I also just passed my state EMTB exam. My question is this. Is it wrong to go onto a vol fire dept, get free training and leave once a paid dept comes calling? Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !

  • #2
    Well...

    Originally posted by panic66
    I am considering applying to a vol dept. I want a full time position on a paid dept and have also recently applied to a few paying depts. I really am eager to begin training in fire fighting tactics and feel getting on a vol fire department would be a good way to get my hands dirty. I also just passed my state EMTB exam. My question is this. Is it wrong to go onto a vol fire dept, get free training and leave once a paid dept comes calling? Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !
    ...if you are asking the question, you know the answer, don't you?

    It would be wrong to take advantage of a volunteer company to get training and immediately leave, if you weren't giving them something in return.

    As a practical matter, however, it may be quite a while before a paid department "comes calling", and the vollies will make good use of your EMT cert if they run EMS.

    I would just be up-front with the volunteer chief. He WILL be called as part of the hiring process with a career department.

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    • #3
      Depending on the department, it might be coming out of their budget and then if they provide you a class and invest in you and then you leave, thats one less person that could have gone that is going to stick around longer then you.

      I agree -- if they run EMS or 1st responders, use that to keep up on your EMT skills and even after a paid dept comes calling, stick around and help out that department. You might be able to pass on something you learn there to the members that might not otherwise get that type of training.
      Thomas aka HUCK
      9-1-1 Dispatcher

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      • #4
        Originally posted by panic66
        I am considering applying to a vol dept. I want a full time position on a paid dept and have also recently applied to a few paying depts. I really am eager to begin training in fire fighting tactics and feel getting on a vol fire department would be a good way to get my hands dirty. I also just passed my state EMTB exam. My question is this. Is it wrong to go onto a vol fire dept, get free training and leave once a paid dept comes calling? Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !
        Yes, it is wrong to leave once you get a paid job, IMHO. Most departments operate on a constictive budget, and must make every dollar matter. Doing that robs them of hundreds of dollars.

        But if you get a paid position and stay with the Department, i dont see anything wrong with that. I know a number of people who have chosen that route.
        Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

        Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
        (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

        My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

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        • #5
          Thats kinda what I thought. So I guess the best thing to do is go on the Vol Dept, get trained and gather experience from them. Hope for a paid job. Once on paid job, continue to offer vol assistance.

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          • #6
            But again...

            Originally posted by panic66
            Thats kinda what I thought. So I guess the best thing to do is go on the Vol Dept, get trained and gather experience from them. Hope for a paid job. Once on paid job, continue to offer vol assistance.
            ...make sure your Chief knows what you are up to, or you won't GET that paid job.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by randsc
              ...make sure your Chief knows what you are up to, or you won't GET that paid job.

              Could you please explain that?
              Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

              Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
              (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

              My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes I fully intend to explain to them my reasons for joining. Which are the stong desire and need to begin training.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Its nuts! I feel like a kid on X-Mas eve!! haha

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's simple

                    Originally posted by tbonetrexler
                    Could you please explain that?
                    If you join a department just for the training, fully intending to leave as sson as you can get a paid job, you had better tell the Chief. Because no paid department is going to hire you without talking to that Chief, and how do you think he would like it if the first time he heard that he might be losing the rookie he spent thousands of dollars training was when someone called for a reference? You think he would offer a good recomendation?

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                    • #11
                      There are a good number of paid departments that will never bother to call the volunteer department. There are also a good number of paid departments that don't care if you were a volunteer before that or not.

                      My suggestion is to check with the volunteer department you are planning to join. Tell them what you want to do, and what your plans are. In my area, FF1 training is free and does not cost the member nor the department. Gets you trained to FF1 level. That is not the case everywhere so check and see what the situation is with YOUR department. It's no cost to join mine so we would probably be happy to have you, even if it's only for a year or two.
                      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                      • #12
                        I'm with Bones.

                        We hire many kids who wish to move on to a career dept eventually, but the process takes years. I don't mind giving them the basic training in the mean time, as long as they are up front with me, and keep me up to date on thier hiring progress. We actually use it as a recruiting tool for many of our kids, and we have helped several kids move on to F/T FF, EMS, and LEO jobs over the years. It helps our recruiting cycle to show the success stories, and I'm always happy to see a kid arrive out west as a ski bum, and leave a few years later as a professional in one of the emergency services.

                        The basic FF1 training is cheap/free around here, but I would be upset to spend a lot of expense and effort/wages on a technical certification just to lose that person within a few months.

                        Just be honest. Some departments are clambering for volunteers and will take almost anyone, while others have a waiting list.
                        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

                        IACOJ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This reply may not even make sense But here goes anyway!




                          There are Depts. out there that will hold you to a certain "length of service".
                          Like signing a contract to stay with them for "X" amount of years after you have taken your classes and gotten your cert(s) (on the Dept's dime). Now if you decide to pay your way, and still need the gear, well.... I dunno... I guess that depends on each individual organization.

                          I have a hard time letting a "new guy" come in, even though he is paying his way so he can get his training in our gear, and then staying a couple of months till his ship comes in, whether he makes his intentions clear or not..

                          NOW.... Before anyone thinks that I am bashing new "fullies" I am not. To tell you the truth it makes me happy to see a guy catch a break, and be able to make it to his "big time"!

                          I am looking at it from the standpoint of wear & tear on gear that is expensive to repair, and costs even more to replace. Not to mention the investment that each Dept makes in other areas, all on a limited budget...
                          Let's face it guys not every vollie Dept has the priveledge of being able to operate on a multi-million dollar budget!

                          Wow! What the heck happened there???

                          Anyhow, I apologize for rambling and or any offensive comments, (if any)
                          but I would definately make the "powers-that-be" very clear as to your intentions, and I also STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to stick around well after you have hit your "big time"....
                          Giggity - Giggity!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My opinion

                            panic66, I know of a major city department in far western Upstate New York that only hires volunteers with so many years experince (I don't remember how many). That is how that city was able to eliminate it's recruit training and I beleive it has a Lt in charge of training instead of a Batt. Chief. It depends on the surrounding volunteer departments in its county to train it's members to NFPA FF2 and NYS EMT-Basic to provide it with a personel pool to draw from. Of course that means any one who lives in that city must either move out or find a department that allows non-resident members.
                            Also, I have heard of many firefighters being two-hatters (vollie and career). That may just depend on the paid departments or your union rules.
                            I do feel that if you are up front with your volunteer department and you put in the effort to becoming a good member of that department, you should'nt have any problems. That is just my personal opinion. Don't be surprised if politics or egos raise their ugly heads, though.
                            Best of luck.
                            "Your spill is our thrill."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by randsc
                              If you join a department just for the training, fully intending to leave as sson as you can get a paid job, you had better tell the Chief. Because no paid department is going to hire you without talking to that Chief, and how do you think he would like it if the first time he heard that he might be losing the rookie he spent thousands of dollars training was when someone called for a reference? You think he would offer a good recomendation?
                              Even if you tell him, your probably not going to get a good recommendation, because you are just using the department for free trainning.

                              How about this.....just dont do it. If you join, join to stay.
                              Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

                              Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
                              (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

                              My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

                              Comment

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