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who says we are paramilitary?

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  • who says we are paramilitary?

    Why is it that firefighters keep being referred to as a paramilitary organization? Is it due to the fact that we wear uniforms, have a chain of command, have grooming standards, and provide a service. If that is the case then McDonalds is also a paramilitary organization. They wear uniforms,have a chain of command, only theirs is Manager, ***. Man. crew leader, then hamburger flipper, ours is Chief, *** Chief, Capt, Lt., Sgt., then jumpseat firefighter. Am I on to something or am I just way out in left field?

    ------------------
    When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

  • #2
    I am in the military and i call a fire dept a paramilitary org. for the simple reason that the officers appointed above you have the responsibility of your life. if they give an order on the fire ground it is to be obayed not just shrugged off. the same is true with the military. not that way a McDonalds.

    Robert

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    • #3
      Grooming standards? Obviously you haven't been reading anything out of Washington DC. Beards, hair down to the waist. I realize there are certain religious issues involved, but there have to be some standards. I knew a guy that only bathed once a week due to religious principals, and I wouldn't want him providing patient care to me. Maybe I am too indoctrinated, but sometimes it seems things just get a little too far out there in the pursuit of political correctness.

      Sorry about the change of subject. If all it takes is a uniform and a chain of command to make a paramilitary organization, that would explain all the postal workers with guns.

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      • #4
        Xeno and Amry... exactly! The fire service IS a paramilitary organization, and should be run as such. It is a system that assures that commands are followed, accountability is held for actions, and order is kept on scenes and in-house. If not for the structure, every scene would be a free-for-all (some STILL are), and would be terribly inefficient.

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        • #5
          The fire service is most definitely paramilitary in nature.

          The definition of "paramilitary" from the American Heritage Dictionary is -

          'PARAMILITARY adj : of or relating to a group of civilians organized to function like (or in aid of) a military unit n : a group of civilians organized in a military fashion'

          Sounds like the fire service to me. With a strong organizational structure and chain of command, organized along military lines (companies, platoons, battalions, divisions), a well-defined rank structure based on military ranks, and strong discipline and adherence to orders. I don't think you find that at McDonald's/

          ------------------
          J. Black

          The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

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          • #6
            Am I on to something or am I just way out in left field?

            Thinking left field is just a "tad" bit closer.

            Doc DC3

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            • #7
              Fire Departments are most definitely "Para-Military" and for a good reason. Military organizations require training, discipline loyalty, integrity, dedication to duty, service above self and esprit-De Corps in order to be a well functioning unit. We in the fire service must posses the same qualities since we are fighting a war every day. There must be those who lead and those who fight----Para-Military? Yup!

              [This message has been edited by Smokeetr4 (edited 04-25-2001).]

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              • #8
                xenophon13,

                Maybe I misinterpreted your post, but you seem to resent the fact that you referred to as paramilitary, comparing it to McDonalds. I don't understand that.

                I can think of no other group of men/women that I have any more respect for than military. They train day in and day out to "fight the big one", just like you. They risk their lives for strangers, just like you. They draw a pittance of their worth, just like you. They get scoffed at, laughed at, and criticized, just like you. And, ultimately they do for very little thanks, just like you.

                I think I'd be real proud to be compared to this group, and I'd sure think twice about comparing them to McDonald's employees, UNLESS of course, you tend to think of yourself along the lines of Col. Sanders.

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                • #9
                  I have been in the Fire Service for 15 years, as well as taking a 4 year sabatical (SP?) for my stint of military service. The term Paramilitary in this instance is out of line. My time in the military taught me than not a whole lot of people other than those 3 or 4 that you truly work with give a tinkers damn whether you breathe or not. The military spends 99% of the time training and keeping you busy for the less than 1% of the time you actually have to do what they pay you to do.
                  The fire service on the other hand shows that a crew will give it all,literally, to save one of their own. Whether you be from Calif. New York. Or here in ToTo land Kansas, we are all doing it. No other service in the world, other than perhaps the cops, promotes an esprit de corps like the fire service. Where else could you take a person from the other side of the country put him in your place and put a life in his hands absolutely trusting that he won't drop the ball. Their are exceptions mind you we have our fair share of idiots just like any other profession, but they are by far the minority.

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                  • #10
                    I have been in the Fire Service for 15 years, as well as taking a 4 year sabatical (SP?) for my stint of military service. The term Paramilitary in this instance is out of line. My time in the military taught me than not a whole lot of people other than those 3 or 4 that you truly work with give a tinkers damn whether you breathe or not. The military spends 99% of the time training and keeping you busy for the less than 1% of the time you actually have to do what they pay you to do.
                    The fire service on the other hand shows that a crew will give it all,literally, to save one of their own. Whether you be from Calif. New York. Or here in ToTo land Kansas, we are all doing it. No other service in the world, other than perhaps the cops, promotes an esprit de corps like the fire service. Where else could you take a person from the other side of the country put him in your place and put a life in his hands absolutely trusting that he won't drop the ball. Their are exceptions mind you we have our fair share of idiots just like any other profession, but they are by far the minority.
                    The Military would be better off if they could proclaim that they were ParaFire Service.

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                    • #11
                      Don't get me wrong here I am a huge fan of the military, and I have no problem being compared to them. It just seems that the term paramilitary is thrown around too loosely. And in todays society much of the public believes, thanks to the media, that paramilitary anything is a bunch of guys with guns in the woods wanting to overthrow the gov't.

                      ------------------
                      When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

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