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Do you think vol. FF's get a fair reputation?

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  • #31
    I have seen this subject come and go, and hopefully none of us has ever had a life changing attitude for the worse because of it. My comment is this: I BELIEVE THAT WE WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT CONCERNING THIS SUBJECT IF ONE QUESTION WAS ANSWERED. THE QUESTION TO WHICH I REFER, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, IS THE ONLY QUESTION WHICH COULD POSSIBLY IMPACT THIS POTENTIALLY VOLATILE SUBJECT WITH ANY SENSE AT ALL:


    ...Does the FIRE care if you are paid or not?


    Stay low and BE REAL.

    [ 08-04-2001: Message edited by: huff317 ]
    Oklahoma Bound!

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    • #32
      I have personally witnessed the hostility between paid and volunteer fire fighters. On the other hand I have the opportunity to teach in our county academy and have worked both with paid and volunteer firefighers as instructors. I truly believe the greef from the paid guys, comes from a misunderstanding that we as volunteers dont train up to their standards. I truly feel that that opinion is not shared by all paid firefoghters, but only by the misinformed.

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      • #33
        smokebstr, I would agree with you to a certain degree, But In my experience, as both a volunteer and a paid firefighter there is just as much grief as you put it coming from misinformed people on the volunteer side of the fence. Anyway this is kind of getting off the topic that was intended and certainly is doing nothing to improve the volunteer fire service

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        • #34
          All department are different. My department grew from a volunteer dept. to a mixed dept. Our Chief and half of the paid firefighters came from being a volunteer. In my department volunteers are treated with the same amount of respect or more. They see, that as long as we are doing our best, being professional, and willing to learn, we are doing the same job with no paycheck. In our dept. you have a better chance getting hired if you where a volunteer beforehand.

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          • #35
            well in my town we ahve a paid FD but we are th eonly paid dept in my parish( i live in Louisiana)the closest town to us is a vollie dept they run mostly brush fires and ems call so when they have a structure fire they call on us for mutual aid rught away so there are paid and unpaid firefighters working side by side and some of the members of our dept are members of the vollie dept so there is no problem in my home town
            LADIES LOVE ME.
            FLAMES FEAR ME.

            "I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THIS FLAG, IF THAT BOTHERS YOU WELL THATS TOO BAD!" AARON TIPPIN

            If you wish to burn our flag please remember to wrap yourself in it first!!!

            ALL SOUTHERNERS ARE EXEMPT FROM ANY AND ALL OF MY YANKEE COMMENTS ON ANY AND ALL FORUMS.

            THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!!!

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            • #36
              anyone who really cares about tis is forgetting the true essence and motivation of the entire fire service. If yoru confident with your training and level of service..... does it really matter what anyone else thinks . Lets fight politicians and government officials who are anti-fire instead. Its time more well spent :-)~

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              • #37
                I am a volunteer and have friends that are paid. Here in NJ most paid departments are in larger cities and all the smaller towns/townships have volunteer companies. The paid guys I know don't seem to care that I am a volunteer because many of them were volunteers initially and know that we do the same job. Maybe not as many calls, but definitely the same job when we do run a call. I was out West and went to visit a fire house and the Captain there was very rude to me cause I am a "volunteer" or jolly volly. The other Captain that was there looked at him and said "Hey Marty I guess you didn't know that before I joined here I was a volunteer for 15 years." That shut him up quick. I guess it just depends on the experience we all have had out there working with volunteers or paid members. To me as long as the job gets done, lives are saved, etc. it doesn't matter to me what you get paid. Stay safe out there.
                Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

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                • #38
                  Is your question, do volunteer fire fighters get a bad rep or do volunteer fire companies get a bad rep?

                  If your referring to individuals, I think that most are good people that at least once had good intentions. Some join like George mentioned to light them instead of fight them and they certianly shouldn't be involved. More on this a little later. But as individuals, most if not all of those volunteers that I have met have been some of the most honest, hard working and best that our society has to offer.

                  Now if your question is about the volunteer fire service in general, and the companies that comprise that group, as George has said we are frequently our own worst enemy.

                  There are good and bad companies just as there are good and bad people. But even good people can become a bad organization if we lose sight of our mission.

                  Organizations also take on the attitudes, ethics and morals of those who are the leaders of the organization. That leader may or may not be the "official" leader. An organization will be more effective and efficient if they are one and the same, but I have seen organizations where that is not the case. That normally gets very ugly.

                  As volunteers we most problably voted for the person who fills those formal leadership positions. If we use our vote wisely, we vote for the person who is the most qualified for the job, not for the most popular or for the one who bought the most rounds of drinks the week before.

                  If we use our vote unwisely, it's only a matter of time before we end up with an organizational nightmare. Things can go bad fast, but getting it turned around again will normally take very long time.

                  Where the career folks normally avoid that is in civil service testing. Are there problems with this? Sure just like any other system it can be manipulated, but the job of a company or chief officer consists mostly of things not related to emergency scene management. Most who have held these positions will tell you that personnel issues and paper work are what beats down officers. These problems and associated concerns are what most inexperienced officers mess up. Then the proverbial stuff really hits the fan.

                  None of this really has any impact on the public. They perceive you probably from what they hear from others and if their truely unlucky by the incident that you responded to at their home. If the fire was an accident, and you respond quickly and efficiently put the fire out,,, hey everybodys happy. But what if your organization blows it and then to top it off one of your guys light the place off. Well you can scratch that homeowner off the fund drive list, as well as many of his neighbors.

                  The public of today is not interested in you or your organization until they need you, and then they will show a complete lack of understanding of your organization. If they are happy with your response and what you do then they might say so. If they are unhappy with your response then they will certianly say so and publicly. And if one of your members runs afoul of the law then you all are going to be grouped with that person, even though you never even liked the guy in the first place. Who let that guy in anyway?

                  You can only control some of the things that I've mentioned.
                  1. Who you vote for.
                  2. How you act and perform everywhere you go.
                  (remember some people know that your a member of the fire company. How you act is a reflection of your organization)
                  3. Train, train, train
                  4. Get a good education. Associates wouldn't hurt if your really serious.

                  That's my two cents worth and that won't buy even one.


                  [ 08-08-2001: Message edited by: amfm ]

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                  • #39
                    I agree with George.

                    While there are volunteer companies around that are stringent on their standards, I have yet to see one that doesn't have ANY good old boy, we're here to have fun system.

                    I don't think we need to do away with the 'fun stuff'. I do think we need to find a way to implement and maintain all the high standards, and have the recreational/traditional stuff to achieve balance.

                    The problems come in when the scale tips too far in one direction. If the department is 'no fun' you can't get or keep members. If it's 'all fun' you look like (and probably are) a bunch of idiots.

                    Balance is the key and that balance should be the goal.
                    Susan Lounsbury
                    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
                    Griffith Volunteer FD

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                    • #40
                      C'mon fellas lets look at it this way we are Volunteer Professionals!! Right?? WE all have big balls they just get paid to show them off!!! Vollies do their equal share if not more!!! Do paids Work a house fire all night and then with little or no sleep go to their reg. job and bust their humps!??? Hey man when you inquire about that paid/ff position!! Tell them Yes I am a Vollies with so and so Dept.... I'm damn proud of Tazewell Co FIre Sta. 1
                      TC.379

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                      • #41
                        C'mon fellas lets look at it this way we are Volunteer Professionals!! Right?? WE all have big balls they just get paid to show them off!!! Vollies do their equal share if not more!!! Do paids Work a house fire all night and then with little or no sleep go to their reg. job and bust their humps!??? Hey man when you inquire about that paid/ff position!! Tell them Yes I am a Vollies with so and so Dept.... I'm damn proud of Tazewell Co FIre Sta. 1
                        TC.379

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                        • #42
                          TCmib379,
                          Thats just it, NO we aren't all professionals! There are many in the service that are there for all the wrong reasons. It's up to us in the fire service to get rid of those who would place our status in the community down with all the social misfits that seem to spend more time in jail/prison than on the streets being a contributing member of society.

                          The public will generalize because it's easier to do that, than to think logically and evaluate the situation for what it is.

                          Pride in your organization is good if the organization is doing its mission and doing it in accordance with your community values. If you go to a job and you mess it up, career or volunteer, people will want to hold your feet to the fire. If one of your members is arrested for arson, you will have a very difficult time convincing your community that it was an isolated incident.

                          That's just the way it is. Welcome to the real world.

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                          • #43
                            Yes, Vol. firefighters in some places to some people are "fake" firefighters. My question to you is have any of you ever been in a fake fire. Screw em'. When they need you you'll be the one there. When your community bitches about long response times simply tell them talk to the mayor tell him you want a F.T. Dept. and then your taxes will go up you may need vehicle stickers ane what not and you will never hear about it again.

                            The thing between paid and career. Let's put this in perspective. How many of you put down a neighboring vol. Dept' from time to time. I'm guilty of it. Wheater or not they Know what they are doing. Its a big competition much like a sport.

                            It's not I'm better than you it's who can come up with the best put-downs. Many times you see "We are all brothers" I look at it this way yes it is a brotherhood and who didn't say bad things aboout their brother or sister.

                            In the end on a mutual aid paid and vollies. are right next to each other all the **** stops then until it is over. This dispute over paid and Vollies. is stupid it will always be around as this is inter-family bickering.

                            Let it go have fun with it make the better lines


                            One more thing this happened to me and it makes it all worth it.

                            We were at a fair as a fund-raiser, when a man walks up to me and says "Can I shake your hand." after shaking the man's hand he said "I just wanted to thank you folks for all the hard work you do."
                            So to some people they laugh and make comments. But, to others we are greatly appreciated. Whatever the ratio between the two. It is worth it if it is appreciated by one person. I will always remember that.

                            [ 08-10-2001: Message edited by: MFF ]
                            Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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                            • #44
                              Bottom Line....

                              The fire or people in need cant tell if you are paid or not...

                              and

                              Paid or volunteer...when you raise the level of the water above the level of the fire...it will go out...

                              You do not have to be paid to be professional. I know volunteer departments that have better staffing around the clock than some paid ones...

                              Live with it!
                              09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                              ------------------------------
                              IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                              "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                              BMI Investigator
                              ------------------------------
                              The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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                              • #45
                                Sorry, but I did not read all of the other posts. Im my opinion paid or volly is not the issue. If you want a good rep. be professional. Strive to be the best Fire Fighter you can be and the recognition will follow. Stop whining about they said this or that and do the job.

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