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  • #16
    Just to clear everything up the State of Virginia Law states the following: Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to participate in any hazardous career. The Attorney Gen of VA felt that this also applied to firefighting as well. It goes on to say that under the age of 16 you are only allowed to train but not wear SCBA or operate power tools. Form 16 to 18 you are allowed to participate in live training exercises under proper supervision, once you recieve the certifcations necessary to become a firefighter, you may be relased as a firefighter at the approval of your department. This allows you to preform as a firefighter and do the same things that the older guys do. Halligan my question for you is how many training fires in controlled building have you been on that resemble a real structure fire???? The experience that I took into my FFII class was the experience learned in my FFI class, in VA the classes are set up so you take the FFI ciriculum followed by the FFII ciriculm, then Haz-Mat Awareness and Ops. Aslo i want to know how many of you more experienced firefighters who are bashing me have obtained the May-Day Firefighter Down certification??? I HAVE. Ill leave you with that final opinion .
    If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

    These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

    Comment


    • #17
      I am curious as to what happens in case of injury if under 18. The liability incurred is not worth having someone on the fireground that is not as experienced as others. Our municipality does not allow anyone under 18 to work suppression for these liability reasons...they simply aren't covered under our comp.



      Engine_Tower1
      VDFP outlines the courses to be in this order: Haz-Mat Awareness, Haz-Mat Ops, FF1 and FF2. You can now take FF1 and FF2 in the same class session, just takes longer.

      And yes, I have had Mayday! Firefighter Down.
      Begin with the end in mind.

      Be safe out there!!

      Comment


      • #18
        In reading these posts I can't help wondering(from a chief's point of view) what are you doing about the liability. I have nothing against a junior firefighter, in fact some of my best came to me through these programs.It is just a fact if you are under 18 and get hurt or killed on a fire scene the Chief can be (not can be, will be)held criminally liable. I am speaking of course of Louisiana where the laws are different. The questions of certification is mute here also,if your not 18 you will not get one.

        Now as a Chief, If I know that you are not certified (cannot be in LA under 18) and I know if you get hurt in all probability charges will be brought against me by The Child Protection Agency, do you really think I am going to let you on my firescene? I know a lot of Junior Firefighters I would like to have around but I just can't do it. If I did my governing board would terminate me before I could say Junior Firefighter.
        "Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions, they are a lot easier to handle than dumb mistakes"
        Author Unknown

        Comment


        • #19
          captstanm1, you ask:


          //Where did you get your start? or did one day you just become a super firefighter????//

          I got my start in a high school class room on a Saturday when the city was giving a test to become a firefighter. Several years later I was sworn in. To-date, I have not reached the rank of "super firefighter", nor have I ever claimed to have.

          My comments were aimed at a "Junior" who seems to think he will become a well rounded and fully capable firefighter at the age of 17. After 20+ years, I am still learning and have seen my share of probies and the like, try to climb the, proverbial ladder, three rungs at a time.

          If I offended you or him, by saying, back off and learn before you burn, too bad. The fireground is not a classroom. It's a dangerous, unforgiving and unstable area. It takes years of training on mundane practices like, quick releases, laddering, reduced profiles, communications, suppression and the list goes on forever, before such actions become instinctive. A "boy" of 17 has not had enough time to learn and react to the basics of fireground survival to the point that they come natural, without thought.

          So I'll repeat, If you think it's "FUN" you're not ready. If you don't like this opinion, go have "FUN". I just hope one of the brothers doesn't have to neglect his duties to save his scorched *** someday.


          Respectfully submitted,

          E229(not yet super firefighter)Lt

          Comment


          • #20
            E229 I never said that i was a well rounded firefighter at the age of 17 yes I know that fire is unforgiving and that this is a very dangerous job. I know that I still have alot to learn about this job and I respect all those with many years experience. I am just saying that you cant become a well rounded firefighter unless you experience it first hand. I respect your years of experience also. On the topic of learning before you burn my father was burned during a training excercise, I DO RESPECT THIS JOB AND DO RESPECT FIRE, maybe saying have fun and play was a bad choice for words, but I am sure you felt the same as a kid coming up in the wolrd of fire. Now to the subject of liability in my department we are all covered under insurance. We had a Junior member die as a result of a heart attack. He was gettin ready for a call and died. He had a heart mummur that no one was aware of. So now we must be cleared by the county doctor as being physcially fit before we can run. This helps eliminate the libility. E229 I was never insulting your years of experince I was just trying to prove a point to you.
            If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

            These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

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            • #21
              AXE,
              i agree with you. junior firefighters should not be allowed to fight any type of fires until thier of age..here in new york that age would be 18..even then they cant do anything until they get scba quilified..then it's still at the officer's discretion..let them learn while thier apart of the juniors..but not hands on at a working fire..let them stick to controlled trainings to learn..

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              • #22
                Engine_tower1


                //I am sure you felt the same as a kid coming up in the wolrd of fire//

                NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. But looking back, I now know many of my actions, ideas and my attitude were reckless. As a young buck, I ran headlong into the fray. After some years and events I have slowed to a methodical pace. Not slow in action but proactive instead of reactive.

                As a new firefighter, I was single and felt I only risked harm to myself. Then I was married and had to think of my wife. Then I became a father and had to think of my family. Then I was promoted and had to think of my men. Each step brought more responsibilities and forced me to address safety as part of my operation. Never allowing safety to overcome an aggresive interior attack, but knowing when to say when.

                You will find out all too soon, the first time you are ordered to back out a line or terminate an interior operation, when you feel you need just another minute. You will try to stretch out that extra minute. As you grow, hopefully, you will take that order as gospel and move out.

                Please understand, I'm not bashing you, I'm mearly saying, "slow down". You have many years of firefighting ahead of you and you WILL look back at your actions and attitudes of today and shake your head. And you will meet the new kid coming on and see yourself and try your damndest to slow him down. COUNT ON IT!

                [ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: E229lt ]

                Comment


                • #23
                  Where I got my start? As a 16 year old, know nothing kid. We weren't allowed to do anything but assist in exterior ops and train. When I started there wasn't much opportunity for live fire training, but we trained on everything we could. Like you, I took my Basic firefighting class and then my Advanced class as I turned 18. Like you, I too thought I had the world by the balls at that age, and now I am just trying to point out that looking back I realize how incredibly LUCKY we were to have survived some of the stuff that went on. No bashing implied, just a little caution. CapnStan.. not sure where the volly hating came in, but I have been a vol for 24 years, career for 18 and think junior FF are a great idea when used properly, they can NOT be the backbone of the FD, more like the farm system for the future. It is obvious that Virginia has different laws as it applies to firefighting, my point was in NJ you can not take FF 1 until you are 18, thus, no interior firefighting. Congrats on the Mayday cert, I developed the program in our county and teach that here.

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                  • #24
                    After 28 years of experience I am still learning also Eng229. And yes...with each step you take comes more responsibility and more decisions. What do you think flashed through my mind when I got burned? First...(even though it was not life threatening) I though..."who will take care of my family?" (of course now i am divorced and still miss my boys)..and 2nd..."Are the rest of my crew ok?"

                    Unfortunately, for some of us we would die before we haad the opportuntiy to experience all you have experienced. He seems to recognize the dangers and yes...I am sure....as we all have done....more than once and probably will again.....he will want one more minute when told to back out. His performance on ememergency incidents has been highly complimented by many fireground officers. Sure..he is gung ho....and as he goes on in life as we all do...he will realize.."it is not his emergency" and it will still be going on when he gets there...no need to hurry.

                    Liability????/ In Virginia the Junior members are covered by all teh workmans comp and the same life insurance as the older members. Do you think that you may not be criminally charged if something happens to an adult??? I contend the liability is no different. No..of course...you can not go against state laws...but in most states it seems as there is no more liability for a juniro than a senior as long as the junior meets the requirements spelled out by the labor department of that state and the training institute...
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      E229 I agree with you on your last post, while I am not married I do have a family at home to worry about and a girl in my life also. Just to let you know I have had to bail out of a house during an interior attack adn it is not the best feeling in the world. I would never stretch for that extra minute of firefighting if I was ordered out. No house is ever worth losing my life over I know that there will always be another top fight later on in my career as a firefighter. By the way Halligan you are missing the point I am not some 16 yr old know nothing kid, I am a 17 yr old (almost 18) junior firefighter who is still learning how to do this job to the fullest and stay safe. I never said that I HAD THE WORLD BY THE BALLS, i am just stating that, how can you do this job to the fullest if you dont participate on the working incident??????? But my question still remains would you rather have some 20 yr old with no experience behind you on a line or with you while doing a search, or a 17 yr old who has 2 years experience in classes, training, and the real world?
                      If you cant take the heat then stay out of my way.

                      These are my opinions and dont reflect the view of my company.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I have been reading all these posts with interest, as my volunteer department is currently considering lowering our junior program age from 16 to 14. And I have to say, I am 100% AGAINST IT. I started as a junior when I was 16, and as I look back now at my expieriences, I think that I probably would have been a whole lot better off without the BRT's in my head- I would have done a lot better in school, therefore making things better off for me now- I would like very much to take college classes, but don't (currently) posess the study skills that I feel are necessary to do well.....IF I am going to pay heaps of money, I am going to have the prereqisite skills to do well. We were allowed to carry pagers and leave school.....a BIG NO-NO now that I look back upon it. We had both EMS and fire tones in our pagers back then (You werent allowed to leave for EMS runs as there were simply too many) Well, the teachers didn't know any better- there were 3 or 4 of us that jumped at the first sound of the pager opening....IF it was an EMS run, we hid out in the bathroom for 15 minutes and walked back into class calling it an "alarm system". I look back at the irresponsibility I, and my buddies had. I look back at how immature we were. Now they want to lower the age to 14??? I THINK NOT!!! I can think of a lot better things for a 14 year old (as well as a 15, 16 and 17 year old) to do than this stuff- girls..(or boys for you ladies) football....baseball....any of the high school sports that you may be interested in...Hang at the mall....anything and everything that adolescents do to make them exactly that- an adolescent!! Mind you, I am not bashing explorer programs...There is a difference between an explorer program sanctioned by the BSA, and a "responding" junior member. There is a difference between going to a camp on saturdays and going to the firehouse on monday night for drill when there is a big history test Tuesday morning!!

                        Now that I have babbled on enough...one thing that I have seen very little of in these posts...CHILD LABOR LAWS.....Here'sa little of what I remember from Pa: No power tools...Period. No pumping. No air cascade operations. No responding after midnight on Fri & Sat, and 11pm on school nights durig the school year....NO, NO, and NO entering a HOSTILE environment (Fire, Haz Mat, whatever) until you are 18!!!! I wonder what Va's rules are?? I wonder what the Workman's Comp and Disability carrier of Engine_Tower and CaptStan's company would think if Engine_Tower filed a claim as a 17 year old who was permanently disabled in a building collapse?? I wonder what Va OSHA would say if god forbid Engine_Tower was killed???

                        They can tell us all they want that they are covered....But the carrier/provider can also change their minds faster than you can say "CLAIM DENIED!"!!!!!! Can you say "Minor"?? And before you guys go and pull the Volly vs. Career card, just remember that I started as, ans still remain to this day, an active member of my volunteer department!
                        "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          EngineTower - I implied that I was the know nothing at 16.. don't know much about you to make that assumption, by the way its OK by me to feel ya got the world by the balls, I know I did at 17, just take some friendly advice from those of us who have been there and done that at your age. My only point in this whole thing was that I'm amazed that departments let minors participate in hazardous duties. OSHA is pretty clear on what is hazardous. I'm well aware that you need training and experience, I'd just rather you wait till 18 to get the interior experience. Regarding a 20 year old with no certs and a 17 with certs.. thats a question that won't come up, regardless of age here you don't fight fire until your certified.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            AXE, i'm with you.

                            In was a 'gung-ho' junior @ 15, and at 18 I joined the company and have been an interior ff ever since, and an Advisor of juniors for the past three years.

                            Not to disrespect juniors, but it's hard enough to get them to shut the *** up at trainings, wouldn't want that problem at an 'un'controlled emergency, no matter how minor it seems.

                            Junior's can help w/ getting members equipment at a scene, if it's safe enough, changing scott bottles, packing hose. That's all good. Work detail, or work nights they can help check the packs w/ a member, learn about it's components, and go over the rig and train with the 'big guys', but have them fighting any type of fire in the real world is not only impractical, but also dangerous for all there, not to mention an enourmous liability issue.

                            (The pump operator topic has already been shot to sh*t, and rightfully so.)

                            Keep the juniors out of harms way, and with the rest of the civilians!
                            May God bless all the people and families who have lost
                            their lives on 9-11-01, to those also lost on Flight 587, and to the rescuers who responded to both.

                            "I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying (the way it is)."

                            FDNY-EMS - Still New York's Best!

                            e-mail always accepted @
                            [email protected]

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I started when i was 14, one of the last in the station before they changed the age limit to 16. At 16 i had FF1 and 2,
                              EMT Hazmat awarenress, and Ops, and Fire instructor 1. Now I agree papers don't make you a good firefighter. Before I was 18 I entered at least 20 house fires. Since i have left the junior company I have seen many juniors come and go, the ones that have stuck with it are some of the best I have worked with. starting at a younger age gives people the change to succede faster than those who wait till they are older. i am not saying that every fire department should have a Junior program some just are not set up for it, but it worked out great for me, and alot of the other junior members that were in the program with me.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I agree with you AXE. When I started out, I played fetch and wasn't really allowed to do much. I learned a lot and though tit was great when I could do something. With five years under my belt at the age of thirty I've learned an important thing. I don't know everything and I have tons more to learn. A junior doesn't always see it that way by virtue of being young. It takes time to calm down and get it together.
                                Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

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