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  • Non-municipal firefighters

    I have been browsing the Firehouse forums for some time now and have yet to come upon this topic, so here goes...How many of you out there serve in a non-municipal fire, EMS, or emergency services department? Meaning, outside of the public sector....Petrochemical industry, airport, military base, factory? I have seen a few folks posting who identify themselves as being airport or miliary base firefighters, but I have not seen any discussion on the topic. Maybe I'm not looking in the right forums. But anyway, if you fit into one of these categories (or any other "non-traditional" firefighting job)I'd like to hear about it. What kind of industry do you serve in? Is it your full time job, or as part of an on-call brigade? What kind of special training, qualifications, etc. are required where you are compared to on a municipal job? Do you do just fire, or EMS, Haz-Mat, or rescue, or a combination of the above? And do you also volunteer in your community in your off-hours? Just trying to find out if there are more out there like me. Let's hear your comments!
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  • #2
    Hey WEBTEAM!

    This post, which hasn't gotten any replies for a couple of days, made me think of something....

    Why is it that the "Federal Firehouse Forum" is waaaaaay down in the "Emergency Response Staffing" category (like a foot or two of scrolling down) and not up near the top of the Fourms listings in the "Firefighting" category?

    These "Federal" guys and gal's are on the line, doing the job, just like us municipal folks are. These folks were on the "front line" on 9-11 at the Pentagon and many displayed some real heroism there.

    How's about giving them "equal billing" and bumping their "Forum" up to the "Firefighting" category.

    I mean, let's be real... You have "Investigation and Mitigation," and "Fire Explorer & Jr. Firefighting" in the "Firefighting" category....

    Nothing against those folks, but the "Federal Firefighters" certainly deserve to be in the "Firefighting" category as much, if not more, than folks in those categories, don't they?"

    Just a thought and my 2 cents....

    FB
    Fire service survival tips:
    1) Cook at 350...
    2) Pump at 150...
    3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
    4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.

    Comment


    • #3
      i am a municipal firefighter and do industrial firefighting on the side for a parts manufacturing center also.
      Loo
      Lieutenant / EMT- Paramedic
      Protective Services Officer

      Comment


      • #4
        Dwayne:

        Like Fire braun said, there is a Federal Firehouse Forum here. Previous posts have been deleted from it, currently it has comments about a Navy guy who fell off a ship. Prior to that there were posts about issues important to Federal guys.

        Below is the link to the topic I started about contract firefighters.

        Myself, I have about 8 years as a Federal Firefighter and 5 years as an overseas contract Firefighter.If there are and specific questions you have, feel free to ask!

        http://www.firehouse.com/forums/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=004507

        Comment


        • #5
          Dwayne:

          I mispoke in my last post. Older posts in the Federal Firehouse Forum were not deleted. I had by default set the "show topics" option to 20 days! The older posts are available to read!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, back to Dwayne's post. I volunteer on the Quebecor World-Effingham Emergency Response Team. We are part of the largest printing corporation in the world(though we might be getting shut down soon). We provide EMS and confined space rescue. We also help with small fire suppresion with the Maintenance Dept. We currently run EMTs on all 3 shifts,though I'm the only one on 2nd shift. We are staffed with 2 P-meds, 2 EMT-Is, 4 EMT-BDs, and 2 EMT-Bs. We don't have much of a budget but do what we can. Anyone else involved with any industrial/manufacturing emergency service?

            code_blue81
            Jeremy Culver
            IACOJ Bureau of EMS

            These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

            Help our fellow firefighters.
            www.helpingourown.com
            "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

            Comment


            • #7
              ^^^^^BUMP^^^^^^^^
              Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
              Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
              Paincourtville, LA

              "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
              — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

              Comment


              • #8
                I work for a state fire control district, which covers 4 towns and a chunk of unincorperated county area. Our operations and training are the same as the area muni's, the way we get our funding is just different.
                Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                Success is when skill meets opportunity
                Failure is when fantasy meets reality

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ten years ago after just getting my FFII cert and MFR license I applied and was hired at the General Motors Fire and Rescue department at GM's Milford, MI Proving Grounds. Let me tell ya, the job had VERY little to to with Fire or Rescue. The job was actually through some security company and not through GM.
                  It was horrible.

                  Yeah, they had a nice little station, an engine or two, and other nice toys, but the job turned out to be like 75% security work. You had to spend most of your day either in a booth or driving around on "patrol". Not that I'm against firemen staying busy during there shift, but that's not what I had in mind. I finished the first day, 8 or 10 hour shift, and told them that the job was not for me and that if they wanted two weeks notice, they were getting it right now. They just said "This job is not for everybody." and accepted my immediate resignation.

                  To tell the truth though, if the job would have been close to home I would have stayed on for at least a year or so. Driving an hour and a half TO work just to drive 10 hours AT work was not for me. Plus the pay sucked. My biggest problem with the whole deal was how misleading the interview was. They really made it seem like a real firefighting job. I was kinda ****ed when I actually saw what they really did.

                  Probably not the kind of story you were hoping for but seeing this thread reminded me that I ever even worked there!

                  Live and learn,
                  KC

                  P.S. Don't bother with that old link up there, it doesn't work.
                  Last edited by prymtym; 06-18-2005, 09:09 PM.
                  "PHILIPPEANS 4:13"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Prymtym....sounds a whole lot like my job, actually. Probably about 75% of what we do is security work (although we've contracted out the guard booths, thank goodness). A lot of our time is spent patrolling or dispatching. I guess it's not for everybody, but I like it. We have a lot of freedom to roam around the site (it's a huge site....something like 2000 acres, daytime population around 4,000) But we get plenty of training and have the best equipment around...the patrolling is actually not bad, gives you something to do between emergency calls (this is one of the safest places in the country to work, so there aren't too many of them!)
                    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
                    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
                    Paincourtville, LA

                    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
                    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      dmleblanc,
                      I wasn't trying to put down the job, just the way I was misled during the interview. About the only think they were accurate about was the job location! Like I said, I would have kept the job for at least a while if the commute wasn't such a hike. There were a few guys there that had been there a long time, that tells you something. The pay was low, but jumped up alot after a year or so.

                      No booth duty, eh? That changes everything. Who knows, I might still be there if it wasn't so far, the pay was a little more, and I wasn't a knuckle-headed 21 year old at the time!

                      See ya,
                      KC
                      "PHILIPPEANS 4:13"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now don't get me wrong, I've put in my fair share of booth time Glad we don't do that anymore. And the other big difference is, we are well paid. We are company employees, not contractors. That has a big impact on your overall job satisfaction

                        We also don't hire off the street for this position....you have to apply for the job from within the company. So first you have to get hired on as a plant operator or some similar job, then after a few years you can apply for a transfer into Emergency Services. It's a pretty desirable job (compared to plant operations), and the best candidates are usually those who are already members of our Fire Brigade (we call on them for additional manpower on large incidents).

                        When we interview candidates for an opening, especially if we get some gung-ho wide-eyed firefighter type, we are careful to explain to him that a large portion of what we do is NOT emergency response....The last thing we want is someone who feels, as you did, that he was misled and thought the job was something else entirely (we actually had one guy who made it through the whole interview process and then called to withdraw his nomination, after we explained to him what the job was really about....)

                        Of course, post 9/11, even some of the security stuff is pretty interesting....we've got lots of cool toys and training as a result of that, since we are considered a high-risk target....
                        Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
                        Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
                        Paincourtville, LA

                        "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
                        — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "And the other big difference is, we are well paid. We are company employees, not contractors. That has a big impact on your overall job satisfaction."

                          Very true. You can bet if I were an actual GM employee, I would have never left and would have made the big bucks like you probably do. It's almost a shame that these types of jobs are contracted out to large security firms that are interested in getting big money contracts while paying little money to it's employees. I guess that's why they formed labor unions in the first place, but that's a whole issue I usually stay away from.

                          The way it looks though, even if I had kept that job, I'd probably been laid off by now the way the auto industry is going. That's a whole 'nother issue too!

                          Later,
                          KC
                          "PHILIPPEANS 4:13"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by prymtym
                            " It's almost a shame that these types of jobs are contracted out to large security firms that are interested in getting big money contracts while paying little money to it's employees.
                            Later,
                            KC
                            That was considered several years ago, shortly after I got into the department. Several outfits expressed interest, including Rural Metro and Wackenhut, IIRC. Problem with these guys was, they all could do either security or fire/EMS, but none were set up to do both. They finally figured out that for versatility and experience, you can't beat company employees in these positions...Fire, EMS, rescue, hazmat, security, we handle it all....

                            We have since contracted out the access control tasks (vehicle and pedestrian gates) to a contract firm, and we handle the more skilled tasks of emergency response and responding to security incidents, investigations, etc.

                            Thanks to the vision of our current boss (a Michiganite like yourself), we have since then improved our position even more. We went from First Responders to EMT's, became Haz Mat technicians, and began responding to off-site transportation emergencies involving our products. 9/11 solidified it even more...the company now views us as a valuable asset, an important component of risk management, and not just a low-skilled service group easily replaced by contractors. I don't forsee that anyone will seriously consider replacing us again (or if they do, I think the idea will get shot down very quickly....)
                            Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
                            Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
                            Paincourtville, LA

                            "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
                            — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dmleblanc

                              Thanks to the vision of our current boss (a Michiganite like yourself), we have since then improved our position even more.
                              Chief,
                              I bet if you call your current boss a "Michiganite" you may find yourself out of a job! 'Round here we prefer the term "Michigander". Some yuppies have made the switch to "Michiganian" but it only flies with other yuppies.

                              Seriously though, glad to hear your job is safe. Around hear it seems that everywhere is cutting back on everything and everyone. I work at a big hospital here in Ann Arbor and that job is safe, but I also work part-time for the county and sometimes I wonder about that job.

                              See ya 'round,
                              KC
                              "PHILIPPEANS 4:13"

                              Comment

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