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What Changed in Your Life Since You Became a Volunteer FF?

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  • #31
    Right on Bro!

    That's about all you can ask for really.
    Jason Knecht
    Firefighter/EMT
    Township Fire Dept., Inc.
    Eau Claire, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    • #32
      Great story Dickey!

      Also, good advice Kiwi, thanks.
      ------------------------------------
      These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
      ------------------------------------

      Comment


      • #33
        Being single when I was on my volunteer department,most of those things didn't apply to me.
        I also lived a quarter mile from the station so it didn't make sense to me to start my truck when I could ride my bike and get some exercise while en route.I never had a problem with adrenaline or speeding tickets from that.My station's Chaplain did,though.
        On dates,I left the pager at home because that was time I should be paying attention to her,not the fire service.I know married guys who aren't anymore because of spending more time at the station than with the family or with wiseacres that liked to holler when he was on the phone"C'mon Speedy!Champagne's not holding that dance for long!".
        You might be the gungiest volunteer to ever walk the fireground in turnouts able to douse a fire with one spit but that's not going matter a warm pitcher of spit without your family.
        No one's going to fault you for missing a call.That's the beauty of being a volunteer.You don't HAVE to respond to every call.It sure helps though when people show up regular enough that how they work is known and they get the job done.
        I really hope all these comments help.It's good that you want to respond to every call but like the Captain said,make time for the family first.

        Comment


        • #34
          I always make sure I keep plenty of gas in my jeep.
          Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

          Originally posted by FlyingKiwi
          Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

          Originally posted by Explorer343

          By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

          Comment


          • #35
            I became single. Doesn't matter how you delegate your time, she will still think the FD is #1 to you.

            Comment


            • #36
              Well I became single because of this place hah he said it f-ed me up :shruggs: aka he didn't want me out of the house.

              But I'm a LOT happier now. I normally wear things to bed I can run out to a call in.. I just have to keep a bra near by lol
              I carry my pager every freakin' place I go and make sure it's in it's charger every night and switched to the channel where I don't hear some idiot constantly keying in (we have NO idea who is doing that).

              Otherwise I just spend 90% of my time here at the station since I have nothing better to do and no money to go out and damn ways

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Dickey View Post
                Ok.....I give.

                The year was 1994. I was in the running for the next Lt. slot that was open. The night before it was going to be announced who go promoted, we received a call of an ice shack fire on Lake Altoona. Lake Altoona is a very popular recreational spot for lots of people, and lots of fishermen that the majority of the lake is in our jurisdiction. Every winter, there is a small village of ice shacks of varying degrees of comforts. This particular year, there was a big problem of people breaking into shacks, then setting them on fire.

                We get this call, 3rd or 4th of its kind of that week. Since I was at the station already, I said myself and another guy would take the brush truck out and keep the engine at the station. This brush truck was brand new at the time. Only had it for about a month or so. It didn't even go on a fire call yet. In fact the water tank was just filled on it the week prior to this call. I thought we could test it out, show it off a little while we were at it, and it would be easier than an engine responding. We drove out, put the fire out and started heading back in. We were met by the Assistant Chief who strangely had a very straight face on him.

                He proceded to chew my *** up one side and down the other as to why you do not take any city vehicles on the ice for any reason because the vehicle is heavier than most (300 gallons of water, misc. equipment, etc) and we would have a greater chance of busting through the ice. Plus, how would I explain to the Chief that his new brush truck was at the bottom of the lake! After a proper 5 minutes of chewing, him, my driver, and I heard a very loud, very deep cracking sound, followed by a bunch of popping noises. As we looked at each other and held our breath, a pop was heard very close to us and all three of us saw small ice chips out of the corner of our eye fly way up into the air. We looked where it came from and there it was.....a very large crack in the ice that went directly between the new brush truck and the Assistant Chief's truck. I felt my pucker factor go from 0 to 110 in an instant! The color drained out of all of our faces and our eyes got wide. I suddenly had images of the brush truck being a new fish crib and my promotion going right out the window.

                In a split second, he stopped poking his finger into my chest and yelling so bad he was spitting in my face and said "see you at the station!" He was back in his truck in a flash and was gone. We all piled into our respective vehicles as quickly as we could and got off the ice pronto! It was just like we all said "uh oh" in our heads and dashed for the truck to get the hell out of there. Back at the station, I wasn't even out of my gear yet when the Chief paged me to his office. Long story short, I was in his office for about 20 minutes getting my *** chewed. His statement was "How would you expect me to explain to the Mayor and City Council you sank my new brush truck??!!"

                Two days later, I see the Mayor in the Chief's office when I went to pick up my check. I said hi, and carried on. The Mayor stopped me and said "hey, by the way...." and I heard another 20 minutes of why not to drive City vehicles onto the ice.

                Sooo......it has been a big joke ever since then. There was no danger of the truck falling in. There was almost 2 feet of ice when that happened. It was just a stress crack in the ice that formed from it heaving, expanding and contracting. Sure scared the Beejesus out of all of us though. I was almost slipping on my own poo trying to get away!

                Just to show the Chief I learned my lesson, I went to a marine store and bought a floatie keychain for the truck. You know, the ones for boat keys, just to make sure I didn't forget!!

                All of that and I still have one unanswered question did you make the Lt. spot or not

                On a more serious note what would have been the plan of attack for something like that? let it burn itself out try to set up a master stream or what?

                Comment


                • #38
                  People keep making me crawl around in places where I can't see.
                  I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Well when I started out in the fire service my life was a bit easier. Yeah I was married at the time and still am. I didn't spend every free moment I had at the station but I was there when we had a meeting or a drill. Sure still missed the occasional house fire but that's life. I do have to balance work, and family life in between the time I spend at the station.

                    On thing my wife and I have agreed on was that one night was my dedicated duty night usually Friday or Saturday so it keep things at home very peaceful.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      I've been on for 10 years. One thing that has changed, is there is much I have learned and experienced, and more that I have to learn. Also, I used to bite at the bit to get that page, rush to the station and "have no fear". What a rush. My advise, be prepared for disappointment. Not only will there be the public assists, false alarms, bloody stools, and CO detector calls that calm you down, but there are the fatalities, homeless, and people trapped in a vehicle that you are friends with or relatives.
                      Anymore, barn fires excite me, and 10-50's and house fires are reality.

                      A little story about my first calls. I lived in a townhouse-style condo. Same thing, vehicle parked facing out in the garage, shoveling the drive every hour from snow, laying out my clothes, and setting the pager to scan all frequencies. Didn't shut it off in the first years. The garage was lower level, stairs to the living area, and another set of stairs to the bedrooms. The pager goes off 0300, and I shoot out of bed. Medical 10-33. I throw on my clothes, and rush out of the room. At the top of the stairs, hit the light switch while running, and fired down the steps. At the bottom of the stairs I could switch off the upstairs light, and switch on the downstairs light in one shot, while running by. This is basically a circle, as the next set of stairs are directly below the top stairs. This time, I missed the second switch. It is pitch dark, but I am responding, and I know my home. As I round the corner to the stairs.............BOOM!!!!! My forehead slams into the corner bead of the drywall, and I continue, painfully to my truck. I cut the corner short. As I drive to the station, my head-throbbing, and a small lac with minimal bleeding. We respond to the call, and arrive. One of my fellow firefighters notices my T-shirt is on backwards, and we laugh. When we arrive at the house, the "subject" was dressed, fed her dog, coat on, and locking up with keys in hand. She was ready for the "taxi" (ambulance) to the hospital. On the return to the station, I revealed my embarrassing story that was evident by the golfball sized knot above my orbital bone.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        1. Lay out clothes at night before bed. ALWAYS take the time to wear socks!
                        Sweats. I'm with the guy who suggested sweats...

                        2. Listen to the pager completely before moving. It's amazing what information I missed while scrambling to find my keys, put on shoes, etc.
                        Supplemental text paging from the CAD to your mobile phone...if your dispatch center doesn't have it, make them get it...it's great...especially for those of us who find our short term memory getting shorter, and shorter, and shorter...


                        What was I saying??


                        3. If you take your gear with you like I do, always bring it inside to be warm.
                        This is a really cumbersome problem...which is why I've accumulated 5 sets of turnout gear...two at the station (one old set for training, one newer for calls), one in my truck (in case I miss the rigs), one in a corner of the kitchen (night calls), and one in the closet (to replace one of the others when it needs to be cleaned).

                        Could I get by on 2 or 3? Sure...but why just have 2 or 3 when you can have 5?

                        But...why have 5 when you can have 7?

                        Off to eBay I go...

                        4. Slow down. The few seconds you save by going balls to the walls isn't worth you being out of breath and all wound up when you need to be calm, cool, and collected.
                        One of the best things that will eventually happen to you is when you strip your "overdrive" gear...things are so much easier at normal speed...

                        5. NEVER just stumble through something. If you don't understand something or have questions, please ask before you kill or injure yourself or others.
                        6. Realize there is always someone in need, always emergencies, always fires. I can only make the ones I am available for. I don't have to save the world everyday. An emergency for them does not mean it's an emergency for me.
                        7. Realize that you did not cause the incident, whoever is involved is better now that you and your dept. responded regardless of who survives and who doesn't.
                        8. No one lives forever. Death is going to happen, sometimes it happens sooner for some. People die and it is not my fault. That is just the nature of the beast.
                        All excellent advice...read these again, just to make sure you got them...

                        12. A good firefighter/officer never brags about how good they are. If you have to remind yourself how awesome you are, then it's time slap yourself back to reality.
                        13. The day you think you know everything is the day you need to retire because you are dangerous. Training is a constant thing. Arrogance can get you and others killed.
                        14. A good officer/instructor is always training their replacement. (think about that one!)
                        So many people have so much trouble with these three it's just ridiculous...and it cause so many problems for the fire service...particularly the volunteer fire service.

                        15. You truly are your brothers keeper. Always watch your back and your brothers back to be safe. No building is worth a human life.
                        No matter what anybody tells you, this is true...and there are some who will try to convince you otherwise because they're just in it for the personal glory and think you should be too. Don't let them.
                        Last edited by bobsnyder; 02-06-2007, 09:13 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          1. I can't go to bed unless I have a pair of jeans and shirt laid out, car keys in pocket, socks and sneakers at the ready, and pager on, ready and charging.

                          Sweats and a T-shirt. I used to just sleep in my boxers but I've changed that. On another note, don't wear your Spongebob Squarepants PJ's to call unless you like getting picked on.

                          2. Check the pager again before retiring for the night in case its not on, ready and charging.

                          Yup.

                          3. Car backed into the driveway, NEVER to be parked head first again.

                          Started doing that as well. Pretty handy actually, especially when its snowy.

                          4. Stopping at station on way home from work, just because there may be a task to accomplish. Or a call.

                          I don't do this. I told the Chief if there is ANYTHING they need help with ANYTIME to let me know.

                          5. When wife asks where to go out to eat, default to restaurant in our first due.

                          I have suggested resterauts intown or just getting take out or delivery.....I think she's caught on.

                          6. Stress when wife leaves kids with me to do errands because we might get something and I will be "out of service".

                          No kids yet. I have one on the way though.

                          7. Sometimes listen to scanner to get the extra 4 seconds jump start at beginning of dispatch transmission before pager alerts.

                          I did that for a while till my wife decided she didn't like the scanner.

                          8. Worry when you have to do a # 2 that the moment you begin pager will sound.

                          Hasn't happened to me yet but I worry about it.

                          9. Check pager for proper operation during long periods of time between runs.

                          After an entire weekend of no calls I got worried it was my pager, come monday, they did thier daily test. All was good.

                          10. Log on to firehouse.com forums while waiting for pager to sound.

                          Yup

                          I've been a Volly since the first of the year. Deffinately one of the best decisions I've ever made.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Threads like these are the reason I log into this forum. The advice is sound, there is humor in the truths, and I can relate to each point of view. Thanks to everyone for the enlightenment. Yes, I keep the pager on at all times and supplement that with the scanner during the daytime. The keys are in known locations, and I keep a shirt and pants on a hanger on my closet door. I MUST check the Batteries in my flashlight, and I am always trying to remember to set the cruise control in my pov when responding to limit my foot's inability to maintain legal limits. I feel like I have a responsibility to my fellow volunteers to respond, but that doesn't keep me from having a life, and doing things I would have done before joining the department. The most notable change in my life is the new friends that I have gained through the department. It is a great brotherhood!
                            I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              How about those cold and snowy nights when you go out and your vehicle is covered with snow and a layer of ice on the windshield? Any ideas for keeping the ice off?
                              28 P.R.I.D.E.
                              Protecting Residents In District #1 Everyday
                              www.westmead1.com

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by FrFtr28 View Post
                                How about those cold and snowy nights when you go out and your vehicle is covered with snow and a layer of ice on the windshield? Any ideas for keeping the ice off?
                                easy, I take the 4 wheeler (ATV) out of the garage and ride it to the station!
                                Ok, I live in a town of 1,000 and the station is less than a half mile but its easier than scraping windows

                                1. I can't go to bed unless I have a pair of jeans and shirt laid out, car keys in pocket, socks and sneakers at the ready, and pager on, ready and charging.

                                Sweats and a T-shirt for me also, with a pair of socks laid with them and a slip on pair of shoes.

                                2. Check the pager again before retiring for the night in case its not on, ready and charging.

                                Only if its been awhile since tones.

                                3. Car backed into the driveway, NEVER to be parked head first again.

                                Yup, got to be backed in.

                                4. Stopping at station on way home from work, just because there may be a task to accomplish. Or a call.

                                We have a leaky water tank on our first due, so there is someone stopping by including me every couple nights to fill-er up.

                                5. When wife asks where to go out to eat, default to restaurant in our first due.

                                Not this one, I do take time off and away, go out with the wife, have a few drinks, etc. No pager then.

                                6. Stress when wife leaves kids with me to do errands because we might get something and I will be "out of service".

                                OK, Guilty of this one, but my kids are old enough now to be trusted..

                                7. Sometimes listen to scanner to get the extra 4 seconds jump start at beginning of dispatch transmission before pager alerts.

                                My wife listens to the scanner when I'm on a call, other than that, no.

                                8. Worry when you have to do a # 2 that the moment you begin pager will sound.

                                Hasn't happened to me yet but I think about it.... LOL

                                9. Check pager for proper operation during long periods of time between runs.

                                After an entire week or more of no calls I get worried my pager quit, then come monday noon pager test I hear it and I'm just glad no one needed us, although of course I like runs just like the rest of us

                                10. Log on to firehouse.com forums while waiting for pager to sound.

                                here now aren't I? heh

                                Comment

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