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What a quote...re: college education for firefighters

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  • What a quote...re: college education for firefighters

    “Firefighters do their job because they have a certain amount of brawn and courage,” she (Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation said, “things they probably don't need an education for.”

    Article at: http://www.telegram.com/news/page_one/10firefight.html

    Ms. Anderson's group at: http://cltg.org/

  • #2
    Well then I guess to ms. anderson I've just wasted 2 years of my life here at Oklahoma State and I'll waste the next 2-3 years of my life at the University of New Haven! Oh well won't the 'Treasury Department' be glad to hear that such an expert said this!

    The statements above are my own opinions

    FF Greg Grudzinski
    Oaklyn Fire Dept.
    Station 18-3


    • #3
      Obviously a woman who has spent countless hours researching the modern day fire service.

      What a joke. Does she think uneducated goons can do this job? What about haz-mat? What about EMS? What about tech rescue? What about fire prevention and inspections? Let alone the ever changing technology involved in fire fighting and the accompanying equipment.

      Of course people with a certain amount of brawn and courage are needed to do this job. But what we don't need is a bunch of uneducated muscleheads.

      I certainly hope someone rebutted this woman in whatever forum was appropriate because she knows not of what she speaks.

      Take care and stay safe,


      By the way I went to Barbara Anderson's web site and sent the following letter to her:

      Ms Anderson,

      I am a career firefighter. I have an Associate Degree in Fire Science, several State and National Certifications in the Fire Service area as well as State Certficication as an Emergency Medical Technician. All of this education has helped prepare me for the career I have chosen.

      I found your comments “Firefighters do their job because they have a certain amount of brawn and courage, things they probably don't need an education for.” insulting and totally lacking in understanding of what makes up today's fire service. While of course courage and strength are important elements necessary for the job of firefighting, the job is much more than that today. Would you want an uneducated musclehead dealing with a hazardous materials release? Or running your fire inspection bureau? Or your fire prevention education program? Or your technical rescue program that includes high level rope rescue, confined space rescue, water rescue or any number of other rescue problems? Let alone the ever changing world of firefighting and the high tech equipment that goes with it. And on top of that, add emergency medical service. Let me ask you this, would you want someone with a "certain amount of brawn and courage,” administering intravenous drugs to patients in the field, or doing other emergency medical procedures. I can't believe for a second you honestly believe these are “things they probably don't need an education for.”

      I hope you can find time to go to a firehouse and find out what makes up the job today. It isn't just fighting fires anymore. In fact many of those other tasks I listed above are the lion's share of the job in a majority of the country.

      By the way, I don't happen to live in Massachusetts. I live in Wisconsin and I wish my state would be this progressive and pass a measure like this.

      [This message has been edited by FyredUp (edited 02-22-2001).]


      • #4
        I guess Ms. Anderson doesn't realize that Brawn and Courage alone will do nothing but increase your potential for injury at a fire scene. Only with Brawn, Courage and KNOWLEDGE can we succeed in our day to day duties of serving as FF's.

        I guess I'll shred my college degree when I get home tonight!! I'm sure that's exactly what my parent's would expect from me as an 'uneducated' FF!!

        I guess ignorance really is bliss for some??


        • #5
          I guess that whatever college Ms. Anderson attended did not teach her to think!!

          The most important tool any firefighter brings to the scene is his/her brain, and the ability to use it.

          The opinions expressed above are my own, and not necessarily those of any company or department I am affiliated with.


          • #6
            I guess all those times that I had to use my brain on a fire scene were figments of my imagination. That 4 year degree is completely useless.
            I have witnessed what courage and brawn without knowledge on a fire scene can do and it is dangerous. Where do we hope to draw the leaders of tomorrow from if we have a bunce of uneducated fire fighters.
            Thank you Fyred Up for putting together such an eloquent arguement.

            $0.02 from a trained gorilla.


            • #7
              I'll tell my parents tonight that the hundered thousand dollars they spent on my education is a big waist and that there really was no need form dad to refinace his house.......... They should be pleased I really pleased to find out I waisted 5 years of my life.


              • #8
                For 29 years, Texas has exempted firefighters from paying tuition at state colleges (e.g. A&M) as long as they are working towards a fire science degree.

                Legislation s currently pending to expand this to volunteers.

                For you Texans, from the Texas Education Code:

                § 54.208. Firemen Enrolled in Fire Science Courses

                The governing boards of the state institutions of collegiate rank supported in whole or in part by public funds shall exempt from the payment of tuition and laboratory fees any person who is employed as a fireman by any political subdivision of the state and who enrolls in a course or courses offered as part of a fire science curriculum. The exemption provided does not apply to deposits which may be required in the nature of security for the return or proper care of property loaned for the use of students.

                Added by Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 3345, ch. 1024, art. 2, § 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1971.

                [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited 02-22-2001).]


                • #9
                  Originally posted by firetrucker:
                  I'll tell my parents tonight that the hundered thousand dollars they spent on my education is a big waist and that there really was no need form dad to refinace his house.......... They should be pleased I really pleased to find out I waisted 5 years of my life.
                  Have to agree, it must have been a WASTE to spend a HUNDRED thousand dollars, and no need FOR Dad to REFINANCE his house. Perhaps you should go back and retake English 101.

                  Not to pick on you, I just find it aggravating that people spout so much about having such high levels of education, and then either, can't spell, or don't take the time to look at what they write.

                  P.S. There's a spell-check function that you can hit before you post. Please use it.


                  • #10
                    Barbara Anderson and her cohorts at Citizens for Limited Taxation are absolutely clueless when it comes to public safety issues. Their support for and the passage of Proposition 2 1/2 in the early 1980's decimated many fire departments, which laid off personnel when they could not raise funding because of the limits of the tax cap measure.

                    I fired off a e-mail to the CLT website, and I urge my brothers and sisters to do the same...after all...when they are in trouble, who are they gonna call...it's not Ghostbusters...it's us!

                    Firefighters: rising under adverse conditions to accept the challenge!
                    Captain Gonzo


                    • #11

                      I got a response from Barbara Anderson to my e-mail.

                      Just wondering if you did also.



                      • #12
                        I did receive a reply..funny, the format of her reply reminded me of someone from the Western US who posts on these forums...

                        She said she was missing some vital information about this topic, so I emailed her a reply with some information. You would think that a public figure would at least try and get some information about a subject before voicing an opinion!

                        Firefighters: rising under adverse conditions to accept the challenge!
                        Captain Gonzo

                        [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 02-23-2001).]


                        • #13
                          The following is the content of my email to Ms. Anderson at the website in question.

                          The next time you step up in a public forum and open that orifice inferior to your nose you should probably attempt to educate YOURSELF first. If you had done the LEAST amount of research you would have discovered that the modern fire service is a dynamic profession that demands not only the physical stamina and intestinal fortitude that you mentioned, but also an incredible amount of cognitive skill. As a firefighter, paramedic, hazardous materials technician, special rescue technician, instructor, and nursing student with a bachelors degree I am insulted by your assertion that firefighters are somehow unworthy of receiving your state's tax dollars for educational purposes. In the future if you cannot manage to express yourself with anymore intelligence than your last quotation demonstrated, I would highly recommend that you abstain from exhibiting your ignorance.

                          Mike Branum
                          Castle Rock, Colorado

                          This lady would be the first one screaming to reporters if she ever had an emergency and the fire crews showed up with anything less than the latest technology and know-how. Yeesh!


                          • #14
                            iwood I REALLY hope firetrucker did that on purpose. If not, I hope he let's us think that anyway!


                            • #15
                              I sent this to Ms. Anderson and it pretty much speaks for itself.

                              Ms. Anderson,

                              I am a proud member of the United States Air Force. I have been for almost three years. I was a volunteer firefighter for approximately four years prior to joining the military. I have a combined experience of seven years as a firefighter. Volunteer firefighting and career firefighting are two very different worlds and I have experienced both. I must say that it is very bold of you to state that I do not need an advanced education to provide those services.

                              I would ask you the same question that I ask of anyone who doubts any aspect of the fire service. How safe and secure would you feel to know that the people responding to your home at 4:30 am, for a house fire , have little to no education? What if one of your loved ones becomes injured or ill and the personnel on the ambulance have not completed the 120 hour BASIC EMT course?

                              The United States Government has spent a grand total of over $50,000 on my BASIC firefighting education. I have completed a four month extensive training program to receive Firefighter Level II certification, Hazardous Materials Operations, Airport Rescue Firefighting, and Emergency Medical First Responder training. These are the levels that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) RECOMMENDS firefighters be trained to. The United States Air Force adopted NFPA as law, so we are REQUIRED to obtain those certifications just to become a firefighter apprentice. As I stated before that education cost the government $50,000.

                              Since I graduated the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy, at Goodfellow AFB, I have become an EMT-Basic, Driver Operator for both structural and airport firefighting vehicles, rescue technician, and I hold two instructor certifications for Self-Aid Buddy Care and Certified First Responder. This may not seem that impressive but I just turned 22 last month.

                              There are several personnel above me that have far more extensive training than I currently hold and it has taken some over a decade to achieve it. Not because they were incompetent but because there is so much training to obtain. See below:

                              Apprentice: Firefighter II, Hazardous Materials Operations, ARFF, Basic First Aid and CPR.

                              Journeyman: Driver Operator Structural and ARFF

                              Other Courses Required to Advance:
                              Fire Officer I, II, III, and IV
                              Fire Inspector I, II, and III
                              Fire Instructor I, II, and III
                              Hazardous Materials Awareness
                              Hazardous Materials Technician
                              Emergency Medical Technician (Basic, Intermediate, Critical Care, Paramedic)
                              Rescue Technician
                              Driver Operator of several other vehicles (aerial apparatus, etc)

                              The above is just to name a few. It is also required for personnel to attend continuing education courses to keep some of their certifications current. Please don't confuse the fact that because I am in the military that these certifications only apply to military personnel. These are certifications that ALL firefighters need to do their daily job of keeping their fellow citizens safe.

                              My point, Ma'am, is that if the government feels that educating me is important in safe guarding military assets and the lives of my fellow service members why shouldn't you hold the same opinion for yourself and your neighbors?

                              I must admit that I was very angry to read your comments concerning our education and the fact that you hold the opinion that money is wasted on it. Ask a family that has lost everything they own in a residential fire.........no wait. Ask the residents of Amity, PA, Mansfield, CT, Ashton, Ill, Marion County, FL, or Redwood City, CA if they feel their tax dollars are wasted on firefighter's education. In case you are wondering why I have chosen those specific areas they are the towns and cities where firefighters have DIED in the line of duty for the month of February. I don't think that they would be that upset over it.

                              People put their lives in the hands of doctors everyday. They trust them to do a thorough job and no one thinks twice because they know that to receive the title of doctor they must have years and years of higher education. If any of my family members needed the services of a fire department I would want, no I would ensure, that they had the best education available. I would want them to be able to do everything possible to save a life.

                              I hope that you do not view this as an attack but more as an education in what is needed for us to do our job everyday. Thank you for your time.


                              FIrefighters are the chosen people.

                              My views do not reflect that of my department or the United States Air Force


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