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  • volunteer fire fighters = scabs?

    what do you think? the thought of being a volunteer FF has always interested me. it would give me alot of experience and surely wouldnt hurt to have it on my resume. there are several volunteer dept's on long island, which is not too far from me.

    one of the things that always bothered me was that i could possibly be "stealing" a job from a FF who could use the work.

  • #2
    quote:
    Originally posted by 10-98:
    one of the things that always bothered me was that i could possibly be "stealing" a job from a FF who could use the work.

    that's not true.
    i did it for 6 years. i was almost killed 3 times while working as a volunteer firefighter so it is very serious work. the department i worked with had the smallest area in the county, but we were the second busiest; the first was a town of 30,000 with paid firefighters. i loved every minute of it and if i had the time to dedicate now, i would get back into it and i hope to do it again soon.

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    • #3
      In the county I work and live in, there are only two paid Fire Departments. One covers the city I work for the other covers the 2nd largest town in the county. The rest of the county is protected by VFD's. If it wasn't for the VFD's, a lot of the county would have no fire protection A vast majority of them are well trained and do an excellent job. One or two of them actually have some equipment that is better than our's.

      Except for the the ocassional goober, I'd say they are far from scabs.

      [ 11-25-2002, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: Evnings ]
      RADAR is the 8th wonder of the world.

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      • #4
        I've been a VFF for over 10 years now. It's a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. As was mentioned above if it weren't for volunteers there would be a lot of places without protection. Good luck if you decide to join.

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        • #5
          10-98

          Volunteer firefighting has a rich history in the US. In fact, more than 80% of firefighters in this country are volunteers. Without these individuals most communities would be without fire service entirely as they simply could not afford the taxation that would be required for a municipal service.

          You need not fear that you are "stealing" a job from someone. I have never seen a case where a volunteer and a professional department were in any competition for business. Large cities having high enough call volume can usually justify the formation of a municipal service - however, few areas meet this criteria.

          I encourage you to volunteer. I first joined the local rescue squad at age 16 (22 years ago) and have served as both a firefighter and a paramedic. I have never regretted a minute and I have had the sense of accomplishment that accompanies the giving to others.

          Dave
          "There is true glory and true honor, the glory of duty done and the honor of integrity and principles." - Robert E. Lee

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          • #6
            Volunteer firefighters are great people. They aren't stealing jobs, because almost all volunteer fire departments have no paid firefighters. If it wasn't for volunteers, they wouldn't exist. Go for it. It looks like a lot of fun.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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            • #7
              I grew up in a volunteer fire department...my Dad was Chief. Later worked as a part-time/volunteer firefighter in college (we got paid by the hour whenever we got called out or for training). Was going to make it a career but got into LE instead. Volunteer firefighting is a good thing if you've got the time.

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              • #8
                You'd be welcome over here in the UK. We are now into day 4 of an 8 day strike by our firefighters. All calls are being dealt with by the military who should be preparing for you know what.....
                The artist formerly known as Soho Bandit

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                • #9
                  SOHO, you've brought up an interesting point. We're so used to volunteer firefighters here in the states because it's almost always been like that. What about other countries? Do they have the same kind of tradition of locals coming together to help their neighbors? I would imagine they do, but is it as formalized as it is here?
                  Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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                  • #10
                    I agree, volunteer fire fighters is a good thing. My brother was one and loved every minute of it. Being volunteer is away to help the community while doing something you love to do. It also allows you to get a look into a profeesion before you totally change your life, i.e. quit your higher paying job. [Wink]
                    many towns around here only have a population of 2,000-3000 people. Its just not in the budget to pay for full-time FF. The police handle the silly "cat in tree" calls. Being somewhat bias here, I say go for it. I don't feel that me being a volunteer officer takes a job away from a real officer. Especially, since I am in the top 10 on the Civil Service list for my city. I would be taking a job from myself

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                    • #11
                      The nearest paid firefighter to my home town is 67 miles away. Every figherfighter in the county is voulenteer. These guys, and a few gals, sacrifice a great deal of time and energy to serve thier community.
                      They have my respect and sincerest appreciation.

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                      • #12
                        unfortuneately, all of the volunteer FD's in long island require you to be a resident. oh well.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah but do the VFD's get the same nice high end Lazy Boy chairs that the paid firefighters kick back in?
                          If you see me running try to keep up!

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                          • #14
                            10-98

                            Dude, go for it!!!

                            I have been doing this since 1996 and although there have been ups and downs, I wouldn't trade it for anything. In fact, if I could afford the drop in pay as a cadet, I would do it full time.

                            Peace
                            American by Birth, Aggie By Choice, TEXAN by the grace of God...

                            "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, what matters is the size of the fight in the dog."

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                            • #15
                              Most fire departments in this Province are either all, or partly, voluntary.

                              Weyburn FD has a full-time Chief, 1 full-time Deputy Chief and 4 full-time Fire Fighters, and about 20 volunteer Fire Fighters. The VFF get paid a stipend to attend monthly training plus are paid for being called out. The WFD Chief is also responsible for managing the local cemetery.

                              The next FD South of us is Fortuna, N.D., (about 55 miles South) which has an agreement with the Rural Municipality (like a small County) just North of the Canada/US-Sask/ND border for providing fire fighting services.

                              The next FD to the South East of us (about 25 miles) is totally volunteer, but they have very good collision rescue/extraction gear, due to very generous donations by the local oil exploration companies.

                              I understand that Johnson City, Tn, PD members are trained and required to provide FD staffing when on days off from their PD duties due to their contract.
                              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                              "Smile" - no!

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