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House fire next door

Old 01-13-20, 03:22 PM
  #26  
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Interesting post, sad result.

I've never understood how 'volunteer firefighters' work. Do the volunteers have other day jobs and just do free firefighting in their spare time?
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Old 01-14-20, 12:25 PM
  #27  
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Basically yes. My late father was one and would rush out to the station or scene when the town's siren went off.
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Old 01-14-20, 08:10 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Interesting post, sad result.

I've never understood how 'volunteer firefighters' work. Do the volunteers have other day jobs and just do free firefighting in their spare time?
I got exposure to a few of those during my years with a consulting firm while working with small counties/towns. There would be a few staff meembers at the government offices who would drive the vehicles out to the emergency site and every else notified by phone/pager (not everyone had a cell phones back then) and they'd show up at the site with their equipment. Training was a few times per year doing drills such as laying hoses, best way to attack a fire based on circumstances (weather, farms & farm animals, schools, and whatever else was in the area), dealing with fueled fires (gasoline and other chemicals) and other industrial fires, multi-story building fires (if there were such in the area), and fire inspections to reduce fire potential and the spread of fires to surrounding structures. Most localities would get help from bigger cities in the region (training AND actual fire response) and insurance companies would usually help out, too (fewer fires, fewer payouts).
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Old 01-15-20, 11:11 AM
  #29  
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So is there usually a core of professional, full-time firefighters, and the volunteers receive less training but are able to provide semi-skilled labor under the leadership of the pros?
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Old 01-16-20, 12:22 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
So is there usually a core of professional, full-time firefighters, and the volunteers receive less training but are able to provide semi-skilled labor under the leadership of the pros?
Yup, basically.

Works that way with some small town law enforcement too.

Sometimes the training is pretty good. I know a remote area where volunteers get full certified paramedic training when they sign up. There is a core staff, and a much larger bank of volunteers. The volunteers commit to "on call" days where they don't drink alcohol, and ensure they are in the area, if needed.

Law enforcement volunteers don't carry guns, but can and do direct traffic, and take incident reports and may man a phone or desk from time to time.
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Old 01-16-20, 08:43 PM
  #31  
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Our suburban area east of NYC has mostly all volunteer depts. Some have a few FT paid, but most departments are all volunteer. Yet nowhere as simple as it was 30-40 years ago, nowadays there’s a LOT of training and the members need to stay up to date with certifications, etc.... Our local all volunteer department has multiple houses and engines, companies, etc.....they do not typically do emergency medical services, which might be a separate service, or the large county EMS service, run by the county PD.

I give them a donation every year even though they get very good support from the taxes we pay.
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Old 01-16-20, 11:06 PM
  #32  
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City Hall has been using mostly volunteer janitors lately.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:08 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Our suburban area east of NYC has mostly all volunteer depts. Some have a few FT paid, but most departments are all volunteer. Yet nowhere as simple as it was 30-40 years ago, nowadays there’s a LOT of training and the members need to stay up to date with certifications, etc.... Our local all volunteer department has multiple houses and engines, companies, etc.....they do not typically do emergency medical services, which might be a separate service, or the large county EMS service, run by the county PD.

I give them a donation every year even though they get very good support from the taxes we pay.
I don't know about any where else, but here all volunteer fire depts are required to have the same minimum level of training as any full time dept before you could even get on a fire truck. The dept couldn't get any insurance otherwise.

And forget about driving tankers and engines. That took a state certification course in addition to gaining the trust of the members and officers through regular training. The big difference was this training was done on your own time on nights and weekends. There was plenty of joint cross training with neighboring full time depts as well. As far as EMS goes, that was provided by the local hospital under contract to the town. The ability to field and maintain ambulances and paramedics 24/7 over multiple districts required a whole other level of insurance and expenses.

As with most towns with neighboring cities, eventually urban sprawl and development grew the town enough to afford to go full time paid and buy their own ambulances, and build more stations.

65% of US firefighters are volunteer per: https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Resear...tment-profilei
When I was volunteering that was much higher.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:27 AM
  #34  
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Do volunteer firefighters still get paid, like per hour or incident?
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Old 01-17-20, 10:34 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Do volunteer firefighters still get paid, like per hour or incident?
We were paid a stipend of $3.00 per run. I did it for 14 years so it may have gone up slightly over time, I don't remember.
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Old 01-17-20, 11:25 AM
  #36  
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Wow, so ok basically no
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Old 01-22-20, 10:45 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Wow, so ok basically no
Hence the term volunteer.

It was a long time into my childhood when I posed the same but opposite question/reaction. "Wait, there are places that have paid firefighters?"
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