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  1. #1
    Platinum Member farmboy12's Avatar
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    Default TBN Firefighters

    How many people on here are volunteer or career firefighters? I'll be 16 in November and plan to join a local VFD. Anybody have any good advice on how to go about it or things to look out for in a department? I've had a job for the company for years, and paychecks and hours the last few years, so I can report and stay up responsibly. I don't plan on making a career out of it locally but think the qualifications and experience will help me when I apply for the Marines in a few years. I've even considered being a marine firefighter. So yeah, sorry for rambling, really just want tips or advice on what to look for and how to go about finding the best VFD for me. Thanks!


    Kyle

  2. #2
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    Default

    Im a junior firefighter. Just go down to the local fire department and ask them if they have a explorer post or a junior firefighter program. Most states won't let you be a volunteer until you turn 18. The explorer post and the junior programs are really good programs. You train with the firefighters and when you have enough training you can respond to calls. If you have any questions or anything just let me know.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member farmboy12's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks! Yeah I would definitely be in the Junior program. Most I've done is talk to a friend of mine who's a volunteer EMS at a VFDEMS. And I don't believe you have to be 18 in Maryland. Not too sure though. I know there a few 11th graders that are volunteers locally. And I think they've responded to calls. what state are you in?


    Kyle

  4. #4
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    In our district you have to be 18 to be a Vol FF. We run an in-depth academy with a couple of other local districts. There are medical requirements too; First Responder or EMT are required; our district will train for First Responder. We have an academy going right now. It is every Wednesday evening, Jan-1 thru May-31. The last 6 weeks include Saturdays for manipulative stuff(this Saturday we will host a burn building).

    For under 18 years old, look in to Explorer programs. Explorers is an extension of Boy Scouts. In our area, each local Fire District has an Explorer Program. The Explorers meet and train, to the level of Fire Fighter-1. Explorers can go on calls, but going in to a live fire building is usally not allowed; too dangerous.

    I am a volunteer FF, and also help with the local Explorer program. It is a great program.

    Our County Sheriff dept has an Explorer program too...
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  5. #5
    Platinum Member eepete's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Check with your local FD, ask about an sort of Junior program. Most places you have to be 18 to join but they have junior programs, just ask. Around here, our community collage also has courses you can take. But if find a department and become a junior all that can be explained to you.

    Now to stay on, here are some ideas...

    If you make a mistake and someone corrects you, learn. Don't waste time telling some what you were thinking or why you thought it was ok etc. Ask about the right way, don't explain why you did the wrong way. It's not personal, you're there to learn. Do what your told, ask why if you don't understand.

    Show up on time. By the way, this advise applies to many areas.

    Put your phone on vibrate. Don't text during meetings or training unless it's critical. BTW, mosts texts are not critical.

    When the training is done, pick up a broom and sweep something and/or take out the trash. For my first 12 years, including when I was Assistant Chief, I took out the trash and cleaned the urinal in the bath room. The second you think any job is below you you're screwed. By the way, this advise applies to many areas.

    Don't drive like a maniac. Your first year in the FD, be it as a junior or volunteer, you'll get a reputation be it good or bad. If it's bad, it will take 10 years to correct it. First impressions last a long time, so make them good. By the way, this advise applies to many areas.

    It's exciting, it's fun, it's adrenalin. But don't loose track of the service you provide the community. As a firefighter you will earn the respect you get from the community. Never loose sight of that, and never betray that trust.

    Other than that, have at it and have a blast!

    Pete
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    Volunteer Firefighter.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member atgreene's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Listen and learn.

    Started when I was 16 and worked my way up to chief, currently deputy chief of the local call dept. Also went on to get hired as a fulltime fire fighter and worked my way up to Lt., currently 18 years fulltime.

    Young guys who show initiative and are willing to work doing what they are asked always do well. Know-it-alls and smart *****'s get pushed aside and ignored. Senior guys may be threatened sometimes by a young aggresive kid, but if you prove you are there to learn and help they will help you along.

    Good luck.
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  7. #7
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Fire fighting or Emergency Medical Response are very rewarding whether done as a pro, a volunteer, or a trainee. It takes a certain type of personality to be a fire fighter, and those personalities often clash. I'd suggest you take very seriously the advice given to keep your head down and learn. The best team players are those who learn to take criticism and change accordingly. Don't keep track of whose turn it is to do what.

    A fire department is a tight group. These are people who literally trust each other with their lives on a regular basis. That trust has to be earned. You both have some good ambition and it sounds like you'll be good cadets. You'll likely get a lot of praise, but DON'T INHALE IT. Take compliments for what they are, but resolve to become worthy of the compliments that are given. A big head will take you down faster than anything.

    A few things I've learned from others...

    If it felt good saying it, it was the wrong thing to say.
    Air goes in and out, Blood goes round and round. Any deviation from this is a bad thing.
    All bleeding stops eventually.
    If the child is quiet, be scared.
    Trust Newbies. They've had the least amount of time to forget their training.
    The more stuff a guy has on his belt, the newer he is.
    People do stupid things when they see flashing lights.
    If you respond to a TA after midnight and no one is drunk... someone is missing.
    Patients in a mass casualty incident who complain are obviously alert, responsive, and have an open airway. Move on to the next patient.
    Normal people are not cut out to be firefighters or EMT's. You will have that one incident when you learn whether you are cut out for it or not. If not, be happy you're normal. If yes, be happy you're a firefighter/EMT.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  8. #8
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Iplayfarmer View Post
    Fire fighting or Emergency Medical Response are very rewarding whether done as a pro, a volunteer, or a trainee. It takes a certain type of personality to be a fire fighter, and those personalities often clash. I'd suggest you take very seriously the advice given to keep your head down and learn. The best team players are those who learn to take criticism and change accordingly. Don't keep track of whose turn it is to do what.

    A fire department is a tight group. These are people who literally trust each other with their lives on a regular basis. That trust has to be earned. You both have some good ambition and it sounds like you'll be good cadets. You'll likely get a lot of praise, but DON'T INHALE IT. Take compliments for what they are, but resolve to become worthy of the compliments that are given. A big head will take you down faster than anything.

    A few things I've learned from others...

    If it felt good saying it, it was the wrong thing to say.
    Air goes in and out, Blood goes round and round. Any deviation from this is a bad thing.
    All bleeding stops eventually.
    If the child is quiet, be scared.
    Trust Newbies. They've had the least amount of time to forget their training.
    The more stuff a guy has on his belt, the newer he is.
    People do stupid things when they see flashing lights.
    If you respond to a TA after midnight and no one is drunk... someone is missing.
    Patients in a mass casualty incident who complain are obviously alert, responsive, and have an open airway. Move on to the next patient.
    Normal people are not cut out to be firefighters or EMT's. You will have that one incident when you learn whether you are cut out for it or not. If not, be happy you're normal. If yes, be happy you're a firefighter/EMT.
    Wow. this really hit home. I am a CERT member and this makes sense.

  9. #9
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman View Post
    Wow. this really hit home. I am a CERT member and this makes sense.
    I have a ton of respect for CERT members. I feel like you don't get near the respect you deserve.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member farmboy12's Avatar
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    Default Re: TBN Firefighters

    Thank you guys for everything you've said, I'm very inspired and have respect for all of you guys, especially those firefighters on here. I will take heed of all this. Hopefully Sunday I can go visit a couple of local stations that I'm particularly interested in. I have a recruiters number in my phone, but I will probably just call him to set a time to meet up at the station. I'm not much for phone usage, rather be in person. Rarely call and even rarer do I text.

    Anyway, this is where I got the information that made me assume that I could be an actual volunteer at 16. And if your curious, this is one of my options, and the one I am interested in most is Fire 3. WVFD -- Recruitment I will find out more on the age and report back as soon as I know. Thanks again!


    Kyle

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