The term volunteer bothers me. We are actually "paid on call". Mostly it bothers me cause ppl seem to think we are not "real" firefighters. Like somehow we dont attend "real" fires, MVC's, medical aids, etc. Like somehow our fires are not as hot or we dont have any training. In my opinion being a "volunteer" is actually more difficult! we have other jobs too! Emergency's can happen anytime. We are on call 24-7. Our "waiting for calls" never comes to an end. We are expected to save life, property, and environment with speed and efficiency. We never know how many members will show up (which means we often work twice as hard) or who those members will be. we must be jacks of all trades. one day im entry team, the next pump op, the next tanker shuttle, the next rescue team, the next medical team, and on and on... my hall training is very specific and tough. we are working through 1001's....i do my best to enlighten ppl... anyone else have this frustration?

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Here i go with my rant! I belong to a Volunteer department. When you join a fire company, you just started a profession. This is not a hobby, and this is a job you should be taking seriously. It does not matter if you joined the City or Volunteer Department you are going to be trained to put out fires. Rescue people, and everything else a firefighter does. Paid or not this is a profession. If you come out of firefighter one class and think you are a firefighter you are wrong. Paid or not! Yes; you know all the basic's of fire fighting; but you are far from a firefighter. It take years of experience to be a firefighter, and we do not see enough fires to get good at it. Don't get me wrong here, we are all professional's in firefighting and life saving measures. The truth of the matter is we need to continue with are training. Every chance we get! We need to read and read a lot. We need to read about what are big city departments are doing, and screwing up and learning from their mistake's. We need to be owning up to are own mistake's, and learning from them and not making them again. We need to go get firefighter 2. Get out alive. Firefighter survival and the list goes on. After 11 years of service i make time to take at least one state run training class a year; even if i have taking it before. If you go through firefighter one training and do nothing else then you should not stay in the fire service. You are not doing your department any good or the community you serve any good. If you think this is a hobby you have no business staying in the fire service for the same reason. We; even as VOLUNTEERS are professional's. When we joined we made a commitment, to serve and protect our  communities home's, property and live's! This is a big commitment and i'm proud of the men and women that make this a priority in your life's. Bottom line here is, i am not trying to piss anyone off; but if i did i must of hit a nerve, and you should look at the reason you joined in the first place. This is a dangerous job we do. It should be taking seriously! We need to train and train hard,because we need to look sharp for are communities we protect (Even if they don't support you) and more important; is not to make the fire service look bad. So don't waste your time with paid verses volunteer,or let it bother you. Take this time to learn and do the best job you can do, when you need to do it!  Stay safe! Practice hard and always improve.

i just want to say i started as a " career firefighter" and now im a "volunteer" . Ihave been a volunteer for the last 7 years, and to be honest i have gotten more training with the volunteer dept than i did as a full timer.  Some of the guys on our dept are pros too. we all train together and we train with the pro dept's in the bigger towns. as far as im concerned we are all "firefighters". volunteer or career, we all put our life on the line in this job.

i wouldnt trade the volunteer for paid for anything...can't put a price tag on someone's life...none of our guys here get paid for anything, its our gas, tires, ect used...sometimes its long hours, others there are days if not months between calls

totally agree paid on call or casual fits us better.  Volunteer makes us seem like we can't possibly have any training like full time departments.


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