I personally think training is great and should be done regularly. But however I only have a part time job, and not married supporting a family so its nothing for me to go to a class room or training ground. But for a man or woman who works full time and has a family at home training can be difficult at times. The Arkansas Fire Academy now requires all volunteer fire department to have 24 hrs of training each year. Sure it might not sound like much, but when you have 20 firefighters all with different work schedules and lifes, training can be hard ! What is your opinion?
As stated, it is hard to train as much as we should when your a volly. Our SOG's state we will have at least 36 hrs a year. This is not a problem with most. As the Training Officer of my dept, and me just being me....I cant get enough training. I would like to see a national standard of the amount of training needed to stay on, I feel that 36 hours is a good number for vollies. Im also an Emergency Medical Responder, and I every 2 years I have to go and get recertified, it was 28 hours. It doesnt really bother me because Im "GUNG HO" according to my fellow FF. Cant make it to many hours, but there should be some that is required I believe.
I think eventually this decision will be made for us. We've seen the advent of NIMS, new NFPA standards, EMT-B being standardized nationally (at least around here), etc. I think it's a matter of time before something like this comes down. However, as people have already pointed out, you've got to take into account the varying hours of availability for volunteers. Although I would like to see some kind of standard in place across the nation, there are definitely some issues that would have to be ironed out! Also, I think some federal dollars would have to be made available to some volunteer F.D's with limited budgets in order to afford to conduct whatever training is required. As far as "manditory" making it no longer "volunteer", I don't agree. Most F.D's already make it manditory that their members attend an academy and certify as FF1/FF2 at a minimum, so what's wrong with adding a few more requirements? That's just my take on the issue...stay safe people!
We are a small vol. dept and we train 2 nights a month for 3 to 4 hours all of our guys have full time jobs a couple have full time jobs and part time jobs at night. We all have families as well but we keep monday night open for training.
Here in Michigan we as vollies are required to have 32 hours of training a year to stay as a certified fire fighter. On our department we offer alot more than that in a year. I am married with two children under 5 years of age and by the time july got here i had over 100 hrs of training. So this isnt that hard if you are dedicated to the fire service. Our chief allows any type of training to be recorded for the training hours. If you have a class at work or even if we are playing waterball for hose training. So most of us shouldn't have a problem getting our 32 hours of training a year. On top of this we have a monthly meeting which will give you 1-2 hrs of training a month.