*First off I appologize in advance for anyone seeing this twice, I posted it in an explorer group before I discovered the forum.

What are youe overall opinions on how similiar explorers are to volunteers?
Volunteers aren't explorers, but aren't explorers volunteers?
Would you feel comfortable wearing a shirt that says "I'm a volunteer" on it (ex. below)?
How about one that says firefighter?
What are the requirements to volunteer in your departments?
Do your departments allow volunteers to go code 3 in personal vehicles?
What else do you think about volunteers in your departments?

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thay are the best dept you have alot of fun and our vols get to go code 3 to hs station and pick up the rig.and u shouled be able to wear what u wont.
What are your overall opinions on how similar explorers are to volunteers?
If by volunteers you mean other "under 18" programs then I would say that they are cousins.
From my understanding the explorer programs are generally run by the Scouts, at least they are here in NY. where other "under 18" programs are run by individual departments under their own sop's/sog's.

Volunteers aren't explorers, but aren't explorers volunteers?
yes.


Would you feel comfortable wearing a shirt that says "I'm a volunteer" on it (ex. below)? How about one that says firefighter?

I wouldn't have a problem with an explorer or an "under 18" wearing a shirt that says I volunteer. I would have a bit of a problem with you wearing the shirt you give as an example as you haven't been there done that yet. Having said that I can live with you wearing one that says firefighter because within your program limitations you are one.

What are the requirements to volunteer in your departments?
In my department there are two sets of rules depending on age I will assume that for the purpose of this forum you mean an "under 18" In my department you must be at least 16 years old have parental permission and be able to pass a physical that will allow you to take state FF 1 training which in NY includes a certain amount of interior attack at an approved burn facility. Out side of that there are our Department sog's that apply to the "under 18's" .

Do your departments allow volunteers to go code 3 in personal vehicles?
NOOOOOO! Our "under 18's" are not allowed to run light and our SOG's are clear on that they also must respond to the station not the scene, unless ordered to do so by the Chief. They must also follow all traffic laws when responding to the station. This may upset some but it is for their own good. There is study after study of the effect of running lights on adults let alone someone that doesn't have a few years of driving experience under their belts. As a chief a few years back I pulled two blue light cards from adults who in my opinion were dangerous when running lights. That's why in NY the PRIVILEGE of running blue lights is at the Chiefs discretion.

What else do you think about volunteers in your departments?
I assume again that you mean anyone 17 or younger. I have been involved in two departments "under 18" programs. In the first while I was there we had about a 70% retention rate. Two of those involved are now officers in that department, one of them the Chief.

In my current department the program is just finishing it's first year we have a total of four members two have completed Scene Support and two will finish their FF1 school this coming Sunday. Yes I think that it is a great benefit to the department if you have the right kind of young people in the program.
The questions are confusing here if you are talking about volunteer firefighters (actual adults) or if you are talking about juniors/explorers (under 18).

If talking about anyone under 18, there is no reason for them to have lights on a POV or respond emergently. Explorers/juniors do not belong working on a fireground, nor should they be considered staffing for actual trained FF's. The rest of the stuff I'm not concerned about.
We don't have explorers in my department, but concerning a volunteers shirt, I am extremely proud to wear a shirt with that word on it. The example you attached is terrible and would never wear something so tacky, but our current dept shirts have 100% Volunteer printed on them.
I would be the first to apply if our township chose to create a paid dept, even though it would mean a huge pay cut for me, but until then we have no choice but to volunteer. People would die otherwise.
Applicants must submit a fairly detailed application and undergo a criminal background check, driving record check and attend an interview. New members are probies for 12 months and must achieve FF1 in that time plus a certain number of in house training hours and call out attendance. There are on going training and attendance levels required after that too.
What is code 3? We use the 'plain speech' approach rather than codes in our county. Only the chief may take a pov to an incident scene, everyone else must fill a seat on a rig. State law does not provide any special driving privileges to volunteer emergency responders in their pov other than the use of a single 'blue light' which is intended to tell other drivers you are responding to an emergency. It basically requests more courtesy than you might usually expect from other road users. I don't like the use of these as I think they cause more trouble and confusion than good.

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