I don't understand why we ask things like that or should women be on the fire ground. If we ask these questions then we must be going into it with a predetermined idea. I have been both a unpaid and paid professional fire fighter and I just want to say all my fellow fire fighters I don't care why you do what we do I am just saying thank you for doing it.

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Amen is definitely the word. We need more FFs like you.
I gotta agree,AMEN.
Well put, it's true.... I get asked that question a lot, are you a Vol. or Paid. When the tones go off we are all on the same playing field. I'm a firefighter! Although it's funny when people from the city move up here. And can't figure out why there is no one at the fire hall. Or during the tours, they ask where do we sleep.

I posted this on myspace a long time ago. These are my thoughts on that...

Search and Rescue and those that do.
Why is it that anytime I talk to others about the Search and Rescue I do, I get these responses: "YOU DO THAT FOR FREE", "I WOULDN'T DO THAT FOR FREE", "WOW THEY SHOULD PAY YOU FOR THAT". I find myself thinking: To me donating my free time, running for hours without sleep, and using my last dime to get there is no big deal. Glad to help!!

Anyways, I have found that those of us that do these thankless jobs do it not for any praise, we do it because we care about others and our communities. We do it from the heart and need no thanks. We are not rich, we don't have expensive homes and most of us are struggling just to keep the power on (myself included). We do the jobs (some nastier then others) that most people won't do. We are a rare breed and I am honored to be apart of it. So to those of you, like me, that give up your free time, your family holiday gathering, sleep and time from work to get out there and help those in need, you are a rare breed. You never look the other way when someone needs help. You never think twice to jump right in and give it your all. I just wish there were more like us in our communites. Why would someone need pay to do something they enjoy so much. Do you get paid to do the things you love?
Well put.... Agree! Then you hear the other side, "I could never do that!". I'm the one with the black humour, joking around all the time. So you don't go crazy on what you have just witnessed. What we do each year is we take out as a group our other half. We take out the wives to thank them for the understanding for the times where we are sitting at the dinner table with guest. Tones go off and we leave! For the times we are training or checking the equipt. or training.

I have a job that pays my bills and I have a job that I love... Best of both worlds....

Volunteer or career makes no differance, with the proper training, it defines the words PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTER. The ammount of pay one receives does not make a firefighter more or less worthy, we all do the same job just not in the same amount.
I agree. We all do the same job, so why should it matter if we are paid or not.
Amen Brother
i am a vol but i am a paid wildland FF and i am supposesd to be hired in october to a paid department. To me it doesnt matter because i will still be a vol even after im hired. People just think that if your not paid you arent a FF which is so far from the truth, i've heard a guy say vol's dont go into the fires and that we dont do much of anything, i have been on for about a year i have made entry on every structure fire i have been too except for one that was long gone by the time we got to it, i have also made entry with the paid department in my area. bottome line it doesnt matter if your paid or not if you fight fire you fight fire thats all there is to it. some people just dont know what they are talking about

You hit the nailsquare on the head with this comment. We volunteers all have to give our families the credit when it comes to putting up with our lifestyle.

From the cheap seats where I sit I think some folks over think those questions. Working in St Louis fd I know some paid /career ff who are absolute ZEROs, slugs, waists of air, and coming from a small rural town I know many vols who are truely devoted and highly trained. Obviously I would trade to get the vol or the female on my co. and trade away the slug in a heartbeat if I could. For me I ask because I am just kind of taking a pulse or getting a background history so I can get to know something about the person and thus decide if this is someone I want to talk shop with. If the ff/medic is a sharp cookie...I will quiz them into having a migrane, if the ff/medic is 'ok guy" Ill bs alot with them. If the person is a lazy, malcontent, slug...Ill politely move on to the next conversation. What I noticed at fdic and other like gatherings is the majority of those who attend these functions are much like me.

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