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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I have not been on for awhile for a few reasons and I was sad to see this post was still up! I hate the issue and being a unpaid professional now and a long term paid professional in one of the busiest place on the globe I have to say one last thing I have worked as a career with some great firefighters and I work in a unpaid department with some great firefighters and well of course both have had some not so great firefighters. The one thing I know each and every person that has walked in those boots have my respect and deserve the same from everyone.
Yeah that is so true I am a volunteer and people ask me all the time you know why i wouldn't do it if i didnt get paid i say that is the difference between me and you i do it cause i love it and i like to help people in there time of need it is not a determining factor whether i get paid or not because i love it.
I am 100% with you on that Paul.
I would like to say...I work a full-time EMS job ... 7 16hr shifts in a row...then any OT that comes along thereafter -- &&& I also Volunteer on my local FD which is pd/vol. After reading many of the comments here I must say, it's sad that people have to look at this as an Issue... I am in it to help my community, that's it... the crew that is pd on our Dept is in it for the community as well...so with that said...everyone should look at each other as family and stop segregating by pay...thank you all for the work you do out there &&& BE SAFE!! Deborah
Again, this is what gets my goat (hate that saying, but first thing that came to mind). I do this job because I love it as well. Pure, adulterated love for the job, love of my city, love of my community and a deep seeded need to help those who need it. I don't do it for the paycheque, but it sure it nice to collect one after 6 years of working my ass off to get this job that means so much to me. Please don't degrade my job by saying I do it for money. The money is a perk (and may I also add that I have a second job because that perk isn't that great.. .lol).
Remember, those of us who get paid, were lucky enough to be awarded a job after years (sometimes up to a decade) of perserverance and hard work. How many people would do that solely for a paycheque (especially when you can make a ton more doing something else).

I also am happy that you do it purely for the love of it, nothing wrong with that... but remember, so do I!
Why don't we ask a question that's sure to stir controversy.... Like Leather or tactical tupperware?
I understand your point, I am a paid firefighter. I see a need and admire those who give time and put themselves on the line for home and town with no pay. But I like this kind of format, I went to other firefighter boards and would see the board sink to a point of,,,,,, "You do not do the same Job. I am a professional" or "I am on 24/7 I no one makes me answer a call". Instead of seeing where we are the same and having a exchange of ideas, learn from each other. The childlike behavior and name calling would take over. I hope with this format, you know where everyone is coming from and the forum can be just the exchange of ideas and info.
This has always been a burning question. The best way I have found to answer the question is to just tell people I am a Professional. My defention of professional is a person that does the job to the best of their abilty looks sharp and treats everybody with respect. My self personnaly would rather be a Professional Vol. then a Sh_t bag paid guy. Just to set the record strait I am a paid firefighter but I did start out as a professional Vol. We are all equal no matted what the reason is that we do this job. GOD Bless us all for the work we do.
Alright here is my time on the soapbox First im neither a volunteer or paid firefighter i am a TN EMT-IV from Memphis i have worked with paid and vollies and they are all a bunch of great guys that know what theyre doing. Now I will say i want to be a paid Firefighter/Paramedic but that is what i want to do as a career but dont think when i move to NorthCarolina in a few days i wont be volunteering my time at my local dept. They all do the same thing some do it 10 days a month at 24 hours a shift some do it in other increments it all adds up the same because they will be there to awnser the call at 2 am when some drunk has ran into a poll or on christmas eve when some familys chimney caught on fire. They will be there standing tall Protecting your life and property. Cause ill be the first to say if im hurt and trapped in my truck or in my house im not gonna ask volunteer or paid. Thanks for listening guys and galls
Let me see....I think you actually have a point in there...at least I think I can see through the smoke....You are afraid of loosing your job to a "VOLLIE".....I would bet my weeks pay (as a Registered Nurse, Certified both nationally as ER and ICU)...that there isn't one....not even one Vollie out there thinking...hey if I go in this structure fire then I can get Nita's job.......I know for a fact that I didn't become an EMT, nor a Firefighter to do that....Not like I have a ton of free time on my hands...I didn't get paid while I was training either...I give what to me is more valuable than a monetary donation....I give my time and of myself to do something that I strongly believe in......If you cannot accept that we are all in this together then I suggest that maybe it is YOU that has a problem and maybe need to do some self introspection......Our department works very closely with another paid department and 2 years ago 2 of their men got disoriented in a major structure fire...and guess who found and helped them get out.....??? YEP....2 of the "VOLLIES" I bet they don't harbor the same feeling that you seem to have...If the Fire Service thought along the lines that you do....you would probably NOT be where you are today...think about it....How long have females been active in the fire service...??? Hmmmm....Maybe you should get off the truck and make coffee.....(NOT my opinion...just a statement).....Stay safe.....remember if your ass gets burned you can still call us "VOLLIES" to bail you out....and we won't even ask for an apology.........Have a nice day...........Paul
OOPS....amost forgot....Last time I checked IAFF doesn't write "LAWS"...actually NFPA and OSHA writes our standards and guidelines that we have to operate under....Not the Internations Association of Firefighters.....Maybe pay attention next time you go to your "training" Ms "paid" firefighter........Stay safe....wouldn't want you to break a nail.....
Well stated...and thanks for all you do......See.....everyone....thats the one thing that a "vollie" likes to hear....even just once.....someone to come up smile and say Thank-you for what you do....nothing more...no parades...No hooting and yelling...No big write ups in the paper...In fact one our members stated it well....."If you are on the scene of an accident and your picture ends up in the paper then you were at the scene too long..." And yes do it without a paycheck...sounds foolish to some but there IS satisfaction to doing something for another without looking at $$$$$$$$$......Thanks.....Stay safe.......Paul

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