Maybe I am the only one who sees it this way but am I the only one who gets rubbed the wrong way when these young kids who are on an explorer post. walk around claiming to be fire fighters. I mean don’t get me wrong I think explorer posts are a great program. I used to belong to one, and it helped me a lot. But you but your butt, if any of the members of the department heard an explorer refer to them selves as a fire fighter and not an explorer that your butt would be walking out of the station looking like an idiot in front of the entire department.

When I was an explorer, we didn’t get pagers or billboard T shirts with the department name. We were there to be seen and not heard. We were there to clean trucks, hand jack hose, clean the bay, incident reports ETC…. and if you proved that you were willing to shut up and learn maybe get to do some structural drills, auto extrication training, and class room training.

Yet when did the title of fire fighter just start getting passed around. I work for a paid department. I spent 14 weeks in the academy, I’ve spent the past 5 ½ years working 24on 24off training my butt off, running master alarms, EMS calls, auto accidents, and working fires. I did my one year probationary period cleaning toilets, mopping floors, stand-bys in the alarm room, stuck on OT during the holidays when every one else was at home with there family’s. I have earned my right along with many other great men and women to be called fire fighter, and half the time when people ask me what I do, I just tell them I work on the base, and leave it at that. I don’t want my back patted and told how good of a job I do. I don’t want people coming up to me and thanking me every Sept. 11th. I just want to go do my job, help people and come home to my family the next day. I don’t know maybe it’s just me.

I know this is probably going to make a lot of the posters mad cause from the grammer and spelling errors I see in most of these posts I would be willing to say about half the people who post on here are kids. So how do you feel about it?

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Face the facts, they are kids. If they are on the fire department and attend training and calls, why can't they consier themselves firefighters?

It is this notion (which bothers you so much) which leads to hazing and poor treatment of the future of the fire service.
I say they are all firefighters just restricted to doing "JR" things

If you say 'kids' are not firefighters...

The 70 Year olds that only do traffic and cant go in are not either
No im not, Im willing to bet most of those " 70 Year olds that only do traffic and cant go in are not either " Have been in the service many years and seen there share. Im not saying explorers are bad and im not saying they don't do a lot. Don't confuse my post with some notion that I don't like the explorers.
Let me play it this way

A Probe comes into the station in a year he isn't called chief.
Why should a explorer come into the station and be called a fire fighter.

Im not against the explorers, I was an advisor at my last department. I am glad there is a program for kids. Keeps them out of trouble and keeps them motivated with a goal, and im totaly for that. Im just saying when I was an explorer, I was proud to be an explorer.

Like I said this is just some thing that rubs me the wrong way about it. in my short 8 years as a carrer fire fighter I have seen many changes. Im not against change. But I can tell you I have had the unwanted privlage of burrying 5 LODD in my short time. Good men who gave up there familys and there lives standing for what that title FIRE FIGHTER ment to them. I think some of them would be turning in their graves if they heared some kid calling them selves a fire fighter. Then again its a new generation and new times. I was just looking for opinions.
I am 32 yrs old. I first joined the fire department at 16yrs old, and am now the captain. I dont see anything wrong with them considering themselves firefighters. Don't they sacarfice thier time to learn and perticapate in activities to help thier communities? Don't they hit hydrants so we will have that extra guy to go in? Do we not need that water they help get us to put that fire out? Do they not change our air bottles or take our bottles to the air truck to be filled. Do they not get us tools and help rack hose after the call? Do they not sacrafice time with thier family and friends to serve the community? Maybe us older guys should show them some respect for the sacarfices they give, after all they are our future.
Again let me say this because aparently people can't seem to take the blinders off. Im not against them doing the things they do. I think it is amazing that a kid who is 15 years old is out doing a good thing. Heck I can remember half my friends at that age smokeing dope in there parents basements.

You know, When I turned 18 and graduated the fire academy, I was proud to be a fire fighter.

And when I was 15 I was proud to be a Fire Explorer.

You know opinions are like A- Holes, every body has one and they all stink. I just wanted to know how every one else felt about it.

So again let me say to every Jr./explorer out there. " Thank you for what you do. Thank you for being a better person then most of your peers. Thank you for making your towns a better place. Thank you for making smart decisions. And thank you for all the hard work." This is not a rant, or a flame. This post is not to belittle any one, or make any one feel like less of a person. I guess its just the way I was raised. I am a 3rd generation fire fighter, I guess I just got a little bit of old school still runnin threw my blood.
i agree with you christopher they aint out there busting their butts off trying to save a life or even working a wreck or house fire.
So how old were you as an explorer, if you were under 18 which department and what location would this be in, cause I would like to research the legalitys in that situation.

Im not saying that your a liar, but I have been seen in my carrer department uniform and had lots of kids come to me claiming to be a fire fighter and fighting working fires, telling me all about them. Not realizing that my department has a very strong Mutual aid Aggrement in the county and I know most of the guys. When I ask questions about these kids I find out there just explorers that arnt even aloud to be near fire.
at our dept you got to be 18 or older to go on calls but you got to take your basic to go to any calls
Like I said im not saying that any one here is a liar but I can tell you ive heared some amazing stories from 15 year old "Fire Fighters" then I talk to the crews that actualy worked the fire this kid was talking about and come to find out all they did was sit at the station or fill water coolers.
I live in Canada and we have a program for kids too. It is called Life Watch with Sparky. They get stickers and watch videos and plan their fire escape from their home.

Kids are not allowed on a fire scene. As a chief I don't want to have to babysit kids when the crap is going down.

Sure it would be great to have the boyscouts come and roll hose and clean the trucks and all, but there is no place for them on scene.

In my career I have seen things that no one should have to see, especially kids. These are scenes that replay in your head over and over at night. THIS IS NOT A GAME. THIS IS VERY REAL. It can be very dangerous.

I am the son of a fire chief and I waited until I was old enough and then I joined a department in an entirely different province. No one paved my way but me. I learned to keep my inexperienced mouth shut and my head down. I learned that my opinion was valid only to me and should be kept to me. Wait till you are eighteen and then pay your dues like the rest of us and then when one of the guys calls you a firefighter then and only then are you a firefighter.

I too have noticed that there seems to be a lot of non-firefighters on this site and they show it everytime they post or chat. Just a tip don't comment on things that you don't know about and don't judge firefighters when you have not been there.

By the way we don't have 70 year old firefighters in our service.
Well atleast I know im not the only one out there that feels the same way.
I feel if a junior or cadet or explore or whatever they are, if they want to be called firefighters they need to be termed Junior or cadet or explore firefighter because they are not firefighters, I believe when they call themselves firefighters most of the time they are just excited but they should not try to lead people into thinking that they are more then what they are. Ok here is something I was just thinking if you go to help someone on a call and you are a first responder do you call yourself an EMT or do you call yourself a first responder? We all know the answer to that. Some people might feel a little stronger about it and say no they are a cadet or explore or JR. but that is now I feel about it. I 100% disagree with Mac, here is the thing, the guy that is 70 if he has been on the department for way longer than you have been alive, chances are he has seen more fire than you ever will, I'm not downing you, please don't think that but today we do not have fire like they use to. (I’m talking in numbers obviously today’s fires have changed from back in the day because of how homes are constructed) but He or she has earned the title firefighter more than you or me. I'm closing in on my 10th year on my vol. dept. and going on my 1st year on another paid dept. I love to hear the stories from the old timers and I tell my stories that I have to the younger guys. I read your Bio, and I see your excited to get your cert so you can go into fires. My advice to you is when you get that cert, and go to your first structure fire on the way there, take a break calm down and get ready, cause if you do that, you will be more likely to not make a mistake. Trust me I have been there and I still get excited but when I do I take a big breath to calm myself down a little and then get ready to go. I had one person tell me this one day. When someone sees your on scene do you want to look like a chicken with his head chopped off or do you want to look like a professional? Remember whether you Vol. or get paid you are a professional. For the people who down Vol. firefighers, read up on your history and remember Vol. firefighters is what started the fire industry. But everybody be safe and have a good one.

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