As of this writing, "Drinking in the Fire House" has 287 replies.

"Women in the Fire Service" has 263 replies.

At times, both have become heated, has been argued with passion and are issues that keep coming up over and over again. And nothing NEW is ever said. It's the same thing, just SAID by somebody different.

Are they issues that are important in the larger scheme? In some parts of the country and in some fire departments; yeah, it's still an important issue, because THEY have resisted efforts to establish a national initiative to improve them.

Have you noticed that both topics that I highlight have certain "social" implications?

Drinking is definitely "social" and women in the fire service? Well, we have already seen men fighting over some of them right here on this website. So, there is a social aspect to that as well and if one has the time to check out some of the submitted photos, you will see some social cleavage by those screaming that they wanted to be treated the same as men. I am still looking for a tasteful photo of my upper body to post.

However; I digress. The reason for this post is very simple: we have engaged in endless debate on two issues that are important, but not where the percentage of injuries and death are occurring. When efforts to discuss firefighter safety or scene safety or improving requirements or reducing civilian fire deaths, the discussion thread is lucky to get 10 replies before you hear the crickets.

Why do we-myself included-spend so much time on issues with little national impact and ignore those things that impact us on a daily basis?

I like to have fun and will post a "funny" from time to time, but if we ever expect to change and improve our fire service, we have to engage our brains. We have to think. We have to act.

There are some great blogs being written on a wealth of topics that could help anyone of you, but I have to wonder how many of you read the blogs. From Tiger, FASNY, Mick and Pete; I spend alot of time reading their stuff because it's FREE and it's INVALUABLE.

You could end discussions before they start, if you'd read their blogs. The topic has already been covered by them.

I just think that our priorities are all screwed up. We bitch about how precious our free time is, yet, we are forced to wade through a bunch of mud just to find a little nugget of wisdom.

I need coffee.

TCSS.
Art

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OK Chief now Im depressed too...well maybe not depressed, but flumoxed to say the least.

MySpace, Facebook, etc...those are forums for random thoughts, I know I blog on MySpace regularly (ffwally). I come here to be stimulated, not dumbed down. And to be honest I havent posted much here lately because of ongoing education at the department, a new baby coming any day and the plethora of drivel that has flooded my mail box about women in the fire service and drinking in the fire station.

1. Irish, Italian, English,Women, Latins, African Americans, Asians, Oompa Loompas, Munchkins, and Giants ALL deserve the opportunity to become a part of our little club.

If you can do the job, you can do the job.

If you get a pass on the agility because you are 5'0" and 96lbs, then no you do not deserve to get the job.

If you get a pass on the written test because you are _____(insert sub group), NO you do not deserve the job.

When the crap hits the fan you need to be able to proccess ALL of the information available and make an INFORMED decision, and be physically capable of saving both your crew and yourself.

2. Drinking in the fire station...hello, what century are we in???

Now back to this topic. I couldnt agree with Chief more...yes this is a social site, but it is a Fire/EMS site foremost. That means it's for Fire/EMS workers and affiliated fields, and family members. Badge Hoes are not needed. If you are a firefighter and are on here for the said BH's, well you are in the wrong business...period.

Sorry, I am all over the place here, but on the seatbelt issue and another needless death...I feel terribly for the Colorado firefighters family and friends.

However, why do we continue to call stupidity, LODD's?

Excessive speed and no seatbelt...ok 2 factors that removed, we most likely still have a firefighter and father of 2 with us. LODD's

I think if there was a seperate forum place on the front page for BH's, posers, and other drivel, this discussion myight not have to happen again. My .02 cents.

Wally
Bingo, game and match.
Art
I think it's interesting that something that has not been brought up is that as firefighters we are defenders of life, helpers in time of need and sometimes so hypocritical that it's not funny.

If we are telling the public NOT to drink and drive and the public sees us gathering at the station for a brew or two then get into our POV's and drive home, people will start to doubt our judgement, and personal intergrity.

If, by the nature of our jobs (passion) we say that all members of the public should be helped in their time of need, we should not be tearing each other apart behind closed doors. Of course, I subscribe to the theory that every firefighter that is on the job should be passing the same high calibre tests. Once the tests are passed there should be basic respect accorded to each member. Any futher respect is attained by the person by a combination of their job performance, work ethic, social skills. If the firefighter is denied respect due to their sexual organs then the house has a disease in my opinion. Oh, and not to mention that such treatment is illegal!

Having said that, some of the technical posts are difficult to reply to unless a person has expertise in that field. Some people can only post when driven by emotion and I suspect some of those threads are the ones that Art has mentioned. Some people like to stir things up for their own devious purposes. Some like to share their experiences, some like to sit back and quietly learn.

Public forums, such as this, have all sorts of personalities contained within it. So does the world...this is just a microcosm. Skip the fluff and concentrate on what is important in your world.

In time you will see me post in all sorts of sections. I am just a learner in this field so the technical discussions inform me, give me food for thought and a place to ask questions (Art knows all about that, don't you Art!) Right now, you may think I am just fluff because I don't have much to contribute. I assure you that my eyes and brain are working overtime in the worthy posts even though I am silent. I could add to the women in the firehouse forum but I won't. My experiences don't need to be rehashed; I am going forward. But readers should be aware that stuff does happen to females, and I can't see why we need to pretend it isn't. It may come across as whining but in some cases, it is an attempt to make folks socially aware of what is happening behind closed doors. If the males are doing something illegal, what makes anyone think a female has to "take it?"

In short, reply to the threads you like, skip over the ones you don't. Take all replies with a grain of salt and remember a BB or poser can usually be spotted a mile away. That's John Q. Public, and lets face it, some people are fascinated with firefighters. What we do is special and some people just want to make contact with us and find out what makes us "tick." If I can figure out what is going on, then I have faith that the other members also can figure it out.
TC/SS
Thanks, Rook.
But I have a question for the group:
HAVE WE ALREADY FORGOTTEN ABOUT JON WILLIAMS?
Name sound familiar?
That's because this POSER came in here, passing himself off as a firefighters, adding only females to his group of friends, responding most often to threads started by females, told them all if they ever needed to talk...
Then, one day, we get this notice that JON WILLIAMS died heroically while saving a child from a fire.
ALL BS! Many of us made great effort to confirm the LODD, but to no avail. And consequently, his stuff was removed from this website.
My point is that episodes like this really mucks it up for the real and dedicated people in public safety.
They force the public to re-examine who we are and what we do. People who aren't in public safety come here because in part, we are a very accepting lot. We show compassion and warmth to almost anyone and it is for this reason that, when someone has a particularly sad story to tell, they tell us and we are immediately taken by it. Well, most are, anyway.
However; the business side of my brain says that there are websites that are dedicated to a myriad of personal tragedy AND triumph.
Yeah; this is a SOCIAL network for firefighters and EMS, so let's keep the discussions to those aspects.
You want to hook up? Scribble your number on the rest room wall. You want to tell of your personal tragedy, join a support group. You want to write poems to your kids and friends? Do it and GIVE it to them. THey probably won't read it HERE.
Christ; at least make an effort to draw at least a THIN line between what you are saying and how that pertains to firefighting or EMS; and it's SOCIAL implications, of course.
There ought to be a law. You can't blog here if you don't at least KNOW a firefighter.
Ah, screw it.
I'm spent on this subject.
TCSS.
Art
Did you know that social issues are the #1 killer of volunteer firefighters? I have no statistics but my own 14 years of experience.....it's a very sad thing though. One day a gung ho I'm there for you firefighter, the next day pride hurt, too many drinks, someone sleeping with their wife or girlfriend and damn - we've lost another volunteer firefighter.

Keep it real.....the brotherhood does exist in the fire service, the training, the calls, dedication and hard work really giving a damn about being prepared. No one gets it but another firefighter who also gives a damn. Other than that.......keep the bar out of the fire station and keep the firefighter mentality and "friendships" out of the "bar".
I am new here, as you know. The Jon Williams reference is lost on me but I think I understand the intent of your post.

If a person uses a modicom of sense by checking out the trends of a poster before replying to that poster, much can be revealed.

Perhaps there could be a division of the website. The social aspect for John Q. Public to come in and say what they wish, and a bonafide section for firefighters with checks in place to verify their statement of who they are.
I know when I subscribed to a magazine pertaining to FF'ing, a call was made to my DC to verify my claims of being the departmental Public Educator. Obviously, I was who I claimed to be and everything went through like clockwork.

If a FF is not willing to have their claims verified they can stick to the public/social side. In this case, authenticity of the poster would not be verified and people using these forums would need to make their own judgements on who/what is valid. Caveat Emptor!
Captain 46:

I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. The only thing I would like to say is that I suspect these problems are not restricted to VFF. I would think career folks have suffered through these things also. I wouldn't actually know, I am not career.
Verification of status as a firefighter? So who amongst the admins is going to volunteer to make an international phone call to verify my status? I understand what you're saying of course, but in reality? I suppose we could print off a form to take to someone in authority, have them sign it, send it whoever. But who can tell who did the signing? No, I think we're just going to have to put up with the dross as well as the pearls. And that applies to FF's and EMS as much as to 'outsiders' ...
Lately I've gotten a couple of friend requests from woman who are obviously NOT FFs or EMS. On their profiles, for department/agency they list "N/A." They are "fans" or "groupies,” I guess, and they just want to post prayers and "thank yous” on my homepage.

While I appreciate the Thanks, I don't really appreciate these (apparently) lonely, and (apparently) non-Fire/EMS related women essentially inviting themselves into our Firefighter/EMS Social Network where we do air some of our dirty laundry and do have some disagreements and we share our fire photos, our family photos and some of a "flirtatious" photos (females AND males do this).

I think this is THE place for FFs and EMSers from all over the land to "congregate" and enjoy some "fellowship" with other FF/EMS folks whom we would never have the privilege or opportunity to meet and become acquainted with any other way.

There's a few people on here I've come to respect over the last few months, and even when we disagree I look forward to their input to our conversations. xchief22, FASNY training, Tiger Schmittendorf, engineco913, and others are part of my growing number of people whose opinion I look forward to hearing (reading). Thanks.

So...while there's no real way to keep the lookie-loos off the net, I will certainly continue giving my 2¢ where I am knowledgeable, or opinionated, or both!

...and I'm going for a Venti Cafe Latte "skinny" after my run in a few minutes.

Cheers!

GM
hmmm.....strange......I have yet to be approached by any male groupies......

I scan the member page now and then; a.) to see who's new, b.) see if there's anyone FASNY-related or c.)whom I might have met in my training travels...
but I also look at them for the amusement factor---or because some of them are so over-the-top that I just can't look away (my eyes!!!).

My opinion remains....if it's going to be a networking site for JUST fire and ems personnel, then keep it that way. I have no problem with folks employed in the fire industry or who have a vested interested (beyond social) in emergency services who wish to be here....but perhaps instead of granting membership, if you're not a firefighter or EMS, then you can register as a "guest" instead of a full member.
Thanks... I am your groupie
who are you....Count Chocula?

:-P

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