How long are the people on your fire department considered rookies?
The reason I am asking is because I have a been a firefighter for a year now I have completely class been to all but maybe one meeting. I have done the extra unrequired trainings and been on ever call I was available for even the three am fire alarms where no one else shows up. However in March we had two men join they are friends of the chief's and know the other officers. Neither has any training however they are being allowed to be on nozzle on the hose line at fires both training and others. Also, they are fighting grass fires while at the same time I am being told that as a rookie I can't do that. I can not find anywhere in our Guildlines or SOPs anything that says how long we are suppose to be a rookie. Does anyone have any idea I can except to be a rookie?
I doubt that you will find the term Rookie anywhere in your guidelines. You might try probationary fire fighter or recruit or cadet (hehe) even Newbie or (fng - I know most of you will know what that means) but I don't really know how long you are supposed to be a rookie. We call them "probies" until they get their training in, usually about a year. Or in some cases until you have proven to the powers that be that you are a fire fighter, that you can think on your feet & get the job done without getting hurt, tearing up equipment or killing someone else in the process. Sometimes that involves following orders and some times it means you work without being told what to do.
Are you SURE they don't have any training? Is it possible they are returning fire fighters?
Sounds like your department suffers from a case of the "Good ole boys club".
Being a rookie in my eyes isn't a set length of time, it lasts as long as it takes someone to show to me that they know the ins and outs of the dept, and I know they know what's going on, and what they are doing. I think of it like (for the lack of a better term) - puberty... Kind of uneasy, awkward, messing up at any minute and not even knowing it, think you know what your talking about and not really have a clue... And just like puberty, some of us come out of it without a scratch, and some of us.... Most who never graduate out of "Rookiedom" usually quit.
When someone isn't a rookie any more to me means that they are self assured in their own skin, they know their place in the department, and can function without constant supervision. They begin to take on assignments that necessarily arn't theirs, but step up to the plate without being asked.
You know if your a rookie or not... But, unfortunately, some people will consider certain people rookies until one day they are out done by that certain person. Not that it's a contest, but some people really need a wake up call...
Keep your head high, keep your ears and eyes open, work hard.. It'll pay off...
I was called "rookie" for two years when I first got on. I was also called "kid". "Newbie" and "probie" wasn't in our lexicon back in 1980. But the old guys at the time liked calling me "rookie", because it was easier than remembering my name (some of the guys were in their late 60s), let me know my place in the pecking order and was a pretty inocuous term, in my mind. I have shirts at home with "rookie" on them from back then. It's funny, since I made chief and now president of the trustees.
Notice how the culture changed in our department.
"Rookie" is a subjective term. Unless there are specific, unpleasant tasks involved with being a rookie on your department, I wouldn't worry about it.
It doesn't matter where you are now; it only matters where you intend to go and then get there.
If they do not have any type of training then they should not be able to attack the fire. I know here in Arkansas to be able to attack the fire you must have at least, Intro to firefighting, Protective equip, and wildfire suppression. I do not know what the law says there, but that is what it says here.
It's kind of a question everyone asks however, if your sop's state that you must have the training at a real fire than it sounds like the "good ol' boys" syndrome is alive and well at your dept. Training fires thou are different and a good way to weed out those who just won't work well in the job. Reading some of the other comments I feel that you ain't no rookie no more and if your showing to calls as you say, You can come join my dept any time Don't forget to inform your immediate officer/s that this is happening, quietly ,and let them prove that they are worth their stripes. In my dept we have a few homegrowns , but they are becoming out numbered and the trained folks realize this ol' practice is dangerous to both them and the Dept.
Jojo, I've been on the dept 5 years now. I'm certified in firefighter I, NREMT-B and have been made EMT-Captain/Training Officer. Guess what, they still call me rookie. But I have the respect of everyone on the dept. Just keep doing what your doing, step up when your able, and do what your asked. Keep your head up and hang in there.
We jokingly refer to the new people as "probies" until the next new member joins; then the torch is passed to the FNG. Although, as the others mention, for some people "probie" just rolls off the tongue more easily than their real name.
All joking aside, I have to agree with the "good ole boys" club, and I'd also comment that your chief lacks the integrity needed to do justice to his position.
I assume that the new members have NO prior firefighting experience, and that your department has set SOPs regarding initial training? In our department you would have been "good to go" long before now.
On paper you normally serve a one year probationary period. If you successfully complete that, attending all your trainings and doing everything you are asked to do, after a year you no longer are on probation.
In the real world many will be considered probies/rookies/newbies until they have had a trial by fire. Not to sound dramatic but how is a person going to perform when the world around them is turned upside down. Some people gain this respect from their peers quickly and some may never earn it.
I am not a fan of the good ole boy network. I have taught at our county training academy for several years and I can tell you that I much rather crawl down that hallway or search the floor above with some of my students then with some of the people who have been around for a long time.
As far as giving the new guy the knob… that’s exactly where I want him. If he turns to run I will be the first to know and refocus them on the task at hand. If they have your back will you know when they bail?
Some people have a very difficult time shaking off the "Rookie" tag. For example, yesterday we had a small fire and my two Firefighters were not my normal guys, both OT. Both of these guys have at least two years on Fulltime. I gave them their instructions and went on to another task I had before me. A few minutes later I came back and these guys had made little to no progress. I went over and had to tell them exactly what they needed to do and they finally ended up doing it. My regular crew would have had the task done before I came back. So the two OT guys in my opinion are still "Rookies" because they still need constant supervision. Just so you know, they both work at fairly busy stations and should have performed much better.