FOR ALL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND THERE FAMILY'S CAN YOU TAIL ME Y SOME PAID FIREMAN NOT ALL DO NOT LIKE VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE THE SAME TRAINING ITS BEN LIKE THAT SCENTS THE GLOUCESTER CITY FIRE THAT KILLED 3 FIREMAN A FEW YRS A GO. I NO ITS BEN NOTHING BUT HARASSMENT, I HAVE BEN A VOLUNTEER OF WILLINGBORO FOR 11 YRS AND I HAVE BEN INJURED IN THE LINE OF DUTY 3 TIMES AND SAVED A FALLOW FIREMAN'S LIFE IN A TRAINING ACCIDENT HE IS NOW PAST(MICHAEL CHINTZ) BUT THEY WILL NOT GIVE ME THE MEDAL OF VALOR SO I LIFT THE FIRE DEPT 3YRS A GO, I HAVE A FAMILY OF 4 (18YRS OLD A 4YRS AND A 3YRS OLD ALL GIRLS AND MY WIFE) I DO NOT WENT MY WIFE AND KIDS TO GET THE MEDAL OF VALOR WHEN I DIE, I WENT THEM TO SEE ME GET IT I NEED THEM TO LOOK AND SA THAT IS MY DAD. I WILL BE GETTING BACK WITH THE FIRE DEPT IN MY TOWN THAT I NOW LIVE IN . I HOPE TO HERE YOUR COMMENT'S IN THE COMING MONTHS BE SAFE AND GOD BLESS ONE AND ALL.... (fire safety is in Question?? )............... FROM PEDRO J TORRES

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There are other discussion topics on this web site that deal with the career vs. volunteer subject. I don't know if any of them have the answers spelled out, or if there are any ready answers. One may be that people are people, and many of us get along just fine and have mutual respect for each other. A few are jealous, intolerant, super-critical, or what have you - and are vocal about their views. These are the ones that are heard.

As to your quitting the fire department because you did not receive a medal for saving the life of another FF in a training incident... I don't know all of the details but I personally would not quit over something like that. My expectation is that all members will look out for each other and help them however/wherever we can. Even saving their lives if the occasion demands. It should be a learning and "bonding" experience but I would not expect any awards as a result. But then that's just me.
Hi Pedro! I work for a composite department and I have to agree with Edward Spence, the training and requirements are not the same. Within our department the tests for POC and career are different, the commitment is different and the training is different. By commitment, I don't mean we are more committed, I simply mean we are required to work the long shifts, overnight, 24 hours etc, where as volunteers must give their time away from work and family (I say give, although I don't know many departments that are not now paid for their time... but it is still that, time away from home when there is almost always another fulltime job). And as far as training, yes that too is different. The training is the same, but the time spent is different (in our department) the career guys have more opportunity to train. We train each and every shift with the exception of Sundays. Some training sessions are 30 minutes, some are 3 hours, depends on what we are doing, the average is one hour.

While I completely appreciate that the calls are the same (no two calls are the same, but you know what I mean), the fire goes out the same way, the door gets popped the same way and the CPR is given the same way, but the jobs are different.

You may have also answered your own question. I have an Lt who saved the lives of two of his crew and suffered serious burns and injuries in the meantime, was in the hospital flat on his back, on morphine and yet still in a great deal of pain and he never once asked for a medal, just an update on the condition of his colleagues. The job should never be done for the recognition or the "valour" but for the self respect of knowing you've done something worthwhile.
Hey there Pedro T.,
I know what you mean, I've been a volunteer for 17 years and for that entire time almost every paid Firefighter I've ever met said me and the rest of us volunteers are not as good or glorious as they are. But you know what, I don't want glory or my picture in the paper. I just want to know that when the job is done and I go home that I made a difference and someone still has at least some of their property or that they are still alive because of something I did. The reason he spends hundreds or even thousands of hours training when us volunteers don't is because they have deeper pockets than we do. Compare what Spence's department has to spend per year compared to our donations and the small budgets that our county gives us, after the building payments, utilities, gear and the trucks and their upkeep is paid all the training and expenses of are out of our own pockets and our own time. Mr Spence if you give my department half of what yours spends per year then we could sit at the station and train all day every day too. Let me give you two personal examples of the differences between paid and volunteer: a tornado ripped thru our neighbor county and we sent several volunteers to help out. The only two volunteers from that county that did not go was out of the state and there wasn't one paid fireman there. A nearby city department on a nice quiet day had several of their firemen sitting on the front porch in their rockers, while the house right across the street burnt down right in front of them. Don't get me wrong me and most of the volunteers I know would love to get paid for what we love to do, but I've tried for twenty years now to join a paid department, but never had the chance. Now that I'm 41 they think I'm to old to be any good. But Mr Spence, I may be older and don't get to train as much but let me tell you, when the tones go off and we both respond I'll fight harder and deeper into the Devils Lair than you and with less equipment. And when I turn around I know that my back-up will be right there and for the same reason as I am. I'm not saying I'm better or worse than you, but inside the fire we're equal and if you believe otherwise prove it to me.
Great comments by Mr. Spence and Spanner as to the difference between paid (career) and paid-on-call volunteer, at least. Spanner, I can give you the names of at least 25 departments in this area - mine being one of them - that are truly volunteer, no payment of any kind for service given.

Unless you call an annual banquet "payment", which I suppose could be construed as such. These appeal more to the personnel that have the knife and fork on their helmet shield. But being paid a fee for showing up at a call - that doesn't happen in these parts. Just wanted to give you that perspective.
You my friend have a miss understanding. I know that I may not have been clear but it wasn't about the medal of valor which led to me leaving the fire department. It was the harassement. I was receiving it from the brass. It was a number of things but harassment was the main one. So three years later I joined their rivil," Beverly Fire Department in Edgewater, NJ!" This department is not bias when it comes to the subject of volunteers and paid! In this department the volunteer are treated as equals! We are all one and the same!
Wow, that's really something. I thought that was a dying concept. Around here they're mostly POC. Paid for each call, training session and any time they sit in the stations so the public thinks their tax dollars are paying for fulltime coverage (long story.. lol). The rest around here work on a point system. Points for the type and duration of the call and points for training and are then paid out monthly or yearly.

Good on you for donating your time for you passion!! :)
I volunteered for my fire depertment (all volunteer) because there was a need, there is always a need for trained firefighters, when I joined I had no firefighting background. But I was willing to train on my time and my families time. Our training officer took his personal time to train 5 new volunteers for several months to challenge the firefighter exam. After the exam the proctor stated that he had never seen a better trained group of challengers.

I believe, that it does not matter if your a full time firefighter or a volunteer if you have the drive, movation, and training to be the safest, most professional firefighter, you will be. On my time I read as much about firefighting as possible, I use this network as another tool to further my firefighting knowledge, and hope all firefighters use it as a tool for useful purposes. I am currently working on challenging ffII, and hoping to take an EMT-B course that may be offered. All the training, all the hours put into the department, are not paid, we are paid only for our runs, we receive minimum wage for our efforts, and all of our firefighters donate their pay back to the department.

Our department is a small group of highly dedicated, highly motivated firefighters, who perform a thankless service to our community, without any other reason but to help our fellow man, yes, It would be nice to be a full time firefighter, with pay, but not every community can afford that, so we volunteer, on our time, on our families time.

In closing, be you full time, or volunteer, this has to be a job you love, you must keep an attitude of, what can I do?, what will make me a better firefighter to serve my community?, my brothers, You must lead, or follow, in our line of work you cannot get out of the way, you have to know your job, better than anyone, because the community looks to us in their time of need, not asking if your full time or a volunteer, but because your a firefighter
well, my opinion is this, to me the only difference in a paid firefighter and a volunteer firefighter is the word paid. true, paid departments usually have more training and better equipment (in some areas of the country), but that doesnt make them better. And just because i volunteer to fight fires and put my life on the line doesnt make me better. one team one fight ya know. we all do it for two reasons because we love it and its a hell of a good time, and to protect life and property. as far as the whole medal situation, i can understand you wanting your kids to be proud of you but expecting a medal for you doing your job is a little much. i mean shouldnt the life of your buddy continuing be the reward. and you dont need a medal to impress your kids. your their dad they're all ready proud of you. but this is just one mans opinion.

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