I’ve been a Volunteer 1.5 yrs I just got my FF1. Some on my department think FF1 is a waste of time, But done the class I think the rest of the department should make time to do FF1 class It is worth the time, in VT it is 147hr long with a practical and written exam. They think if your ears get hot back up, Old school, back woods, do what works. My K4 Asst. Chief 2 yrs on the department (He was voted as K4) he has seen 1 "type 5 structure fire" and it was out before he got out of the truck.
If at a fire sene if it is just K4, me, and 2 others (Do I listen to him? I would not feel safe knowing he dose not have the experience to command a fire sene.)
Do I listen to his command?
That use to be the old way " when your ears get hot you need to back out ". Times are changing in the fire service. You need to do whats safe on the fire ground. Use that ole GUT FEELING. I am not saying dont listen to your commander but if you dont feel safe then dont do it. Just because he is the Incident commander doesnt mean that he knows everything. I was once in your shoes so I know how you feel. Hey! They didnt use to use airpacks or SCBA'S in the old days either. They use to to hankerchifs dipped in water to cover there mouth. I think everyone should have to go through FF1 & 2 even a rookie school if possible. Just use your head and get all the training that you can when available and one day partner you will be his Commander! Stay safe and I hope that what I have told you helps! Firefighter/ EMT Brian " Hoss " Richardson Dickson Tennessee
Unfortunately "COMMAND" is in charge and you had better.....its his ass on the burner if he makes a bum call....BUT...That being said NEVER....and I say again NEVER do something you KNOW is too dangerous...YOUR primary responsibility is to your family and to come home safely. I remember something my Chief said to me when I joined the department...He pulled me aside and said that "if someone acted like they knew everything then stay away from them....they would het me killed." Any department that isn't safety minded is one to stay away from....and taking certification classes are definitely "worth it" I wonder if these "firemen"(not Firfighters) even bother to wear airpacks...or do they cough, hack, wheeze, and snort soot all day long....sounds like a new cancer ward is about to open somewhere.....KEEP THE FAITH AND KEEP DOING THE RIGHT THING....
Just a couple of things, first he is your Chief. You do what your told unless it puts you or your men in danger. If you think something should have been done different, talk to him at the station - Alone. There is nothing that can tear moral apart at the seems more than the rank and file that turn on the officers. I know this because it has happened in our department more than once.
As faar as FF1.....
I am the training officer in our department and I take a lot from members about IFSAC and the training I make the recruits go through. We are a combination department and we, at this time, do not require FF1 or FF2 for any of our members. I did however find out that the Safer Act requires you to be FF1 certified if you get awarded the Grant. You have 6 months for all officers and paid to get it then 12 months to get FF2. Personally I think its a great thing. Most of the older members do not want this to come through not because they could not pass it but because its not how we learned. 18 years ago when I started you would learn by doing it... But at that time we were making 100 runs a year and 40 - 50 would be structure fires. Today with Pub.Ed. and better buildings and advances all around we have fewer Stucture fires and more bs calls. Our department today makes 1800 runs per year and average less than 1 structure fire per month. Being a combination department, some may be there and some may not. we have people that have been members for 3 years and had never been to a structure fire.
Just know this - You can never train too much....
Take every class you can no matter what anyone does.
One day you will be in the shoes of the officers and then you can change minds.....
Ash, all the replies so far have hit it on the head, Listen to your Officers, Protect yourself and your crew, learn all you can and train, train, train. Now one thing I have not seen yet and have had personal experience in is the legal aspect. I was involved in an incident where the level of training and competence of our department was called into question concerning a house fire in court. Fortunately we had started a program a year earlier requiring FF1 and First Responder in order to respond to calls. Many members had taken additional training for FF2, Fire Investigator/Inspector, the whole Department is NIMS certified, and we have some Fire Officer 1's. When this was revealed in court and documented, the case began to fall apart and the integrity of the Department held up under scrutiny. Now the flip-side to this is that if we had not been able to show that we had certified training in place to teach proper tactics and procedures, alot of individuals could have payed a heavy price. As you can see the opposing attorney was trying to show that the house was lost due to incompetence and no training in fire suppression, that we were nothing more than "a group of citizens pretending to be Fire Fighters". Now, when this happened I thought it was really odd and a fluke in the system, because most municipalities, states, etc have rules and laws to protect their departments from this kind of suit, but not the individuals. It happens more often than I realized. Check your local statutes or consult your City/County/District Attorney and see what they say.
Training is so very important, I belong to a very small town volunteer fire department and my husband is the new chief. He decided we should try and get as many of our firefighters trained as much as possible. We now have 2 master firefighters and 11 of us newly trained FF1. The class was alot of fun and we learned alot. It definitely is not a waste of time. We are planning on FF2 in the Spring. There were 6 women and 5 men taking the class. Kathy
Ok.well,i now that in my company you need only "Essentials of Firemanship"(EF) oR FF2000,Or FF1 to be elected anything. As far as the Chief Thing goes you pretty much have to listen to his orders but use your judgement.If it dosent soud safe DONT DO IT! and tell them you dont think its safe.you may be on the poop list for awhile but it may just save you butt someday.Plus your judgement will get better with expearience,so for now just go with it,but be safe.
[Quote]Do I listen to his command?[End of Quote]
Unless it is a command that you absolutely feels imperils your life, then REFUSE the order. But you TELL him. WE ALWAYS LISTEN! But, we give and acknowledge orders.
I can understand your thirst for wanting to pass on some of what you have learned, but if your department is steeped in "old school", then you should know how the playground works.
You are going to have to be patient but deliberate in being the catalyst for change on your department. You will have to be subtle. That does NOT include belly bumping at a fire scene. Victims don't like to see that. That does not mean refusing an order over the radio. Other departments LOVE that crap; gives them something to talk about.
Pick and choose the battles.
You use your training if you don't think its safe tell the others to pull out.I'm a LT. and I go by what my commanding officer tells me but if it isn't safe for me or my crew its time to pull out.You will have some get mad at you but would you feal better if everybody goes home after its done. I would. Just relie on your training.
TRAIN...TRAIN....and TRAIN somemore....it may just save your butt....when the human excrement hits the oscillating blades (shit hits the fan) the only thing you have left IS that training. Remember...you fight the way you train...train hard and train safe....and if your department is like ours...you elect your officers....they are there to lead....follow orders unless they are unsafe.....if you feel that they are not appropriate you should go to your safety officer....the #1 thing is that EVERYONE goes home in one piece.....Stay safe all..............Paul
If you REALLY think that you are so much smarter than him...Run for assistant chief and do the job "right". just going to an academy does NOT make you a smarter firefighter.... It just means that you can pass a class.
And in saying that... I am... FF1, hazmat ops, ice rescue,swiftwater certified. I still learn everyday... and will continue to do so. The day you think you "know it all" will be your last...cause SOMETHING will bite you in the ass.