This has been bugging me for most of the day. My fire department was featured on a regional newscast and of course everyone showed up. Well my son who is 350lbs was in the background and someone made a comment about his size on Delawarefirefighter.com. It didn't bother me that the comment was made because of the person who made. What bothered me was the fact that as a large person he was automatically discounted as a fire fighter. I've always been a lagre guy and I've always been able to do the job. When I wasn't I stopped.
But what about the skinny guy. Is he in shape or just skinny. Just because you don't have a big gut doesn't mean your in firefighting shape. It just means you have genetics that make you a certain size. My best friend always look like he was in shape until we raced once. He couldn't go telephone pole to telephone pole.
There was talk about giving physicals to FF's. My issue is what are they checking for, high blood pressure, good heart, eyesight, hearing? How about endurance, stamina and agility. You would be surprised how many people can't carry a role of hose 1000 feet.
Years ago on talk shop that I can't recall the name had a large FF and a model looking FF. And they asked people which one they would want to save them. Of couse almost all picked the model looking FF. Well the fat FF had 20 years experience and was an officer of his department and the model was a proby. He even said he would pick the fat guy because of experiece.
Basically what I just spent 4 paragraghs writing is never judge a book by its cover.
have to pass a yearly Stress-Test Physical in order to stay on the Truck
Wait, isn't being on the truck already in itself a stress reducer???
Or is the test just to make sure you are still moving??
these ideas are great and all but i have one question. How is a volunteer department suppose to pay for these physicals. I say this because one of the biggest issues in volunteer departments is funding. See paid firemen think that volunteers have alot of time on their hands we don't we work just the same as you just not at a paid fire department. You have a city footing the bill for y'alls physical what about us?
I am all for yearly physicals from a doctor; however, if your department doesn't have the money you can still engourage your members to get an annual check up from their PCP.
From a department standpoint, a physical agility test at the station does not cost much if any money. You can set up a timed course for your people to run stairs, drag hose and dummies, and carry tools like the jaws. This allows you to determine who may need some extra physical conditoning, and who is on par.
Just my 2 cents
See paid firemen think that volunteers have alot of time on their hands we don't we work just the same as you just not at a paid fire department. You have a city footing the bill for y'alls physical what about us?
So what is with all the stereotyping? I keep seeing excuses not solutions to issues, despite the simple fact they can be done. Paid firemen think vollys have a lot of time on their hand, what does that have to do with anything? Paid FFs have the city footing the bill, what about you? Seriously? C'mon, the solutions are out there, you have to look towards things. You stated before being volunteers, you can't deny someone, WRONG.
Yes, funding can be a limiting factor, but to think that it is so easy for a city to foot a bill is also wrong, where do you think that money comes from? Here is a hint, the FD budget. Another reality is budgets have been consistently reduced, so this ideal that paid depts have some unlimited cash flow for physicals is wrong. Most do conduct physicals for the simple reasoning that they are important, that is it.
Now a volly dept can do the same thing, standards can be establish which must be met. An initial physical prior to getting on the dept can be done and even paid for by the dept or jurisdiction the dept falls in. There should be no reason that governing members can not agree for something simple, at least for an initial physical. Other things for funding can come down to fundraising activities that volunteers can do, dinners, socials, bingo, etc, etc.
John I am not sterotyping and i am just putting facts down the fact of paid departments having unlimited cash, I know that this is not true but at the same time paid departments budget for these physicals every year. Yes in volunteer departments you can fund raise but these funds are usually used to keep the doors open so that they can operate when needed ( i.e fires, land rescues and other calls). Not all departments belong to a city or other type gov'ttypes so they don't get a yearly operating budget so any money that they do get go to gear fuel trucks and other things to help keep them operating. So implementing something like an initial physical is something that would be low on the totem pole for a department like this. How many volunteer departments have you been to and how many of them belong to a city or other gov't type? How many have you seen that have limited equipment and look as if they are barely keeping the doors open? See not everything is as black and white as it seems. And denying someone to be a volunteer is illegal just go read the equal opportunity act signed by the US gov't. That is a law suit waiting to happen.
How many volunteer departments have you been to and how many of them belong to a city or other gov't type? How many have you seen that have limited equipment and look as if they are barely keeping the doors open?
Been to? Many, too many to give a specific number. Yes some depts faired better than others, but all of them belonged to a govt entity, be it city, village, town, county, district, etc....I have yet to see a seperate stand alone dept. And I am including many depts from my various travels and visits and in a variety of states. The fact of the matter is all such depts answered to some type of govt and protected some defined area, which in turn payed some defined amount for fire protection, moreso than just self generating funds alone. The adage of "get what you pay for" holds true.
And denying someone to be a volunteer is illegal just go read the equal opportunity act signed by the US gov't. That is a law suit waiting to happen.
Bullshit. As I mentioned before any volunteer organization, be it a FD, scouts, 4H, Kiwanis, Big Brothers, etc, etc, can establish their own standards for volunteers to meet and can accept or deny based on those standards. There is absolutely nothing stating that if someone wants to volunteer that an organization has to accept them. After all, there are countless volly FDs that vote on accepting or denying new members all the time.
As for this conversation, the only thing you keep touting here in regards to physicals in excuses. For your dept, do them, don't do them, I could care less, however, for the sake of the conversation there is something to be said for conducting them and even keeping current with trainings. It is quite possible to do them, there are plenty of ways to look for solutions, they are just harder to come by than excuses.