First off I know this isnt in the correct section of the forum per se. But i would just appreciate some feedback.


Here is the case for me,

        The Dept. that i am trying to get into right now is a vol. dept. (no names being said) in New York State.  The Eligibility states: "The applicant must be in good academic standing at his/her school AT THE TIME of application and during period of membership as an apprentice firefighter. He/she must be passing all subjects while in the Apprentice Program. A failing grade (F) in any one subject is not acceptable and may resilt in suspension from the program."  That is the only thing stating anything about school.


        My question is, Should my application be on hold (like it is now) becasue im in a GED program THROUGH the school and is IN the high school. And they were saying once i get my diploma, i would not be able to continue untill i am 18. That is like saying if you graduated High School at 17 they would boot you also.  At this time I am currently fighting this becasue it does not seem right becasue it is the same as a HS diploma. Just looking for some feedback to what people think about this. 



                                                                                                              Benjamin A. Downs


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Hate to tell you this, but a dept has no responsibility, no legal obligation, to provide any minor with the opportunity to be involved in such a program. Meaning they can set the rules however they want. If they request you be in school to be in the program, it is their rules. A dept has no obligation to consider anyone who is not a legal adult....and for that matter can also incorporate their own rules.

Fight it if you want, probably a losing battle, but is that really how you want to get on the dept? You best bet may be to wait until you are 18.
YUP - you are still a minor - legally. That seems like the departments barrier. They can link it to schooling but that sounds like a supplemental issue, not the primary issue.

What if you were a genius and graduated high school at 15, 14, 13, or 12... do you see my point...

It seems high school graduate AND age 18, is there true expectation.

Hang in there - sounds like you will be 18 soon and then good to go. Throwing a fit will just piss them off. Part of being a good firefighter is being patient... and following rules... even when we disagree with them.
You would earn much more respect by withdrawing your complaint and apologizing for being so passionate that you wanted to push beyond the rule, and let the department know that you respect their process and you will stay connected to the department and committed through to the time when you will legally be able to join.
Also, might I add that you might want to change your name to something less complete. Since if I were a fire department looking to bring you on. I would google you and hunt down your online activity... and would find this conversation easily...

I would also recommend that you keep in mind whatever you post, wherever you post it, it will become public knowledge and your character will be analyzed by it. The fire service world is a small, well-connected world. I could easily figure out which dept you are discussing in less than 2 minutes. My family grew up near there and my family served on the FD near there... and a lot of guys on this site serve near you... Small world.

Especially in the role of rookie, you do not want to appear as though you are going to stir up trouble and make a list of demands. They want to see team players who shut up and do their job.

Well the thing is, ive been talking with the president and he even said its not right, he said they are noticing the flaws in the bylaws. He said that if im in ged IN the school then it should still be considered SCHOOL. And if you graduate at 17 then it should still be fine because of the fact you already went through and graduated school
Yes i know about the "rookie" I was in a different department for 5 months and i was the only jr. So i was the lackey most of the time, but i also was able to do alot, exterior hose lines, ventilation, and such
Insurance and safety are the biggest issues.

There are reasons that there is a drinking age and marital age and driving age and gun ownership age, etc. etc.

Decision making changes as you age. Life threatening decisions may require some age under your belt just because of biological growth, not passion and internal desire.
Yes i know but those things are nothing alike. It's the same thing as me being in while i was in school at age 16, As it would be me being in at age 17 and with a GED, the only difference will be i will be able to offer more time to the department already lacking daytime manpower, its bad when you have to call 2 other companys for a 2 car accident and you only total about 10-15 guys.
The law says under age 18 makes you a minor. A minor is a definition to determine a vulnerable and restricted population. The fire departments are somewhat bound by State and Federal laws.

Minors are biologically not developed sufficiently in their brains to make certain decisions - that is why they are alike in relation to marriage and driving and drinking - it relates to the ability to reason through a problem. Teenagers are more impulsive because their brains are not as developed yet. This is a biological fact, that is why minors are a protected population.

As far as multiple departments on scene. I would rather have 20 departments on every scene than have teenagers trying to make life threatening decisions around me on scene. It is not a bad decision, it is a superior decision.

More people is not better, if more people are children.

And I mean no disrespect. You are not responsible for your age. BUT you are responsible to understand WHY the laws were put into place and to consider that your age WILL be a factor in your decision making and DOES IMPACT the safety of all the firefighters and others on scene.

This is how come insurance is SO high for teenage drivers.

And it is worse, either TOO HIGH or NON-EXISTENT for teenage firefighters.... or minor firefighters.

I don't care how much book knowledge you have or how many degrees you have. I want to know that biologically you have moved as far as possible, because I put my life in your hands.

Many parents barely let their 16 year old kids babysit another person because their teen judgment is questionable.
The insurance isnt an issue because they had a 16 year old in before the JR FIREFIGHTERS, not active, they already have the insurance for the jrs. we go on scene and were pretty much the runner for the active members, we use exterior lines when the active are tied up with more important stuff.
but in light of so many firefighters dying on scene lately, insurance companies and fire houses have become tighter with safety

i see that you understand your side of the situation, now it seems you will need to spend some time trying to understand THEIR side of the issue

My department would not ever allow ANYONE under the age of 18 on the fire scene and would not ever allow them to drive a truck or handle heavy equipment, since in my State the law clearly says - NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MAY RUN HEAVY MACHINERY...
Yes i know that, i dont expect to drive nor would i even ask to drive or operate any machinery. I do understand their side, but the fact is there bylaws say you can get into the jrs at 16 and the 16 year old that is in goes on scene, so what is the big deal/differance, hes in high school, and im in GED inside the school(soon to graduate), so there should be no difference. Im not asking for like overall rules in all depts. im asking about THIS scenario
oh okay, the only old show i even know of and still watch is EMERGENCY! lol

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