Rumors I have heard is that my county is planning on combinig our local resque squads with fire departments. Im am 100% behind this!!! I believe my county is the only one around here who still has them seperate. As a junior I wont be able to do "as much" as everyone else but I'm preparing myself by taking a first responder course as soon as possible and auto extrication as soon as I turn 18. So, everybody else out there, are ya'lls combined or sepearate? And what classes/certifications should I focus on getting?
Here in my fire district they are seperate also. We have some EMT's and a sprinkling of Cardiac's on the department which is awesome when dealing with MVA's. I think the system in place here works well so I would say whatever works best for the area being served.
My county & surrounding counties (that I know of) are combined. We have a Rescue that can pump water & carries extrication tools. And we have an Engine that is our designated structure fire apparatus. We are a rural township & county (for the most part).
I just joined my department a year ago & my focus for training this year, after seeing 2 years of run reports, is auto extrication. It's about 80% of our calls. I will also recommend Fire I & II. It has been much more informative than our basic/mandatory firefighter.
Both separate and combined here in my State (Victoria, Australia). The state is divided into rescue 'zones' for want of a better word - each zone has an authorised, trained and equipped heavy rescue. These may be Vol FF's, Career FF's or a non-fire volunteer organisation that also handles storm damage assistance, search & rescue etc. A Fire Brigade or SES Unit (State Emergency Service) can't just decide that they are going to do rescue work, they won't be supported and they won't be responded to rescue calls. Our career pumpers all carry basic rescue equipment, but the Vol pumpers aren't issued with it - not that that makes much difference, a Rescue brigade/unit is responded at the same time as the local Fire Brigade anyway to MVA's.
In my county we are all volunteer units who do it all. We run fire, rescue & EMS. The only thing we don't do is transport. As far as training goes I don't know about other states but most First Responder Courses in Alabama teach basic extrication. We also have a 160 hour course (Certified Volunteer Firefighter) that teaches basic firefighting and extrication. I highly recommend for you just starting out to take First Responder and some type of level 1 firefighter course. After that go to every class you can, as far as I'm concerned you can never train too much or go to enough classes.
Sometimes you can go to too many classes Avery. Undertaking training that you'll have no chance of implementing can be counter-productive. Yes, you gain an insight into a field, but unless you practice, that knowledge can become twisted by time. As with arthritis, use it or lose it!
I could add to what you said "take evrey course that is relevant to your FD". Then I'm in total agreement!
I completly agree Tony P. Your revision of my statement is 100% correct. There's no reason to take courses that you will never use unless you just want the experiance and certificate, I speak from experiance on this. What I was trying to say is that if you train, keep training, refresher courses, etc. You can never do enough to keep your skills sharp.