Just a question to get some discussion going. The region that I live in has many volunteers that are also career firefighters/officers. The question always arises; Should a firefighter's experience as a volunteer be taken into account for promotion, hiring or otherwise with a career department?
They are being considered for promotion in one department. Not the other.
Experience is one thing; be it career or volunteer, and they can be recognized and utilized when needed.
But using that experience as a decision making tool to promote someone in an agency where that experience was not gained.
Merits and experience of that specific department only.
It doesnt matter if you are a paid or volunteer firefighter. All that matters is that there are people there to answer the page. People that care about the job that they do. paid or not we are the same.
A firefighter is a firefighter it don't matter if your paid or volunteer. I have been a volly for 9 years and have just the same certs as the paid guys. We do not have a paid department in our county, so we all get the same certs as the paid guys in the surrounding county's. There is not difference. If we have to call mutual aid in from a paid department from a surrounding county they will have to work under a volly incident command, and everyone will be treated the same.... as a firefighter.
Chris...you are so wrong. GOD I HATE THIS DEBATE!!!!
Lets get some facts here:
1. Vollies always fight house fires with their same department???
Really...What if you are in town with your spouse...might miss that big one.
Out of town on a business trip, or hey, even at work in a town that is not
covered by your department.
Hey 70 miles away at a kids sporting event...
Well that one doesnt hold water at all.
2. Volunteers have to be more resourceful?
Because we all have unlimited water supplies...right
Not a chance
Anyone who knows me on here will tell you I am not a volly hater. Grew up in the Vollies, just drove 1000 miles round trip to be at a FD benefit ride for said department, and donated both my time and money for the department.
Ok first of all i am tired of the vollie vs paid. I agree with the others exp is exp. Yes sometimes vollies have to deal with out of date equipment, lack of water and unknow number of responders. However some of the best paid depts in the world also have these same issues. A rural vollie may call a 2 story house a "big one" while a NYFD FF may call the Twin Towers a "big one". So The term "The big one" is all in the eye of the beholder in my thoughts. I have never once rolled onto a fire ground and heard the fire scream " GO AWAY I ONLY WANT A PAID FF TO BATTLE ME" As far as the promotion thing goes yes exp is exp and should be counted no matter what you are applying for.
Experience should be considered for hiring of course. Promotions should be based on work done at that organization not what you do for other organizations.
Experience is experience it's just a matter of what you put into it.
Way to start a fire storm. The paid ff do this for a living a vollie like myself is away at least 8hrs a day. We vollies dont do this every day. Experance comes with time and the career do have the time
"I think a volunteer's experience is actually greater than that of a paid firefighter."
I will state you are clearly wrong with that assumption. Now if you were to quantify the amount of training a firefighter does within a years time, what you would find is a career firefighter has way more training as compared to a volunteer. It is simple, while the volunteer is hard at work, at his chosen paid profession (learning that profession, training to be a better whatever) the career guy is doing the same but it is all firefighting.
What the training audit would find is the career firefighter is far greater trained and experienced with the tools, equipment and apparatus of his or her organization.
We use the FH software and we can show that our call personnel (volunteers) are trained far less than our career staff personnel.
Volunteers enjoy using your trump card.... that well we get to go to ALL the fires and you have to hope that it hits on your shift number. Well your right, IF you work for a big city that doesn't call back the off duty career personnel on overtime. But many smaller city and town departments allow the career personnel to return to the station to respond as would a paid-on call guy would. That my friend kills your theory...
Put it this way, if you were a vollie and your department trained one night a month, 2 hours and you actually had perfect attendance for the year, you would have 24 hours total of in-house training. Now as far as a career firefighter goes, if you were to document some training everyday, his or her training would be dependant upon how many shifts a week they work. Now on a 2-2-4 schedule, guys would have 8 hours of training per week whichs equals 400+ hours in a year of in-house training given them two weeks off for annual vacation.
24 vs 400 the math doesn't lie...
Disclaimer: I know many great V or POC firefighters who train far more than the example given, but I can also show you departments that do exactly as I have described (been there mutual aid) and are responsible to run, manage, and make sure everyone goes home with far less training than others on scene...
Now getting back to the original post from Jason, YES volunteer experience is wonderful when you are using that as a pre-req for hiring a new probie as compared to a guy with nothing. (but nothing more than that) For promotions within a career fire department, the interpersonal dynamics would be severely hampered if you were to allow a fairly new firefighter (1 year on the job) with 5-or-10 years vollie experience, to test for a lieutenant's position. IMHO the time served for promotions should be only counted from within that career organization. Time served, time to learn the rules, regulations, u-contracts, the response districts, the inner workings of the organization, and gain the trust and respect of the men and women in which you will now lead into the future.
So if a NYFD FF battled a single dwelling house fire with no occupants and so did a BFE vollie it is not the same???? You cannot judge apples to oranges I agree but it is still all fruit in the end. Isnt it?