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?
i think volunteers experience is greater because. were im from we have a combination dept. were paid full time and paid call force. at most of our calls the volunteers are the ones who do the work. the full timers run the trucks. wedo the dirty work. we a;ll have the same training and the same job. so yes i believe a volunteers experience is much more than a full timer. i also work for a fully volunteer dept and we do it for the job. so yes it should be taken into account...
I wish I would not have had any volly experience when I got hired and went to fire school.
You can get hired by the paid dept and they could care less if you are gods gift to firefighting. I rember a guy in fire school he had some PA deputy chief volly plates on his truck the whole class ened up paying for that the instructer reffered to him as chief for the rest of fire school always asking if they were teaching the right things and if he had any pointers ha
Simple fact is what I already pointed out about a member of the military. The discipline, working in a chain of command, takes and follows orders, and the simple fact the sacrifices a military member has made and the freedom's they have given up. The values go across all branches and employers know this about vets. On the volly end of things, such values are not across the board, following orders may or may not happen, a chain of command may or may not be in place. I'm not talking a fireground either, but in everyday life. That vet knows you don't go to the chief right away with an issue, that vet knows how to follow orders. Sorry, I have seen many volly's who follow what they want.
Finally, the sacrifice the vet has made to their country should count for something, they gave up years of their life and their freedoms for others. They are applying for a PARAMILITARY organization and the dept knows a vet can easily integrate into such an organization. On the flip, a volly may have gave to their community, not the same as the country. They may be away from family for training or a fire scene, but go home when finished, bit of a cry from being deployed 6, 9 or 12 months at a time.
Then to the experience level, again it is what the dept wants. If they are looking for certs and education for the job, then everyone and their brother will have those certs...why should a volly experience be credited for points when everyone else has the same stuff? It is up to the applicant to sell that experience to the hiring dept. In a dept not asking for certs, again they don't care what kind of experience you have because they will train you how they want to. You have applicants from all walks of life, but again the vet still has that experience and values for a paramilitary organization, it is known and understood by the dept, the same just can't be said for a volly.
Now that experience and certs CAN help land a job, because it has shown "what you did to prepare yourself" for the job. This may help moreso in a dept not requiring certs, but again it is up to the individual to sell that to the interviewing panel. Why should a volly be given extra points for a testing process when there is no hard set standard across the board? All volly depts cannot be measure the same, all vets have the same type of value and discipline. Then you have the numbers. A lot less vets apply for such jobs compared to vollies. In the end that volly experience really does not matter to most career depts, they will do things their own way anyway.
I'd certainly take volunteer experience into consideration if I was making a decision on who to hire, but trumping experience in that case would be what real official training they had received. As has been said, training varies amongst volunteer departments quite widely, but it certainly makes sense to take into consideration state fire academy-approved courses that they've completed.
If I was making a decision on who to promote and if the candidates were otherwise equal I might give the volunteer guy the job if for no other reason than his demonstrated commitment to the fire service and the community. But, if the non-volunteer guy was clearly superior based on issues, the volunteers experience probably wouldn't be enough to put him over the top.
Its all going to be a judgment call based on the resumes/test scores of the people being considered and I don't think any general statements can really be made.
If I was making a decision on who to promote and if the candidates were otherwise equal I might give the volunteer guy the job if for no other reason than his demonstrated commitment to the fire service and the community.
I would have to disagree with such a sentiment. If basing who gets promoted, what someone has done outside of the current dept should have no bearing. The promotion is for the current dept, not the former or even other volly dept. They may have demonstrated a committment to the fire service, but so does everyone else who is up for the job. Time in the fire service shouldn't matter. Is a person who decided later in life that they wanted to be a FF, and couldn't get involved either because no jr program or volly dept around, any less dedicated to the fire service than someone who started as a jr FF and became a volly? Happens everyday. Basically is a 21 year old from NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, etc any less dedicated to the profession than some 21 year old who started as a volly at 18 in rural IA?
When looking at promotion or anything else for a specific dept, the decision should be based solely upon the merits of that sole department. In this case of everything else being completely and entirely equal, the decision should be made by seniority.
I was going to say "upper case", but chose "capitalization" instead.
Too many options, you know?
And the two of you discussing the use of "to" as opposed to "too" has made me tetchy to the words I choose.