Other firefighters used to come to our firehouse and comment how much fun it is. Or we would go to a cover up and have a ball just hanging out or playing cards. We also used to be one the few companies that would get 2 engines out during the day.

 

I'm not an active member of the company any longer but I still talk to active members. I keep getting the same thing, its not fun anymore. And the response as changed drastically. One engine during the day, same 2 drivers same FF's.

 

A know firefighting is a serious business. But as volunteers we need to have a reason to keep members around. Training ALL the time becomes tedious and boring. Who wants to work all day then go to the firehouse for more work. We used to call the firehouse our own social club. Many members can't afford to join a country club so the fire house is were we come to get away from the family for awhile and relax.

 

What did we do to "have fun" Monthly BBQ's. The firehouse might buy crabs and the members would bring chicken, salads and stuff. Yes we had Beer but we also had a designated crew so we would respond quickly on the weekends. If there was a boxing match we would order it and have a boxing party. There might be 20-30 people in our TV with many half to 2/3's being members. Superbowl parties would be outrages. We had to start charging non members and move it to the social hall. But everyday things were card games and sitting around talking about each other.

 

I know Chiefs and Presidents that seem to want to seperate themselves or even be above "regular" members. But sitting around with the members means alot. Being in the Chiefs or Presidents office all the time does not promote harmony. You would be surprised what members think when just sitting around.

 

Basically, a fun firehouse is a well manned firehouse. The more fun you have the more people what to be there and the equipment gets out better manned and faster.

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JPC,

I could not agree with you more. The job comes first, make no mistake (apparatus, equipment, training). But if you're not having fun - a lot o' fun - something is seriously wrong.

Is my firehouse fun? Dude, I could tell you stories.....
Something tells me you've pulled a few pranks... ;-)
That is exactly what I've been trying to promote at our firehouse. It hasn't been really successful but we have a few of us that enjoy hanging out at the station.
I would love to see our department do that. I really wish that more people would hang out at the station besides for the 30 minutes before drill or the 20 minutes chatting after a call. I think that the more members at the station hanging out and having fun, as well as working, makes a well seasoned crew
I agree 100 percent guys.... as a rookie I enjoy socializing with the more experienced member and have noticed they teach you alot through non stress full means... we do bbq's and what not but as far as non chief sanctioned events other thn three or four of us stoppin and an bs for a little while is a no no....chief is old fashion i guess and says its a place of business only....any ways to loosen him up
As Chief I enjoy and encourage hanging out with the troops. My office is always open and many late afternoons is filled with my members just hanging out BS'n. We have Barbecues, Super Bowl parties, Christmas parties and occasional stuff like Crab feeds for the families an such. We used to have people just hanging out at the station but had to restrict it to day time because of stuff that started happening in the evenings when no one was around. We have started offering training during the day when there are people who want to be there an some weekends besides our regular Monday night drills. I agree Bro, if there are people around the station there seems to be a camaraderie and enjoyment about the station. What ever works to keep people interested and wanting to be part of the group. We need every member and it takes all kinds to make the team work.
I enjoy hanging out after calls and drills with everyone. Always need some time to mello before going home and it is fun just being with my team.
Craig, Your right about having fun. On my shift we would have fun the entire time until the tones went off. I also believe with the things we do and see, if you don't have amusement in between runs than things get too tense. We may not have always been PC, but we had limits. Nothing illegal, but good ole horseplay. Nobody ever got hurt. The firehouse is like a fraternity and the military combined. Rookies do need ribbing, the ones making the decisions about horseplay need to spend a little time in the station to see how it really should be done.
I also believe that crews must eat together. In stations where people don't eat together they don't communicate well either.
WE really don't hang out at our station much. I do try and stop in a couple morinings after work just to check in. (Work midnights at fulltime job). Our chief does encourage us to be there as much as we see fit and get the equipment out as much as we can to become familliar with it. It would be nice to get together more often.

Be Trainable and Stay Safe Out There,
J.D.
We always have our fun at the house and stick within the areas of approval to avoid disiplinary problems, but still great fun. I have noticed the ones that hang out and do this are the ones that learn the most and contribute the most
Fun at the fire house! 25 yrs of hanging out at a fire house i have written down some lessons learned. These lessons were taken from attending the National Fire Acadamy and learning from some of this country's top leaders in the fire service. How do you think Donald Trump would do as your chief? When men and women enjoy coming to the fire house they are surounded by others like them, its an atmosphere of family and comfort. During those times the crew will work together and be more creative. When you have a place where creativity, and positive actions and ideas are being generated any failures will be processed as "failing forward". In todays fire service it is important to keep our members interested and passionate about their roll. We need to keep our experienced members active and use them to preserve consistancy for all firefighters. How many times have you heard "I pick on your cuz I like you" Practical Jokes are part of the fire stations foundation. Not Hazing, but joking. Sorry for the tangent
I actively encourage members to turn up during the day- hang out, have a coffee or whatever else. It encourages a relaxed atmosphere, mateship and as you've suggetsed, can help with response times as members are already there.

In terms of "fun"- got no issues, as long as it's kept in check....
exactly. im thinking like you, take my firehouse, a total of 5 (sometimes) comes down and hangs out and that is a total out of 22 members and what is worse 3 of them are juniors. i think we need more seniors coming down to hang out instead on our tuesday meeting day...

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