The Vol. Fire Service is a great way to serve others. Unlike paid Depts...it is voluntary. My point is this..if a FF is  for the most part...getting hurt during a fire scene/or at fire school training..getting back wacked out, on the very first exercise., doesn't really know some basic FF knowledge. When does this FF become a liability to the Dept. We do not have any requirement for entry in; other than a background check. I have asked our Trustees about this, and have not got a real answer. It appears the 'lawsuit' cloud hangs over this subject/or some other possible legal action. However, what if this FF injures another, etc...etc.

I think thi needs to be dealt with sooner than later; and we need to adopt some guidlines to protect ourselves and the Dept.

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That's always a tough question. In my experience, the way to handle it is to define your requirements for riding members and enforce them rigorously, without preference. If a member just can't pass basic training, they can't go active. Sorry, but that's the way it's got to be. I've had probies that were non-riding for almost 2 years because they were injured, circumstance forced them to miss training, etc.
We have a female in our department who is a safety risk. At two wrecks that I have been on with her she has almost walked into traffic twice. You have to explain things to her at a second grade level. We almost had to drag her out from under the bay door as it was coming down because she couldn't understand the word "move." We tried letting her do paperwork on scene......big mistake. Somehow she just doesn't take things seriously, thinks everything we try to teach her is a joke. Her and her boyfriend are up for vote for regular membership, and I don't think she has a place in the fire service.

By the way, she is blonde. Not to stereotype, but she fits the mold. I'm scared for her to be on a truck with me because she is such a liability. I've already told the chief and LT that I will bump her off the truck if someone with experience shows up.

What do you do with someone like this, especially if she gets voted in?
all I can say is by-laws that is what they are there for if nothing is in them about it write something up to be put in them have it voted on and then make it be enforced
One effective way to deal with the liability issue is to require a recruit to sign and acknowledge an affidavit that they have read and understand your SOP's and will abide by them. Each time they knowingly violate an SOP document the violation, then after a few (3 is a common number) of those you have grounds for dismissal.
One thing I would wonder about is what type of training she had before she got to ride on apparatus? Did she have just classroom training or hands on training and practice,practice, practice?
Your bay doors? Do they have motion or blockage sensors to prevent them from coming down on someone or a unit? This could be a safety factor in your dept.
Has your dept heard about using apparatus to block lanes of traffic to create a safety zone for your crews, victims and other apparatus? Are you wearing traffic safety vest over you uniforms or turnout gear at accidents or traffic incidents?
I will say there are people who are slow to learn about life and other things they do.
Our vol chief would not advance a member from probie to firefighter because they felt the member was slow at learning and couldn't grasp the training they were getting.
I spent an hour talking to the member as a friend but they felt they needed to be a firefighter and have their helmet color changed.
This member is now a LT but I still feel they need more to learn. The member just finished pumps class and now wants to do apparatus drivers training to get their Class B or A drivers license.
The thing is we have a 7/24 career crew with a officer so vol LT doesn't get in the front seat of the first out unit. We have people who are aloud to drive a ambulance but can't read a mapbook and have gotten lost on a call or trying to get to the hospital. They are a good EMT but when you are short on drivers what do you do. If we have a mapbook drill they shun having to do it saying they have a headache.
This member has just left the dept. but maybe back sometime do to work.
Alot people we have had join just up and leave if they don't feel they fit in trying to keep up
I predict you're right...That was my way of saying "write some."
By the way, she is blonde. Not to stereotype, but she fits the mold

not a stereotype, but fits the mold.....kinda contradictory there, don't you think?
This appears to be a dept issue, moreso than a service issue. This notion that because you are a volunteer dept that you will take any warm body , or need to have relaxed screenings to get people etc, is a liability monster waiting to happen. The fact remains that every dept should have discipline and even termination language in place as well as expectations and guidelines established. Funny how such things are in place in volunteer organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, 4C, etc.....yet somehow we see such posts here as if a volly dept is somehow different.


So you are worried about someone getting hurt, well you do have work comp in place correct? I mean that should be there even if you are a volly dept, you are still "working" in a capacity for the dept. That alone means there should be guidelines in place as well as requirements for doing the job, moreso than just another warm body.

I think thi needs to be dealt with sooner than later; and we need to adopt some guidlines to protect ourselves and the Dept.

I would think so.

This mindset that because you are a volly dept you do not, nor should not look at ways of detering people or making it "tough" to do the job is old, antiquated, and outdated. The social club mindset needs to go away and the simple fact remains that training, education, and more time is the normal of today. Yes, a volly should be expected to conform to such demands and yes, there should be ways to terminate or release those who don't want to conform. People can be liabilities, stop hiding behind the guise of "just a volly", you join the service, you conform to the standards.
Ill go and drive for you guys for free I dont need to go and be EMT on all calls Im pretty good with maps and compasses, I dont get lost no matter where I am, and my plus I can find my ass with both hands and a map XD
Hell my dept does not allow anyone to respond to calls or be on scene until they have passed FF1... or do ANY patient care like matters until they have passed and ECA or EMT class.

Why is anyone on scene who has not passed these Mandatory trainings?

And instead of criticizing - TEACH THEM... THIS IS WHAT WE WANT YOU TO DO !!!

and everyone has a 6 month probation period to pass - with performance review... and you can be disciplined and put on probation for matters such as safety violations... BUT you MUST TEACH those safety issues in order for you to later say they were violated!

Probations... and repeated violations lead to suspensions.... and repeated suspension or gross violation endagering life leads to dismissal... To avoid the legal problems - it must be written in the bylaws, it must be uniformly taught and disciplined across all members, and verbal and written notice of each violation and required corrective action must be provided to each member who was violated...

corrective action - must be in writing about the steps, including additional training which MUST be completed in order to be taken off probation

probation also dramatically restricts what one can do on scene, or if they can even be on scene... and those on probation may not vote on the dept.

often a conversation with the less-skilled member "maybe this field is not for you" gets safety-hazard people to "stop" volunteering... and some can successfully shift to service on the auxilliary, instead of active duty, but still serve the fire service
well said heather I wouldn't nor couldn't say it any better

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