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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Unless - like the link below - a 22 yr old male FD Captain in PA admits to having sex with with a 13 year old female Jr. FF at the FD who he knew was 13.

RAPED A CHILD AT THE FD

GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL...

So when you have problems like this one... you can be prepared... with consequences already in the bylaws...

http://firelawblog.com/2011/05/pa-captain-accused-of-having-sex-wit...

and furthermore - why the hell are Jr. FFs as young as 13 - way toooooooooo young !!!
forget that the child is a FF , how the hell in green earth hell does a captain rapes a kid?

and a captain at 22 years damn give the test result's so i can become capt. lol

and secondly My understanding is that no one under 16 can work volunteer nor be paid for services not even volly thats my understandment, I may be wrong
Someone can be a junior at 13 as long as they are taking classes only in the classroom no hands on period. Some places I know do this to get the classroom work out of the way so they should know what to expect when they start hands on training. Meaning they get the boring stuff out of the way early LOL. As far as the captain goes he likely didn't take a test he likely got voted in by his peers. Meaning that the other firefighters thought he was qualified. Very mistaken given this obvious lack of moral judgement and character and he should be hung up by his privates until dead. But that's just my opinion.
oh yes - in case I was not clear... FF RAPISTS MAKE ME ILL !!

They suspended this FF - but since he admitted having sex with a child - that for me would be grounds for immediate dismissal - no suspension is sufficient. But I bet the FD needed to consult with a lawyer before just dismissing him.

I did see that the FD issued a notice stating that they completed a background check on this young man and he had no known history of such behavior, which at least reflects that the FD did due diligence in picking their FFs.

Red flag liability issues are flying all over this situation.

Some FDs need to tighten their guidelines... and consider closing their departments or blending departments if they find that they must compromise safety for member numbers.

But primarily, I keep hearing stories about FDs being run more socially instead of being run like a business, especially with the argument that volunteer department can not be held to the same standards. I think this is a fatal error.

Even if a FD needs to be re-vamped, I think it is essential that FDs recognize the fire service... MUST... change from its 50/100 year ago structure in order to grow. Likewise, they can not fall to the "brotherhood" belief that "we are all family" and therefore "no one" would ever betray us or compromise us.
yea he should be hang by his little things, if any, jesus i wish that in my dept we could vote for people to be higher up the ladder. Over here you have to do written has practical test after test after test after test so on so on until the chief's see that you are qualified enough to get the promotion.
I hear the age 13 - can do book work... BUT... CAN THEY REALLY?

Just like you pointed out with the other guy...

the juniors that young lack development of character and morals... but most importantly CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS and the ability to see the big picture

such as being "out of water" is not just a water problem, it is a life/death problem

or "scene safety" is not just a theory and as simple as 'look both ways before crossing the street", but instead it is a matter of life/death

just because you can read a book and sit in a class - and spit the content back out - does not mean you have ANY CLUE about what that information means BEYOND the actual information... because at that age the brain is not developed sufficiently to comprehend the larger ramifications.

This junior at 13 scares me - all the way around. I would NEVER support it on my department before age 16, at least. I'm just sayin'

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oh yes, and I agree with your version of the testicular pig roast...
yes, lots of vollie departments are run by "chosen officers" instead of elected officers.

it has pros and cons, to name a few:

your officers can be chosen from those you work best with and the skills that you are most wanting to back you up

while it can lead to nepotism problems or as you pointed out, status is not earned by skills and testing
In our county to be a vol officer you have to meet required county and state training before any vol dept can vote any one to be a certain rank.
Our county decided this years ago to make everyone equal in their vol depts.
They put a stop to the popularity contest of vol dept voting in their membership to be a officer.
Has to this capt having sex with a minor this kid has a lot to answer to when he hits prison. A lot of prisoners don't take to well to child molesters which I heard many times on G Gordan Liddy's radio show when I use to listen to it.
Has to kids being junior trainees I have know of depts in different areas which have done this as a means to insure they will have a membership in years to come.
A lot of times they are vol members own kids or their kids friends who join.
Anyone under 16 can't ride apparatus so they are junior trainees and not junior ff or emt.
I can' stop thinking about this post. Employment/labor law is so very important to be followed within fire departments - even volunteer departments - this quickly closes the liability gap. Since even if a FF is dismissed, when they approach an attorney, the attorney will advice them that the FD followed the employment laws and therefore they have no legal grounds to start (or win) a lawsuit. This will dramatically reduce liability matters.

Do some research and find a corporate or employment/labor lawyer to help.

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/elg/

http://www2.ed.gov/inits/americareads/resourcekit/Negotiating/wageh...

http://www.ehow.com/how_5085042_labor-lawyer.html

There are federal and state laws that can easily be found and implemented. And if your department is currently out of compliance, make a strategic plan... with rapid steps... on how to bring your department into compliance.

And now that I bring up Strategic Planning - every department should have a strategic plan... this will include steps for succcession planning... and actively teaching your entire membership about the direction that the FD is headed and how they are each an intricate part of that strategic plan often helps build community within the department and focus on the future.
Actually in PA to be a junior they need to have a work permit, which they can only get at 14. Between 14 and 16 there are severe limits on times they are allowed at station and can not exceed 20 hours total in a week.
Since you have no other entry requirements I'm assuming you have no other policies written. Not trying to beat a dead horse but like others here have mentioned you really need to write some policies both bylaws and SOP's (or DOG's, protocols or what ever you want to call them). It used to be that the fire service was 200 years of tradition unimpeded by progress, but those days have passed. While we may be "volunteer" in name, the department itself is a business and needs to be run that way. Since we are required to carry workers comp on all members there is an employee/employer relationship and numerous state/federal laws to be followed. Need a starting point for policies try OSHA, their respitory protection rules are required (even if your not an OSHA state I believe it is the EPA that adopts their rules verbatim). As far as liability goes search the internet for OSHA fines given to FD's (paid or not), even with written policies you will be liable for the actions of your members. However by having written policies and procedures in place you will limit your exposure. There is a guy named Kim Houser but he is an attorney and a volunteer firefighter from PA that does classes on legal issues. His website is www.attyfire.com . Yoou might find something there to kind of nudge the powers that be into realizing they need to do something.
i suggest you conduct an interview and get to know the person(s) applying to your FD. dont psycoanalize(i know i spelled it wrong), you just want to get to know them. injuries are just a part of the business. obtain training on how to lift, move things, it may help you get a cheeper insurance rate

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