In your dealings with new firefighters, what seems to be the biggest challenge? What have you found to be the reason for the probies not getting the job done. Do these newbies decide to become career firefighters just because it looks cool? Do they want the job because it's in their blood? Or do they take on the position because they believe it's an easy job? Lets here your thoughts on the topic
The majority of our Probationary Firefighters come from other F.D's, either paid or volunteer. They come to us because they want to go from being a volunteer or POC to being a full time Firefighter. The hardest thing for them I believe, is getting used to our procedures. They need to become familiar with our rigs, tools, first due areas/streets, other members, etc.
Although we have had a few POC's over the years who joined because they thought that being a Firefighter would help them get chicks. These were the guys we called "blisters", becaus they never showed up til the hard work was done! Stay safe!
Ive been a probie myself and have seen alot of probies go through other departments and some think that just because they have the titled and have been through the academy they can sit around the house and not learn anything futher. Which makes the rest of us probies look bad especially when we are putting in the work to learn the first due, the trucks, the department polices and guidelines.
But its not all probies some just have a big head and dont want to listen. They have the 2/20 syndrome
I once had a probie reach up from the back seats to pull the airhorn chain, because he felt that myself and the Engineer weren't doing a good enough job of working the siren and airhorn! He lasted about a year.
Times are different. Back when I started most people came to the job with a skill like plumbing, carpenter, welder, auto mechanic, etc. Seems like most of them had common sense, which is a large part of our job.
Today they come with degrees. They still make great firefighters, they just have a hard time with the semi-military surroundings.