To all the PROBIES what was your first year like? What did you learn? What can u pass on to the next PROBIES... 

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I had to technically go through probiedome twice...and it sucked!! lol

I went through it as a Junior Firefighter and again as a Firefighter, and being I had a father who was a Captain in the Engine Co. where we both volunteered, it was rougher than others!  They picked on me and picked on me till they passed out with exaustion from picking on me...then when they woke up they started in again.  BUT... I took it full stride, and towards the end I even gave it back a little.

I also learned a lot, because I followed the basic probie principles that every probie should follow;  I kept my mouth shut and listened to everyone at drills.  I volunteered to do everything at the firehouse, including cleaning and dishes and hose cleaning duties.  I took every class that was offered.  When on the fire scene I stayed put in staging until called and never freelanced, when a Sr. firefighter spoke to me at fires I listened and asked for more input on my performance afterwords, and took all criticism as constructive criticism and learned from it.

I learned a lot about respecting officers and senior firefighters and still practice those today.  As a Junior, whenever the chief entered the room we needed to stand at attention until they acknowledged our presence.  When at the station we needed to move to the side of the hallway and allow all others to pass, including senior firefighters, and we never let any firefighter re-pack hose at fires, if we were caught standing around watching firefighters re-pack the hose bed, the chief dumped the entire hose load and made us do it by ourselves.  We learned an important part of the fire service that I feel is strongly lacking today;  RESPECT and TRADITION.

I try to pass this all on to my probies today as Captain but most ( notice I said MOST, and not ALL, so do not jump all over me and get defensive) younger members are overnight know-it-alls that do not want to have anyone offer advice or assistance  and it is sad to see...

Bring back respect of senior members and officers, and firehouse traditions, and probies who were not smart-asses and did what was expected of them...PLEASE!

Stay Safe.

A six week basic firefighter academy, followed by a 1 year probation and a 3 year apprenticeship with progress checks quarterly and annually.

This all finishes up with a third year 150 question written and a very comprehensive manipulative test.

Engineers attend a 10 week company officers academy followed by a 3 year apprenticeship and 1 year probation.

I can so appreciate what Moose had to say on this subject. There is one thing its not only in our world that respect of the new and young its about every job these days they treat people like they are owed something they have not even begun to earn.

I've only been a Volunteer in Equality, Illinois since March 6th, but I am learning alot from the other guys on the department. I do respect ALL of them because #1 they have been doing it ALOT longer and #2 due to my age (36 yrs old) I learned a LONG time ago that I don't know it all and if I wanna learn I need to pay close attention and listen to what I'm being taught if I ever wanna learn the job. I've enrolled in the Fire Science program but that doesn't help me on calls now, so anything I can learn from my fellow firefighters is a good thing!

I started doing calls before I went through academy so my probbie time fairly short after academy. During this time I have learned a lot and continue to learn. Even though I have been out of academy for two years I still help out with the incoming academy to help keep the skills fresh and sharp.

As Chief said last night to our newest group.... If you can't cook, bring cash and don't experiment on the guys! :)
Like others, I too went thru it twice. The full time side.of things were the most brutal. My first day officially on the job, the Chief took me to City Hall to introduce me to everybody. While there I ran in circles for the better half of the work day,.looking for paperwork that didn't exist. Everybody at City Hall was in on it. For the next 12 months, the hazing was relentless. I was Saran wrapped to my bunk, ketchup packets under the toilet seat, soaked by the Engineer on my shift with a water can. I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun with it.

The rest of the time, it was offering to do the extra work, keeping quiet until I was asked to join a discussion, and doing what I was told. Working hard and Training hard goes a long way. If you have doubts about your performance the best thing to do is ask. As Firemen (and women) we don't generally hold back, so don't get your feelings hurt. Take the criticism and make it positive. If u need a kick in the butt, take it and always always always, work to improve. You'll never be perfect.

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