70% of the nations firefighters are volunteers who risk their lives everytime a call goes out. Some say yes because of the risk and some say no because it was a choice made to do the job, what do you think?

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Irrelevant, every firefighter is a volunteer by that standard. Do you know anyone conscripted into a fire service?
Here's a question (or two) for all you Vollys, would you turn down being paid for what you do? If, overnight, your department miraculously turned into a paid fire department would you leave?
No I would not leave or turn down a check. But I would never expect one or go looking for one. I can always find a job to get paid from. And just because we are volunteer does not mean some do not run with paid departments also. We are just lucky to be able to volunteer also.

Now heres a question to you. If your department came to you and said they were going volunteer and you would have to get a new job to get paid from would you leave the department just because you were not getting paid anymore?
Good question and, to be honest, I don't have the answer. I'd sure be pissed and see it as a retrograde step but leave, not sure. Fortunately for me I'm past it and out to pasture so the question will never arise.

But the question was "should volunteers get paid" not should paid FF become volunteers.
The first fire dept I volunteered at back in the seventys and eightys when times were hard and gas was an issue our Chief paid each Vol. Ten bucks a call for gas money out of the coke and cookie box money and fund raiser money. It was agreed by the mayor and city council at the time. Now today I'm on a much larger county combination dept with nine stations and over one hundred volunteers and about twenty five show up typically and do most of the work. I see an issue brewing with the coming mandatory required yearly fire training along with all the medical and first responder training that with all the other pressures on peoples lives today it will become a more pressing issue to attract Quality Volunteers and Keep them in the future. One way our county has filled the gap here in Georgia is with the Georgia Prison Inmate FireFighter Program that has worked out very well! Hey somebodys gotta do it!
I don't know the answer so I was wondering does the national guard pay their soldiers when they go off every month to train? Just wondering because my doc is a medic in the guard and I never thought to ask him if it was a volunteer thing or what?
I like volunteering at my age because I can give back some of what I learned over the years to the ones that want to listen and learn. Pluss I still like to get in there and prove I can still cut the mustard with the young guys at 46. But mostly I really love healping people and the fire and ems community has been very good to me especially in my younger days! Had I not stayed on school and got those degrees I would not be the man I am today thanks to a Chief and his crew that cared enough about a hard headed kid that needed to tote some dead bodies at a young age to straighten my ass out early in life! I owe the fire service a dept i can never pay! Money aint everything! Saving a life is!
I use to work with a guy in the navy reserve and he would get paid when he went to his training plus housing if needed Im going to guess its the same but not sure.
I don't know the answer so I was wondering does the national guard pay their soldiers when they go off every month to train?

Yes. That is part of the agreement one makes when they enlist. it doesn't matter if one enlists to be regular military, reserve, or National Guard. The biggest difference is the NG also swears an oath to the state because a governor can activate the guard. Irregardless of what type of service one enlists for the person still does the required boot camp time as well as military schooling for their chosen job. After that, regular military is assigned a command, reservists and NG go back to their units.

For reserves and NG, both do the one weekend a month, 2 weeks a year and are paid for their time for such trainings. Not to mention, there are numerous benefits that accompany such a job from tuition to ability to shop at a post exchange or Navy exchange....cheaper costs.
I have been a Vol. for 44 years.. I am now retired, let those younger guys go interior. I can still be of use to the dept. I teach in the rookie schools and do things around the station. Our city gives back our basic water bill at the end of the year, and pays for our training at other schooles, like Texas A & M. I also teach at that school. When I joined I though I would be there maybe 10 years, but you know how that is.
The City also built us a new station. Three and half mil worth. Now that is what they think of us.

Andy A

Diansour 1st Class
Yes. I think that all volunteers should get paid because they work just as hard as the full time firefighters.
Here's a question (or two) for all you Vollys, would you turn down being paid for what you do? If, overnight, your department miraculously turned into a paid fire department would you leave?

If your department came to you and said they were going volunteer and you would have to get a new job to get paid from would you leave the department just because you were not getting paid anymore?

The thing of such questions is neither takes into account the whole picture. A dept looking to increase from a volunteer to having career involves factors like growth, population, target hazards and so forth. The reality of volly depts turning towards paid or at least combination does stem from an increase in call volume due to such factors, but also from the aspect many volly depts struggle with daytime turnout of volunteers because typically the jobs are located outside the said community. On top of that is the training and educational factors as well, there is just more involved with firefighting today than in the past.

On the flip side for a dept to just go from a paid to volly also entails much. The issue being is that many times the very factors present that entailed a dept going from volly to paid, still exist. Yes, there have been communities that decreased in population and services and call volume, but such cases are few. In many cases dept sizes have decreased but calls for services have increased. The same factors still remain that enbattles volly depts today and that deals with staffing. The issue about now losing a paycheck is real and has happened, but if the factors were so bad in a community that the paid FF's would lose their source of income, what makes you believe there is other good jobs and incentives to thus work to remain in such a community to actually volunteer?

In the end both questions are purely hypothetical, but also rhetoric, they really can't be answered. Sure it would come down to a personal decision on either end.

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