A few days ago a lady said "my husband is not a real firefighter, he's only a volunteer" As a vol firefighter I was realy ticked! but chose to keep my mouth shut! lol what are some of your thoughts on this statment, and how would handel it if it were said to you?


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I would have to start with this. You probably did the right thing by not confronting her. If your like me, when I'm mad I don't say the smartest things. I would have to think her that husband is not very dedicated to his duties as a volunteer firefighter. If he were her opinion would certainly be different. I know my family and friends see how real the job is. Without Volunteer Firefighters nearly 80% of the US would have no fire department coverage. How real is it when your house is on fire or you are stuck in a crashed car 50-75 miles away from a real fire department? So just smile and move on!!

We are all firefighters. Labels are just that labels. I know many V/C/P firefighters who range from "not trained", "barely trained", or "highly trained". Each of these are all firefighters but to be honest they all operate at different levels.

Most people haven't got a single clue whether their fire department is volunteer or career.  Further they couldn't begin to pretend to care less when their house is on fire whether the firefighters that show up are volunteer or career.


Frankly, my pay level has never had a thing to do with own professionalism or training.  I switch hats all the time because I am a career firefighter as well as being a member of 2 POC FDs. 


The best bet is to CALMLY, CLEARLY, RATIONALLY, explain that while you are a volunteer firefighter you are TRAINED and SKILLED and do your job as PROFESSIONALLY as any other REAL firefighter does.

I would shrug it off since that means I'm a real firefighter then.  :-)


Seriously, I would agree with the other comments for the most part, not getting into a pissing match shows professionalism and I do also agree with the aspect of being "real" firefighters in any ranks.


The reality is that there IS definately a difference as well as a trade off when it comes to a dept type established. Don is right that many people don't have a clue as to what their FD consists of, it is easy for people to confuse their FD as career etc.


In the end, what should it matter what the comment was made? Hell I see enough of them from a career aspect as well as being a union member, hearing evrything from "thug" to a leach of taxpayer dollars, and even the "just doing it for a paycheck" that comes from other members on these forums. In the end, take the high road.

Why even let it get to you?
you've got to let it go. just because someone is a volunteer doesnt make them any less of a professional. it doesnt matter if youre a volunteer, paid-on-call, or career firefighter. we all have the same purpose: to protect lives and property. as long as that is your focus then you are a real firefighter.
I have met many a volunteer that is just a trained if not more trained than a career firefighter. Here in Vermont there are 295 organized fire depts, out of those less than 10 are full-time career fire departments. I like to think that there is a difference between career and professional firefighters, because a lot of volunteers are just as professional as any career firefighter.
anyone that says that volunteer firefighters are not real obviously is a little naieve in their decisions/conclusions.it is best to not confront them because it does no one any good to argue a point,you are the better person to let it go,in british columbia 90-95 % of all firefighters are volunteer some departments are trained better than others but they are just as professional as any career firefighters,the J.I.B.C.(justice institute of british columbia) and the fire commisioner and the province of british columbia passed a law stating that all volunteer fire departments have to have a minimum training of firefighter 1 to operate as a department,this was done to standardize training throughout the province,we work with career firefighters all the time and we do just fine doing the same tasks as them when we are asked to do them, so yes volunteers are real firefighters
I put it in to a bank in my head of people to say your welcome to when they call for the "not real" firefighters while there house is burning or they are trapped in the car that is laying upside down in the middle of the road. just smile and walk away

Last time I checked, fire doesn't care. It burns and kills just the same. Stay safe.


Perhaps she said this because her husband told her he wasn't. Why would he say
this? Because his wife is one of those hot ditzy blonds, who if she thought he was
doing somthing as dangerouse has firefighting would try to get him to quit.
It's just a theory.
so hard to be volunteer in my city. we have out money by our pocket self...

if the fire is real  -------   so is the firefighter


if the car accident is real  --- so is the rescuer


It is not volunteer vs career it is professional versus not 

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