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 never once said or insinuated that it was wrong to be paid


Your words......"There's more dedication with a Call/Vol department than with full time depts."


As I said before, you can think what you want, but these are your words and do insinuate quite a bit. You can believe vollys are more dedicated or hype them up however you want, but your own words also say that your only experience with volunteers comes from your experience with them from your paid dept perspective. I was a volunteer and worked with many volunteers and that is where my experiences stem from and as you can see, contrast with you.


You further go on to state in your previous post about people just picking up a paycheck while others do more training etc. Did you bother with a bigger picture with that at all too? Someone who works a 24 hour shift is quite a significant away time from family as opposed to one who does a drill night a couple hours a week and goes on some calls etc. You don't think a 24 hour shift is a significant time away from family nor an obstacle to plan around? Please. There could very well be very good reason they are "only picking up apaycheck" or don't have more time to dedicate to special teams or more training.


I will also speak in personal experience and can mention several guys who are getting more training beyond just what they get at work and are NOT getting OT for it. This is in conjunction with their regular job and 24 hour shifts, but I guess this is just about collecting paychecks.


Point being is you may feel the need to fluff some egos if you must, but I'm not buying the garbage. There are differences and those differences should not dictate one having more dedication etc.

You weren't pissing in my wheaties.  (In fact, just by using that expression kind of suggests that the issue here is mine and not yours.) You simply made some egregiously false claims -volunteers are more dedicated. 

And you weren't iterating who your heroes were but rather made the claim that volunteers are "...more of a hero than those of us who are paid."  Again, you are backpedaling now by saying you 'meant' that you see them, as well as nurses, emts et. al as all heroes.  That's a very different statement than what you made initially.

And your initial statement could easily be mistaken by paid firefighters for disrespect, you didn't imply, I didn't infer, you clearly stated, "There's more dedication with a Call/Vol department than with full time depts."  Now of course, you're equivocating and heading into the area of "...what is 'is;"

You're adamant that your previous statements were true and at best have only bothered to clarify them by saying, in essence, 'That may be what I said but it's not what I meant.'  Not that easy to un-ring a bell.

Again I am posting this. Last I remember, fire burns just the same. It doesn't discriminate wheter your vollie, pro, paid or combo, or whatever the heck you want to consider yourself. It is true that there are differences, in training, and resources, but not in dedidcation to the job. It is a calling, because no one in their right mind would want to go where all others run away from. This holds true for fire, ems, cops, and the military. This is why we are called " First Responders". Hey, discussion, dialogue, even arguing is good to a point, but some of the claims and points made here in some of these posts are either funny, sad, or outrageous!Enough with the bickering amongst ourselves. Then you all wonder why the public looks down upon us and especially with the media jumping down our case, every chance they get. Always remember that we are all brothers and sisters and though we may not always agree, we are family and must look out for one another!

Alvin Gonzalez

Snr. Dep. Chief


W. Lawrence, NY

Well said!

Volunteer or paid it doesnt matter. The key word is firefighter. If you are willing to put your life on the line to save another person's life and property, and have been trained nto do so, it shouldn't matter if they get paid to do it or not. And besides, Nothing beats the heart of a volunteer! A person willing to go into harm's way for a stranger deserves the same respect as those who get paid for it. Paid firefighters get paid because they work in an area where the calls are much more frequent and the city has the funds to afford to pay them. Vollies train just as hard as paid firefighters if not harder. regardless if you're paid or volly, if the title is firefighter or Ems you deserve respect  

Tis  true, it,s all about " RESPECT"! Like I said, we are all brothers and sisters,and  when there's an all hands or a mutual aid,, all you want to know is that someone's got your back.Remember to keep the wet stuff on the red stuff and at the end of the day, all that really matters is that we all go home, safe.

In just have to laugh at this entire topic and the path it has gone down.  I am a career firefighter and a POC FF on 2 fire departments.  So I see it from both sides.


Here are a few observations:

1)  Firefighters are firefighters.  If you train as hard and as much as you can, and strive to be the best you can be, that is what matters.

2)  It is hard, for me anyways, to understand volly's that claim we are all the same and then claim to train more and have more dedication because you do it for free or limited pay.  Nonsense, both sides of the pay spectrum have great guys and turds.  I give just as much of myself when I am on my career job as I do when I am getting run on one of my POC FDs.  It is simple either you are dedicated or you aren't, pay has nothing to do with it.

3)  Frankly who gives a shit what some guy, that you never met, and more than likely never will meet, on the internet thinks about you and your FD?  Heck, I don't care what the FD next door thinks about us,  We show up, do the job, and go home.  Just like everyone else.  I care more about what I and my Brothers and Sisters on my FDs think about us.

4)  Reality?  This argument, discussion, debate, waste of time will never end.  So mostly I see it as entertainment and nothing more.


My instructor always said: "Just because we earn a check doesn't mean our fires are hotter. It doesn't mean our wrecks are nastier. It doesn't mean our medicals are worse. The only difference is we make money." I always think of this whenever an issue like this is brought up.

Just before Christmas this year, City of Elizabeth FD in Elizabeth, NJ (along with Newark FD) responded to what eventually became a 5+ alarm fire that burned for nearly two full weeks. These paid departments not only requested MA from surrounding volunteer departments but put these companies to work immediately. Their assessment of our performance was extremely complimentary and we worked quite well with their manpower and supervisors. There was none of the, "You're a volly and I am paid guy" garbage. I immediately thought of this thread after having this experience. We operated for 8 hours running masters and beating back pockets of heavy fire inside the tangled industrial debris of this massive warehouse. It was good work and they were thankful for our assistance. This is how it should be.

Best reply on the whole thread brother...good for you!!!

my mom said too. i just volunteer not real firefighter. the parents worry about my safety. :) they love me.

if a career and a volly went into a burning building the flame would burn both their asses the same. .  A firefighter is a firefighter paid or not. we are all brothers and sisters doing a job.

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