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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well this my thoughts on this statment , we are real firefighters just because we are called volunteer's does not mean that we dont do any of what the full timers do. let me just name a few , we run calles just like any dept would, we fight structural fires , were all emt's , that is just a few things but the list goes on. I think the onley thing that makes us differ is that we dont get paid like the full timers do but on my dept we get paid at the end of the year this is a thank you from all the county commitioners for the job well done .

She's right only a REAL firefighter could do this.... My brothers did a great job on this, but, they're not real firefighters according to that lady. If you do your damnedest to be professional, that's what you are. Train hard, train often, train like your family depends on it.


My take. As I'm reading this and put up my post, with a lot of sarcasm, I started to read others posts, and have to say.... "Where in the hell does "hurt egos" come in to play? If your ego is hurt, you might wanna reevaluate your priorities. Does being a firefighter, Marine, active or reserve make you the big man in town? If your looking for a pat on the back, look somewhere else. We all do what we do because we care about our community and want to make difference in peoples lives when some of the worst things they can think of, are happening.


Time to bring the original topic back and get outta left field.

Youse vollies sure get worked up over this stuff.


I think the glaring difference between volunteer and full time career firefighters is what happens if you get injured on the job. Career firefighters are protected financially, which is not the case with volunteers.



The real glaring difference between vollies and career guys is that when someone says vollies are not "real firefighters", the vollies (in general) go balistic. When someone says career guys are not real firefighters, we just kinda chuckle.

Let me put it this way, I have been burned three times, shocked at least twice where I was knocked on my ass, blown out of two buildings, carried charred remains out of a house.... Let's see the only difference is, they get paid and we don't......am I a volunteer, yes I am.



Assuming you're not exaggerating (especially the part about being "blown out of two buildings") I'd say you're either doing something wrong, or you are involved in an unusually active (or cursed) volunteer outfit.

So Ray... assuming that these close calls are legitimate, which I have no reason to question with your having over 27 years experience on the job, but what happened to you during recovery periods?

I've had some horrific injuries and know first hand what an impact it takes on your finances, family and psyche. And down the road, when your career ends and it's apparent that you have been ridden hard and put away wet, what then? That's my point I suppose that doesn't make sense to me.

There are more volunteer firefighters than career firefighters. Seems appropriate to have all volunteers get together to enable all to have disability insurance provided in case you do get burned, shocked or blown out of a building. If you don't work, you don't get paid...

What did you do for income during your various injuries, assuming that someone like yourself that can do custom cabinets (I'm jealous...) might be set back a bit having to rely on your hands and back to bring in the bacon. I just don't see how you can survive should you become injured or disabled. How do you prepare for this Ray?

- Mike

Maybe that is how it is in SoCal, in Wisconsin volly firefighters are protected by workers compensation at the rate of the closest full time fire department.

Cap, in New York State when we get injured we get NYS disability. It's not much, but something. This is required by NYS. Now being in NY and your in CA I'm sure the laws change a million and a half times.


And Ray, when I was in high school and we'd drink on the weekends, we'd play a card game called bull shit. I call BULL SHIT. Or as WestPhilly pointed out, your doing something wrong, or watched Back Draft too many times. But thats just my 2 cents.

Volunteers are unpaid professionals, we all train the same and do the same job

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