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 am a volunteer and we train a good deal with a local paid station. The fact is one of their guys is ego driven to the max and assumes he is better simply because he is paid. I have seen numerous volunteer firefighters out do this guy in every aspect of the training. Does that mean volunteers are better? No, niether is better than the other. The fact is the difference is a pay check. There is nothing wrong with doing this job for money or for some other reason as long as you do the job right.

KY firefighters are also protected as volunteers.

For 34 years, as I went to work as a paid firefighter, I left my wife and children in the care of the local Vollie company. Never worried that they couldn't do the job.

I think location plays a part too. I am volunteer but in my area we actually go on many more runs than the paid departments, namely cause there are only two paid departments in the area and several volunteer ones. I believe in that aspect sometimes a volunteer is exposed to more stuff but it is not the quantity of the runs that matter, it is the quality in which you handle them. Regardless I was taught from my first chief (RIP) that we are all brothers and sisters whether we cash a check for what we do or get rewarded by a pie from some lady who was pleased we saved her house. Is that not enough?

Look at it this way volunteers are dedicated. We do it for free, sure but paid guys and girls are just as dedicated, they risk their lives just the same and they do it for their community. So they get a pay check, a person has to eat, has to take care of their family. In some way we are all heroes. Dedication is not dictated by a paycheck at the end of the week or by the title on the door of our stations.

That is very true.  Fire does not discriminate.  It is an equal opportunity killer. 

Glad to see this one resurrected.

Wondering if the woman who made that incredibly uninformed statement asks the dispatcher when she calls 911, "My house is really on fire! Will you please only send paid responders to my house?

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