My experience with a small, rural volunteer fire company in NY has left me completely disgusted and disheartened.  "We're only volunteers" is the excuse for everything from not training to crass favoritism. Of course they never decline the tax money with "we're only volunteers."

So I need to know: are ALL volunteer fire companies just bullshit? Or are there some that really do the job and do it "professionally" and with integrity?

If you know of a kick-ass small, rural volunteer fire company serving between 2000 and 3500 people, PLEASE write and tell me about it.

I'd like to believe that the volunteer fire service isn't entirely half-scam and half-sham, and a complete waste of time.

Be safe.


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you should come check out tea fire and rescue in tea south dakota we have our problems but we maintain a proffesional atti tude alot of the depts around us love working and training with us the sioux falls paid dept realy likes when we show up because they know we are there to work with them give me a shout and i will tell you more
Hey, Alan,

Thanks for the invitation. I understand you've got a lot of horses out your way, too. Another reason for me to visit. :)
I would definitely like to hear more about how you're organized, how you train, etc.


stay safe,

I have to say that i belong to a good department we have a good group that turns out for no matter what it is a call or if there is training going on. For the last 6 months we have been doing ff 1 and 2 every wed plus one or two saturday a month. We like to have fun but we also take the time and learn.
Hi Frank,

I certainly don't have anything against fun.
As long as the mission always comes first

I think what happens with some companies --- obviously not YOURS -- is that the social element becomes more important than the mission. Particularly true when there's a low call volume. Where I am it's at least 80% EMS.
On average 2-4 fire calls a year. Complacency sets in and pretty soon people come to believe that big fires can't happen in small towns.

I believe you're never more at risk than when you THINK you're completely safe.

I'd like to hear how your company is organized and so on.



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