I dont know if any one else has run into this problem or not but i have. Guys joining the fire depts just to say they are "fire fighters". Ive been in the service my self for about a year so im no verteran but sence then i have taken many classes and i have been in many struture fires doing all jobs from fire attack to water boy. but there are guys on my dept who think its cool to have lights in their trucks and turn out gear who do absolutly nothing. if you have this prblm or a solution to it plz comment
We have had that problem for many years. We have had some that started that way & certain type of calls would happen & some thing seemed to snap & either made leave the department or get serious. no matter why some join, if they really have the heart they will come thru in time.
What I have found in my short few year is to think of them as ''Shooting stars" they burn out quickly and then they are gone.
As I give them a one on one walk though of the station and equipment. I pay very close attention to what they say. As we talk I also observe there attitudes. Things I watch for are: Know it alls, going to save the world by themselves attitudes. When I talk if they if are paying little attention with an I don't care attitude. These are red flags to me and I pass on my thoughts to other board members.
You think like I do on this matter. Starting out, I joined to help get the records in order, but when I saw the needs in the field I couldn't just stand there and watch. I was to obese to do very much so I began to work on that problem. We didn't have turnouts that would fit me so I worked on my weight, I have more to work on but after losing 60 pounds I have my own turnouts. Now I plan to go to the academy this summer so I must lose more because I don't want my problems to be some one else's problem on a scene. If you are in this for the right reasons, you will be rewarded in many ways, if not, like you said, people "will hang up their helmets and turn in their boots" when the time comes!
I have seen people come and go thru my 5 years on the fire dept. Some of the people that join, your first assumption is they aren't going to make it and they suprise you with making runs and attending meetings / trainings. Then there are the others, after watching and talking with them we ask there intentions and next thing they are gone. You kinda know who is going to make it. Having said all this we all need to help and show new members what is expected rather than just tell them they did wrong all the time. Take a new member under your wing and show them and help them, its good for all of us. Show all parts of the fire dept. medical, attack, mop up (the part we hate) and truck maintenance. A well rounded member is a great asset to the fire dept.
I remember someone saying something to me when I first joined.
I had only seen a grass fire and a couple of small kitchen fires that didn't call for any hoses.
They said something to the effect that I was probably disappointed that things were slow, that I hadn't gone to any big ones yet. I reacted by asking them if they thought I wanted to see someone lose their home and belongings to a fire. I didn't even have time to think.
I'm happy if there aren't any calls for a few days, but that doesn't happen often. I never got a thrill from going to a major fire and seeing so much damage and utter heartache and trauma.
It still gets me to see someone who's been injured in an MVA, their car totalled and knowing that they have a lot to go through now, all because of something catastrophic.
Fire is the enemy. War is constant. It's always a bad scene and we are the warriors.
The battles are many, and they interrupt our lives, but someone has to fight the fight.
It is more of a calling than anything. At least it is to me.
I know there are lot of people who join for all the wrong reasons. Some of them even make officers.
That will never change they need to be weeded out as fast as they are found to be glory seekers. We usewd to call them "knife and forkers". Always there for the functions but not to help test hose or the other mundane required things. I feel your frustration. Been there. Like I said get rid of them as fast as you can so their attitude doesn't pollute anyone else. Thanks for doing what you do and speaking up on this.
folks have a lot of misconceptions about the volunteer fire service they still think that it is a social club, they can just come and go as they please , they get to drive fast, they get perks from cops or they don't need any formal training.
I require 100% attendance during the first 3 months before even considering letting them join. This weeds out a lot. then after the are accepted the must pass FF1 before getting gear assigned , then an officer must agree they are a asset and not a liability before they get a pager then later a radio.