Other Past or Current Departments and Organizations
North Raeford F.D.
N.C. Certified Firefighter I
N.C. Certified Firefighter II
N.C. Certified Technical Rescuer - General
N.C. Certified Technical Rescuer - Vehicle Machinery Rescue
N.C. Certified Emergency Medical Technician - Basic
N.C. Certified HazMat Responder I
N.C. Certified Emergency Vehicle Driver
NIMS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700 & 800
Law and Administration
Incident Safety Officer
Other seminars and NFA courses
Why I Joined Fire/EMS
I became involved with the fire service when I was 16 years old. As a third generation firefighter, I grew up listening to stories told by my father and grandfather about the experiences they had back when they were fire department members. This is what made me intersted in joining. I wanted some stories of my own.
Why I Love Fire/EMS
I think the ones of us who are truly passionate about the fire service probably share the same response to this question. Even though it's hard for me to verbalize, If you're part of the "family" you already know the answer.
Top Issues Facing Responders:
Where do I start? From a volunteer's perspective, there are many. with the evolution of new production and construction methods also come greater hazards we are forced to deal with. This is especially true now that we are forced to use the "new and improved" substandard radio communications system.
When it comes to structural fires, everything from engineered trusses, rafters and floor joists down to the new style furnishings in most modern homes pose a big threat. As if it isn't enough that today's furniture is made of materials that burn much faster and freely than that which was produced in years past, we also have to contend with late model homes which are basically constructed with wood chips and glue. Although it is cheaper and is said to be an improvement on structural integrity, it will not hold a fire load, which results in much quicker structural collapse.
Communication on the fire ground has always been important, especially now that these new dangers have been introduced. I guess that's why the government decided to implement the Viper system... we didn't have enough working against us. Although it's true that the UHF and VHF radios we were using had their faults, at least the communications, although sometimes broken, could be heard by all responders that had a pager or radio. This isn't the case with the new
800 Mhz Viper radios, or what I like to call the $2500.00 wheel chocks we're stuck with now. Instead of receiving a broken transmission from a UHF or VHF that might be somewhat readable, now, there is no transmission at all. With Viper, it's all or nothing. I believe that the hit and miss, mostly miss characteristics of Viper is needlessly putting every responder who is forced to use it in danger.