Here is a list of a few of the things I learned as a probie in my dept. All you new guys, these are bound to help a little. Enjoy.
Rules Every Probie in a Volunteer Dept Should Know...
You're always the first person you look out for at a scene, your fellow firemen second. (Civilians optional)
You, as a probie, by definition know shit, that is why your shield is a different color, so when an officer looks for someone to do something, you are overlooked, so in your observing role learn as much as possible.
Don't you dare put a charged hoseline into a vent window and open it, even if ordered to.
Always stay with the engine/truck unless ordered otherwise by your driver/officer.
If you don't know where the doors are, stay off the rig. (I've actually seen someone try and jump on the truck not knowing where the doors are)
If you can't start a saw, raise a ladder, or have a fear of heights, stay off the truck.
If you can't hit a hydrant, man a handline, or know the difference between 2 1/2" and 1 3/4", or a straight bore and variable tip, stay off the engine.
If you don't know how to do either of the above, the volunteer rescue squad can always use a hand.
Never get a ride to a working fire on an ambulance, you'll never live it down.
There is no such thing as a secret in the firehouse.
A probie without a pack or a tool is completely useless at a fire scene.
A probie without a bottle opener is completely useless at the fire house.
If you don't know how to do something, ask.
If you have a question, ask.
Correcting your captain can lead to having lit flares thrown your way.
You're told when you first join that family, school, work, and girlfriend all come first, the firehouse second. But if you want to become one of the "men" and stop being one of the "kids", its the other way around.
More can be learned on the apparatus floor then at the bar.
If it appears stupid to you, but works, then it isn't stupid and don't you dare tell the veteran guy that.
If you see something being done wrong, don't be afraid to step up and correct that just because you're a probie.
When told to go and bring beer up from downstairs, just keep bringing cases up until you're told to stop.
If one of the chiefs is from your company, support and defend him in light of anything.
You're going to be exposed to a lot of different opinions and views, be open to these, but don't change your mind with every new person you meet, don't adopt their views, create your own.
Always support your sponsor and your company.
Know both your officers and your senior member's favorite drinks, you should never have to ask them what they want.
Listen to the senior members, they know a lot of department history, and can always tell you a host full of interesting stories about "the day's when we used to have fun".
Learn all the trucks, you're not always going to hop on yours.
When you're at a working fire, and the situation is fucked, and everyone can feel a shit storm coming on, be the first to volunteer to go and get refreshments, you just might be able to avoid the crossfire.
You volunteered having an idea of what you are going to face, so don't bitch when you're 30 feet up on a ladder leaning against a flagpole, or when you have to abandon all but your sense of feeling when going into a house on fire.
Go over your rig as often as possible, it's the quickest and easiest way to learn it.
Practice with a pack as much as possible, blindfolded too, your training will be much easier on you if you do.
Redefine a small space, because you'll find more often then not you'll be able to squeeze through, even with a pack.
Never be a fork and knife type of guy.
After a department dinner, you will be doing dishes in the back for at least and hour after you eat.
When asked to do something by a member, do it, or if busy find another probie and instruct them to do it.
Cherish your time on probation, you're allowed to not know something or fuck up. You don't have to worry about making your points or learning how to drive. You don't pay as much with each fuckup as a member would. All you have to do is learn your rig, learn your FF1 skills, and make your officers look good. When you come off a lot more shit rests on your shoulders, and you have a lot more shit to worry about.