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Volunteering VFD
Old 05-12-2019, 07:57 AM   #1
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Volunteering VFD

Yesterday was our Volunteer Fire Dept. fund raiser . We are not members but support the VFD . Wow they had a young man speaker from Texas A&M Forest service and it was interesting. He told us all he had been a smoke jumper. You could see in his talk he really loved it . He said fight fires all summer and fall till the last fires, then become a ski bum. Some of his stories were frightening . A fact the most thankful people after fires are Calif. The most unthankful Texans . He told us 11 years ago in Bastrop Texas people shot at the fire fighters equipment because they were using bulldozers to make fire lines through their property . He was talking how the VFD are declining and it is now his job to work with the VFD to get them state and Fed money . Lots of our rural HS students are Volunteer Fire Fighters . One of the other VFD close to us is 40% Female all under 40.
Then he introduced the best Forest Fighter he ever met . His wife, she is a school teacher now in Bryan Texas she was not a smoke jumper but was part of a brigade out of Montana . She talked about how everyone should volunteer somehow and how it strengthens a community . Our county has a first responders group and she was pushing that. I did learn how to get a control burn , he gave me a number to call and told me to use the word (Excess Fuel ) in my conversation these are words the Forest Dept understands . They will not burn it but point me where to go . Since 2011 Texas is on a Crusade to burn ( Excess Fuel ) underbrush and fallen trees to prevent forest fires.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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My father was a volunteer. Believe it or not, there are a few VFDs in New York City. In my old neighborhood, even though we had city hydrants, the streets were too small for the city fire trucks to get in, so the vollies were all we had. Specially built small trucks. A cherished part of the community.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:08 AM   #3
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The days of the Volunteer Fire departments seem to be limited , people just aren't interested anymore. I would think NY would have lots of VF . Older communities seem to relish and appreciate these people.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:42 AM   #4
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I just recently joined the volunteer FD at our mountain house. DH and I have been active auxiliary members for about five years, with our major contribution being kitchen staff for the monthly fundraiser breakfast and events at the hall.

There are fewer than a dozen active firefighters, and some of them are over 65 yrs old. The chief, seeing that I am relatively young and fit, has been hinting for years that he’d like me to join as a FF. But I have this (perfectly natural) tendency to avoid fires and doubt that I could be an effective FF. However, the volunteer fire police are also severely understaffed, so I decided to help there. I’ve taken my training and been sworn in, and after I’m issued my equipment at tomorrow’s meeting I should be able to respond.

All of the fire departments in this county are staffed by volunteers, and all could use help. The positions range from fire fighters to office workers to fund raising. If anyone on this forum is looking for a way to help your community, the VFD would probably welcome you!
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:54 AM   #5
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Yes , Yes I told the young guy that spoke to the community I did not want to go out fighting fires and he told us there is admin work for everyone . And many other jobs for the people who don't want to fight the actual fires.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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The smaller towns in Connecticut where I grew up each had a VFD. They are still active today and my two nephews are members. The bigger cities had paid FD's.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
I have this (perfectly natural) tendency to avoid fires and doubt that I could be an effective FF.
You probably know this, but there is also a difference (in many places) between "outside" firefighters and "inside" FFs. To be certified to go inside a building (using backpack air tanks with breathing masks, etc.) requires much more specialized training, and is probably best left to the younger generations. If you're an outside FF, basically dealing with hoses, etc., it's much less dangerous.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:22 PM   #8
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I was a volunteer FF for 8 years, I left when it was getting to be dangerous because of hearing loss. Our dept was wildland only, since it usually took at least an hour to get to a fire and most houses were toast by than. Our job was to keep fire from spreading to other structures close by. We live in a active urban interface with almost yearly fires within a 1-2 mile distance from the homestead. The dept was called out for large forest fires close by because we had the necessary water tenders/tankers that were needed. The plus to the job was being able to sleep under the stars in areas not open to the public.
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