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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter

News Analysis
The Disappearing Volunteer Firefighter

By ANDREW BROWN and IAN URBINA
New York Times

IN most places in America, when a fire breaks out, a volunteer shows up to put it out.

But the ranks of volunteers are dwindling. What was once an iconic part of American life is losing its allure, in part because the work — some would say the calling — is a lot less fun than it used to be. Read more...

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

So sad, I wish more people would step up!

Anonymous said...

The last paragraphs from Pennsylvania Commission Ed Mann is interesting. He talks about training for all different kinds of emergencies and the hours of training needed for them which is fine, but I think he is missing the point. The increased training hours we are encountering a problem with are for an “essentials class” which is now over 160 hours. This class is teaches the same things that I was taught in an 88 hour course 20 years ago. It is just drug out for double the time. When young (or older for that matter) fire fighters get done with the over 160 hours, they have no interest in going to another class for a long time. The advanced training that they are not interested in taking is where you learn about terrorist attacks, solar panels, ethanol, electric cars etc. that he speaks about. So the increased training doesn't even teach about this new stuff.

More training hours for an essentials program, as good as it sounds in theory, is counter productive in reality. It is keeping volunteer away or taking longer to get new members trained to a basic level which means we have older members doing work that they didn't have to in generations past. This is going to lead to more injuries and possibly deaths (like heart attacks) because you have fire fighters now in their 50's, 60's and even 70's doing more strenuous work because there is no one younger to do it.

Anonymous said...

to add to the previous comment, which is 100 % accurate. the 166 hour class either deters the volunteer all together, or you have a volunteer with no training. the government is killing the volunteerism in America.

Anonymous said...

the government is killing America in every way possible.