How many of you actually donate to your local fire/EMS department even though you are not required to pay any extra assessment fees?
I always throw money in the boot and thank them for their service Not much, but then I don't make much.
I'm glad you posted. I think alot of people don't realize how much the specialized training and equipment to fight fires costs.
This WAS a life-or-death experience, that being, the potential life or death of the firemen who ran out there in the first place. Even a small fire can be extremely dangerous to fight. These firemen would have exposed themselves to potential burns, smoke inhalation, possibly collapsing buildings, if they fought it or went in there to save a cat. Suppose a fireman was injured? The homeowner didn't pay for fire service, so that fireman choose to go in outside of the purview of his job, workmans comp DENIED and he pays the medical out of his pocket.
Its alot more complicated than firemen being a-holes over $75.
Thanks for your reply and understanding. Yes, many people don't understand what it takes to actually have a single person fireman, medic, or EMT show up to a call in regards to all the training hours, equipment, and monetary costs. The EMT-B training class which is usually a requirement for all EMS personnel costs a few thousand per person. Then the class has a set number of hours which when I did weekends only took me 6 months. This is in addition to 8 hours of ER observation rotation time. Once you get past EMT-B training, you either branch off to fire fighter or paramedic training. I don't know how much time is required for the fire fighter classes, but the paramedic training takes a year to complete along with ER and in field mentored time. Plus there are other training classes one may elect to take to help enhance their ability to do their job like BTLS and EVOC.
You're very perceptive about the workman's comp issue here. If these fire fighters chose to ignore orders and were injured, I would bet there would be issues getting any kind of benefits. The issue here gets greyer when the fire fighters are volunteer and not career. You are also right about small hazards which can present themselves even in a small fire. Many people don't know many of the various chemicals used daily they keep in their house have a potential of being a ticking time bomb. Even the construction of houses can be a factor. Do many of you all know that the advances in construction materials/techniques such as the composite I-beams used in many modern homes presents a significant hazard in a fire situation? The problem with these I-beams is the OSB used in the center of the beam. It's great where the strength of the beam can be same or better than a regular solid wood floor joist for less weight and being straighter. But put a fire on it and when the integrity of the OSB breaks down, there's no warning when the beam catastrophically fails.
While it's easy to sit back and say you'll do such and such in a particular dangerous event, it's another to be able to actually do it. If people were so easily able to back up their words to throw caution to the wind and just jump in to help someone, we (the EMS community) would have less of an issue getting volunteers. I know at my station we had a big issue getting in additional volunteers to help sufficiently man our apparatus'. There were times when a call almost got scratched because we didn't have the crew available to roll a unit out. Here is a sample of my personal commitment I gave when I volunteered. I had to do 60 hours a month as an active duty member. I had to pick a duty night which spanned from 1800 hours to the following morning at 0600 hours. There were times I got maybe 2-3 hours of sleep and not all of it at the same time. After being on duty all night, I went to my full time job. In addition, to the regular duty night, we were required to rotate weekend shifts. Every third weekend, I had to report with the rest of my duty night crew. If it was a Saturday rotation, we were on duty from 1200 on Saturday to 0800 on Sunday. Sunday rotations were better as there wasn't as large of my weekend lost since the rotation began 0800 on Sunday morning to 1800 Sunday night. But there is a catch. I can't have any alcoholic drinks 6 hours prior to reporting on duty. So Saturday night festivities had to be held in check. These duty requirements are on top of my required training at the academy along with in station training/check offs to be qualified at a certain level. I did this for just over 3 years before I moved so far away from the station that I couldn't feasibly do it any more without losing my sanity. And this is not counting the 4 years I put in as an EMT while in college. So again, I say it's easy for someone to say they'll do something from the comfort of their arm chair.