[cifnmedia] Re: Volunteer Firefighter Job Protection Act

  • From: Sahir Talib <sahirtalib1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 23:11:52 -0700 (PDT)

I am glad to see this bill making it's way to becoming
a law.  I think the discussion on this topic is
encouraging from what I read.  I don't think having a
Hazmat team in every county in Illinois is feasible or
smart.  Anyone who has served on more than one
department can see not everyone performs the job the
way it should, even if they are certified or career. 
Having regional teams or several counties combine
resource would provide the best use of resources.  I
say that because if you don't have calls requiring the
use of specialized areas of the fire service or
training on them constantly, you will mostly like make
the incident worse by cutting corners.  
In our state it is difficult to keep volunteer.  It is
unreasonable to have department take on more demanding
tasks and maintain the training and cost as if it was
a full time job.  I know of teams that train once a
month for a minimum of 3 hours.  Departments may train
once a week.   Now throw in refresher training and
walk-threws and preplans you are doing almost double
the work.   It  requires more time away from family
and personal business if anyone plan to perform
effectively.  I would hope more departments would get
members to the Ops level and then let a hazmat team
come if things are out of control.   At least Ops
people would slow down the incident until help
We have free training to assist department in FF1
which is called FF2 in Illinois.  Its available online
and practices are scheduled threw IFSI to visit your
department.  We have several community colleges in
Illinois that offer Fire science classes at night and
weekends.  I hope to complete my Instructor I class
this fall.  I tested in Michigan for a career
department.  I must say, I like the system there.
Everything cost money.  If employers let people go
when a deadline is hours away.  That cost them money. 
Personally, I took training at my own expense several
times a year.  In the past, I took days off work to
drive cross country to attend.  I hope fire
departments and business can come to some common
ground to allow people to get essential training. 
Forcing them in allowing us to go often, might make
them think twice about hiring us.
The more we trying change laws and get resources to
accommodate us the more likely people will abuse it
and screw it up for the rest of us.  That can put
things back to square one or on the bench.  Just my 3 cents.

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