First Due Blog Carnival Edition 5 – Minimum Standards

I was hoping to get a few more submissions to this months First Due Blog Carnival. In the end, it took until today for me to sit down and pen my own. Things have been busy, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

If you want to host next months carnival let me know!

The topic this month was Minimum Standards. I asked what should the minimum standards should be, why we should have them, and why we don’t have them already.

As always, we have some great insight on the topic!

Below is a link to each submission for this month and a short excerpt from the article. They will open in a new window.

Firefighters Enemy – Blog Carnival 5: Minimum Standards?
Personally, I believe that there needs to be, at least at the state level, a system that requires continuing education and minimum job performance evaluations.  I have heard that the last thing the fire service needs is more unfunded mandates required by non-firefighting personnel.  To that comment, I agree.  However, it cannot be overlooked that we are in a time and era of firefighting like we have never seen before.  We have all heard someone say that “this ain’t your father’s fire service anymore.”

Firehouse Zen – It’s The Minimum
Unless your organization is living in a 1950’s time warp, the people in your community, when they call the fire department for help, expect help for many things that exceed the scope of “firefighting”.  Regardless of whether your community is staffed with a career or a volunteer department, there are increased expectations on the level of service being provided.  I can rationally argue the need for standards on a number of different levels.  I will, however, only provide you with this one today; it’s the minimum.

Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours – We don’t need no Stinking Standards
For Volunteers, I feel that the equivalent of a nationally certified Firefighter one is acceptable as ENTRY LEVEL into the firefighting game, but it should not stop there and certifications should continue over time. There should also be a continuing ed program which can be rolled up into normal training cycles to keep the firefighter abreast of changes in technology, new threats and tactics. This stuff never ends and we all need to stay up on the things that can kill us. If you don’t have time to train, you don’t have time for the job either. – Minimum Standards for Firefighters
Having been in the fire service less than 10 years, I consider myself a probie to the service. I have never worn a long turnout coat w/ hip boots, or used my beard as an SCBA. I do, however, enjoy listening to the stories from the 20-30 year guys at my department tell me about how things have changed. Along with these changes have come different requirements in hiring and/or accepting volunteers. Within the last few years, I have witnessed my career department transition to the CPAT test(Candidate Physical Ability Testing), and my volunteer department has begun implementing a more strenuous physical agility test.

Firefighter Nation – Competent vs. Proficient by Scott Cook
Let’s consider a firefighter straight out of the academy. Technically speaking, that person has the competencies necessary to perform all the tasks required of someone who rides backward on an engine: drag hose, throw ladders, search and rescue, etc. After all, he’s demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skills time and again in the Academy, and (likely) passed the academy’s final written and skills exam, as well as the state’s certifying written and skills exam. – note that this was submitted by someone other than the author and I think it fits!

Last and maybe least is my own post on the subject here on the Fire Critic

Fire Critic – Minimum Standards for “A person who fights fires”?
Across the Nation, State to State, City to City, town to town, and fire department to fire department the meaning of the term “firefighter” is different. Merriam Webster defines it as “a person who fights fires”. That about sums it up doesn’t it…Goodnight! Wait a minute…that is way to easy. You mean that I have devoted my life to a profession, a job, a career, a lifestyle and that is all I get in the damn dictionary?