Welcome to EMTBravo.com

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

This message will be removed once you have signed in.



v85

Training for Fire Police

19 posts in this topic

Does anyone else think it is about time to properly train fire police? At least on a voluntary basis.

According to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law fire police officers are full peace officers when on duty, yet they receive one of the lowest amounts of training of any peace officers. NYPD Auxiliary Police (who only have peace officer status during times of national emergency and even then only for traffic control) have more training, 57+ hours worth, as opposed to 24 for fire police.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...when I took Fire Police in 1990, I think it was only 6 hours.

But I agree....hell - we all could use more training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The peace officer training for other services do not have the benefit of the lobbying efforts of FASNY to protect them from the damage caused by being properly trained.

x129K likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but what can a "full peace officer" do that requires more than 24 hours of training? I don't mean that in an accusatory way, I literally don't know what it means.

Edited by SageVigiles
JetPhoto and x4093k like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but what can a "full peace officer" do that requires more than 24 hours of training? I don't mean that in an accusatory way, I literally don't know what it means.

Full Powers and required training for NYS Peace Officers are in Criminal Procedure Law Article 2 (sections 2.20 & 2.30)

Rather than copy the whole law, here's a link: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&QUERYDATA=@SLCPL0P1TAA2+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=EXPLORER+&TOKEN=55561855+&TARGET=VIEW

Roles and definition of Fire Police is Genral Municipal Law Article 10 (Section 209-c)

http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&QUERYDATA=$$GMU209-C$$@TXGMU0209-C+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=EXPLORER+&TOKEN=55561855+&TARGET=VIEW

Edited by firedude
EmsFirePolice likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow, I didn't realize they could actually make arrests. In that case 24 hours is a joke. My Police Explorers have more than 24 hours of Constitutional Law training...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Training for most everyone is inadequate. To make matters worse, when you finally get butts in seats the first question is usually "what time are we getting out tonight?"

JetPhoto and x129K like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that everyone could use more training. I know of other systems where volunteer fire fighters go through the exact same training as the career firefighters (ie. FFI/FFII/Survival/HAZMAT/EVOC A/O/EVOC Pump Ops) at a minimum

I personally think another issue for the fire police specifically is that no one seems to want them.

The fire departments usually see them as a place to put firefighters who are too old/unfit/unsafe to do interior firefighting and the police are sometimes afraid of fire police for economic reasons "The town board is going to lay half of us off and replace us with volunteers"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that everyone could use more training. I know of other systems where volunteer fire fighters go through the exact same training as the career firefighters (ie. FFI/FFII/Survival/HAZMAT/EVOC A/O/EVOC Pump Ops) at a minimum

I personally think another issue for the fire police specifically is that no one seems to want them.

The fire departments usually see them as a place to put firefighters who are too old/unfit/unsafe to do interior firefighting and the police are sometimes afraid of fire police for economic reasons "The town board is going to lay half of us off and replace us with volunteers"

Wow ... Between Cos Cob and Glenville Fire Police we had 2 inside smoke conditions, 3 car accidents, a car fire and about 8 other calls so far today. None of these calls were deserving of an incident alert here, but had we been needed we could have provided several vehicles with well trained personnel and we did on a few of these runs. While it appears some of our duties differ from NY fire police, our reception by the emergency services community seems much warmer here than I would have thought they are in New York. We have NY state as our neighbors on 3 sides.

We take an annual physical (same as interior for our salvage crew), attend a wide variety of drills and classroom lectures. The average age of our 26 service members is about 25 by my rough count.

As for police layoffs, I am the child of a retired police officer so I would not be in favor of police layoffs. In addition, we work with the police union on several charitable projects.

We are in fact called upon by departments to give presentations regarding our operations.

Sorry for the rant by this was quite disturbing for both me and some of our guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was an active Volunteer I was on the perifary of the Fire Police. In my department based on historical documents I found there was a large contingent including Captains and Lieutenants. By the time I came around the title did not exist in the By-Laws (I fixed that) and there was one member, who met the description posted above as being too old/unfit/unsafe to do interior firefighting, we vaguely had a second younger member for a bit but he quit. I understand there is a second member now. That being said, the Chief resisted all attempts at running the state 8 hour training class, despite the fact that I could teach it. There was a general resistance to establishing an SOP for Fire Police.

Our department was not alone. When I took the old basic class, it was taught in a department that did not have active fire police, but an instructor from that department. He lectured for quite a while before letting us in on the fact that there were no fire police in that town. He also canceled the practical because it was raining and that was never rescheduled. I will be the first to say that that training was not taken seriously, we would not stand for that in firefighter training would we? Would you take FF1 from someone who was not an active firefighter? Then accept that you didn't need the practical because the weather was bad on class day? I am pretty sure that this wouldn't be accepted in police training either.

Due to the fact that I have limited experience in this area, I have been tasked with writing a class on traffic control for private security. I know most of the material will come from the 3 versions of the fire police class I have, plus a couple of others I have found on line. However when I told my training boss that I was estimating it at a 16 hour course, he flipped out and said he wanted a 2-4 hour course. Because nobody will pay to send employees to a longer class. The more I think of it, the more I see but still disagree with his point. Even in the volunteer sector, trying to convince anyone that we need more training for a position most bosses laugh at is an uphill battle to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, interesting to note, the state has changed the course several times. Not that the material has changed, just that the name of the course and a few points of minutia. Our members who are exterior attend classes/drills in traffic control, hazmat operations, crime/accident scene preservation, CPR/AED, bloodborne pathongens among others. Interior members attend a minimum of FF1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading all of the posts in here so far and found it interesting to hear of each person's perspective.

I do know from my experience, at least in Dutchess and Putnam Counties, the fire-police in general are respected by the state and county police agencies and value our assistance at various incidents which require traffic and/or crowd control. Depending on the department that you are a member of, the age bracket of the members of the fire-police can vary. In my department, we've had fire-police as young as 18 and at the other end of the spectrum, in their 70's.

When I first took the fire-police course, it was only 9 hours and only recently upgraded to a 21 hour course which I beileve was a step in the right direction as in all honesty, no matter what job function you perform in the fire service, you never have enough training as technology and methods are constantly changing. That being said, in Dutchess County we will be working very closely with the Sheriff's department to formulate and offer additional training courses to help us better do our jobs as fire-police officers.

While fire-police officers do have powers of arrest when on duty, I believe that 99.9% would never exercise that statutory right unless absolutely necessary and only if they feel that they can do it without placing themselves in physical jeopardy; instead calling for uniformed assistance conditions permitting.

Since their is no local police agency in my town, there would be no issue of replacement of career police with volunteers as some might fear; particularly since our duties are specifically spelled out and they do not come close to the responsibilites that a sworn police officer has; instead there is a working partnership and mutual respect of each other and for us it works well.

Many of our fire-police officers in my department are very pro-active when it comes to training, attending additional training courses and seminars since they get encouragement and support from the fire district.

Each fire district's attitude should be, the more training you receive, the more capable you will be in performing your fire-police duties. The days of "dumping" aging firefighters into a fire-police squad with a traffice wand with little or no training needs to come to an end wherever it exists and instead encourage people of all ages to who express interest in becoming a fire-police officer and affording them the proper training to make them as prepared for their duties as much as possible.

Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of training does the Sheriff's Office give?

I know you said that most fire police, including myself, would not arrest anyone except in extreme circumstances, but do you get legal updates to make sure you don't accidentally arrest someone or ruin a case for the sheriff or troopers?

For example, an obviously intoxicated driver is at the fire police road closure, do you have the authority to tell him to wait for the troopers/sheriff to show up? If so, what have you done, arrested him, made a traffic stop, a detention?

Or, you have an 11 year old kid who keeps riding his bike past the fire line and trying to touch the apparatus at a working fire; he has done this multiple times; do you have the ability to tell him he has to wait for a parent or the police to come pick him up?

Or, you go with the ambulance to a medical call, the police aren't there for whatever reason. As the patient is being walked to the ambulance(another issue), they say "I think I want to kill myself" and turns to go back into the house, do you have the ability to tell them now that they have to go with the medic crew? Is that considered an arrest?

These are just some examples of situations that I feel fire police may find themselves in that aren't all that extreme, yet may not have the training to do, and don't even involve "going hands on"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What kind of training does the Sheriff's Office give?

I know you said that most fire police, including myself, would not arrest anyone except in extreme circumstances, but do you get legal updates to make sure you don't accidentally arrest someone or ruin a case for the sheriff or troopers?

For example, an obviously intoxicated driver is at the fire police road closure, do you have the authority to tell him to wait for the troopers/sheriff to show up? If so, what have you done, arrested him, made a traffic stop, a detention?

Or, you have an 11 year old kid who keeps riding his bike past the fire line and trying to touch the apparatus at a working fire; he has done this multiple times; do you have the ability to tell him he has to wait for a parent or the police to come pick him up?

Or, you go with the ambulance to a medical call, the police aren't there for whatever reason. As the patient is being walked to the ambulance(another issue), they say "I think I want to kill myself" and turns to go back into the house, do you have the ability to tell them now that they have to go with the medic crew? Is that considered an arrest?

These are just some examples of situations that I feel fire police may find themselves in that aren't all that extreme, yet may not have the training to do, and don't even involve "going hands on"

The training is still in the early discussion stages (we started discussions in December); however the sheriff's department has expressed a willingness to work with us very closely to develop training programs to assist us in doing our duties better.

We do not receive legal updates on a regular basis; our normal procedure, for example as you gave, a possibly intoxicated driver is observed by fire-police at a road closure, we would note the license plate number and notify the police of our observation. We would not attempt to arrest, make a traffic stop nor detain the driver.

In the child/bike scenario, we would again request police assistance should it be required.

The ambulance scenario, depending on the situation, we (and ambulance personnel) always stage away until the arrival of police and scene is declared safe for us to go into. Should we arrive at the scene only to find out that the patient is unstable, all parties would evacuate and advise police and wait until we are notified that the scene is secure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would interpret from your post that you feel some fire police are not adequately prepared to fulfill the requirements of their job . Is this a fair conclusion ?

If so, would you please specify the shortcomings that you perceive, before I respond, so I know what your observations are ?


Thanks

FD12786

Fire Police for 12+ years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think MANY firepoliceman have a power trip of some sort. Hell - when we bought our house 9 years ago, I was burning brush...it was smoldering and smoking, I went inside for dinner and some more beer...we heard a knock on the door...an older man in plain clothes was at the door, he tinned me with his fire police badge....said I had to put the fire out.



Sad thing was he was in a neighboring fire department, and we reside in a totally different township. I laughed, saluted, and went back to dinner.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think MANY firepoliceman have a power trip of some sort. Hell - when we bought our house 9 years ago, I was burning brush...it was smoldering and smoking, I went inside for dinner and some more beer...we heard a knock on the door...an older man in plain clothes was at the door, he tinned me with his fire police badge....said I had to put the fire out.

Sad thing was he was in a neighboring fire department, and we reside in a totally different township. I laughed, saluted, and went back to dinner.

It's wannabees like that that give the rest a bad name

x129K likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. I have no ill feelings towards FP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fire Police are not taken seriously by even their own departments, or even sometimes their own members. I was at a conference with a guy who was an officer in his department's Fire Police. He told me when he tried to modernize the position a little bit he had members who said they were going to quit if they had to wear reflective vests and stand up while doing fire police. He had members who would respond in the POV, park along side the road with a single magnetic light on the roof, open the trunk, get out the lawn chair, and procede to sit by the side of the road and read the paper. I hope he was exagerating to make the point, but in the back of my mind I know he probably wasn't.

The prevailing wisddom (or lack thereof) that says it is a good thing for folks that can't quite make it as Firefighters to do is simply bizarre, as you are saying that while someone can not do most of a job, you still want them to get up at all times of day in all types of conditions and respond to a variety of incidents, but that it is OK to have those who can't do any of that do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Members