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Loony661

Stock chainsaws suck.
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Figured I’d start a thread where all Volunteer, Full Time, Retired, and newbie fire fighters can share stories, experiences, photos (use your judgement - no active investigation pics please) and ideas.

Myself, I currently have 9 years experience with Altura Fire Dept. Been a Co-Training Officer for a few years now as well as a Captain.

Although life has gotten busier since I joined (kids, self employment, etc), I still enjoy the experience and helping out. Yesterday we put out a wildfire in a cornfield that extended into the woods caused by a tractor implement that failed and was lighting a trail of fire while he was stalk chopping.. Tractor is a complete loss. Field and woods will recover of course.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

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Howdy, I to, am a volunteer fire fighter. I am part of the Medicine Like Rural fire department. But the station I operate out of is Dagmar. The last fire I was on was a house fire. Wrecks are the worst to deal with, wildland fires are fun. Structure fire aren't bad as long as the are clear.

I've been here for 4 to 5 years now. Just a fire fighter, I hold no position. I'm either driving the trucks, or holding a hose. I prefer holding the hose.
 

Loony661

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Right on. I agree with your stance on the types of events. Our call yesterday started as just a wildfire, and then dispatch told us a tractor was also engulfed right as I was getting into a rig with my wildfire gear on. I ran back to my locker and grabbed my bunker gear to take along. I jumped in one of our engines with a senior member and off we went. As soon as we got out of town and we saw the smoke, I changed out of my wildfire gear and into the bunker gear to attack the tractor when we arrived. Myself and a younger member of the dept attacked the tractor while the rest of our dept and a neighboring dept went after the wildfire which went from corn field chaffe to the woods. Luckily a neighbor showed up with his tractor and a disk and cut off the fire in the field. Took about 2 hours to get the woods finished up.
 

Loony661

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volunteer here with numerous federal certifications, I go out on a couple wildland calls a year for the USFS and DNRC, I really enjoy giving back to the community and the adventures we get called out on.
I’ve been wanting to get certified as a sawyer and chase fires here in MN during the season, but my wife would leave me if I was gone that much and left her to raise our boys alone for weeks at a time.
 

redneckhillbilly

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our motto is go ugly go quick, it's nice when equipment is close by to cut a line in, were still dealing with snow and rain so we havent seen any fire yet this year, we didnt even have a chimney fire in our district this winter, weve had a few automotive incidents though, it seems about last half of June we get some wildland action and were busy from than into late Nov, sometimes we and an engine out till Dec somewhere.

its alot of work but is very rewarding and heplful to the community, the state of MT is awesome to anyone aspiring to become a firefighter the state will literally spend millions to train anyone who wants it.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

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our motto is go ugly go quick, it's nice when equipment is close by to cut a line in, were still dealing with snow and rain so we havent seen any fire yet this year, we didnt even have a chimney fire in our district this winter, weve had a few automotive incidents though, it seems about last half of June we get some wildland action and were busy from than into late Nov, sometimes we and an engine out till Dec somewhere.

its alot of work but is very rewarding and heplful to the community, the state of MT is awesome to anyone aspiring to become a firefighter the state will literally spend millions to train anyone who wants it.
Your fire fighting is different on over there, than over here. We have rolling hills and almost no trees. You have trees and mountains to deal with.

Mainly we deal with structure fires wildland/prairie fires, wrecks with occasional fires, equipment fires, like tractor and bales, swather and combines, oil field fires, like oil storage banks and salt water disposals. These generally start from lightning strikes. We also have on occasional bale fire from lightning strikes.

Yes, It's a great way to give back to the community. I just wish we could get the community to verify there's a fire and where it is before calling. We had a lot of dry runs last year due to blowing dust.
 

Loony661

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@Loony661 what have you not done?
You’re not the first person to ask me that 🤣

In all seriousness, I guess you could say I’m a jack of all trades, and master of none. I’ve always enjoyed learning more - doing whatever I feel I am capable of. I’ve always followed what interests me and ran with it until another opportunity opened up.

Honestly, it bothers me when I look back at all the jobs and “careers” I’ve had - I never wanted to be “that guy”. I always figured you go to school, get a career, and stay there until you retire. But I have no regrets - I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience from a lot of places and I use those skills daily. And every move I’ve made has been in a positive direction to improve myself.
 

jacob j.

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I did the wildland thing exclusively for 20 years - mostly Feds but spent a few years with a municipal department. I also spent three years part time on a county ambulance as an EMT. I was a part time faller on fires for 16 years. I think it's one of the greatest jobs a person can do.
 

highland_hunter

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I just wanna say thank you to you men.

I'd like to second this sentiment.

My son is doing the volunteer thing while trying to get hired on full-time somewhere local.

Currently on his way to the middle east to serve as a combat medic for the next 11 months.

Can't say enough good things about those that serve!
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

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Loony661

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I did the wildland thing exclusively for 20 years - mostly Feds but spent a few years with a municipal department. I also spent three years part time on a county ambulance as an EMT. I was a part time faller on fires for 16 years. I think it's one of the greatest jobs a person can do.
I would love to sit down and talk fire with you sometime.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

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We were told at our training last month that cancer is about to surpass heart failure for the leading cause of fire fighter deaths.

That's sad. I do think we need to stress it more. Yes nobody likes masks. But if your around smoke or fumes, at the very least wear a respirator. I even where one when doing demo in construction. Who knows what's in those wall!!
 

Loony661

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That's sad. I do think we need to stress it more. Yes nobody likes masks. But if your around smoke or fumes, at the very least wear a respirator. I even where one when doing demo in construction. Who knows what's in those wall!!
A lot of research is suggesting that the carcinogens are all over our gear, the trucks, etc.. and lately those in the know are stressing the importance of cleaning the gear more often, and washing/wiping down the trucks after every call. They say that it’s even affecting our kids at home if we don’t immediately shower and get cleaned up after we return home.. I will say that I have always tried to shower quick after returning home, just to get the burnt material smell off me.
 

davidwyby

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Carcinogens mostly from man made stuff in town or organic material fires too?
 
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