Why People Choose to Become a Volunteer Firefighter

firefightersuit-300x169It seems when men are little boys, they all dream of wearing a uniform. Schools are talked to by firefighters and in the mind of all children, they are the hero. They rescue cats from trees, climb ladders, and drive in big red trucks to hold a hose on blazing home, office, or store. They are are seen as cool. Perhaps that is why people choose to become a volunteer firefighter. Perhaps it is something more. Here are the main reasons grownups, both men and women, choose to take on a life of fires. (more…)

How to Fireproof Your Home

Each year there are people all over the world who lose their home to a fire. A fire can happen for a variety of reasons, including faulty electrical wiring, a forest fire, or a pile of leaves that gets out of control in your yard. Whatever the case, a fire is devastating to anyone affected and once it happens, it is too late to worry about fire prevention because you will have already lost everything that matters. Instead of waiting and taking a chance that your home will be next, why not learn now how to fireproof your home?SmokeDetector-300x300 (more…)

Bathroom Remodel in The Firehouse

As a firefighter, you have to be devoted to the job. We train hard, work hard, and have to be ready to react without much notice. When that alarm sounds, we have to be ready to run. Otherwise, buildings suffer more damage and lives may be at stake. This is one of the main reasons our firehouse has a select group of people that live where they work. We have game rooms and kitchens as well as bedroom areas and living spaces. We all take different days so that we can stay at the firehouse some nights and home with our families on other nights. This means, we also need a place to shower and other stuff when the job is done. That is also one of the main reasons we are putting our biggest effort, when not on the job, into our bathroom remodel in the firehouse.

Watch The FireFighter Games:

Why Bathrooms Matter

It should be fairly obvious why we choose to keep our showers and sinks updated. We like water pressure and relaxation, even if we are “living” on our job. When we are all smoke-smelling and soot-smudged, it matters, not only to ourselves, but others that we work with. The thing is, we are also choosing to put a lot of effort into our new toilets. When you have a group of people using the same bathroom in a single day, flushing after each trip to the bathroom; you need a toilet that can keep up. You also don’t want a toilet that will waste a lot of water with each flush. Especially since we are located in California, where droughts are something that must be dealt with on a daily basis. We are protectors; it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we also want to protect and conserve our world’s water supply.firefighterlife

The Search Is On for The Best Toilet

peeingfirefighterMost homeowners never really think about choosing the best toilet. If they do, it is often because they want one that flushes without a possibility of getting clogged, even when their kids put too much paper in it. At the firehouse, we aren’t that much different. We don’t want to have to be dealing with a toilet clog when that alarm sounds, screaming that it is time to get to work. We also prefer that our toilet be pressurized so that it does not stain easily, because cleaning toilets is not something we enjoy or have a lot of time to do. The most important part of our toilet search, though, is finding one that is considered a low-flow toilet. It is one that uses as little water as possible, but effectively flushes the stuff we put inside of it.

What We Have Discovered About Toilets

FirefighterDecalWe did a lot of searching and quickly discovered that TOTO toilets are the best. They offer a lot of desirable features for home, office, and firehouse toilets. Once we figured that much out, we began our search using TOTO toilets reviews. As a group, we found the one that is self-cleaning, pressurized, and uses very few gallons of water per flush. Every man and woman on our team loves using it and most of us have already purchased one for our home. We all give TOTO a thumbs up for creating a toilet that we can use to keep up with the lifestyle and bathroom usage of our firehouse.


Firehouse Luxuries

FirehouseAs firefighters, our job is to ensure that everyone is safe in their home during the day and the night. We respond when trouble strikes so that people can hopefully get back to their lives with as little damage as possible. It is an enjoyable job, but the stress can become unreal, especially when we are dealing with a blaze that does not want to be put out. It is after times like this that we venture back to the station to enjoy our own brand of firehouse luxuries.

Our Home Away from Home

Many of us live above the station. We sleep and eat as a group in our little space above the trucks. It is not an ideal living situation, but it ensures that when trouble comes our way, we are ready for it. Our truck is ready in less time than it takes for us to slide down the pole and reach it. It works better that way. The problem is, it means that we are never very far from the job. We spend a lot of hours waiting and then we spend a lot of time rushing. It becomes exhausting to have to respond within a split second to an emergency that has happened across town. Those middle of the night phone calls are the worst, as well as those blazes that burn so hot that you can feel the skin burn when you walk near it.Firestation

How We Relax

Because of the fact that we spend so much time at the station, we decided to upgrade the station to ensure it is a little homier. We added a few amenities; a game area complete with table tennis, air hockey, and video games. We also upgraded our showers so they could help us cool off and relax after a hard day of fighting a fire. We searched through many reviews and settled on a double shower head for our showers. After that was purchased and we decided that we should have made that investment much sooner, we also decided that we needed the best shower head speaker we could find. The end result, we almost prefer to be at the station now than to be at home.doubleshowerhead

Why We Do It?

The job of a firefighter is to help others. We are all very dedicated to the job at hand. We work hard to protect our community from all of the fires that we can. When one does begin or a leaf fire gets out of control, we are there to ensure that it does not spread out of control. In our minds, this is perhaps the best way that we can show our love for the community we live in. Through all of the hardships of living with a group, in a station, and fighting fires, putting our life on the line, we all are a family that enjoys the job that we have chosen to devote our lives to. What more reason do we need to do what we do?

Home Essentials for Emergencies

FirstAid-300x300When you are in the middle of an emergency situation and your power is out, the last thing you need to do is sit around thinking about all the things you wish you had on hand. It does not matter whether you are dealing with a simple power outage or a natural disaster is heading right toward your home, the best way to prepare is to know and have all of the home essentials for emergenciesalready with you.

Minor Emergencies

There are some situations where the power goes out due to a small passing thunderstorm or some other accident. In these cases, you might could get by with a candle and a few other things, but you will not necessarily be comfortable. The power may only be out for a few minutes to a few hours and most people can survive without their television for that long.InsulinProtector-300x300 However, what if you know someone who needs their insulin to be kept cold? For them, a power outage that lasts a few hours could mean that their medication could go bad. Before it happens, you can help them be prepared by looking at portable generator reviews to at least find something powerful enough to keep their refrigerator going.

Major Disasters

If you live in an area that is prone to extreme natural disasters, you are probably very familiar with how much it can mess things up when you are without power for a week or longer at a time. It is a time when lights become a luxury that you miss having. A time when people are willing to go to extreme lengths to find a bag of ice so that they may have a beverage that is cooler than room temperature and when the idea of a shower is something you fantasize about. A person who is prepared for a hurricane, mud slide, or tornado coming to their local area may already know that the best way to prepare is to have the best generator for home use already on hand. Others may wait on it, simply hoping that it does not happen to them.

Standbygenerator-300x300The thing is, a generator is now more affordable than you may think, but there are also other things you may want to have on hand when Mother Nature shows how furious she can be. These things include non-perishable food, medication if you have warning that bad weather is coming your way, extra fuel if you have a generator or propane for your gas grill, batteries and battery powered radios, water so you have something to drink, your cell phone to call for help if you are able to, and anything else that your family needs during a time of crisis, including ways to entertain your children when they do not have their television, computer, or video games to play with.

In an emergency situation, there are a lot of things for you to consider. A generator is the easiest way for most people to make sure that they have everything they need, but mostly, you just have to have on hand the things that your family will need the most. Anything beyond that is simple luxuries.

What Determines Emergency Response Time?

In any emergency, seconds can matter. Mere seconds can make the difference between life and death. That is one of the main reasons, most people base their opinion of their fire department, police station, and ambulance services on how long it takes for them to arrive after the call goes out for help. If your house is on fire, you would not want to wait an hour for the fire department and the same can be said if you were being robbed or in serious pain. However, there are a lot of things that can influence how quickly the emergency services arrive in your area, and many people do not consider this aspect of it.

How Life Threatening is Your Emergency?

responsetimeIf you have a brush fire that is not endangering homes, a medical emergency that is not life threatening, or something similar, the emergency services in your area may respond slower than they would if someone was in danger. The emergency services team has a legal right to speed during emergencies where their response time truly matters. However, they may not fly 90 mph through the city if the situation does not deem it necessary for them to do so.

How Close Is The Fire House, Police Department, or EMT Service?

emergencyresponsevehicle-215x300A lot of emergency services, lack the funds to have local places for emergency services set up, especially in rural areas. If your nearest fire department is 30 minutes away, you should expect it to take them about 30 minutes to arrive at your home, regardless of what the emergency is. If it is a true life or death issue, they can get there faster, but you do have to accept that there may still be some time from when the call comes in, they get into motion, and arrive at their destination.

In a larger city, there is often more funding because there are more people to protect as well as emergency service stations close by. The speed with which they may arrive will automatically be faster if you have an emergency service closer to you.

Fire House Volunteers

If you live in an area where the fire station is run purely by volunteers, you may have a fire house nearby, but that does not mean there is a team of firemen waiting for your call. In some rural communities the fire house is a place to hold the fire trucks, but all of the firemen are volunteers. This means they must get the call, get to the firehouse, get suited up, jump in the truck, and head for your emergency situation. You could have a fire department within 5 minutes of your home, but if the firefighters are not always on duty there, you may not receive a 5 minute response time.

Increasing Response Times

If you are unsatisfied with your local emergency squad’s response time, you must work to discover why they are slow. Instead of placing blame on the department, discover what makes them slower to respond. Often you will discover that it is due to very little manpower because of a lack of funding. This does not make it better, but at least you know that it is not simply lazy emergency squad teams.

The Importance of Funding for Fire Houses

Without firefighters and the firehouse they serve, there would be a lot more situations involving lost homes and forest fires that burn out of control. The brave souls who put on the uniform risk their lives each time they venture out to a fire, no matter how big or small the blaze may be. However, do you really know how they earn the money to keep firehouses open? It is funny that we are extremely thankful for the services that are provided by them, but we rarely consider where their money comes from. Is it based on what the government pays them or is it paid for by the city? What would happen if the funds were not there?

How Fire Houses Make Money

donationbox-255x300In some cities, the services of a firefighter are paid by the city. Some fire houses collect taxes from the citizens of that city, while others survive on donations only. In order to receive money from the government, they have to earn and receive grants. Some of these grants are easy to get, but most are not easy to meet the requirements of.

How Are Fire Fighters Paid?

The firefighters are paid only what the fire department can afford to pay. They get very little bonuses and in most cases larger cities pay more than smaller cities because there is a larger demand for people willing to fight fires. On average, though, a firefighter in a small town could make roughly $15 per hour. This is not to say that large cities have very well paid firemen. In New York some fire fighters make as little as $38000 per year, while others make $75000 or more. It depends on the funding that is available to that firehouse.

Why Funding for Fire Houses Matters

Imagine if fire fighters were not willing to fight fire? Perhaps the firehouses cannot afford to fuel the trucks or hire on fire fighters. Admittedly, there are a lot of firemen who volunteer their time, and this does help, but it still takes money coming in to fuel trucks and ensure that they run properly so that when the call comes in, there is someone qualified to handle a fire in route.SupportLocalFirefighter-300x300

If a fire house does not have funding available to maintain itself, the calls will go unanswered. More homes will be complete losses, brush fires will burn out of control, and more people may end up losing their life, not just to fire, but car accidents. That is why when you have the chance to support your local fire department, you should strongly consider helping them. It is an unfortunate fact, but one day they may be the one helping you, your friends, and your family. Without your support, the fire department in your local area may end up having to close down, which could mean help is further away when those you love are in need.

There is no business in the world that can operate without funding. We have so much riding on our fire houses. Their services and the services of those who work in it are very important to us. This means when your phone rings and your local fire department is asking for donations or you see a fire house support car wash, consider how important it is to fund that firehouse. Without them, it is hard telling where we would be.


After 93 years of service the Presidio Fire Department has closed!!!

Although Local F-145 won the arbitration decision regarding staffing to the NFPA 1710 standard, the National Park Service has closed it’s ONLY 24/7 structural fire department in the country.

At 0730 hours on Wednesday November 10, 2010, the crew of Firefighter-Engineer Chris Kuljis (Local F-145 Secretary/Treasurer) and Firefighter-Paramedic Al Duncan (President) officially place Engine 52 and Station 52 Out-Of-Service.

Although the department has been closed, the fight is not over.  Local F-145 will appeal to the Federal Labor Relations Authority to enforce the arbitrator’s decision and require the NPS to fulfill it’s legal requirements of staffing to the NFPA 1710 standard to ensure both firefighter and civilian safety.

Additionally, Local F-145 will continue to be a watchdog of the Marin Headlands and vow to hold the NPS and GGNRA management responsible for any unecessary loss of life that may result from their irresponsible actions.

To the men and women of the former PFD, God Speed and best wishes, it was an honor to serve you!!