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What counts more Age, Experience or Job Knowledge/Ability??? You be the Judge.

Editors Note: This is Danny’s first post on the blog. He brings a wide range of experience to the table coming from his assignment to the Central Virginia Technical Rescue Team, Rescue Company 2 (City of Richmond), and his position as a Fire And Safety Officer with a local theme park. I hope you enjoy, and please leave some feedback, as well as spread the word about the blog.

With this being my first attempt at “Blogging” I have chosen to tackle a subject that is very near and dear to me.  In the Fire Department which attribute should hold more weight; should it be a person’s age, their time or experience on the job, or their job knowledge, skill, and ability???

This question haunts me everyday because there’s different opinions on each of these 3 issues.  This is a very prevalent issue in my current department but is even a bigger issue for the fire service industry nationwide.

I can see the good and bad of all 3 sides. 

For example, say a firefighter has 4 years on the job and is in his early fifties, he is a hard worker and has good mechanical skills due to his background in various other jobs but has very little desire to learn more about his chosen profession in the fire department, Why did he even wait til now to even want a fire department job?? Did he get laid off from a previous long-term job?? Is he just looking to slide by for a few years??  My real issue is when they show their lack of knowledge  in performance on fire calls and you attempt to correct them or show them a better way of doing things they think your trying “show off” and they do not want to listen to a “youngster”.  

This is also a problem I see with guys who have 20-30 years on the job but haven’t done anything in their 20-30 years.  Now I’m sure ill get bashed for this comment but its the truth.  Why have these guys decided not to share their past experiences with the new generation??  At what point do they get the attitude of  “I’ve done my time and now they owe me”???  Now don’t get me wrong there are TONS of firefighters that have 20-30 years and are the absolute best firefighters I know.  They are the ones with the real experiences and a lot of them would make some awesome fire officers but for some reason they got “skipped” over in previous tests. 

In the past few months I have come to realize that the only people I should worry about are the ones who have the same passion for the job that I do.  I know my brother and I have made this “job” a lifestyle and it has defitantly rubbed some people the wrong way along the way, but if it did rub you the wrong way probably means your not as into it as we are. 

So my real questions is In the Fire Department what should count more Age, Time on the job/Experience, or Job Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities????   You Be the Judge!!!!!!

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