Being a firefighter was easier in past decades, wasn’t it?

  1. I’m California the older generation gets to work 7 years less and get paid more in their pension. The old guys complain about the new generation being lazy yet they all retire at 50 by strapping the young guys with 7 more years of work.

  2. I started in 1995, so can’t comment on before that, but a lot depends on the almost infinite amount of variables. It was easier when I first started in regards to administrative work and training. It was harder because of the amount of fires we had. People seemed to handle more things themselves, so less for us to do. Power cots and lift systems are so much easier nowadays. I don’t think comparing is possible or worthwhile. Everyone has different experiences and opinions.

  3. I don’t get ragging on people for having safer jobs….that safety is in place because people got hurt or died so….

  4. I read so much on here about firefighters / medics. They all seem to be both Is this a mostly American thing? Or do a lot of Canadian firefighters respond as paramedics as well? I'm just freshly applying to a local VF hall, so I don't know much about anything tbh.

  5. Good point. I work for a large west coast city department. My dad worked here for 33 years, grandpa did for 25. Would always catch shit from them “back in our day it was busier than ever. Shootings, stabbings, gang wars, fires all the time, etc etc”. Which is all fine and dandy. Until you pull up the numbers. A busy station here when my old man was on the job was about 2700-3000 calls per year. That’s middle of the road for us now. Our city just broke the record for yearly homicides (again) and we are going on more fires than ever before. There’s pro’s and con’s to different eras, but to say that being on the job today is “easier” just isn’t true

  6. Yeah, a lot of old timers always bitch at the "new guys" for taking naps or being tired when they've been getting their ass kicked all day, or all night, working on the ambulance. Luckily these guys are getting phased out, and the new leadership coming in knows what it's like to have to do time on an ambulance and realize EMS is most of what we do now and make changes accordingly..

  7. Laughable that the old timers would tell stories of bouncing quarters off the mentally challenged girls tits, grabbing a couple of cases of beer after a good worker, physically fighting one another after calling in traded so the on duty guy could go bang his trades old lady… ect and then had the nerve to call us unprofessional and unworthy of the position. Todays fire fighters are more professional and customer service orientated than ever before.

  8. I had the honor of working with a super salty dog who worked back in the day. Complained about the modern day fire service but used to tell crazy stories like this. He wasn’t physically fit, smoke a pack of cigarettes every shift, had horrible halitosis, and looked older than he really was due to his poor health. Still, I had a huge amount of respect cause he held a huge amount of knowledge about the job. I still use some of the tricks he taught me.

  9. There was a whole generation of firefighters that got made fun of for wearing air packs in fires. I’d say we are in the golden age of firefighting now.

  10. You’re discounting the mental toll that danger takes on a person’s psyche. The fact that the job is safer makes it a hell of a lot easier. It’s different, and I don’t even like to say that it’s easier, because it’s obviously more complex these days, but never take for granted the fact that your brothers aren’t routinely being seriously injured and killed and you have to keep clocking into work.

  11. I think the fact that we have less frequent but more intense fires because of all the plastics in modern houses is one reason it's harder today. Also the fact that we run medical calls nowadays. Also, we get paid a lot less nowadays. The old generation definitely had their problems, too.

  12. They had way more fires, their equipment was heavier and their gear was shit. Have you ever seen a firefighting trench coat from the 70’s? Getting mildly burnt was routine.

  13. I remember seeing a video where a guy read texts from Roman times talking about how the younger generation was ruining everything. Definitely not something new.

  14. The old generation went to a job where they had to put their shit on the line because they were willing to be the person who dies for someone else.

  15. I do think it is harder to get your foot in the door now. A guy I used to work with got his job because he had been working as a hydrant painter. That was his qualification, so they put him through school. And he had the audacity to trash females, anyone who wanted to be a paramedic, and minorities, wishing to join the agency.

  16. Much simpler back then. My mom‘s grandfather was an LA County fire fighter, and they were so slow that his shift was able to run a construction business (while on shift). I guess it was a running joke that the fire engine would always be seen at construction sites. My previous department was a smaller fire department, but we were so busy with medical calls that we would be lucky to actually be able to sit down and eat. The integration of EMS and the growing call volumes have drastically changed this job over the past 10 years. Can’t imagine what it was like 50 years ago

  17. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. EMS needs to be kept separate as it’s own thing. The only thing you get from forcing people who don’t want to be medics to be medics is shitty medics.

  18. Totally depends on where you choose to work. There’s still plenty of departments, even large departments like Denver Fire, where you don’t need to ever get your Paramedic. Beyond that, there were a lot more fires in the past, there wasn’t SCBA so more firefighters died on the job, if you had a heart attack after a fire your family wasn’t compensated as a line of duty death… there also weren’t nearly as many departments that were Union pushing for preferred shifts. Pensions were more all or nothing back in the day, you either got it or you didn’t. You couldn’t change departments ten years in or change careers and have a partial benefit.

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