Explorer Post #34- Rules & Regulations
The West Seneca Fire District #6 Board of Fire Commissioners has updated the rules and regulations for the Vigilant Explorer Post #34. Please see the attached documents for your reference. Any questions, comments or concerns, should be directed to Chairman David Klawitter.
PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL
FIRE EXPLORING – BACKGROUND, POLICY AND PROCEDURES
OVERVIEW and INTRODUCTION
The Vigilant Fire Explorer Program provides a course of study and practical training in firematics, emergency medical response and rescue. It is designed for young men and women between 14 – 20 years of age. The program operates under the general oversight from the Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council # 380 as an Explorer program, and more specifically receives direct guidance and instruction from West Seneca Fire District # 6, the sponsoring agency.
The program provides the explorer with the opportunity to gain insight into fire and emergency services careers and develop a road map for their futures. Explorers interact with Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and gain experience in a realistic work environment. Explorer Post Advisors offer members advice on the skills, responsibilities and educational requirements for fire and emergency services careers as well as careers in the public service dedicated to helping others.
Firefighting is often hard and uncomfortable work that exposes an individual to a high level of personal stress and danger. A firefighter must have a high sense of personal dedication, discipline, ingenuity, persistence, commitment and a genuine intrinsic desire to help others. These attributes are emphasized through the program in the development of every Explorer.
The challenge of any fire department is to recruit, promote and retain a high level of skilled and motivated men and women, who are devoted to the pursuit of maintaining the tradition and progressive excellence of the fire service profession. The challenge of this Fire Explorer Program is two-fold:
• First, it is the intent of this program, in cooperation with the West Seneca Fire District # 6, Learning for Life Exploring and other supporting fire & EMS agency professionals, to offer young men and women real life experiences, training, and exposure to the career opportunities in the public service. It is intended to excite the interest of the explorers in rewarding careers in the public service, dedicated to the premise of helping others.
• Second, it provides a reliable and effective means for preparing and eventually
recruiting the firefighters and emergency responders of tomorrow from our surrounding communities.
The Purpose of this Program Operations Manual (POM) is to provide a working framework and operational guidelines for the Vigilant Explorer Program. In order for this handbook to remain current, input is needed from the people who use it.
Additional questions and comments can be directed to the Vigilant Fire Exploring Program Commissioner, Fire Chief and/or Senior Advisor or the Exploring Program Coordinator.
REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN
• At least 14 to 20 years of age and enrolled in a middle/high school, G.E.D. program or college.
• At eighteen (18) years of age and upon graduation of high school, the explorer
may apply to become an active firefighter with West Seneca Fire District No. 6., or another fire district. But he/she may elect to remain an explorer until the age of 20 years.
• Must show and/or demonstrate respect to parents and adults. Must have written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian. (See Application).
• Proof of ability to maintain at least a GPA of 2.0 or 80% report card average; or in the alternative, an academic waiver from a school/psychologist due to a leaning hardship.*
• Must be able to attend, on average, over a 6 month period, at least one regularly scheduled meeting/drill per month.
• Membership shall be limited up to twenty (20) Explorers; dependent on the number of available advisors.
• Members should be in relative good health and be physically active due to the active nature of the training and provide a doctor´s letter of good health or a letter specifying limited duty for which accommodations can be made. *
• Each applicant must be recommended by the Fire Chief to the Board of Fire Commissioners, West Seneca Fire District No. 6.
• Must be a resident of the Town of West Seneca, or nearby jurisdiction that is agreeable to the Board of Fire Commissioners, West Seneca Fire District No.6.
• Upon acceptance by the Board of Fire Commissioners, a perspective probationary member (for six consecutive months), shall take the Oath of Allegiance, and sign his/her name to the oath.
• Pass a probationary period of six months by meeting all basic requirements and criteria.
*Any sensitive information submitted in the acceptance process will be held in the strictest confidence and is intended to help establish a unique program for explorers who need extra help to succeed in the program.
HIGHLIGHTS AND BENEFITS OF EXPLORERS
• Attend an average of two drills a month.
• Perform a community service assignment (help others in need).
• Take field trips to visit various emergency response places (Mercy Flight, Airport Rescue, State Fire Academy).
• Receive instruction in the operation of fire, EMS and rescue tools and equipment.
• Meet with other agency Explorers to share and exchange ideas and build teamwork.
• March (in uniform) in various parades in West Seneca.
• Attend Fire and Emergency trade shows (NY State Fire Chief’s Convention).
• Compete in the following drills: ladder raiser, hose advance, search & rescue, first-aid techniques, (packaging for) non-ambulatory transports and more.
• Receive classroom training in study and test-taking skills.
• Sense of acceptance and belonging to the "right" group.
• Opportunities to participate in practical, real and meaningful hands-on experiences.
• Opportunities to try leadership roles and develop new skills.
• Stimulate interest in continual career information; provide insight into future vocation.
• While in uniform, perform essential standby duties (Community days, Open House, Fireworks, First Aid at Soccer Park, Queen of Heaven Carnival, Southgate events, National Night Out, and many more)
Exploring is part of the Learning for Life Career Education Program for young men and women who are 14 years of age, up through 20 years old. Exploring is a worksite-based program that gives youths an opportunity to visit community organizations and explore the dynamics of various careers in the public service sector.
“The Explorer Motto” – Our best today for a better tomorrow.
Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between community organizations and the youth in that community. Local community organizations initiate a specific Explorer Post, and create activities that help the youth pursue their special interests as they grow and develop. This up-to-date approach to high school- age young people helps them find their present and future roles as individuals in society and in the world of work.
THE EXPLORER CODE
As an Explorer, I believe that America´s strength lies in her trust in God and in
the courage and strength of her people.
I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal
sense of honor in my own life.
I will, treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and
I will, recognize the dignity and worth of my own fellow men and will use fair
play and goodwill in dealing with them.
I will, acquire the exploring attitude that seeks the truth in all things and
adventure on the frontiers of our changing world.
It is the purpose of the Learning for Life to provide young adults with an effective Exploring program designed to build character, teach responsibilities, and develop personal fitness.
Program activities center on four experience areas:
1.) To educate the youth of West Seneca in the prevention and protection of life and property from the devastation of fire and injury;
2.) To prepare the youth of West Seneca the basic tools to become firefighters, emergency responders and/or public service providers, when they become eligible and have the desire to join a fire department, or public service;
3.) Provide a strong sense of community citizenship; and to excite the interest of explorers in rewarding careers in the public service, dedicated to the premise for helping others;
4.) Instill an esprit de corps while learning the fundamental attributes of Discipline, Leadership, Selflessness, Teamwork, Persistence, Humility and Integrity
In order to meet the needs of young adults the following methods have been recommended by Learning for Life:
• Voluntary association between youth and adult - These relationships provide a connection to new ways of thinking and acting, and a new identity as a responsible young adult.
• Ethical decision making - Exploring provides numerous opportunities for decision-making and ethical choice.
• Teamwork - Exploring activities are interdependent group experiences in which
success is dependent on the cooperation of all.
• Recognition of Achievement - Through formal awards and/or through acknowledgment of the youth’s competence and ability by peers and adults.
• Exploring is about curiosity, exploration, adventure - Through new experiences that provide opportunities for new skills and meaningful participation in action-oriented activities.
EXPLORER LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS
• Explorers may not be substituted for trained personnel.
• Explorers must be equipped with personal protective equipment that is appropriate for the activity being done.
• Explorers may be mobilized only as a post, with required leadership.
• Explorers should not drive to the scene of an emergency. Only in extreme cases, as outlined in the Post bylaws, Explorers may report as directed by the fire chief to the firehouse and then travel with adult leadership to a controlled incident.
• Explorers who ride on apparatus or other department vehicles must be seated and must wear a seat belt.
• Explorers shall not drive department vehicles.
• Explorers may not climb aerial ladders or ascend in a tower ladder with a bucket; unless it during a supervised drill with a one-on-one advisor present.
• Explorers may not climb ground ladders that exceed 35 feet in length, or not supported against a structure.
• Explorers may not enter or perform ventilation procedures on a burning structure; unless it during a supervised drill, in a controlled setting, with a one-on-one advisor present.
• Explorers may not use any tools or gloves on energized electrical equipment.
• Explorers may not operate cutting torches.
• Explorers may not operate hydraulic rescue tools or equipment; unless it during a supervised drill, in a controlled setting, with a one-on-one advisor present.
• Explorers may not engage in any activity on a fire scene unless supervised by an authorized advisor.
Training consists of lectures, manipulative and physical training, self-study, academies,
mock disasters and multi-company drills provided by fire service professionals, Technical Advisors and Certified Explorers. All training will be in accordance with the Wet Seneca Fire District # 6 and recognized and accepted fire service standards. Standardized Training lesson plans have been developed using resources from established training forums.
• To provide an insight into Fire/EMS and public service at no substantial cost increase to the host fire department
• To provide the Explorer with a basic knowledge pertaining to safety, emergency medical first aid, fire suppression, physical fitness etc.
• To provide a uniform system of training (see By Laws Training and Drills) so that all
techniques learned will conform to local fire service standards as well as NY State approved fire and Emergency Medical Services protocols.
• To provide and understanding and ability to follow a chain of command.
• Understand terms and definitions of emergency management.
• Understand the federal government’s National Incident Management System.
• Demonstrate ability to take charge and provide stability during a crisis.
Fire Explorer training is designed to meet the certified ride-along or Stand-by program requirements outlined in this handbook. It is up to the individual explorer to further seek his or her individual training goal. This requirement must be approved on an individual basis by the Fire Chief, with notification to the Commissioner Board, after established training criteria has been met and approved.
VIGILANT EXPLORER POST-34
The By Laws, within the Program Operations Manual (POM), serve as operational guidelines for the supervision and direction of all the members of the Vigilant Explorer Program. These By- Laws shall remain as property of the Vigilant Exploring Post – 34 and are contained within the West Seneca Fire District # 6, Rules and Regulations pertaining to explorers or administration of the Explorer program. Detail explanation and situations not covered within this POM or By-Laws shall be resolved by referring to the Vigilant Explorer Program Manager and/or Exploring Program Coordinator.
ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP
A. At least 14 to 20 years of age and enrolled in a middle/high school, G.E.D. program or college.
B. At eighteen (18) years of age and upon graduation of high school, the explorer
may apply to become an active firefighter with West Seneca Fire District No. 6., or another fire district. But he/she may elect to remain an explorer until the age of 20 years.
C. Must show and/or demonstrate respect to parents and adults. Must have written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian. (See Application).
D. Proof of ability to maintain at least a GPA of 2.0 or 80% report card average; or in the alternative, an academic waiver from a school/psychologist due to a leaning hardship.*
E. Must be able to attend, on average, over a 6 month period, at least one regularly scheduled meeting/drill per month.
F. Membership shall be limited up to twenty (20) Explorers; dependent on the number of available advisors.
G. Members should be in relative good health and be physically active due to the active nature of the training and provide a doctor´s letter of good health or a letter specifying limited duty for which accommodations can be made. *
H. Each applicant must be recommended by the Fire Chief to the Board of Fire Commissioners, West Seneca Fire District No. 6.
I. Must be a resident of the Town of West Seneca, or nearby jurisdiction that is agreeable to the Board of Fire Commissioners, West Seneca Fire District No.6.
J. Upon acceptance by the Board of Fire Commissioners, a perspective probationary member (for six consecutive months), shall take the Oath of Allegiance, and sign his/her name to the below oath.
K. Pass a probationary period of six months by meeting all basic requirements and criteria.
*Any sensitive information submitted in the acceptance process will be held in the strictest confidence and is intended to help establish a unique program for explorers who need extra help to succeed in the program.
Oath of Allegiance
I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will abide by the rules and regulations of West Seneca Fire District No. 6 and the By-Laws of Vigilant Explorer Post # 34; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
Key Terms & Definitions
SENIOR ADVISOR – Is the lead or principle post advisor.
ADVISOR –members of the Post who coordinate and help guide for the Explorers and this program.
POST – a basic unit of the Explorer Program.
MEMBER – Any person registered with Learning for Life and assigned to the Vigilant Exploring Program.
EXPLORER – the registered youth members of the Vigilant Explorer Program, who live in the West Seneca Area and are at least 14 years old and no older than 20 years old.
PROBATION– the period of six months before a youth has qualified and/or has been initiated into the Post as an Active Explorer (6 months of consecutive active status in good standing).
MINOR CORRECTIVE ACTION - lasting a minimum of 2 weeks, up to 8 weeks including the Explorers forfeit to ride-along/stand-by privileges, parades, and inability to wear any clothing with the name Vigilant appearing for up to 8 consecutive weeks of drills/meetings). A lesser penalty may also be imposed. Does not include suspensions greater than two weeks.
MAY – when used in the context of these By Laws means permissive.
SHALL – when used in the context of these By Laws means mandatory, “will” is a substitute for shall.
ACTIVE EXPLORER – An Explorer who maintains the minimum participation requirements of the Post and who is in good standing with the Post.
INACTIVE EXPLORER – An explorer who is not currently functioning at minimum capacity within the Post due to: leave of absence, substandard participation (attendance), disciplinary probation (corrective action), academic probation, or other activity precluding him or her from fulfilling the duties of an active Explorer. Inactive Explorers must forfeit all issued department and/or Post gear, equipment, and materials, as stated in these By Laws. An Explorer may return to active status within one year from date of inactivity without loss of last status. After one year of inactivity, the Explorer is officially terminated from the Post. Should the said youth return to the Post, he or she would need to start the Program over from the beginning including a probationary period.
QUORUM – Majority (more than ½) of the current or active Explorer membership.
Explorers in High School shall provide a copy of each grade report to the Post Advisor at the end of each semester or when directed to do so by the Post Advisor. A GPA of at least 2.0 or 80% must be maintained in order to stay in good standing (Active) with the Vigilant Explorer Post. Any Explorer who fails to provide proof of grades or fails to maintain a GPA of 2.0 (80%) or higher will be placed on academic probation* until he or she can provided proof of the minimum 2.0 GPA required. In some cases, an academic waiver from a school/psychologist due to a leaning hardship may be acceptable but only after consultation with the parent(s) and advisor.
* Academic Probation - a corrective action in which the said Explorer will be given a set period of time to correct the action. If the Explorer does not show proof of at least the minimum 2.0 GPA(80%) by the end of the academic probation period he or she will surrender all Explorer privileges (Inactive status) and possible receive additional corrective action to include suspension and/or termination from the Exploring Program.
ARTICLE II – PROGRAM LEADERSHIP
In a fire company organization there are several levels of authority. This is necessary because it is absolutely essential that there be a clear-cut and well defined assignment of responsibility for directing the efforts of fire control along with the day to day operations. Along with assigned responsibility must go assigned authority. When functioning at an emergency, it is inviolate rule that there be unity in command. A raging fire cannot be successfully fought by a committee. Someone must guide and direct the efforts of all involved. That person is the top-ranking fire officer and all others must follow the officer´s orders and directions without hesitation. To accomplish this objective, there must be a chain of command that is followed.
Sponsor and Advisors - Positions and Duties
Explorer Program leadership outlines the jobs and responsibilities of all leadership functions within the Explorer Program and each individual Exploring Post. Program and Post Leadership also serves to define the Explorer Program Chain of Command. Includes the Program Manager, Program Coordinator, all advisors and youth Post leadership.
Program Manager (PM) – West Seneca Fire District # 6, designated Commissioner(s).
Program Coordinator (PC) – A Fire Chief or Assistant Chief of West Seneca Fire District # 6, approved by the Commissioner Board, who is responsible for administering the Fire Exploring Program for the Chartered Organization. The Exploring Program Coordinator may also serve the function of Technical Advisor.
The Exploring Coordinator has the following responsibilities:
• Represents the post to the chartered organization – serves as liaison between District Commissioners, Learning for Life, and Vigilant Exploring Post(s)
• Helps recruit Post Leadership.
• Insures that all individuals involved with the post serve the best interests of the chartered organization – West Seneca Fire District No. 6 and Vigilant Fire Company.
• Cultivates resources to support the Vigilant Exploring Posts
• Makes recommendations to Commissioner Board in all matters pertaining to the Fire
• Encourages participation and support for the Explorer Post from other members of the department, Adult Leadership, Post Leadership, parents, and the surrounding community.
• Utilizes the resources of Adult & Post Leadership, Vigilant, and parents to bring a diversified, fun and energetic program to the Post
• Upholds the standards and policies of the chartered organization and Learning for Life.
• Keep informed by attending Advisors’ meetings and Post Officer meetings (leadership meetings).
• Maintain close liaison with Post Advisor
• Assure that the Post checking account be titled “Explorer Post # 34,” (Should not utilize the Vigilant Fire Company name in any way.)
• Reports to: Fire District Exploring Program Manager
Senior Post Advisor - The Post Advisor may only be affiliated with one Post and the Vigilant Post - # 34 will have only one Post Advisor. The Post Advisor may also serve as the Fire District’s Explorer Program Coordinator. Has the general oversight for the conduct of advisors and Post Explorers. In addition, has all of the duties and responsibilities of a Post Advisor.
Post Advisor – an adult leader (the number of advisors is dependent on the need due to Post size) and from Vigilant responsible for coordination and leadership duties of the Explorer Post. Coordinates drills and activities and maintains direct oversight of the explorers during drills/meetings and stand-by’s.
The Post should have a minimum of two Adult Post Advisors. Adult Post Advisors must be Active Firefighters with the West Seneca Fire District No. 6, past the age of twenty and reside within the surrounding community (West Seneca area). Adult Advisors must fill out an advisor application and be approved by the Program Manager and Coordinator and youth leadership prior to being added as an Adult Advisor with the local Learning for Life office.
Fosters an environment within the Explorer Post that has a true sense of community and that encourages everyone’s growth and responsibility to one another.
Helps to recruit the Post Leadership Encourages and promotes Adult Leadership recruitment & training.
• Serves as a liaison between the Learning for Life, Niagara Frontier Area Exploring Council and Vigilant Exploring Post.
• Serves as the lead advisor and coordinator for the Explorer Post.
• Promotes the recruitment of new members.
• Performs post re-chartering. Provides an integral part of selection and approval of potential recruit Explorers.
• Provides necessary framework for protecting the members in the Exploring Program from abuse (Youth protection program).
• Oversees all duties of Adult Leadership and post membership application process.
• Keep informed by attending Advisors’ meetings and Explorer Post Officer meetings (Leadership meetings).
• Maintains close liaison with Exploring Program Coordinator
• Assure that Explorer leadership recruit and process applicants, maintain all reports, and maintain a separate file on each Explorer.
• Provide oversight of post finances, including review of monthly financial report prepared by post treasurer.
• Post Advisor shall serve as primary signature on Post accounts.
Technical Advisor -Technical Advisors must be members of Vigilant Fire Company, civilians familiar with the fire service, members of other fire departments or former Explorers past the age of twenty years old. Technical Advisors must be approved by the Exploring Program Coordinator, with notice to the Program Manager prior to being added as an Adult Leader with the local Learning for Life office.
• Technical Advisors will be primarily utilized as lead instructors, mentors and representatives during post training and activities. Technical Advisors shall utilize the standardized training lessons plans or activities arranged by the Post Advisor.
• There should be no less than one advisor for every six explorers during a general drill or training. In special drills using hazardous tools and rescue equipment there must be one-on-one advisors to explorers during said tool use.
• Reports to: Post Advisor & Coordinator
Explorer Youth Leadership –Positions and Duties
Officer titles shall be used to describe the level of authority and responsibility held by a qualified Fire Explorer.
Your role as an Explorer officer is:
Fostering and developing an environment within your Explorer post that has a true sense of community, which encourages growth and responsibility to one another.
Working in a spirit of partnership with the Advisors of the post
Developing a program of activities for your post and helping to carry them out.
Upholding the standards and policies of the chartered organization and Learning for Life.
Uphold the Explorer By Laws and when applicable make recommendations that further improve the Explorer program.
Ensuring that activities are conducted within the charter organizations (West Seneca District # 6) safety requirements.
The Fire Explorer Officers are as follows:
Post Captain - Primary youth administrative leader and Post representative, who leads recruiting efforts and manages the development of post programs and reports to Advisors and Program Coordinator.
Serves as youth leader of the Post for both administrative and operational functions.
Initiates Roll Call during meetings and drills and conducts Post membership inspections.
Coordinates and leads Explorer meetings.
Implements the post programs in cooperation with officers and exploring members. Represents the Post at Explorer officer meetings and is available to report to the chartered organization.
Appoints Explorers to special projects and appoints special post officers.
Assesses whether the responsibilities of the officers are being considered and carried out effectively.
Maintains decorum and order at all post meetings, events and activities.
Leads and direct explorers during non-emergency and emergency operations.
Approaches and encourages Exploring in a spirit of fun and enjoyment.
Following every year of assignment, dues are waived.
Reports to: Post Advisor & Program Coordinator
Qualifications: Must be in good standing; served as a lieutenant for 6 months or more or have been an Explorer for more than two years.
Post Treasurer & Secretary/Communication Officer –is responsible for Post treasury and keeps accurate records of income and expenditures of posts funds and is responsible for keeping records, taking minutes and handling correspondence.
Financial Officer responsible for Post records
Responsibilities: income and expenditures of post’s funds
Maintains financial reports, Post checking and savings accounts and monitors the post budget.
Collects dues and funds, disburses, and deposits post funds.
Communicates with the officers and members on a regular basis about the post’s finances.
Participates & attends all Post Officer meetings (Leadership meetings) and Post Activities.
Approaches Exploring in a spirit of fun and enjoyment, and spreads this spirit in carrying out the treasurer’s responsibilities.
Manages all communications and publicity for the post. Coordinates Post roster
Maintains post membership and attendance records, and minute.
Records Post Roll Call.
Handles post correspondence.
Coordinates post newsletters, and the post’s telephone network.
Following every year of assignment, dues are waived.
Reports to: Captain and Advisors
Sergeant at Arms – Maintains order at all meetings and drills; enforces rules established by By-laws, advisors and Post Captain.
Leads Post in Pledge of Allegiance.
Post Lieutenant - Serves as youth leader of the Post for operational functions at drills, special events and stand-by’s. Assists the Captain and Advisors as required.
Safety Officer – Will act as an extra set of eyes and ears for all advisors during drills and special events and stand-by’s to ensure all Post members are following protocols and procedures related to safety issues. Ensures all gear and protective clothing are worn, observes Explorers to determine if a hazardous condition or health safety issue exists. This individual must stay focused at all times.
Post Officer Elections and Terms of Office
Those nominated, need to understand and commit to the responsibilities and time involved. Officer nominees must accept nomination and be able to commit to minimum attendance requirement of 80% of all meetings and activities during time as an officer.
Post shall elect (in December or after a vacancy occurs) officers for a 1-year term beginning in January. The election procedure will include nominations during the month of November and elections during the month of December. All active Explorers in good standing with the Post are eligible to run for any Post Officer position. An official election shall consist of a quorum or majority of the post membership. Tiebreakers will be decided by the Post Senior Advisor. The post needs will determine the number of officers required. There are no term limits for any Post Officer position. Eligible Explorers may be nominated for one or more youth officer positions but can only be elected to one at a time.
Explorer members must be a member at least one (1) year to hold an office, unless otherwise stated.
A Safety Officer will be appointed by the Senior Advisor after the first of the year or when a position becomes vacant
ARTICLE III - TRAINING and DRILLS
Generally there will be two drills a month; except during July and August when there will be three drills due to no school. Drills will be scheduled every other Monday of the month unless otherwise notified in the drill schedule.
Each Explorer member should attend at least one (1) drill per month or notify an Advisor if he or she will miss two in a row, and must attend a minimum of 30 percent of special drills per year.
Each Explorer member will be responsible to submit a written excuse to the Advisor, if he or she is unable to attend the required drills or work details. Failure to actively participate in drills may result in corrective action.
Members shall attend at least one (1) work detail per year.
In this technological society, the average house fire involves materials and synthetics that were unknown in the past. Years ago, a firefighter´s toughness was measured by his ability to "eat smoke" without breathing equipment. Today, that same firefighter without breathing equipment would die after the first breath of phosgene gas, cyanide or burning plastics.
Because of their construction and contents, multiple family dwellings and new industrial complexes have added to the workload, increasing the hazards. The science of firefighting must keep up with these modern-day challenges through constant instruction. Fire fighting in the 90´s has been upgraded to the point where new methods are practiced as they become necessary,
sometimes being updated on a monthly basis.
By establishing a basic understanding of the duties and responsibility of today’s firefighter, an explorer can get a better idea of what lies ahead, what the job means to him or her personally.
Instruction is intended to allow the Explorer to become familiar with Fire & EMS terminology, Identification and use of the equipment and basic fire department familiarity. Instruction shall cover the following:
Be able to recognize general terminology and knowledge as it relates to Vigilant, including West Seneca Town Hall and Council and Civil departments such as Town Highway. It is the goal of the Explorer Post that after one year of joining the Post, member will become certified in CPR and complete an online FEMA course on ICS-100.
• Responsibilities of the Fire Department
• Fire Department Organization
• Chain of Command: Basic rank structure (Explorer to Fire Chief)
• Station Routine and Procedures
• Rules and Regulations: Fire Department and Explorer
• Communications: General understanding of proper radio terminology and procedures. Also, telephone answering procedures, computers, and verbal orders.
Academic: NFPA 1971-1974; NFPA 1001; NFPA 1500; OSHA vs. NFPA. Accountability & Basic Incident Command Systems
Manipulative: Donning PPE to “Fire Ready” status.
• Breathing Apparatus:
Academic: Identify main parts and general purpose of SCBA.
Manipulative: In full PPE dons breathing apparatus and finish evolution on air. SCBA inspections, cylinder changes, etc.
• Hose Lays:
Academic: Identify hose types and hose lay terminology including sizes of hose, types of couplings (sizes, threads), names and uses of hose rolls, normal compliments of hose (by size), use of different hose appliances.
Manipulative: Instruction should include the following: hydrant hook-ups,
pull and advance transverse bed and preconnected lines, pull and advance hose packs and supply line, forward lay, reverse lay, shoulder load and advance 2 ½ and/or 3” line, use of appliances, and re-bed hose (hose packs, preconnects, transverse and 2 ½, 3” & 5” hose beds).
• Fire Behavior: Possess a basic knowledge of factors associated with fire behavior.
• Fire Extinguishers: (academic & manipulative) Be able to identify types, uses and
specifications of fire extinguishers.
Academic: Identify ladder types, units carried on, and parts of ladder.
Manipulative: Ladder a building with Engine Company straight and
• Ropes & Knots:
Academic: Identify the following basic knots & their purposes:
Bowline, family of Figure 8 knots (figure 8, figure 8 on a byte, figure 8 follow through, figure 8 bend), Half Hitch, Clove Hitch, Overhand Safety, Water Knot, Hasty Harness or Quick Seat. Identify & describe different types of rope their construction and proper maintenance.
Manipulative: Be able to tie all above knots in accordance with IFSTA Essentials and RMFA Ropes & Knots Supplement.
• Equipment/Tool Identification: (academic & manipulative) Identify by name and locate on apparatus hand tools, hose fittings (appliances), nozzles, and rescue equipment. Basic small tool familiarity i.e. screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc. Tools Aloft and Forcible Entry techniques.
• Ventilation and Building Construction: Natural and PPV ventilation. Basic Building Construction terminology and understanding.
• Salvage and Overhaul: (academic & manipulative) Salvage and Overhaul Tools And equipment terminology and use. Deploy, care and maintenance of salvage covers. Construct Catchalls and water chutes.
• Streams and Fire Control: (academic and Manipulative) handline fog and solid nozzles and nozzle settings. Master stream operations & Fire Control procedures.
• Basic Tactics
Structure: Define general terminology related to basic firefighter skills. Including: Offensive, Defensive attacks, and tactical benchmarks.
Wildland/Brush Firefighting: Direct, Indirect attacks, Wildland Tools and PPE
• Pre-Hospital Care:
(academic & manipulative) Administer CPR, Patient
AED, Assessment, and Vitals; IV & OXYGEN set up. Instruction up to First
Responder level. Basic EMS report documentation and narrative writing.
• Cause and Determination
• Hazardous Material & Special Emergencies: Haz-Mat awareness, MCI, WMD
• Public Fire Education & Fire Prevention
• Fitness & Nutrition
Bi-Weekly fire and EMS training will be conducted to adequately prepare an Explorer for a
career in the Fire Service. Post training must be reliable, qualifiedly and uniformly consistent. In order to maintain uniform Fire Exploring training in a program that runs year round and encompasses a diverse background of instruction and instructors a Standardize Training format will be used.
Throughout his/her career, a fire Explorer may receive fire and EMS training from a
number or different firefighters and fire service professionals from many different fire
stations and departments and other backgrounds. When possible, basic fire and EMS
training will cover pre-determined topics using set lesson plans representing recognized
fire and EMS standards. These lesson plans may be obtain be contacting the Explorer
Fire Explorer hands on training (manipulative training) will center on five areas of
basic firefighting and one in EMS:
(1) PPE & SCBA
(2) Ropes & Knots
(3) Tools & Equipment & Tools Aloft
(5) Hose & Hose Evolutions and
(6)Emergency Medical Services.
While these are not the only firefighting & EMS
skills that will be presented to the Explorers, they are the ones that will receive
the most attention.
Drill Stations serve to evaluate the periodic and random progress of each individual Explorer and the instruction the Explorers receive. Drill Stations will identify the areas an individual Explorer are weak in or lack confidence. If multiple Explorers exhibit similar problem areas it may point to an instructional problem or inconsistency of instruction. So Drill Stations will evaluate both individual Explorer firefighting and EMS skills competency and the instructor(s) teaching/instructor skills.
Drill Stations will also serve as a testing benchmark. The Drill Station format shall be
utilized to ensure consistency.
ARTICLE IV –GENERAL OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES
It shall be assumed that all Explorer Post members will abide by the rules and regulations of West Seneca Fire District No.6, Vigilant Fire Company and the Explorer Post, in conjunction with the following rules and regulations.
• Explorer Post members shall not bring their friends or family members into the hall, unless an Advisor gives the approval.
• Any Explorer member must be accompanied by an Advisor, or Line Officer when at the hall.
• All Explorer members are expected to show proper respect to each other and to members of Vigilant Fire Company at all times.
• If and when Explorer Post members are invited to a district or fire company function, a curfew time shall be set by the Senior Post Advisor.
• No Explorer will have drugs (other than prescription drugs), alcohol, or tobacco in their possession on, or at any Fire Company or District function. When prescription drugs are used, the Explorers parent or legal guardian, must supply a note to the Explorer Post Advisor and in turn the District and Fire Company will be notified.
• There will be no horseplay on the Fire Company premises or during drills.
• No Explorer member will handle any firefighters gear or equipment (including the vehicles) unless given proper authorization.
• No Explorer member shall leave the premise. During drills or work details unless given proper authorization.
• Explorer Post members will be required to pay yearly dues of $10.00 due by the last day in January to the Treasurer. Dues will be waived for any member who participates in 50% of all special fundraising drills and stand-by’s (Southgate, Community Days, Queen of Heaven Carnival, Chicken/Rib BBQ, Spaghetti Dinner, any others).
• If the Explorer Post wishes to have uniform shirts, jackets or any other such gear it will be under the consent of West Seneca Fire District No.6.
• Watch your language, there is to be at No Time any vulgarity.
• All Fundraisers must BE approved by Fire Commissioner Board.
ARTICLE V – RIDE-ALONG and RULES AT FIRE OR FIRST AID SCENE
• At no time shall an Explorer respond to any fire or emergency scene on his or her own.
• Explorers must not have any blue lights on their personal vehicles.
• It is up to the Fire Chief´s discretion if the explorer Post will participate in drills.
• No member shall be allowed in a burning building.
• On certain occasions, a Chief may deem it safe after a fire is extinguished that some Explorers may be brought to the fire to work the scene. A report of this activity will be made to the Commissioner Board at the subsequent meeting.
• Explorers must wear all their protective gear.
• Explorers may only ride in enclosed vehicles.
• No Explorer shall drive any of the district vehicles.
• Never take any responsibility on your own, check with the Officer in charge.
• During drills or work details Explorers must wear proper clothing. (A closed toe shoe, NO heals, NO skirts, etc.)
Fire Department ride-along is an invaluable opportunity for Explorers interested in the fire service to encounter “real life” experiences and insight into the profession of being a professional EMT/firefighter. Ride-along observation and participation will help the individual decide whether or not he or she desires to pursue a greater role in the fire and EMS service.
Ride-Along for Basic EMS calls: Observer only
Observer rides are available to any non-probationary Explorer, who is 16 years or older.
Observer rides are strictly for observation with no actual hands-on involvement. The purpose of these rides is to slowly introduce the explorer to the “real life” profession of an EMT/firefighter.
SECTION 1 - Manipulative Examination
It shall be the responsibility of the Technical Advisors to administer the manipulative portion of the Certified Explorer Ride-Along testing procedure. The Manipulative Test pre-requisites will be in the form of an EMS checklist (see appendix for checklist) that shall be completed by each Explorer at their own pace. Once all skills have been successfully completed and signed off by a
Technical Advisor, the Explorer will be eligible to take the manipulative & written exam.
The manipulative testing procedures shall comply with the Fire Explorer Program
Operations Manual and are as follows:
EMS Skills – The Explorer shall demonstrate the ability to perform the following:
• Perform and demonstrate BSI and scene safety
• Primary Survey (Patient Assessment)
• Take and properly communicate patient vital signs
• Perform Documentation on Patient care report
• Demonstrate a proper written narrative report
• Present a current CPR card have certified ICS-100 course
• Identify and follow communicable disease and bloodbourne precautions
Participation by Certified Explorers at emergency incidents shall be limited to the
• Explorers may not enter a building of any structure fire until the scene is safe.
• Explorers may not be exposed to hazardous materials, potential explosions, or hazardous traffic, violent patients, or possible physiological or psychological harm, during any incident.
• Explorers may not participate on Haz-Mat incidents.
• Explorers may not drive fire apparatus
• Explorers who ride on apparatus or other fire department vehicles must be seated and must wear a seat belt.
• Explorers may practice EMS at their state approved level of care as deemed by a current approved State of New York medical license *.
• Explorers may not participate on civil unrest incidents in any capacity.
• Explorers may not participate on any fire department assignment outside the jurisdiction of WS Fire District No. 6 without prior approval from the Explorer Program Manager and Coordinator.
• Explorers may ride on Ambulances with appropriate Company Officer and truck officer approval.
• Explorers may not be substituted for trained firefighters.
The Explorer Program Coordinator and/or truck Officer reserve the right to refuse or cancel an Explorer ride-along at any time. The privilege to ridealong at any Vigilant fire truck is at the sole discretion of the assigned officer(s).
ARTICLE VI – FIRE PREVENTION, STAND-BY AND PARADES
Administration, Fire Prevention, & Communication
The original mission of the fire company was to the assistance of a distressed neighbor when ravaging fire threatened to destroy all that person´s worldly possessions. Limitations of hand / horse-drawn apparatus restricted the sphere of activity to the approximate distance a man or
horse could run. It was generally true that the fire companies were organized primarily to cope with fire emergencies and definitely made them agencies of public consequence.
The need for fire prevention will continue as long as fire is a force which human kind has not yet gained complete mastery. Consequently, a considerable portion of this training is devoted to a consideration of matters associated with fire suppression. However, there is increasing emphasis on the prevention of fire occurrence on the part of the firefighter’s organizations. This is entirely fitting because there is probably no other group so intimately acquainted with the terrors of fire as the firefighters who are first on the scene. The sights sometimes observed can, and do, make an ardent fire preventionist of even the most hardened firefighter. It is, therefore, particularly
important that firefighters study all factors dealing with fire inspection, and make recommendations that have a sound technical basis. All fire companies and fire fighters are urging to give consideration to serving the people of their communities in this important field b familiarizing themselves with fire prevention and fire protection subjects.
Ground rules for explorers on standby
• Be respectful to all adult present and the community at all times
• There will be no horseplay – you are out in the community representing the District. If said occurs, we will be notifying your parent to pick you up and you will NOT be able to participate the rest of the weekend.
• No friends shall be present during your shift – you may meet with friends before or after, but not during.
• You will need to wear your Vigilant shirt and a decent respectable pair of shorts that come to the end of your finger-tips (no short shorts). If you are not “working”, you must change out of the Vigilant shirt so that we know which explorers are “on duty” and which ones are not.
• Each explorer must remain at the standby location during their shift. Once your shift is over with, Parents may pick up at a location of their discretion. The parent needs to notify the advisors of their intentions and location/time for pick-up; or provide an alternative to the advisor(s).
• You will be paired up with another explorer and you must remain with that partner during your whole shift. There may be an opportunity for you to observe and carry equipment during on scene calls to assist fire personnel. You will be notified of your time slot during your shift. It will be on a rotating basis.
• Outside radios are not allowed, there will be a district radio assigned to you during your shift.
• You MUST notify the advisor on duty if you need to leave the trailer and how long you will be gone for. There will be a sign-out sheet at the trailer and you must leave your cell phone number with the advisor in case of an emergency.
ARTICLE VII –CODE OF CONDUCT, ETHICS AND BEHAVIOR
A. General behavior
A Fire Explorer is a representative of the Fire Service. He or she shall maintain a professional attitude and demeanor, which shall not in anyway, communicate any personal prejudices or reflect negatively on the West Seneca Fire District No. 6 or Vigilant Fire Company, whether or not in uniform.
B. Language & Respect
Obscene, abusive or derogatory language will not be tolerated. No secondary discussions between explorers shall be carried on during a drill/meeting. Language will reflect respect for fellow Explorers, advisors and department members at all times. Explorers will address all fire service members with their rank and last name, or as otherwise indicated by the advisor or fire company member. When rank and/or last name is not known or applicable, Explorers will address fire service members and public with “sir” or “madam,” or advisors as the advisor directs but denotes respect.
C. General Grounds for Disciplinary or Corrective Action
Conduct that is unacceptable and will not be tolerated:
a. Violence of any kind
b. Horseplay during or after drill or stand-by’s
e. Verbal insults
g. Illegal use of Drugs or alcohol
h. Taunting or teasing other members
i. Forming a “side or secret club”
D. Notification of arrest or detention
Explorers shall notify the post advisor within 24-hours if they are detained or arrested by any law enforcement agency. This procedure also applies if the Explorer knows that they are the subject of an investigation by any agency.
TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, DRUGS & SMOKING
A. Tobacco Products
• Adult leaders and Advisors should support the attitude that young adults benefit from avoiding tobacco and shall not allow the use of tobacco products at any Exploring Program activity involving youth participants.
• Explorers will not smoke or use tobacco products in any form. Failure to abide by this order will result in disciplinary action, including dismissal from the Exploring Program. Advisors will refrain from using tobacco products when in the presence of a Explorers at a sanctioned event.
B. Drugs & Alcohol
• Advisors and/or Explorers shall not use any habit-forming drugs, except when such drugs or narcotics are properly prescribed by a physician for an illness or injury.
• Advisors and/or Explorers shall not use or report for duty or be on duty while under the influence of such drugs or alcohol.
• The Boy Scouts of America further prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.
At no time will an Explorer make a false statement to a fellow Explorer, Advisor or other
department member. Explorers shall not make any statement that is false or misleading
during the application process, any investigation or activity by the Post or the
department. This includes any written reports completed during department or post
activity or while speaking to citizens and members of the public regarding any Vigilant or
Post related topics. Note that this includes any derogatory statements made on social media sites.
For administration of this Exploring Program the purpose of this Section is to ensure a
standard procedure for dealing with pre-disciplinary and disciplinary issues. The word Discipline comes from the root “Disciple” meaning to learn. This policy is designed to offer fair, consistent and effective methods to handle discipline.
This policy is divided into three areas: Pre-disciplinary, Disciplinary Action, and
The first level, Pre-discipline, includes instructional guidance and precautionary counseling. Pre-discipline shall be used at the youth Post Officer level (President). The purpose of Pre-discipline is to bring attention to those areas that if not corrected could result in some level of discipline. This action is administered verbally with a written notation Leadership members records. Repeat infractions of a similar nature shall result in progressive discipline.
The second level, Disciplinary action, may be dispensed as a written reprimand; imposing a probationary period during which any further violation of any kind may result in more sever discipline. This action is administered in writing on an Explorer Disciplinary Action form signed by both the Explorer member and the Leadership member (Post Officer level or higher) administering the action. The Disciplinary form is then hand delivered to the Post Advisor or Program Coordinator for review, signature and filing. The Disciplinary Action form is filed in the members’ permanent file.
The third level, Administrative Action, is the most sever and includes suspensions, involuntary resignations, and terminations from the Vigilant Exploring Program. Administrative actions shall be initiated at the Vigilant Exploring Leadership level. The Vigilant Program Coordinator and/or Administrator will oversee the process and conduct any necessary proceedings. All administrative actions will include filling out an Explorer Disciplinary Action form and be permanently placed in the individual’s personnel file.
Any Exploring member wishing access to their personnel file will be granted permission
however no documents shall be removed or copied for the member to take with them.
Just Cause – It is the responsibility of all Exploring members to observe all Vigilant Exploring Rules, Regulations and By Laws and follow the procedure necessary for the proper operation of the Vigilant Exploring Program. Just cause for disciplinary action (including the immediate termination of an Explorer member) shall include, but is not limited to, being established for infractions of and failure to follow:
• WS District No. 6 Rules, Regulation and By Laws pertaining to the administration and operation of the Exploring Program.
• Boy Scouts of America and Learning for Life Rules and Regulations.
• All local, State and Federal laws
The Advisor or youth officer will record any activity or action of a Vigilant Explorer that is
expressly prohibited on a disciplinary action form, as stated in these By Laws and/or as
stated in the Vigilant Handbook. The Advisor and/or youth officer will also record the failure of a Fire Explorer to act in any manner other than and contrary to information found in the Bylaws & Handbook. No disciplinary Action shall be taken until member has been advised of the reason(s) for the action. Administration of discipline shall be fair, equitable and consistent. Discipline should be performed in private whenever possible. Whenever possible, an attempt should be made to administer disciplinary action in a progressive manner.
The Post Advisor will outline a course of corrective action with the Explorer that must be
completed in order for the Explorer to maintain and/or return to full Active status and to
prevent the Explorer from further disciplinary action.
Forms of corrective action include, but are not limited to, the requirement of additional
training, homework assignments, disciplinary probation* and academic probation.
*Disciplinary Probation – Minimum of 4 weeks during which time safety gear and ridealong
privileges are revoked and change in status to Inactive. Additional disciplinary
action or infractions may result in additional correction action involving the suspension
of the Explorer or dismissal from the Exploring Program.
Peer Counseling and Corrective Action Team
Under the oversight direction of a designated Advisor, a team consisting of the Captain, Longest tenured Lieutenant, and Secretary/Treasurer will act as a panel to consider corrective action for Explorers who engage in minor activity or disruptions during drills and stand-by’s that is counterproductive to the normal code of behavior for Explorers. Conduct that is considered disruptive includes:
Inattention during activities
Minor disrespectful conduct
Belittlement of an Explorer
Unexcused absence during an activity
Failure to follow rules under the By-Laws
After a thorough review of all information and evidence, the panel will conduct such investigation
to reach a conclusion, by majority vote, as to whether the alleged misconduct occurred and must
conclude with one of the following determinations:
A. Charges are sustained
B. Refer the matter to the Senior Advisor due to the severity of the incident
C. Charges are dismissed as being unfounded
D. Insufficient information available to make a decision
If the charges are sustained, the panel will determine an appropriate penalty, which may include any of
the following (BUT - No hazing, or physical or corporal punishment is allowed):
Request letter of apology to be read at the next drill/meeting
Extra work detail (i.e.: wash and/or wax a truck, clean a fire trucks compartment, take out trash after
drill for a two month period, etc.)
Refer the matter to the Senior Advisor due to the severity of the incident
REWARDS, GIFTS, FAVORS, ENDORSEMENTS, PUBLIC APPEARANCE
Explorers shall not accept, either directly or indirectly, a personal gratuity, fee, loan,
reward, or gift of any kind from any person or persons through his or her position with
the AFD Exploring Program. The Explorer Post(s) however, may accept direct corporate
donations or money raised through fire department approved fundraising events.
Vigilant Explorers or their fire department equipment may not be utilized in any manner in support or endorsement, either directly or indirectly, to any product, person, or service.
When identified as Vigilant Explorers, youth members and advisors shall not:
o Address any public gathering
o Appear on radio or television programs
o Write articles or manuscripts for publication
Without the expressed permission of the West Seneca Fire District # 6 Exploring Program
Administrator, Program Coordinator and/or Vigilant Exploring Post Advisor.
ARTICLE VIII - REPRESENTATION OF FIRE DISTRICT
UNIFORMS, SAFETY GEAR & GROOMING
Upon completion of initiation/probation, each Explorer will be issued one dark blue Class B uniform shirt. One pair of straight leg, four pocket khaki uniform pants with and a black leather river belt shall be bought by the fire district. Explorer’s nameplate will be ordered by the Explorer at this time. Explorer will be instructed to follow the uniform authorization, as stated in their notebook. If Explorer declares a financial hardship preventing him or her from purchasing additional required uniform items, the Post may pay for these items. Additional or lost uniform items must be purchased and/or replaced by the responsible Explorer. Uniform shorts will also be purchased for wear during drills and stand-bys.
B. Pins, buttons, decals, stickers
Only approved items may be worn on Class B uniform shirt. These items include: left shoulder Post or Vigilant patch with Explorer Rocker, issued nameplate, one concealed pocket pen and any pin or additional patch(es) approved by Vigilant Explorer Coordinator and Post Advisor. A nameplate will be located 1/8-1/4” centered and parallel above right pocket top stitch line. EMS pins will be located ¼-1/2” centered directly above nameplate. Method for attaching pins to uniform should be one described and designed by the pin manufacturer. No other items are allowed on the Class B uniform shirt. No pins, buttons, stickers or decals should be attached in any way to Explorer uniform T-shirt. Only Post approved decals will be allowed on Explorer issued helmets. No stickers will be allowed.
C. Safety Gear
Upon completion of probation and acceptance into post, the Post Advisor or Explorer Coordinator will issue the Explorer firefighting turnout gear. This gear includes turnout coat, turnout pants, gloves, helmet, bunker boots and rope. Any items not available will be issued as they come available based on seniority or time with post. Miscellaneous items such as suspenders, flash hoods and webbing will be issued if available. The following items are not to be worn on any Explorer issued gear or uniform to include being visible or audible:
cell phones, pagers, PPD, any electronic device, weapons, chains, or item not
approved by the Vigilant Explorer Coordinator. Glove pouch and trauma shears w/case are allowed. Explorer firefighting turnout gear is not to be worn inside the living quarters of the Vigilant fire station at any time.
Uniforms and safety gear issued to Explorers shall only be worn or used during official approved Vigilant Explorer Program training, events or activities. Use of uniform or safety gear outside approved Explorer functions without expressed or written approval of the Vigilant Fire Explorer Program Coordinator will result in immediate disciplinary action and is grounds for dismissal from the Explorer Program.
Care and Maintenance of Safety Gear: Is the responsibility of each individual Explorer; however, the follow are some recommendations and suggestions regarding care and maintenance:
• Do not store turnout gear/safety gear in a vehicle or in direct sunlight.
• Do not wash turnout gear in a residential cloth washer.
• Soiled gear should be hosed and scrubbed with water and mild soap and hung dried out of direct sunlight. Use of the District washer and dryer is also approved.
• Turnout liners can be removed and washed separately in the District’s washer.
• Do not store/fold gear that is wet and/or heavily soiled.
• When not in use, hang the gear on the rack or store dry gear in a large duffle/gear bag.
Grooming & Personal Appearance
All Vigilant Explorers shall adhere to the following grooming and personal appearance standards. This policy was established to ensure a well-groomed and professional appearance by all Vigilant Explorers, as well as to provide personal safety and proper representation of the West Seneca Fire District No. Six.
• Hair shall be clean, well groomed, and shall not obstruct vision. Hair shall not interfere with the proper wearing and/or use of all safety gear. If hair is an unnatural color, an approved hat should be worn.
2. FACIAL HAIR
• For use of an SCBA, Explorers will be clean-shaven, except for mustaches, which may not exceed one inch in any direction from the corner of the mouth and will present a well-groomed appearance.
• Sideburns will be neatly trimmed and shall not extend beyond the lowest part of the ear.
• At no time should facial hair be allowed to interfere with the proper fit and seal of the self-contained breathing apparatus face piece and flashhood.
• Jewelry items shall not interfere with the proper fit or integrity of one’s safety gear. Jewelry shall not be worn except if approved by Post Advisor.
• Females may not wear earrings that do not dangling or compromise the integrity of any post issued gear.
• No other visible body piercing is allowed.
• Fingernails shall be kept trimmed so as not to interfere with the proper fit of any safety gear or assigned task.
A P P E N D I X
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES EVALUATION RIDE-ALONG CHECKLIST
TASK ADVISOR DATE
Prior to being able to ride on Vigilant # 7 ambulance or any other fire District apparatus or having any patient contact or observation, new members must receive training in 1-4.
1 Blood Borne Pathogen Training
2 Proper use and demonstration of disposable gloves/PPE
3 Basic function and use of 02
4 Walk-thru of Vig # 7; understands location of 1st in-bag; 02; Zoll Unit; backboards and blue collar bag
After member is trained below on #’s 5-12 ; may ride on ambulance without having to get permission to board.
5 Demonstrates use on taking blood pressure
6 Demonstrates use of Pulse Oximeter
7 Demonstrates taking a radial pulse
8 Demonstrates taking a carotid pulse
9 Basic Use of radio and communications
10 Demonstrates how to check pupil reaction
11 Demonstrates checking respiration
12 Demonstrates basic knowledge of equipment and supplies in ambulance and all other apparatus
To be completed within six (6) months of entry on duty
13 Receives training on completing PCR
14 Demonstrates proper completion of PCR and sign-in sheet
15 Demonstrates ability to contact WS Fire Radio for call data
16 Demonstrates use of gurney
17 Demonstrates location and use of stair chair
18 Demonstrates use of Zoll (BP; Lead placement; Pulse Oximetry)
To be completed within one (1) year of entry on duty
20 Demonstrates use of CO detector
21 Demonstrates use of siren and emergency controls of ambulance
22 Demonstrates use of thermal imaging camera
23 Completes ICS 100/700 FEMA classes
24 Demonstrates proper bedside manner
25 Demonstrates location/use of immobilization devices
26 Demonstrates location/use of head-neck-spine immobilization devices
27 Demonstrates location/use of KED device
28 Explains protocols of Command structure during FA calls
29 Receives training on PTSD and stress calls
30 Receives certification in CPR // CFR // EMT
History and Background of the Fire Service in the Hamlet of Ebenezer, NY
The Vigilant Fire Company and West Seneca Fire District # 6 are distinct and separate entities, yet they share a close and symbiotic relationship. This interwoven cooperation depends on each other to foster and forge a strong growth in member training and skill development, social camaraderie, Fire and EMS prevention, and community spirit. To understand this unique relationship, one must look to the history of the Vigilant fire service. This dates back to its forming in 1893 and official incorporation by the State of New York in 1896, under the name, “Vigilant Fire Company, No. 1 of Ebenezer.”
The Holland Land Company purchased land in Western New York from the Native American Indians around 1835. In the 1840´s, a religious group known as the "Ebenezer’s" traveled from Germany to what is now known as West Seneca and purchased the land from the Holland Land Company. They came to the new world to escape religious prosecution, and because of their rebellious protests they became known as the "Communion of True Inspiration."
The leader of this group was Christian Metz who at the age of 24, came to America in 1842. The group prospered for about 15 years, but they soon felt the world beginning to close in on their religious society from a growing German population who had a less than pious lifestyle.
The community of "Ebenezer’s" required all able bodied men to serve as firemen when an emergency occurred. Fire apparatus was maintained in three locations in town. In Middle Ebenezer, a pump rig and two wheeled hose reels were housed in a bell tower in the church. Anyone in the community was permitted to sound a fire alarm with the bells, which was a rapid, one-sided clang on the bell.
Other fire equipment had been brought over from Germany and was taken to Amana, Iowa when the "Ebenezer’s" moved from West Seneca. From 1859 until 1863 the society sold its property to local investors and moved to Amana, Iowa where the community still exists today. The firefighting equipment has been preserved by the Amana community in Iowa.
The Ebenezer’s are today known as the Amana Society, and reside in 40 square miles on the prairies of Iowa. The community still has about 2,000 members and lives in communal lifestyle.
Numerous stories handed down by the "Ebenezer’s" reflect tragedies cause by the Buffalo Creek and Cazenovia Creek. On July 21, 1854, a sixteen year old boy drowned in Cazenovia Creek. Both creeks will have a tragic history in the years to follow, including the recent death of a Union firefighter making a rescue on the Buffalo Creek.
West Seneca was incorporated as a town in 1851. It was originally called Seneca, but later West was added to its name to avoid confusion with a town named Seneca between Rochester and Syracuse.
VIGILANT - WHERE WE ARE AND HOW WE GOT THERE
The Vigilant Fire Company was organized on December 2, 1893 and incorporated on February 05, 1896.
At the time the Vigilant Fire Company was organized in 1893, and later incorporated in 1896, volunteer fire companies were very tightly knit social groups within their communities. At that time there was no television, radio, cars, and items we take for granted today (and likely would have a difficult time surviving without these now basic staples in our society).
The early fire companies were proud, exclusive, influential, and very, very competitive. There still exists a "friendly" competitive spirit among companies today (well, at least in the Town of West Seneca). In larger cities it was not uncommon for brawls to break out among responding companies as the result of aggressive zealousness. Even to the point that buildings burned to the ground during these brawls
During the earliest days of the Vigilant Fire Company, a four wheel pump cart, left by the Ebenezer’s, was used to help fight fires. It took four men to operate the hand pumps. Of course, in the late 1800´s and early 1900´s there was no motorized form of transportation. Therefore, to get to the fire, the cart had to be pulled by hand or by some other means. Most of the time the firemen chose "some other means",…. good old horse power.
It was convenient that Henry Frey´s bakery at 615 Main Street was just down the street from Vigilant. Frey´s horse which was used to deliver bake goods would be pressed into service when the alarm sounded. The hand pump remained in operation until it was replaced in 1920 by a motorized fire engine. In 1931 local vandals took the antiquated hand pumper left by the Ebenezer’s and destroyed it by dumping it into Ebenezer Creek.
The first alarm system at the Vigilant was a large metal ring, taken from a railroad car by Vigilant members who worked at the Gardenville Yard of the New York Central Railroad. It is believed that Bennie Holstein obtained the wheel rim. When a fire was spotted, the first member to the hall would take a solid metal pole and smack the hanging hollow metal wheel rim as hard as he could. The sound was unique and loud and could be heard for long distances. Just like today, the firemen would race to the hall (except in those days by foot), get dressed in their fire gear, hook up the horse, provided he wasn’t making deliveries, and respond to the fire.
Vigilant was one of the first fire companies in the area to install an automated alarm system. It was maintained by member John Holstein. Each alarm box in the area was numbered. When an alarm was turned in, a bell in the steeple of the United Church of Christ would toll out the number of the alarm box. For example, if box 24 was pulled, the bell would toll twice, pause then toll four additional times. In fact that same system is stilled used in many department stores to call employees today. Each fireman had a white card showing the box numbers and location. If the fire apparatus had already left the hall by the time they arrived they could respond directly to the location of the fire. One of the later editions of this alarm call box system and number is framed in the main hall at Vigilant. The call boxes were removed from the telephone poles in town in 1992 due to false alarms and the introduction of cell phones.
As important as Vigilant was formed as protection against fires, the company evolved into a center for social gatherings in the early years. The social environment of being a member still exists today, but in a much different manner. One has to imagine those early days in order to get a proper perspective of the times; no television, no cars, no radios, no electronics, no refrigerators (people waited for the “ice man” to deliver blocks of ice) or gas/electric stoves (or microwaves). Water had to be hand pumped, hot water for showers, what showers? Well you should be getting a pretty good idea that the community needed to entertain themselves as there was little other activities. Vigilant served that purpose.
Sports were a major attraction for firemen of old just as it is today. Back then instead of watching the game on TV, they played it themselves. The fire company sponsored a basketball team in 1921-1922, and the hall was converted into sports arena. They played teams from neighboring fire companies and the City of Buffalo. The best players from Vigilant included Jim (Doc) Ehinger, Ed Mund, Earl Frey, Hal Weber, and Henry Moeller. Following each big game, there was dancing. The Vigilant Fire Hall was renowned for having one of the best dance floors in Western New York.
During the early years, a popular way of socializing and at the same time raising money, was by holding card parties at the hall. PEDRO was the game most liked. The card and dance parties continued through the 1950´s. After the card party, there was dancing to live orchestras. During the 1930´s, the Charleston, which was a popular dance and considered risqué by some back then, was banned at the hall. Not because it was risqué, but because the hall floor would buckle when everyone danced to that tune.
The first members of Vigilant were mainly of German decent. In fact the company remained under strong German influence for many decades. However, the dominance began to wane after WWI; and during WW II; a silent German ethnic pride became the rule after the wars. Charlie Curtin, Sr. relates that when he joined the company, he was believed by some to be of German extraction. In school the teachers thought he was German because of the German dialect he picked up from the local community. So he readily accepted into the German dominated fire company.
WEST SENECA FIRE DISTRICT NO. 6 is Formed
The West Seneca Town Board recognized the need to establish an organized system for managing the growing fire companies in town. In accordance with New York State Town Law, the Board established six formal fire districts on September 04, 1935. Vigilant became known as West Seneca Fire District No. 6. A five member commissioner board was appointed to a temporary term which would expire on December 31, 1936. A special election would be held in the coming December.
The new board quickly established an operating budget for 1936 in the amount of $ 1,784. These funds were set aside to buy rubber coats and boots, gas masks, wool mittens, pay for utilities, insurance and rental expenses.
In 1936, the town witnessed numerous floods, and Vigilant responded throughout the spring and summer months assisting in rescues and pumping out flooded basements. There were 38 alarms answered that year by Vigilant, which included 4 false alarms, and 14 assists to other fire companies.
The big event in 1938 was a fire on April 3rd on Seneca Street in Seneca Hose´s District. One house was a total loss and 2 others received heavy damage. Over 950 feet of hose was laid by Vigilant, and pumpers worked continuously for over two hours.
That same year, the chief reported that a new member William Keller had the tip of his middle finger cut off when he got it caught in the siren. Vigilant was assisting Reserve and Seneca Hose at the time.
1938 was a very good year for parades. Vigilant participated in 27 parades in the area, and won $ 95 in prize money. The following year saw an increase in calls to 50 for the year. These included 28 assist calls to other fire companies.
In 1940, Vigilant took several actions which are still seen in the company today. The Commissioner Board purchased the first siren with a remote control and automatic shut off (5hp Federal siren). On December 13, a bid was accepted for a new fire truck from Cayasler Mfg. Corp., Buffalo, NY, a Diamond T 509 at a cost of $4,000.
On May 21, 1941, Vigilant received the 1941 Diamond T No. 4103, 500 gallon tank, Hercules CBJXD, 6 Cyl, Hale ZL-25-16-8; 2 stage centrifugal pump. This truck is still in "service" today, but appears for parades and shows only. It is highly regarded as Vigilant´s antique fire truck.
The 1940´s were a somber time in the country and in Ebenezer due to World War II. A motion passed on January 07, 1942 based on a request from the Erie County Council of Civil Defense that the hall should be occupied at all times. This was to prevent enemy agents from destroying fire equipment which could have caused been disastrous if this area were attacked. In addition to having someone in the hall, Vigilant also erected a lookout tower on the roof of the hall to observe for enemy planes. Of course history tells us we were never attacked nor were enemy airplanes ever sighted. But the times as they were, it was comforting for the community to know that Vigilant was on the alert.
After the war threat was over, Vigilant got back into the swing of things. Authorization was given for the chief to flood the school playground in winter to make an ice skating rink for local school children. On May 19, 1948 a special election was held at the hall for the purpose of authorizing the purchase of a 1948 Chevrolet Panel Truck, to respond to emergency first aid calls. The motion passed.
1951 saw the Fire District´s budget increased to $ 6,088. During that year a new generator was purchased for emergency power. On December 22, 1953, the Commissioner Board accepted a bid from Young Fire Company for a new pumper at a price of $ 17,797.69. The truck was received on August 12th, 1954 and the chief, Roy Waton, reported that the new 1954 GMC Model 634-50V chassis from Young Fire Equipment was in fine and excellent condition. The pumper was tested at Como Park Lake. The "old" Diamond T was taken out of commission and stored at Ben´s Garage at Seneca and Union, but it was to be kept in working condition. That was a far sighted directive as the Diamond T is still in working condition.
Two years later there was a meeting at the hall with firemen and the community regarding a proposal to sell the Diamond T. No consensus was reached, and the discussion ended with the decision being tabled.
The later 50´s saw new red lights on the trucks, first aid standbys at high school football games, the purchase of the first smoke ejector, authorization for the first Mobile credit card for the chief to buy gas, electronic windshield wipers purchased for the trucks, and the budget increased to $ 10,082.50. The new truckroom was finished on October 23, 1958.
A new first aid truck was authorized on November 2, 1960 authorizing the Gerstenslager Co. to build a GMC chassis, Model V-3001, standard GMC V6, 165 HP, at a cost of $ 14,150. The old Chevy first aid truck was sold to Winchester for $550 in April 1961 after three commissioners went to Wooster, Ohio to pick up the new first aid vehicle.
In early 1963, firemen received home receivers for alerting them of a fire call. And in 1965 Fire Chief, Dave Gooch, was authorized to use a siren on his personal car. Also, that year it was decided that any member who answered ten calls or more would be authorized to have a key to the hall. In December of that year plans were presented to the Commissioner Board about a new apartment complex that was to be built next to the West Seneca West High School. The board had to recommend where the 6 fire hydrants would be placed in the complex.
On Sunday, October 10, 1965 there was a Dedication and Cornerstone Laying Ceremony at the new fire hall. President John W. Schneider received a US flag from U.S. Congressman Richard McCarthy and a State of New York flag from Bertrand Hoak, N.Y. State Senator. The dedicating address was provided by Michael Dillon, Erie County District Attorney.
The following year, 1966, a motion passed the board that emergency vehicles would not exceed a speed of 35 mile per hour. There is no record of that rule ever being rescinded. Bids were also received that year for new pumper. On July 07, 1967 the Ford Young Pumper, purchased from Young Fire Equipment was delivered at a cost of $ 25,818.00.
The budget for 1970 grew to $ 34,518.00. Scott Air-Packs were introduced into the company. Two packs were purchased a cost of $ 191 each. Today, these packs are an essential part of a firefighter´s gear.
On March 13, 1972, a bid for a new first aid truck was awarded to Cottrell Ford for a sum of 11,343. A few months later, an electric hose dryer was purchased for $ 1,217. Before this electric edition, hoses had to be air dried.
April 8, 1974 was the date that bids were opened to purchase a new pumper. Young Fire Equipment was the only bidder for $ 64,349.
A new first aid truck was dedicated on February 10, 1979 which was purchased from Professional Vehicle Sales, at a cost of $ 19,987.
Doctor James (DOC) Ehinger was appointed as Vigilant 9 C to enable him to answer all calls. This motion passed the commissioner board on September 24, 1979.
In 1980 eight Motorola pagers were purchased for the members.
On June 24, 1991, a decision was made to purchase a 1991 Ford Excellance First Aid Ambulance from West Seneca Emergency Equipment, at a cost of $79,412.
In 1992, a washer and dryer were purchased to allow firefighters to clean their turn out gear after fighting a fire. That same year Vigilant purchased an automatic defibrillator for first aid calls which allowed the first aid response to increase from a basic life support unit to an advanced life support unit.
On June 20, 1994, a bid was accepted to purchase from Pierce Mfg., Appleton, Wisconsin, a Sabre Pumper, capable of carrying 8 firefighters with a 1250 Waterous pump, at a cost of
In 1995 a new Ford Explorer was purchased for use by the Chief when responding to fire calls. The old Explorer was handed down to the First Assistant Chief, for his rapid response. Later that year a new four wheel drive pickup vehicle was purchased to carry an inflatable boat and water rescue personnel.
THE OLD TRUCK
In the fall of 1920, Vigilant took possession of its first motorized fire engine. The 1920 Buffalo Chemical Fire Truck was purchased for $ 6,500 from the Buffalo Chemical Fire Extinguisher Company, located at 67 Carroll Street, Buffalo, New York. This 1 1/2 ton engine, model TE 12-120, received its chassis from the Federal Motor Company in Detroit, MI. It came equipped with Goodyear pneumatic cord tires, 36X6, generator, storage battery, headlights, grease gun, and other miscellaneous tools.
During the early fall of 1920, the Vigilant members and Auxiliary held a week long fair at the hall to raise the money for the new truck. They held dances, sold items, had pony rides for kids, and other entertainment. All the needed funds were raised in this week long fair.
On Saturday, November 13, 1920, the fire company held a demonstration of the new truck for the community. The firemen erected a small building, soaked it with oil, and started it afire. The truck performed flawlessly.
In the late 1940´s, Vigilant was one of three Erie County fire companies that had a squad for responding to rescues and first aid calls. A group of twenty members took a six week first aid course which qualified them as first aid responders. The only other fire companies at the time that had a recognized response squad were The National Hose Company of the City of Tonawanda and the Main & Transit Fire Company of Williamsville.
Edward Huber was chief at the time the rescue squad began, and looked to Charlie Holstein and Carlton Gick to lead the squad. "Our detachment squad as well as the first-aid squad under Charles Holstein is on call 24 hours a day", Fire Captain Gick told new reporters. "Our men now are equipped for emergency rescue work, and we hope to work in close conjunction with the West Seneca Police on serious accidents, now that the Company has a new first aid truck". Carlton concluded by saying, "The detachment squad is trained to do rescue work of all types and will respond to any call immediately."
FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award is presented yearly to the active firefighter who has demonstrated to the chief that he/she is proficient in firematics and has performed their duties in an outstanding manner during the past year. The chief receives input from the assistant chiefs and line officers before a decision is made on this most prestigious honor. This recognition is presented to the recipient during the annual installation of officers usually held in January of each year.
FIRST AIDER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award is presented yearly to the active firefighter who has demonstrated to the chief that he/she is proficient in providing first aid and has performed their duty in an outstanding manner during the past year. The chief receives input from the assistant chiefs and line officers before a decision is made on this most prestigious honor. This recognition is presented to the recipient during the annual installation of officers, which is usually held in January
VIGILANT LADIES AUXILIARY (current history)
The word "auxiliary" means helps or aids, acting as extra help; that is what the women of the Vigilant Ladies Auxiliary are all about.
Their present organization had its roots founded on February 27, 1970, when Mrs. Althea Doe of the Erie County Volunteer Fireman´s Auxiliary (ECVFA) was contacted in regard to setting up the Vigilant Ladies Auxiliary. A meeting was held on March 10, 1970 at the Vigilant Fire Hall between the officers of the ECVFA and the Vigilant truckroom officers´ wives: Harriet Wonderly, Cynthia O´Hare, Elizabeth Nash, Alane Hoy, Lorraine Falkner and Ruth Mann.
On March 17, 1970, another meeting was held to go over By-Laws. A letter of consent was sent to the firemen to see if they would like to establish an Auxiliary. No objection from the members of the fire company was heard. On April 14, 1970, the first official meeting of the Vigilant Ladies Auxiliary was held to agree to By-Laws and officers elected.
In 1996 the West Seneca Fire District No. Six agreed to sponsor an Explorer Post #34 under the Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council # 380.
VIGILANT EXPLORER POST # 34
Oath of Allegiance
I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will abide by the rules and regulations of West Seneca Fire District No. 6, and the By-Laws of Vigilant Explorer Post # 34;
that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
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