Hello reddit, this is my first AMA. I am a firefighter in the state of Michigan. I am unable to provide any public proof due to a recent change in policy at my department.

I am hoping that by doing this AMA, I can play a small role in decreasing the number of fire deaths and help to end the current trend of violence toward first responders. Go ahead and ask me anything.

Comments: 2928 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

BestWestEnder1447 karma

You know those "in case of fire, please rescue (pets name)" stickers? 1 do you guys look for them before you go into a home and 2 on a scale of 1-10 how much of a priority is rescuing pets when you're responding to a call?

the_schmeez2445 karma

I cant speak for every department on this however we have a general rule: Risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little, risk nothing to save nothing. In other words, if there is a chance that someone or something surviving, we will typically commit to the structure. With how thing are manufactured today, including homes, if there isnt an engine on scene within 10 minutes, typically there is nothing left to save.

And for me, about an 8. The homeowners and my crew take priority over pets

nothing_showing622 karma

One: What's the one thing (or a couple of things) that you wish the public understood about your profession / what you do?

Two: What is your best dish to cook at the firehouse?

the_schmeez1511 karma

There are 2 things that I can honestly say I wish the public understood l: 1. When you see lights and hear sirens, pull to the right, dont try to beat us, dont go left, just pull to the right and let us pass, someone is having the worst day of their life if we are going to them. 2. When we get on scene, whether its within a couple minutes or (God forbid) an hour, if you yhink we took too long, tell us afterwards. Getting in our face to yell and scream just delays the job more.

My best dish? Thats a hard one to say, it really depends on who is working but I have never heard a complaint about my bacon cheeseburger sushi rolls

SwimmingNaked276 karma

Volunteer fire fighter here (rural BC, training officer). About 2/3rds of our calls are MVI.

Occasionally I see us get shit on by professional FFs online. This makes no sense to me, since there are no pros here and the small tax base won't support a paid department.

What gives, and what can we do to show the pros that we're just here trying to help save property and lives?

the_schmeez227 karma

I'm on a paid on call with shift options so I don't know what gives. That being said, don't let their comments get you down, just show them that your department can outwork them any day.

condeelmaster210 karma

Why did you choose to be a firefighter?

the_schmeez506 karma

My late uncle was a fire chief, he died of cancer about 6 years or so ago. One thing that I always remember is how proud he was to be doing that job and how proud he was when his sons followed in his footsteps. I always wanted to make him proud. I also genuinely enjoy helping people who need it.


What month is your favorite to pose for and why?

the_schmeez167 karma

All of them....

roastedbagel168 karma

Have you ever been directly involved with violence when responding to a call? What happen?

the_schmeez203 karma

Not directly, we have all trained in how to talk people down to try and avoid it

claire_resurgent154 karma

How much easier do sprinkler systems make your job? Would you like to see more installed in homes?

the_schmeez360 karma

I would love to see it become a requirement in all new construction. In terms of residential use, it basically puts the entire fire out. You can typically be back in your house, minus one room, within a day.

Commercially they tend to keep the fire from becoming a massive, uncontrollable event.

whippets73 karma

Hi I work for pierce in Appleton WI, I'm one of the guys that do body work to the body's of the freshly welded trucks before they're painted. I just wanted to ask, what's your favorite kind of fire truck and why?

the_schmeez64 karma

I honestly don't play favorites, so long as it has a pump, discharges, and can get us to the scene its good in my eyes

davelog56 karma

Hi there. Thanks for the AMA, and thanks for being a firefighter.

About a dozen years ago my family and I lost our house and everything we owned* to a fire a week before Christmas, and ever since have donated money to every firefighting charity that contacts us. We still feel it's not enough and would like to do something for our local station specifically but don't want to step on any rules regarding decorum or gratuity acceptance. What's the general policy on gifting and donating directly to a station?

*material loss only - all people and pets escaped with only minor injuries thanks to our responders, at great personal risk

the_schmeez45 karma

Honestly, you have done more than most but if you do feel that you need to do more, offer to bring in a meal for the guys working on the holidays. If it is a volunteer department, contact the chief and ask if you can do something for them.

other_tanner46 karma

Do you watch Chicago Fire? Does it bother you to see your profession gwt the Hollywood treatment with its innaccuracies and aggrandizement?

the_schmeez60 karma

I will admit, I do watch it. Does it bother me? Only when they show something that leads to people believing that it is how a situation actually goes.

Coronis1243 karma

What are some common fire hazards people may not be aware of?

the_schmeez54 karma

Everything that is made now is petroleum based. A living room with standard furnishings has the same fire load as a gas tanker.

ThadeusOfNazereth25 karma

First of all, thank you for doing this AMA. I have two questions:

What is the process for becoming a firefighter?

Is it possible that even I, a skinny white kid who looks like iDubbbz, could become a firefighter? It's been my dream since I was little, but I have never been able to build up enough muscle mass.

the_schmeez27 karma

The process varies state by state but they all start with going through a fire academy.

Of course its possible, when I started academy I was a 350 pound white guy who looked like, well a 350 pound white guy. The PT and drills will build the muscle you need.

Jinxxter25 karma

10 year Michigan firefighter/EMT here.

Question 1: Roscommon?!?!

Question 2: In recent years we have seen our brothers/sisters health drop due to stress, both mental and physical. What are some ways your department is addressing this issue?

Stay safe brother.

the_schmeez15 karma

  1. No but ive been there, beautiful area

  2. We have an employee assistance program

Odin_Exodus14 karma

What are your thoughts on firework sales within MI?

Do you think public safety is at risk with fireworks?

Has the added revenue generated from the firework tax benefited your department?

Thanks for the AMA

the_schmeez24 karma

My personal thoughts are that I hate them, they scare my dogs and our neighbors insist on shooting them at all hours.

Public safety is no more at risk in my opinion because the people that are irresponsible with them would have found another way to do the same damage.

Not that I know of