1. #1
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    Aug 2003

    Default Leadership: When do you intervene?

    We have a situation at our firehouse in which our personnel aren't getting along like we used to. This has led to alot of tension and sometimes words getting exchanged in front of the other personnel. We used to all eat together, you know, like a firehouse, and now some of the guys no longer get in the meals for the day and do their own thing for meals. I feel like much of the brotherhood that we had, has been broken and is in serious need of repair.

    Officer's, at what point do you intervene? Do you let these situations manifest and see if they work themselves out? Do you get the whole crew together and talk about whats going on? Sit down with each person? This has been building for about a year, getting worse in the last 2-4 months.

    BTW, I am not an officer.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2006
    Northeast Coast


    Sims: I have sat back and watched the same erosion of of the firehouse "life style" in recent years. With cellphones and laptop PC's or even our work computers, the crew scatters about the place and short of the evening meal most downtime has become truly individual. It ued to be we all watched the same TV (and bitched about what was on ) or had coffee together and solved the world's problems at the kitchen table. Now look at the world, it's going to hell because firehouses have become just another place of work.

    The new big problem: Facebook! How many stupid childish feuds can a bunch of gossipy Nancy's get into! There are maybe three of us that aren't on Facebook or Myspace or Twitter, but the rest gossip about this crap like school kids. Sad days. Funny I heard one of our people took a sick day and then bragged on Facebook they just needed a day in the sun or some sh*t? I liken that to taping yourself breaking into a house. Just stupid.

    As an officer I find that often rules and regs have not keep up with technology fast enough to preserve some of the traditions. Not that I want rules about what guys must do in the down time, but... What do you do? I remind my crew that we used to be far more interactive and as such were tighter knit and likely better at the job in some ways.

    I now wish our senior men were truly seniors vs. young guys with the most time on, at least we might have some semblance of 'older" tradition.

  3. #3
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    MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA


    This brings two things to mind;

    #1. A shift that does eat together will not be as tightly knit as those that do - ever.

    #2. The speed of the leader is the speed of the pack.
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  4. #4
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    ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    Aug 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    This brings two things to mind;

    #1. A shift that does eat together will not be as tightly knit as those that do - ever.

    #2. The speed of the leader is the speed of the pack.
    exactly, the cohesion in quaters is a major factor to make them cohesive team when on scene. there maybe is a lack of leadership in the boss or the members of the crew may lack in "FOLLOWERSHIP". either one, work on it from your area of influence and if needed talk to the lt and get his take... he may be suprised and encouraged that you are concerned (all depending on his feelings in the matter)
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  5. #5
    Back In Black
    ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The Nice Part of New Jersey


    Drill em until they can't stand you.

    Seriously, get them to do things together either through drill or some other activity.

    Also, if they are moaning about you (the boss) they are most likely bonding. Nothing like a common enemy to get people together.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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