1. #1
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    Arrow Years of hard work, negated in 15 min phone call

    This is the first time I have ever done this, but I feel I need to put this out there.I live,and volunteer in a small rural community that, in the not so distant past, had sort of not the best reputation for their fire department. I am relatively new to the dept. and fire service in general, and maybe in the beginning didn't join for all the "right reasons", but since have grown to live, love, and appreciate the ability to volunteer my time for our community and also to other communities and people. I have developed a passion for the fire service, ems, and sar operations, due largely in part to people I have encountered in classes, trainings,on scene, and PEERS IN OUR FIREHOUSE. This passion led to my decision to try and learn, be, and humble myself the best that I could to help change the "not the best reputation". SO anyway, a SELECT few have given large amounts of time to TRAIN, ATTEND CLASSES, and TRAIN some more. I am just finishing up FFII and have picked up every possible nims, gsar,and local ifsi classes possible over the last year.

    2 weeks ago we had a structure fire where mutual aid was called for on, and recieved, by 2 other surrounding depts. These depts. are depts. that we have been in class with and have trained with. In my opinion it was a very well managed fire ground, nearly textbook Now for the interesting part, the one dept. we did not call for mutual aid has been wondering why! In discussions on the way to the scene, at firehouse after the call, and several since, it was the general concensus( including CHIEF) the reason "why" is " because they don't play well with others" and "freelance". At a previous structure fire they did whatever they wanted, did not do what they were told because they didn't think it was "necessary", did not go to rehab when ordered, and come to find out later, certain members "bad mouthed" our dept., our training and capabilities at the time, even going as far to tell the homeowner that the reason for so much damage was that we were not qualified. The latter was not the issue at all.

    So last night Chief gets phone call from one of the officers from that dept.,just so happens we were with him and in the same vehicle. During the conversation our Chief (always trying to tell everyone what they want to hear and not p**s anyone off) proceeded to pretty much belittle OUR ENTIRE DEPT. He told him the reasons were because he felt he didnt have people qualified, have had large turn around, and no experienced firefighters to get there men out if they were there because they are so good and could go places we couldn't or wouldn't.

    Well all i can say is that, to my knowledge, we have had 2 firefighters leave, one with experience over the few years I have been on, secondly i am sitting next to one firefighter that has 16 years on the department and given her all. We have TRAINED, worked on building professional relationships with the other departments in class, trainings and on fire grounds and then TRAINED hours and hours more.

    The one chance the "dont play well with others" department had to realize it was time to take us as a serious and well trained dept. and maybe use us on mutual aid sometime(being as how they havent in i dont know how long) was thrown out the window and my sense of loyalty to our officers has been greatly COMPROMISED. Compromised to the point that we are feeling our training, willingness to learn, always being there,and trying to "go the extra mile" has been in vain. This has brought us to a heartbreaking thought of whether it is worth it anymore.I suppose just like other small depts. personal lives sometimes may play a part at the firehouse, but they didnt use to. We were family. WHERE HAS THAT GONE? OUR "OFFICERS" obviously dont have the same passion any longer or maybe they NEVER DID. i dont know.

    I AM SORRY BUT MY OFFICERS SHOULD BE PROUD OF OUR DEPARTMENT, where we have came from over the past few years, and the FEW members that, at all cost, have tried their hardest to be the best they can be (over huge hurdles at times). At no time should the departments reputation be clouded because Chief didnt have "THE BALLS" to say the REAL reason, because he didnt want to upset anyone! KINDA BACKFIRED THERE!!!!!!!!

    Is there anyone out there that has been put here before? What did you do? Is there any way to make things right again or to repair the damage done?

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    Take an English class. If you want to be seen as a good department, you need to represent it as best you can at all times. It is going to be hard to change things if the officers do not want to.
    FF/Paramedic

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    I got lost somewhere in the second paragraph.

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    We have been in the same situation as what you have described, but our Chief and other Officers, members have not talked down the dept. What it took for our dept and the "fire gods" dept to get straight is train together and keep the talking out and put actions in. The main reason we were not called upon for mutual aid was the lack of equipment (as in apparatus). We had 1974 and 75 pumper and tanker and they had 2005 models. They received twice as much money per year than we did. Now we have allowed our training to do the talking and thanks to grants and donations we have up to date equipment, new ppe, etc. I think this has helped and we are working to get the relationship back in order. Its hard to fix some things and this situation is one of them.

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    Just because you took a lot of classes and train a lot does not make you good. If the training you are doing is poor, then you are just well trained at poor tactics.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I don't know why, but got the impression that the writer is female. Just an impression that doesn't have any impact on this situation.

    First, you need to realize that your situation is not new or unique by any means. Many rural mutual aid partnerships are just beginning to cross over to equipment and procedure compliancies.

    If your chief decided not to take the freelancing department to task doesn't mean that it will not come up later when it will have greater impact. Sometimes these issues can take a little longer. What if the free lancing department was responding without its normal command system on scene. There could be a lot of reasons that you are not aware of and your chief does.

    I will give you a piece of advice however. Never, ever go airing you departments dirty laundry to the other partners. Just bring it here like you did.

    Now leave it as a department issue or just talk with the chief about your concerns privately. You may be surprised by what you find out.

    These things are gonna happen in the future as well at some level.

    Take note of what *farmerfire* described and said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Just because you took a lot of classes and train a lot does not make you good. If the training you are doing is poor, then you are just well trained at poor tactics.
    Very good post, Bones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Just because you took a lot of classes and train a lot does not make you good. If the training you are doing is poor, then you are just well trained at poor tactics.
    See it all the time.

    Theres a fire department close by us that has a lack of leadership and has lost alot of respect from companies through out the area. Theres alot of eager young fire fighter who want to learn and be good firefighters on this department also. Instead of bad mouthing them constantly my chief and officers have been inviting them to our training classes as well as helping them out during mutual aid calls in their town. Even though a scene can get frustrating or mistakes during training can cause some hectic moments they are learning. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges with communities especially neighboring departments. Cause you never know when you'll need them or the tides change and your department lacks something and they are the ones helping you!
    Stay safe!

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    Thumbs down Well..........

    One Problem that has always really gotten to me is "Calling This Dept" or "Didn't call that Dept" for Mutual Aid. Who gets called for mutual Aid shouldn't be up to a Chief or a Department or Whatever. That is just plain Stupid. Automatic Aid and Mutual Aid should NOT be left open to human error. A Plain, Easy to Understand Plan should be in effect Permanently, with All Departments in a given area Participating regardless if they want to or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    One Problem that has always really gotten to me is "Calling This Dept" or "Didn't call that Dept" for Mutual Aid. Who gets called for mutual Aid shouldn't be up to a Chief or a Department or Whatever. That is just plain Stupid. Automatic Aid and Mutual Aid should NOT be left open to human error. A Plain, Easy to Understand Plan should be in effect Permanently, with All Departments in a given area Participating regardless if they want to or not.
    And.......
    To help mitigate this problem, your communications center should know prior to the incident which mutual aid dept is close to the call. Many times our dispatch fails to look up in the corner of the console which will tell them what dept to dispatch first out????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I got lost somewhere in the second paragraph.
    Me too.

    Just because you took a lot of classes and train a lot does not make you good. If the training you are doing is poor, then you are just well trained at poor tactics.
    Can I steal this Bones? This quote is awesome.

    One Problem that has always really gotten to me is "Calling This Dept" or "Didn't call that Dept" for Mutual Aid. Who gets called for mutual Aid shouldn't be up to a Chief or a Department or Whatever. That is just plain Stupid. Automatic Aid and Mutual Aid should NOT be left open to human error. A Plain, Easy to Understand Plan should be in effect Permanently, with All Departments in a given area Participating regardless if they want to or not.
    We are slowly moving this way up here.....finally. But there is still some serious problems, I will never understand the thought process. We are here to serve the civilians, not pad our own run numbers and there is no excuse for not sending the closest unit to an alarm just because it "isnt in their first due"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I got lost somewhere in the second paragraph.
    I got a headache at about the same spot
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Talking Huh??...........

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I got a headache at about the same spot


    Are you saying "Not tonight, I have a Headache??".........
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    That is one of those situations that needs to be addressed during department elections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Are you saying "Not tonight, I have a Headache??".........
    No, My wife is.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    It can take years to change a bad reputation.
    FF/EMT

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    And.......
    To help mitigate this problem, your communications center should know prior to the incident which mutual aid dept is close to the call. Many times our dispatch fails to look up in the corner of the console which will tell them what dept to dispatch first out????
    Sorry, but no. Dispatch does not know the capabilities of each department when it comes to apparatus and equipment, I (and the other officers) do. I've had issues where I specifically requested a certain department because they had the apparatus I needed instead of the closer department that didn't, only to have dispatch tone out the closer department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    One Problem that has always really gotten to me is "Calling This Dept" or "Didn't call that Dept" for Mutual Aid. Who gets called for mutual Aid shouldn't be up to a Chief or a Department or Whatever. That is just plain Stupid. Automatic Aid and Mutual Aid should NOT be left open to human error. A Plain, Easy to Understand Plan should be in effect Permanently, with All Departments in a given area Participating regardless if they want to or not.
    I agree, in principle, especially for the first dispatched auto/mutual-aid department. After that, it's up to the IC to make the decision as to what level of response he/she needs.

    For instance, for my department, a storage shed fire at 20:00 would obviously require a different mutual-aid response than a 4000 sq.ft. residence at 10:00 on a weekday. That's not even factoring in distance to the closest hydrant (which can vary from 1/4-mile to 10-miles, depending on where it is in the territory), which would change the number of mutual-aid tankers needed.

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    To the OP, if you have the passion to train, don't give it up because your chief has his head up his ***. I'm sorry, but to demean your own department in front of your own people for the sake of saving face for a bunch of yahoos is crazy. If you have/had problems in the past, the chief crapping on his own people doesn't solve the problem.

    Keep training, and realize that the end result will hopefully enlighten the others to follow suit...

    Good or bad, at least you're taking the initiative to better yourselves.
    Last edited by jrkrace; 01-27-2010 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpleguy_68 View Post
    Sorry, but no. Dispatch does not know the capabilities of each department when it comes to apparatus and equipment, I (and the other officers) do. I've had issues where I specifically requested a certain department because they had the apparatus I needed instead of the closer department that didn't, only to have dispatch tone out the closer department.
    What is your point and how does it reference to better communication and work ethic between mutual aid depts? I was simply stating mutual aid depts closest to the incident and your com center should know that. I did not reference a particular type of incident nor did I mention capabilities??????

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkrace View Post
    To the OP, if you have the passion to train, don't give it up because your chief has his head up his ***. I'm sorry, but to demean your own department in front of your own people for the sake of saving face for a bunch of yahoos is crazy. If you have/had problems in the past, the chief crapping on his own people doesn't solve the problem.

    Keep training, and realize that the end result will hopefully enlighten the others to follow suit...

    Good or bad, at least you're taking the initiative to better yourselves.
    +1

    You have a flake for a chief. Your dept will only be as strong or as proficient as the chief is (or will be). No executive officer should ever diminish their own people like that. You don't want him representing you anymore.

    If your chief really thinks this is true, find out why. If he's a weak-kneed weasel (and it sounds like he is) Find another dept.

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    I find it interesting that this was the OP's first post, and apparently his last...

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpleguy_68 View Post
    Sorry, but no. Dispatch does not know the capabilities of each department when it comes to apparatus and equipment, I (and the other officers) do. I've had issues where I specifically requested a certain department because they had the apparatus I needed instead of the closer department that didn't, only to have dispatch tone out the closer department.
    Depends, at my career FD we have MABAS and run cards. All the way out to I believe a 5th alarm for structure fires, we also have them set up for haz-mat and mass casualty incidents.

    Special call aparatus is one thing but normal mutual aid should be pre-planned so all you need to do is send me a first alarm assignment and the dispatcher opens the books and says okay this calls for this FD and this FD and this FD for engines, this FD for a rescue and this FD for an aerial. Not you having to spout all that off while trying to run the incident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Depends, at my career FD we have MABAS and run cards. All the way out to I believe a 5th alarm for structure fires, we also have them set up for haz-mat and mass casualty incidents.

    Special call aparatus is one thing but normal mutual aid should be pre-planned so all you need to do is send me a first alarm assignment and the dispatcher opens the books and says okay this calls for this FD and this FD and this FD for engines, this FD for a rescue and this FD for an aerial. Not you having to spout all that off while trying to run the incident.
    I'm trying to get our county fire departments on board with creating a similar auto-aid system here. It takes some work establishing who you want on what alarm for what call, but it's not so difficult it can't be done.

    All the determining who has what resources is done before the call, instead of requiring an IC who has enough to worry about make the determination at the scene. It's just going to the trouble and getting the buy-in of the neighboring departments.

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    I'm curious as to where your department is OP, you said training at IFSI are you in IL?

    That aside, from what I gathered your department pulled a school yard "I don't like you so I'm not picking you for my team". Which I personaly find to be extremely childish. The comments the department said at your last mutual aide were also childish. I would really like to know where you guys are from so I don't move there. I'd hate to have my house catch fire and have all the surrounding dept. playing who's got the bigger tower...

    Be the bigger department. Train hard, be the best you can, and call who you need not who you want for mutual aides.
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