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  1. #21
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Ok, ok,.................

    I gotta tell this story........ In the early 60's our County was going thru the painful process of converting from an area of totally independent, totally Volunteer, organizations to a unified Combination Department. (We're not there yet, but we're working on it....) The County Commissioners hired a just retired "Big City" Battalion Chief to be the first "Director of Fire/Rescue Services" ("Fire Chief" was way off in the future) This "New Guy" was on the job a short time when he passed a Station and saw a person sitting on a bench in front, obviously asleep. Back at his Office, the Director had his "Office Person" call that Station to summon the Sleeping Person to the Office for a Butt Chewing session. Instead, the Director got a call from the County Commissioner that had hired him, telling him that the "Sleeper" was a Volunteer, not a Career Firefighter, and that he should forget it................. The "New Guy" didn't understand that in our area, it was common for folks at the Stations to "Lounge" outside when the Weather was good, and that the Community didn't complain, and they were happy that people were at the stations, ready to respond instead of waiting for home response crews. My Point??..... What might be a Big Problem at Department "A" might be perfectly OK at Department "B"........ One Size does NOT fit all..........
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  2. #22
    Forum Member cheffie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    Well, if anything I've remained remarkably consistent from when I was on the floor. Even then (albeit different community) I didn't go sit out on the bench in front of the station because it just didn't feel right. Some guys would and inevitably at least once every couple shifts somebody would drive by and yell "nice to see my tax dollars at work!" I would have loved to go out there and kick back with the guys once in a while but obviously that community wasn't prepared to deal with the idea of firefighters having down time.
    On the flip side, you have civilians like me who when they see the door open would be more likely to walk up and give the guys a box of fresh baked muffins or maybe some cherry almond coffeecake and tell them thanks. Even if you are on the tapayers dime, you are still entitled to breaks at work and to go to the store to shop for food. The boat washing is a nonissue to me.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheffie View Post
    On the flip side, you have civilians like me who when they see the door open would be more likely to walk up and give the guys a box of fresh baked muffins or maybe some cherry almond coffeecake and tell them thanks. Even if you are on the tapayers dime, you are still entitled to breaks at work and to go to the store to shop for food. The boat washing is a nonissue to me.
    Cheffie... it's a non issue with the BFD, too.

    According to Steve McDonald, the BFD's PIO...
    Firefighters are allowed to use an open bay with the permission of the company officer.
    The boat washing pic was taken at Engine 41/Ladder 14 at 2300 hours (11:00 PM) by a "concerned citizen" on a cell phone as he drove by...

    He felt it wasn't right as "they just got a "big raise"....

    A raise that was the result of 4+ years without a contract....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    The difference being they are all firefighters, while you on the other hand are not.
    I see. So the only people affected by these things are Fire Fighters. It doesn't affect tax payers or administration at all. You need to look at the issue from many other angles besides the Fire Fighter pigeon hole.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I normally steer clear of responding to something this far off base, but this blanket statement is too much. The use of a Public Facility or Equipment for personal purposes is NOT against the law. If it were, ourJails would be filled beyond belief with really decent people who's crime consisted of GOING TO THE PARK, or other similar things....... Some Military bases have recreational facilities that include Shops AND TOOLS to work on your POV, and a Base that I'm familiar with has a Stable and Horses for Riding....... The idea that someone can not wash his PoV or whatever on his off or down time is crazy. And for the Record "off" or "down" time is when ALL the day's work AND TRAINING, are done.......
    You are one of the more civil responders on these boards. So I found a few links for you
    What is misuse of Federal government property?
    Sec. 2635.704 Use of Government property.

    (a) Standard. An employee has a duty to protect and conserve
    Government property and shall not use such property, or allow its use, for other
    than authorized purposes.
    Misuse of Government Resources

    RULE: Government property may be used only for official and authorized purposes.

    WHAT USES ARE PERMITTED?

    * OFFICIAL USE: Directly related to and necessary for accomplishing your duties.
    * AUTHORIZED USE: Supportive of your duties or organizational mission (and limited incidental personal use on your own time and at no or minimal cost to the Government) and must be approved by your supervisor.
    * PROHIBITED USE: Unrelated to your duties, incurs significant cost to the Government, and/or has the potential for abuse or damage to DoD.
    Misuse of Position
    Employees may use Government property only for authorized purposes. Government property includes office supplies, telephones, computers, copiers and any other property purchased with Government funds.
    US Army Table 1-1: Table of Penalties for Various Offenses

    12. Misuse or abuse of Government Property
    a. Using Government property or Federal employees in a duty status for other than official purposes. Written reprimand to dismissal
    There are many others as well. Bottom line is most States and the Federal Government have Ethics laws that say "Employees may use Government property only for authorized purposes"

  6. #26
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    When the Federal Government takes over our local firehouse, then I will bother to read the rules regarding Federal Government property.

    Of course I am not a government-employee-hating-government-employee
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post

    Where are you getting all this Authority Information about the Federal Laws? They in essence have nothing to do with City Fire Houses. buckwheat! Maybe in your little bean counter world of foolish dribble, the Feds rule.



    I get it from working if Federal facilities as well as State facilities. In fact, NY State ethics laws and regulations apply to all NYS Governmental entities.

  8. #28
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    I'll offer a comparison for the sake of discussion.

    Infantry BN in garrison. Company CQ NCO & runner on duty all night, BN Staff Duty NCO & runner on duty all night. None are allowed to sleep (AT ALL), they are ON DUTY. Reading and "recreation" is restricted to training related materials. They get off duty at 0800 and have the next day off. And the pay isn't all that great.

    BN Staff Duty Officer, when inspections/other duties as assigned are complete, can get a few hours sleep on the conference table. Then works the next day.

    Who has it rough and has something to whine about?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    When the Federal Government takes over our local firehouse, then I will bother to read the rules regarding Federal Government property.

    Of course I am not a government-employee-hating-government-employee
    It isn't just the federal government. NYS at least has laws that tell the localities how to operate when it comes to ethics and procurements as well as other matters. As a tax payer it is my opinion that government owned equipment should only be used for government business purposes.

    As I have sat through many an ethics class for the federal government I can tell you that the phones are not even supposed to be used for personal calls. The tax payer pays for this stuff so the government can function, not to give some benefit to the employees.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    I'll offer a comparison for the sake of discussion.

    Infantry BN in garrison. Company CQ NCO & runner on duty all night, BN Staff Duty NCO & runner on duty all night. None are allowed to sleep (AT ALL), they are ON DUTY. Reading and "recreation" is restricted to training related materials. They get off duty at 0800 and have the next day off. And the pay isn't all that great.

    BN Staff Duty Officer, when inspections/other duties as assigned are complete, can get a few hours sleep on the conference table. Then works the next day.

    Who has it rough and has something to whine about?
    I have brought that up in the past. Sit back and prepare for a bunch of insults.

  11. #31
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    SC ...

    If these guys just want to keep shooting themselves in the foot in regards to public perception, just let 'em go for it.

    Myself, I would be doing what I can to improve my image with the public, but maybe that's just me.

  12. #32
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    RULE: Government property may be used only for official and authorized purposes.

    WHAT USES ARE PERMITTED?

    * OFFICIAL USE: Directly related to and necessary for accomplishing your duties.
    * AUTHORIZED USE: Supportive of your duties or organizational mission (and limited incidental personal use on your own time and at no or minimal cost to the Government) and must be approved by your supervisor.
    * PROHIBITED USE: Unrelated to your duties, incurs significant cost to the Government, and/or has the potential for abuse or damage to DoD.
    From your own link.. even at the Federal/State level the facilities are allowed to be used for limited personal use. Washing your POV/POB during downtime falls under this category. This is a non-issue.
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  13. #33
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I gotta tell this story........ In the early 60's our County was going thru the painful process of converting from an area of totally independent, totally Volunteer, organizations to a unified Combination Department. (We're not there yet, but we're working on it....) The County Commissioners hired a just retired "Big City" Battalion Chief to be the first "Director of Fire/Rescue Services" ("Fire Chief" was way off in the future) This "New Guy" was on the job a short time when he passed a Station and saw a person sitting on a bench in front, obviously asleep. Back at his Office, the Director had his "Office Person" call that Station to summon the Sleeping Person to the Office for a Butt Chewing session. Instead, the Director got a call from the County Commissioner that had hired him, telling him that the "Sleeper" was a Volunteer, not a Career Firefighter, and that he should forget it................. The "New Guy" didn't understand that in our area, it was common for folks at the Stations to "Lounge" outside when the Weather was good, and that the Community didn't complain, and they were happy that people were at the stations, ready to respond instead of waiting for home response crews. My Point??..... What might be a Big Problem at Department "A" might be perfectly OK at Department "B"........ One Size does NOT fit all..........


    Why were you napping on the bench?? Did the sun lure you asleep?
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  14. #34
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I get it from working if Federal facilities as well as State facilities. In fact, NY State ethics laws and regulations apply to all NYS Governmental entities.
    [/B]




    BS!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    From your own link.. even at the Federal/State level the facilities are allowed to be used for limited personal use. Washing your POV/POB during downtime falls under this category. This is a non-issue.
    Yes, some places allow incidental use if there is no or minimal cost and on your own time. This means when you are off duty and not during your shift. Since you are off duty, why not wash your car or boat in your own yard using your own water?

    And to clarify, downtime to me means you are on duty with nothing to do.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Cheffie... it's a non issue with the BFD, too.

    According to Steve McDonald, the BFD's PIO...


    The boat washing pic was taken at Engine 41/Ladder 14 at 2300 hours (11:00 PM) by a "concerned citizen" on a cell phone as he drove by...

    He felt it wasn't right as "they just got a "big raise"....

    A raise that was the result of 4+ years without a contract....

    It may be a non issue for the BFD but probably not for the Boston taxpayers. BFD needs some training on public relations. They're not doing themselves any favors considering some past issues and crap like this will certainly not help them. Joe and Jayne Q Public are taxpayers and yes, as taxpayers, they can start making rules. BFD is a govt run agency and needs to be aware that they answer to the public.

  17. #37
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    If these guys just want to keep shooting themselves in the foot in regards to public perception, just let 'em go for it.

    Myself, I would be doing what I can to improve my image with the public, but maybe that's just me.

    I'm not going to talk about the situation at hand, but there can always be extenuating circumstances.

    We have a serious crime and vandalism problem around several of our engine houses, so we park our cars inside the firehouse. There is plenty of room, no department equipment/vehicles are left outside, and our vehicles don't get vandalized.
    It sucks when coming to work can cost seven or eight hundred dollars in tires or paint. And guess what, when my tires were punctured with an ice pick, and I had four flat tires, I used department air and a department regulator to refill them I did that so I could get to a tire shop and replace them, without even thinking of going to the city for any money. I make no apologies for using city equipment and air while on duty.

    The guy that shot this video is probably the typical anti-city employee blowhard, with nothing else to do. There are plenty of them out there. He walks by an engine house at 2300 hrs and takes some video, and then provides it to a tv station with an obvious agenda. I've read plenty of opinion pieces on several of the stories and sure, there are a few who are anti-fire, anti-city or whatever you want to call it, but there are far more who don't care.
    What the majority seem to care about is that the rig in that firehouse gets onscene within a couple of minutes of their calling for help. This is as much of a non-issue as the story a few months back about the engine company shopping outside of the city.

    Believe me, we are very PR oriented here and very sympathetic to the tax payers. There is always a small number who are always going to bitch and moan no matter what happens; it's just hard to believe when it comes from within our own "ranks". (and I say that very, very loosely)
    Last edited by jasper45; 06-18-2010 at 12:15 PM.

  18. #38
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    Jasper ..

    I understand your tire situation. That is a situation where a repair was required and perfectly understandable.

    My point is we continue to do things, often in the public view, in communtities where we know the reaction may be hostile. For example, we know that there is an anti-FD sediment in some parts of the community, and yet, the FFs continue to take care of personal business, such as this example of washing a boat in the bay. There comes a point where we have to stop doing these things, irregardless if we consider them right, to avoid the obvious public perception.

    The fact is we are compared to the cops, and how often do you see a cop washing or fixing his personal vehicle behind the station while on duty. Like it or not, the community will compare us to law enforcement, and will often see is a negative light becuase of those activities.

    We have never had a problem with public perception, however, our Chief has several rules that we must follow. We, and this includes the volunteers, cannot sit on the truck bumpers in the bay in public view. If the volunteers want to wash thier POVs, it must occur at the training building, which is beyond the view of the highway. Apparatus cannot be pulled out so that the bays can be used for POV repair - volunteer or career. He understands that it is all about perception.

    The fact is most people do not enjoy the same freedom to do what we do in our downtime, and some of them will react to that. Dispite what we feel, they can influence the politicains the next time we want to save staff or buy apparatus or renovate or rebuild stations. To not modify our behavior, or at the least take steps to make it less visable, to conform to what the public expects is doing nothing but shooting ourselves in the foot.

  19. #39
    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Jasper ..

    I understand your tire situation. That is a situation where a repair was required and perfectly understandable.

    My point is we continue to do things, often in the public view, in communtities where we know the reaction may be hostile. For example, we know that there is an anti-FD sediment in some parts of the community, and yet, the FFs continue to take care of personal business, such as this example of washing a boat in the bay. There comes a point where we have to stop doing these things, irregardless if we consider them right, to avoid the obvious public perception.

    The fact is we are compared to the cops, and how often do you see a cop washing or fixing his personal vehicle behind the station while on duty. Like it or not, the community will compare us to law enforcement, and will often see is a negative light becuase of those activities.

    We have never had a problem with public perception, however, our Chief has several rules that we must follow. We, and this includes the volunteers, cannot sit on the truck bumpers in the bay in public view. If the volunteers want to wash thier POVs, it must occur at the training building, which is beyond the view of the highway. Apparatus cannot be pulled out so that the bays can be used for POV repair - volunteer or career. He understands that it is all about perception.

    The fact is most people do not enjoy the same freedom to do what we do in our downtime, and some of them will react to that. Dispite what we feel, they can influence the politicains the next time we want to save staff or buy apparatus or renovate or rebuild stations. To not modify our behavior, or at the least take steps to make it less visable, to conform to what the public expects is doing nothing but shooting ourselves in the foot.
    It seems a lot of the heat from the public is related to the current economic situation as well. I don't recall a time in my 20 year career where I've ever seen some of the hostility I've seen recently directed at firefighters from the public. Fire trucks and firefighters have been SPIT on by members of the public (Nevada), as reported in a recent Fire Chief Magazine article. That just boggles my mind and puts me in a funk. There are clearly people out there who hate us and we either choose to avoid antagonizing them or we spit back. I for one don't find much usefulness in trying to elevate things because you're never going to convince people with so much internal hate for government that they're wrong. Ever. I prefer to keep out of their sights as much as possible. Let them pick on cops, they're a much easier target.
    Last edited by roykirk1989; 06-18-2010 at 02:44 PM.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    The guy that shot this video is probably the typical anti-city employee blowhard, with nothing else to do.
    Or perhaps someone in danger of losing their home to taxes
    Or perhaps someone unemployed because the business couldn't afford the taxes
    Or perhaps it was a citizen who was told he can't use this same equipment for his own use.

    As for your parking situation I fully understand that. I work in an area of Albany where we are on the edge of a not so nice neighborhood. When we work 3-11 we have to park about 1/2 mile away where we have to go under an overpass to get tot the lot. Two guys have been robbed going there during the day. Others have had confrontations at night. It is no fun walking out there alone at night. After 6 PM and on weekends we are allowed to park in the parking garage under the building.

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