New Fire Stations, and some New Employees Pose New Problems
With your participation, I would like to facilitate a discussion about company unity, new generation Firefighters and how those two elements fit into our modern day firehouses.
First, some background: I'm a Fire Captain for a large west coast department, and have worked in that capacity for seven years. I work at a multi-company station where there are two Captains assigned, including myself. Last shift, while finishing up some paperwork before retiring for the evening, my partner (co-Captain) and I were talking about company unity and the importance of it. The discussion evolved into issues involving the newer generation of Firefighters, many of their habits, behaviors and their paradigms about the world around them. Additionally (and I'm sure many of you have experienced this) now that the newer fire stations have "dormettes" as opposed to common dorms like in the good ole' days, it seems newer Firefighters like to "hide" or retreat to their "dormettes". They are often in their dorms, on their lap tops during the day, surfing the web, playing games, and God knows what else! My partner and I have had to implement rules forbidding hanging out in the dorm during the day, and unfortunately, babysit. One of our Chiefs calls it "living in their apartments", and says if he ever has a chance to change it...he will!! (Good luck Chief...Let me know how that works out for ya!) To make matters worse, a new policy has emerged forbidding team sports on duty because of exploding workman's comp claims and costs.
Soooo, my question is: What are your thoughts about company unity and the importance of it? Do you all do everything together, including watch TV after dinner? Do you think that the "new fire department" with it's ADA requirements for firehouses, separate dorms and bathrooms have influenced company unity negatively? What about team sports? How does it affect your station moral when a crew member doesn't want to participate in company physical activities, or "brownbags" for meals??
Interested in your thoughts for a worthy discussion! Thanx!!
"Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields Power and Dominion IN ACTION!!!"