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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BW21 View Post
    From one Lt to another,

    I'd chill the f*** out. I think you lack something called Brotherhood.

    Instead of influencing the further loss of brotherhood in the fire service start building it back up with your crew.
    BW good way of putting it. Micheal, no offense but the way you wrote this sounds more like a manager rather than a leader. Trust me I am dealing with this now as my LT is scripted rather than a person that can mold a firefighter to be a leader.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?Ē (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)


  2. #22
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    Just a couple of points, as most everything has been well said already.

    1. Can't make the guys be there at 0530 if they are not being paid until 0700. Can't force people to work off the clock. Wal-Mart tried this and lost, and they have more and better lawyers than you.

    2. Running to the truck goes against the whole safety is #1 idea.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

  3. #23
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    It's a good thing I don't work for you. The first time you told me to be at work at 530 to work for free I'd tell you where you could get off followed by a trip to the Captians office to talk to him about it.


    Added -

    Just read the OP to my Captain and the other 2 engineers on my shift.

    Captain - No way I would work for him. ( That is close I can't repeat what he really side)
    Eng. 1 - Time for a shift change.
    Eng. 2 - He's nuts. ( also edited for content).

    These comments was for the first point only. They agreed to the rest for the most point as I did.
    Last edited by rm1524; 08-03-2010 at 09:54 PM.

  4. #24
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael232 View Post
    A quick intro about me: I joined a major metropolitan fire department when I was 30. After 6 years, I promoted to Lieutenant. A long time friend and ex-Deputy Fire Chief met up with me after I promoted to Lieutenant and wanted to share some of his advice he gathered throughout the years. To make a long, long story short...I learned so much through our conversation and took it to my team at the firehouse. I've since moved on to a different station and my new team seems to be slightly upset about the way I "run" things.

    Do you think this is too much to ask for out of my team?
    A team is made up of its parts. It is "their team" too. Each team member has something to contribute. Not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear the butter bars, stars or bugles on their collars.

    The "I" syndrome... if you are going to use "I", you better damn well take responsibility when the defacation hits the air moving oscillation instead of blaming others.

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    1. I expect my team to arrive at the Firehouse no later than 0530 (we run "traditional" 0700-0700 shifts). I, personally, believe it takes at least an hour and a half to do a THOROUGH and COMPLETE check of EVERY SINGLE piece of equipment on our engine. When my team and I go in service at 0700, I expect to be able to respond to ANY call with COMPLETE assurance that our engine is 100% ready to rock-and-roll. There are a couple of firefighters that say it's "unreasonable" and "crazy" to show up at 0530.
    If you want your personnel there an hour and a half before shift, you better damn well be paying them overtime. My FD has a 4 hour minimum.

    You keep stating the word "team" There is no reason that the duties can be split amongst the "team"... including you, LT. You have a responsibility, too. You can't sit back and watch the "team" work...

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    2. Our station answers a lot of Automatic Alarms. I expect my team to gear up COMPLETELY (bunkers, SCBA, Irons, thermal cams, etc) on EVERY AFA call. I've seen other companies who just respond in regular station wear. I think it's 100% unacceptable. There have been times where crews respond to a "routine" AFA and find a working fire...only to gear up on-scene. Jesus Christ...this is our JOB to RESPOND and be PREPARED to rock-and-roll. That "routine" AFA could be THE time. It could be THAT fire where that little kid is trapped. It's our job to respond and be prepared to act.
    No problem with that..however.. there are times, for example, extreme heat/humidity that you can let the guys dress down when it is determined to be a false alarm. Have the SCBA on, but don't turn on the airpack or don the facepiece unitl it is necessary. Have the imager handy, but keep it off until you actually need it to save the battery power.

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    3. I've noticed some crews that will take 1-2 minutes to turn-out on one of those "routine" MVAs or EMS runs. I expect my team to be (from the second of the tones) ON THE ROAD in 45 seconds day or night. Some say it's crazy to be in such a hurry. I've heard..."Mike, it's just a medical emergency. Why do you want us to run to the engine?". Again, it's our JOB and DUTY to respond in a FAST manner. Just because Locution says "Fall" or "Headache" doesn't mean it's not serious. I've seen "Gun Shot Wounds" turn into nosebleeds and "Medical Emergencies" turn into to confirmed chokings.
    What do you do.. carry a stopwatch? Running to the rig is totally unacceptable. Its not about responding in a fast manner, it is responding in a SAFE manner.

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    4. I expect my team to buckle up. Every ride. Every time.
    No problem here.

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    5. I expect ALL our EMS bags to go in on EVERY EMS call. I expect our airway kit, AED, and general EMS bag to go in on EVERY call.
    If the ambulance is already on the scene.. you don't need to carry all of that. Ask them if they need additional equipment, most of the time they will be requiring somne help in moving the patient.

    By the way...what do YOU bring in?

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    6. Anytime we have an overtime firefighter or new rookie, I expect to sit down with them and have the infamous "BST" (as my team calls it). It's the Big Safety Talk. I explain to them that safety is EVERYONE'S responsibility. I expect ANY team member to speak up if they think something is dangerous. I explain that there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with speaking up when you think something is dangerous. Whether it's a rook telling me that he thinks what I'm doing is dangerous...or me telling a driver that he's driving dangerously. There is NO barrier when it comes to safety.
    Talking to someone like they are a child or a complete idiot isn't going to win you friends or influence anyone. The Department should already have safety rules, regs, SOPs and SOGs in place... if not, shame on them.

    PS: You mention there is no barrier to safety, yet you want your personnel to run to the rig... does anybody else see the irony in that?

    PS: there is no "I" in team.

    Is that really THAT much to ask for? I'm not laid back. I don't mess around. I've got a job to do with 100% of my effort! I've had people get upset with what I expect and even one firefighter leave the house for a reassignment because he didn't like my "rules".
    Micromanagers tend to micromanage because they cannot actually perform the task to which they are assigned.... think of the pointy haired boss in Dilbert.

    You will find yourself up to your arse in alligators and getting eaten alive when the task that you were assigned was to go out and drain the swamp.

    As I stated earlier.. not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear butterbars, star or bugles on their collars. Some of the best instructors I have learned from hold or held the rank of firefighter. Your personnel come from a diverse background with many talents. You have a responsibility to teach them and mold them, conversely, there is a lot they can teach you and mold you as an officer... but you have to be willing to shut up and listen.

    Rules can be flexible to meet the situation, or they can be rigid. One size doen't fit all, despite what you are told.

    As Sgt. Hulka said in the movie "Stripes"...
    Lighten up Francis....
    PS: there is no "I" in team.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 08-04-2010 at 07:03 AM.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #25
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Ok, I have very little experience around a career fire-house, but I know that some of your demands are absurd. First, arriving at 530 for a 700 shift change? You, sir, are crazy. Showing up early is good, but an hour and a half is out of control. Does the next shift relieve you at 530? And another thing, an hour and a half to do truck checks? What are you doing, changing oil? rotating tires? transmission flush? changing the blinker fluid? along with the rest of the truck check regimen? When I do maintenance, I can completely check 8 trucks in an hour or so. This includes running everything and doing inventory. Granted, we don't have any EMS bags. In my lowly opinion, I think you need to drill a 1/2" hole in your head to relieve the pressure after how big it has gotten. Does your helmet still fit?

  6. #26
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    Default Is this unreasonable?

    We pull 12 hour shifts in my fire comm centre. 7 to 7 in rotating shifts. I don't have a problem coming in early (say 0600 - 0630) to facilitate a smooth turn over so long as I know that a) my relief is coming in at 1830 or b) I'm getting overtime. Expecting firefighters to work for free is to my mind unreasonable especially if you are demanding a standard from your crew that is not expected of the rest of the department. I'm not saying that high standards are not important but forcing your guys to work longer and harder than their peers is a problem. If you believe that the standards in your department need to change then work towards changing them department wide. Truck checks in my department are done daily while the firefighters are on the clock. Sure they are sometimes interrupted by a call, but the checks are still completed by the end of shift.

  7. #27
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    I'll add a little more.

    1. I'd be ****ed to hear you come into the station at 530 when I'm still trying to sleep. If your doing truck checks your making enough noise to wake everyone up.

    2. Till 0700 the truck is mine. Touch it, move it, or other wise mess with it and I'll be up your ***. I don't care what your rank is.

  8. #28
    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    Around here, if you told a crew you expected them in at 0630 for a 0800 shift change, you'd be lucky to see anyone before 0755.

    Yes, they would be rubbing your nose in it, and there'd be nothing you could do about it.

    Not a good way to start off at a new assignment.

  9. #29
    Forum Member Brigid's Avatar
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    Thing is, Michael, that a department isn't a business. It's a family, or a brotherhood. In a job where you risk your neck to help others, you can't afford to treat your coworkers (or subordinates) like anything but capable, trustworthy adults.

    If they aren't capable, trustworthy adults, they need to leave the station. So if they're still around, they're probably good men and women.

    Treat them like it, and they'll rise to the occasion.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    I'll add a little more.

    1. I'd be ****ed to hear you come into the station at 530 when I'm still trying to sleep. If your doing truck checks your making enough noise to wake everyone up.

    2. Till 0700 the truck is mine. Touch it, move it, or other wise mess with it and I'll be up your ***. I don't care what your rank is.
    Very well stated...
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  11. #31
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    Regarding starting early: My old job on the Ambulance gave you the option of coming in 30 minutes early. You got 30 minutes OT if you managed to get your truck checked off and out the door by the time your shift starts.

    If your shift starts at 0900 you could either show up at 0900 and be out the door by 0930. Or you could show up at 0830 and be out by 0900 and get 30 minutes of OT.

    I guess the point is that we got paid to show up early, and you better believe that even with getting paid, many people preferred to show up at their regular start time.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  12. #32
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    I'm calling troll on this... First post, and he hasn't come back to say anything.... Seems fishy to me...

    I said it in the other thread, maybe it's our ex-resident troll, back with a new username trying to stir **** up...

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    I'm calling troll on this... .
    Second.

    I find it difficult to imagine any experienced career (or vollie for that matter) LT actually acting like this.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    I'm calling troll on this... First post, and he hasn't come back to say anything.... Seems fishy to me...
    No, he is to busy trying to dig himself out of the pile of FLSA laws his chief or the local's boss dumped out of them.

    I personally show up an hour before shift (0600), I like to get a pot of coffee going, look at the morning paper and take a dump. My gear is swapped with the person I relieve by 0630 and I run through a quick check (SCBA, Medical Bag, TIC battery, etc...). The rest of my crew rolls in about 0630. We check the apparatus ON DUTY after the morning briefing by video conference.

    The possible troll does bring up some topics to discuss.

    Turn out time; 45 seconds to be dressed and belted in is extreme. Especially since he wants strict adherence to seat belts... It takes 20 seconds to come downstairs and get in the rig, so he is leaving 25 seconds for his crew to bunk out?

    Yes to bunking out for AFA's (at least have it with you when you get off the rig), and unless the Ambulance beats us to a medical we bring our bag and AED. Those are not unreasonable tasks.

    But I agree, probable Troll or future administrative position.
    ~Drew
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    I'm calling troll on this... First post, and he hasn't come back to say anything.... Seems fishy to me...
    That crossed my mind, too.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    I'm calling troll on this... First post, and he hasn't come back to say anything.... Seems fishy to me...

    I said it in the other thread, maybe it's our ex-resident troll, back with a new username trying to stir **** up...
    Either that... or he sees the beating he's getting and slithered back to whatever dark and damp place he came out of...
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Either that... or he sees the beating he's getting and slithered back to whatever dark and damp place he came out of...
    Nope - He's to busy giving his world famous BST.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Nope - He's to busy giving his world famous BST.
    The proctologist reported that the surgery was successful.

    He has successfully located and removed the patient's head.

    Recovery is expected to be ongoing, could last for years.

    There is a significant likelyhood of head swelling that can only be overcome by infrequent periods of handing his butt to him on a platter.

    Alternative method to control head swelling is to force feed the ingestion of crow.

    If neither method seems to solve the head swelling, while not highly recommended, immobilize the patient with massive amounts of duck tape.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  19. #39
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    Don't get me wrong...I have been reading the responses so far. I do appreciate the constructive advice I've gotten from here.

    I see that for the most part, people agree with some of the expectations I layed out except for the turnout-times and reporting times.

    After thinking through the turnout expectations and talking with some fellow LTs, I've realized that 45 seconds in unreasonable. Our station is not large, nor is it a 2-story...however, even with that, 45 seconds is pushing it. I will say this, however, our station has a different mindset on turnout times for boxes vs EMS calls.

    About the reporting times, I've also talked with the guys and apologized about setting an unreasonable time to show up. Our Locution dispatch system automatically plays the tones at 0600 as an alarm to wake up. Most of the guys show up at 0600 anyways to chat with the previous crew or have a cup of coffee together.

    Addressing the question of why it takes an hour and a half (for me, at least) to check the engine: I personally believe in checking equipment like our lives depend on it (because it does). It sounds depressing (I know)...but I pretty much check every piece of equipment out 100% and make sure it's in the correct place. As it is...our station runs a lot of EMS and by the end of the day, it's uncommon for the bag to be messy from things being thrown in there. It takes me at least half an hour just to organize the EMS bag and make sure that all the supplies are stocked and in the right position. We are a paramedic engine so there is a little bit more equipment then say...in a BLS bag.

    From the responses I've got here, I think portrayed myself as a d***. If so, please accept my sincere apologies. I do realize that some of my expectations were indeed, unreasonable. In addition, taking on the suggestion of one post, I'm planning on buying dinner for OUR (not "my") crew.

    On a final note, after talking with some other Officers and reading what Deputy Chief Gonzo put, I'm going to do some of the "lowly" jobs around the house. I realize that being an officer is not a pass to not to any work. Before now, it was my expectation that a FF would carry our ALS EMS bag or AED. I'm helping to carry the EMS equipment now to show my crew that I'm still with them.

    I made a mistake when I moved to this new house by laying out the expectations the way I did. I made a mistake. Luckily for me, however, I do work with a great, great group of guys that are still willing to give me a shot.

    Thanks for the replies.

  20. #40
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    Holy crap! Someone who came, asked questions, got BLASTED, and stuck around to see the light!
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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