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Thread: How Do you...?

  1. #21
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    Do you have one or two of the firefighter that do like to follow your idea and want the changes? If so use them to help talk positive about your ideas and new training. Ask each of them to try and get two other firefighters to get on board and so on. Also if you can I know it hard at times but get rid of the problem children or lessen there duties. It takes time a long time. I have only been chief two years and I'm having to go through that same things you are. Trust me I get very frustrated at times. But I keep moving forward slowly and I'm slowing making progress. Also try and think our side the box. I started and awards banquet now each year about christmas time. I give out awards, door prizes, and gifts like new tee shirts. I even do all the cooking for it. Show them then your in it for the long haul. Very slowy but as long as change is there I'm still excited


  2. #22
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Just another thought...

    Do you have an explorer or junior firefighter program?

    Sometimes if you get a decent group when they are young, you can tap into their enthusiasm and train-a-bility and invest in the future.

    It's a longer timeframe, but if you can get a core group of six or so in a few years, you'll have a good start.
    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."

  3. #23
    Forum Member Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Just another thought...

    Do you have an explorer or junior firefighter program?

    Sometimes if you get a decent group when they are young, you can tap into their enthusiasm and train-a-bility and invest in the future.

    It's a longer timeframe, but if you can get a core group of six or so in a few years, you'll have a good start.
    No I do not, I have had to look into that for Staffing though I do have a Small group of three-five that Do what to see change, They have been working very hard to help me in any way that they can but the combined effect of a Negative Public imagine, a Worse attitude at the correct way of doing things, And some loosing there spine when faced with the possibility of making some one mad, has been detrimental.

    This FD is soo Deep rooted in the Past that i think injection of Fresh Blood and Ideas are almost a Culture shock, I think they are worried about something new not working. the Changes that have came have been slow and hard fought, but after wards the old crew looks back and says" wow that was a good Idea."
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    How do you Change a Dept. that has the mentality? ("This Is Always How Have Done it")

    You have to stick to your guns. The way we used to do it entailed hand- or horse-drawn carts hose, buckets, leather coats, rubber boots, and a water-soaked beard in your mouth. That's not how it's done today,and it can't be done that way.

    At the same time, the fires we used to catch entailed natural fabrics and wood. That's no longer the case. A fire department using 1950's tactics on 2010's fires is asking to get someone killed.

    If they need more convincing, slap a copy of the Charleston report in their lap and make them read it.


    How Do you Change The public Image Of the Same FD?

    A LOT of hard work and time. You have to change the culture of the organization, which is not easy. Not only do you have to put the right people on the bus, you have to put them in the right seats on the bus.

    How do you Train people that Don't wanna Train?

    Mandate it. If you truly want to become a good, or even great, department, everyone in the organization must look at what's best for the department. While I understand family time and all that jazz, the department has to be a priority as well.

    How do you Recruit FF's when No one wants to Help?

    You have to change that culture and make people want to be a part of it. Start young with an Explorer post and get them excited about the prospect. Let others see what you're doing and that the guys actually care about what they're doing and who they're helping.

    How Do you Lead people that Won't follow?

    Lead them... out the door. Sometimes you have to cut off a few heads to get the rest of the herd back in line.

    How do you deal with all of the Bull**** that Comes along with being a VFD officer/Paid FF that Knows what they are doing is Wrong, Dangerous, And Going to Kill some one?

    By doing what you know is right.
    It's never simple, but I've been in a situation similar to what you're describing. Our department was being led by a guy that had no clue and was interested in his own motives. The city finally saw what a handful of us were trying to tell them and dismissed him. The next day we had 4 guys, but those four guys were dedicated to the department and making it better. In the 10 years since, we've done wonders. Instead of saving foundations, we're saving trailer houses miles outside of town. Instead of first responders with only CPR training we're now an ALS provider. We dropped our ISO rating from an 8 to a 5 (which no one believe we could do) and still have some more room to drop it.

    It takes time and commitment, and dealing with a lot of frustration.

    I don't know if you're a reader or not, but I'd recomment two books: "Good to Great" by Jim Collins and "It's Your Ship" by Michael Abrashoff. Both are books I was handed after being promoted to a training chief position with my career department, and both are books that I've learned a lot from and am trying to apply to both my career and vollie department. When you first start reading either, you wonder how it's going to apply, but it'll click.

    Stick with it. Once you start seeing things change it's well worth it. The problem you'll face then is keeping it going, which can be equally as frustrating.

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