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  1. #1
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    Default TeamWork Training

    Hello everyone, I am from a small volunteer fire & ems department in south central pennsylvania and I have some concerns about my company. our fire department needs help in morale, teamwork and just supporting each other weather it be at a function, fire or ems call or just hanging out at the fire station. we've had members leaving left and right for the past 3 years because they feel like we're failures, they dont get along with someone or some group or the're tired of trying to make things better and they walk away from the company. My thoughts and questions are that can we take care of this problem internally? where do we start? is there any sort of training that would be helpful?.. I love these guys and I think we have alot of potential but I just do not know where to start.....
    Last edited by matt3616; 10-23-2010 at 08:09 PM.


  2. #2
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    Starts and ends with leadership. Even if you arent in a position of leadership , you can still set an example. No class will teach loyalty and comraridie.

  3. #3
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    I agree wholly with Slack. It is all about the leadership. There are going to be gripes, complaining, etc with just about every fire dept. I transferred volunteer departments last year from a department that had seemingly everything: Nice trucks, new gear, paid cert. training, uniforms, and a high call volume. Problem though, everyone had a bone to pick. There were more than a few cliques, moral was low, and everyone took themselves WAY to seriously. I had to leave, there was no changing that. It was to far out of my hands. The leadership seemed to kind of support this type of behavior. I couldn't find out why the turnover rate was so high in that department until I was on for a few months.

    The department I am now on is much smaller, with older trucks, older gear, I pay for my own certs., and only run about 150 calls a year. And I couldn't be happier. It was not without some problems, but the leadership there was MUCH more receptive to my thoughts/suggestions. There were a lot of old school ideas that were still SOP for this department, me and a buddy who came over with me (from previous FD) slowly started offering up ideas on how to make things better. Change is not something that the older crew wanted, but its all in how you present your ideas and yourself. My FD never used to be big on cleaning the trucks. Well, we started cleaning the trucks religiously (as one should) and others joined. That was a huge boost to camraderie. We keep the department clean as a whistle now, and the leadership appreciates it. They let us know they appreciate it.

    Bottom line: If it looks like there is no hope for any change, do one of two things. 1. Leave. 2. Suck it up and take what you can from this department until something better comes up.
    If there is some room for some change, you have to: 1. Bring up viable suggestions for change to the leadership, and have one or more members to back you on this. Don't make a big deal out of it, as this is likely to just **** off the leadership, remember its all about how you present yourself. Be respectful. 2. Actions speak louder than words. There are two things that are extremely contagious: A smile and laziness. Be that guy who takes initiatave, is always in a good mood, and a great guy to be around. Joke around with your friends, do a little good-natured rib jabbing with them. Develop friends that share your philosophy, and get them to do the same. It will help when the rest of the department sees this. It will boost morale. Don't be lazy. It is to easy to do, especially when there is constantly a somber mood hanging around the firehouse. I'm not saying laziness is a problem at your house, I'm just using it as a point that it is an easy thing to slip into, especially when nobody wants to work for moody leadership.

    I hope this helps some, and I really do wish you the best of luck. Coming from a similar house experience, I feel your pain, and I am glad I had the opportunity to transfer to a house almost as close to my home as the last one. I do not believe I could have stayed on with the first department. Always remember, don't take yourself to seriously. Good luck!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigNozzlePumper View Post
    Change is not something that the older crew wanted, but its all in how you present your ideas and yourself.

    Bottom line: If it looks like there is no hope for any change, do one of two things. 1. Leave. 2. Suck it up and take what you can from this department until something better comes up.
    If there is some room for some change, you have to: 1. Bring up viable suggestions for change to the leadership, and have one or more members to back you on this. Don't make a big deal out of it, as this is likely to just **** off the leadership, remember its all about how you present yourself. Be respectful. 2. Actions speak louder than words. There are two things that are extremely contagious: A smile and laziness.

    Don't be lazy.

    Always remember, don't take yourself to seriously.
    This should be nominated as post of the year on the Volunteer forum. Outstanding advice. Your post should be printed out and handed out to every new member of a volunteer fire company.

    I have 25 plus years experience and moved to a new town and had a similar experience with my first department. No hope for change. I joined another department, and while not perfect, they are much more open to change and new ideas. Even with the wisdom of experience I and others tend to want to change things too fast. I've learned that if you come off full of **** and vinegar, you should be prepared to be in for a tough ride at the firehouse.

    I wish most volunteers had you attitude, BigNozzlePumper.

  5. #5
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    Cool

    Well I appreciate it brother. It's unfortunate that some volley houses are in bad shape, but it's just the way it is. I'm glad some people can benefit my advice. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    I am just learning to remember that I do this for my town. Secondary I get all of the training and certifications... for those two worthy causes I will put up with a lot. Small town departments are petri dishes for BS. I am learning this.

    Just dont lick whats in the dish and you will be ok. It is a tough thing to watch your department struggle but just remember why you volunteer.

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