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03-08-2011, 11:40 PM #1
HELP !Just appointed to a leadership role in a VFD
Last edited by kntryfolk; 03-09-2011 at 05:04 PM. Reason: dont want an english lesson
03-09-2011, 12:20 AM #2
03-09-2011, 12:30 AM #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Southern California
Huh.....No one really knows who I am.The chief has not made a formal introduction with the assumption that everyone knows everyone. I look around the room and know a lot of faces and not many names. It is a small town after all.
Initially I would not make a bunch of changes but would ask why things are how they are. Not to question what they are doing, but more about why they decided to do it this way. There may be a legit reason why.....
My problem is me and about 3 other guys who have worked as career firefighters for several years have had a volunteer dept. that has been ran by a fire chief with no certification or formal education with members that don't have any certification or formal education quite literally thrown in our laps and have been told to fix it.
I have to give credit to the guys for being there and being willing to help. A few of them know a thing or two as well. We have many young guys who are either just 18 or just out of high school, and probably half a dozen older guys who have been on the department a while.
How do I go about setting a base line for training with these guys? I don't wanna insult anyone, but it seems to me like everyone really just needs to start back from square one. The guys who do know things don't completely know the subject. I don't want to be the guy who has to tell these guys who have devoted years to what they are doing they were taught bass ackwards and they have to unlearn everything they have learned. The chief however is kinda putting me in that position.
The biggest lesson I learned was that Vollies are truly great, dedicated, motivated, golden-hearted people that just love being a FF. Patience is definitely a virtue and you will receive HUGE dividends on what you put into your folks. If you have any personnel that have specialties or special passions build that into the training (shows them you respect their knowledge, experience and shares the responsibility of training). I'm not claiming to have the "cure all, save all" information here, but I am sharing what I have done in the past that worked awesome for all involved.
Stay safe my friends.....
Last edited by mikeyboy; 03-09-2011 at 12:33 AM."Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"
Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....
Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....
03-09-2011, 07:22 AM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Erie, PA/ Home of Lake Effect Snow
03-09-2011, 08:41 AM #5
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Lusby, MD
My first advice would be not to come in and try to change everything at once. Pick the major issues and focus on them. You will also need to sit back and figure out whos who and what needs fixing. Like Mikeyboy said, find out why they do things the way that they do, there may be very good reasons for that.
It also sounds like you haven't been with the department for very long. I would suggest setting up drills/training and use that time to get to know everybody before you start "taking command." Be sure to actively participate in this training so that the guys see you work and know that you can actually do what you are trying to teach. The first step will be earning their respect and letting them get to know you.
03-09-2011, 09:22 AM #6
Sounds like you have a challenge ahead and you are looking forward to it. Good for you and good luck.
My best suggestion is to keep an open mind. "Your" way may not always be the best way. I'd get some FF1 books and start working through that."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
03-09-2011, 09:29 AM #7
You might also discover some trustworthy in-house experts that you can tap for training assistance.
You may also find out the social pecking order, which no doubt exists, and around which you will need to exercise some caution. Alienate the wrong people, even unintentially, and your road just got a lot longer.Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.
Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.
03-09-2011, 10:44 AM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Lusby, MD
03-09-2011, 10:46 AM #9
Last edited by kntryfolk; 03-09-2011 at 05:06 PM. Reason: too much subjective info
03-09-2011, 10:51 AM #10
First step is to learn to be a firefighter and never assume anything.
For your first post it appears that you had a burr under you saddle and had to blow off steam.
Don't air your or the departments dirty laundry in the open.
Also learn how to compose and separate all the typing. I, after maybe 5 lines, had trouble reading what you wrote. I copied it and pasted it to a blank document and separated it so I could read it without going blind or having my eyes cross!
In the small town that I live in I was appointed to an un-named leadership role at this point in the VFD by the new chief, who is also the rescue squad captain I currently work for.
I am a Pro Board FF2/Paramedic and worked in a professional dept for nearly 12 years. I have had involvement in a VFD prior but my experience here is a little more difficult. The city council came to an agreement by the recommendation of the mayor, the city decided to remove the chief of this department, who was the chief for nearly 30 years. The current chief and myself have met some resistance to say the least, but we are trying to move forward.
My problem is me and about 3 other guys who have worked as career firefighters for several years have had a volunteer dept. that has been ran by a fire chief with no certification or formal education with members that don't have any certification or formal education quite literally thrown in our laps and have been told to fix it. I have to give credit to the guys for being there and being willing to help.
A few of them know a thing or two as well. We have many young guys who are either just 18 or just out of high school, and probably half a dozen older guys who have been on the department a while.
How do I go about setting a base line for training with these guys? I don't wanna insult anyone, but it seems to me like everyone really just needs to start back from square one. The guys who do know things don't completely know the subject.
I don't want to be the guy who has to tell these guys who have devoted years to what they are doing they were taught bass ackwards and they have to unlearn everything they have learned. The chief however is kinda putting me in that position.
No one really knows who I am. I am trying to get things done through suggestion rather an order. Tonight was a good example I convinced the guys a triple lay was better than the really really messy flat load they were using on the cross lays and we also re packed the hose bed properly.
I know these guys have to be thinking who is this a hole telling us what to do and how we should be doing it. The chief has not made a formal introduction with the assumption that everyone knows everyone.
I look around the room and know a lot of faces and not many names. It is a small town after all. WHAT WOULD YOU DO!Stay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
03-09-2011, 11:53 AM #11
Thank you Capt. I do think I am going to remove this post I am feeling alot of negitive energy and not getting alot of straight forward answers. I also feel I am being ridiculed for asking some questions that might not be exactly proper, but I came here looking for help. Im sorry if I offended anyone. I will leave this posted for a few days for people to see my apology.
03-09-2011, 12:17 PM #12
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
Your "messy flat load" is another man's simple load that is next to impossible to mess up. Dont assume that your better way is always better. And if your Chief isnt leader enough to introduce you to the men , step up and do it yourself.?
03-09-2011, 12:36 PM #13
Step up to the plate guy.
Stand up introduce youreslf. The chief is wrong for not doing this and expalining the whys and why nots.
Be your own man. Hit the floor on your feet and take over.
03-09-2011, 01:25 PM #14
1. What is an un-named leadership role?
2. Lead by example.
3. Change for good, not for the sake of change. Don't expect all your ideas to go over well. Some will flop. Some will in reality not be good ideas.
4. Go slow.
03-09-2011, 04:51 PM #15
an un named leadership role is we just got the department handed to us and we havent worked out a rank structure all i know is he wants me to be in a command type position this is what has been told to me by the chief
03-09-2011, 05:02 PM #16
theres too much assuming about the kind of person i am and too many english teachers here where is the delete thread button btw you people take crap too personally you can believe me when i say something looks like crap it looks like crap when it was poorly done it was poorly done
Last edited by kntryfolk; 03-09-2011 at 05:12 PM. Reason: addendum
03-09-2011, 05:12 PM #17
03-09-2011, 05:31 PM #18
kntryfolk - relax!
You came here looking for advice.
Your presentation could stand improvement, but you did state your case.
You were given advice. Great advice. Based on your statement that "you just got the department handed to you" you've got a real challenge on your hands.
It also sounds like you have the chance to make a difference.
We have questions - and we may well have answers. While it's never a good idea to hang dirty laundry out to dry, it's possible for you to present questions and information that may help us help you complete your assigned task.
Without standing in your shoes, we can't give you exact answers. We can't fix your issues - you have to do that. Step back, identify your issues, and start to work on them. The five step process works pretty well.
On the other hand, if you're going to take a little constructive criticism about your writing style that badly, you may not do well when your new charges challenge you, either.
As has already been said, man up. Read back through the thread and apply the advice given to what you have to do, then do it.Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.
Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.
03-09-2011, 05:44 PM #19
I mean come on, what did you expect? People throwing rose petals at your feet as you walked in?
You have gotten some great advice here, and I am going to add just a bit more - don't be so thin skinned. You will live and last longer.
03-09-2011, 07:24 PM #20
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
Secondly, until he stops pussyfooting around, gives you a REAL RANK, I wouldn't do a damn thing. Make him step up, introduce you to the FFs and say what your position is and what you will be expected to accomplish.
I have been accused of being a cynical individual, and it may be true, but it looks to me like he is setting you up to take a good hard kick in the crotch if you do something that either, annoys the troops, or isn't what he wants. Look up the word scapegoat...
Good luck because with this bunch of BS you have described you will most certainly need it.Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it's not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate
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