Thread: Retired members

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    Default Retired members

    Our department has a small handful of retired members that still show interest in the department. The problem is we dont have anything that lets them be a part of the department anymore. Most of the retired guys physically cant do much of the regular stuff anymore, so holding them as reserves really wouldnt work. My question is this- How do you keep the guys that cant ride the truck part of your department. I have talked to a couple of the retired guys and they say they would like to be around the dept, but we are drawing blanks on how to do that. Any ideas would be great! Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfpd109 View Post
    Our department has a small handful of retired members that still show interest in the department. The problem is we dont have anything that lets them be a part of the department anymore. Most of the retired guys physically cant do much of the regular stuff anymore, so holding them as reserves really wouldnt work. My question is this- How do you keep the guys that cant ride the truck part of your department. I have talked to a couple of the retired guys and they say they would like to be around the dept, but we are drawing blanks on how to do that. Any ideas would be great! Thanks
    Can they help oversee training excercises and give input from their experience as to what works and what doesn't? Perhaps help the chief out with the pile of bureaucratic work that invariably falls onto his lap? Direct traffic during MVAs (if this is within your responsibility) - they can probably still hold a flashlight and wear a high-vis jacket...? Wash trucks, file reports of member activity at the station, hell even if they just come down and tell war stories to entertain people during meeting night.... all sorts of little things one can do to keep them included. And honestly - war stories may up the moral a bit - who doesn't love hearing about how things were in the fire service 25 years ago?

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    We have two sets of officers in our department. We have the obvious operational / line officer chain of command, but we also have an administrative chain made up of the president, vice president, treasurer, board of directors and secretary. The rolls of each is spelled out in our bylaws.

    If a person is unable to help operationally, the administrative side becomes the obviouis choice for their participation. These people can get involved in fund raising, building maintenance, financial recording, maintaining training records and any number of other administrative duties.

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    I assume you're speaking of a career department?

    We have retired members who actually took part time positions with us. A couple of them work in the logisitics section, delivering and picking up items from the stations, hospitals, vendors, and the like. One of them works as a MSA SCBA tech in our SCBA shop. A couple work a day or two a week in the administrative office doing whatever needs to be done.

    Our neighboring department uses quite a few of their retired members are adjunct instructors on their training staff. They might have a special knowledge or skill, or simply have a lot of available time to deliver instruction, and can support the training division who currently doesn't have a huge number of folks assigned to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105 View Post
    Direct traffic during MVAs
    This is a common practice and I do not for the life of me understand the logic behind this. Why on earth do we put elderly guys with deminished sight, hearing, and mobility in the middle of the road to get run over?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    This is a common practice and I do not for the life of me understand the logic behind this. Why on earth do we put elderly guys with diminished sight, hearing, and mobility in the middle of the road to get run over?
    If that describes them - you're right. But there are guys who can't/shouldn't hump hose or go interior whose faculties are just fine.

    It does seem like a majority of the death/injuries of what we call fire police in NY are of advanced age. I've known of a few (not in my department) who definitely should not have been in the road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    This is a common practice and I do not for the life of me understand the logic behind this. Why on earth do we put elderly guys with deminished sight, hearing, and mobility in the middle of the road to get run over?
    I blame having watched Death Race 2000 too often as a kid.

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    Default Wait a minute

    As a "Retired old guy" I take exception to the description given by NMFire. We are not senile and blind We have been in the service for over 30 years and can still do most of what you kids do......granted we might not be as spry as you but there are some of us who still want to contribute but as physically unable to. Please don't ignore us or shove us to the corner. Let us at least do some management or paper work. I for myself have been doing the job as Fire Commissioner and I think I can still help the District.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    As a "Retired old guy" I take exception to the description given by NMFire. We are not senile and blind We have been in the service for over 30 years and can still do most of what you kids do......granted we might not be as spry as you but there are some of us who still want to contribute but as physically unable to. Please don't ignore us or shove us to the corner. Let us at least do some management or paper work. I for myself have been doing the job as Fire Commissioner and I think I can still help the District.
    Great points. But I do agree with nmfire that if the guy isn't physically able to fight fire or pump a truck, he likely has limitations that would also preclude his being safe in a duty as dangerous as traffic management.

    I would never let age alone keep a guy from being assigned to a certain duty. My dad is 68 and hasn't lost a step from 50. I know other 68-year-olds who can barely bend to tie their own shoes anymore. Age is just a number; if they still got what it takes, let 'em do it.
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    Did I say every retired Firefighter is incapable?

    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    This is a common practice and I do not for the life of me understand the logic behind this. Why on earth do we put elderly guys with deminished sight, hearing, and mobility in the middle of the road to get run over?
    I see it ALL THE TIME. I'm not making this up. The guys are hunched over, standing in the middle of the road with a vest on, waving traffic by half moving their arms, and couldn't move out of the way literally if his life depended on it. I didn't say you were one of them.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Did I say every retired Firefighter is incapable?



    I see it ALL THE TIME. I'm not making this up. The guys are hunched over, standing in the middle of the road with a vest on, waving traffic by half moving their arms, and couldn't move out of the way literally if his life depended on it. I didn't say you were one of them.


    Didn't know y'all had Fire Police up there..... Or are you talking about the next County to the North??....If that's the case, I understand all too well....
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    Hell, we were happy just to have the fellas come around and tell us their old war stories, and sometimes we even got a little dirt on some of the older guys to use against them, haha. By the time they retired all they really wanted to do was come around from time to time and drink a little coffee, rimenisce about the good ole days, and get to know the newer guys and give them good advice that they learned the hard way. Good times, I miss being around those crusty ole fellows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    We have two sets of officers in our department. We have the obvious operational / line officer chain of command, but we also have an administrative chain made up of the president, vice president, treasurer, board of directors and secretary. The rolls of each is spelled out in our bylaws.

    If a person is unable to help operationally, the administrative side becomes the obviouis choice for their participation. These people can get involved in fund raising, building maintenance, financial recording, maintaining training records and any number of other administrative duties.
    We do something similar to your department; some members who can do things like fire-police are detailed to that duty; those who can't do that usually do administrative things such as filing, committees, assisting with wiping down the trucks, fund raising, etc.

    There's almost something that anyone can do given his/her limitations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Didn't know y'all had Fire Police up there..... Or are you talking about the next County to the North??....If that's the case, I understand all too well....
    Haha, nah not down here. Up in New England it is a very popular practice.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    As a "Retired old guy" I take exception to the description given by NMFire. We are not senile and blind We have been in the service for over 30 years and can still do most of what you kids do......granted we might not be as spry as you but there are some of us who still want to contribute but as physically unable to. Please don't ignore us or shove us to the corner. Let us at least do some management or paper work. I for myself have been doing the job as Fire Commissioner and I think I can still help the District.
    The only problem I have with the old guys is that certain ones never come around. They have retained voting rights because they are life members. When we (the younger guys) want to vote in a new bylaw or purchase something or anything else that needs a vote, and the old guys dont want it, they stack the meetings and vote us down.

    We even tried one time to change the bylaws to say that you had to be active to vote on operational issues......guess how that fared????
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    The only problem I have with the old guys is that certain ones never come around. They have retained voting rights because they are life members. When we (the younger guys) want to vote in a new bylaw or purchase something or anything else that needs a vote, and the old guys dont want it, they stack the meetings and vote us down.

    We even tried one time to change the bylaws to say that you had to be active to vote on operational issues......guess how that fared????
    When we originally wrote life membership into the bylaws (automatic at 20 years), we included a proviso that in order to have voting rights, etc, they had to meet the same activity requirements as everyone else, otherwise they are considered an inactive life member. They can still show up at meetings, but they can't vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    The only problem I have with the old guys is that certain ones never come around. They have retained voting rights because they are life members. When we (the younger guys) want to vote in a new bylaw or purchase something or anything else that needs a vote, and the old guys dont want it, they stack the meetings and vote us down.

    We even tried one time to change the bylaws to say that you had to be active to vote on operational issues......guess how that fared????
    It's your own fault...... All you kids want to do is ride up and down the road on the Fire Engine and spend money on newfangled gadgets....... I worked my butt off at Bingo every week back in the 60's, and we took in a lot of money and now you kids come along want to buy a new Truck. Foolishness, I say. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what we have now. Ahrens-Fox makes a good solid Truck!.......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    ^^^ Which explains why all your trucks are yellow. They're so old, the red has faded in the sun apparently.
    Last edited by nmfire; 04-19-2011 at 11:58 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Retired Members in this fire department are very valuable contributors to the operation. Firefighters never need to spend an hour running the compressor and refilling the cascade. It is always full and the certs. are up to date. The old engineers can spin a wrench as well as the chief engineer, and they have the time to put into the task. Yes, those that can do Fire Police duty, and the local police and State Police frequently request their services. All maintenance on the training facility is performed by our “Retired” members. The grass is mowed and the facilities are in good repair. Got dirty, wet hose… it gets cleaned and dried, then rolled and put back in storage. Our employers appreciate the fact that their employees return to work faster, since all of the little support things are handled by “The Old Guys”. Last week several younger guys decided to “Clean-up” some shelves where old equipment is stored. Today is 7 days later, and the 4” by 3 – 2 ½ gated Siamese that got tossed has been loaned to a local plant to bypass a leak in the plant cooling system, three “Donkey Dick” foam generators have a new home at a smaller F.C. down the road, and the new leader line wye that was requested last night won’t be bought because one old guy fished the busted one out of the trash and ordered a repair kit for $ 66.00 instead of the $450.00 for a new one. Yes, the old guys can be a valuable asset, but the department needs to give them jobs to do, pat them on the back and then get the hell out of their way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    It's your own fault...... All you kids want to do is ride up and down the road on the Fire Engine and spend money on newfangled gadgets....... I worked my butt off at Bingo every week back in the 60's, and we took in a lot of money and now you kids come along want to buy a new Truck. Foolishness, I say. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what we have now. Ahrens-Fox makes a good solid Truck!.......
    Hey all we wanna do is get one of them new-fangled gas-o-leene en-jine powered thangs; you are getting old and cannot shovel coal anymore.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 04-19-2011 at 11:44 AM.
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