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  1. #1
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    Default how do i handle this chief??

    For years (like 20) , I have (on the side) taught health and safety classes, including cpr, first aide, car seat inspections, blood pathogens, and more. Never have I mentioned or used it at the fire house. In fact most don't know I have my business, as I mainly teach to corp offices and various civic groups. I am a paramedic. When I teach, I don't do it in uniform, nor mention I work with the fd

    Now, the chief found out were I work part time (i have been here for 4 years). He is not a paramedic or emt, doesn't even have a current cpr card....


    suddenly, he is showing up at 2 cpr classes i taught "to observe". Now, he tells me all future classes and events I appear at have to be prior approved by him, as I am putting him at a liability risk.

    The department has not paid for any of my training and it has nothing to do with them. I tried to tell him this, and he told me turn it in in advance, or lose my job.

    Any suggestions??

    FYI, this is in a small good ole boy town, where the fire board members are all his relatives or good friends.......


  2. #2
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Tell him to pound salt.

    Are you career?
    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. #3
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter 432 View Post
    For years (like 20) , I have (on the side) taught health and safety classes, including cpr, first aide, car seat inspections, blood pathogens, and more. Never have I mentioned or used it at the fire house. In fact most don't know I have my business, as I mainly teach to corp offices and various civic groups. I am a paramedic. When I teach, I don't do it in uniform, nor mention I work with the fd

    Now, the chief found out were I work part time (i have been here for 4 years). He is not a paramedic or emt, doesn't even have a current cpr card....


    suddenly, he is showing up at 2 cpr classes i taught "to observe". Now, he tells me all future classes and events I appear at have to be prior approved by him, as I am putting him at a liability risk.

    The department has not paid for any of my training and it has nothing to do with them. I tried to tell him this, and he told me turn it in in advance, or lose my job. Is this a Career position or Volunteer?

    Any suggestions??

    FYI, this is in a small good ole boy town, where the fire board members are all his relatives or good friends.......
    I would begin by requesting a closed door meeting with him. Explain that this is your side business. Show him copies of your articles of incorporation, your business tax filings, and proof of liability insurance, and explain to him that under no circumstances do you act under the authority of the Fire Department when teaching your classes on your own time.

    -If he still demands to interfere (demanding a schedule or whatever) tell him you want that request in writing from the Fire Department (hence the Town's) solicitor. I am almost willing to bet his interference comes to a screaming halt when they find out he is putting his nose into your business when off-duty. And if this is a career position, and the town's solicitor and/or the board of directors/fire board all back him, send them an invoice (by registered mail/return receipt) for overtime for each and every single class that you have taught while working for them. After all, if they think they can control you off-duty, then they owe you compensation, right?

    And if it keeps on going after that, unfortunately I dont see you having any recourse but to hire an attorney, especially if you are insinuating all his relatives on the board will back him up. If thats the case and you are just a volunteer, do you really want to spend money on a lawsuit and attorneys, etc? Just quit. More important for you to put bread on the table than vollying for a bunch of idiots. If it is a paid position, then throw down the gloves, get the attorney and file suit.

    But lets hope he is a reasonable guy, and it doesnt go past the closed-door with him.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Is there a written policy in place about off duty jobs???


    How about other people working off duty jobs, are they getting the same treatment???

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Tell him to pound salt.

    Are you career?
    Volunteer. That is all we have is vol--the entire county (4 departments) are all volunteer, no paid staff on any department in our rural county.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Is there a written policy in place about off duty jobs???


    How about other people working off duty jobs, are they getting the same treatment???
    All the policy says is we can not work our jobs at the station or use the station for an office (which the chief does anyway...)

    Since we are 100%, all of the firefighters have another job, or in the case of 2 lazy bums, collect unemployment.

    To the best of my knowledge, no one else is getting this treatment--but their jobs are not fire or health or fire safety related--they are in construction, truck drivers, dentist, garbage collector, several cops, sewer worker....
    Last edited by firefighter 432; 04-27-2011 at 01:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member pasobuff's Avatar
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    The Chief can go pound salt then - he has NO control over what you do to make a living..

    If he showed up again at a class where he wasn't a registered student, I would politely ask him to LEAVE as he is a distraction to the students. If he wants to attend, tell him to sign up and PAY like everyone else.....

    If he continues, I would advise him it is approaching (or it IS) harassment, and don't be afraid to take additional steps.

    You need to think - is it worth it staying in the VFD to put up with this treatment?.....

  8. #8
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Ok, now that I understand you are a Volly....

    Request the closed-door with him. Explain politely, without loosing your cool, that under no circumstances do you involve the VFD in your business. Show him your articles of incorporation and proof of your liability insurance. Then advise him you do not expect or want his or the VFD's endorsement, as what you do on your own time is none of their business and they have no control over it as long as you do not insinuate at your classes that you are endorsed or supported by the VFD in any way.

    See what he says, if anything. Remember to be polite and firm at all times, remember this is bread on your table we are talking about here. If you anticipate that it will be further trouble with him, you have two choices- Fight or Resign.

    If you choose to begin a fight (which is the way I would go, but I have always been a pain in the *** to my superiors and would not back down from this) I would send a registered letter (return receipt requested) to the fire chief asking for the Fire Company's Attorney to send you a letter explaining the Chief's demands and to cite the legal precident explaining what or who gives him the authority to do so. Circulate non-registered copies (through standard first-class postage) to the members of the board just for schits and grins.

    I suspect that it would probably come to a halt after this. But if it continues, and you are insinuating that the board members (relatives) will back him up, then you need to have a come-to-jesus moment with yourself, because your next step will involve an attorney and a LOT of hurt feelings- which could potentially damage your relationship with the Department. So you need to decide....CONTINUE to fight, or tell them to go pound sand and resign.

    Like I said earlier, if he is a reasonable guy, it will end at the closed-door session.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  9. #9
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    I might be the only one who's not following this, so at the risk of sounding dumb:

    You're a 100% volunteer department (not paid-on-call, zero compensation to the members at all), and you have a FT job that pays the bills regularly, but on the side from your FT job (whatever that might be), you teach CPR & First Aid. Am I right? Also, do you own/manage the CPR company, or are the contracted employee of a business?
    Career Fire Captain
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    I take it the dept has all hands meeting?


    What do think would happen if you stood up in front of everyone and stated what is going on????

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I might be the only one who's not following this, so at the risk of sounding dumb:

    You're a 100% volunteer department (not paid-on-call, zero compensation to the members at all), and you have a FT job that pays the bills regularly, but on the side from your FT job (whatever that might be), you teach CPR & First Aid. Am I right? Also, do you own/manage the CPR company, or are the contracted employee of a business?
    I volunteer for a 100% volunteer department (our entire county has NO paid fire departments).

    I also OWN a company where I go to businesses and individuals and teach CPR, first aide, do child seat inspections and various other classes.

    I also have rental units and sub teach.

    I do not work a regular shift job at the current time, although I have in the past been a classroom teacher.

  12. #12
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    ChiefKN used too many words. One word will take care of it "NO". It is none of his business, end of discussion.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    ChiefKN used too many words. One word will take care of it "NO". It is none of his business, end of discussion.
    I agree; pretty cut and dry.

    Just make sure you don't connect yourself to the dept at all when teaching. I wouldn't even mention that you are a member unless someone brings it up, and don't wear anything with the department name on it.

  14. #14
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    suddenly, he is showing up at 2 cpr classes i taught "to observe".
    So he crashed your class...


    Now, he tells me all future classes and events I appear at have to be prior approved by him, as I am putting him at a liability risk.
    It's none of his damn business. Nothing you are doing puts him or the fire department at a liability risk. It is the other way around.


    The department has not paid for any of my training and it has nothing to do with them. I tried to tell him this, and he told me turn it in in advance, or lose my job.
    Sounds like the guy is an ego-maniac. I would tell him once that you want this rule in writing. If he refuses, then document it and advise him you will continue to work for a living without his interference.

    If he is stupid enough to put it into writing, hire an attorney and threaten to sue the crap out of him and the department for trying to interfere in your life. Just because you are a volunteer firefighter does not give him any control over what you do on your own time, or in pursuit of a paycheck.

    Personally, I would tell him to stick his little head up his dark side... and take the issue to the board. If they do agree with him, then you do not want to give them anymore of your time or talent. Volunteering is a wonderful thing and vitally important to firefighting.... but not to the point where it prevents you from having free choice and causes you pain.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    i vote for saying "sorry sir, i will not" in the closed door meeting.

    keep teaching as you have been before.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    This is an interesting situation,

    From what I have read, it seems like this "Chief" is seemingly having issues with you teaching the First Aid courses......OK, BUT as long as you DON'T wear his Dept's uniform or openly identify yourself as a member of such, then there is really NOTHING that can be said or done......

    It is important here to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING that transpires.....even better is to record it.......

    Avoid a hostile confrntation.....IF HE blows up and rants and raves......all the better....especially in front of witnessess OR on tape.....but my suggestion is....take it to the Board or Council........

    Let it be known that his actions are hostile and border on personal harasment...Put the ball into THEIR hands to deal with it.......BUT let them know up front that if it isn;t delt with fairly and quickly.......you'll be letting a lawyer talk with THEM as well as the CHIEF..........

    It will all come down to documentation...were did you get your training....how long have you been doing this....do SOG's limiting what you can or can;t do exist?......if so are they even legal?......and have records of all interactions regarding this .......the more documentation YOU have the better.........

    Reality is.........he has NO liability with what you or any other VFF does in their own time........that is perhaps the most idiotic statement I have ever read..........that would be like saying that he has "liability" while you are grocery shopping, or BBQ'ing or at a football game.......

    Good Luck!.....
    Last edited by Northern Lights FF; 05-02-2011 at 09:07 AM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

    I'm betting there is more to it.
    "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?

  18. #18
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

    I'm betting there is more to it.
    Well, then you probably want both of the other stories... there's always three sides.
    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."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

    I'm betting there is more to it.
    Found out today he let 4 other firefighters go (fired). That now makes 23 in the past 3 years. One thing we have noticed....ALL Every single one of them, had more training than he. He has not completed Fire1 or Fire2. All of them had, all were also either an instructor on the side, EMT, Paramedic or RN. I didn't realize that a couple of them were RN or EMT's elsewhere--in fact one guy who was an RN I thought was a maintenance guy at a hospital, didn't realize he was a surgery RN.......So, basically, the ones who are gone all knew more than he. We have a dentist, whom he is now also starting to ride the case of....

    There is talk of all of them getting together and going to the board.

    We don't even have a medical director, so no one can use their EMT as a volunteer. Very few even have had first responder training.

    I think the issue is, he wants people to be uneducated that are below him. (This guy has several masters and a PHD--all book smarts and lacks in the common sense area.....he never admits to being wrong, and even if there are committees for various events, he takes over and does it all himself. Appoints people to do a job, then when they show up to do it at the assigned time, its already done by him, or if you do the job, he will come along and re do it.

    I am beginning to think the real issue is, he doesn't have the certifications to teach the various classes I teach. And, that makes him in his little PHD world feel threatened.

    I'll give you another odd thing (unrelated to my problem)that he just did.....Recently a FF married. Several at the station sponsored a wedding shower/reception for the bride at the station, and rented the community room there to do so (paid $25 for the room). No fire dept funds or supplies were used. The night before the party, 4 FF wives came in and decorated and set it up. The day of the party, it was noted that the decorations had been changed, and the tables and chairs completely moved around. He had nothing to do with the party, but changed the set up, and took down the decorations and put up others. Said he thought his way looked better, and he didn't like it the way it was before. This was an event for the WOMEN--had nothing to do with him!!!! But he sat there during the shower the whole time, then had the nerve to say that the gift of a night gown was not appropriate for the fire department location...It was given by someone one not connected with the department, but a friend or family member of the bride. Since the station is unmanned, and the room was reserved and rented in advance, that was a non-issue what the gifts were. BUT, HE had to be in control of it.
    Last edited by firefighter 432; 05-04-2011 at 12:48 AM.

  20. #20
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter 432 View Post
    But he sat there during the shower the whole time, then had the nerve to say that the gift of a night gown was not appropriate for the fire department location...It was given by someone one not connected with the department, but a friend or family member of the bride. Since the station is unmanned, and the room was reserved and rented in advance, that was a non-issue what the gifts were. BUT, HE had to be in control of it.
    He sounds like a nut job. How did he become chief?
    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."

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