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  1. #1
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Default Need some help and opinions

    Okay, my problem is the older guys at my department. I have no problem with them as firefighters or people in general, they are the best group of guys ever, but most of them are administrative officers, so when it comes to needing things, it goes through them. It's a fight with them to do anything. They are so stuck on things not changing at all, and it's caused members to resign for other departments. They make a big deal about having to spend money on things we need and it makes our job harder than it needs to be. Anyway back to topic, what are some ideas or ways myself and a few other members can try and persuade them to lighten up and not fight every idea people come up with and that change isn't so bad? Any help would be great and if you have any questions please ask.


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    Wait a few years

    Hope they retire soon

    Do not become like them

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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    What fire49 said.

    Also, present new requests fully and completely. Background information, comparisons of how things are and how they will be with the new stuff, etc. Forget the glitz and the newness - just do a hard, cold analysis and present the facts.

    "This new wingding is the greatest thing since sliced bread" won't get it bought. Odds are many of them had a similar thought about an item back in their day, and found out it really wasn't.

    Somebody here has in their sig something to the effect of "we tried the new stuff and found out the old stuff was better."

    If they turn you down ask them, as a group or individually, for an evaluation of the request. You may very well get some instructive information about the item. Or you may just get "because we've always done it that way. Either way, it will help you fine-tune your next request because you'll be better able to pre-empt their canned rejections.

    It's been said that your worst enemy on a board of fire commissioners (or other such governing body) is a former fire chief. He/she knows all the tricks and ain't buyin' 'em.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanK63 View Post
    Okay, my problem is the older guys at my department. I have no problem with them as firefighters or people in general, they are the best group of guys ever, but most of them are administrative officers, so when it comes to needing things, it goes through them. It's a fight with them to do anything. They are so stuck on things not changing at all, and it's caused members to resign for other departments. They make a big deal about having to spend money on things we need and it makes our job harder than it needs to be. Anyway back to topic, what are some ideas or ways myself and a few other members can try and persuade them to lighten up and not fight every idea people come up with and that change isn't so bad? Any help would be great and if you have any questions please ask.
    Oh Yeah?


    What do you young guys know anyway.


    It is always a difference view from the other side of the fence. I use to wonder the same thing when I was a field member, sending in requisitions for this and that and being cut in half or sometimes all of what we had asked for.


    The one day the papers came out and my name was on it with the assignment to the administrative office. When I reported for duty, I was shown to my office, filled with all kinds of books, ledgers and a boat load of paper work to be done.


    Once I filtered through this maze of madness, I found the books which contained all the accounts for the department. What I was amazed with, was this account you could buy this or that. Another account was for this and other, still there was accounts that dealt with apparatus, hose replacement, pencils, turnout gear, paper clips and the like.


    The bottom line, each category has X amount of funds approved by the City Budget Department for the current fiscal year. You can only spend what you had been budgeted for. Sometimes what the guys in the field asked for had to be cut. Not that we didn't want to provide them with what they were requesting, but the funds only provided so much that could be spent for the whole department and not for one lonely fire company.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  5. #5
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Oh Yeah?


    What do you young guys know anyway.


    It is always a difference view from the other side of the fence. I use to wonder the same thing when I was a field member, sending in requisitions for this and that and being cut in half or sometimes all of what we had asked for.


    The one day the papers came out and my name was on it with the assignment to the administrative office. When I reported for duty, I was shown to my office, filled with all kinds of books, ledgers and a boat load of paper work to be done.


    Once I filtered through this maze of madness, I found the books which contained all the accounts for the department. What I was amazed with, was this account you could buy this or that. Another account was for this and other, still there was accounts that dealt with apparatus, hose replacement, pencils, turnout gear, paper clips and the like.


    The bottom line, each category has X amount of funds approved by the City Budget Department for the current fiscal year. You can only spend what you had been budgeted for. Sometimes what the guys in the field asked for had to be cut. Not that we didn't want to provide them with what they were requesting, but the funds only provided so much that could be spent for the whole department and not for one lonely fire company.
    lol Thanks for the humor. I understand totally what you are saying. Another question hoping I could get some help with. We are a rural volunteer department, so fundraisers are tough to come by. What are some things we can do to help raise some money? We do chicken BBQs, but we have noticed that the turnout is becoming less and less each time, we do a breakfast for easter and a dinner around Christmas time. Other than that we basically depend on our fund drive and whenever the local Lion's Club uses our hall they place a donation jar out for us. Also these fundraisers would need to be okay with the old timers, no offence to anyone lol

  6. #6
    Forum Member IronValor's Avatar
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    Default Fundraiser

    On My volunteer department we are looking into having a carnival. I dont care if you set the thing up at an abandoned K Mart kids will go nuts in the car so much so that the parents will pull in for a little bit. We do bingo every Saturday and that brings in some cash too.
    Do not let the ghosts of our fallen brothers gaze upon you and ask " What have you done to my profession?" FTB DTRT EGH

  7. #7
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronValor View Post
    On My volunteer department we are looking into having a carnival. I dont care if you set the thing up at an abandoned K Mart kids will go nuts in the car so much so that the parents will pull in for a little bit. We do bingo every Saturday and that brings in some cash too.


    I've mentioned the idea of having a carnival, some were for it and others weren't, still being talked about. Bingo is something I have not mentioned though, thanks for that. Anyone else have any other ideas?

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanK63 View Post
    I've mentioned the idea of having a carnival, some were for it and others weren't, still being talked about. Bingo is something I have not mentioned though, thanks for that. Anyone else have any other ideas?
    A department I know of that usually has a carnival with rides couldn't get the rides one year, so they rented a bunch of inflatables, which went over surprisingly well. Add some food vendors and you've got an event.

    If there's a problem with bingo, it's that it becomes a responsibility instead of an opportunity. Most places that run bingo do so on a weekly basis, and after a while the crews tend to thin out, leaving the same people to run it, week in, week out.

    Assuming you are also funded with taxes, work with your funding agency. Well prepared presentations (facts, figures, not "we need more money!!!") might get you modest increases. Added up over several years, that can add up.

    I view fund raisers as "indirect taxes" anyhow. Unless you can draw from a neighboring population center for your events, you're just getting your residents to pay voluntarily what your taxes (which they have to pay) don't cover.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  9. #9
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    Auction a family or children dinner at the fd and you go out on th brt and pick them up and take them to the station
    Maybe do it a few times a year

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    As tree said, make sure to justify and make a good case for your request. Just saying we want this doesn't cut it in the day and age of shrinking budgets.

    You also don't say why the "elders" reject your request. It could be that budgets are just so tight that they can't afford it. It may also be that they have tried whatever you are asking for, and it didn't work for them.

    Finally, the best approach may be to work from the inside. You don't say who controls these decisions and how those people are appointed. Around here the board of directors and president of the company control most of the funds. If those positions are elected, try running for those positions so that you can learn the system and make it work.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanK63 View Post
    Okay, my problem is the older guys at my department. I have no problem with them as firefighters or people in general, they are the best group of guys ever, but most of them are administrative officers, so when it comes to needing things, it goes through them. It's a fight with them to do anything. They are so stuck on things not changing at all, and it's caused members to resign for other departments. They make a big deal about having to spend money on things we need and it makes our job harder than it needs to be. Anyway back to topic, what are some ideas or ways myself and a few other members can try and persuade them to lighten up and not fight every idea people come up with and that change isn't so bad? Any help would be great and if you have any questions please ask.
    Are you sure you're not in the Marine Corps? This sounds suspiciously a lot like my unit.

    From experience brother, try to get what you're wanting/needing. If it's not a huge safety issue, just keep trying unless it causes a rift. But be very tactful about it. Eventually, that regime will be gone and there will be opening for change then. That's just how it is at most departments.

    Do your research on what you are approaching them about and present it in a way that is very, very simple to understand. DO NOT make your presentation super technical. Some of the older guys, no offense old timers, don't understand things when you go all technical on them. I grew up in the technical age and there are some things I still have to have dumbed down for me, especially if it's outside of my realm of experience.

    Again, whatever you do, however you approach the issue, be very tactful about how you present your ideas/arguements. THe last thing you want to do is turn them off even more to listening to you.

    Hope this helps.

  12. #12
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to use all of these tips and see how it goes at our next meeting. Thanks again.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    To expand on the "good presentation" concept - work on a "five year plan." It's a good way to reduce surprises, and you might be able to enlist the help of some of those older members to create it.

    By taking a longer-term view, you'll have a better chance to weed out "bad" ideas, and figure out how to better justify the good ones. Involving the older members will help ensure buy-in when the actual acquisition comes before the floor.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  14. #14
    iverson
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    this is really complicated problem.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ffscm72's Avatar
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    This has been goin on for year in the fire service. Not much you can really do besides make sure you have your ducks in a row before you present ANYTHING. You think old fart are hard to deal with. Try having your father being one of the admin ole farts...lol Now that is a struggle...lol

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanK63 View Post
    Okay, my problem is the older guys at my department. I have no problem with them as firefighters or people in general, they are the best group of guys ever, but most of them are administrative officers, so when it comes to needing things, it goes through them. It's a fight with them to do anything. They are so stuck on things not changing at all, and it's caused members to resign for other departments. They make a big deal about having to spend money on things we need and it makes our job harder than it needs to be. Anyway back to topic, what are some ideas or ways myself and a few other members can try and persuade them to lighten up and not fight every idea people come up with and that change isn't so bad? Any help would be great and if you have any questions please ask.
    "Courage is the resistance to fear, the mastery of fear, not the lack of fear." Mark Twain
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Uknown

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