You may find your mattress on the roof, but turn outs are strictly off limits.
Not one to condone any type of violence, but getting caught may subject the violator to an old fashion blanket party.
Once went on a run and saw that someone had used medical tape to put "Juicy" on the backside of a guy's turnout pants. He ended up directing traffic around down wires, the look on the passing motorists was priceless.
That would be the limit, and even that was pushing it, but so funny.
A few things here:
1. Anyone who has people messing with their stuff probably deserves it.
2. Long visits after work and mess with people's head and kick their *** all translates to I would cry about it.
A leader may or may not be a manager. Most of us have encountered a non-officer/manager who has the respect of all his/her co-workers (or to be fire-specific, fellow firefighters) and who we would follow anywhere. If an officer/manager is smart, they'll learn who these leaders are, and involve them.
Said leaders (often called "opinion leaders") may not want to become an officer as such.
In a case like this, perhaps a mention to the opinion leader might be a logical action.
But when it comes down to something like discipline (even a verbal counselling), that's management's job. In the fire service, management is our officers.
I would hope that if someone threatened violence against another worker, someone, be it a "Leader" or a "Manager" or a "Supervisor" or a "Co-worker" would not worry about being "PC" and take appropriate action to prevent the workplace violence, no matter where it happens. "PC" or whatever you want to call it, is just a bull**** cop out for not taking responsibility for preventing violence in the workplace. The dinosaur mentality of kicking someone's *** for upsetting you is long gone and the real world of today (like it or not) is not going to tolerate it.
Any real leader will make sure his men know not to fcuk with bunker gear or other personal safety gear. So it's kind of a moot point.
I find it ironic that you would lambaste the term "PC" when your whole post was centered around being "politically correct". Thick skin should be a requirement before being allowed the priveledge of serving as a firefighter.
I spent most of my career serving as a Manager AND Leader, all the while continuing to be educated to keep from becoming a victim of the changing times. Like it or not, the "Nanny State" as you call it is here, and people take great pride in looking for those opportunities to sue someone for something workplace related. While I don't favor or like the "Nanny State" environment, it is here and if you want to survive, you need to know the rules and stay within them.
Not a personal attack , just a theory of mine, it seems the school bus is where many many people learn about social interaction. Just out of curiousity (I know I spelled it wrong) why would you make a statement about education? Is that in your manager play book? And just because you say something is a rule, does not make it so.There is a big world out there and sometimes things dont go by the book. So one more question along the school bus line --- did your parents read Dr. Spock ?
I think this is the best response yet, and if I may, would like to expand on it a bit. Following SOG's is always called for, but sometimes a realistic look at the root cause of the incident(s) is the most effective way to truly address the behavior. In every organization I've been involved with, employees are well aware that pranks involving PPE are off limits, and punished severely. If members Are aware of the seriousness of the violation, and choose to do it anyway, the existence of malice may be a safe assumption, as opposed to a playful prank. In plain English if your gear is being tampered with, one or more persons may dislike you intensely. I've dealt with this issue twice, and what it boiled down to was subordinates of an individual who didn't think they were being treated fairly, felt isolated from management, and acted out in an inappropriate manner. These issues are often overlooked as childish pranks or isolated incidents by problem employees, but are often a red flag for the organization with regard to morale issues, and in-station accountability. We reiterated the open door policy, encouraged firefighters to utilize it without fear of reprisal, and placed more emphasis on the 1X1 employee counseling. The gear and other issues stopped, and, coincidentally most of the candid conversations had to do with the individual who was on the receiving end of the pranks. After some retraining we felt we were on a better course for the entire event having happened. That being said, I'd still like to find out who the hell it was that ate asparagus then took a whiz in said supervisors Globe leathers. I'd tell him that I thought it was hilarious and clever as I handed him his last check and vacation pay, and would have politely suggested he not use me as a reference.
What did I say was a rule???
I am well aware that there is a "big world out there" for I have been out there. I know that everything does not "go by the book", but going by the book will keep your *** out of trouble a lot more often than making it up as you go along.
The statement about education is, in my experience, people who are less educated will resort to personal attacks when they run out of substance for their point of view.
I suggest we agree to disagree and end the hijacking of this thread.
I will close by stating that anyone who screws with someone's turnout should be disciplined as our turnouts are part of our PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, and as stated in a number of posts, messing with someone's PPE can delay a response and/or get someone hurt. There are too many other things to mess with that don't affect a response or someone's safety to mess with their PPE.