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Thread: Junior involvement on scenes.

  1. #21
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    If I brought it up, my chances for advancement would be shot and I'd be ostracized.
    Look at it from another way: you aspire for promotion within the department (nothing wrong with that). But with promotion comes accepting responsibility for those under your rank. Are you willing to take responsibility (in court, on TV, or in any other venue) when the department's well-known and often-ignored problems cause injury or death to a firefighter or civilian?

    Sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy.
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  2. #22
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    I don't disagree. But what can be done? Any asking for money for mental health will not be looked favorably on, and the chief won't be chief long if he starts pointing out elephants In the closet since the council decides chief. Also, what parent wil let their kid join if they know what they might see? There's no mention of anything other than pride and history at the meeting for parents before kids join.
    Are you saying that your county or even your state has no Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team available? If they do generally their services are offered to emergency services at no cost. Sometimes the Red Cross offers this service too. So cost may be nothing more than a cop out excuse.

    To me the issue here runs very, very deep. If what you said is true it is bred into the culture of your fire department that "suck it up" is the only acceptable behavior. The fact that your Chief and the other officers have bought into this and carry it on is pathetically out of touch with all that is taught in todays fire service. Of course there are times we need to suck it up enough to get the job done but after that if we need help we shouldn't be embarassed or be thought of as weak for doing so.
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  3. #23
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    If I brought it up, my chances for advancement would be shot and I'd be ostracized. Everyone knows about it, but it's not discussed.
    So you're only worried about your own hide here, rather than that of your younger, more impressionable members and what could be done to help them? In my book that makes you just a big a hairbag as your bosses are.
    FyredUp likes this.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    So you're only worried about your own hide here, rather than that of your younger, more impressionable members and what could be done to help them? In my book that makes you just a big a hairbag as your bosses are.
    Buff, lay off the man.. He needs that LT liscense plate and to talk on the squawk box...

    But seriously though, as someone who saw numerous dead/ maimed bodies in combat at the ripe age of 19..we were engaged by an RPG Team" one night on patrol, we engaged and destroyed 2 military aged males which turned out to be 14-16.. My tank had to provide scene lighting as the Iraqi police chucked their dead bullet ridden bodies into the pickup truck. I still remember what the 1 kid was wearing.. Sorta, it was soaked in blood/ full of holes.. And that was almost 9 years ago....

    Now back on point.. There is no reason for any kid to see a dead body if it can be prevented.. And CISM should be offered to ALL members after an incident where there are dead or seriously maimed bodies involved. It is your chief's duty to ensure the physical AND mental well being of his men.. It's part of being a leader.. Well a good 1 anyway.

    If I have nightmares/ flashbacks what do you think a 16 year old will do? PTSD.. I know it well, I have it.. And without proper treatment will cause serious issues.

    EVERYONE needs to look after each other, and the juniors.. And you are doing an injustice to the parents who trust you with their children if you don't set realistic expectations.. Seeing bad things included.

    It's 2013.. PTSD is for real... CISM is widely available... If your trash box chief doesn't believe in it then maybe someone needs to contact the mayor/council as to what he is all about..

    Now don't take this personally bro.. But stand up for what is right.. Do right by these kids, and for thief parents. You want to be in charge? Take on that responsibility and change things for the better.

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    It's 2013.. PTSD is for real... CISM is widely available... If your trash box chief doesn't believe in it then maybe someone needs to contact the mayor/council as to what he is all about...
    We've had several incidents over the years where CISD was offered, and even though my members who made the call weren't sure they wanted to go, afterwards they were glad they did.

    A good many of us know of someone who was on a bad call, returned to the station, turned in his gear, and was never seen again.

    I have to believe there is some sort of program available. And I can virtually guarantee that if one of those crusty old officers attends such a session after running a bad call, they'll come away a supporter.

    If I was worried about being ostracized for standing up for something, I wouldn't have made it to 35 years in this business. Most of those who would ostracize me are long gone, and now I'm a leader.
    BoxAlarm187 and BigGriffC12 like this.
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    I should add most of the members are middle aged and rather conservative. There are a few members, some who were chief 4 times, who have been on longer than my father is alive, and he's 56.

  7. #27
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    I should add most of the members are middle aged and rather conservative. There are a few members, some who were chief 4 times, who have been on longer than my father is alive, and he's 56.
    ....uh huh, and.....??????
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    They're reluctant to change. Drinking beer and smoking in the firehouse is encouraged.

  9. #29
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    I should add most of the members are middle aged and rather conservative. There are a few members, some who were chief 4 times, who have been on longer than my father is alive, and he's 56.
    They're reluctant to change. Drinking beer and smoking in the firehouse is encouraged.

    Well youngster, I am 54 years old and none of what you have said is acceptable to me in any way. It doesn't sound to me like they are conservative, it sounds like they are set in their ways and see absolutely no reason to change. If I were to list all the changes that my #1 POC FD has gone through since I joined in 1977 you would drop over. These changes include equipment, operations, and what behavior is allowed around the firehouse. If you want details I would be happy to detail some of them for you.

    In Wisconsin smoking in a public building is quite clearly against the law. As far as drinking in the firehouse my #1 POC FD stopped that almost 20 years ago. Even though when we had beer in the station it was pretty highly controlled and locked up when no officers were in quarters.

    Seriously, if there is no hope for change I would look for a different fire department to become a member of because this place sounds like a train wreck just waiting for someplace to derail.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 01-06-2013 at 01:14 AM.
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  10. #30
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    They're reluctant to change. Drinking beer and smoking in the firehouse is encouraged.
    Ok, so become part of the solution, instead of being a part of the problem.

    I'm beginning to think this is a trolling expedition.........
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  11. #31
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Sorry double post
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  12. #32
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    I should add most of the members are middle aged and rather conservative. There are a few members, some who were chief 4 times, who have been on longer than my father is alive, and he's 56.
    My father joined in 1957 at the age of 17, is still an active member (although slowing down a bit...) and embraces new methods, tactics and techniques. He has held every line officer position except for Chief of Department. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for as long as I have been a member (23+ years now) and then some. He was part of the movement in the late 1970's to get rid of beer and alcohol in the firehouse, and has always been on apparatus and equipment committees that researched, tested and purchased new equipment that would better us an an organization. Additionally he has always been supportive of members attending any, all and as many fire schools as possible in an effort to better themselves, which would better us as an organization as they brought what they have learned back to us.

    I say again- what the fook is your point?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  13. #33
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    It looks like a majority of the posters here have told you the same thing - become a leader within the department, and use that leadership position to effect change. Yes, this means you won't be popular, but who cares? The citizens expect a level of training and professionalism that you're department doesn't appear to be able to provide, so become the guy that started making change!
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  14. #34
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    It looks like a majority of the posters here have told you the same thing - become a leader within the department, and use that leadership position to effect change. Yes, this means you won't be popular, but who cares? The citizens expect a level of training and professionalism that you're department doesn't appear to be able to provide, so become the guy that started making change!
    And one does not need to have the title of, or be a line officer to be a LEADER.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  15. #35
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Are you saying that your county or even your state has no Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team available? ...
    CISD teams are available state wide. FF simply calls their county OEM and requests it. And yes, a FF can make the call, it does not have to be an officer.

    To NJHotstuff...while I personally am not a big fan of NJDFS, please go to their website. They have a wealth of information that may be useful for you and your department to review. Change starts small and grows from there....
    "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?

  16. #36
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    They're reluctant to change. Drinking beer and smoking in the firehouse is encouraged.
    Ah, yes. The social club that fights fires. Been there, done that. Sometimes you just have to hunker down, make change when it's available/possible, and wait for the day when those members are no longer a factor. They'll all die or retire eventually. All you can do is hope that you've got a small core of "true believers" who will still be around when that finally happens.

    Reluctant to change is an understatement - they'll go kicking and screaming, if at all, into the 'future.'

    I'm pretty sure that they're the reason why some formerly robust volunteer fire departments - dozens of members on the books - have dwindled to near nothingness. In reality, there were always only a handful of true firefighters in the department - the rest showed up for calls, but stood around and watched the firefighters put the fire out. They were certainly there when the beer came out after the call though.

    Do what you can. Be prepared for criticism and active resistance. If you can make a change or other improvement, do so. But sometimes you gotta be sneaky...
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  17. #37
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that they're the reason why some formerly robust volunteer fire departments - dozens of members on the books - have dwindled to near nothingness.
    Better to have a small group of firefighters than dozens of "members."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Silly question: whats the difference between them operating on live scenes whether they are part of an established explorer program, a vocational school, or a Department operated and fully authorized, monitored & insured program such as the one I described above?

    NFPA standards and a controlled environment. That should be obvious.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHotstuff View Post
    Unfortunately no counseling or mental health support is offered. Our department is so small and simple, there is no room for complications. An attitude of suck it up has existed since the forties when the JFD was started. Most seem fine, outwardly, fine. Kids don't want to appear weak or afraid. Some change obviously though, but nothing is done. I have no doubt some are changed. 16 year olds aren't ready to see many things. If they get private help, that's their business. A lot of it is pride in the JFD. Appearing weak doesn't sit well with that. The reason is because the JFD was founded due to all the men being at a war, and the young boys having to stand in that place, and there being no room for crybabies. This whole stepping up thing being the reason for allowing juniors to do so much to this day, including driving the rescue truck. I know most departments consider it insane.
    It IS insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Better to have a small group of firefighters than dozens of "members."
    Great minds think alike.. Too bad we're a dying breed brother.

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