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Thread: Cliques in the Firehouse

  1. #1
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    Default Cliques in the Firehouse

    Do any of you guys/gals notice Cliques in the fire house? I understand that some people don't get a long with others. With that said, It seems to me like my Fire Department had cliques and if you don't kiss *** with either them or certain people you are looked down upon. I personally try to get along with everyone and I try to treat people with respect and try not to treat people like crap but I always feel like I am on the outside looking in a lot of the time.

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    I've seen it.

    Sometimes it's not so much a clique as it is a coalition - formed to massage the egos of its members. By putting down an "outsider" they somehow feel they are that much better.

    Sometimes those coalitions are dynamic - this week it's A and B against C, next week B is the odd man out.

    The problem, of course, is that the primary mission somehow gets lost in the whole mess. No matter how willing you are to train, etc, someone always "forgets" to let you know something is going on.

    We saw that with our auxiliary (long gone) - they would complain that no one was helping with the various functions at our banquet hall, but if an outsider did show up, there was never anything for them to do...

    These are also the people I am referring to when I say that at one time fire departments were social clubs that fought fires. In some departments that's still true.

    Tough it out. Those folks will be gone when their egos cease being massaged, and you'll still be there doing what you love to do.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    There are cliques in firehouses, there will always be "cliques" in firehouses.

    Wait until you get promoted to an officer position... you go from" one of us" to "one of them".

    Carry on, do the right thing and you'll do okay.
    FyredUp and RFDACM02 like this.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Dance the perimeter of them all. Don't get too involved in any drama, but try to be friendly to them all.

    If that doesn't work then screw them, do your own thing and enjoy being a firefighter.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    We had a clique of 8 guys in our department rack up $40,000 worth of Union Lawyer bills, and run 2 Fire Chiefs off before getting broken up and out of the Union leadership. That same clique was and is the sole reason our County has been in negotiations with our local for 5 years now.

    Like tree68 said, most clique just enjoy stroking each others egos. But in our case this clique was damaging to our fire department and local.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firedan525 View Post
    We had a clique of 8 guys in our department rack up $40,000 worth of Union Lawyer bills, and run 2 Fire Chiefs off before getting broken up and out of the Union leadership. That same clique was and is the sole reason our County has been in negotiations with our local for 5 years now.

    Like tree68 said, most clique just enjoy stroking each others egos. But in our case this clique was damaging to our fire department and local.
    Obviously in this case the membership elected these guys to those Union leadership positions. If they kept electing them they have no one to blame but themsleves for the trouble that followed.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Chief Gonzo is undoubtedly correct. There was, is, and always will be cliques in a firehouse whether career or volunteer. That's just a simple fact of life. The amazing transition I have found is the back-step FF to officer one. I experienced it first hand, prior to promotion I was just one of the guys, the minute the black shield left for the white one with a bugle that all changed. It took some time getting used to on both sides but as soon as you adjust it all works itself out.

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    Firefighters are members of the largest sorority in the world.
    CaptOldTimer and FFEMT2159 like this.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Educate, educate, EDUCATE!!! Most followers in a clique are there because they don't feel comfortable making decisions, suggesting solutions, or just don't know enough. Use the clique to your advantage by bringing the followers up to the point where they gain confidence in their decisions & suggestions. Training and knowledge will allow the followers to sway the clique leadership in directions that improve the department. Most good firefighters can decide for themselves what benefits the department, and when confident in their abilities, will move the clique influence. Nepotism, however is another matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuh shise View Post
    Nepotism, however is another matter.
    Our problem started with 3 brothers.

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    There will always be the "in crowd". Identify them, smile, be respectful, then go your own way and move on. My old outfit was pretty much determined by merit; what you did that helped. One had to produce. Very non political. Non Union. Not very common today.

    You obeyed all rank, but you always respected those who had helped rather than hurt. Most of the cliques then were made up of those, who for whatever reason, had failed to make the merit connection and just instead choose to slide along. Fortunately most did not make rank and quite a few just up and left. The few left could be ignored. HB

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    Quote Originally Posted by HBofCJ View Post
    There will always be the "in crowd". Identify them, smile, be respectful, then go your own way and move on. My old outfit was pretty much determined by merit; what you did that helped. One had to produce. Very non political. Non Union. Not very common today.

    You obeyed all rank, but you always respected those who had helped rather than hurt. Most of the cliques then were made up of those, who for whatever reason, had failed to make the merit connection and just instead choose to slide along. Fortunately most did not make rank and quite a few just up and left. The few left could be ignored. HB
    Good for you that non-Union worked for you. Unfortunately the case in the vast majority of FDs is that without Unions pay and benefits would be atrocious. The biggest issue people have with Unions is actually caused by LAZY and INEFFICIENT officers and administration tht won't follow the very work rules they helped define in the contract. The old BS that you can't ever be fired if you are in a Union makes me want to puke. Dot your I's, cross your T's, and document what you want to fire them for and when you have documentation that is done properly move to fire them. I have seen it done at 2 Union jobs I had, one as a teacher, and twice as a firefighter.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Quote Originally Posted by firedan525 View Post
    Our problem started with 3 brothers.
    The Hansens?
    DeputyChiefGonzo likes this.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The Hansens?
    Wow LA! What a totally awesome obscure reference! Nice work indeed.
    DeputyChiefGonzo likes this.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Originally Posted by firedan525

    Our problem started with 3 brothers.
    Posted by LA
    The Hansens?
    Posted by FyredUp
    Wow LA! What a totally awesome obscure reference! Nice work indeed.
    All I can say is MMMMM Bop!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I was thinking Slapshot!



    Cliques in the firehouse? How about on firehouse.com
    "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?

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    If you don't like the cliques in your department, change the mentors.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    I was thinking Slapshot!



    Cliques in the firehouse? How about on firehouse.com
    I was thinking Slapshot to!
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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