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  1. #1
    firemanjc
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Firefighters Dismissed


    My name is Jamey Crutchfield. I am one of the five firefighters that was expelled from SGVFD.
    I am writing in plea of anyone who can give us support in our situation. We have been basically shut out by our department and are looking for any info. on how we can maintain our rights to a grievance and to show that our actions did not deem a punishment of expullsion.
    We have seen so many articles and TV coverage that the Chief continually lies to the public but don't know who to turn to to bring this out.
    We have had no luck in finding anyone the Chief has to answer to.
    There has to be a governing body(state, local, or federal), that has some control over him isn't there ???

    Please e-mail me any info thank you Jamey Crutchfield


  2. #2
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Jamey, if you posted this, you must have read the other thread on this topic, if not click on this link.
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/Forum1/HTML/002401.html

    The general consensus is that you've made your bed, now lie in it. If there is more to this than has been brought about, fill us in. The newspaper article stated that you were an Assistant Chief, is this a butting of heads between you and the Chief? Can you give us more detail, e.g. size of department, number of apparatus, distance away that the funeral was, your departments proximity to the department that lost the firefighter. (If my research is correct, you are a neighboring town).
    Bottom line boils down to disobeying a direct order from the Chief. That's a no-no in any department. There was also the liability issues in that you may not have been insured to take the truck that far out of District, and the lack of coverage within your town.
    To answer your question as far as who does the Chief answer to in a volunteer organization. In New York it's the Board of Fire Commissioners who are elected by the taxpayers of the Fire District. Other states have Councilmen, Selectmen, and others it's directly responsible to the mayor. I can't speak for your dept, you would know better than I.

  3. #3
    firemanjc
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have left more info on the forum topic of "poor decision in Sugar Grove"

  4. #4
    comwhite
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    >>The morning of the funeral, the five fire personnel made a unanimous decision to take the truck, according to Meleen.

    "We knew we would be punished," Meleen said, "but we never dreamed of the severity of the punishment." <<

    Jamie, there's your answer. Yes, the fire chief has higher authority to answer to, and that's probably the reason you were told not to take it. He has to answer to someone else also. Number one, you and four other's took upon yourself to vote on an issue, that utelized a public vehicle, paid for with public funds, and maintained by tax dollars. Number two, you did it knowing you didn't have approval, as a matter of fact you had been denied, Number three, you did it knowing that you would be disciplined. Sorry, "three strikes your out" in my book.

    If my fire chief came to me with this story, I'd back him up 100% on your termination. You don't have the right to use a publicly funded vehicle for your personal travels. The Chief was right in his denial, he was right in terminating you.

    I've got a feeling you may find someone the Chief has to answer to, such as the City Mgr. or the City Commission, but I wouldn't expect much support from them on this. If wasn't the Chief who made the above statements, and in my opinion, as a Commissioner, that would have been enough to say, Good-bye.

  5. #5
    BayRidge60
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Jamey...You screwed yourself. LIVE WITH IT!
    "We live by the rules...we die by the rules"


    iwood51...not every fire district in NY has someone overseeing it. My company is a private corporation that contracts out its services to the town. You could argue that the company answers to the town in that they control the funding, but when it comes to the company itself, it all lies with the chief and/or president.

    ------------------
    Glenn Ralston
    Firefighter/EMT-D
    Bay Ridge Fire-Rescue
    byrdg60@netscape.net

  6. #6
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    firemanjc.....You DISOBEYED a direct order. Plain and simple. No arguments about it. Take your punishment like a man. Sounds like there is a power struggle between you and the chief....You say he lies...You say that you have seen newspaper and TV news and he is a liar...where are the newspaper articles?? Where are the links to the TV stations (most news stations have websites with the day's news in print...)

    If you were my A/C and disobeyed an order....I can most definetly tell you that you would no longer posess a white helmet, and I feel certain you would be outside the station looking in the windows for about 2 months.

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  7. #7
    Ladder Man
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    If I were the chief, not only would you have been fired, I would have also filed a police report and had you arrested for theft of public property, and endangering the public for taking the truck out of service...YOU WERE WRONG!!!

  8. #8
    esvfdfirefighter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    I definitely have to agree with the general consensus on this board, you were definitely wrong. Regardless of what you feel about what you were told the chief is still the chief and when he tells you not to do something you don't. And personally, I don't think that there should of been any thought of doing this on you own...just face it you broke the rules and now you are paying the price for it...
    My only question for you is WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? taking a main line engine out of the area...you can show the same respect by just being there you don't need have a truck there!!

    ------------------
    Tom Pysh
    President/Lt38-1
    Ellsworth/Somerset V.F.D.
    www.geocities.com/esvfd3870

  9. #9
    FitzBFDT2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Like my mom & dad always said as they were punishing me, "You should have thought of that before you did it."

    ------------------
    Kevin M. Fitzhenry, bfdt2@fitzhenry.com
    Firefighter, Truck Co. 2
    City of Bayonne (NJ) FD
    www.bayonnenj.org/fire/

  10. #10
    firetrucker
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Firemanjc- I think your (and the 4 others) firefighting days are over....
    1. Great example you set for everyone else in the depetment, (notice the scarcasim in my voice....) What if a ff disobeyed an order you gave at a fire, someone will probably end up hurt or dead.

    2. Why did you need the truck to show your support, do you not have dress uniforms of something else you could have worn to show where you were from?

    3. Your community should eat you alive for the dangers that you put them into.

    4. I agree with ladderman, consider youself lucky you did not end up in jail.

    5. you deserve what is/has come to you.

    just my opinion of course!

  11. #11
    firemanjc
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If all will take the time to visit time http://www.firehouse.com/forums/Forum1/HTML/002401.html

    you will see how I have explained there is no such thing as a front line truck in SGVFD

    Also who could be charged with stealing a vehicle that doesn't belong to any one individual ?

    As was explained on wicu12 channel 12 of Erie PA by one of our Emeritus members the 5 of us ow as much of that truck as anyone else in the dept.

    The Derrick in Venango county ran an article but I don't know if they have an archive
    www.thederrick.com

    and channel 12 has a website www.wicu12.com

    It was also in our local paper Warren Times Observer but they dn't have a news website

  12. #12
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by firemanjc:


    Also who could be charged with stealing a vehicle that doesn't belong to any one individual ?


    You can't be serious. What if you borrowed the UPS truck when the driver was having lunch. I suppose that would be okay?

    I understand your point about not having a first line truck. My dept has 4 class "A" pumpers and one more on order, but if I took even the utility pickup truck without permission, scratch that, directly against orders, I would be facing extreme disciplinary matters.

    What part of this are you not getting.

    1) You disobeyed a direct order from the Chief.

    2) You too a truck that belongs to the borough an hour out of jurisdiction without permission and/or necessary insurance coverage.

    3) You said there were 300 firefighters there from other departments. Do you really think anyone would have noticed whether you were there in a big red truck or on a bicycle.

    4) You were wrong. Face the music, and/or put your tails between your legs, apologize, and ask to get back on the Department.

  13. #13
    rudedog
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Gotta disagree with Iwood 51 on point #4---- This is a blessing in disguise----the department is far better off without this guy.

  14. #14
    rudedog
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Gotta disagree with Iwood 51 on point #4---- This is a blessing in disguise----the department is far better off without this guy.

  15. #15
    FFShooty
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    "We have had no luck in finding anyone the Chief has to answer to."

    Jamey old boy...I think you found out who you answer to...and that's the Chief. You can't possibly be that hard headed not understand that you are in the WRONG. What do you think would happen if a firefighter from one of the large metro departments decided that they were gonna do as they please and take a truck out of service. What makes you so darn special? My hats off to Chief Oaks on a job well done. Your insubordination is as blatant as I've ever seen.

  16. #16
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Some times its just too easy.....

    Um, like, i hate to point this out, but, ladderman.....You can't fire Volunteers.

    Boy, talk about negativity, i hope these people don't complain when there isn't enought firefighters around.

    Did these guys disobey a cheif? Yes Did they deserve an expullsion? Well i don't think so.

    I'll use the same quote comwhite did to make my point:

    >>The morning of the funeral, the five fire personnel made a unanimous decision to take the truck, according to Meleen.
    "We knew we would be punished," Meleen said, "but we never dreamed of the severity of the punishment." <<

    Comwhite was right, there is your answer, they knew they were gonna get punished... but i don't see where they knew about expullsion? Can some one point it out? expullsion is usually the last answer, not the first.

    But, if you do believe in expullsion as the first answer you people must be in the perfect department, cause when ever something goes wrong that guy'd be gone. Hehe i'd like to see that, a perfect department. No one is perfect, not me(that's for sure) not the guys that disobeyed the chief, and yes, even the chief is not perfect.

    I don't have all the facts either, and neither do you. I'm just saying, expullsion was, most likely, the wrong thing to do.

    ------------------
    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley
    Steve Kelly Jr.
    SVFC

  17. #17
    Ladder Man
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey Kelly Tool,

    I hate to point this out, but you don't have to collect a paycheck to get fired, dismissed, expelled, or what ever adjective you choose to use. The bottom line is these people are lucky they are not in jail. It's all about the chain of command. If you don't understand it, you better learn about it, or you have no business on a fire department, volunteer or paid. These people were just plain WRONG!

  18. #18
    firemanjc
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ladderman no one ever said we weren't wrong !!!

    As Kelly Tool said expulsion should be a last resort.

  19. #19
    Engine 33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    What you did was not a great idea, Was it worth the risk that you took taking the rig?, I'm curious what on earth were you thinking?, What made you want to disobey a direct order?, Did you think about how it could hurt your career?. Face it I hate to say it but your days of being a Firefighter are over I don't think anyone would be willing to hire you after you disboyed a direct order just thankfully it was over a fire truck and not at the scene of some major blaze

  20. #20
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Kelly Tool, even though you are not receiving a paycheck, you are still considered an employee of the municipality to which the Fire department is a member, that is why you have VFBL benefits, workman's comp, etc. all afforded to you without the paycheck.
    In regards to the 'expullsion' the original article stated that there were three disciplinary options available and expulsion being one of them. I don't think there's anybody that doesn't think that expulsion might have been extreme, but that was the decision made by the Chief due to a blatant disobeyance of an order. It's not like he told them to wash the rig and they put it away dirty.
    As others have said, what if this level of disobeyance had transpired at a fire scene, one would dread to think of the possible circumstances.
    As far as the person that disagreed with my point #4 above, I'm all for allowing someone a little indisgression, we've all made mistakes, some worse than others, but they would really need to pull up their boot straps and show that they want to be firefighters and will obey by the chain of command that is in place.
    Jamey for ^&*^^* sake, you were an Assistant Chief, don't you think you would have been equally as ****ed-off if someone did this to you. I know I would have been when I was Captain, or are we getting to the root of the problem here?

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