Thread: Political Bull in the station
04-24-2001, 10:40 PM #1Hoppy851Firehouse.com Guest
Political Bull in the station
Why is it that people in the fire station have to bring political bull into the station? In my department we have the "tradtionalists" who believe that fire trucks are red,goggles are stupid and gear should be black with yellow stripes and if you try to get people to change their views your not well liked. Maybe I'm just crazy but I feel that were there to fight fires not each other.What is everyone's opion on this It would help me alot to know what everybody thinks.
These opions are my own and do not in any way shape or form represent my department
04-24-2001, 10:50 PM #2lumpy649Firehouse.com Guest
Politics and the fire service in general go hand in hand, it seems- especially when it comes to in-house politics, which often times are hard to escape. In general, I try to ignore the BS, and I have found that most of the time the "politics" discussed have nothing to do wich issues that affect us, it's mostly "I don't like engine so-and-so" or "why- was-that-guy-promoted-to-Lt.-and-not-me" type-trash-talikng. Not that some of these discussions are not important, but they tend to dso nothing but drive the wall up between members, or other stations.
04-24-2001, 11:33 PM #3Co11FireChicFirehouse.com Guest
Political or not, there is always alot of bull at our vollie station. Especially when it gets to those who don't wanna work, train, or run medical calls. It seems no one wants to do anything unless they are making entry into a big structure fire or driving a big red truck (sorry, it could be yellow...or blue...or white *no political bull here*)
04-25-2001, 12:09 AM #4ignition_pointFirehouse.com Guest
I wouldn't consider that example, 'politcal'. That's more of a conflicting view, or opinion on something. I consider politics to be such as this... Someone in an influential position, politically, they help you with some situation... perhaps getting a job somewhere, helping you get approvals...etc, and for that person helping you out, you owe them a favor sometime in the future.
Almost any job you look at, it's who you know and who you are that get you hired. It's unfrotunet that things have to be that way, but if that's reality, might as well play the game. Best political advice I've found to be helpful... Don't burn bridges, get along with everyone
04-25-2001, 01:58 AM #5Kelly ToolFirehouse.com Guest
We have our differences at the firehouse but i think the largest mass of political bull i've ever seen is some of the forums i've seen here, like the PG county debate and more recently the dinosaur debate.
04-25-2001, 06:43 PM #6jmk271Firehouse.com Guest
I don't think any station will EVER escape the political crap that goes on....
***Stay safe out there***
***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***
04-25-2001, 10:14 PM #7ENGINE18-3Firehouse.com Guest
Hey everything in this Country is about politics. It's all about "Playing the Game", granted it's not fair to those who refuse to play the game or play it poorly. But if you are a good "player" you can go far. Again its not right but its just how it is.
And if you don't like the politics being played at your station get enough guys and vote the other people out and run things how you think they should be run.
The statements above are my own opinions
FF Greg Grudzinski
Oaklyn Fire Dept.
04-25-2001, 11:41 PM #8D.SCHWERFirehouse.com Guest
Take a look around the ones that complain the most are most likely the ones that have alot of free times on their hands.
Take a look around the ones that get involved with the politics probabaly have nothing much going for them other than the fire house.
Take a look around these are most likely your members with the least amount of training.
Take a look around these are the ones that sit around the kitchen table or in the rec rooms figuring on how to get rid of members that think outside the square.
Take a look around these are the ones who believe in the status quo, they rarely if ever make an attempt to improve themselves, or their department
The true volunteer is one that wishes to serve his or her community to the best of their ability reagrdless of age, physical ability or political agendas.
A true volunteer will look past the politics and is there to do the task at hand, no complaining.
Believe me brother and sisters, I've been there, I've walked that mile.
04-26-2001, 04:58 PM #9LMfireFirehouse.com Guest
Here is a great example of politcal BS that is in a fire department that is putting citizen and ff's lifes at risk. It is long but it is shocking if you take the time to read it. It was posted by BudgetAxe.
On this most special day(Easter), the budget axe has fallen upon the Flint Fire Department. Our city has been struggling with ongoing financial problems for several years. Two weeks ago, we were notified that 18 fire officers would be demoted as part of budget cuts. Today those demotions take effect. This
leaves our department unable to provide a station officer for each fire engine in the city. Responses to fires are delayed for those trucks lacking an officer. Public safety is compromised. Firefighter safety is compromised.
Last year, the City announced that one of our stations would close and about 15 firefighters would be laid off. Union brothers passed out literature in the neighborhood affected by the closing to raise public support. Our Union agreed to allow the city to drop our engine company staffing from 4 to 3 people on a 'as needed' basis to save overtime costs. This resulted in keeping the station open and no firefighters being laid off. This year, the City announced that our brand new recruit class - 2 weeks into their fledgling careers - would be laid off. Then, a few days later, the recruits were told they would not be laid off. Instead, the heart of our leadership was cut from the department. 18 officers have been demoted, ranging in seniority from 26 years down to 9 years. They have bumped back to lower positions,affecting about 50 firefighters in total. As of today, there is no policy to dictate how our crews are to handle day-to-day operations without a company officer. Our engine companies without officers will not respond to fires or emergencies in their district until a truck with an officer arrives from a farther away station. However, our Mayor and politically-appointed Fire Chief are on
the news stating that there is no danger to the public. Officers who were demoted are already being told that they will be expected
to perform the tasks of a station officer when necessary, which clearly violates our Contract. Firefighters are being forced into the position of officer with no training or preparation. And to make matters worse, the City has announced further cuts in our officer ranks at the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1st. They plan to take us down to 1 Battalion Chief, 5 Captains, and 2
Lieutenants to run the operations that until today were handled by 3 Battalion Chiefs, 11 Captains, and 28 Lieutenants or Sergeants. We see the first cut that just took effect as the opening battle. If we lose this one, the
cuts planned for July will effectively destroy the career path and hopes of hundreds of firefighters, not to mention further denigrate the safety of the public and our firefighters. Looking deeper, it is sad to realize that all this was preventable. Flint, like many cities across America, is a decaying industrial town. High-paying union
jobs have been steadily disappearing for over 20 years. However, our Mayor ran up a $16.7 million dollar budget deficit (so far) in the face of a predictable and steady decline in the city's tax base. He was on the news to announce the budget cuts and put the blame squarely on the loss of factory jobs. He
failed to mention, however, that he has been in office for over 8 years (and was a City Councilman before that) and was unable to come up with the necessary foresight to properly manage the city's finances. Last year, over 100 city employees were laid off. This year, the Fire Department was hit with
demotions and about 20 other city employees were laid off. In addition, overtime for nearly all city departments has been severely restricted, further hampering services to the taxpayers. Our Department has been asked to do 'more with less' repeatedly over that past 25 years or so. We suffered a massive layoff in 1980. We have endured the closing of 3 stations since 1990. All the while, the calls keep coming in. In 1980, 10 stations and 300 firefighters handled about 9000 runs a year,
including about 600 structure fires. In 2000, 7 stations and 180 firefighters handled 21000 calls, including about 1200 structure fires. We are at the point where we can no longer even meet our city's day-to-day needs. A plan
submitted to the city by a financial consulting firm recommends that the fire
department be trimmed to a mere 4 stations. In light of our call volume, that's just not realistic. Apparently, safety of the citizens is just not a priority anymore.
The moral of this story is:
"DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!"
Stand firm against these bean counters. Draw together with your Union brothers and present a united front. Have plans in place to react to thesesituations. Inform the public, and get them involved. It may be too late to
save the Flint Fire Department. Perhaps it's not too late to save yours.
04-28-2001, 12:34 AM #10iaff1937Firehouse.com Guest
Changing anything in the fire service is a slow process. The fire service is a strange duck, if you will. Change, for some reason, is considered bad. Maybe because change means a new way of thinking to the older members. In my department we are getting much younger. The senior members are being bombarded by young, educated, energetic firefighters with new ideas on how to improve things. I am one of the new members that think that things should progress. However, in the defense of the older members they are comfortable with their surroundings and some may view suggestions as a threat to their way of viewing our job. I believe it comes down to this. The new guys on the job need to appreciate the wisdom of their older members and take a step back and realize that change doesn't come over night. My generation is what I call the micro-wave generation. We have grown-up with instant food, TV, computers, and whatever else you would like to add. I think that we should take a page from the books of the ones that came before us and take it with a grain of salt. The fire service has been this way along time before we got here.
04-28-2001, 09:44 AM #11Captain GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
When my group got appointed the Department in 1981, one of the first things I heard when I reported for duty...you FNG's are going to ruin this job! Guess what? The group that got appointed two years before heard the same thing, and so on and so on. Some of the veteran firefighters are still saying it today.
Unfortunately, politics are part of the fire department. There will always be little head games played between firefighters on a group, between groups, between company officers and between the Chiefs. They in turn have to deal with the politicians and the public.
Politics is a game...and the game is the same everywhere. Just change the name of the community and the name of the players!
Firefighters: rising to accept the challenge!
[This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 04-28-2001).]
04-28-2001, 09:51 AM #12Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
Pollitics In the Fire Service just like Drinking and Driving DON'T MIX !! -- I Once belonged to a company that was more concerned with running a business and what they could gain financially that firefighting became their secondary concern. As a result of their bull-headed personality they eventually went "Out of Business" and were taken over by the Township's Board of Fire Commissioners who were forced to Staff this Station With Career Personal and Volunteers That were Concerned with why they are there in the First Place. Yes, there are business matters to attend to when running a fire company but those at the top Should remember the main purpose of the organization-- Thats what My Old Company Forgot --- And most of thier Training Reflected that --- The Company worried more about how much money they could make from Hogie Sales, Flea Markets, and Flower Sales that when you asked about new Air Packs or Hand Tools they looked at you like you were from Outter Space. This started to Scare Me and I was Out before they went out of business --- Makes you wonder where some companies priorities are
STRATFORD FIRE CO. # 1 NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN'S CONVENTION OVER-ALL CHAMPIONS 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000 !!
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