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  1. #1
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    Post Slackers

    I got very mad at another firefighter tonight for not knowing where a tool was and that he should be carrying it. We ran a call and he left the hydro ram behind, he was the FE on the truck, and is supposed to carry it what if we were all the way in the back of the building and had to quickly force a heavy door. Well I pulled it out of the compartment on dropped it on the ground in front of him, hint hint.

    Of course I overreacted I dont deny that but there is a little backround:

    I always walk into the firehouse and these lazy new punks are laying around on the couch watching TV, and when ever we have a drill they come up with some excuse to leave. These are the ones who always screw up, and right now we have too many of these people.

    well it seems that they think they are entitiled to ride.

    i dont know what to do, most of the officers dont come around enough to notice that. and the ones that do are just as fed up as i am because we cant lock them in chains and force them to drill. the chief just "delegates" it to another officer one of the ones that is never there.

    I mean i am supposed to trust these people in a burning house... well i don't think i do.

    What would you do as a firefighter in my shoes.

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    It doesn't sound like you over reacted to me, I would have threw it at him. The basics are the basics and if you can't rely on a guy to remember those, you can't rely on him at all.

    When I come around the station and they're there, if I have time to stick around, I'll find a "project" for us to do together. Projects always turn into training.

    If I don't, I'll make up some BS about how I'm in a rush for something and need their help pronto. Tell 'em what I want them to do (say inventory a truck on paper), get a committment from them they'll do it and leave.

    During training, if I'm teaching, I assign positions in front of everybody. The slackers get called first, if they say "I can't I gotta go," I ask them why the hell are they wasting our time and tell them to leave now if they can't stay for training and a few oter things like "why you always bailing on the people here willing to die for you but not looking forward to it because your an idiot" and stuff like that.

    Of course prior to publicly humiliating them, I always give them the opportunity in a private conversation to get their act together because me, bubba and the rest of the goons that make up the department may have to rely on them someday.

    If they won't train we don't need 'em, I don't want them and no one else does either.

    The one problem we run into is they see long time members skipping out on training so they think it is OK for them too.

    Controlled accidents during training can be a good motivator too.

    "What happened?"

    "What do you mean what happened?"

    "Something happened."

    "What?"

    "I dunno, but it coulda been bad if it happened at a real fire."

    "Weren't you at the last training?"

    "Uh, no I had to leave."

    "Oh, that's right. You had to leave and go watch Survivor because the VCR is broke. Well, if you'd have stayed you'd know what to do because it was covered in the training you missed two weeks ago and you have yet to ask anyone what you missed."

    Then I find the goofiest, most irratating hoople on the department (I'm just the most irratating, not a goofy hoople), but the one that comes to every training to spend a few minutes with them to catch them up.

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    ggtruckie,

    You did not over-react at all ! All the guys in a company especially the new ones should know where the equipment is and how to use it and like mongofire_99 said the guys you're talking about are lucky the tool wasn't shoved up their *****. ~ In my Company we have a Ladder Company Lieutenant that I learned to and have a great amount of respect for today because of his paitent training methods. When we ride "The Truck" no matter where we're going certian seats are assigned to bring certian tools. One Seat is Hook/Can another is Irons/Hydo-Ram. ~ Along with your SCBA. This Lieut. I speak of can be a ball buster but he does it for a reason...To make the guys on his truck think and to make them better firefighters. ~ I don't come around the Firehouse as much as I should and miss all the drills because I work on Tuesday Nights but When I'm there I walk the Truck and the Two Engines and the Utility Truck to see what if any changes have been made. I like to know these things because what ever Piece I ride out on I like to know what equipment is where and I never leave a rig empty handed. So I don't think you over -reacted at all infact you took it too easy on the probie
    ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

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    [quote]Originally posted by mongofire_99:

    If they won't train we don't need 'em, I don't want them and no one else does either.

    Then I find the goofiest, most irratating hoople on the department (I'm just the most irratating, not a goofy hoople), but the one that comes to every training to spend a few minutes with them to catch them up.



    Mongo, If they don't come to training, they're "slackers" and if they come to every drill, they're "goofy hooples"?

    What's the middle ground? Miss one drill per month?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    My first day on a ladder truck I went through the whole truck reviewing all the equipment. Then I drew a diagram of the truck and wrote down every piece of equipment and what compartment it was in. I posted this on my wall in my dorm and would go over it almost every night. It didn't take long to do and before i know it i knew that truck like the back of my hand.
    Suggest your 'boot' do this so he doesn't make an *** out of himself again- convince him its for, not only his own good, but also for the good of his coworkers. If he doesn't see the logic in helping you and his fellow truckies then he's got bigger problems than ignorance.
    Just my advice~ good luck 'ggtruckie'.
    try it you'll like it

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    [quote]Originally posted by WTFD FF 10:


    Mongo, If they don't come to training, they're "slackers" and if they come to every drill, they're "goofy hooples"?

    What's the middle ground? Miss one drill per month?




    I see what mongo is saying, we have people that try really hard but it is difficult for them, and sometimes just make idiots of themselves (hoople), I try to do that same as mongo and spend extra time with these people. they usually turn out pretty good, I think I turned out alright.


    But it is the people who keep the couch from floating away that really iritate me, i mean we have a few people that have been on for like a year and still are about as good as the first day they walked in. They think that firefighter 1 teaches them everything they need to know. and that once they have that they are as salty as the veterans in the company, and talk back to them, and dont listen to thier advice.

    but it doesnt matter because all they do is whine and around our firehouse the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In fact they whined about having a small television so now we have a big screen, not saying that is bad, and it boosted morale, but i think it should be taken away untill they pull thier heads out of thier ( the remainder of this post is censored)

    [ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: ggtruckie ]


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    WTFD FF 10

    If they don't come to training, they're "slackers" and if they come to every drill, they're "goofy hooples"?

    What's the middle ground? Miss one drill per month?


    Naw, I didn't make myself clear.

    When I say goofy hoople, I mean the guy that has a gagillion lights and two sirens on his fire engine red '76 LTD, has a horn that has Station 51 tones in it, didn't have enough room for an American flag sticker on his ride because of all the firefighter stickers and can't decide which one he wants to get rid of, is just pretty much ate up with it to the point where it consumes his every fiber of being. He won't even take off his FD shirt or cap until they need an oil change. He has no life away from the department except to sit at home and watch reruns of Emergency, CHIPS and is on his fifth VHS copy of Bringing Out The Dead.

    He's a great firefighter, but is irritating as hell to talk to because he knows everything, never admits he's wrong. He'll see something work in practice and then wonder if it will work in theory, and runs to the IFSTA books to see if they say what he just witnessed can really happen. And if they don't, he thinks you David Copperfielded him (the magician, not the book).

    Oh, and even though you wear the same watch from the local TG&Y, his came in a gold box. And when you ask him what time it is, he tells you how to build the clock first.

    And he doesn't shower...

    You know the type.

    [ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: mongofire_99 ]


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    Ok Mongo, now I gotcha. Around here we call them whackers. And I've been slightly guilty of being one from time to time (but not to the extent of your example)

    Sorry for steering this thread off topic for a bit

    [ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: WTFD FF 10 ]


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    Mongo,
    You forgot the HOOPLE utility belt with the 8 pagers and 3 radios.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    Talking

    Once saw a hoople with a custom made "hero holster" on his belt. This thing went from his belt buckle to his butt and was 3 layers deep. I think he had something like 40 different sizes of hemostats! Nothing like a first responder that carries a whole surgical tray on his hip!

    My favorites are the S.T.A.N's, though. No matter how good your story about the last fire or extrication, if they weren't there, they'll come back with: "*****, that ain't nuthin'! One time, back when I was on the job in (insert name of far-away city here) we had this fire..."

    Gotta love them all, though... until they get someone hurt!

    FB
    Fire service survival tips:
    1) Cook at 350...
    2) Pump at 150...
    3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
    4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.

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    I just don't know what to do with some of these newer members they are running around playing politics, and stiring the pot.

    Being the recruiter for the department I feel that it may be my fault for bringing them on. But when I sit down with them they are pretty squared away.

    I think that some of the other members are brining them into the politics game of the department when they should focus on becoming decent firefighters.

    What it boils down to is that i am mad because all these new guys are whinning about how stuff isnt going thier way.

    When I first came on to the fire department, as a junior member at the age of 15, whenever I walked into the station after school I had to wash ALL the windows in the station (building and rigs, and we have 7 rigs) before I could take things more slowly and go through the compartments for about 45 min. Then I would sit down to work on my school work. and by the time I was done with that and running a few calls we were mopping the bay floors. we never talked back to the veterans, were scared of the chief and were yelled at if anything wasnt clean or didnt work right.

    ok I am done whinning

    Is this happening anywhere else I have only been on for 7 years and things have changed fast.

    Sincerly;
    frustrated and angry

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    Angry

    I have a department full of them. I got the "I did that once" from a person when I told them to put the Humat on the hydrant across the street from the station. My town has hydrants with two diffrent hose threads, NST and CFD We had a guy (the town appointed chief calles him one of is seasoned veterans) take 20 minuets to make a hydrant connection NST thread does not fit on a CFD hydrant try as hard as he did. This hydrant is at our training grounds!!!!!!!! I have been told that I have no respect for the "older" guys, Yes they put a lot of time into the fire department years ago but they do not stay current and pose a risk to me and my children. I had one of them say to me in the back of the rescue truck going to a fire (..when did we get these..) refering to the SCBA that we purchased FOUR YEARS ago. The biggest offender is our chief pick by the town with no input by the firefighter his best line is this "MY CARD MAY HAVE EXPIRED BUT MY MIND DID NOT" refering to first aid and CPR

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    I'm guessing most of the departments mentioned in this thread are volunteer or paid-on-call ?

    If so, has there been any consideration to some form of documented, yearly evaluation of members ?

    I know it's not easy to keep good personnel due to work and family schedules and the ones you would like to see head down the road never take the hint.

    So what will you do ? Keep looking over your shoulder to keep the slakers, hooples (new term to me) or the whackers (also a new term)from harming you or will you devise a way to measure personnel against a set standard of performance and show the missfits out the door ?

    Life safety has always been the number one priority of the fire service. For a long time we thought of it in terms of saving the public. Now it's time for us to think of our life safety. It's not being selfish. It's being responsible to the people we love and love us.

    It seems to me, it's time to trim the roster to those who can and want to do the job. Remember, you can fire volunteers.
    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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    Oh boy here we go.

    We don't need periodic evaluations of career people huh?

    Talk about off-topic.......

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    [quote] we have a few people that have been on for like a year and still are about as good as the first day they walked in

    I just don't know what to do with some of these newer members they are running around playing politics, and stiring the pot.


    classic true statements! These members open their mouths just to hear themselves talk sometimes, stating either the obvious, or sheer nonsense (which 1 - I have never done , and 2 - happens quite frequently) I am quite a caldron stirrer myself, but I don't bitch just for the sake of bitchin. It's for showing the less motivated persons, hey. Wake up! Open your eyes, smell the coffee, whatever. I use it at times for a tool to instil thought.

    Hopples? Whackers? We call um buff's. "He's buffy." Don't forget the EMS'ers who the descriptions already posted here describe (with the exception of their 'extra pounds' of equipment.

    Here's a good one. I was working w/ this 'rotund' person, and he got injured on a call. At the hospital, he gave me his equipment to be returned and secured back at our station. One of the items in question was his duty belt. Thankfully he removed his feed-bag, and five pouches. I walked into my supervisors office and handed him the belt, saying - "Here Lieu, brought you a hull-a-hoop."

    [ 12-17-2001: Message edited by: toneloc177 ]

    May God bless all the people and families who have lost
    their lives on 9-11-01, to those also lost on Flight 587, and to the rescuers who responded to both.

    "I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying (the way it is)."

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  16. #16
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    ggtruckie.....Greg....

    What did I tell you a long long time ago. Apparently you listened and made something of yourself. As I have told others and you...you have potential and have developed into a really good firefighter.... (Remember July 4, 1999 off Airlie Road....darned good job young man...)

    Anyway,....I assume you are speaking of the good ole Eng/Tower 1???? If so...remember..some things will never change. I know there has been some positive improvement over the past year and I am sure you are glad.

    As far as the slackers....Well...they are always gonna be there. Those are the ones I used to call the mousekateers. They think it is a place to come and hang out...a social club...

    You have learned it is not...

    Try this... Take the slackers and involve them in conversations about calls and why things were done and what could have been done different. Stimulate their interst..get their input.... then...offer to spend some time with them...firefighter to firefighter... go over equipment and uses of the same. Offer to guide them and teach them. Tell them of things you experienced that made you get to how you feel and work now.

    Keep up the good job...and keep and eye on Trey.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    this story fits right in with theses other slacker tales. we got a call for a smoke condition in a house in the middle of morning on a weekday, very little manpower. i rolled my engine alone and arrived on scene first and took command. i sent two F/F's in to investigate and the senior of the two(the other is a rookie) calls command and reports a burnt out washer motor and requested a fan to clear the smoke out, well the rookie comes out for the fan sticks it by the window and starts stareing at it(keep in mind im about 15ft from the front with the homeowner) then he looks at me and proceeds to say "how the hell do you start this damn thing", so i put my head down walk past the homeowner over tot the fan, show him how to turn it on pull the choke and start it, he looks at me and says" oh i thought it was electric hahaha sorry"

    well anyway im sure there are a million stories of idiots out there, this is just one many
    9/11/01 forever in our hearts

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    Wink

    It sounds as if we are talking Volly Departments as well as combo/career.

    I'm from a volly made up of 89 "active" firefighters and we have the same problems as you it sounds. Our entire department has been failing the basics for some time. We are currently devising SOP's/SOG's for use and implementation. If you want a rank above firefighter then you must complete a specified amount of training per year and a specified amount of calls as well. We are about 3 months from launch and already this is raising hell with everyone.

    I'm just offering this solution, we hope it works. We are putting in writing what we expect from our vollies and the kind of training they WILL have every year.

    Good luck and be safe.
    "Lead, follow, or get out of my Way"

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    Does anyone have any inforamtion about a rookie book or any ideas for a book maybe this will help to get people off thier $&^% and learn what to do. We will have minimun requirements for them to ride certain positions (very tough requirements).

    captsatnm1 eng/twr 1 is doing good.

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    Fire Medic, I was just thinking of your quote, "Lead, follow, or get out of my way" That's the truth. There are many of the slackers in my company and this is how they are treated by the more reliable members. We're perfectly willing to help them learn, but there comes a time where if they're not ready, they're gonna get burnt!

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    This chart shows some of the attitudes of our four fire service generations. For what it's worth, I thought it was damn close to what I'm seeing these days:


    [ 12-19-2001: Message edited by: E229lt ]


  22. #22
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    GGtruckie

    Glad Eng/Tower 1 doing ok.....how's the PIZZA?? hehehehe

    Anyway....the suggestion are pertinent in any department. You have it in you...Be a leader...those than can will follow....others will just fade or rot away!

    Merry XMAS
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  23. #23
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    Red face

    The problem I am seeing is that as one firefighter has put I we have become a fire department of one. everyone is doing things thier own way and not working together (the ones that actually work).

    Captstanm1;

    No one here wants a leader, they all want things thier own way. Those that try to do right by the company get shunned by the rest, because it will create more work or it is not the way that they want it so they just go ahead and do it thier way or not do it at all. I dont know what to do, I hate to see this department get swallowed up by individualism.

    Sincerly;
    not so old, but getting gray.

  24. #24
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    GGtruckkie

    Been there done that already got the gray.

    You are right about one thing....There is no "I" in TEAM...and the Rambo or John Wayne approach is not good in Fire Service.

    Which of your departments are you speaking of? WVFD or the one across the river?
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  25. #25
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    Stan,

    When you throw the "THERE'S NO "I" IN TEAM" at them, they usually respond with:

    "YOU CAN'T SPELL TEAM WITHOUT "ME"

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