And when the chief is a dictator what do you suggest?
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Thread: Small Volunteer Fire Departments
02-06-1999, 12:34 AM #21fireFirehouse.com Guest
02-08-1999, 12:36 PM #22Scott ClarkFirehouse.com Guest
To Fire: The first question is, is your chief paid or volunteer? If their paid you need to be careful. Bucking the system can sometimes get you in trouble. (Been there done that!) The next question is, if the chief is paid and everyone else is unhappy are they approachable about problems? If not, I'm sure they have a boss somewhere and there is power in numbers! If the chief is volunteer remember you can effect a change every 365 days. This method should be your last resort. I believe if your a volunteer chief you should be held accountable for your actions while leading your department. We are all held accountable under Gods eyes, why not the fire service? Again there is power in numbers. Challenge them about there techniques and attitude's, but do it with respect. There still your chief. We all need to be set in our tracks once in awhile! The other thing you should consider about a dictator type chief is, is it really them being a dictator or is it you just not liking their method of leadership? How you can determine this is? By conducting your own little survey from off this question. Is this chief "Grandstanding" or are they devloping programs to better enhance your fire department so the public will ultimately benefit from their actions? Remember we are suppose to be "customer service providers and public protection specialist". I hope I answered your question? Good luck!
[This message has been edited by Scott Clark (edited 02-08-99).]
02-08-1999, 02:25 PM #23Fireman237Firehouse.com Guest
I agree with most of everyones comments. We in the fire service need to step out of the dark ages and realize what we need to do to encourage participation, not discourage. We to many times tell people either do it my way or we dont need you here. Well let me tell you i have seen that done and the member says so long *******.. I am in a VOLUNTEER organiztion which means i am VOLUNTEERING my time to this organization. There are times i pass up extra work to make trainings, pass up family time to make meetings and so on. We all know that the dedicated are the ones who normally get blamed for everything. Miss one work detail or training and BAM, the questions start, where were you at? Then the guy that makes one detail and one call all year never has anything said to them. Dont hurt there feelings we NEED them, yea like i need a boil on my ***. We have to learn to live with these people though. We need to learn that everyone puts a certain amount of time in and that time should be appreciated. Instead of belittling someone for missing something ask them if they would like to go over it with you or if they have any questions. We need to be Fathers and Mothers and Priests and Phycologists to most of our members today. If we want to recruit we must realize that we will get a wide variety of people from many backgrounds. We must learn how to teach these people to function as a whole on the fireground and in the Hall itself. Not all people that want to join a firehall know how it works. Get into the community and tell them what you do. Tell them that if you dont like climbing ladders we have people that do that or if you dont want to fight fires help us with the everyday business of the firehouse. Above all we must be people friendly in this day and age.....
Port Vue VFD
02-10-1999, 11:46 PM #24TankerFirehouse.com Guest
I am sure if you read all of these carefully you will find the answer you are looking for.
I have been in the fire service lets say a long time. There is an honest opinion in everyone of these statements. We had a dictator type Chief at the department I am presently with. Very nice guy his family started the rural departments in my area. He thought he should have it his way He kept the two sttions he was responceable for to approx 14 members. He controlled the majority vote and he stayed in as chief. But the District Chiefs did not like it and to make a long story short he was ousted. The first thing that happened was all of his people left and walked out except for 3 or 4 of us. Who did this benefit, No one. The tax payers needed their protection. So with this Fire Board still not liking our stations. We few reoganized and with in 10 days we had approx 40 fifrefighters on the rooster. Several of them were ex members that had left under the dictator type Chief. Others that came on board were Paid members from the local city department. This was two years ago that this happened. We presently have 35 strong members, with the majority of them very active in all area, calls,training, meetings, etc. We solved the Dictator type to a professionally run department, with two stations we have one Chief, 2 Asst Chiefs 4 Captains. These members hold officers meetings and their vote on any matter can over ride the Chief. And believe me they voice their oppinions. We know have another Captains slot just created that is the Training officer. This person is qualified to train thru the State, With his expertice and our other experinced members our training program is going real good. We allow a little compatition between our volunteers and members of the local paid department. It is good for morale when the volunteers are called to assist the city and there are move volunteers then paid. This has been an uphill battle. During the dictator (had been with the paid department) Chiefs time the City never called the volunteers because there was NO training, Bad feelings etc.. The volunteer Chief and the City Chief get along well now. We have proven ourselves. We still have to fight the fire board for updated equipment. But we should have them to the 20th century by the time the 21st gets here. One of biggest alia has been the local press. They work with us and it helps keep the taxpayers aware of what their money is doing. Several positive things have come out of this, one is we now have a waiting list for people wanting to join the department. Thanks for your time.
02-12-1999, 07:47 PM #25BCFD761Firehouse.com Guest
WELL THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED, I WILL TAKE IT ALL INTO CONSIDERATION. I DO LIKE THE IDEA OF POSTING MONTHLY SUMMARYS.
02-12-1999, 07:47 PM #26BCFD761Firehouse.com Guest
WELL THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED, I WILL TAKE IT ALL INTO CONSIDERATION. I DO LIKE THE IDEA OF POSTING MONTHLY SUMMARYS.
02-20-1999, 06:13 PM #27FireWifeFirehouse.com Guest
This seems weird me writing yall in here but I too have some questions and need guidence on this issue. Im 21 yrs old and my husband is 24, his father has been in the fire service for 23 years so my this is basically all my husband knows and wants to know (understandably). About a year ago he joined the VFD here and he is currently in Fire Academy. I am very supporitive with his decisions and the fire profession intrigues me, and I have even thought of persuing being a firefighter. I have 2 questions/comments......1 the VFD that he is involved with i feel is very inadequate and I feel like it is potentially dangerous in quite a few aspects. This Dept is made up of about 10 men and the 10 men that make up this Dept, other than my husband, range in ages between 32-50 or so. My problem with the dept is that I feel being a firedept regardless if it is volunteer with "volunteered" time need to have the basic knowledge of things such as CPR, some sort of rescue training, some sort of medical knowledge...basically more than it has right now but these men are not willing to do crap they all want to be the heroes but as a citizen Im not sure that I would really want these guys saving me nor do I think that that really have the basic knowledge that it takes to run a SAFE dept.. Other depts from around the state/area offer classes and mini training seminars that the chief lets everyone know about and it seems like my husband is the only one that goes to anything of the sort but when he gets back and tries to inform or enlighten the others about whats going on with basic stuff they brush him off because they dont care, and to me its just scary to think that heaven forbid I needed these guys to help me one day that my husband is at work because they are not capable of doing much of anything for me. So what I am getting at is how would you suggest that I as a citizen or my husband as a firefighter light a match under them and give constructive critism on how to ideas on how to better the dept.? 2. Like I said he is currently going to fire academy and my question on that is, is please point out the pros of going to school for it...is it really worth it in the long run? They dont help him find a job afterwards or anything like that and to add to it, it seems to me that nothing but rookies are teaching this "academy" that he goes to...does that sound right to you? Rookies teaching 20 guys and calling themselves instructors? Do you not have to have some state backed certification to teach men/women how to be firefighters? It just seems odd to me thats all. Well if yall would please give me some feed back I would apprecitate it because really I just want other feed back from you guys that are living it too.
Dallas/Ft Worth Area, TX
02-20-1999, 11:11 PM #28Spfd32Firehouse.com Guest
This dept your husband joined, is it the same one his father was in? If so he had already been exposed to the way they "do things here", if its not then are you near a progessive dept he (or you) could join. Small membership leads to stagnation of ideas and falls into a rut of thats the way it works for us. Good for your husband to go to the academy and any training that is offered in your area. While it may or may not help you earn an income, the training and experience will help in the long run in any task that he puts his mind to. As to your second comment about rookies teaching rookies, you kind of gave your own reason why. The 10 other members in your husbands dept can't or won't learn new things so how can they teach. Don't give up on the fire service for your husband or yourself. Change takes time.
02-21-1999, 12:37 AM #29Scott ClarkFirehouse.com Guest
Rachel, You sure do have some legitimate concerns. As a 22 year veteran and Municipal Training Officer I can tell you his best protection for himself is to educate himself all he can. Going to the Fire Academy is a wise move on his part. You need to support him as much as possible on that. Also I have to agree with the earlier response that discussed the "Rookie Instructors". I don't think it's right to have rookies teaching, but there are some rookies out there that have more education and training than some Ten Year Veteran's I know! Instructor Manuals are pretty much idiot proof "I know that first hand". As long as they stick to the subject matter he will get the basics and he'll just have to work on getting experience. Suggestions - Have him attend seminars out of your local area and out of state. Also find a "Ride Along Program", with other fire departments. This is a great way to watch and learn how others do their jobs. Plus these Ride Along units are experienced with observer's and can become great teacher's on the fireground. If you have any further questions or concerns give me an email. Good luck and be safe.
02-21-1999, 01:28 PM #30FireWifeFirehouse.com Guest
Hi again, I was reading the posts on here that were made in reference to my original concern but I feel like I need to put some clarification to some things I did not point out. My husband is a volunteer in the town that we live in, his academy is in another town offered by a different dept., that dept brings in both rookies and veterans to teach different things, and his dad has been a "paid" firefighter for 23 years now at a fairly large dept here in the area. Whew...., there I hope that clears up some things that I didnt put earlier. His dads dept does offer ride outs that my husband( Brandon) does go out on, but I guess that I just see the inadequatice in this VFD that he is a part of and I dont know if it is typical and if not how to build it up and make it a better dept., personally if I was to be on a dept. I would want to be a part of a dept. that has integrity, and seeing that this dept. dosent but has potential I just need pointers on how to help boost it, in a positive and constructive way.
Thanx Again, Rachel
02-21-1999, 02:18 PM #31andyS5Firehouse.com Guest
Hello from the State of Wyoming. I'am a member of a small dept out here we have 16 members and at this time of year lot's of snow.
Moran Vol Fire Dept.
02-25-1999, 12:14 AM #32jamesFirehouse.com Guest
wow first thing what ide like to say is thanks for the forum and please excuse misspelled words and punctuation, i see that all depts have the same problems. maybe if each person could post a new idea to bring vfd into the twentyfirst century we can exchange some good info thanks all stay low train hard and keep a positive attitude
02-25-1999, 03:06 PM #33Taskforce57Firehouse.com Guest
Hi My name is AL and I'm from a small company outside of Buffalo, NY. We have around 40 members of which about 20 are active. We have about 270 calls a year with about 60% of the calls EMS. It's nice to hear from other small companies
02-25-1999, 07:41 PM #34K L WestcotFirehouse.com Guest
Been with this small dept for about 1 year. about 28 members(1 female) on the roster. Small township with Mutual Aid with 3 adjoining twps. depts.
Have some health problems so became the station DOG(I close the doors when the trucks leave) There is plenty for me to do that helps the department. Make forms for Equipment check lists, Maint, and other ways to help.
Sure I have been in a Dept where the Cheif was a dictator, had 30 guys, little training, everyone afraid to do anything! I wasn't in it long and was out, my choice!
Now in this Dept. we are trainning, and doing all the time(well monthly anyway). Our County has a Northern Fire Cheifs Asso. and would like to see that formed by us also for the south end of the county.
One of the big reasons I'm here is for HELP/INFO with ISO rating and found the string on that. GREAT!! Working with our Dept to get a better rateing on ISO.
Thanks for the opertunity to join with you ALL!
07-17-2002, 10:38 AM #35
- Join Date
- Jul 2002
We have a Class 6 but hope to get that down to a Class 1 before the summer is over, will see. We are a pretty small combo house. It can't be too tough volunteer departments have done it.
07-17-2002, 03:13 PM #36
- Join Date
- Dec 1998
- Pea Ridge, Arkansas
I'm Chief of the Pea Ridge Fire Dept. (Benton County AR). We're a small volunteer dept. with all the usual challenges. I've been Chief for almost a year now, held Asst. Chief for 5 years, and been w/ this dept. 14 years... haven't been bounced yet, maybe I'm in for awhile.
If you're in the neighborhood, come and see us.
FrankChief Frank Rizzio
Pea Ridge Fire Dept.
Pea Ridge AR. 72751
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