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  1. #21
    HiTecVFD
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    What gets me:

    It is the politics. People who want things done for their own personal agendas. I want us to have a better department, but no the one that is run by me, but by the members. I have been reprimanded for trying to make changes that were not being done by the people that said they would do them. Just because i am not an officer I am told to let them handle it. Just because someone is not an officer does not mean that they are unable to complete a task...


  2. #22
    Aff
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    I would definatly agree with the politics being a huge contributor to good people leaving. Our fairly large department -50+- vollies solved alot of this by hiring the longtime and very compitent Chief fulltime. This allowed for the elimination of officer voting popularity contests and the implementation of a testing proceedure. All canidates had to meet certian training and experiance requirements then pass an extensive written and oral testing program. This also allowed for a procedure to remove poor officers. Mutual aid departments are encouraged to send a line officer to the oral board to keep it fair. This eliminated the good old boys from dumping the Chief and allowed all with the requirements a fair chance at promotion.

  3. #23
    ccc530
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    I agree, the politics make the job difficult. Especially in this day when it seems as though we have lost such interpersonal skills as communication and consideration. Listening skills are even more scarse. And pride has taken over most of us. We want it done OUR way. The FD simply reflects our country. It takes real "self government" (aka self-control) and humbleness to be able to look at the big picture and do things that will benefit others (or the community) above ourselves (used to be called "self-lessness"). However, don't despair. Those of us who understand what I have just said know what to do, and we can make a difference. We can take those primadonnas aside and quietly talk to them (sometimes they will listen when you talk to them one on one). We can work with others and encourage them to do the right thing. We don't have to "go along with the crowd. "If that doesn't work, we can do the best job that we can and wait for them to "shoot themselves in the foot". Eventually, you will be reckonized for having a "level head" and they will trust what you say. Sooner or later, you will reap what you sow! (And so will they).

  4. #24
    ccc530
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    Hiring a chief. Has its' good points and its' bad points. True, you eliminate the popularity contest. True, you can hire someone who may actually know what he is doing. But don't think that you have ended the politics and "the good o' boys club". In fact he can become a dictator. You may end up "bowing to ceaser" every time you want to replace a piece of broken gear or try something new. The membership can loose control of the department very easily, if you do not make him/her accountable to the membership. This also applies to any appointed position. Accountability to the membership, not the city government, is crucial. Now, how do you apply that accountability. The framers of this country struggled with this question. Ultimatly, they realized that power is given by God, to the people, and the people are accountable to God. They built a system of checks and balances to prevent dictatorships and made the government accountable to the people. (Of course it's difficult to believe it today). O.K. you say, what has this got to do with the FD? Government is government. Even if you are only talking about a fire cheif. After you have the system in place, then you must select a candidate who has the charactor (yes, it does matter), the knowledge and the ability to build a coalition of support and respect among the membership. Pretty big task. Elected positions with term limits have the advantage of keeping things fairly fresh, if you can manage to find someone different to run. I admit, this can be difficult at times. But at least you can break up "the club" by electing someone who is not part of it. If you can't get enough members to support your candidate, you can work to bring in new members who will. To have good government, it takes work. YOU must get involved. Take "what really burns you" and turn it into positive action. This is a very good subject. I think I'll start a new thread!

  5. #25
    WESTPLATTEFIRE
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    We elect a chief annually. Must be a member one year. Same with assistants. No qualifications. Our paid ems sup. makes sure the canidates are not a threat to change her status. No IMS, no training program, few meetings, dwindling volunteers, increasing call volume, increasing tax support, ISO 8/9. and our board wonders what we can do to lower our ISO rating. I don't know anything, I'm just a paid ff running 500 calls per yr., Instructor I, paramedic, FF I & II, volunteer for 6 yrs., and I just submitted a 13pg. plan to the fire board and all ffs. Maybe the next election will bring change.
    Be safe, have fun

  6. #26
    Aff
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    My condolences to westplattefire, sounds like a recipe for disaster! Good luck on what appears to be a monumental task ahead. Be safe.

  7. #27
    Tom Lafleur
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    Greetings from another dinosaur,33yrs. I'm from a small F.D. 4 carrier 30 paid on call.We had a problem a few years ago with a few older members holding the dept.back.The Chief,who is appointed by the selectmen,had enough cahonies to retire them.He used the states(MA.) mantitory retirement age (65) to get them out.This maybe something to look into.As for being a dinosaur,i've got more credentials than some of the carrer guys. Stay safe and keep the faith.

  8. #28
    bechereg
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    One of my biggest beefs has been the lack of support given by the Depts. BOD. I run both fire and EMS but stay more towards the EMS side. it gets agravting when all the $$ are spent on fire and they forget what type of calls we run more of. currently I am the only running medic with my dept., the lack of support on the recruiting front is riduculas.

    ED

  9. #29
    Batt804
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    One of the things that hasn't been mentioned much is the increased training that firefighters are having to maintain. I see alot of volunteers who seem to get bored with training that they need year after year. It seems like it is a never ending loop.
    I am not against the added safety concerns. But it is a fulltime job just trying to maintain the minimum standards of training to be a firefighter/EMT.

  10. #30
    Aff
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    If anything is the death blow to the volunteer service will be the continuing minimum standards, training requirments, and the time it takes to do this. Especially if you run EMS. When is enough going to be enough? Be safe.

  11. #31
    Gill
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    Aff,

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. The vol. dept. that I'm on now only requires 12 hours of training a year. That's not enough training for what we are expected to do. As a result, we have a majority of firefighters who cannot perform effectively, if at all. There are a handfull of us that get most of our training (well over 12 hours/year) at the local career dept. I wonder if the chief cares, or is there anything he can do about it?

  12. #32
    jpm
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    the question is volunteer fireman what really burns you ? my only answer is a flame about 34 inches high

  13. #33
    Aff
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    And I think it is hard to get a fulltime spot, and jpm is going for being a comic!

  14. #34
    ccc530
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    Is 32 hours of training per man per month enough? That's what we are being pushed toward. To answer the question...it's never enough. Nobody nows it all. But do we all have to know everything? The basics havn't changed much. Much more safety...this is manditory! Do you need TRT training? Maybe it can be a team effort with other departments. Maybe you can call on the pros when or IF it's needed. I think that every department must evaluate the needs of the community which they serve and focus on those things. If things get boring, then you can expand to other topics. Those who want to learn, will. Those who don't, won't.

  15. #35
    stone35
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    Our department is a volunteer organization and we respond to all sorts of calls. When the forest/field/brush fire season comes around our department is constantly being toned out. What burns me is the non-caring attitude of our local state Forestry person. During a recent equipment audit a panel of Foresters come to the detail. While speaking with one of them she informed me that she got called off to an ajoining county to oversee a field fire. It was her next comment that really got me worked up. "I don't know why they called me over there, my boys get all the training they want and I know they can handle the situation themselves." Previous to that comment I had no idea what our local Forester did. To my knowledge he has never conducted a field/forest fire suppression/containment class, nor has he made any attempt to be seen and known around our area. After some inquiring I found out that our dept made attempts to get our forester involved with our county fires. We purchased him a pager so he could hear our traffic and allow him to keep up with us. He was so appreciative that he ran over the pager with his truck.

    So now the forest/field fire season has started and still no sight of our local forester. Attempts have been made to have our Forester come give of his knowledge, but no interest has been conveyed to our requests.

    It is a real shame that we want the training from this professional, but being retired while on the job has kept everyone from receiving our Foresters knowledge.

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