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  1. #1
    engine1321
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Why does the IAFF hate us so?

    Does anybody know why we get bad-mouthed and held back by the IAFF? All they are doing is encouraging us NOT to become career fire fighters and NOT to join the union. They must know that we are the one's who will be helping them with their retirement pay when the city wants to cut it, we will be the one's to hold back acts of stupidity by city governments who want to privatize and endanger the lives of citizens. Why don't they see that?

    ------------------
    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights


  2. #2
    spo0k
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    interesting.. very interesting..



    ------------------
    FF. Mike Burnes
    Whitehall Fire Division

  3. #3
    Turk II
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Are you talking about IAFF's stance on Juniors and Explorers or are you talking about their stance on Volunteers in general?

    If you are talking about Volunteer's their stance on Volunteers could easily be explained from an economic and sociological perspective: the IAFF is in fact similar to a corporation. Like any corporation the IAFF wants to grow and increase its "revenue" so that it becomes more powerful and pulls more weight in certain situations. The revenue of the IAFF comes mostly from the dues of its membership - so the more members they have the more revenue they earn. Any time a volunteer department is replaced by a career department, the IAFF has the ability to make itself stronger and bigger.

    Now since there is no such thing as a "Career Junior" then unfortunately Juniors and Explorers fall into the category of Volunteer.

    From a business stand point the IAFF is very smart - like any good corporation it is looking out for its own wellbeing and profit. Unfortunately, the "competition" of the IAFF (although I don't really like to use that word in this context) are the Volunteer Fire Fighters... .

    - Turk II

  4. #4
    ALSfirefighter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Please don't take this the wrong way kid. But as far as your question goes, I'm gonna answer with my own opinion. As far as the IAFF holding you back. I don't really understand what you mean. The IAFF lobbyed very hard for the new NFPA standards for FD response. And who fought them the most...the vollie's and municiple politicians. Secondly, if an opinion of a union keeps you from wanting to become a professional, then you are definately one that shouldn't be allowed to leave school for calls. They are doing what their job is, just as Turk said. Their membership pays dues to be represented on issues affecting them, and also protection from unfair labor practices. Just as any other union does. You show me any other union that doesn't attempt to protect their members interests. Carpenter unions protest outside sites where non-union carpenters are working, same thing goes for roofers, sheetrockers, etc. So don't always take it personally, and let me tell you, take the test and get hired. When you see it from the other side of the fence, then think about it. Once you become a true firefighter, you may realize it more also.
    ------------------------------------------
    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, am a member of, or represent. ...It is only my opinion.

  5. #5
    engine1321
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm not talking about volunteers, I'm talking about why fire explorers and juniors get so much flak from the IAFF just because we want to do what they do some day. The way they treat us is unprofessional and unnecessary. And for one, I'm one of the biggest advocates against explorers and junior fire fighters leaving school to answer alarms unless they are very serious, like a natural disaster where the school would be cancelled or the school is actually on fire. That's what I think, and I expect some professionalism from people that read this reply and respond to it.

    ------------------
    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights

  6. #6
    Engine 101
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by engine1321:
    I'm not talking about volunteers, I'm talking about why fire explorers and juniors get so much flak from the IAFF just because we want to do what they do some day. The way they treat us is unprofessional and unnecessary. And for one, I'm one of the biggest advocates against explorers and junior fire fighters leaving school to answer alarms unless they are very serious, like a natural disaster where the school would be cancelled or the school is actually on fire. That's what I think, and I expect some professionalism from people that read this reply and respond to it.

    Huh?
    IAFF against Fire Explorers and Junior Firefighter's? Where? I can understand IAFF against Volunteer Firefighter's, But explorers? Now really lets think about how much sense this makes

    E-101


  7. #7
    engine1321
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Oh yes, it makes a lot of sense. I've talked with IAFF members who say that they don't like juniors because they grow up to become bigger volunteers and more dedicated to working for just the satisfaction of doing the job right and not having to come back instead of "I'm doing this job for the money and then for the satisfaction."

    Then you get the remarks behind your back, how juniors are incompetent and they place a danger and a bigger responsibilty on fire fighters. Well, if they teach us how to do the stuff that we need to do, then we're not much of a danger, are we?

    I'm not against the IAFF, I just want to know why they dislike junior fire fighters and Explorers. I think it'll be a good thing after I get out of colege and after I'm done volunteering.

    ------------------
    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights

  8. #8
    Newguy55
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    OK, I watched this one for a couple days, but couldn't hold back a reply...

    It sounds to me like you have had your ear turned by some tough guys who are basically filling you with garbage about what the IAFF stands for. I've been a strong proponent and member of the IAFF for five years, and I have never read, heard, seen, or been instructed that the IAFF is against Explorers or Junior programs, on a local, regional, or national level. I'm sure if you checked with President Schaitberger down in DC you could have this confirmed.

    The Union is all about promoting firefighter safety, wellness, and training, protecting and improving our jobs and working conditions, and of course improving service to the communities we serve.

    Of course this means that some toes are going to be stepped on occasionally, but it's not supposed to be personal, this is a business. And no, the IAFF isn't out to complete a hostile take-over of all the vollies... if some volley departments happen to go full time, then sure, we'd love to pick them up as members and represent their interests.

    Like any sandlot, occasionally you come across a tough guy or a bully, or someone who just likes to push their opinion and hear themselves sound important. Remember, most full-timers/IAFF members started out as vollies too.

    Don't take these guys personally. The IAFF is NOT vehemently against Explorers and/or Juniors learning about the job. Try to filter what you hear around the firehouse and use your best judgment about your sources. If it sounds like garbage, it probably is.

    Don't get discouraged, just keep the right attitude for yourself and you'll figure out how this whole fire service world fits together to do the job.

    Chris
    IAFF Firefighter &
    Explorer Post Committee Chairman

  9. #9
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Been a Volly for 11 years (started as a junior when I was 16) Been career now for almost 6 years...Been a member of the IAFF for almost as long. I can honestly say this: "Kid....what the hell are you talking about?" I have never, not once, heard of the IAFF speak negatively about explorer posts!! Can you provide some evidence to this allegation? How about a link to a newspaper article? Or a TV News report? Was this allegation directed to the IAFF as a whole, or to a particular Local in general??? Please enlighten us who are in the dark!!

    Proud member, IAFF Local F-267

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

  10. #10
    Engine 101
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by ArmyTruckCompany:
    Been a Volly for 11 years (started as a junior when I was 16) Been career now for almost 6 years...Been a member of the IAFF for almost as long. I can honestly say this: "Kid....what the hell are you talking about?" I have never, not once, heard of the IAFF speak negatively about explorer posts!! Can you provide some evidence to this allegation? How about a link to a newspaper article? Or a TV News report? Was this allegation directed to the IAFF as a whole, or to a particular Local in general??? Please enlighten us who are in the dark!!

    Proud member, IAFF Local F-267


    I don't understand why IAFF is against Volunteer Firefighter's, After sure they don't get paid but they're still doing the same job, But IAFF against explorers?. I spoke wiht our Union President he almost htought I was trying to a tell a joke, Why in the world would of the largest Smokeater unions be against it's futures members?

  11. #11
    spo0k
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Well, it sounds to me like you are simply stating that you are tired of getting screwed with by the career firefighters. It sounds like you have little issue with the international, rather the members on your dept.

    Dude, buck it up and get over it. You have a long career ahead of you (or perhaps not) and if you cant take the ragging that goes on in the firehouse now, just wait until you make your first newboy mistake in a real fire. I'm telling you from experience, and you may not understand this now but eventually you will look back and go "oh.. duh" but take this advice if you can - "new boys and explorers CAN NOT BITCH"



    ------------------
    FF. Mike Burnes
    Whitehall Fire Division

  12. #12
    engine1321
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Oh yes, I can complain. When you have to work with both volunteers and career guys, you tend to see a difference in attitudes. The volunteers appreciate all the help they can get, but the career guys give some kind of attitude when asked if they need a hand.

    I never said I was anti-IAFF either. I want to be there some day, but it's attitudes like yours spoOK that turn me away. I know the difference between ragging and the smart-*** comments. But you know, there are other career guys that really don't like us and attempt to close off our deptartment granted opportunities by throwing the IAFF into things. And another thing, as long as I am were I am at I'm going to COMPLAIN about the attitudes of members in the IAFF to the IAFF because it is destroying the professionlism that they hold so dear. Even when I become a member I am still going to COMPLAIN about those attitudes because it reflects apon me as well.

    By the way, smart *** comments ARE NOT appreciated!!!

    ------------------
    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights
    "Reputation is made in a moment, Character is made in a life time."

  13. #13
    RCJFD25
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    From my standpoint this looks pretty brutal, everyone is just jumping to their own conclusions before letting Engine1321 get his whole story out. Look at the lack of professionalism that you veterans are showing this junior.
    Dude, buck it up and get over it. You have a long career ahead of you (or perhaps not) and if you cant take the ragging that goes on in the firehouse now, just wait until you make your first newboy mistake in a real fire. I'm telling you from experience, and you may not understand this now but eventually you will look back and go "oh.. duh" but take this advice if you can - "new boys and explorers CAN NOT BITCH"
    This whole post is about an explorer worried about things he heard about others juniors and explorers being discouraged by the IAFF, the best that could be done would be to reassure him that this is untrue, but contrary to that belief spo0k has proven that theory wrong. Smartass people like him are the real reason explorers and juniors are discouraged, because this so called "gods" of firefighting or at least thats what they think they are discourage the juniors and explorers out there into believing they aren't good enough to be a firefighter, and I for 1 think thats pretty shameful.

  14. #14
    spo0k
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Perhaps my point was not made clear and I came accross as being more harsh than I wanted to.

    I never made any indication that the union hates explorers. Having been on both sides of the line (explorer, part timer, now career) I have a different perspective on this.

    What I am saying, is that by reading the original post, it seems that this explorer feels under-appreciated and feels like he deserves more respect. The problem is, while I'm sure he's working his butt off and doing a great job, unfortunatly, explorers are the lowest men on the totem pole, and as such, should be "seen and not heard" as goes the popular expression. Believe me, I know the feeling of wanting to be recognized, of weanting to be one of the guys, and of being tired of being messed with, unfortunatly, as an explorer, you just have to take it. This is a right of passage that every firefighter has to go through in their career, so don't get discouraged now.


  15. #15
    FFTrainer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Originally posted by engine1321:
    Oh yes, it makes a lot of sense. I've talked with IAFF members who say that they don't like juniors because they grow up to become bigger volunteers.....
    It looks like you need to stop letting a handful of guys influence your opinion on an entire organization! There's always a contigency of negative opinions in every group, don't let it be a reflection of the group as a whole. The IAFF is a HUGE organization! Large enough that the handful of members you have spoken with are not even a drop in the bucket to start forming a judgement on the group in it's entirety.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Monrovia Ca
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    Originally posted by engine1321:
    Oh yes, I can complain. When you have to work with both volunteers and career guys, you tend to see a difference in attitudes. The volunteers appreciate all the help they can get, but the career guys give some kind of attitude when asked if they need a hand.

    I never said I was anti-IAFF either. I want to be there some day, but it's attitudes like yours spoOK that turn me away. I know the difference between ragging and the smart-*** comments. But you know, there are other career guys that really don't like us and attempt to close off our deptartment granted opportunities by throwing the IAFF into things. And another thing, as long as I am were I am at I'm going to COMPLAIN about the attitudes of members in the IAFF to the IAFF because it is destroying the professionlism that they hold so dear. Even when I become a member I am still going to COMPLAIN about those attitudes because it reflects apon me as well.

    By the way, smart *** comments ARE NOT appreciated!!!


    Out here where I live there is
    1 Volunteer FD in this county, Now the volunteer fire department is the exact opposite they never want any assistance with there calls, Whenever they recieve a call and a mutual aide unit is dispatched with them before they even get out of the station they always inform dispatch to cancel mutual aide, Example we were recently dispatched with them on a brushfire, We were told to move up to cover there station and when we got there we got cancelled, We drove by where the fire was reported and saw that the fire was no where near contained and they were just barley beginning to start suppression

    But with some of the paid fire departments out here they have no problem calling for help on a call

  17. #17
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    alright guys, i am pretty new to the whole firefighting thing, and i am even newer to the site. but listening to the arguments, i would have to say it sounds to me that the IAFF as a whole doesn't look down upon volenteers, jrs, and explorers. i think that it may be a few employees that do, however. everyone is entitled to their opinion. so someone is against something ur interested in, so what. not everyone has the same veiw points as u. its not a crime to express them either. it becomes a problem when people start taking coments and actions the wrong way, and start a problem that they cannot justify.
    michelle

  18. #18
    Jolly Roger
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Chief R.J. Stine of XFD Explorer Post #29, I think you say it best in your signature:

    "Reputation is made in a moment, Character is made in a life time."
    At the moment, you are giving yourself the reputation of being a whiney crybaby. I hope that this perception that you are allowing myself and others to perceive has nothing to do with your true character.

    In fact, I would venture a guess that your character is quite the opposite of the reputation that you have created for yourself. I would bet that if you were on the explorer post on my department, we'd probably be friends and have fun training together and working together at the station. But who knows, you're in OH and I'm in MO. Besides, with your current reputation you'd definitely need to be initiated... hehehe

    You see, you have to pay your dues before your complaining all the time is taken seriously. And no, I am not talking about union dues. I am talking about bucking up, stepping up to the plate, and doing your job. I'm talking about doing what is expected of you, without question, even if that means the "customer" that we are there to serve calls you everything but a nice guy.

    That includes doing a search when it is so hot you think every cell in your body is going to boil & explode. That includes operating in zero visability for long periods of time. That includes climbing a ladder in a stiff wind, getting soaked by every drop of water within a 10 ft radius of your position, and that water feels like it is 15 degrees below freezing. That includes working a code on a patient who is covered head to toe in feces on the bathroom floor. That includes treating the chronic callers, during your station's supper time, because they got too drunk again and are puking all over the place.

    Oh, and I haven't got to the mundane chores around the firehouse yet either. Guess who gets to crawl under the rig to put the tire chains on at 2 AM when that winter storm hits? Yup! You do! Guess who gets to take out the trash, even if it is storming? You do! Who gets to strip and wax the floors? That's right, you do! Do you see a pattern here?

    All that comes with lack of senority. Pay your dues, put your time in, and in time you will earn the respect of your seniors. That is your responsibility. They DON'T have to earn your respect. They have been there, paying their dues, and a lot of them have been doing it since before you were born.

    I'll close with some advice for you that a wise old timer once gave me.
    ...One of many from a Wise Old Timer...
    You have two ears, but only one mouth. That means you should listen twice as much as you speak.
    Have an enjoyable career. From the looks of things, someone is gonna enjoy your career! Is it gonna be you?

    Ken Scofield
    FF/EMT-P
    Active Member, IAFF Local 3133

    Former Chief/President, Explorer Post #302
    Former Advisor, Explorer Post #77

  19. #19
    Forum Member BFD182's Avatar
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    I too must say I have never encountered any organized IAFF oposition to Explorers. I am a Volunteer Firefighter and Advisor of a multi agency Explorer Post that was originally funded in part by the IAFF local that represents the career firefighters in my city. I would hazard a guess that you may have encountered some individuals that are not all that welcoming or even a specific local that has problems with your program, but I can not disagree more with the statement that the IAFF hates Explorers.

    As for any issues between career and volunteer firefighters they are best left out of Explorer/Junior/Cadet programs. The last thing we need is to ruin a fun program for youth by interjecting personal politics. We can argue all of our respective points with each other in more productive adult forums.

    Just my two cents worth.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    To be honest, I'm only voicing the concerns of Fire Explorers that I have spoke with that are worried that the union is doing this on purpose in an attempt to muzzle change in the fire service by quieting the youth. Apparently from the posts of union memebrs this is not true. My mistake.

    But I am concerned with the attitude of members toward Fire Explorers. It seems that this particular post has brought out the guns on both sides. I'm worried that union members that have major attitude problems will cause the decline of junior fire fighting as a tool of the fire service for public education and P.R. Those juniors that feel beaten up by the union become volunteers, which hurts the union.

    And those guys that are going to tell me to buck up and take it, I have been bucking up, for 5 straight years! I'm tired of being pushed around by people with attitudes, and now that I'm about to step down and become a volunteer somewhere, I feel that the union has to make changes to itself and govern the conduct of it's members before it destroys itself. Just a simple suggestion...

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