Hey Gentlemen and Ladies. Does anyone have any good ideas to keep elections of officers in a small volunteer fire company from becoming a popularity contest?
We seem to be having this problem over the last couple of years, and it disturbs me to see a firefighter with much more training and experience lose a position to someone with much less education and experience, but is the life of the party and tells lots of funny jokes.
I appreciate any input that you may have.
Stay Alert & Stay Safe
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Thread: Experience vs Popularity
12-04-1999, 12:13 AM #1Phil4601Firehouse.com Guest
Experience vs Popularity
12-04-1999, 03:08 AM #2AffFirehouse.com Guest
Make a certain minimum level of experiance, education, and training a requirement to run for the position. We did that, added a written test, and an oral board with reps from our mutual aid companies. Eliminated the voting and popularity contest. As a result we where able to get some very compitent officers.
12-04-1999, 09:41 AM #3J AlmonFirehouse.com Guest
Written job descriptions for each position is a necessity. Our's include basic requirements and expectations for each administrative or line position. If you don't meet the qualifications, your nomination is turned down by the chair of the voting committee. If an exception is made it it with concurrence of the majority and usually has an understanding that a pwerson will come into compliance as soon as possible.
12-06-1999, 12:48 AM #4dc45bFirehouse.com Guest
In our department, we have a set of requirments that must be met in order to be consider for the position. After the election, the President and Chief must sign off under penalty of local law that these officer's are qualify for the position.
The elections have been a problem for all vol. dept. It is hard to be a officer and be friends with everyone. It is part of the job to have to make the tuff decision. Of course thru the year, some of the members want somebody to let things slide. Most of the people voting on popularityare the ones causing most of the problems. If they would do their job then the Officer's wouldn't have to take action. As a Officer you can't please everyone. Just do the best job you can do and the election you have no control over. Remember you join to help the community and some times it is a blessing. You will give you time to be with your family. Good Luck.
12-06-1999, 09:14 PM #5chazzoFirehouse.com Guest
We've been having this problem since i can remember. One way that myself and my current officers are trying to eliminate this problem is to have certain qualifications for each position, a written test, and an oral interview. I know this sounds kind of harse, but one problem has been when we have a newly elected officer, we train them to be officers over say the course of a year. After that year is over we may have spent around $1000 or more on this officer only for him/she to be voted out becouse a few members didnt like him for something stupid. Well now i'm out $1000 and have to retrain a new officer, i dont think so! ok deep breath thank you. We are hopeing that when we get new officers in and train them, these officers will be our permanate officers until they leave or promote or we get a new shift open. sorry didnt mean to vent, just wanted to state a point that just becouse we are volleys, doesnt mean that we cant have strict rules and regs. we need to put the popularity contest out the door.
12-07-1999, 03:10 AM #6FF McDonaldFirehouse.com Guest
I have to agree with all of the posts that have been made to date. Everyone is hitting the nail on the head.
Minimum requirements are a necessity. But remember that they are only the minimum. Hopefully your people will realize that, and see that the more experience, and education they can get the better.
12-07-1999, 10:24 AM #7ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
Ditto!! We just instituted requirements for each officer and chief postion. We found it the only way to avoid electing the most popular members.
12-07-1999, 01:22 PM #8Phil4601Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all the positive ideas. We are formulating a plan to help remidy this problem. I'll let you know what we have come up with.
Stay Alert & Stay Safe
12-08-1999, 08:03 PM #9Firstin88Firehouse.com Guest
Well Phill, I too agree with all the posts. But, and this is a big but, be prepared to create a ton of controversy over implementing this. I have gone through this very process and I was just about run out of the dept. because of it.
Tradition in the fire service is a double edge sword. As much as we try to be progressive, the senior population will fight the change. As the saying goes "we've always done it that way". Well we used to take the horse's to the fire's too.
Just be prepared to deal with these problems and maybe ease into them. I know from experience, and it is a hard fight.
Good luck to you, it will pay off in the end.
Stay Safe and God Bless
[This message has been edited by Firstin88 (edited December 08, 1999).]
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