1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy family run departments

    Does anyone belong to a company that is run by one family. I belong to one and just cant cope with playing favorites BS.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey gamber I am willing to bet that 99% of all volunteer companies are run by one or even worse two families, there are several companies near you that are in the same boat as you.

    The only thing that you can do about it is to get people together during the election and vote them out of office.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    we tried this year brother but lost our bid by 3 votes got to wait another year

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hang in there Gamber and it will get better. Mine dept is not family run anymore (at one time it was run by the old chief and his wife), but we got through that and now the members run the dept as a team.

    Good Luck And Be Safe
    Craig Lambert

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well, I'm sorry that this has been a negative experience for you. But it isn't always that way.

    My dad was Chief I was A/C and my brother was the fire inspector. My wife and sister were on the FD too. We took, with help from many dedicated, formerly frustrated members, a department languishing in apathy and changed it to a highly motivated, enthusiastic department. My Dad resigned when he felt the timing was right and I stepped aside the following year. Several administrations have come and gone and I was elected Chief last year. So it couldn't have been too bad having us in those positions.

    So you see it isn't neccessarily the family thing as much as it is egos and power. We cared about the FD not about garnering power.

    Stay safe and try to change it from within don't air the dirty laundry unless something illegal is being done.

  6. #6
    George Wendt, CFI
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If you find that your department is in such a situation, you probably have no one to blame but yourselves. Think about how it got that way. There was most likely a family unit that came to the FD very enthusiastically and was willing to devote a lot of time and effort. They volunteered for everything. Eventually, members began to sit back because "so and so family will do it". These members abdicated their responsibility to the FD and they ended up with a ditator(s) running the show. I've seen it. If you don't want your FD to be run by a family, stop it before it happens.

  7. #7
    pvfr fyrfyter
    Firehouse.com Guest


    just keep in mind that the only thing in life that is certain is change. do everything in your power to do the right thing and don't sweat the small sh*t. eventually others will realize that you and others like you are competent and can do the job. if your dept. is like mine those that are in power now went through the same thing that you are complaining about now. remember that a "small" burr under the saddle is still a burr under a saddle. dont let this chase you away from something that you enjoy. stay safe and let life occur.

  8. #8
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This happens every so often. There are really two general options...work with them and win them over, convincing them to open up the command structure (overtly or covertly), or find out how you can use your company's rules of operation to throw them out of office.

    By the way...RSQLT4's characterization is way off...these "dominant family" situations exist, but they're generally dinosaurs and they are the exception, rather than the rule (at least in my experience). Especially in this day & age, they have a hard time existing...I can think of only one or two anywhere near me, and they can barely get apparatus on the road anymore, at least not with any crew on board to speak of.

    [This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited January 05, 2000).]

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Yes, it can be very difficult to deal w/ especially the click portion of it. I personally haven't dealt w/ the problem, but the sister company of ours in our district did. So, we seen a lot of problems with that sitution. Agreeing w/ each other weather wrong or right. The worse was that 3 of 6 officers were father and sons and their mom and wives were in administation positions. Seniority and/or skill really didn't play a role here. I have heard of departments making it quite well the same situation. You just so happen to be in a position that it doesn't. The only solution is to vote them out. That's what happened to the family I was describing. Good Luck and tough it out. Don't give them the satifaction.

    David DeCant
    Originally Mantua,NJ
    Presently Lindenwold,NJ(I'm not a member of any of this District's dept's.)

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    There have been and still remain the same problem in small to mid size career depts.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Good issue, but one that will never die as long as we need voluteer departments. I have belonged to 4 volunteer departments, and all but one have "family" issues. Example: One of these companies has husband and wife as EMS Chief and EMS Lieutenant, both CRTs (at least they are ALS people). The President is also Chairman of the Board and an assistant Chief, while his wife is the Secretary. I can go on and on, but this is not uncommon at all.
    As you all know well, protective services usually run in families. I know families keep expanding, but there will always be a few who revert back to the service. These people are so "into it" and have so much background knowledge from other family members that they are consistently in charge of this, that or the other thing. Rural departments especially. In paid systems, it is much more difficult to have this happen, since there are clauses that one can't necessarily work for the other, etc.
    But as you said, it's a democratic society, and the vote can change it.

    Todd Dousa

  12. #12
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Although we aren't "run" by a familly, My mother father and sister all run in the department i'm in, My father is 1st assist. Chief I've been in 2 years and my mother and sister just recently joined. Also we have a father and his three sons that are involved. By no means is our depart ment run by a family but it must be a sight watching us all get out of the house to respond!

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I must agree that the solution to your issues is probably not one that will happen in 1 or 2 years, but here is what I would reccomend based upon my experiences.
    I would have to say that my department here in Southern Ohio would probably be considered "family" run. But we have had no major political or command issues arise out of it. We are one of the only departments in the county who 95% of the time can fill every one of our trucks every run, be it structure fire, or lifting assistance for the squad.
    Our secret is that our department executive and command staff are made up of MANY families. From top to bottom in all different positions you will see 3 or 4 Father - Son/Son-in-law's, 3 Husband/Wife's, 3 brothers from one family, etc.
    I would reccommend that instead of trying to get rid of one family that you and your fellow members get more families involved.
    Keep the Family going, do away with the "clicks" & "super-egos"

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