I have a slight problem. I am a certified Firefighter I at the state level. I am an agressive young firefighter. I have held multiple positions as a cadet, including positions previously held by firefighters. After I turned 18 I left a vollie department and tried to re-apply to my first department which told me they did not want me as a member, because members of that department didn't like me. *The last time they had seen me, I was 16 years old.* This department advertises frequently for vollies and complains daily about lack of manpower. I am currently trying to get back into my second department as a firefighter, but feel a little disheartened about it all. Any ideas?
I would be interested in knowing a little more of the background here. What was it you did back when you were 16 that makes them not like you? Once we can identify that, then maybe we can work on a way to "mend fences" and help them have some faith in you.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
This is a prime example of not "burning your bridges" on your way up in the fire service...you may have to cross them on the way back!
And on the eighth day...God created Firefighters!
A similiar story...we had a clique of people who's leader was a LT. Our Board removed their leader from his lieutenancy. After which, most of this group left our FD and went to the other one in town (which was a very political statement around here). However, one of their members before he left told off pretty much EVERYONE in the firehouse. He told them how everyone around here sucked, the other FD was so much better, yadda, yadda, yadda. All this from a 15/16 year old. Well, when he went to join the other FD, they wanted nothing to do with him and he screwed himself big enough not to get back into our FD. I know this kid loved the fire service but as far as I know, he hasn't joined or been able to join an FD since.
To clarify a few points,
I left my first fire department when I was told I was going to be kicked out for not responding to enough fire calls despite the fact most of the calls were doing school or hours I couldn't respond as a cadet. I see what alot of you are saying, but these things I didn't do myself, that fire department confused their cadets. I was called other cadets names. They didn't know who did what.
Trukkie -- If you are being completely honest and this is the whole story(which I have no reason to believe it is not since I don't know you), then it sounds like you are the victim of poor management.
If guys can't call you by the right name and they mix up the rules such as not allowing you to respond from school, yet counting those calls against your percentage, then there is a problem with the management level of your dept, not with you.
My advice, the heck with them, go back to your other dept, bust your ***** and do what they ask of you. Inside, you will know that it was your first depts. loss not taking you back.
I've been in a similar situation. My own town's dept. gave me a hard time when I went for an application. The reasons? Well half the guys knew my family had an EMS background and they suggested maybe I should stay with them. The other half new I was coming in to volunteer with them from a career dept and I don't believe they wanted a career guy in their house. The best decision I made was taking that application home and filing it in the circular file (sorry recycling bin to be PC) and the next day going to the next town over and filling out their app. I have never rubbed it in or made an issue out of it, however it has been rather rewarding on the occassions we have run mutual aid into the town that didn't want me. On more than one occassion I have been thrown into a command position like ops, etc. It's always nice to know that the guy who didn't want me as a member is now willing to use me as his eyes and ears as his Operations Officer at a structure fire?? Funny how this world works isn't it.
Bottomline, is whatever the decision and the outcome is, be mature about it. Don't ever harp on the issues of the past, simply move forward like nothing ever happened and do your duties to the absolute best of your abilities.
2 Approaches I see...
1) Talk it out with a chief, try and gain support from your friends, and tell them to talk to the chief. Use any examples of good you have brought to the fire department in your area.
2) A Volunteer Department is open to ALL people. They to accept you. Ask them for concrete reasons why not....if they cant produce them. Tell them you are going to the town Mayor with this and filing a complaint. They will quickly back down if its anything like my department.