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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb What are your thoughts about RURAL / METRO?

    What do you think about the Firefighters who work for Rural Metro, who now realize they dont have a retirement plan to fall back on?

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    Red face

    I must say that I don't feel sorry for any of them! Years ago when Rural Metro had it in their head to try to take over Fire Departments both paid and volunteer, the IAFF tried to explain to these people that they are working for Corprate America. Instead they thumbed their nose at us and decided to be SCABS. FINALLY IT HAS COME AROUND AND BIT THEM IN THE ***! Now they want union help! That's just too bad!

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    I worked for R/M for a short time as a FF at an airport. I do have to say that the guys I worked with were top shelf, and the chief cared about the people, training, and equipment. I had a chance to go to a municipal dept. (IAFF) and jumped at it. The reason being was that I did not want go hunt for a job in 5, 10 or 15 years when or if their contract was not renewed. The pay was better, with better equipment, but I was looking out for my family and wanted the stability of a civil service and union job.
    Craig Walker

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    Thumbs down

    I agree with Ladder Man. They want help from unions now! When the unions tried to organize them years ago because of the risks they were taking, working for private industry, they chose the privates side. They made their beds, now they can sleep in them!

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    Rural/Metro: A substandard for-profit corporation that has failed miserably in it's meddlings in the fire service. I have trouble even calling them a fire department. Substandard personnel who get substandard wages and substandard benefits. I don't see their employees as "bad" per se, they are exploited because of their inability to get hired by real fire departments.
    "Go ugly early."

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    Talking Get ready to flame me!

    I don't have a really strong opinion on this, but I would think those of us in the fire service could be above wishing ill to brothers and sisters. It does sadden me to see these people without retirements if, as it is stated, they were not allowed to cash out their stocks while the big-wigs cashed in and ran. That being said, the tone of some of the replies bothers me. Why would the IAFF, or members thereof, not be happy to see a larger membership? Just because they haven't always been so does not make them "substandard" Here is a news flash for some of you, not everyone is in love with unions. I would consider joining one, but some people would walk away from a job if they felt they had to join a union.
    Squadhog:

    they are exploited because of their inability to get hired by real fire departments.
    Do you personally know every FF who works for R/M? You know, for a fact, that all of them have tried to be hired by a "real" FD? What is the precise definition of a "real" FD? Is it only a metro, professional, unionized FD? How large of a population base must this FD protect to be "real?" How many union members are required to be classified a "real" department by you?
    I have trouble even calling them a fire department.
    Why is this? The way many of you are sounding, it is only because they have not been union from day one.

    Ladder Co:
    They want help from unions now!
    They made their beds, now they can sleep in them!
    Ladderman:
    Instead they thumbed their nose at us and decided to be SCABS. FINALLY IT HAS COME AROUND AND BIT THEM IN THE ***! Now they want union help! That's just too bad!
    I don't know all the history of the R/M saga, but did they cross picket lines to work for a company which was already union? That has been my understanding of a scab. Or is it just that this admittedly failed experiment cost union memberships when the fire coverage moved from a City dept to R/M? If this is just a debate on the superiority of union FF, then wouldn't it be better placed in the Career/Paid Forum? Would you be just as happy if it was a LODD affecting R/M FF? I can see a lot of bitterness here. Do you think it would be as funny if your pension administrator ran off with your pension money? This has happened with unions in the past. Would you guys like us to post here poking fun at you, or berating you, for joining a union? Or would you want us to be understanding that you were doing what you thought was right for you and your families at the time? Have a little heart here, guys. It could happen to any of us, and now that they are talking to the union, maybe they can become a "real" FD like the ones you belong to. But only if they are union, right??
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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    Lightbulb

    LATIGO,

    I suggest you look into the history of Rural Metro and their practices, before you start questioning other peoples opinions. You can start by calling the brothers and sisters who work for fire departments that surround rural metro. I'm sure they have an opinion on the subject.

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    Angry

    Hey Latigo,

    Don't try to turn this into a Union vs Non-Union issue. There are many rural, town, and city department that are non-union. It's also not a paid vs volunteer issue. The issue here is private vs public fire and ems. Not too long ago the private sector attacked the public sector with a smoke and mirrors game that has finally caught up with them. I agree with Ladder 13, contact some people who surround these private fire departments and listen to what they have to say. The people who work for Rural Metro made a choice. While their bosses may have made some bad business decisions, (just like ENRON) the people who work for the company knew their tactics and still made the choice.

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    Question I can understand that

    While I can understand what you are saying now, the earlier posts were very pro union and screw these FF because they didn't go union from the get-go. The only poster not attacking these FF for this was Firediver. I agree that the fire service is not a for-profit proposition. But to call the FF themselves sub-standard is a little beyond the pale. Do you think maybe some were FF I or FF II? Would the test not be the same??? Criticize the company if you will, but some people, such as firediver worked for them. So is he "substandard" or did he become good enough once he took the metro job joining the union. That is what fired me up. I am not defending the actions of the company. That was clearly a misguided adventure. Look at the EMS system beyond R/M. In many cases, the almighty dollar has taken priority over patient care. It would seem the same thing has happened here. But I refuse to accept a personal attack on brother and sister FF just because they didn't join a union when they joined R/M!! I drove truck in the past, but was not a teamster. Does that mean that I was a sub-standard driver?? I think not. But look at your earlier posts. I was not the one to bring unions into the discussion. Ladderman brought it out first, followed by ladderco, and squadhog. All three of you mentioned unions. Now you are telling me that it isn't a union/nonunion or career/vollie issue. If this is true, which I believe and thus my earlier post, why did you all feel the need to bring it up?? As a matter of fact, that seems the basic message of all three posts. Now you are trying to "educate" me on the real issues. If you want to debate the R/M theory, do so. But the question was what you thought about the FF losing their retirement, and all three of you gleefully proclaimed it was their fault for not being union, and it "serves them right." Pure bovine scatology. So I ask you again, if your pension admin. ran off with your retirement funds, would you like us to attack you in a similiar way?? I thought not. These people by all accounts were robbed when they weren't able to sell their stocks while the "wheels" were jumping ship. Tell me, what does this have to do with being in a union? Oh, that's right, it isn't a union issue unless you want to chide the FFs involved. Read back through your posts and explain to me how I mis-read what each of you wrote concerning unions and R/M.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

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    Thumbs down

    The day back in the 80's when Rural Metro refused to fight a fire because the homeowner was not a "subscriber" was the day they declared themselves not a "real" fire department. They are nothing more than private industry and when private industry fails, their employees pay the price. That is just what is happening here.

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    Dear Latigo,

    I'm happy that you understand where everyone is coming from now. I started this post asking what people think about the situation. You don't have to agree with them, and you don't have to bash them for what they think. As simple minded as I am, I understood where these people are coming from. You don't have to start a ****in match. Just give your opinion, and move on with life!

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    Two thoughts...

    One, I didn't think unions would care so much what you did in the past alone, but what you'll do together in the future. They won't make up for lost time with the veterans already screwed, but they might be able to help those in the future.

    Two, with every great party comes the hangover afterwards when you go "What was I thinking..." I think the U.S. has been doing a lot of things right recently -- the booming economy of the 90s showed that. We're in a bit of a hangover now. We're not sick, we're not dying. Just the economy needs a breather and go, wow. Clearly there needs to be reforms in the direction and oversight of corporations -- today's corporate board of directors represent the executives and not the shareholders. We need Boards willing to ask the tough questions and hold their executive's feet to the fire. Second, it's also clear the accounting system must be reformed, and companies must be required to change auditors regularly so that financial improprieties and creative accounting is not tolerated. And third, we need to continue to tweak the pension system of the U.S. -- 401k plans have to be unbound from the employers. IMHO, once in a 401k, you should be able to keep the same 401k investment company as you change jobs. Paying matching shares in company stock is OK, provided you have decent liquidity of that stock. Most companies already prefer direct-deposit payroll; 401k contributions should be no more difficult for them to make to different investment firms than sendng pay checks to different banks!

    Those firefighters got caught up in the party, and unfortunately as individuals now are suffering more than most.

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    Red face

    WOW Latigo, I also am happy that you understand where I'm coming from! I'll sleep well tonight! Thanks!

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    To the so called brothers that have the nerve to call me a scab. As a member of Scottsdale Fire Department, I have a few things I would like to get off my chest, First of all for you individuals that cannot read we are IAFF local 3878, and I am damn proud of the people I serve this city with. To my knowledge a "SCAB" is someone who crosses a pickett line. Humm lets see have we done that? That would be NO. How dare you call me or anyone else on this department untrained when you know nothing about me or any of my brothers or sisters. I am a Firefighter/Paramedic with a degree in fire science and a member of the Technical Rescue Team. So if that is undertrained please feel free to contact me and tell me how you are so much better than I am. I am proud to be part of my local and I am damn proud of or E-board for the job they are doing to get what is deserved of the senior members of this department and the futures of younger members like myself. And lastly I encourage you to contact the locals in our area to find out more information on our local and our values.

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    Rob is there any chance Scottsdale will take over operations of the Department? They have to be concerned about the shaky financial picture.

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    To paint all R/M firefighters substandard is uncalled for. No I am not a R/M firefighter, nor have I met any. There are good and bad volunteer FFs. Good and bad careereer FFs. Trashing each other doesn't solve anything.

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    I feel bad, but Rural Metro has cost too many FF jobs. Going to a low bidder for fire/EMS is a joke. Maybe now the threats will stop in my state.
    This space for rent

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    That was clearly a misguided adventure. Look at the EMS system beyond R/M. In many cases, the almighty dollar has taken priority over patient care. It would seem the same thing has happened here. But I refuse to accept a personal attack on brother and sister FF just because they didn't join a union when they joined R/M!!
    Exactly....

    Here in CNY, R/M has a death grip on ALS service,, and they pay squat to their paramedics. Does this make thier non-union para's substandard??? HELLS NO!!! I have the privilage of working with some of the best para's that are around here, and while I agree that R/M as a corp. sux, their ppl do not. That would be like saying Enron employees are a bunch of morons because of what the execs did.

    No matter who we work for, paid or vollie, public or private, EMS or Fire or PD, we are all brothers and sisters. Period.

    Jim
    ** THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY, NOT A TEAM OPINION**
    James A. Baleno
    NYS EMT-D
    Supervisor, Onondaga County Parks EMS
    Located in Onondaga County, right in the middle of NY State

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    Excuse me for my lack of concern for those Rural/Metro scabs, I mean firefighters. So they belong to the IAFF now. Well whoopie. I have belonged to the IAFF for 25 years. Long enough to remember when my department was threatened with privatization by guess whoooooo!! Thats right, Rural/Metro and Wackenhut. Yes we had that threat shoved in our asses plenty. Back in the days before those poor souls came running looking for union help. I suppose I will have to write a letter to the President of the IAFF. Harold, our membership standards have taken a turn for the worse. Clean it up. Does my attitude offend some of you. Well to bad. I was offended too when they privatized our FD medic service to a scab company. A service which by the way is now back in our department and is a big success. I was offended when the city threatened to privatize the FD also. So excuse me for my lack of compassion for these individuals. There is an old saying that says, " When you live by the Rural/Metro, you die by the Rural/Metro". I don't care if those poor souls tattoo the IAFF logo on their foreheads, they are no brothers or sisters to me.

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    *sigh*

    ya know, people who talk like that make me DEFINATELY not want to be a part of a union. You are as bad as a racist when it comes down to it. Just cause they chose to work for someone else, they are wrong?!?!?!?!?! not bloody likely!

    I am currently out of work, and if R/M offered me a job, i would take it in a heartbeat, cause it is a heck of a lot more than I am making now. Do I agree with their corporate policies?? NO, but taht does not mean I am any less of an EMT or FF if I work for them.

    You union ppl think you are so high and mighty?? Well, unions hae had more Organized Crime connections than ANY other organization in this country's history. What do you have to say to that?

    Whether we work for R/M, a Municipality, or a Volly dept, we are all there to do the same darnthing, to help people in their time of need.

    Last time I checked, Scabs are people who cross a picket line to work.... hrmm... i went to the local CSEA and asked a few ppl I know who work there, and that is defiantely the definition of a scab.

    You union ppl are not saying a lot for your membership which seems to be A) uneducated, and B) descriminitory. (And no cracks on my typos, I am using a new keyboard, and I hate it already)

    Until I see some significant change, I would not want to be a part of any oprganization that prides itself on being those 2 things. I have turned down numerous opportunities to make darn good money working for the BSA for the same reason. I refuse to put my name on the rolls of any organization that acts in such an outdated and immature manner.

    You don;t like what i have to say, well sorry, too bad, I have been doing this for too many years to feel that someone is different because they work for a particular group.

    Back before R/M bought out Eastern Ambulance here, Those of us who were Vollies, used to have to put up with Eastern Paramedics telling us that we were diddly squat because we were vollies. It took a long time for us to show them they were wrong. Now you people are going to do the same thing??? That is making you no better than those people were. You wanna stoop to someone else's level, just remember, they have the experience at that level, and they will be more than happy to whomp ya to prove it.

    Jim
    ** THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY, NOT A TEAM OPINION**
    James A. Baleno
    NYS EMT-D
    Supervisor, Onondaga County Parks EMS
    Located in Onondaga County, right in the middle of NY State

  21. #21
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    Angry Thoughts from a "former"

    OK, here's the take from a former Scottsdale, AZ R/M firefighter who left that organization to work for an IAFF dept. I'll be up-front and honest and say that this is my "incogneto" user-name, that I only use when I don't want you all to know who I am. I'm a regular poster here and most of you "reg's" know me from the board, but this is one I don't want to come back to me and here's why: I still have a lot of friends at R/M, and they're all good people, and I don't want to ****** them off. Also, at my IAFF dept. I sorta hafta keep my former employment with R/M "under my hat." The reason for that should be obvious to those of you who have read some of the previous posts. Nuff said on that.

    OK here's what R/M is: It's a place where someone can get a lot of good fire and EMS delivery experience. It's a place where someone can get a lot of good certifications to pad their resume with. It's a place where you can learn the "firehouse lifestyle" and decide if you "really" want to be a firefighter for the next 30 years. But, if you're still working for R/M 5 years after you started it's only because you weren't "good enough" (or just didn't apply yourself enough) to get hired by a "real" fire department.

    Every state has a R/M. It might be a small city municipal department that pays crap wages, or it might be a volly outfit. But everywhere, somewhere there's a department that serves as a "training ground" that the bigger, well-paying, "real" fire departments hire there best recruits from. You all know which department in your area I'm talking about, right? Well, that's what R/M is. It's a place you get the skills and cert's and general "life in the fire service" experience to "move on and move up."

    Not that EVERYONE working for R/M is a substandard, know/nothing wouldn't-want-them-coming-to-my-house firefighter. And it's also not that there aren't guy's and gal's like that on EVERY department. It's just that there are probably a higher percentage of "those" folks working in Scottsdale than Phoenix or Tempe or Glendale or Mesa. Or LA or Chicago or FDNY for that matter. It's just the way it is. Sorry.

    If Scottsdale want's a 'real" firedepartment that Bigger, better, "real" fire departments don't hire their best people from, they'll have to "fire" R/M and get a "real" municipal, fire department where the troops get a paycheck with the City of Scottsdale seal imprinted on the top left corner. That paycheck should also be for an amount similar to what a firefighter with the same time/skill/cert level as his or her counterpart in a neighboring city gets on theirs.

    That's it in a nutshell. R/M will keep on ripping off their employees and cheating the citizens of Scottsdale out of having a "real" fire department as long as there are people taking their jobs and the Scottsdale city council keeps on paying them.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Thoughts from a "former"

    Originally posted by The Fire Guy
    That's it in a nutshell. R/M will keep on ripping off their employees and cheating the citizens of Scottsdale out of having a "real" fire department as long as there are people taking their jobs and the Scottsdale city council keeps on paying them.
    FireGuy... i respect your concern for not leaking out who you are, after all, if i worked for a group as discriminatory as the IAFF seems to be, i would feel the same way.

    You hit the nail on the head there thos, that until someone forces them to change, R/M will keep screwing their employees, and their customers, to speak from my area.

    Just one side note tho. Many years ago, when I first joined the fire service, I used to see those IAFF stickers on cars, and wanted so desperately to be a member myself, and the more I learned about them over the years, the more I realized that I would turn them away jsut as fast as any other group that discrimintates. There is already too much of it here in the US, and why make more.

    Jim
    ** THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY, NOT A TEAM OPINION**
    James A. Baleno
    NYS EMT-D
    Supervisor, Onondaga County Parks EMS
    Located in Onondaga County, right in the middle of NY State

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    Just one side note tho. Many years ago, when I first joined the fire service, I used to see those IAFF stickers on cars, and wanted so desperately to be a member myself, and the more I learned about them over the years, the more I realized that I would turn them away jsut as fast as any other group that discrimintates. There is already too much of it here in the US, and why make more.
    Please spare me the self righteous smoke screen Jimmy boy. You turn away the IAFF, I think your problem is that you NEVER got the chance to turn them away because you could not make it into a department that had the IAFF. And that is usually the problem with those who have such venom and rancor for the IAFF. After 27 years, and having met hundreds of firefighters and medics in almost every case where a person ridicules the IAFF it is because of just what I said. Jealousy and envy. And where do you get this discrimination garbage. Show me, no I challenge you to show me where the IAFF is discriminatory. Against who, Rural Metro types. Gee thats a no brainer. All that discrimination crap and calling the IAFF membership uneducated sounds like the drivel of some bleeding heart liberal. But thats not your issue is it Jimmy boy. I think I got your number. The service has it's share of your kind. You are a self important insignifigant person with a title who for whatever reason could not pass muster in a paid IAFF represented department. You overplay your big supervisor title to feed your ego. You are a boss in a park EMS system. WOW, what a challenge. I'll bet if we asked people in your area about you we would see plenty of eye rolling and smirks. Am I close on this one. I think so. Well I'll tell you what Jimmy. When the day comes that you are a supervisor in the FDNY EMS, like in Queens or Brooklyn. Or maybe a supervisor in the EMS in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, or heck, even right here where I work. We got all the big city trouble just in a smaller package. Then maybe someone will take you half seriously. Until then, stay up there in the woods because you may not be ready for prime time.

  24. #24
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    You know, people, let us not forget that we, as firefighters, are all on the same side here, with the same end goal in mind. The problem with R/M is with their management, not their firefighters; don't punish the grunts for the poor performance and leadership example of the senior management. I know some good R/M firefighters, I know some bad ones. I also know some good/bad firefighters with municipal fire departments that fall under IAFF. You have professionals and those that lack it in every department

    Speaking of professionalism, Deputynick, I'm personally suprised at your lack of it in this case. As a Deputy officer in a department, your arrogance displayed in your posting is not conduct becoming. It's obvious you're a proud IAFF member, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the attitude you display towards your fellow firefighters is troubling. As an IAFF member, and therefore IAFF representative, your comments only add fuel to the elitist attitude many firefighters feel the IAFF portrays, even though this is probably not the party line. The way you're talking, I would almost expect to see you begin beating the 'scab' R/M firefighters with baseball bats for their being non-union, if you ever came across them. I doubt the IAFF would condone that either. I would personally expect a higher degree of leadership and professionalism from such a senior officer.

    As for me, I'm just calling a spade a spade, based on what I've seen posted. I'm not an IAFF member, and I'm not for or against the organization. Yet I don't think I'm any more or less substandard than you, Deputynick. I'm sure where you work has it's inherent difficulties/differences, and I respect that. But I could just as easily turn that around and say 'come where I work' at 8500'elevation; Fuel Model 12, high temp/low RH summers; armed with a Type 3 and a Type 6 engine, a Type 3 tender, and oh-by-the-way, can't use the dozer because it's USFS land; and it's up in the rural mountains too, partner. And I'm not just talking out of my butt either. I've been a firefighter for 12 years, full time up to 1995, part time since. I talk of professionalism and leadership as a full time US Military officer and pilot, firefighting being a part time hobby for me now; so we can put the bias card away. No 'incognito' usernames that I need to hide behind. And, speaking of you, Fire Guy, if the people at your current department are any friends of yours, your past employment with R/M should be a non-issue; seems even you feel you have to 'hide' from your IAFF bretheren; instead of feeling that they'd just respect the facts about R/M that you presented in your post. Shouldn't have to be that way, partner.

    Deputynick, if you don't like R/M, that's fine; I believe that they've made their bed, management-wise, and the grunts are being forced to sleep in it. But direct the arty barrage on the correct target, mister.

    BTW, in this entire thread, none of the R/M firefighter haters have answered Latigo's question: If an R/M firefighter became an LODD, would you all be ****ing on his/her grave like you are now?

    Awaiting an answer, if anyone's willing to step up.

    Mike Daftarian, Capt, USAF
    354th Fighter Squadron
    Last edited by M. Daftarian; 02-19-2002 at 12:00 AM.

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    Well Capt. Mike spare me your self righteous rants about professionalism. I've been in this business 27 years so I'm not so easily taken in by all this sickening phony political correctness which permeates these boards. Spare me the brotherhood crap. And since I and others have endured a steady stream of IAFF bashing in these forums I'm well within my right to say what I please. And don't question my professionalism based on these posts. I refuse to follow the politically correct line just because I hold rank. I say what I think and I don't care who likes or don't like it. The truth is often painful to some. And since they don't privatize the military and since you never had that held over your head or seen part of your Dept. taken and turned over to scabs you are not qualified to judge my "attitude". I'm sick and tied of these lame notions that it's the management and not the employees of R/M that should be held accountable. There is a thing called principle and dignity. I would think YOU of all people would understand that. Principled people do not work for companies that attempt to undercut other peoples jobs. So by your mindset, if R/M would have taken over my dept. and put over 120 people on the unemployment line, I and my coworkers should not have been mad at the people who are hired to do our jobs at considerably less pay and benifits. Excuse me but that is bull****. They did in fact scab out our medic service and eliminated 16 firefighter jobs in my dept.. And it took 14 years to get it back. So excuse my lack of sympathy for those who seek employment with outfits that do that. I don't care what line of work we are talking about, when someone is willing to take a job that undercuts anothers livelyhood they are nothing but scum, pure Grade A scum. I will NEVER consider ANYONE who fights fire for R/M or any other jobber company to be a brother or sister to me. I don't care how good they are. I have met and been friends with many firefighters over the years, both career and volunteer. And some of the best firefighters I have known were among the ranks of volunteers. But these were and are good people who would never attempt to hurt another firefighters job. I never said a paycheck made a better firefighter, that is just hysterical assumptions on the part of people who can't deal with my opinions. But as I said, you Capt. Mike never had privatization held at you and your family like a loaded gun. So don't judge me. And don't ever assume that because I'm an officer that I will hold back my opinions on the basis of professionalism. That sir is for wimps. As for a R/M LODD. Well you wonder if us R/M haters would be ****ing on the grave. First I would not be at a R/M LODD funeral. Secondly, I would not waste my good urine over the issue. Is that answer enough for you.

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