View Poll Results: What is your overall opinion of the Firehouse.com Forums

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  • Love It, Keep Up the Good Work

    65 56.03%
  • Like It, Managed Reasonably

    37 31.90%
  • Like It, Managed Good Sometimes, Bad Others

    13 11.21%
  • Hate It, But Im Here Anyway

    1 0.86%
  • Hate It, Never Coming Back

    0 0%
  1. #1
    Administrator

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    Default Open Letter to Forum Participants

    We'd like to clear the air about a few issues which have raised concern recently and ensure everyone that ANY subject, within reason, is GLADLY welcome within these forums.

    The following are the facts:

    - In the 3+ year history of the Firehouse.com Forums, only 40 userid's have been 'banned' from the system. Of those 32 userid's, it equates to only 14-16 actual USERS since some of those are duplicate userids by those previously removed.

    That's 14 users out of 23,000+ registered users. Ever removed.

    Out of 20,000+ individual thread topics, PERHAPS as many as 100 have been closed or removed. Many times at the request of the originator.

    Out of over 125,000+ individual posts, MAYBE as many as 200 have been deleted or edited by the WebTeam.

    - NO ONE is EVER removed for discussing a topic, no matter how controversial, UNLESS:

    a) An individual or organization is slandered, falsely accused, misrepresented, etc. It doesn't matter if its us, a contributor, or an average firefighter from Minnesota...if you put up something that's potentially false, or unfairly damaging...its removed.
    We don't want someone accusing us of doing X because of Y when Y is not the truth, nor would an average firefighter who had a bad call want his name plastered on the forums for messing up. Both have happened, and then some, and neither is reasonable to take place here.

    b) The comments made violate our Terms of Service up to and including: inappropriate language, sexual innuendo, etc.

    c) A vendor, or employee of a vendor, openly promotes their own product or speaks poorly of a competitor. Other discussion about specific vendors and products is WELCOMED by any user, as long as they are not in that business.

    d) Other actions/comments that otherwise violate the Terms of Service, which can be viewed by checking the FAQ link on the left hand side of every page.

    It is also important to note that sometimes users are removed for comments over e-mail, attacks against other users in Private Messages, comments that are typically COMPLETELY false about why they are being removed (even in cases when they would not be removed) by the WebTeam.

    Certainly, when someone comes on and basically assumes they're going to be banned and brags about it, they'll get removed. There isn't enough time in the day to manage, moderate and view every thread. We rely on user input to bring things to our attention and daily receieve emails and PMs from users reporting specific issues. Some are dealt with quicky, others are monitored and some are let continue if we feel its reasonable. Its always a judgement call and the vast majority of the time, we feel its reasonable.

    None of this is new to the forums, and some will agree and some will disagree with the decisions regarding specific users and threads. But remember NO decision is made based on who the individual is or what their background is, but rather how they act towards us and other users. When it is made, it is not censorship. This is a private site and users must abide by some basic rules laid out in the Terms of Service.

    We have no choice but to remove a user who buddies up to us over emails and private messages, then does the opposite and blasts us in the forums and elsewhere. Remember that what you see on the forums is not typically 100% of the story. Most of the time its not even worth telling 100% of the story, its much easier and reasonable to deal with a specific user and move on with life. There are far more important things to do on a daily basis.

    The forums are an important part of the site, and most of the time manage/police themselves. Our main mission is to update the content and information on the site to be the #1 source of news and resources that you have come to expect.

    Once again we thank you for participating in the forums. Forum traffic is at an all time high, from new users to posts to new threads. And we only hope that high level of discussion will continue to grow over time.

    Feel free to reply to this thread with any comments you would like...all we ask is be respectful and honest. The WebTeam is almost entirely comprised of firefighters and rescue workers, both volunteer and paid alike, and NEVER does a commercial entity or individual control what happens within the forums or within our news content.

    Thanks
    Dave
    Founder/Publisher
    Firehouse.com

  2. #2
    Stay Back 500FT's Avatar
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    Default

    As I have said before, it was truly amazing to watch one of the more controversial posts develop in the manner it did. Any message board that allows threads like this to develop with such freedom to the participants is wonderful. I feel the webteam has been more than fair, especially after reading the emails that were posted. The thing I can't understand is why some individuals almost BEG to be thrown out. I feel any post that starts with "This will probably get me banned..." shows poor judgement. **shrugs** Oh well...

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the web team is doing a good job. While some people may whine and complain about being censored/banned, they do forget that the site is owned by Firehouse.com, they have a set of rules that we agree to follow, ie. the terms of service.

    I was amazed when I saw the stats on how many users have been banned and how many threads were closed and/or deleted.

    We can agree on many things and agree to disagree on others...that's human nature. This is a "virtual firehouse", and like the firehouse, we all have our cast of characters..that's what makes it interesting!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-27-2002 at 02:08 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Default No explanation needed

    You ain’t hurtin’ my feelings, Webteam.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing….
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  5. #5
    Member

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    Default

    If you have only had to ban 14, that should show everyone else that the rest of us are pro's. Yes some may whine and cry, but let them, there maaturity may catch up to trhe one day.
    WebTeam, keep up the good job!!!

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    codeblue81's Avatar
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    Default good job

    I haven't had any kind of probs with the webteam. I personally think they are doing a pretty good job. Just let people whine....they're going to no matter what.

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
    www.helpingourown.com
    "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

  7. #7
    Administrator

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    Default

    We would like to thank everyone, as healthy discussion (when done repectfully) only spurs more.

    Yesterday, we had more than 280 new posts (the most in two months) and also dozens of new topic threads started.

    Thanks again for those moving forward with discussion of regular topics and for those still hot on this topic....discussion of Firehouse.com, good or bad, is good

    Thanks again
    Dave
    Firehouse.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    FireCapt1951retired's Avatar
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    Default

    Keep up the good work webteam. A few malcontents are expected. This forum is an excellent discussion area where us oldsters can hope to pass on our experiences and knowledge to the youngsters coming up.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    mfgentili's Avatar
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    Default

    Overall, I like the way the site is run. The biggest problem I have is the volume of posts. I have a hard time keeping up with them all . It was so much easier back in the beginning. The thing I dislike the most is the petty bickering i.e. volly/career, solid/fog streams, leather/plastic, my way is better than yours, I'm better than you, etc, etc, because it always ends up in a personality conflict.

    The late Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neil, once said, "All politics is local" and that certainly can apply to fire departments and ideas. We are influenced by what we know, and we only know what we experience. That doesn't necessarily mean we are right or wrong, it just means that's the way we do it.

    Others may have a different way to do things. If you think it's a good idea, give it a try. If you don't like the idea, disregard it, but don't knock them or their way. We are all doing this for the same reason, to save lives. Let's help each other do just that.
    Last edited by mfgentili; 03-27-2002 at 07:05 PM.

  10. #10
    District Chief
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    Default

    I am one of the users that was suspended for a few weeks for a post I made. I feel it was an unjust suspension as my comments we based on actual happenings. However, I guess I took a wrong turn when I identified the source since I am a competitor. But never the less, I took it and am now back on and try to be more careful.

    I support the webteam and only ask that all users and infraction be treated equally. I think they should take care in calling someone down for attacking someone without looking at the whole picture. Some topics are so volatile or controversial that no matter how you respond it seems like an attack. I have also been the victim of threatening EMAIL from a competitor over a post I made. I pointed that out when I was suspended.

    Anyway...keep up the work guys. No matter what you feel about me, I support you and feel this is very important. I just feel that the suspension of rights may sometimes happen a bit quickly before everything is taken into account.

    Respectfully
    Stan Mettinger.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  11. #11
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    ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default

    Stay Back 500FT:
    I think I can answer your question.
    It's called notorietythat they will wear like a badge of honor and exploit like a carnie at the ring toss. They will continue to remind us like there is some sort of appeal to their behavior. They will continue to post as if their view is the only one that matters. They will reduce the discussion to a personal level until the referee steps in for the standing eight count.
    OK; some of the kids were bad; they got spanked. Time to learn from it; grow up and lend some value-added to these posts.
    WebTeam; it's your ball and you can take it and go home any time you want to. I would prefer that you stay and do the quality control that you do so well.
    Just my opinion.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Default

    Love the site, love the forums, just wish I could get access to the goddamn chat rooms I still haven't been able to sort out why I keep getting errors everytime I try to access the chat - although this is possibly a good thing, as otherwise I would spend my entire working day on the site, rather than just the two hours it takes to read the forums each day
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  13. #13
    Senior Member

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    Default

    You're doing a great job, especially with the volume of users that are here now.

    Now if we could just get a filter so I didn't have to scroll past a dozen or more Jr FFer posts every day to get to some real discussions
    _________DILLIGAF

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Diane E's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    As one of the "original" people to sign up, these forums and this whole site have grown amazingly well. It makes my day at work go by quicker (if that is at all possible) when I can read and respond to inquires from all over the world......... You can't please all the people all the time.

    Hiring any time soon? I'm looking to relocate to the Beltway!
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Default

    Webteam does a good job.

    It is incredible the volume of posts!

    And let's face it (you know the Dal has to analyze any numbers in front of him...)
    32 ids deleted...
    Probably 10 users with one id...
    Probably 3 users with two ids...
    And one user with 16 or so ids...

    No one can say y'all don't give second, third, fourth, fifth chances...

    Matt

  16. #16
    IACOJ Agitator
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    Default

    overall...good job.

  17. #17
    Member

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    Thumbs up BRETHREN!

    Hmmm, this can’t be right. No one is saying anything bad about the web team. We can’t have this, let me see if I can find something to complain about.
    How about...............nah. Maybe...............nah. OK this...............nope. OK then maybe that...............wrong again.
    Gee, I can't think of a single thing. Oh well, I guess you guy’s are doing a pretty good job after all.
    Peace!

  18. #18
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    joejoe33's Avatar
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    Default

    The Web Team is doing fine in my opinion. Firefighters will be firefighters. As brothers and sisters in the fire service we may not always agree. Having a opinion or point of view is the greatest thing about America and being American.

    Sharing information and opinions can be enlightening and educational. Standing ones ground on ones opinions and beliefs for the most part is done without personal attacks. Discussions both pro and con are part of the forum concept.

    joejoe33

    Comments and opinions are mine and do not represent the agency or IAFF local that I am affiliated with.

  19. #19
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    Wink huh?!

    Can't say that I know what happened in the forums because I haven't been around as much, but I do know that I've never had a problems with this place. This is the best place to get information and experience. I'm glad to have found this place!

    Keep up the awesome work!
    Joel

    Lets never forget the events of 9-11

    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

  20. #20
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    Default

    How many of those banned names belong to Larry?....
    Just kidding, you know we love ya even with your 5000 acre, 100 alarm brush fires. Keep up the good work webteam.

  21. #21
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    Default

    I've noticed that complaints about the Webteam most often come after the first intance of a ban or some such soon after a major influx of new members. For instance, the number of new forum members certainly balloned considerably after Sept. 11th. Recent events on the boards are the first incidents of members being banned and posts closed and removed since then. So what we have are a lot of members unfamiliar with the Webteam's habits and MO on that issue, which in turn leads to the new members raising issues of censorship and the like, and getting their posts removed for it, and around and around we go. Those of us who've been here a while and lived through events like the Great Tumbleweed Conflagration (copyright E299Lt, 2001) and other Larry-related soap operas are a little more well-attuned to where the proverbial line in the sand is, I think. Nothing against the newbies by any means. I just calls em as I sees em.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    crashbgfdchick's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the moderators are doing an okay job. However, I've seen some inconsistency in closing forums and/or kicking out members. And most recently there have been at least two, perhaps three, topics locked, and one removed completely. The one removed, subject- about forum-member's attitudes - seemed okay from what I read. But there must have been something said in between the times I logged on that deemed it necessary to delete the whole thread.

    If any thread got out of line that particularly miffed me, I'd say the forum about the firefighter being charged with manslaughter got completely out of hand. Never, ever have I read such petty name calling from a particular newby forum member (i.e. referring me, even jokingly, as homosexual), among other name calling of other forum members, and undermining the experience and knowledge of every member of this forum. If anyone needed to be thrown out, it was that particular member. This member was most disrespectful of our trade.

    Okay, with that being said...I'd just like to see a little consistency, even if the raw number of discontinued threads is small.

    Thanks for listening.
    Spec. Krista M. Aukeman, United States Army

    Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.
    - Phillips Brooks

  23. #23
    iceman4442
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Great job! Trying to handle the volume of posts that appear here each day must be a royal pain in the a#*!

    Gotta agree with psfb about the chat room; haven't been able to get it to work - but that's probably a good thing!


    Stay safe!

  24. #24
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    Thumbs up Keep up the good work Webteam!

    I think you are doing an excellent job of taking care of these forums, considering how many there are and how many posts there are in each forum.
    Opinions stated are mine only and do not reflect those of my companies.

    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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