1. #1
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    Angry Open Letter to Ryan

    Ryan,

    Earlier this week, I sent you an e-mail after reading your post on this forum regarding delayed ambulance responses. My intent was not to put you down or attack you in any way. Rather, It was to share a few thoughts that might help you in the future. It was my hope, that by sharing some experience with you, you would come to see that your approach to a situation often times determines the outcome. If you look for problems, you will find many. If you look for solutions, You will find them and often will gain support and respect in the process. I further advised you that in your current position as a cadet, that you would be much better served by allowing your officers to deal with the inter-departmental politics. and spend your time training and learning about the fire service.

    I have not received a reply to the e-mail and by your more recent posts on these boards, I see that my advice has fallen on deaf ears. You are not making a very good case for yourself by taking such a bold approach to the people who have indeed been there and done that.

    Your Quote,

    I am 16 and not in the main department but I am a full fledged firefighter by all means! I am certified for exteroir and interior firefighter so please don't say that cadet are not full fledged becasue they are cadets!

    My Reply,


    Are you REALLY this arrogant. Here are a few thoughts,

    1. You MAY be certified. A good lawyer could challenge that on the basis of your age. In any case, the certification is not worth the paper it is printed on because the LAW says that you SHALL NOT participate in activities that would place you in an IDLH atmosphere.
    As an officer, I could be held criminally negligent by allowing you to participate in interior firefighting operations. Regardless of whether or not you are injured, The law allows for stiff penalties for violations of the child labor laws.

    2. How do I justify the act of sending a fully qualified, certified, and experienced firefighter into a dangerous situation with a kid who is minimally trained, questionably certified, and has zero experience. My answer is that I simply wouldn't do it. I wouldn't go inside with a 16 year old. I couldn't ask somebody else to do the same. Routine calls can go to Sh*t in a big hurry. The people inside need to be able to look out for themselves and each other. You are NOT there yet.

    3. I have to wonder about the structure and leadership of the cadet program in your department. Is the fact that you are on this forum spouting all your "wisdom" a good reflection on you or your department? I'm not sure it is. Clearly there is a good purpose for the cadet/junior/explorer programs in departments across the country. But the good can be lost when there is a lack of guidance. The teenage chest thumping aside, all of the training in the world is useless without the wisdom and maturity to apply it properly and at the right time. From the tone of the recent posts, Maturity is clearly lacking.

    Your Quote,


    I think a rookie/probie are the same rank as a cadet if not lower!

    My Reply,

    The cadet/junior/explorer is on the scene of an incident in a limited support role ONLY!! The incident commander determines their function at a specific incident. The IC may determine that there is no purpose served in having them on the scene and may order their removal from that scene at any time. Within the scope of their assignment, they may operate to the level of their training but always under the direct supervision of a firefighter. They are not to represent themselves as firefighters to the public. The cadet has NO authority to give instructions/orders to anyone.


    We have junior members of our dept. The basic ground rules for responding are as follows.

    The junior may ride the apparatus only when the space allows. They may not displace a firefighter on any response. If a seat is available the officer MAY allow them to ride. If they are on the apparatus and a senior firefighter arrives, They give up the seat with no discussion or debate.

    The junior may not use any type of warning light on their POV. All traffic laws must be obeyed.

    They are limited to support functions outside of the hot zone and must be supervised by a senior firefighter.

    There are some incidents that juniors are not to participate in. Typically Haz-Mats and medicals. The decision belongs to the IC and is not subject to negotiation.

    There are other rules but you get the idea.


    In closing, You need to take a good look at the image you are projecting on these forums. Many people on the forums have a great deal of experience and knowledge to pass along. You should consider the possibility that you could learn a great deal from them. Your sign-off on your post says that you are a proud cadet. YOU SHOULD BE. You are affiliated with the fire service. Why shouldn't you be proud.
    But, you need to keep in mind that you are the new guy and there are a lot of older folks that think that you should listen and learn rather than spend every waking moment telling everyone how much you know. Your turn will come to make the decisions and teach the lessons, but only if you are around to do so. Your current attitude is a problem that needs to be resolved ASAP if you are going to stay around the fire service for very long. I hope you are able to change your approach and be a real benefit to your department and the fire service. Time will tell.

    Good Luck

    Jim

  2. #2
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    AMEN!!!

    Please Ryan think about this....good luck
    Stay Safe! Truckman38 Firefighter/EMT
    Proud member IACOJ
    *Never go anywhere without SCBA, a tool and a plan!
    *Never forget our fallen!

  3. #3
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    Excellent post Jim.

    My concern for how his department feels about him spouting off is such that I have made an inquiry. If this young gentleman is lost in a fire what does that say about those responsible for him?

    I believe he should be encouraged to pursue his goals. However, in spite of protests to the contrary, his safety is an issue. Perhaps someone from his department could provide information on just what the cadets role is in that department. Does anyone from Maryland know what the laws are with respect to this?

  4. #4
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    I also agree with Jim's post.

    Ryan, do keep asking as many questions as you can and wish. No one is "down" on you for asking the questions, it's more about the answers you are trying to give. Asking questions and listening to the answers are how we all learn, whether we have 1 month experience or 35 years experience.

    Best of luck in your quest for knowledge.

  5. #5
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    To be frank with you, how is someone that I don NOT know going to try and tell me how to run my life, it is not happening, the only reason that you jump on my case is being I am a cadet, and I know that I know more then some people in the main department!
    In closing, You need to take a good look at the image you are projecting on these forums. Many people on the forums have a great deal of experience and knowledge to pass along. You should consider the possibility that you could learn a great deal from them.
    The same goes for them, they cam learn just as much from me as I can learn from them (the older ones)!

    Are you REALLY this arrogant.
    By you telling me that you are being ignorant.
    The cadet/junior/explorer is on the scene of an incident in a limited support role ONLY!! The incident commander determines their function at a specific incident. The IC may determine that there is no purpose served in having them on the scene and may order their removal from that scene at any time. Within the scope of their assignment, they may operate to the level of their training but always under the direct supervision of a firefighter. They are not to represent themselves as firefighters to the public. The cadet has NO authority to give instructions/orders to anyone.
    Ok that is your department, obvoisly your department and my department are two different departments.

    How do I justify the act of sending a fully qualified, certified, and experienced firefighter into a dangerous situation with a kid who is minimally trained, questionably certified, and has zero experience. My answer is that I simply wouldn't do it. I wouldn't go inside with a 16 year old. I couldn't ask somebody else to do the same. Routine calls can go to Sh*t in a big hurry. The people inside need to be able to look out for themselves and each other. You are NOT there yet.
    You got it all wrong, I never said a cadet should go in and the thing with the rookie having less power then the cadet, I said that becasue the rookie is not certified and me being certified in 3 different area of the fire service then I would be doing the rookie a favor by going in with him because he is not certified!
    Your current attitude is a problem that needs to be resolved ASAP if you are going to stay around the fire service for very long. I hope you are able to change your approach and be a real benefit to your department and the fire service. Time will tell.
    My attittude will not determine how long a stay around my abilities will determine that.

    TO BOX ALARM:
    Your concern with the fire department feeling about me, has nothing to do with you! I could understand if you were a member of my department! And another thing cadets in my department are not allowed to go in the structure, so how would I get lost. How is my safety an issue?
    If you want the laws, what laws are you looking for? I can tell them to you.
    Last edited by Station7Cadet; 03-29-2002 at 01:02 PM.

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