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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Pittsburgh,Pa
    Posts
    2

    Default Being Iaff And Volunteer

    I AM A FULL TIME FIREFIGHER AND MEMBER OF THE IAFF.
    ALSO I AM A MEMBER OF A VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY IN WHICH
    I STARTED AS A JUNIOR F/F MANY YEARS AGO.I WORK AS A FEDERAL
    FIREFIGHTER(RANK:LT) 80 MILES AWAY FROM MY HOME AND HAVE TRIED
    A FEW TIMES TO GET A PAID JOB CLOSER TO HOME BUT HAVE TOO MANY
    YEARS OF FEDERAL SERVICE TO GIVE UP.I HAVE BEEN ALWAYS IN SUPPORT OF BOTH PAID & VOL. MY COMMUNITY CANNOT AFFORD A FULL TIME F/F BUT THE COMMUNITY NEXT TO ME HAS 3 FULL TIME F/F AND ARE IAFF. I SEEMS THAT THESE 3 MEMBERS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME BEING A FUL TIME F/F AND A
    VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF. SOME PROBLEMS STARTED TO ARISE AFTER
    THEIR PROBATIONARY PERIOD WAS UP AND I AS A IAFF MEMBER DIDN'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN.I HAVE HAD A LITTLE PART IN HELPING THEM GET THEIR
    IAFF CHARTER STARTED,I TOLD THEM THEY NEED REPRESENTATION TO PROTECT THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. I DIDN'T KNOW THAT WOULD COME BACK TO HAUNT ME LATER. THEY FILED A CHARGES ON ME THROUGH THE IAFF AND SAID THAT MYSELF AND MY FIRE CO. WAS A RIVAL ORGANIZATION AND I WAS HEADING UP MEMBERS OF MY FIRE CO.TO HELP ELIMATE THEIR JOBS.(NOT TRUE) THERE IS TO MANY THINGS TO EXPLAIN IN HERE,BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH COMPUTER SPACE HA.HA. I AM PROUD OF BOTH ORGANIZATIONS I BELONG TO AND WILL NOT GIVE UP EITHER.I WANT TO KNOW HOW SOME OF YOU OUT THERE LIKE ME THAT ARE BOTH PAID AND VOL. I THOUGHT "BROTHERS" AREN'T TO FILE CHARGES ON ANOTHER "BROTHER".THE IAFF DISMISSED THE CHARGES ON ME
    AND KNOW 6 MONTHS LATER IT'S COMING UP AGAIN AND I HAVE STAYED AWAY FROM ANY NEWSPAPER COMMENTS OR DOING ANYTHING CIVIL AGAINST THEM. BUT
    THEY DON'T WANT THIS TO DROP.HOW DO YOU GUYS FEEL ABOUT FELLOW F/F STIRRING THE%$#@ UP IN THE IAFF AND VOL.WE ALL ARE HEAR TO DO A JOB AND STAY SAFE DOING THIS. THEIR JOB TITLE IS FIRE DRIVER NOT EVEN A F/F THEY DON'T DO ANY FIREFIGHTING ACTIVITY BUT DRIVE.I AM NOT KNOCKING DRIVERS/ENGINEERS BUT I WAS ABLE TO PROGRESS IN BOTH ORGANIZATIONS AND GET PROMOTIONS.THEY WON'T MOVE UP AT ALL.I CONTINUE
    TO FURTHER MY EDUCATION IN FIREFIGHTING AND THEY DO NOT.I GUESS I HAVE THE BEST OF TWO WORLDS. I HOPE MORE F/F OUT THERE HAVE THE SAME FEELINGS I HAVE AND NEED HELP IN STOPPING SO CALLED "BROTHERS" FROM HURTING MORE F/F IN IAFF AND THE VOLUNTEERS. I HAVE NEVER FORGOT WHERE I CAME FROM.WITH 19YRS CONTINOUS SERVICE IN THE VOLUNTEERS,6 YRS AIR FORCE FIRE DEPT. AND 10 YRS CONTINUOUS FEDERAL FIRE FIGHTER AND 10 MEMBER OF IAFF.THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME READING MY NOVEL I HOPE SOME F/F OUT THERE RESPOND TO THIS.STAY SAFE!! JIM FROM PENNSYLVANIA


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    11

    Default

    You're best bet would be to "stay low and beat the dealer."
    Make yourself anonymous to these guys and don't respond to assists to that particular company. Hopefully it will blow over and they will forget about you.
    We really don't want a repeat of the PG County controversy here in Pa.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Bowie, MD USA
    Posts
    73

    Thumbs up BRETHREN!

    Jim Ė I hope you checked out the information I e-mailed to you. I disagree with xchief. If you are doing what you feel is right, you should not have to hide from anyone. I also donít believe it is going to blow over until it is settled, one way or the other. As for a repeat of the PG County controversy, too late, this has already spread and is taking place all over the country. It has even jumped the boarder into Canada.

    I encourage you to write to your congressman, the Honorable Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania and let him know it is happening in his State. Congressman Weldon has already made a speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives regarding this issue. His speech can be read here..

    This action also goes against what the President of the United States is proposing to all Americans. He specifically points out for people to volunteer for Police, Fire Departments and other emergency organizations.

    You may also want to think about notifying the leadership of the base you work at. I understand the Commander at Andrews Air Force Base wasnít too happy when he found out what was happening to his personnel. They are treading on Federal domain here.

    What ever it is you do, do it because you feel itís right and not what someone else wants you to do. Good luck.

    Peace!
    John

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA U.S.A.
    Posts
    10

    Default Here we go again!!

    JIM,


    This is Ed Werner, you sure do get around alot huh? Well I heard YOU call carney over the radio recently about having a "letter" for him. Then this **** starts up around here again?!?! Then it is on here?!?! You really think we are that damn stupid?I know YOU have been the one to stirr this **** up again. For those reading, here is a copy/paste of my response to a post almost exactly like this one on another forum. It will just BEGIN to explain what has gone on. What else you gotta say now?

    As posted on another forum:

    >>>Hmmmm where to start? Lets get names out there. This is Ed Werner, a Bellevue FIREFIGHTER.This is my first post.

    "Brother" Hughes, why are you so elusive when you supposively have nothing to hide? The problems between us are to be union matters, not shown to the world. However, you have confirmed what people have been telling us by posting what you have said here. I am sure that Mr. Taylor 4th District Vice President will be interested to see this, as well as your local president. And yes, I did talk to Nick Davila recently also. If the allogations and conversations weren't true, why have you not confronted us?

    Why haven't you cleared your name?

    Sure, the same thing could be said about us and the Citizen reports, but if you really believe what you read in that local rag, you have more problems then just union and fire department issues. Yes, we didn't reply, because we are PROFESSIONALS. We did so as to avoid a whole Paid/Vol. war! The trap was set by Amrhein (former Chief, possibly Kusserow was involved also, among others), it was partly retribution for that CO call ****up, yeah, where THEY (108 vols) ****ed up and were looking to unload some heat.....unfortunately some of this ties all together. We didn't take the bait. Why even bother? The volunteers make it the issue of pay be known, not us. I did it for free also, both as a Vol. Firefighter, and a Vol. EMT. So? You want a cookie or something?

    You have threatened to give up your union card, why not just do it? Like someone else told you, I will help you cut it up. We are the ones whom are willing to work with the vollies, you have your facts backwards as usual. You hear second hand one-sided information from people whom have personal vendettas (and have had for 3 years now). You know of the "clicks". Kusserow, Carney, Fisher, Normie and other "sheep" whom could be led off a cliff if they thought it would please their chief, officers, or members of his circle. No matter the consequences to others lives, both professionally and personally. No matter if it hurts our capabilities as firefighters, or as a fire department/company or goes against any basic rules of teamwork or teambuilding. Morale? Who cares, right? Some of 103's and 108 (vols unfortunately) seem to "get off" on this rumor mill thing. All the while, guys push their agenda, providing one side to the PUBLIC no less, and ultimately destroy once again any chance of being somewhat normal, productive, and professional fire companies. When I say companies, yeah, I do mean the volunteers. I am sorry, but if volunteers are the ones doing it, thats how I have to call it. I won't play games, I have integrity, unlike many (damn near all) around here. I call it like I see it. I see it as personnel issues, if you want to label this as a paid/vol issue so be it. We didn't. We have been the ones to keep this behind closed doors, keep this professional. NOT YOU. Am I anti vollie? Of course not. The real beginning to much of this was because we didn't want to volunteer where we worked. We actually had a federal guideline that we had shown them, stating that it was certainly in violation of Federal Labor Standards Act to do so. We also knew the union has a bylaw, and could see why that was a rule in the first place. To avoid situations such as these. Hell, the borogh solicitor even agreed with us at one point. Thats when Amrheins (x vol chief) vendetta started. Then some sheep jumped on that bandwagon.

    Lets compare facts shall we?

    --We do not train with the vols anymore, haven't for over 2 yrs now. Your company has supported that descision? Why?!?! You could have had input into the situation, especially a man in your position. --You are CLOSELY associated with people whom have made it a mission to destroy us, however, you do nothing to help deter them. Why? You allowed union buisness to enter your volunteer company and local politicians who in turn took it to PUBLIC meetings where it is commonly known the press attends. YOU brought the info to their attention. YOU have continued (obviously) to stirr the **** pot in hopes you can beat these charges (which they will be official soon) And to top it off, you have done it.....how shall I say, "north boros style" Typical.When you have been part of conversations, the nature of which are about eliminating the paid positions, by said people above, you have done NOTHING to help. Hell, you didn't even tell us. A final kick in the balls is that you offer to help/attend these courses. Even when you know their intentions. Why? We could have approached people, face to face, straightened things out. If we walked away enemies, then so be it, at least I wouldn't be reaching for the knife in the middle of my back.

    Are those the actions of a union brother?

    The union saved many Federal FF jobs, the BRAC coming down on bases, they fought for YOU. For YOUR JOB. However you say things like if given the choice, you would cut your card up? Well then do it, save me some paperwork, and you the trip to the trial board. Your councilman and firefighter/member Jay Haughn came to a Bellevue Borough meeting and told them they supported the volunteers, and were very clear about just them, not us. He even said they support the decision to not allow the "paid" guys respond into your community? Still no support from you, or your company. No retractions. Nothing. So we are looking to pick up some more manning, so what? We never said to eliminate the vols. NEVER Our daylight crews are pathetic. You know that. We don't even have the basic compliment of men to fight a room and contents properly between 103 and 108. However when the officers and chiefs feel that thir little "kingdoms" are being threatened, you immediately claim that we are anti-vollie. Wrong as usual. Yeah, we need good leadership. We need someone accountable. Is that too much to ask? How can someone like Kusserow be accountable when all he has to do is threaten to quit? He even stopped attending the public safety meetings. Refused to meet with us. Almost got countless residents hurt (by the grace of god not though) and even put himself and other FF's in DANGER. Still, nothing done. Sure we will push for a paid chief. If logic prevails, we have a damn good shot too. I will end with, this could be a place that could lead the pittsburgh area into a new era, with both paid and vol. doing things RIGHT. Its ashame **** like this gets more attention then failing rosters, incompetancy, training, response procedures, updating equipment, etc. This whole huge response, and I haven't even begun....


    --Ed
    I.A.F.F. Local 4014
    Secretary/Steward

    P.S. And yet another link to send to the union leaders, we will see what they think about this ****.

    And our local president's comments:

    >>>Hey Jim this is Kevin , professional Firefighter in Bellevue for the rest of you and local president. I can't believe you have resorted to this level of bull ****.... I have been a friend I thought for about 11 yrs. Before and shortly after we were accepted into the IAFF, which you encouraged us to do, I really thought we could count on your support. Obviously not. I really can't figure out why, considering you always said how screwed up things here in Bellevue were and how the union would assist us in some much needed changes. This double-talk has caught up with you, and if you stood by your word from back then we would not be discussing this matter. Do you remember the day when you were up [108firehouse] here saying how you would give up your union status if the union interferred with your vol. activities? You sounded believable then. Your time to choose has past. I don't see you supporting us now. If you didn't notice, you have obviously become the type of person you used to complain about. You follow them in the hopes that you will be accepted even if you know what they are doing is wrong. This is sad, because with your training and experience you know what is right. I know the real reason Jim why you have not supported us, and that is so you would be liked by all the people who elect you as Avalon's Assist. Chief. You talk as though you have the full support of your membership, but I have had more than a few of 103 firefighters approach me and lend THEIR support, with them knowing the circumstances around this situation, one of which is a recently hired paid firefighter whom you verbally attacked for "going out" with me a few weeks ago. You and your chronies have also singled out members whom you suspect talk with us, and have come down on them for just being our friends? What is wrong with you? You seem as obsessive as Chuck Amrhein, another person you thought was an ******* when we talked, even referred to him as the "pope" like everyone else. This is the same person that is now and has been after our positions since we disagreed with him. Even when we brought these allogations to you via your local president, you continued to defile MY name, the reputation of other local members, and the I.A.F.F. in general. You accused me of spearheading this whole thing, when it was made clear that my local was in agreement, and in fact was a unanimous vote. You think this is a big joke, posting our union letters all over your volunteer firehouse, instead of approaching and discussing this face to face. Fact is, you have been the one to twist things, thinking they would benefit you. But you are really just digging your own grave as a firefighter (both vol and paid), as a FRIEND, and as a union member. I will say that I DO NOT want to eliminate volunteers here or anywhere else. I will say, that there is a definate need for more manpower, and since volunteerism is a dying breed, the only other choice would be to pay someone, either full or part time to help with the horrible manpower here. We have 10 active guys total, how can you ignore that? Our average age has to be in the 40's, with only a few being in their twenties. Where is long term planning? I know both sides, maybe thats why I know that alot of times just counting heartbeats at the firehall or scene is all that seems to matter. But how many of those "hearbeats" can actually perform any duty needed at the scene? Out of ten, maybe three or four....five maybe? Lets not dwell on the obvious, but the issues at hand, we should be working together, training together, and you guys need to drop your egos, and allow all organizations as a team tackle problems and fix them for firefighters safety, and the public whom we serve. I will end this chapter in saying this wasn't meant to be personal, you will not lose your job because it isn't a closed shop where you work. You made it that way, if the people whom you work with look at you differently, maybe its because they now are finding out the truth, and not the crap you have been stuffing down their throats for years. Maybe its time they found out the real story. (We do have have more examples, but we will spare you for right now....) Have a good day,

    Kevin
    I.A.F.F. Local 4014
    President

  5. #5
    Administrator
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