1. #1
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    Question "Pride" Good & Bad

    Good Pride verses Bad Pride

    How many of you out there have ever run into problems with pride in the fire service. No I don’t mean the type of pride that makes you stick out your chest when the stars and stripes goes by, or pride in a job well done, I mean the type that gets in the way of progress. The type of pride that gets in the way during the operations of the department such as “I don’t need any mutual aid I can handle it” or “We don’t need charity grant money from anybody” or “I designed that truck and its better than any other truck in the county” the kind of pride that costs time, money, and possibly lives. In the volunteer fire service there seems to be a lot of pride problems. I don’t know how it is in the career service but maybe someone could enlighten me as to how it is in paid departments.
    Pride seems to affect the operations of some departments and hurt the progress because one member does not like the fact that another member is doing something they didn’t or couldn’t when they had a chance. Certain members love to criticize what goes on in a department. Examples would be former officers that don’t like the fact that a new officer is surpassing their record at doing something, or existing officers that get passed up for promotion, or members that are not selected for committee work They sit back and complain about all the stuff that goes on but never join in to help because their pride will not let them see there might be a better way other than their way or that another member may be better at doing things.
    If any other members out there have had this experience or are in similar situations I would like to know how you resolved it or how you are working to resolve it. I like to call it internal friction loss because it hurts the department’s forward flow.

  2. #2
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    PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Do you mean the type of pride that causes departments to literally kill the citizens who they swore to protect by not calling the closest mutual aid companies because they might do something better than you? How do you solve it? I have no idea. Communication has always been the best way to break down barriers caused by pride - but we all know how well the majority of firemen communicate - just ask their wives.

    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. - Proverbs 16:18

    Stay Safe

  3. #3
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    Question PRIDE?

    Thats one way to put it. Stupitity would be more
    like it. We I joined 13 years ago I was told that
    one man can't change the department. I didnt like
    the way we did a lot of things. but by pushing and
    proding for a long time I did manage to get things
    changed. For the most part I have found that everyone
    has a opinion about everything. Its a matter of chosesing
    you battels wisely and getting opinion on your side In paid departments the officers
    make the desisions about new truck and so forth. The
    ranks take what the get like it or not. The may or may not
    ask for input for the firefighters, but usually go with what
    the offices say what they fell is important. Something else
    you need to remember, is that for the most part their trucks
    and equipment is no frills. You will find that many Vol depts
    have more and somtimes better equipment than some paid depts.
    But in Vol depts you need to think and suggest ideas and do it
    in a polital way. bring you ideas up with others and if you can
    get other to agree, bring up your ideas on the meeting floor.
    Don't try to ram it down thier throughts - it will back fire on
    you and they will not listen to what you have to say the next time.
    do it slowly and have patients they won't be in charge for ever.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
    Gods Speed to our Troops!

    If you can't stand the heat, Get out of my way !!!
    MEMBER OF I.A.C.O.J.

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    DFD9 is right..there's no such thing as "bad pride", it's stupidity...and unfortunately, it happens in career departments as well. A few months ago, there was a fatal gas explosion in the town of Hopkinton. two small children were buried in the rubble, and my department was called to the scene, as we have confined space and trecnh rescue capabilities. There is a consortium of FD's in our fire district that formed their own tech rescue team.

    While operating under the orders of the incident commander, there was a "safety chief" from another department (which happens to be part of the aforementioned consortium) who constantly harrased our personnel, warning them not to "freelance". The Captain of the our crew told him repeatedly that we were not freelancing, we were following the orders of the IC and to talk to him about it if he had a problem. The Captain (it wasn't me, if it were I would have told him to shove it where the sun doesn't shine the first time he started to harrass our personnel!) went up to him and asked him what his problem was. The "safety chief" told him "if I had my way, you guys wouldn't be here...all we wanted was your equipment!

    The Captain then told him "if that's the way you feel, we'll pull out..with our equipment...I'll go tell the IC what an (expeletive deleted) you are and why we are leaving...

    It's funny how the "safety chief" backed off after that and kind of faded into the crowd of jakes waiting for assignments.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 10-16-2002 at 11:30 AM.
    ‎"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

  5. #5
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    Captain Gonzo, Pride is one of them seven deadlies isn't it? It can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing when it is substituted for sound judgement.

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    There is no room in the fire service for the kind of pride that we are discussing. Firefighting is team work! I am a paid career firefighter as well as a Chief in a vollie dept. So I see both ends of the spectrum. The only type of pride that should be displayed is positive pride, pride that you did the best possible job that you can. If that involves calling in someone "better" than you, so be it. If by doing so helps the situation, then you are doing your job. Then you can enjoy the feeling of self pride knowing that you did the best that you could do.
    If someone has more knowledge, better equipment or a better idea, I would take it in a second knowing that I did all I could do by using these resources. Everyone benifits in the long run. Only then can you enjoy the feeling of true pride.

  7. #7
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    Default Departmental Pride

    We "Pride" ourselves by taking care of our equipment, committment to training, and utilizing the resources available to us if needed.
    Sure we have our problems, but when the alarm sounds we function as a unit. You cannot maintain Community Support if you don't earn their Respect.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member

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    Default enough of this hero stuff!!

    In his November Rural Command column Larry Davis’s cites a study performed in the early 1970s by the International City Management Association. This effort assessed the value of rural fire departments in preventing property loss. Their finding for small rural communities (populations less then 5000) was that fire loss would be the same whether or not the town had a fire department! Financially the citizens would actually be penalized, in that they would be paying for the support of the fire department through taxes and the premiums of fire insurance.

    In an honest and candid reflection, who among the members of our state’s volunteer departments could deny this is the situation for their department? The great majorities of volunteer fire fighters do not join or continue to be associated with their department to obtain and maintain the skills that prescribe a professional firefighter or company officer. They are members for the same reasons others in their community join the Kiwanis or Rotary, or organize a social club. For the desire to belong to a group, or have a place to join in a regular card game!

    In the judgment of this writer, this is in the moral and ethic sense fraud. Especially in the atmosphere produced from the Trade Towers, to assume the mantle of “firefighter”, to be one of your town’s “bravest” and not make the efforts necessary to obtain and maintain the skills that prescribe a professional firefighter or company officer is to actively practice deceit upon their community, upon their fellow members, and upon themselves. This holds immensely more so for a department’s officers whom practice the “wet finger” approach to leadership. This occurs when the Chief refuses to risk his popularity by mandating and supporting the rigorous training, SOPs and other components that is necessary for their organization to truly earn the title “Fire Department”. Then there is the issue of legal fraud that is committed when the requisite paperwork is filed with the various state’s pension or retirement funds. When a half hour of watching a video becomes two hours of training. When all members are credited for participating in a training session when in truth half of them sat around and played cards!

    Here in my state, the “heartland”, in the small towns where virtue is said to reside, in this country we have this Great Lie. It smolders, just like the hold over fire, waiting to claim its next home, or business, or life.

  9. #9
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    Default What a loser!!!

    Hey Mr. badkingwhatever, have you ever fought a fire? I really question whether you really are a member of the "brotherhood?" What prompted the utter nonsense that you spew? The volunteer fire service do their jobs every day to protect the people of their towns. To generalize that all dept's protecting less than 5,000 people is worthless is stupid!!! GET LOST!!!

    _____
    Gone, but not Forgotten - Our Fallen

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    hit a a nerve? The brotherhood that Ido not belong to would the Brotherhood of Lies.

  11. #11
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    *sigh* Here we go again ...

    Badkingjohn, You are about to open up a can of worms that you can't handle. My advice is to quit while you are ahead.
    Another lifetime volunteer proud to serve my community.

  12. #12
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    when the tones drop, ego must be put aside.

    i much rather lose a house then a life.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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    Originally posted by Reyalsnomed
    *sigh* Here we go again ...

    Badkingjohn, You are about to open up a can of worms that you can't handle. My advice is to quit while you are ahead.

    Reyalsnomed and everybody else,

    I think we are being 'hosed' here. This guy has put the same message in another post, and probably a few more. Got the feeling that we have somebody here hoping to jerk our chains. I'd suggest ignoring it, it's worked in the past.

    The Doc Is Out Now.

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