Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    25

    Default No confidence in new officer

    We just found out last night at our station that the chief appointed a new Lt. This person has been an officer in the past. Only 2 current members (myself and the chief) have worked beside this person in the past, both about 15 yrs ago. All of the other members know this person only as a firefighter/engineman. I know for a fact that this person is incapable of running a scene. I once was on a line with him and he bailed out on us!
    My question is, Do I voice my objection now or do I let him fail on his own? My gut tells me to address this with the chief and I have mentioned in passing before that I thought it was a bad choice. What to do?
    I personally don't think that he would purposely put anyone's safety in jeopardy but I'm still leary.
    BTW, this person is someone that I consider a friend, so how do I tactfully bring it up so as not to hurt his feelings and jeopardize our friendship?
    Any help would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default 2 cents...

    What I would do is let the person carry out their
    job responsibilites and if they fail, let them
    do it on their own. When or if mistakes are made,
    document, document, document.
    Then if a time comes to make a case, lawsuit or what
    ever, you have the material to back any actions
    needed.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber dsblev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    62

    Default

    As we all know that we are in a business that has huge consequences if a mistake has been made. If this person really is unable to lead a fire scene then he should not be in command. A person that is "freaked" to go inside might not mean that he will be a person to make mistakes outside. At this point I would announce my concerns to the chief as that, concerns. Tell the chief that from previous actions the person in question might not be a good command figure and suggest a probationary period where he works with another lt until they find out if he is truly qualified.

    As for this person being a friend, if he finds out that you have talked to the chief, which he shouldn't, let him know that you are looking out for the safety of your him and your fellow ff's.

    Remember the basics:
    Look out for: 1. You
    2. Your partner and fellow ff's
    3. Victims and bystanders

    You have a right to look out for yourself first and if you don't feel comfortable with this man as an lt, then you need to voice your concerns.
    ----------------------------
    David S. Blevins

    "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

    ~Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber e3med53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fergus Falls, MN
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Thats a tough situation! Has he had any additional training since his last command role? Any chance he may have improved? If he is as incapable of leading as you think, waiting until he makes a mistake could cause an injury or worse.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
    Posts
    5,636

    Default WHAT?????

    Waiting for a mistake to be made would be the biggest mistake that you will ever make!
    Face this problem head on. Talk to your friend as a friend first. Ask him if he has gotten over his jitters and if he feels capable of running an incident. Mano-a-mano. If you still have concerns, then and only then; that is, after you have talked to your friend first, should you discuss it with the chief. I think that you can keep your friendship AND have someone that you feel comfortable with as a fellow officer.
    What's the worst that could happen? We all know the answer to that one!
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,645

    Default

    Did I read correctly? 15 yrs ago, when you were on a line with the guy he bailed. You are going to hold that against him? 15 years ago I did a few things that guys probably did not appreciate but I would have a hard time with someone holding me back because of that. Lots of people learn from their mistakes. How has this guys performance been for the last 15 years since? If I read wrong, then I am at fault and apologize, but if I read correct, I would not worry about a guy because of 1 decision 15 years ago.

    At the very least, like ChiefReason said, talk with the guy.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    780

    Default

    I would think that the chief must have felt he was the right man for the job. Assuming your chief has his head on straight he must feel the guy is capable.

    This sounds like the situation described in another current thread so I will ask the same question here.

    Would a promotional exam process be more appropriate than electing or appointing an officer?
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  8. #8
    Member RdRunnr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New York/New Mexico a 5,000 mile commuter
    Posts
    55

    Default

    In answer to Duffman, yea there are places where popularity and smozzing get you to the position, however unpracticle. Having said that, I can remember quite a few people who interacted at their first in a improper fashion........but their first only, they turned out to be real slashers. I'd say(only an opinion) give the person a shot to see if things have gotten better experience-wise. If not, you can do two things, depending on the sophistication of your Dept......#1)Bail and take up residence at another location (station) or....#2) Talk to someone, first the person themselves, then upper command if things look like they did 15 yrs ago. Remember even the best of the firefighters have a bad day where a one room job may create a hurdle to them. No-one I've ever met has been perfect every day or night I worked with them.....and I'm sure I can be included in the scheme of things also.
    "All gave some......Some gave all!"
    Lest we forget.........9/11/01
    "Former Senior Member"
    RESCUEDAWG----FDNYRR

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Bones, to address your comment on 15 yrs. Yes it was about 15 yrs ago that he bailed out on the line. He was a Capt. then with 15 yrs in already (he recently celebrated 30 yrs) Because of that incident and a few others, he was demoted to LT immediately after that fire.

    For the last 12 yrs or so, he was demoted from Lt to FF3 because of his inability to lead. The chief's since then have not had the confidence in him again to lead.
    I did talk to the chief last night about his choice and he told me that he was so ****ed off at this guy for undermining him and whining to the higher ups in the department (career chiefs) that he decided to shut him up for a while by promoting him and "giving him enough rope to hang himself" I don't really agree with this tactic because some of the career personnel at our station have already put in transfer request since they heard this news (3 days). This really sucks because we will be losing people that everyone gets along with (except the new LT). I just don't know how this is gonna turn out.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Gloversville New York USA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    hey duffman,
    I think that a promotional exam is definetely better than a popularity contest for promoting people. However, I think that this should be only part of the process. Alot of people can study and do well on an exam. I think that a persons past preformance on and off the fire ground should be taken into consideration. Years of expirence should count as long as the person with, lets say, 20 yrs on the job has gotten 20 yrs. of expirence, not 1 yr of expirence 20 times. Has the candidate taken any Officer development courses in preparation for his/her promotion. Has the candidate kept current with his FF training by attending classes, seminars, etc. What has the Department done to prepare candidates for promotion? Are the candidates just thrown into the position because they scored well on a test, or does the Department offer Officer training programs that prepare people to do the job. Finally (Chiefs don't yell at me!!) I think that the selection of a person to become an Officer should not be just the Chiefs decision. Although the Chief may have the final say, I think that a panel made up of other officers, union personnel, training personnel and even Firefighters should evaluate each candidate by looking at his/her accomplishments, credentials and interviewing the candidates. Then they should submit there recommendations to the Chief or other appointing authority. Appointing someone to get them off your back is unacceptable. Lets hope this new Officer doesn't get himself or others hurt/killed. Good Luck and stay safe!

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    780

    Default

    I think that a promotional exam is definetely better than a popularity contest for promoting people. However, I think that this should be only part of the process.
    bc3batt,

    I suggested a promotional exam process. What I meant was a written exam, oral interview, tactical simulation, and review of past performance. I agree that a written exam alone would not suffice. That would be just as bad as an election, maybe worse.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Gloversville New York USA
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Originally posted by Duffman


    bc3batt,

    I suggested a promotional exam process. What I meant was a written exam, oral interview, tactical simulation, and review of past performance. I agree that a written exam alone would not suffice. That would be just as bad as an election, maybe worse.
    Duffman, -- We are both on the same page withthis topic. I am sometimes frustrated by the process that is used (at least in some of the Dept's I am familiar with). I was merely offering some suggestions on the process that you had mentioned.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    873

    Default

    We dont appoint officers, one must complete courses and meet certain requirements in order to qualify for promotion. In reality it takes 20 years to reach Lt. No one lasts in this job for 20 years if they don't know what they are doing.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    The other Washington
    Posts
    255

    Default

    Originally posted by engine61
    I did talk to the chief last night about his choice and he told me that he was so ****ed off at this guy for undermining him and whining to the higher ups in the department (career chiefs) that he decided to shut him up for a while by promoting him and "giving him enough rope to hang himself"
    E-61....

    Your problems far exceed the promotion of this Lieutenant. You have a Chief that uses the "Squint" method of problem solving. (The bigger the problem, the tighter he shuts his eyes). Now you may like and trust this Chief, but believe me, anyone who would pull this crap does not have the best interest of their department, or personnel, in mind.

    If you truly think this Lt. (your friend) is a safety liability, start working toward improving the situation for the future. Set up criteria for requirements of your officers (certifications and classes, not years in service). Make future positions part of a competitive testing process, and set a minimum bar of acceptance.

    I would start with re-testing for a Chief.

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    SUN TZU

  15. #15
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,645

    Default

    Engine61 -
    This really sucks
    Says it all.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Afcrapistan
    Posts
    337

    Default

    Bailed 15 yrs ago?!?

    30 Years of Service!?!

    How old is this guy?

    Might not sound relevant...but it is.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    25

    Default New Officer

    Jatkins, He is approx. 48 yrs old. What does it really matter though?

    I agree with most of you that the chief has issues all by himself, but that is a whole different issue (won't get into it here). Most of the people I have talked to at the station are going to take a wait and see attitude with the new officer. They all have formed their own opinions on this, and not all of us are on the same page, so we are jsut going to watch each other's backs and hope for the best. For now.

  18. #18
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    I come from The Land Down Under!
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    This is the problem when Officer positions are filled by the Chief or others, with no obvious selection criteria.

    Having come from a department exactly like that, it is incredibly frustrating to see these "Officers" stumble their way through incidents, meetings, training, etc., when you know dman well that they are there not for their ability!!

    All departments should have selection criteria and goals to achieve for promotion. I've suffered from this problem because I'm not a "yes man" to the key people in the department. Because of that, I've been passed over numerous times....

    Put those in that have earned the right and have the ability....
    Luke

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
    Posts
    5,636

    Default A step backwards.

    61:
    If you are accurate with your chief's response to this issue of appointing a questionable person to the rank of lieutenant, then it won't be the lieutenant that has the problem. It will be the fire department as a whole. If the chief said what he said, then he was merely copping out for what was already proving to be a very unpopular appointment. This won't end his problems; it will compound them exponentially.
    Officers should have an ability to lead; to command the respect of their men. They should be a teacher, bringing the young firefighters along under their experienced and watchful eye. An officer should do everything they can to support the goals of the fire department.
    In this case, it will be the fire department supporting the lieutenant while he receives on-the-job training so he can on-the-job fail.
    Pray that no one is hurt or killed in the meantime. Does the word "Lairdsville" mean anything to anyone here? Deja vu all over again!
    I hope that I am wrong. I pray that I am wrong.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Afcrapistan
    Posts
    337

    Default

    Jatkins, He is approx. 48 yrs old. What does it really matter though?
    Because if he's 69, the appointment is probably a "figurehead appointment".

    Anyway---This looks like he was bumped upstairs. Sometimes you can "promote" someone to get them out of the way.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts