View Poll Results: Open Door Policy

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  1. #1
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    Post Open Door Policy - Recruitment

    Suggestions for Bylaws and SOG's

    You can develop your own by thinking about the following...

    "The membership [organization] shall accept all applications for membership and vote on an applicants' membership continuation following a six month probationary period. If a member in good standing wishes to contest acceptance of an application, said reasons shall be presented in writing to the President. The membership shall have a right to vote on whether or not to reject the applicant based on the member in good standings stated reasons. Reasons could include knowledge of falsification of the application or failure to meet the department's rules on fund raising, meetings, calls, and training."


    Becky DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

  2. #2
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    Unhappy

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm in Prince George's County, Maryland. Actually, I'm in a hell of a situation, but it relates and applies to the Open Door Policy proposal I posted here.

    PG County, MD is quite different than Garrett County, Maryland. PG County manages it people a little different, especially new people. I think to have an Open Door Policy State Wide - it would take at least one person from each county in Maryland to figure out something due to the similiarities and differences effecting each county, for a fair open door policy state wide. I know it would not hurt to have more people here on duty during the day in PG County - paid or volunteer.

    Still nothing from the State Fire Marshal's Office - guess they don't want to touch that? (Open Door Policy enforced for all departments, squads, ambulances, etc. who receive state money in some shape or form)

    Becky DeWitt

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    Unhappy by the way

    spelling not checked

    I got thinking after making a follow up to one of my posts...

    I guess you will miss home, as in miss home to what it used to be, not necessialiarily what it is today - and that includes all those years in the volunteer fire, rescue, ems service. I was only briefly paid as an EMT, so I never count it.

    I never thought that trying to go back to school would end up in my posting here again about open door policies, which does not and should not be related to my current situation. I hope things were not taken out of context, misinterpreted, or implied that things are intentional on my part.

    Any way and at any rate - I hope that these posts will at least give the readers here something to think about.

    Rebecca A. DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, MD - now at Adelphi, MD

  4. #4
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Smile So, tell us about it...........

    As a 45 year volunteer, both in PG and another county, I am wondering just what is the point of your post? Is there a problem with joining a VFD in PG? Or is there a problem elsewhere?. Let us know and maybe we can help. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Default an answer to your question, hwoods

    No problems or questions about PG County at this point. PG County's FDs have lost their automony, rights, and abilities. Therefore, there can be conflictions, disagreements, etc. I was given an application packet that requires finger prints, back ground investigation, application forms, etc. I am going to fill them out, PG County and elsewhere. Just an idea to compare counties and stations. Like to run down state in addition to Western Maryland.

    I was just making a follow up post - sitting at a FD in PG County with nothing else to do. Probably some law against that?

    I got to run with those guys in PG County - ride a long. It is so different than back home. People down state thought I was like a foreign exchange student, in cultural shock, a scam artist, etc.

    I don't think you can help - one thing I learned is that you are on your own. or what did you have in mind? At any rate, I made it back home. I saw some good, some bad, and some other things at a FD in PG County - it's probably like that everywhere.

    I just wish I never left my EMT-B run out. I plan to somehow retake the course.

    Becky DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

  6. #6
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    ???????

    DeWitt7, what are you talking about? You have posted 4 posts here that all seem to be half there and half missing. I can't get enough information out of all 4 to even begin to understand what you are talking about and/or asking for. Can you give a little more on your next post so we can follow it?

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    Unhappy Don't post if you don't want to make sense and discusse the topic

    Don't post if you don't want to make sense and discusse the topic

    Don't post if you indend something else, want to make fun of, or plan to ridicule with no bases, commonality, predjious, or lack of truth and facts

    It's all there, so 1/2 there and 1/2 gone don't make sense or apply.

    Either you are for, against, or have to understand your jurisdiction's set up, arrangement, or governing body.

    Becky DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

  8. #8
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    Ok, so your first post here is about about a bylaw regarding acceptance of applications. Your second post goes on to state at least 1 person from each county would have to have input on it as each county has their own little nuances. Your third post goes on about how you miss being able to volunteer because you had to go back to school. You also mention that you hope these posts will get people to think. HWoods gave you a reply looking for more information as to what you are posting about. You then mention you got an application packet and are filling it out. Then talk about riding along with a company in PG. Then you end with this charmer...
    It's all there, so 1/2 there and 1/2 gone don't make sense or apply. Either you are for, against, or have to understand your jurisdiction's set up, arrangement, or governing body.
    Still not sure what you are looking for in these posts. Are you having trouble applying? Is there something prohibiting you from applying? If you don't want to have discussion, thats fine. I thought you came here looking for help, maybe I was wrong.

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    Default Let the sunshine in....

    I'm all for honesty and openness when it comes to denying or accepting an application but with conditions for a VFD. A person who makes the first step should be told forthrightly why they're not being allowed to join.

    However, Becky, you left out many important details in your post that would explain your situation better. In another forum for volunteers, you indicated there were significant concerns regarding your previous assignment at a previous fire station (putting makeup on enroute to a call, etc.)

    http://www.volunteerfd.org/phorum/re...&t=11#reply_11

    Again: the department should tell you straight out why you're not being accepted and give you a chance to at least demonstate how you've changed (or haven't changed) since that time.

    Out of curiousity, I know many companies are fearful of disclosing the reason a person may be denied is due to disability concerns. Does the department have a valid concern regarding any disability issues you may have?

    If I remember correctly, PGFD was successfully sued twice by deaf firefighters/EMTs for discrimination. Would this apply to you as well?

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    Unhappy open door policy

    Looks like Bones 42 tries to make some sense, backs off by not being able to contribute anything meaningful.

    First of all, I'd never sue my or any fire department. I'd bitch and complain, attend meetings, and request that their public funding be shut off due to gross neglegance, lack of professionalism, and not worthy of public money without an open door policy. My specifics are not important becuase I'm not alone. I remember not speaking up for when people were voted out becuase I was afraid of what the guys would say. I always voted yes because if your not serious you will drop out and the fire department shapes it's people. I'm still waiting for something in writing as to why I was denied membership. It has come time for me to re-apply, so I don't know what the difference is now than a year ago, other than me using the internet, commissioner meetings, and going to officials. They are probably mad and will not vote me in again. The volunteerfd.org is a joke about me when I was member of my old fire department. You have to read volunteerfd.org's thread I started in its entirety (sp?) - I abandoned ship there. It's not about discrimination becuase it effects even white men or anybody who even applies; and yes, I've seen white men voted out, too.

    My old fire department is a good fire department, and I think they remember and know I'd make it better. There are more women their now, and some men who moved into the Kitzmiller area around the time I began posting on the internet. They don't look like or act like hillbilly fire fighters, so how did they get voted in? I'd want to know or at least would like to think that the fire department wants to know who they are sending out to take care of people and the environmnet.

    I always said if you can't take care of yourself, then you can't take care of other people. Most of my life is about taking care of other people, my home, my animals, etc., then you could say that I am able to take care of myself, too. I don't have a disability. One easy way to over come the open door policy is a background check or investigation, so the open door policy sould not be that fearful - that came from a fire fighter, former shop teacher, President of the county fire & rescue association, and want to be county commissioner. Do they think the background check and investigation will apply to fire fighters who are already members? I'm sure there are other ways to find something wrong to vote someone out or even reject an application.

    I'd put my skills, training, and experience up against anyones. It's like everything else in life - move on and find something else to do. I'm gald to have gotten the experience in running with a big city fire department in PG County, MD.

    Rebecca A. DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

  11. #11
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    When applying to a MD department, do they run a backround check? Do they have one on one interviews? Or is it simply fill out an application and get voted on without anyone knowing anything about you?

    NeilMcD, thanks for the link.

    DeWitt7 - it's hard to contribute when we are not understanding what it is you are looking for.

    Do you want people to agree with your proposed bylaw? If so, then I don't agree. I will not let anyone join my fire department without a backround check, without a one on one interview, without checking their references. It protects me, it protects my department, it protects my town. When people make it past that point to where they get voted in as members or not, they are then on 1 year probation. At the end of that one year, they are voted on again to be accepted, rejected, or further probation. We have a 5 person committee that meets with possible members that conduct the interview. "Dirty Laundry" is not made public, it's not put out for everyone to know. If there is a concern, that committee discusses it and makes a recomendation to the general membership.

    Go ahead, shoot me down again for missing your point or something...this is getting fun.

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    I agree, Bones.

    A department has to know who they're bringing on board. Applications, interviews with an officer or a panel, and stringent background checks should be required for ALL emergency positions. Everyone here knows that one FF breaking the law reflects badly on the rest of us.

    From what I understand, Becky says that the department has received her application for membership but they have turned it down without comment.

    I believe that a department should be as forthright and open as possible with its applicants as to why they are not being accepted (eg: "You're over 400 lbs. Lose 260 lbs, then come back and see us" or "you have a criminal history that involves breaking and entering.").

    Bones, if your department rejects or extends probation for a candidate, do you explicitly tell them why such action was taken? Also, if it's something that can be resolved, are they allowed to appeal/reapply?

  13. #13
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    Neil, yes all reasons for rejection/extension are explained to the candidate. And yes, they are allowed to apply as soon as it's resolved. This is where the committee, we call it our Review Board, stays involved. The entire membership does not know the circumstances, only the Board. That way, if the issue is resolved, most of the members will never know it existed. The Board investigates these matters to the best extent they can and it gets to a case by case level. Since the Board is usually the only group to know all the details involved with a candidate, their recommendation on acceptance or not is key to the membership voting. As for the 1 year probation vote, that is up to membership as we all would have worked with and gotten to know the person through that 1 year. It's not perfect, we have still had a bad apple hear and there, but not too many.

  14. #14
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    Unhappy I have no idea what you two morons are doing...

    I think what is to be learned here is not to start a fourm.

    Anyone in their right mind would not apply to a FD with a background check pending, not knowing if you'll get voted in reguardless of who you are, and things like that.

    Did you two miss what I said about finding something else to do? All the stupid stuff you talk about can be part of an open door policy. Did you two miss something? I should not be the subject because it's been proven here - don't apply and find something else to do. Can't you read and understand my posts? I would not want you two helping me - let me die or be injured and I'll put out my own fires, o.k.

    Becky DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

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    I would not want you two helping me - let me die or be injured and I'll put out my own fires, o.k.
    'nuff said.

    Gotta love that ignore button.

  16. #16
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Talking Hey, Man on the Beach..........

    I'm Confused. But, to help clear the air, here's how PG does business. Anyone can apply to any VFD in PG County to become a Volunteer. The VFD provides the applicant with a package that contains about 7 pages of paperwork. The applicant completes the package, adds 3 current photos and anything that might be added on by the local station, and submits the package to the VFD's membership Chairman. The package then goes to the office of the Board of Fire Commissioners (I am a Commissioner) and is reviewed by the Administrative Assistiant, then sent to the Investigations Section for a background check. If that is OK, then the applicant is notified to schedule a physical exam, that is OK, the applicant becomes a probationary Volunteer.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  17. #17
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    Woods, sounds like a good plan to me.

  18. #18
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    Question

    Hey Becky,

    Ya know we are all wondering down here in good ol PG County what the heck you were really thinking? And were being serious! How the heck did you get here? What were you thinking? and why on earth did you ride a bike this damn far!

    Secondly what were you going to do once you got here? College maybe? Although I am really curious what were your means of Financial Backing while at the fire house! It does take money to be a live in at most fire houses! And why dosent 33 get an ambo! Thoes are my questions for you becky! Know I have never personally met you but i would be interested in meeting you some time, because the entire county is talking about you and your voyage to PG!

    ps... I hope all is well!

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    Hi Guys,

    Well, Bones 42 - I can say what ever I want. And yes, I have met some people who should not be taking care of others, so you are not the first.

    All of Garrett County, Maryland talks about me, too. So it's no surprise, and I'll have to get used to all of PG County, Maryland talking about me.

    I had plans, but they fell through. If I had $$$ for the finger prints, I'd send in my PG County application. However, I have learned that you have to find something else to do under certain circumstances. After this semester, I'm going to change my major, so I'll no longer be majoring in Fire Science. I think women have no business in the fire service, at this point.

    I don't care about the bike trip to College Park - how many people do you know who would do something like that to go to school and leave home? I'd never do it again. It takes money to do anything in this world. I ain't no city girl, and if I have to move, it would be to some other part of the Appalachian Mountains in a rural area. It was a good experience to meet FFs from the city and to see what the city and suburbs are like.

    Hope all is well your way, and the hurricane/tropical storm isn't too bad down your way.

    Sincerely,
    Becky

  20. #20
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    HUH???

    I'm lost by this whole thread!
    Luke

  21. #21
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    Dont worry Lutan.. we r all lost
    Proud Member of the Prince Georges County Fire/Ems Dept

  22. #22
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    Default

    Do you get ****ed when a guy farts at the fire hall?
    HAHAHAHA BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEK (even though it was originally posted over on that other forum last year) I like this guy


    I think the firehouse.com chat room was unprofessional
    She posted this Jan. 14/03 ... methinks this has been done here before

    and last but certainly not least:

    Author: Becky DeWitt Date: 09-29-02 14:37 I wanted to start this topic/thread for those people who have been denied membership by volunteer fire departments. I want to change the way the State of Maryland handles and regulates volunteer fire departments, private non-profit organizations, that accepts public money and operates in a public way. I applied at my local fire department, and my membership was denied. I can't get any reasons as to why my application was denied. I previously served for eight years, and resigned after my mom died. Four years later I desided to go back to the fire service. The Maryland State Fireman's Association says that once you resign, you can legally be denied membership upon re-application. I did a good job as an EMT/FF, and I served my department and county associations in many capacities.Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Becky DeWitt
    Sound familiar one year later?????

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  23. #23
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    Hi Guys,

    Thought I'd stop in and see what's being said. There are 21 threads and basic membership only accesses two. I guess you have to pay money to get the other 19.

    I would like to ask Sheri not to post any more - she gets the two thumbs down. Goes to prove that women have no business in the fire service. Probably just another Stephanie in PG County. Women in the fire service in the city are the worst! New subject - Sheri the lost Canadian.

    It's just a dead issue - go find something else to do. Can't everybody get that one?

    Sincerely,
    Center

  24. #24
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    I'm still lost...
    Luke

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    Unhappy open door policy

    For the lost, confused, or those who just read these posts...

    Suggestions for Bylaws and SOG's

    You can develop your own by thinking about the following...

    "The membership [organization] shall accept all applications for membership and vote on an applicants' membership continuation following a six month probationary period. If a member in good standing wishes to contest acceptance of an application, said reasons shall be presented in writing to the President. The membership shall have a right to vote on whether or not to reject the applicant based on the member in good standings stated reasons. Reasons could include knowledge of falsification of the application or failure to meet the department's rules on fund raising, meetings, calls, and training."

    You don't lose control of your organization and you can include background checks, physical exam, etc. So if you don't meet the criteria, have bad health, and lots of records, don't fit in, probably woln't do a good job, screw up all the time, unattractive, etc. then don't apply. Find something else to do.

    Then you don't have to offer any help when people need your help, if you can get a rejection letter - then you can show people or any other documentation you want. The moral of the story is to find something else to do. Stop making posts and getting into trouble.

    I thought it was really was cool to look over some fire service related documents recently, ask questions, answer questions, review what happen, give my opinion, etc. Then you realize where you have been, what's been said, and what people do and will do to you, then you know it's time to find something else to do.

    Attention firehouse.com - please remove this thread.

    Becky DeWitt
    Kitzmiller, Maryland

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