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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default I was emotionally harmed by the Web chat postings

    Things you find stuck in the office on a Sunday...

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=23469


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Dal:
    At first, I thought how ignorant people can be sometimes.
    And then the next thing that came to mind is if the sensitivity trainer in question goes after everyone that she feels did her harm, you have to wonder if she'll go after the website, because as we all know, they are moderated and carries the disclaimer about posting harmful/offensive information. Sounds like somebody at the website dropped the ball.
    Notice also that I won't dignify or legitimize that website by identifying it here. Simply because a lot of hate and frustration is spewed over there. Oh wait; they were identified in the article. I smell trouble for them.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    I doubt the website itself would get in much trouble. Their obligations are pretty much to if subponead(sp?) to provide identifying information like IP addresses, and to preserve any postings and such information. Curiously, the site did a few months back experience a total failure, without any good backups that required it be rebuilt from scratch.

    Now, people posting to it from Department machines could get in hot water.

    =======================
    -- Most "Forum" sites record IP addresses.
    -- Generally, from your IP address as long as the ISP keeps a record, it can be traced back to you.
    -- In a case like mine, the IP Firehouse.com gets is traceable to my company, but by the miracle of "Network Address Translation" be from 500 different machines located in about 20 different locations
    -- We don't routinely record that mapping of who goes to what internet sites through that single gateway address. We can, we don't unless there is a specific situation we're monitoring. But many organizations do.
    -- And beyond that, many organizations even cache (record) exactly what you're doing. It's their network and the have the right to, so in a case of making harrassing statements from a work computer that may very well be a violation of computer use agreement somewhere you signed.

  4. #4
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    At least three people state in the posted messages that they were troubled that the department assigned Kirby, a civilian, to the rank of a battalion fire chief and that she wears a uniform used by male battalion chiefs.

    The writers of the messages apparently were unaware that Kirby served for five years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Piedmont, Okla., during the 1980s, according to Daniels.
    I've been a volunteer for almost 12 years now...so what rank can I get if I join the DCFD? Deputy? Assistant?


    Better than that lawyer in NYS saying that volunteers and career shouldn't be held to the same standard. LOL Must not be from the same law firm...
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  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    At least three people state in the posted messages that they were troubled that the department assigned Kirby, a civilian, to the rank of a battalion fire chief and that she wears a uniform used by male battalion chiefs.
    The writers of the messages apparently were unaware that Kirby served for five years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Piedmont, Okla., during the 1980s
    5 years as a vol FF/EMT in dept in Okla. in the 1980s qualifies you to be a BC in the DCFD? I could see 20 years to be a Lt. or Captain, but a chief officer? I don't think so.
    “Deputy Chief Michael Smith informed me that prior to my beginning work, the other ‘chiefs’ had a discussion about whether I would be allowed to use the male or female restrooms, deciding I was not allowed to use the men’s room,” Kirby states in the three-page affidavit.
    Imagine that. A female is told she's not allowed to use the men's room...
    Another participant using the name “jbright” said he or she did not have a problem with Kirby wearing a uniform but was upset that she is being allowed to wear the brass insignia metals normally used only by sworn and trained firefighters.
    so the two issues were that a civilian was given the rank of battaliaon chief for a year, and that she wore the male version of the uniform. and because this made its way to the watch desk, she's suing. how litigious.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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  6. #6
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Adze... i would make you special deputy assistant to the Chief of the Department!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member Dave1105's Avatar
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    Imagine that. A female is told she's not allowed to use the men's room...
    Yeah, But I think the point here is that why did it even need to be discussed? You don't need to hold a meeting to detirmine which restroom someone will use, and then preceed to "Brief" someone on your decision. It's simple, round peg, round hole. Square peg. Square Hole.

    What i'm getting from that article is it seems the other cheifs had a little discussion on this based on the fact she was a lesbian. IE. "She likes women, so does that mean it's inappropriate for her to be in the female toilet". That kind of attitude is just ludicrous and shows a total lack of understanding for homosexual people. She may be a lesbian, but she's not a deviant who perves on people while they're on the crapper.

    If I were gay, i'd be ****ed off too. You don't "tell" anyone which toilet to use.

    Do I agree with the decision to sue? Not necessarily. There are a range of issues at hand here, but if she were suing on just the toilet issue... she'd need her head read. But combined with other issues, she may have merit. It seems the issue here is the inactivity of the department to deal with the situation and if suing them is the only way for them to stand up and actually deal with such backwards thinking... then all power to her.

    Gay and Lesbian people, for me anyway, are a hard bunch to understand. It seems on the surface, that most are always looking for a fight. Always looking to be discriminated against. Waiting for someone to slip up and slap a law suit on. But on the other side of the coin, I haven't walked a mile in their shoes. I'm a white, hetrosexual male. How do I know what it's like to live in their world? How can I understand all the crap they cop on a daily basis. And then have to cop in the workplace?

    I think the department screwed up big here. Lets face facts, what's the fire service full of? Hetrosexual Males. Big red trucks, Axes, Tools.... the testosterone level is through the roof. And they make the decision to have a Lesbian Female walk around in a BC's uniform? I'm not excusing the actions of any firefighter in the department, but how did they expect them to react?

  8. #8
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dave1105
    It seems on the surface, that most are always looking for a fight. Always looking to be discriminated against. Waiting for someone to slip up and slap a law suit on.
    The brush you're painting with is a bit too broad, I think. I don't think "most" homosexuals are looking for a fight. However, I know quite a few straight folks willing to give them one. ::sigh::

    Regarding the lawsuit itself, I think we don't know all of the facts. I doubt that the chat room dialogue was friendly and open to outside voices. I'm sure that they were not having a objective discussion of the issues at hand. Firefighter can be a crude bunch. Introducing an openly gay female into a department steeped in tradition isn't an easy task.

    However, the department certainly made things hard for the lady by handing her the rank of battalion chief and then letting her wear the uniform of a sworn firefighter. BC should be a sworn position (five years as a vollie in another FD does not count) and civilian employees should wear a civilian uniform.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Let's face it. The prevailing attitude amongst the rank and file of the fire service is horrendous. We all know it. Very few of us will admit it. DC seems to have taken it to another level however. They actually stopped or refused treatment to patients.

    Usually the patient gets treated, sometimes with the assumption that they are faking, or over dramatizing their condition, and then after the call it starts. You have all heard it, a lot of you have done it. "Stupid n****r" "F*****g f****t" and the like.

    A bunch of big brave firefighters. Cowards when it comes to admitting their racist and gay bashing views.

    You know who you are. You just won't admit it to the masses. Only to those who share your feelings.

    Did she deserve the BC's rank? It seems to me that was the rank the chief chose for the administrative position she was appointed to. It may be as simple as fitting her into the department salary structure or an already existing job description.

    I highly doubt she walked in and chose the crossed bugles.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Whether her choice or not, pinning the bugles was the equivelant of giving someone a lit roadflare so they have some light while looking for the gas leak.

    Kinda makes you wonder if someone knew what they where lighting by doing that.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Good point Dal. The Chief had to know it would ruffle feathers when he appointed her to the rank.

    I don't think he was expecting a lawsuit out of it though.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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  12. #12
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    Ah, it's wonderful to have your department in the spotlight.....

    Other than an alleged discussion between the Training DC and Ms. Kirby regarding restroom use (unbelievable, highly unlikely, but not impossible), the only issue to most of us is the uniform and rank insignia. Her sexual preference wasn't even known to most of us until reading the article about the lawsuit.

    There have been other civilians hired by the department to perform various tasks. The chief we hired after a 'nationwide search', Ronnie Few, gave out uniforms and insignia to civilians as readily as he added nonexistent degrees to his resume. None of those people was gay, as far as anyone knows, and their sexuality was never an issue. Their attire was the only issue, as it is with Ms. Kirby.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber Duffman's Avatar
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    Thanks for jumping in oldE6. I was hoping someone from DC would turn up here. I am glad to hear that it is a rank issue for most.

    You must admit however, there are some in your department with serious issues regarding sexual preference, as evidenced by the two other lawsuits mentioned in the article. Of course, there are some in every department who have these issues. I want to be clear that I am not singling yours out.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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  14. #14
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    Can't even IMAGINE what the watchdesk must look like now that the story has broken.....

  15. #15
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    The Watch Desk actually looks pretty decent. They got the Christmas layout going and there has been little mention of this case on the site.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber NCRSQ751's Avatar
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    What a great story right before Christmas. Ridiculous. To sum up my 2 cents:

    I agree that she should not have been given the rank or uniform she was, it's an insult to anyone that works for it.

    I think she is a bad example of a person with an axe to grind against society. These people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions and sexual orientations. If I made a stink every time I read or heard something I found offensive I wouldn't have time to turn around. If you're going to be in reality today - you have to realize that there are people that are not going to like you or have the same opinion as you and people that will be just plain ignorant. You pick your battles and this doesn't seem like it would be worth it. It means her career in the Emergency Services Field is over.

    With that said, the DC officials that even discussed what bathroom, and some of the comments with regards to her sexuality were indeed off color. Those comments said in a chat room - if it was off duty I think it's their business. Everyone still has the right to their opinion. The stuff done officially was unprofessional - and they are liable for that. With the brass comes responsibility - and they should have known better.

    The whole thing is sad, very sad.
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  17. #17
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    Let me see if I've got this straight:

    1) The DCFD has a problem and needs diversity training.

    2) They hire a person to provide this training.

    3) This person learns that the DCFD has a problem and needs diversity training. (See #1 above)

    4) This person sues the DCFD.

    Gee, maybe she can force them to hire someone to provide diversity training...oh wait, they've already done that. Maybe that person just needs to work a little harder to make the problem go away.

    Not to excuse the actions of certain members of the DCFD, they clearly still have long way to go to clean up their act, but a certain diversity trainer needs to get that chip off her shoulder.
    TW
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  18. #18
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    The writers of the messages apparently were unaware that Kirby served for five years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Piedmont, Okla., during the 1980s,
    Well if that's the requirements to be a Battalion Chief, I must be ready for the Commisioners job!
    All BS aside, if the job is equivelent to a Battalion Chiefs positon, fine, pay that. But do not let anyone wear the uniform and badge of that position unless that person has come through the ranks, met the education and experiance requirements, tested, passed, and been properly promoted to that position.
    You come strolling up to a structure fire in your brand new battalion Chiefs' uniform, the Officers, Firefighters, and more importantly, the public, are going to expect you to perform in that capacity. WTF, you going to council the fire out?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by TWEJFD
    Let me see if I've got this straight:

    1) The DCFD has a problem and needs diversity training.

    2) They hire a person to provide this training.

    3) This person learns that the DCFD has a problem and needs diversity training. (See #1 above)

    4) This person sues the DCFD.

    Gee, maybe she can force them to hire someone to provide diversity training...oh wait, they've already done that. Maybe that person just needs to work a little harder to make the problem go away.

    Not to excuse the actions of certain members of the DCFD, they clearly still have long way to go to clean up their act, but a certain diversity trainer needs to get that chip off her shoulder.
    Good post. However more accurately

    1. Some PC taxeater drone informs a weak city government they have a problem and need "diversity training".

    2. Weak city government, with hook in mouth, offer to blow taxpayer $ on meaningless BS in hope that the taxeaters will go away rich and happy.

    3. Weak city government hires a confused malcontent antisocial deviant to enlighten hardworking normal people on the way the world is "supposed" to work.

    4. The city is sued by confused malcontent antisocial deviant. Whoaa. Had to be a mindreader to see that coming.

    The true issue is "Will DC city govenment EVER get their heads out of it"?

  20. #20
    Forum Member Dave1105's Avatar
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    3. Weak city government hires a confused malcontent antisocial deviant to enlighten hardworking normal people on the way the world is "supposed" to work.

    4. The city is sued by confused malcontent antisocial deviant. Whoaa. Had to be a mindreader to see that coming.
    And what exactly makes this woman an antisocial deviant?

    Looks like hatred and bigotry is alive and well in rural iowa....

    Who's up for some old-fashioned cross burning?

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