Thread: Hazing?

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    Default Hazing?

    I just read the article on the home page about Wilmington.

    This is all just solely my opinion.

    I think it's a little sad that the tradition of practical jokes and stuff like that is being taken out of the firehouse's. Sure, many times things get out of hand. But I've been on both ends of the flour thrown in the shower. I laughed on both sides of it.

    We have SOP's that do not allow things like that anymore. We have a bunch of rookies now that get their feelings hurt if you "hammer" on them and run to the officer whining about it.

    What has happened? Has the fire service gotten so "PC" that we are going to forget tradition? It's also not just tradition. All the firehouse "antics" have a purpose. The veteran guys are sizing up the rookies. IMO, if the rookie crumbles under some verbal heckling and joking around, he's not going to be very good when the sh*t hits the fan.

    I've been in this job for 12 years and have been the b*tt of many jokes and what not. My father is a FF of almost 30 years and I remember all the stories.

    What do y'all think?

    ON EDIT: I'm not advocating all or any that was in the NC incident. Just began thinking about this subject.

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    I don't believe that pranks and such are gone. SOME are OK, but if you start messing with PPE, doing stuff that could cause harm to somebody and things like that, it's gone way too far. Yes, you'll hear and read all kinds of stories about things that use to be done, but there's a reason they aren't done anymore. Firefighters used to go into fires without airpacks....... Does that mean we should do it today? Nope.

    Bottom line is that what these guys did in NC, from what was written in the article, crossed the line. Flour or whatver dumped on someone isn't that nig of a deal. But when you are throwing firecrackers into an enclosed shower area, dragging someone out of the shower, whether naked or clothed, that's crossing the line.....

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    I really believe that there is a clear difference between practical jokes and hazing.
    Practical jokes (IMO) are generally harmless designed to produce fellowship and good humour amongst co-workers, friends or families. April Fool's day is an example of this theory.
    Hazing, on the other hand again IMO tend to be negative in the delivery of the joke or situation. It is commonly used to demonstrate rank or authority. It often leads to the person being hazed feeling less than equal to their fellow beings. It can create negative feelings amongst people.

    I played a practical joke today. I tp'd a co-worker's car on her 40th birthday. She laughed, we took pictures and we helped her clean it up.

    They tried to haze me in college. Crawling through a tunnel filled with BM? Laugh again buddy, you sh*t in a tunnel for nothing and made an axe out of yourself trying to persuade me to crawl through it. I'd go through that same tunnel for a loved one or patient or friend. NOT because you just "say so". I wasn't being a prissy boots, there just was no good reason to go through the tunnel based on someone saying "do it." I have self respect and can stand my ground quite nicely if I need to. Rest assured, if I had to, I would, I'm not the least bit bothered by getting "dirty."
    I guess I'll shut up now........

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    Bottom line is that what these guys did in NC, from what was written in the article, crossed the line. Flour or whatver dumped on someone isn't that nig of a deal. But when you are throwing firecrackers into an enclosed shower area, dragging someone out of the shower, whether naked or clothed, that's crossing the line.....
    I fully agree 77. This is a clear example of guys not thinking, besdies what happened to the good ol days when you sent the rookie to get the new left handed saw ax on the engine? Oh wait I am still looking for it 10 years later....LOL

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    I also agree that hazing can be an ok thing, but clearly this did go over the edge. I too have been made fun of, taught a lesson by and laughed at such incidents, to bad it went to far.
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    Hazing as I just read about in N.C. is unaccepatble at any department. There are enough hazards in and around the station that happen to make this sort of thing very wrong. For that matter, there are enough hazards on the job to make hazing really wrong. It dis honors in some ways the efforts that we all put into the job with out having to be asked to do it or we take the extra mile on some issue. It could have turned bad as well. What if the guy in the shower had gotten hurt and could NEVER do the job again. How would anyone feel then!! MUCH FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR ALL OF US.

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    I don't believe it was hazing, it was more like a practical joke that a few individuals took too far.

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    First and foremost, I will say that I do not have any idea of the particular incident in question... however, there was this slight detour.... and one that I think allows me to 'reckon' with the jist of things here.

    Primarily that HAZING in and of itself DOES NOT HAVE ANY PLACE in the work environment! However, playfulness and jokes do. There is a very fine line betwixt one and the next. A VERY FINE LINE.

    I too have (courtesy of the Army) been the butt of many pranks, particularly because my primary roll is support to the combat troops. I have stood up to them, AND whatever the Navy chose to throw at me, but that was ME. And Me alone. I also know that there were others with whom they would never have done some of those things too. And rightly so. It sucks to be Me because I can recognize a "game" when I see one and will play accordingly, but there are times when things go beyond being a game .... thats when it becomes akin to harassment.

    That too has happened to me. It took Recce Sqn almost FIVE YEARS before they (almost) caught me off guard! What they forgot to consider was that I partied with All OF THE MAINTENANCE folks. When they came looking for me because it was my last trip in the field and therefore their last chance, they came looking. Lucky for me, all of Maintenance stood up and said: "If you take him on, you take us all..." there were 20 maint men and women who stood up! Including the Maint sect from Recce.

    To bring it back, there is a time and a place for fun and practical jokes. Just remember a couple of things the next time you think about it:

    "What would Prudent Man (or Woman) think?"
    "Is this something that YOU would laugh at if it happened to you?"
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    Per the Meriam-Webster Dictionary:
    haze: (transitive verb) Inflected Form(s): hazed; haz·ing. Etymology: origin unknown. 1-a: to harass by exacting unnecessary or disagreeable work. 1-b: to harass by banter, ridicule, or criticism. 2: to haze by way of initiation (haze the fraternity pledges) 3: West : to drive (as cattle or horses) from horseback. haz·er noun

    I don't believe it was hazing, it was more like a practical joke that a few individuals took too far.
    I fail to see the difference...
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    It was not an initiation, the fd is not a fraternity, you posted the definition of hazing this incident does not fit any of the descriptions therein. Simply a pratical joke that went to far. I'm sure the private,(victim) has played a few pranks himself.

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    All it takes is a little common sense. If someone doesn't want to be messed with leave them alone. 2/3 of our shift is involved in "The Game". There are Rules:
    -Don't create paperwork for your officer (bad joo-joo)
    -Don't mess with any gear, PPE, or equipment
    -Everything must be reversable, functional, or replaced by end of tour
    -Never cut a lock (picking is acceptable)
    -Open lockers and contents thereof are fair game and prime fodder
    -The public never sees it...ever.

    Involvement in our antics is strictly voluntary. You mess with somebody's stuff...you're in. Once you're in...you're in. After five years in The Game, I can't find half my bedding, what I have found has a fine layer of oil-dry beneath it, my pillow smells like Bod body spray, my car keys were frozen in a block of ice, my bathroom bag was filled with crushed saltines, my soap was carved into a penis, my toothpaste tastes like aftershave, my shampoo leaves my hair and scalp sparkly and tartar-free, my lock has been encased in a giant ball of epoxy, and the numbers on the dial under the epoxy have been ground off with a dremel. Best five years of my life.

    Be smart about who you mess with. There is a huge difference between joking around and hazing. If you like your CAREER know that difference.

    Let's hear some other experiences, both positive and negative. War stories of another flavor if you will.

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    It was not an initiation, the fd is not a fraternity, you posted the definition of hazing this incident does not fit any of the descriptions therein. Simply a pratical joke that went to far. I'm sure the private,(victim) has played a few pranks himself.
    I never stated that the fire department was a Fraternity. But hey... let not grasp at straws!

    The fire service is a "Brotherhood" which in most states and countries can be looked at as a type of "fraternity".

    Fact of the matter is what these "OFFICERS" did was wrong... plain and simple. I do not care how you want to try to justify it by saying it was a "practical joke" that went to far or that the victim has played a few pranks himself.

    Nothing bad towards my FDNY Brothers but there was some joking that went to far not to long ago and it someone ended up crushing a someones face with a steel chair... but HEY... that's ok... it is only a practical joke that went to far!

    When this incident occurred, the victim was less than a year in the department. This is one hell of a way to make an impression on a rookie.

    Lets go over what was reported to have happened.

    Casieri was taking a shower in the evening when someone...

    1: threw two packages of firecrackers into the shower stall with him, according to the statement.

    2: He said a pan of cold water was thrown on him, followed by two boxes of baking soda.

    3: Powell took pictures of the incident with a disposable camera, the statement said. Casieri said he grabbed a towel to cover himself when he realized he was being photographed.

    4: As he tried to wipe his eyes, Casieri said Roseman took the towel from him. He said he then slipped and fell to the floor and Roseman grabbed his ankles and dragged him, naked and on his back, about 25 feet through the bedroom, according to the statement.

    The answer for all of this was... the captain replied, "What, you never joked around?" according to the statement.

    Then the thing that really gets me is...
    On another occasion, a co-worker drove up next to Casieri, tapped on the window and pointed a handgun in his face and then placed the gun on the passengers seat,

    And this is all just a practical joke that went out of control.

    The very fact that this guy was a rookie with less than a year on the job indicates that this WAS A TYPE OF INITIATION! You did not see them doing this to the Captain or the Battalion Chief on duty! HELL NO! It was done to the rookie.

    You cannot justify this in anyway... it cannot be done!

    I am all for having fun in the stations and joking around, but there is a line that can be crossed.

    And NCfire... in this case... that line was obliterated!
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    sconfire,
    You know there are two sides to every story. I'm not sure what you read off the AP wire, if this is where you received your info. But, according to another news source Wilmington Star News online, The "victim" was recently written up for sleeping on the job. That's when he brought forth all these allegations. Two years later I must add, to me it sounds like a case of, "If I go down, I'm taking someone else with me."
    All I know is we have 3 brothers at home right now, with families, that aren't getting paid. And if it were me in the victim's situation and what happened affected me so adversly, I would have reported these things immediately.
    It seems it's a no win situation for everyone involved.

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    You know there are two sides to every story.
    Of this I have no doubt! I completely agree with you.

    I'm not sure what you read off the AP wire, if this is where you received your info.
    I read the same story everyone else did... one from the AP (giving credit for info to The Star) and NBC17.com

    Granted the information on the AP story left out the sleep part of the victim... so I traveled to The Star's website and read the story.

    Here is the section on the sleep part:
    The shower incident was reported to Human Resources after Capt. Cliff Willman overheard Mr. Casieri talking July 30 with another firefighter about the harassment as well as the written warning Mr. Casieri received for falling asleep on the job. Mr. Casieri said he was up late the night before trying to make arrangements to attend his grandmother's funeral in Massachusetts, and that is the reason he fell asleep, according to the statement.

    City Manager Sterling Cheatham said Monday that Chief Hill disciplined the firefighters for "behavior unbecoming an officer." He declined to provide details.
    This says that a Captain OVERHEARD him talking to another firefighter about the incidents. Now I am not about to grab at straws now either... so with that... I can gather from this that the victim here probably kept this information in "reserve" as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    I cannot condone his sleeping on the job. NOW I can understand why this may have occurred... but it doesn't mean I have to condone it. If that is the case, then he needs to be reprimanded.

    Two years later I must add, to me it sounds like a case of, "If I go down, I'm taking someone else with me."
    Maybe... but THIS STILL DOES NOT TAKE AWAY THE FACT OF WHAT THESE "OFFICERS" DID TO THIS ROOKIE!

    Now you have 3 brothers at home with no pay for subjecting a person to hazing and, if the administration is smart, there will be a firefighter reprimanded for sleeping on the job.

    NCfire, it sounds like you are a part of the Wilmington FD or closely related to those involved. If there is more to this story that will substantiate your views, then by all means bring them forth... until then, there is no excuse for what happened... on both sides.
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    sconfire,
    Well, I don't think any of us know all the facts. The only ones who know, were the ones inolved. But.........

    If you're a member of any Fire Department, then you are also closely related to this incident. The firehouse is our second home, we spend as much time there as we do at our real home, if not more.
    So, as a firefighter, you know, what goes on at one house will eventually affect us all. That includes new rules, regulations, and micromanaging officers, and taking away that "at home" feel.

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    So, as a firefighter, you know, what goes on at one house will eventually affect us all. That includes new rules, regulations, and micromanaging officers, and taking away that "at home" feel.
    If someone makes a rule that says you can't throw fireworks into a shower while someone is in there, and it affects my firehouse, I'd be happy.
    "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?

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    If you're a member of any Fire Department, then you are also closely related to this incident.
    I am a Captain and a 17 year veteran of the fire service... so I have seen my share of joking around... but I have NEVER been involved with anything that would compare to this.

    The firehouse is our second home, we spend as much time there as we do at our real home, if not more. So, as a firefighter, you know, what goes on at one house will eventually affect us all. That includes new rules, regulations, and micromanaging officers, and taking away that "at home" feel.
    The firehouse is our second home and should be treated as such. If we, as firefighters, did in our first home what was done in this "second" home we would go to jail for abuse or threatening a person with a firearm.

    Remember this stuff, in the "REAL WORLD" is illeagal.

    I agree with the fact that the firehouse is not the way it used to be. Rules have changed with the times. The almighty dollar runs everything (this includes liability).

    HOWEVER, it is actions, like the ones of these officers within the Wilmington Fire Department that contribute to the rule changes set forth on us all.

    This as well as every other DUMB***** that drives drunk to a fire scene, sets a fire, looks at kiddy porn or anything else that brings badlight to the fire service.

    My point is DON'T you DARE, sit there and try to throw this righteousness my way about "Us against Them" and "It is not like it used to be"!

    That will not fly with me or any other brother that has a lick of sense about themselves.
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

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    Originally posted by NCfire
    You know there are two sides to every story. I'm not sure what you read off the AP wire, if this is where you received your info. But, according to another news source Wilmington Star News online, The "victim" was recently written up for sleeping on the job. That's when he brought forth all these allegations.
    I can't believe you said that. in fact, when i read that first line, i started choking.

    of course there is more than one side to a story. in fact, there are probably 3 or 4, and that's not counting the truth.

    and who cares what cause him to speak up. maybe it was to get back at his CO for writting him up. maybe his Lt made a pass at his g/f. maybe the rest of the crew put itching powder in his boxers. it doesn't matter. all of the members involved in this incident should be terminated. they crossed the line big time. if anyone has more info, i'm willing to listen, but going on what we are being told, I'm going to stand by what i said.

    I'm not against pranks on probies. in fact, it's been almost 6 years and I still havn't found that damn squeegie sharpener. and my Lt is really getting on my case about it but there is a fine line between a prank and a hostile workplace
    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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    There will always be practical jokes, but this is hazing and was totally uncalled for. These sound like the kind of jokers that would mess with someone's PPE.

    And this may cause a little stir, but: As a heterosexual, I would NEVER want to be messed with by other guys while I'm naked and would NEVER even consider messing with a naked guy. And I sure as hell would never think of ripping a towel away from a naked guy, dragging him or taking pictures of a naked man. I don't know how many of you are thinking the same thing, but I question that kind of behavior.

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    Once again I 'll get on my bandwagon- hazing is a thing of the past. It's time for the fire servie to move out of the testosterone enlarged stone age and get with the times.

    Whether we like it or not, political correctness is here to stay. When someone is made to feel uncomfortable or threatened, then it's gone too far.
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    Sounds to me like the guy caught sleeping needs about 500 firecrackers thrown under his bed while he's sleeping. Rookies will always be messed with, it's in their job description. The gun was a bit much, but it sounds like he couldn't hang so he got zeroed in on. What's the first thing you're told at the station? If you get ****ed, don't show it or you'll get it worse. We've done everything from fireworks, to syrup and flour, we even put hot wax on a guy that was getting transferred as a going away present...smooth as a baby's butt when it came off. Don't make more out of it that what it is...simply a way to blow off steam. Our house is probably one of the tightest in the city, and we probably play the most.
    Stay safe all, and keep a sense of humor.

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    Originally posted by stretch13
    Sounds to me like the guy caught sleeping needs about 500 firecrackers thrown under his bed while he's sleeping. Rookies will always be messed with, it's in their job description. The gun was a bit much, but it sounds like he couldn't hang so he got zeroed in on. What's the first thing you're told at the station? If you get ****ed, don't show it or you'll get it worse. We've done everything from fireworks, to syrup and flour, we even put hot wax on a guy that was getting transferred as a going away present...smooth as a baby's butt when it came off. Don't make more out of it that what it is...simply a way to blow off steam. Our house is probably one of the tightest in the city, and we probably play the most.
    Stay safe all, and keep a sense of humor.
    So you condone everything these guys did????

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    The gun was a bit much, but it happens nut up and deal with it. He needs to have given a little bit back. No no one got hurt, and besides, maybe he should have been and accountant.

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    Originally posted by stretch13
    The gun was a bit much, but it happens nut up and deal with it. He needs to have given a little bit back. No no one got hurt, and besides, maybe he should have been and accountant.
    Just "a bit much"????? Yes, this stuff happens, but that doesn't mean it is right........ These guys went to far. Yes, you do have to expect SOME pranking, but nothing that extreme.

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    Yea, the gun was over, but I'll bet he brought it on himself. I'm not saying it was right, but facts are facts. As for everything else, after 11 years, that isn't extreme. It's almost an everyday occurence.

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