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  1. #21
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    Hey I read all the replys and I have figured out a route to our dilemmas.
    How about we all put our homes for sale find a town in rural New Mexico or Arizona and start our own Dept. cause between us it would run like a fine oiled machine.
    Or better yet organize as a federal unit that is flown into troubled vollies by homeland security wink.

    As far as the issue with radio or gear purchasing a little insider to make them fold ..mention it on record that it is a life safety issue and even though your a vollie you are considered an employee under any town via NFPA and OSHA.. also and this dependson states but in most cases if you can the dept. to back you of course..if you go to a meeting with the town and all resign by law they have 2 weeks to fill the dept. or mandatory hire or go paid..best part you get first pick for town resident and qualifications. I had to do that in my first dept. which was awsome but the town didn't want to buy us a new tower..when we all tossed our pagers on a table at a town meeting they had a bond the next day for 500K AND WE GOT THE NEW 102' SIMON DUPLEX 2000 GPM


  2. #22
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BigShow3840
    How about we all put our homes for sale find a town in rural New Mexico or Arizona and start our own Dept. cause between us it would run like a fine oiled machine.
    I believe a certain person stated she already did tried that, and didn't meet with super results......
    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!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  3. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    What's all this talk about quitting? Giving up; throwing in the towel?
    The only reason that you don't enjoy it right now is because your department needs fixed. You don't give it up; you change it.
    Many here have very similar stories to tell. I can tell you mine in one sentence; I went from a new member that the good ole boys hated to chief of the department and now to president of the fire district's board of trustees.
    How did I do it? One firefighter at a time. The trustees at the time were appointed and they were the top three of the good ole boys. When I got on the department, there were 25 members. I was the ONLY one who was NOT a good ole boy, nor did I want to be. Hell; at one time, the trustees wanted my head on a platter, because I was instructed by the chief at the time to send letters to some of the good ole boys telling them if they didn't start coming to meetings/training, they would be considered to have resigned. And believe it or not, that's where it all started for our department. Seven good ole boys resigned and seven new guys got on. I started working with them; got them to thinking like me; got them into training classes and they became the core group that would dramatically change the department. When I made chief, the trustees at the time told me that they were thinking about appointing someone else, but they'd see how it goes. At that point, I knew if I didn't do something about them, I wouldn't last long and the department would regress. So we started a petition drive to have the trustees elected rather than appointed. It was put on the ballot and passed overwhelmingly. Then the election was held. None of the trustees ran for office. Boom! We got three new trustees; just like that. And things started to get a whole lot better. And when I stepped down as chief so I could run for trustee, it was the last phase of a plan that had started 20 years earlier. A friend of mine just went through the same thing. They will elect their trustees in the fall.
    It's all about getting everyone on the same page. When you put everything on the table, you find out very quickly that many feel and think the same thing; they just don't like to say it. But when you put the plan together and it calls for drastic change, you have to follow through or it will be worse than it was.
    So, if you decide to stay and fight for change, stay focused and don't stop short of your goal. See it through. It will be well worth it.
    Giving up is giving in to a system that has outlived its usefullness.
    Best of luck in any regard.
    CR
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    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by FyredUp
    Frustration with either lack of progress or lack of leadership,
    Talk about hitting the nail squarely on the head.

    Nothing like having Chief officers who think they are leaders when in fact they micromanage things.

    In my department it's not about you're skills/qualifications, it's all about who you are and if the Chief officers like you.

    We have a guy with qualifications & knowledge/skills on our department greater than 90% of the officers, but since the Chief officers do not like him he is shunned and ignored.

  5. #25
    Forum Member cellblock's Avatar
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    It's time to quit when you start feeling like...
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  6. #26
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    Originally posted by cellblock
    It's time to quit when you start feeling like...

  7. #27
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    I admire your patience and perserverance, ChiefReason. I just can't bring myself to suffer fools long enough to execute a 20-year plan, especially in an area like mine where there are fire companies every few miles and the greener grass is always in sight just over the next hill.

  8. #28
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    Angry For me it is

    Hanging it up!!!!!!!

    Well it’s finally come to a time in my life where I need to hang the helmet on the wall and the boots in the closet…
    15 years in the South Carolina fire service and I thought this day would never come, I figured I would be one of those 90 year old volunteers that you read about on occasion who still volunteer, but that will never happen.
    So what did happen?
    Kershaw County Fire Service ruined it for me…never in my life have I ever been part of such a disappointing and discouraging fire service. I feel sorry for the residents of Kershaw County who rely on the “protection” of the K.C.F.S.
    It all starts at the top and rolls down hill from there.
    I blame it on the lack of leadership of the county fire marshal and his assistant.
    The K.C. Fire Marshals office has let the individual fire departments with their untrained officers and firefighters run amuck long enough..Its time for someone to come in and set a standard of “professional” fire protection in Kershaw County.
    Its time to set a standard within the KCFS..This includes training, officer standards and most of all accountability.
    Training and officer standards are left up to the individual departments within the KCFS. Some stations have adopted decent standards on minimum training for firefighters and officers while other stations still believe in the “good ole boy” system.
    The lack of training standards has cost the taxpayers in Kershaw County.
    The lack of a formal apparatus operator standard, training and recertification has cost the tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in replacement of wrecked fire apparatus and repairs of misused or destroyed equipment from improper operating procedures.
    Little or no training in fire suppression techniques has cost homeowners and property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in property that could have been saved by proper use of strategy and tactics in fire suppression.
    Lack of a fire service wide training schedule and oversight has lead to the inability of some departments to work together to protect the lives and properties of the residents of Kershaw County…stations that respond together need to train together on a continuing basis to provide the very best in services to the residents and taxpayers.
    What needs to be done you ask? Simple..
    Start at the top…
    Fire the county fire marshals!
    Hire someone to run the KCFS as a countywide fire service instead of allowing the individual stations to run themselves.
    Hire a full time training and compliance officer and set a countywide training schedule and minimum standards for fire personnel.
    Let the county training officer run and evaluate the training sessions at each station to insure standards are being met.
    Remove all rights of the individual departments to elect officers. All officers will have to meet minimum training and experience standards and be appointed by and accountable to the new head of the KCFS.
    Remove the rights of the individual departments to issue equipment to the firefighters..All equipment must be issued by the administration of the KCFS.
    In a nutshell the system needs to be torn down and reinvented..This is the only way the taxpayers and residents of Kershaw County will ever have a quality emergency services system in their time of need…I am glad I no longer live within the protection area of the current KCFS.
    Roofhook
    "where is my second due?"
    I.A.C.O.J. 2003

  9. #29
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    I think roofhook's story is one being repeated much more often than any of us want to admit across this country. There are a lot of names that could accurately be substituted for "Kershaw County" in this little diatribe. This is another case in point that the volunteer fire service itself is, hands down, primarily responsible for its own decline. It's not that "people today are too busy" or "people today don't care about their communities," as many would contend. It's that the volunteer fire service in many parts of this country has been, and remains, "250 years of tradition unimpeded by progress," and that people today aren't prepared to put up with this kind of backward nonsense. When are more of these people going to wake up? Or, is it already too late? I wonder...

  10. #30
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Roofhook:
    If you are truly happy that you have given up your fire service career, then I congratulate you and salute you.
    But I can't help but feel that, if you would have had some help, you would have made some major changes in the culture that exists there.
    I can feel the passion from your account of frustration with a system that only breeds public contempt when their lives are shattered by an emergency and all's the untrained, lazy fat bastards can do is stand there in full turnout gear and watch the house burn to the basement, because no one knew how to get water out of their truck.
    And it DOES come from a lack of leadership; no doubt about it. And the better leaders will not rise to the occasion if they keep quitting the service. The system will not get fixed, as long as those who recognize the problems CAN'T fix it because they don't have the "tools" or help.
    And it comes from the complacency of a system that has been in place in some parts of our country for 200 plus years.
    I know that there are many fine departments in all 50 states, but to have a department like the one you described operating like that in the 21st century is downright criminal.
    In fact; they should be cited and fined for it.
    With regards to each department in the county setting their own standards; I think that someone needs to remind them that NFPA is the recognized standard and the Department of Labor-OSHA, pretty much has everything with regards to the law.
    Hope you hook up with another department somewhere. Your knowledge is of great value to a department willing to listen.
    Remember that knowledge speaks and wisdom listens.
    Good luck.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  11. #31
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    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    And it DOES come from a lack of leadership; no doubt about it. And the better leaders will not rise to the occasion if they keep quitting the service. The system will not get fixed, as long as those who recognize the problems CAN'T fix it because they don't have the "tools" or help.
    Sure it will. Eventually. Either in our state legislatures or in our civil courts. The problem is the length of time this process will take and all the harm that will be done in the interim.


    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    I know that there are many fine departments in all 50 states...
    Yes there are, and I want to be very clear about that before someone misunderstands my position on this and makes it out to be a condemnation of the entire volunteer service. There are volunteer departments out there doing an excellent job in every state, and lots of them.


    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    ...but to have a department like the one you described operating like that in the 21st century is downright criminal. In fact; they should be cited and fined for it.
    You bet...but there are far too many like this far too many places, and the volunteer service will continue to lose qualified, dedicated, progressive people from these places as long as this nonsense is allowed to continue.


    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    With regards to each department in the county setting their own standards; I think that someone needs to remind them that NFPA is the recognized standard and the Department of Labor-OSHA, pretty much has everything with regards to the law.
    Yup. But until the states step up and force the issue, the standards will continue to be circumvented. It's really that simple. I'm convinced of it.

  12. #32
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    bobsnyder wrote:
    I admire your patience and perserverance, ChiefReason. I just can't bring myself to suffer fools long enough to execute a 20-year plan, especially in an area like mine where there are fire companies every few miles and the greener grass is always in sight just over the next hill.
    Bob:
    And if it was that simple for me, I don't know that I could have tolerated it to the point that we did get change.
    But every time that little guy in my head started telling me to stop wasting my time and to get out, I kept thinking about the ones who would be left behind with the prospects of no one helping them for their own sake; safety being the key concern.
    I just could never find a stronger reason to quit than I could find to stay and fight it.
    I look at fire departments like a marriage of sorts.
    If you can't get "her" to talk to you, you won't find out what's wrong so that you can fix it. It's about commitment and an effort on everyone's part to make it work.
    Try counselling if nothing else; sitting down and talking.
    Sometimes, it can be as simple as talking.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  13. #33
    Forum Member maximumflow's Avatar
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    Talking

    hey brothers

    i had to reply! this sounds like the frustrated vol. cruse line and i been on the boat for 30 yrs with you guys! as a ff/emt i volunteered in 1974 and i joined to help people and my community only to find out it is a living hell one has to get used to!! it took me a while to realize that its people like you,me,and the others that have posted that keeps the vol. fire service going in the direction it is going, forward!!! i live your kightmare every day and only realize that each time the alarm sounds that is the real reason i joined and all the bs is just a minor set back to the job. as i have said to the many over the yrs and they are still with me, if you love what you do ,never let anyone take it away! there are people that know "your" efferts are worth more than that board seat and the people on it. it's the people on the ship that make the cruse not the person that books it!! DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP!!!!!


    change ,a word so many are afraid of!

    helping people,
    it's what we do!
    capt.Dennis

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