Thread: Morale

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    Smile Morale

    Any ideas from anyone on how to improve morale? I've been on the job for nearly 10 years, and there isn't anyone where I work that seems to really care about the job. They are however concerned about their DROP accounts and side jobs. I work for a small to medium sized career department (50,000+ population, 72 line personnel, 5 staff positions, 1 closed firehouse, 3 open stations, almost 7,000 call volume annually). I have a long way to go before I retire and it's depressing to see us remain reactive instead of proactive. Morale is terrible due to budget cuts, reduced staffing, and a general lack of leadership. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    anderson12

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    SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    New leadership can help.

    Or there is always this...

    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    That pic is priceless!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Its been my experience that management considers the only motivation needed in a career dept is a pay check, and the threat of the loss thereof
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    OK I'll try. In my 18 years paid ffr, weve gone through some times like you are going through. One of the biggest things as a remedy is to make sure manangent is aware of all the issues that make morale poor. Ive alway thought,even when my attitude was poor that it was MY issue and MY behavior that needed to change, and it really was. However that is not a fix all, everyones complaints no matter how small or trivial to you, is enormous to he person with the issue. Now, understand, Im in managment now and I know for a fact, you cant make everyone happy, some people just want to live to be miserable and make others miserable and I for one, give a fair objective assessment of my employees if I have a problem, try to identify with them and tell them "how it is, and how its got to be", some accept that, some dont. The some donts eventually move on or get moved on, if you know what I mean. Its all about quality service to the consumer! The taxpayer. And that poor attitude is a cancer to your department and needs chemo. But it takes nuts and forethought and policy and more nuts and a desire to understand the big picture. In the fire service "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch girl", it may take a while but eventually itll start stinking! A positive attitude is hard to maintain in times like that but remember its the devil at work and he CAN be defeated. Ps: People please understand, management cant always get funding, budget issues have led to he demise of many departments but some things are out of our control.
    Last edited by Captnnc; 03-25-2005 at 05:07 PM.

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    Morale is sorta low at our house right now.

    I having been trying to find some good jokes or cartoons to take to meetings, just so that we can laugh for a minute. I refuse to let a meeting be one long weary affair. I don't know if it helps at all because no one says anything about it. A minor point, I know. But it is part of the problem; we don't pat each other on the back after a good performance. I have been trying to remedy that but it has been a lonely job so far. I'm going to have a quiet word with the Chief and see if he'll help me pat backs. Some times one small earned compliment can help people realize that their attribution is noticed and appreciated and then the junk doesn't seem so bad.

    I want to lift us up out of this "funk". We're good people and we don't need to grovel in the dirt but I get the feeling people are just rolling their eyes at me. (Like "there she goes again...")I feel like a cheerleader on a sinking ship. It seems to me that if we don't help each other up we're each part of the problem. I don't want to be part of an unnecessary problem.

    I have read this thread with interest and will watch for others to donate some ideas. Keep sharing people...
    IACOJ
    If you are willing to teach;
    I am willing to learn.

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    Its hard to keep moral up when the Chief likes to say "you get the only moral you need every two weeks" and "if you dont like it here, leave"
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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    Neat pic, Samson....kinda along the lines of "The beatings will continue until morale improves"....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I really don't have an answer on this one. I do know that when you get more than 2 people in a place that personalities dictate the environment. My career dept. suffers from lack of leadership, nepotism, severe personality differences, and guys who are there just for the paycheck and could care less about offering their best. We just ratified a contract the other night , had we not we were going to take a serious hit in manning, companies, and benefits that we earned over the years by going to arbitration. Many guys that I work with are "know it alls" and guys who actually believe that we are FDNY not a medium size dept. in RI. Example: Last year we put a heavy rescue in service with an officer and a driver. The officer had been made in 01' and used as a floating officer filling vacancies until last Feb. when we got the truck. The driver was the step man from the ladder. The officer on the HR wasn't filled if he was out which meant we were now running the HR with just a driver and it followed the ladder which went from an officer and 2 to an officer and driver. A month ago the chief shut the HR down to save on OT sending the HR officer back to float status. Guys flipped out over this. I was against running with 2 guys on a truck, we have a minimum of a officer and 2 on all of our apparatus (4 engines and a ladder with 2 ALS busses and a BC on each shift) and shortsighted wackers broke this up. This past year we went to arbitration and the city want down our minimum manning from 19 and the chief to 18 and the chief, with the cut coming from stepman on the ladder. The contract starting July 05 had the city had it's way would have been a minimum of 12 and the Chief with the closing of an engine and reducing the stepman off each piece. I told guys that running the ladder and HR this way proved to the administration that we theorhetically could run with 2 to a piece. I was right. Anyway at the contract ratification in which we got a decent contract for 4 yrs. without losing anything, guys still wanted to know when the HR was going to be running again. We came so close to losing so much and guys are worried about extras!!! Now the morale is in the toilet again because guys worrying about more trivial crap than their bread and butter. And you wonder why morale sucks??
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

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