I am a newer Lt. in command of an urban volunteer day crew. Staffing is always the first thing on my mind and on any incident I am quick to call for MABAS. Of my firefighters, one is the son of another Lt. on nights out of one of our three stations. This son is HIGHLY influenced by his father, and cannot think for himself without conferring in his father. This father is on his way out. After sustaining an unrelated back injury this father has sucomb to a gross negative attitude that is infecting the entire department. My problem is how to maintain this son, specifically, and other firefighters moral and upbeat attitude towards our 4 calls per day without underminding this Lt./father/son's position. I have crews and obligations to fufill. I cannot do so while this contageous attitude is in the air. How do I approach the father? (clishe) son? and my crew while holding authority, saving face of a (hopeful) retirement, and motivating this "apple on the tree" son?
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10-11-2005, 03:34 AM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
10-11-2005, 02:20 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- West Point, VA
You have just found the toughest part of being an officer. It is not response issues that will give you your biggest headaches, it is personnel issues.
Your biggest tool will be your actions. You need to set the example. Keep a positive attitude, train constantly, and try to "do the right thing". You will make mistakes, but that is OK. Don't cover them up, admit to them, learn from them and move on.
The son will listen to his father and that will be near impossible to change. That relationship has been there for a long time. Talking bad about the father will only drive him away. So don't change it. Show another alternative to the negative attitude. Show that your positive attitude will result in a better way of doing things. Let the son see this without blatantly pointing it out to him and you will win him over.
If that doesn't work and the negative attitude is pulling other members down, make your case to him. Confront him with facts not feelings and ask that adjustments be made. If they cannot be made, a transfer or disciplinary action may have to ensue.
Last edited by Spencer534; 10-11-2005 at 02:23 PM.
12-22-2005, 11:26 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
- Wetaskiwin, AB, Canada
All I can say is act fast, this guy can destroy any bit of morale in your crew in a hell of a hurry. Our dept has been through simalar problems. Stick to your guns and don't back down. If you think it's a problem now, just wait and see what happens if you don't do anything about it for a while. If you think it's bad now just wait and see if it takes your too long to deal with it, it will be so far out of control it will be hard to bring the morale back. In my opinion members of the same rank shouldn't disipline each other. Go to who you as Lieutenants answer to, Captains or Batallion Chiefs. If your firefighters see the problem rests with you and your the one to fix it, dealing with it promptly is one way to keep their respect for you. Hope my 2 cents have helped and good luck!
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