1. #1
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    Unhappy Retainment, Yeah right

    What you have to say, and what suggestions would you give to a Life member of a fire company (24 years service) who was expelled from a snow ball of affects that started with the member starting to ask for money owed to him for a wedding he photographed 2 years before that had to go to court for not payment then the petty suspensions started until the final expulsion that was because "at a parade the member (who was suspended at the time) had his back to the fire company while they paraded by." This in their eyes constituted conduct unbecoming. Even if true the closest it could come to is the first amendment right of freedom of expression. Their by-laws and constitution even state that "live membership is non-revocable." This member “non-member” because of the suspension was their to support his son and son’s Boy Scout troop, not for the fire company.

    This man was not even allowed to defend himself at a fire company meeting.

    It is appalling to think that this fire district is short one dedicated fireman (proven by 24 years service) because of petty differences.

    Unfortunately for this man to fight this under first amendment rights a $10,000 retainer is required.

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    huh ?? Damn, you lost we with the 8 line opening sentence. Please explain the situation a little slower and clearer and maybe I can form an opinion.

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    1. Is it REALLY necessary to air dirty laundry here???? and 2. Me thinks there is more to this story....But I doubt we will ever hear it.......
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    1. Is it REALLY necessary to air dirty laundry here???? and 2. Me thinks there is more to this story....But I doubt we will ever hear it.......

    Sorry if you think it is dirty laundry, but I am looking for help and where else can I go to find accurate info but a ff forum.

    Now I tried to keep it vague enough so that I would not be accused of airing dirty laundry but I guess I can not win. You also make assumptions that you will never hear the whole story which is a double edges sword and an argument I can not win. In essence you have already set me up to loose. If I tell you more I am airing more dirty laundry, if I do not I am not telling the whole story, which would you like so you will not be "pre" judgmental?

    Everywhere I have turned I have received the same answer, so where to you suggest I go with out having to spent 10K to be a VOLUNTEER like I have been for 24 years? This is a topic that affects us all and can happen to anyone including you when politics become out of line at your fire company. The bottom line is they did not follow the by laws stomped on my civil rights and knew they could expel someone against the rules because no one would send the amount of money that it would take to prove that they violated first amendment rights.

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    So do 1 of two things:

    1. **** or get off the pot: Buck up the money, and take it to court,

    -or-

    2. Quit whining, and walk away. Have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you volunteered for an organization for 24 years, and that you have the last laugh knowing that they no longer have your services. Go volunteer somewhere else: The local hospital, the Boy Scouts, The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, another Fire Department.........This is what I would do....Anyone who would want to spend 10K to be a volunteer is a bit whacky anyways......If and when my volly house paid my mortgage, than I might consider paying an attorney to fight for me. Sounds to me (without hearing their side of the story) that they really dont need you anyways.

    And as for your "damed if I do, damned if I dont statement" regarding the dirty laundry and the whole story, you never should have posted it all to begin with.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 01-08-2006 at 09:00 AM.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I'm gonna have to agree with FWD... But....

    I do have two questions:

    Do you know if your Civil Rights have actually been violated?
    If they have, is the organization fully aware of what they have done?



    Here are some links that may help you...

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=loose

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=lose
    Last edited by WMFF12; 01-08-2006 at 10:24 AM.
    Giggity - Giggity!

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    Kind of hard to believe that belonging to a volly fire department is a constitutional right..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    huh ?? Damn, you lost we with the 8 line opening sentence. Please explain the situation a little slower and clearer and maybe I can form an opinion.
    Sorry, I was trying to be vague enough so that I would not be accused of what I already have been in the second reply. I am suffering enough grief. I have been a dedicated ff for 24 years, not been in trouble before except I was suspended for laughing at an Erie County Installation dinner because there were party snaps placed on the dance floor. Their rational was that since I was laughing I did it and was suspended for 2 weeks; we do not even have a 2 week suspension in our books. At my appeal meeting I asked if anyone saw me put them on the floor and they said no but the suspension stuck because I was reported to be laughing by people from other fire companies. I was not the only one laughing this took place 15-20 years ago, just to show you how open I am going to be.

    Speed ahead to 2002. October I do wedding photography. I shot a wedding for a friend and fellow firefighter I think then a Capt. or lt. I gave him a very good price of $750 with about 325 proofs and enlargements. Six months come and go, not payment received. I started asking him every other month for payment. Still nothing. An other 6 months pass and they break up. Now the he said she said game started. I ask him for payment he said "she hasn't paid you yet?" I would ask her "He hasn't paid you yet" this went on for a year. About November 2005 I started small claims court proceedings. He was now running 1st assistant chief and up for reelection. Hummm cannot prove it but you think a law suit may have started this whole thing? When he got the paperwork he went as far as to tell everyone at the hall that I never asked him for money. They did get a bill for me before the wedding and do not forget all the times I asked him. They were very happy with the pictures. Let’s see oh yea his father is a commissioner, his brother is a 2nd assistant chief and his uncle at the time is a life member and town councilman. HUMMM

    We were at a mutual aid call in an apartment complex where people from 18 apartments were displaced; during this fire I had the dull but important task of guarding an apartment. The reason for this is that we had to break in (to check for extension) (the renter was no where around) The apartment belonged to a customs agent or boarder patrol agent and I can not remember which, regardless of the fact that he should be smart enough to have all his guns locked up we could not confirm this so I was the accountability person for this apartment. The smoke cleared and I was finally checked on by the 1st assistant chief in question and another fireman. They stated how thirsty and hungry they were and off the cuff I told them that the kitchen sink is right there and there is a bowl full of candy. He took a handful tossed me a piece and left. The others on the fore scene started to ask where he got the candy and he came back and emptied the bowl.

    Maybe it should have not been done but it did add levity to a long heartbreaking fire. An hour or so later after the fire was out the home company had us all tour at our leisure the apartment of origin. Firemen nosed every where including the closet where this mans pinups were and his chrome rims etc and they were making comments. At his time I picked up a $12 dollar plastic camera with no film, you know the type put the film in, spin the wheel and the flash goes off and the picture is taken. Again to add levity I set off the flash on this camera while it was pointed at the other firemen. I let them think that there was film in the camera and said what do you think he will say when he develops that film.

    I was suspended for a month for this. In our company 2 chief officers have to sign the suspension and the same 1st assistant chief who owed me money , and lifted a whole bowl of candy was one of the 2 to sign the paperwork. Do you think this is a conflict of interest? I ask them that question. The chief was the other signer. I stated that what I did was harmless (by the way they said they had the pictures that did not exist and of course would not show them to me) and 1st assistant chief did was burglary. I did not feel it fair that I was to receive a suspension with out the 1st assistant receiving the same or greater.

    According to our paperwork I was allowed to appeal this at the next fire co meeting or board meeting. I chose the fire co meeting because the date was closer and there would be a better chance at roomer control. I gave the board what I was going to read off and said I would be in the lobby waiting for them to call me in to the fire co meeting. They never called me in (denying my right to a proper appeal and never read my statement off) the floor had no Idea that I was there for an appeal. We have a public lobby for a public bar in our hall. Since I was denied my right to appeal I hung up a copy of my statement on the public bulletin board in the public lobby outside the public bar. Mind you I was in theory already suspended. I was suspended again for this action for 6 months (is this even appropriate amount of time for this?) (Basically while I was not a member). They even when as far as to say I canvassed the entire parking lot and put the statement on all the car windows in it the lot. I made 4 copies one for the board, one for me, one for the bulletin board and one for a friend.

    I then went to the board meeting and every NYS law and our by-laws that I quoted fell on deaf ears. NYS not for profit incorporation law states that a member is defined as a person who has the privileges granted under the rules of incorporation. I was denied my privileges ergo I was not a member and could not be suspended again. Our by-laws state that life membership is non-revocable I have 3 ID cards that back that up, they even broke their own by-laws.

    At a memorial day parade in support of my son and his Boy Scout troop my family was there. Again while still "suspended" I was expelled for allegedly having my back to the fire company and dragged my family into this too, but does this warrant an expulsion? Again I was a non member at the time and I am a life member with non revocable privileges.

    Think about this as a taxpayer for a moment. A well trained, dedicated firemen that has never really been in trouble before was let go and now is not protecting your property after spending tens of thousands of dollars on his equipment and training over the years. What was alleged to be done put no one at harm and was not an unsafe firefighting practice and at best could be called by the fire company social problems mostly at social events that should have been dealt with only socially. I as a taxpayer in the district am not happy and neither should any other be pleased that this is what brought down their ranks of firefighters by one. What is next?

    All I want to do is volunteer for my community, I am young enough to be there of another 20 years or more this is a shame and a waste over what at best can be labeled as personality differences.

    The other party and you wanted the whole story; now please do not flame for it. I am looking for help not hassle.

    Thanks for any help in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WMFF12
    I'm gonna have to agree with FWD... But....

    I do have two questions:

    Do you know if your Civil Rights have actually been violated?
    If they have, is the organization fully aware of what they have done?



    Here are some links that may help you...

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=loose

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=lose

    Thanks for the sites and yes I know two things for the initial consultation and about $600 on follow up is that what they did and how they did it was procedurally wrong, 2 there is a strong civil rights violation here, it should be obvious that all the right in the world for freedom of speech which is what happened when I hung up my statement and even if my back was turned again to punish some one for a statement is a clear violation of civil rights.

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    Again I was a non member at the time and I am a life member
    Uh, so are you a non member or a Life member????

    As for the photo shoot, bring the signed contract to a meeting and prove to everyone that you did your job. Simple.

    I won't go into the mutual aid call cause I see so many things wrong there, it would take too much posting time.

    The other party and you wanted the whole story; now please do not flame for it.
    The whole story is not just your side of it. There are usually 3 sides: yours, their's, and the truth somewhere in the middle.

    Honest question, if you sue'd to get back on the department, do you really think any single person there would respect you anymore?
    "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?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    So do 1 of two things:

    1. **** or get off the pot: Buck up the money, and take it to court,

    -or-

    2. Quit whining, and walk away. Have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you volunteered for an organization for 24 years, and that you have the last laugh knowing that they no longer have your services. Go volunteer somewhere else: The local hospital, the Boy Scouts, The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, another Fire Department.........This is what I would do....Anyone who would want to spend 10K to be a volunteer is a bit whacky anyways......If and when my volly house paid my mortgage, than I might consider paying an attorney to fight for me. Sounds to me (without hearing their side of the story) that they really dont need you anyways.

    And as for your "damed if I do, damned if I dont statement" regarding the dirty laundry and the whole story, you never should have posted it all to begin with.
    1) Some of your advice is good but was it necessary to use insults like whining and whacky?

    2) regarding the fact that I should not have posted it anyway, I am at the end of the line and was looking for more help you suggest that I should not have posted it but offered no other alternatives on where to go for help I asked nicely not to flame me yet you felt it necessary anyway, I thought where else better to ask than a ff forum? I do not think I was wrong for asking for help or I would not have done it and or no one then should ask for help.

    Your post would have been very nice astute and helpful except for the burns...ouch

    The fire service has been a part of my life for over half of it and I miss it and it does hurt besides the friends that I have been isolated and alienated from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Uh, so are you a non member or a Life member????

    As for the photo shoot, bring the signed contract to a meeting and prove to everyone that you did your job. Simple.

    I won't go into the mutual aid call cause I see so many things wrong there, it would take too much posting time.

    The whole story is not just your side of it. There are usually 3 sides: yours, their's, and the truth somewhere in the middle.

    Honest question, if you sue'd to get back on the department, do you really think any single person there would respect you anymore?
    I am not biased and what I have said is the truth and shame on you for suggesting otherwise, kick a man when he is down that's what firemen and brother firemen do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Kind of hard to believe that belonging to a volly fire department is a constitutional right..............
    You have misunderstood... I did not say that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Uh, so are you a non member or a Life member????

    As for the photo shoot, bring the signed contract to a meeting and prove to everyone that you did your job. Simple.

    I won't go into the mutual aid call cause I see so many things wrong there, it would take too much posting time.

    The whole story is not just your side of it. There are usually 3 sides: yours, their's, and the truth somewhere in the middle.

    Honest question, if you sue'd to get back on the department, do you really think any single person there would respect you anymore?
    You misunderstand, I was not a member because they suspended me which by their by laws they can not do so yes I was a non member/life member but they set up that parameter.

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    Default Please no flaming/hate mail

    Please I asked for help, I truly thought this was a place I could go for it. Please if you have nothing constructive to add do not send hate/lame posts.

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    Please I asked for help, I truly thought this was a place I could go for it. Please if you have nothing constructive to add do not send hate/flame posts.

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    Default fair warning

    [color=#ff6600]That was the other intent for this post that this could happen at your fore co, once it is know that they can do what they please to a member because it is too expensive for that member to fight it the flood gates could open....[color]

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Honest question, if you sue'd to get back on the department, do you really think any single person there would respect you anymore?
    This would be my thinking as well. you can sue, spend thousands of dollars on a suit that may or may not win. and then what? even if you do win, I can assure you that you won't be welcomed back with open arms.

    while you may have gotten a raw deal, I think the best thing to do would be to cut your losses. go find another department to join. if you got 24 years in, and your everything you say you are, then I'm sure there will be another department willing to have you as a member. yeah, you might have to drive a little farther to get to the firehouse, but if you really want to do it, then it shouldn't be a problem.

    or you could always just say good bye to the FD and switch to EMS...
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    So do 1 of two things:

    1. **** or get off the pot: Buck up the money, and take it to court,

    -or-

    2. Quit whining, and walk away. Have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you volunteered for an organization for 24 years, and that you have the last laugh knowing that they no longer have your services. Go volunteer somewhere else: The local hospital, the Boy Scouts, The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, another Fire Department.........This is what I would do....Anyone who would want to spend 10K to be a volunteer is a bit whacky anyways......If and when my volly house paid my mortgage, than I might consider paying an attorney to fight for me. Sounds to me (without hearing their side of the story) that they really dont need you anyways.

    And as for your "damed if I do, damned if I dont statement" regarding the dirty laundry and the whole story, you never should have posted it all to begin with.
    Just for info I do volunteer for the Boy Scouts at a troop and as a fore safety merit badge counselor, the Salvation Army, and raise money for many other organizations.

    Thank you the best and niceist thing you said was:



    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you volunteered for an organization for 24 years, and that you have the last laugh knowing that they no longer have your services.[/B]

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    Default personally, I'd let it go

    If my volunteer department did not want me, whether it was for legitimate reasons or for some petty personal differences, I'd say goodbye and go spend my energy elsewhere.

    From my perspective, fighting to be a part of a "club" that doesn't want you just leads you to grief. If it were your paid job and you were now in economic hardship because of the unfair treatment, that would be a whole different story.
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    This would be my thinking as well. you can sue, spend thousands of dollars on a suit that may or may not win. and then what? even if you do win, I can assure you that you won't be welcomed back with open arms.

    while you may have gotten a raw deal, I think the best thing to do would be to cut your losses. go find another department to join. if you got 24 years in, and your everything you say you are, then I'm sure there will be another department willing to have you as a member. yeah, you might have to drive a little farther to get to the firehouse, but if you really want to do it, then it shouldn't be a problem.

    or you could always just say good bye to the FD and switch to EMS...
    Doc, Thanks, things do not work the same way everywhere such as we have a municipal ems and I dispatch for Fire, EMS, and Police. There is no vol ems, Departments around here do not take people from out of district. There is one very small company not very active that actually approached me. I was truly flattered and extremely honored. I took them up on that offer they are hurting for manpower (total 13 right now we had about 80) and experienced ff's.

    I am humbled by their offer, and I am waiting for them to vote on me today in fact. Thanks again I think some times some of us need to here that we got a raw deal so we do not beat our selves up over nonsense. The intent of looking into the lawsuit was to try and scare my former co into doing the right thing after they received the paper work. They did not care.

    Thanks for the advice once again you are a good man, and wish me luck...


    PS one other from my company who quit asked to tag along with me they said ok and another person, a son of a member who quit, his father forbad him to join my origional co is also going to tag along. With any amount of luck we will increase their ranks to 17! It is exciting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baileydonk
    If my volunteer department did not want me, whether it was for legitimate reasons or for some petty personal differences, I'd say goodbye and go spend my energy elsewhere.

    From my perspective, fighting to be a part of a "club" that doesn't want you just leads you to grief. If it were your paid job and you were now in economic hardship because of the unfair treatment, that would be a whole different story.
    Thanks very nice, but I have done this for over half of my life and it is a part of me and defines part of whom and what I am. But you definitely have a good point

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    Default Edit

    Does any one know how to edit after the fact? I would like to but I do not have an edit button.??????

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    Were I in your situation , I'd have to consider disgussing it with my local
    Attorney General/District Attorney /Prosecutor .Whether or not they can- or will-do anything about it might be another matter . NOBODY is supposed to be above the law in this country (look at Congress ,ha,ha), and if they are breaking it , righfully , they should not only be subject to litigation , but criminally prosecuted.

    I think you are doing the best thing ,however , by going to a different
    department , who needs your help and will most likely appreciate your
    efforts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushmaster
    Were I in your situation , I'd have to consider disgussing it with my local
    Attorney General/District Attorney /Prosecutor .Whether or not they can- or will-do anything about it might be another matter . NOBODY is supposed to be above the law in this country (look at Congress ,ha,ha), and if they are breaking it , righfully , they should not only be subject to litigation , but criminally prosecuted.

    I think you are doing the best thing ,however , by going to a different
    department , who needs your help and will most likely appreciate your
    efforts.
    Hey Thanks bush for the advice it is heartbreaking pouring your heart and soul into a department and have them dismiss you like the weekly refuse. I have done many things for the company over the years through committees and line officer positions and it is hard to make the break I feel I have left a part of me there in fact there are things there that would not be there if I was not. I guess everything happens for a reason.

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