Has anyone (especially the crusties on this site) ever felt like thier department is riding that handbasket straight to hell? Do you ever feel like your leader's aren't offering enough training opportunities and aren't giving back as much as your giving them? Does anyone ever feel like no matter what you do to get your department up on technology, it still feels like you are light years behind? Don't get me wrong, I run with 2 very good departments; (different counties-100 miles apart; one while I'm in school and the other when I'm home on breaks and on the weekends) but lately one of them has just really been bumming me out for many of the reasons listed above. I'm really pushing the training issue, but "we dont have the time." nor "the interest". I try to explain to them that we should train like our lives depend on it, because it does, but I guess they write me off as some young hot shot. They think that every structure we acquire has to be burned and won't dare to use any for forcible entry training or RIT training or anything like that first. How can I deal with this? How can I make them see that sooner or later someone's gonna wind up seriously injured or worse because "Training is the individual's responsibility."?
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05-16-2006, 11:42 PM #1
Anyone ever get bummed out in the direction thier department is heading?
05-17-2006, 12:26 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2000
- Oakland Fire Department, CA
The short answer is....at least it can only get better!!!-------------------------------------
"An aggressive interior attack does not mean just going inside to put out a fire. THAT'S just doing our job...."
IAFF Local 55
05-17-2006, 12:41 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
Wow...so I'm not the only one who has been bummed out with their dept lately!
I can sympathize with you, but I don't know what advice to give. I feel my dept has gotten really complacent (sp?) lately with our training. It seems like every training night everybodies got an excuse why they don't want to do anything that evening.
I know our assistant chief shares my feelings, but as of yet, nothing has changed. At one of our recent meetings him and I ended up taking the engine out by ourselves and doing some drills while the rest of the guys sat in the station and bs'ed.
I think part of the problem is most of our calls are grass fires and medicals/mvas, and we only fight one or two structures a year so nobody wants to do training related to that.
Sorry to go on so long, but you struck a nerve and I needed to vent!
P.S. I will add that things might be looking up for our next few meetings - it seems we actually have some things planned for them.
05-17-2006, 09:30 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Our department has this issue too. Luckily when I started, I started with a few others that were on for the first time. We found the training to be less than stellar, especially for us new guys. What we did was found a few of the captains that were willing to give us more training, and as a group of four (sometimes five), we train our butts off.
Good luck getting the training you need!
Last edited by millerman; 05-29-2006 at 09:01 AM.
05-17-2006, 09:41 AM #5
Don't like the way your leaders are leading your department, change the leaders. The answer is that simple. Getting to that point, though, may be a very difficult thing to do. But it's that simple, nothing else is going to get things to change."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?
05-17-2006, 10:34 AM #6
I know what you mean. Our dept. was like that for a while kind of stuck in a lul. We have had alot of firemen retire and we are a very young dept. now and we are getting better. It helps us that the chief and a captain really push the training. Sounds like your dept. needs a turn around like ours. Good Luck.Do not equate money with success. There are many successful moneymakers who are miserable failures as human beings.
What counts most about success is how a person achieves it.
05-17-2006, 11:12 AM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Des Moines, IA, USA
Anyone ever get bummed out in the direction their department is heading?
All of the time. Training doesn't seem to be a top priority for us. We have people that don't show up to meetings and I think just want to be on the department to say that they are on the department. This has been a heated topic in the meetings lately and a lot of members are sick of the complacency. We have some young probies(myself included) who are eager to learn but a bunch of vets who don't want to show us anything. Its frustrating but we will see what happens I guess.Respect.
05-17-2006, 11:17 PM #8Originally Posted by Bones42
05-18-2006, 01:27 AM #9
Oh it's coming
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
For mine however, I don't think changing the leaders is the answer. Our current chief has done wonders for our dept - getting new equip, working with other depts in the area, so I can't complain about him at all. The problem is just many of the people show up at the meetings and you always hear "I'm too tired from work today, let's not do anything tonight."
I can understand you being tired from work, I'm tired too when I come to the meeting, but we could at least do something other than sit around and talk about something completly unrelated to the fire dept.
I don't know what the answer is for our dept, but I know it's not regime change.
05-18-2006, 03:17 AM #10
hmm looks like I'm not alone, the dept back home (i just moved) has this issue. they don't train on hardly anything, and when they do its not very challanging. when i tryed to get them to do training the older guys don't want to do it, and the younger group sees that and doesn't feel they need to put 100% into it either.
05-18-2006, 09:40 AM #11
Sorry, vfdguy, but your wrong. Your leaders are allowing people to use that excuse and not train. Time to change. Maybe not all of them, but at least some of them. You need leaders that are willing to say "Too bad your tired, we're training tonight.""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?
05-18-2006, 01:31 PM #12
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
- Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
Leaders set the tone. leaders let the group know what is important. Leaders make standards and leaders enforce the standards. Leaders model the standards for the group. True leaders do not accept excuses.
I think we have all had times where we feel our agency has been headed in the wrong direction, if not in the general sense but at least in one specific area or on a specific issue. You do what you can quietly. You do the right thing, and maybe, just maybe, others will follow. If the issue is training, you, and others who feel that more training is need take the bull by the horns. Get together at the station and train. Maybe others will become interested and involved. You do what you can to change the leadership's mind in a professional way.
05-18-2006, 07:02 PM #13Originally Posted by Bones42IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
05-29-2006, 02:28 AM #14
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
I'm in the same boat. School, 2 Depts, 2 counties. One has excellent leadership which is the key. In that Dept they are leaders, not your buddies at the hosehall who can manage a fireground well. Leader first, friend second in my opinion.
MORALLE! Comes with good leadership and respect. with high moralle ppl put forth an honest effort in everything from firefighting to just keeping equipment clean.
05-29-2006, 02:52 PM #15
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Southern California
I agree with LaFireEducator..... Management does set the trend or trends for the Department. I don't have this problem at either of my Departments..... we have policies that state that each person is liable for a certain amount of hours of training per shift/month. If somebody is delinquent, they are repremended and then lose some of their responsibilities; example a Driver/Operator will be bumped back to a FF, etc.
Not sure if I read this right, but on one night the Assistant Chief and you took the Engine out........ if he has such a big problem with it, and support that training is essential, why didn't he get the other crew members to join you guys?
Don't know if this will help, but I would really look at your Department's S.O.Gs. or S.O.Ps. to see if there is anything that will support your concerns.
If not, then with the help of Management, but one into place.
Another thought is talk to the personnel that don't wanna train, it may be something as simple as everytime that training is done, it's "boring" or "too basic." These are comments that I have heard before, and I just adjusted the training.
Something else that works, is have each person to the training on a subject that they feel are very competant on........ then the next time they train have them train on a subject they need help on....... do you see how this balances out the training?
If you try all that you can, then go to Management. Hopefully, there is enough respect for their position to get the training done.
If your personnel don't know what is expected of them, then how can we as Middle, Upper Management expect them to read our minds and know what we expect from them?"Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"
Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....
Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....
05-29-2006, 06:39 PM #16
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
Why do you think I retired?NREMT-P\ Volunteer Fire Chief\Tactical Paramedic
Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.
05-29-2006, 07:32 PM #17
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
unfortunately i find that the people that would be the best training officers want absolutely nothing to do with it .. they are the best candidates for a reason ,, because they are good firefighters ,, who would prefer to be on the trucks..
and i was promptly laughed at when i suggested that some of the retired guys would be great to have back in to teach , esp. when an academy is starting.. [ you know who they are ,, we all have them ] . it is a great way to retrieve pricless info and experience from those guys to teach the future.. if you can convince them to come back ,,
i refer to my first point ,,, typically you will find that the guy that would be the best now resides in florida and wants nothing to do with having patience for the youth ....
05-29-2006, 09:24 PM #18
KEEPBACK...You describing my dept to a T....Our idea of training is sittin on the bumpers of the truck...The worst thing is we have plenty of people who want to go out and do stuff, But the high archey doesn't want to let us....The equipment thing is another thing...Now funding in our area is next to none which also makes it hard...So anything we want to get we have to fundraise for ourself....Sometimes it aggrevates the s**t out of me...But I try to not let it bother me and keep on truckinIf someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
05-30-2006, 03:52 AM #19
Sorry to hear you are feeling down about your department. I was in a similar situation here. Good luck with whatever direction you choose to go. Around here, those who are a threat to the status quo soon find themselves out of the department. I saw "life members" forced to turn in their gear and active members quit out of frustration with the social club culture.
05-30-2006, 12:47 PM #20
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Las Vegas,Nevada
jumping off the train
I am not a firefighter but just a mechanic who tries to keep the guys that do that stuff safe and running. I am retiring next April 1 because I no longer feel that I have anything to contribute to a department that seems rather close minded and a lot of other complaints I won't go into here about. I am not fond of brick walls and hitting my head on them anymore after 40 years of doing it.
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