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Thread: I'll say it.

  1. #1
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Default I'll say it.

    Some Say Miami-Dade Fire Department Needs More Black Employees:

    Several years ago, the fire department was under a court order to diversify and hire more black employees. Now, some claim the bad old days might be here again, which the department denies vigorously, NBC 6's Nick Bogert reported.

    Faye Davis is a captain in the fire department, which she often criticizes for insensitivity to its black members.

    "This isn't even close to being representative of the taxpayers of this community," Davis said.

    Davis said she and other black firefighters worried from the start about Lorenzo, saying his record of hiring minority employees in other departments he headed was dismal.

    Lorenzo and the Progressive Firefighters Association have written and met over the months about recruitment issues. Now, the PFA said the proof is in the April and May fire academy classes.

    "You can't come with two classes, 66 individuals and only 5 blacks, and then say to us you're trying," Davis said.

    But Miami-Dade County fire officials said the two classes might have fewer black students in them because of mandated hiring preferences for military veterans and those with paramedic certification, and predict that fewer classes will be more diverse.

    Retired firefighter Michael Myles said he worries.

    "It feels just like the '70s," Myles said.

    Myles was hired as a Miami-Dade County firefighter in the 1970s, when the department was under a court order to increase the number of black firefighters. He said it was a hostile workplace.

    "Once we had our dinner with them, they would throw away our dishes," Myles said.

    Myles said he worries that hard-fought gains of the past might be eroding.

    "Most of us have retired. Those people have not been replaced," Myles said.

    Fire officials said they must meet a lot of mandates in hiring, many of which are not of their own making.

    Lorenzo was unavailable for comment. When he was hired, County Manager George Burgess put ensuring diversity first when listing the new chief's priorities.

    "The county manager is not serious at all," Davis said.

    A county spokesman said the manager is putting finishing touches on his budget proposal for next year and would not have time to comment on these claims.

    Now, the fire department is made up of about 15¬Ĺ percent black members, and the county population is about 20 percent black, Bogert reported.

    Copyright 2006 by NBC6.net. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    ****************************** *********************

    Seems pretty representive to me.

    Fire departments should not be forced to go out and recruit anyone, there are plenty of applicants. Applicants should then be prioritized in grade, not race.

    Hope that doesn't make me a racist.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.


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    What, you don't feel guilty about all the ills we as a society have caused these poor, helpless people? [/sarcasm]

    I have no problem with major cities restricting hiring to bona fide residents. I do believe firefighting is a trade that can be taught to most reasonably intelligent and motivated persons...and in that way can help people who grew up in a poor area.

    However, it's up to them to, um, show up and do well on the test in order to get that oppurtonity. Nothing magic about that.

    I have seen one modest size city near me that used to hire only firefighters already certified, with fire truck operator licenses, etc. Which sure saved them money, but meant none of their city residents were eligible to be hired since you had to either be a career firefighter somewhere else, or more likely a volunteer in one of the surrounding suburbs to have had the base qualifications. That never struck me as fair to the residents of that city who couldn't volunteer in their own community to gain the necessary certifications, and it only saved the city 4 months of the career academy time from someone who would work for the next 25 years or so.

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    The problem people will argue is that the minorities should be given an extra boost to put them on an equal level as the majortiy. They try to justify this by saying that they have not had the same opportunities as others and that has been fair to them.

    I understand thier argument, but what about many of us who are not black and grew up disadantaged and have never been given a thing or helping hand.

    I am not racist but this idea of affermative action has grown outdated and needs to be put to rest. Everyone has the same opportunites today so lets move on.

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    Right on the mark MemphisE34a,

    The only racists are the dopes calling for special recruitment and treatment of anyone based on the color of their skin.

    Too many persons today want everything handed to them and godforbid one should have to work hard at something to accomplish a goal or objective.
    The only reason I can imagine they hired 5 blacks out of 66 is because more Blacks didn't "try" hard enough...it certainly isn't up to the city to "try" to hire you!

    How insulting it must be to those 5 blacks who worked hard and succeded in getting hired are being told that they and the others that didn't get hired should have been given the job based on the color of their skin!

    Anyone notice that just about any NBA, NFL or MBL team isn't represenative of the city they are located in? I don't hear any cries to balance out the white with the black, with the red and the yellow!

    Yet another reason cities should have civil service hiring standards to prevent this nonsense from taking hold.

    I want someone who is interested and motivated enough to sign up and is the best possible canidate for the job...I don't want some dope who needs to be convinced to sign up (or almost forced to fill out an application) and is given the job simply because his race classifies him as a "minority".

    Should we also be choosing who gets to be Doctors, Airline pilots and Judges based on their skin color? Any takers out there? I didn't think so.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 06-01-2006 at 10:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    What, you don't feel guilty about all the ills we as a society have caused these poor, helpless people? [/sarcasm]

    I have no problem with major cities restricting hiring to bona fide residents. I do believe firefighting is a trade that can be taught to most reasonably intelligent and motivated persons...and in that way can help people who grew up in a poor area.

    However, it's up to them to, um, show up and do well on the test in order to get that oppurtonity. Nothing magic about that.

    I have seen one modest size city near me that used to hire only firefighters already certified, with fire truck operator licenses, etc. Which sure saved them money, but meant none of their city residents were eligible to be hired since you had to either be a career firefighter somewhere else, or more likely a volunteer in one of the surrounding suburbs to have had the base qualifications. That never struck me as fair to the residents of that city who couldn't volunteer in their own community to gain the necessary certifications, and it only saved the city 4 months of the career academy time from someone who would work for the next 25 years or so.
    Exactly correct Dal,

    This is the prime reasoning behind civil service hiring...Merit and fitness. A city gives everyone the opportunity to take an entrance exam written and physical and based on the ranking of who has shown the most merit and fitness for said job out of the entire group gets hired and sent to the accademy where they are taught the trade of being a fireman.

    I was involved in a deep discussion on another thread with some who beleived that firemen should be hired based on the need for them to have specific cutural and job specific knowledge before getting hired! It is a concept that is beyond ludicrous.

    If you have an unbiased hiring process the only person to blame for one person not getting hired over another is themselves.

    FTM-PTB

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    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Hello?!? Hire the "Most Qualified" including Veterans first. Give me a break. Someone is always crying about and/or playing the race card.

    I do not care what color you are, did they hire who the person with the most education, training and experinence? Thats who I want at my house!

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    Have you noticed, you hear less of "hire a minority?" Could it be that the other "minorites" have decided to work and compete on a level field? How many "hispanics" are working in the fire service in Miami?
    Just a few questions.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default Same old same old

    I could go on and on, but it would just be preaching to the choir.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Faye Davis is a captain in the fire department, which she often criticizes for insensitivity to its black members.
    "This isn't even close to being representative of the taxpayers of this community," Davis said.
    Now, the fire department is made up of about 15Ĺ percent black members, and the county population is about 20 percent black, Bogert reported.
    Evidently the skipper's idea of what "close" means and actual statistical realities are two different things. To be within 4.5% for ANY demographic criteria is freaking RARE.
    I wonder if the good captain is ensuring that her engineer gets the lines within 4.5% of correct flow every time too. I bet not since she spends her time "often criticizing" the very department which has promoted her to a leadership post. Too bad she doesn't handle the department with the same 'sensitivity' she expects from them and handle the laundry 'inhouse'.
    Bet she is a pure joy to work with though.
    transplant

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU
    Hello?!? Hire the "Most Qualified" including Veterans first. Give me a break. Someone is always crying about and/or playing the race card.

    I do not care what color you are, did they hire who the person with the most education, training and experinence? Thats who I want at my house!
    Actually, there is more to it than hiring the person with most education, experience and training. You want to hire the people who will make the best FF. Perhaps the person with the most education, experience and training is an anti-social, negative person. That person, arguably, can cause more damage to an organization than a less qualified entry level person who has the ability to be trained and to become part of a team.

    In many respects, under the civil service system, it is easier for minorities to get a job on the Fd than it would be to get an entry level position in private industry. Add to that the fact that many FF salaries in North Jersey will put that FF at about $70K after a few years, with full benefits and the like. I can't understand why the minority members of the community aren't beating the doors down.

    All I know is that I didn't enslave or discriminate against anybody. Neither did, to the best of my knowledge, anyone in my immediate family. I refuse to accept responsibility and be contrite for something that I simply didn't, and would never, do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Actually, there is more to it than hiring the person with most education, experience and training. You want to hire the people who will make the best FF. Perhaps the person with the most education, experience and training is an anti-social, negative person. That person, arguably, can cause more damage to an organization than a less qualified entry level person who has the ability to be trained and to become part of a team.

    In many respects, under the civil service system, it is easier for minorities to get a job on the Fd than it would be to get an entry level position in private industry. Add to that the fact that many FF salaries in North Jersey will put that FF at about $70K after a few years, with full benefits and the like. I can't understand why the minority members of the community aren't beating the doors down.

    All I know is that I didn't enslave or discriminate against anybody. Neither did, to the best of my knowledge, anyone in my immediate family. I refuse to accept responsibility and be contrite for something that I simply didn't, and would never, do.
    Very Well Said, George. The job should go to the person who is qualified by going thru the process. That process must not discriminate. Period. (I respectfully disagree with Dal on the residency thing, I think that residency requirements are a form of discrimination as well) There are, and always will be, those who are agitators on this subject. They are the same ones who want to re-write the history books because their group was portrayed in a poor light. Or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Actually, there is more to it than hiring the person with most education, experience and training. You want to hire the people who will make the best FF. Perhaps the person with the most education, experience and training is an anti-social, negative person. That person, arguably, can cause more damage to an organization than a less qualified entry level person who has the ability to be trained and to become part of a team.
    Well George, I guess we could disagree. In my 15 years of testing and trying to promote, I have found that departments want the best overall candidate. Usually, education and training are the very desired basics. (Must have FF1, EMT, HS Grad, etc...) Then they move on to backgrounds, personality, "Will they fit into our organization?", etc...

    As most public safety organizations do...Just hire the best person regardless of race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    I could go on and on, but it would just be preaching to the choir.

    HAHA Exactly what I was thinking Mikey!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU
    Well George, I guess we could disagree. In my 15 years of testing and trying to promote, I have found that departments want the best overall candidate. Usually, education and training are the very desired basics. (Must have FF1, EMT, HS Grad, etc...) Then they move on to backgrounds, personality, "Will they fit into our organization?", etc...

    As most public safety organizations do...Just hire the best person regardless of race.
    I didn't say that there shouldn't be a benchmark for trainnig and education. But a person with a MS in FPE with a horrible know it all attitude and a penchant for not getting along with people is not the person I would hire.

    Being able to assimilate into the team is not a function of race, sex, height, age or anything other than your personality. A person with a crap attitude has a very high possibility for being a cancer on the company. A FD administrator has a responsibility to the rest of the FD to avoid that situation like the plague.

    BTW, I agree with your assessment of residency. It sure does eliminate alot of great kids in the suburban FD's with a ton of drive, education and training.

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    I'll stand by my residency to hire support.

    Fire Protection is inherintly a local issue; and typically funded by local taxpayers.

    And I have no problem giving qualified taxpayers a/k/a residents (either directly, through rent, or through mom & dad) first shot jobs their tax money goes to.

    Government is not a jobs program, so not creating a spot for a suburban kid who doesn't want to move to the city doesn't really break my heart. Empathy, sure. Sympathy, no.

    Maybe you can justify using SAFER funds to hire the kid who isn't paying local taxes.

    But when Government must spend money, it has an obligation to do so wisely -- that they pay a fair wage, that they favor local vendors within reason, and they favor local citizens.

    Hiring a local contractor keeps the profit in the community circulating -- going to other local businesses; to local payrolls; to local stores; to local taxes. Hiring an outside contractor sees those profits, and often the payroll too, just bleed away to some far off state. Using local vendors may not be the cheapest, but when their costs are within reason it is the wisest use of those tax dollars.

    Hiring a local resident at the very least gives a job to someone who has, or their family has, been paying taxes. And hopefully will stay in the community and continue to spend their pay at local businesses, buy a house locally, etc.

    Can finding a motivated, intelligent persons who place nice together and are in good physical shape, be that difficult? The firefighting side we can teach. Well, like George, I too can't understand why more minorities don't jump at these positions that pay well with excellent benefits. And that's where after a cut-off for the qualification (civil service test, etc) you might need to open up the field. Again, it's a wise spending issue -- I prefer to spend locally, but if the local contractor just isn't up to the job, gotta find someone who can do it right.

    Post hiring residency is another matter -- outside of departments that rely on callbacks as a standard practice, I believe they infringe too much on someone's own personal freedoms. As an alternative, I do support housing allowances to help compensate for living in a rat hole or high rent district.

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    I never really need to post a reply on these threads, because FFFRED will answer more thouroughly than I ever could. Well said FFFRED.

    I do have a question though. Where do people get the idea that the FD or any other organization needs to reflect the diverse people it represents? If you take that philosophy, where do you draw the line?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    All I know is that I didn't enslave or discriminate against anybody. Neither did, to the best of my knowledge, anyone in my immediate family. I refuse to accept responsibility and be contrite for something that I simply didn't, and would never, do.
    I wish more people felt the way you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    You want to hire the people who will make the best FF. Perhaps the person with the most education, experience and training is an anti-social, negative person.
    You say it like it's a bad thing!
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."
    And where do quotas fit in with this?!?
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    I don't see the point. Minorities are always bitching and moaning about something. The way I see it is even if we fired all the white guys and hired minorities back in thier places, they'd still gripe about it "being a job that the white man didn't want." Please, give me a break. The minority will do anything to be with the majority. Not that I have any problem with black firefighters, I just think that this affirmative action is BS driven out of pure jealousy.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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