Thread: Little Help

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    Default Little Help

    I have a new rookie and he is wanting to play "rub elbows with the chief and the Admin. guys" than be a firefighter. We have had some good fires and I think he has all that he wants. He is almost forty and I am sure since I am ten years younger that bothers him. The problem is that he has no experince but he carrys himself as an old smoke eater thats been around the block and like most rookies HE KNOWS IT ALL!

    On top of all that he likes to run and tell the chief about every thing that happens on shift and anytime I go into a meeting he thinks I am talking about him. He pokes and prodes to try and get information from me or anybody else because he thinks that he needs to be in the loop. So my question is do I need to ask for to transfer or how do I confront him on his actions. Keeping in mind that I am a fairly new C/O and have had sit down straight out talks with him about some of these things. I am at a lost on what I should do.

    Any and all help would be great.

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    Wink One question

    Are you vollie or paid?

    This has a great bearing on the answer.

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    We are paid with 26 strong. He is one of the very new people, less than a year!

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    Still need some help!

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    Talking O.i.c?

    As I understand it you outrank this person? You are the Officer in Charge?

    You are not there for a popularity contest-are you? Take charge--as a paid disciplined service, there must be a structure in place to cover this situation.In my day there was blanket standing orders"Bringing the brigade into disrepute" was one for civilian incidents "Offending against good order and discipline" for internal events such as you indicate.
    I admit if 26 is your total members you will get a clique possibly forming--my watch was 32 strong and there was 4 watches and it was one of 144 stations,total number 6,000 firemen(no women) which takes a lot of problems away.(And no, I was not the "Chief" -- just one of the braves in the war-party)

    This is why I was interested in the "Paid/vollie" bit

    From what I see on the forums vollie seem to have a high rate of nepotism--so you get the "Uncle Cletus" syndrome its his fire engine and you can't play with it--but his young son can! Simplified but thats how it come across at times.

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    It is difficult to give good advise without knowing all of the story. So, let's go back to the basics.

    1. There has been and always will be people that would rather KISS(hold screen doors open) their way to the top than WORK(fight the fire) their way to the top. You have no control over that. You can only hope your promotional system is merit based and not personality based. Remember. All of us who work the streets know who the KISSERS are and who the WORKERS are. Keep working hard and don't do anything petty to jepordize the respect of your peers.

    2. If you are in a supervisory position, document..document...document, but, BE FAIR AND BE ACCURATE.

    3. Transfer, No. Not because one guy is a pain. If you have a good house with good people, stick it out. This will be a good life lesson in your young officer career. Transfer for better opportunites and experience.

    4. Most important: Seek advise from other senior officers on your department. Make sure your discussions are about situations and not individuals so the discussions don't come back and bite you in the butt later on.

    5. No one ever said that promoting would be easy. This is one of the many challenges you'll face during your career. Don't be afraid to learn and make mistakes. And when you make mistakes, own them and remember them and then move on.

    Good Luck

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    Something else you might try doing is using your senior men under you to help reign him in. And although no one enjoys being an azz, I am sure there are always windows for him to watch and crome for him to polish, or a book to study. Stay on him and don't let him have much slack. Turn him into something good instead of abandoning him. I hate to be micromanaged or to micromanage someone else, but sometimes you have to do it.

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the advice, I am a new officer and our procces is merit based with outside people doing the process (because we are a small Dept). I will have my senior man assist (he's ****ed to) me in any corrective actions other than discpline. And you bet we have a couple of pole to polish.

    Thanks again its nice to have some outside advice and I know it hard to give when you dont have the full background.

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    Be carefull when assigning duties...pole polishing ect, treat all employees equally. Do your best to not target this employee as he can turn it around and use it against you. However, make sure to document poor perfomance and provide re-training and or re-dirrection.

    Good Luck

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    Default Update

    I have a question since I am a new officer and work at a small fire dept. (only two manned stations) there are two openings on different shifts, how do I go about getting this guy to transfer, with out looking bad to my peers (unable to get along with my crew) and totally ****ing off the fireman. I am more concered about my peers!
    Thanks for the help

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    aneff3904

    Good topic of discussion I myself was recently promoted to Lt. on a Volie however we run enough calls that we should be career but the public doesn’t see that.
    Anyway I have an individual that is dating and engaged to the AC’s son in my company and this person is constantly giving me guff when it comes to training and abiding by the SOP's of the department.
    When it came to discipline time this individual would complain to her fiancé and he in turn would go to daddy who would come down on me.
    Well that happened probably 5 or 6 times before I decided to stand up for myself, in a calm and professional way I told him that this individual is in my company and I am the company officer if they have a problem with my leadership skills and knowledge than they need to come to me and address them. If they feel that they have been wronged, than they need to set up a meeting with myself and my captain and if available the chief.
    This seamed to help the problem when I explained my situation to him and the circumstances in which they were disciplined.
    Further more I learned at a young time in my career you cant be a leader and a friend some times feelings need to get hurt and life goes on and if the individual you are dealing with threatens to quit tell him put his hand in a bucket of water and when he pulls it out there are some ripples in the water but the hole fills back up and everything returns to normal.
    Good luck
    FTM-PTB-RFH-EGH

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    Quote Originally Posted by aneff3904
    I have a question since I am a new officer and work at a small fire dept. (only two manned stations) there are two openings on different shifts, how do I go about getting this guy to transfer, with out looking bad to my peers (unable to get along with my crew) and totally ****ing off the fireman. I am more concered about my peers!
    Thanks for the help
    My advice...DO NOT HAVE HIM TRANSFERRED!
    Passing off a problem employee is something that should only be done as an absolute last resort, both for you and for him!

    Deal with the problems yourself. Seek advice of senior, or more experienced officers and do whatever it takes to correct the situation.
    Passing off a trouble-maker to another crew only gives you a reputation as an officer that can't deal with a problem. It also gives the firefighter a reputation as a person that cannot be dealt with.

    Law down the law. Formally discuss the "rules of conduct" and the "chain of command" together with your entire crew. Law out your expectations for the company, and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that YOU are in charge. Document everything, both the good and bad.

    There are times when being an officer is more like being a school teacher. Dealing with a problem student (firefighter) can be VERY challenging. Use direction, instruction, counseling and demonstration to try to bring about the desired result. Remember that discipline is a tool to be used to change behavior, not for venting frustration. You should bring the Principal in only when all else fails.

    Slackers and butt kissers are in virtually every department and everyone knows who they are. The key to good leadership is getting to the root of their problem and correcting it. It may not be easy, and it may take a while, but the satisfaction and the rewards of handling the problems yourself are immesureable...For both of you! Who knows? This guy may turn out to be a decent crew member yet. If indeed he does, wouldn't you like to be the one who played a major role in turning him around?!

    Good luck, and keep us posted!




    Kevin
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    "Fir na tine"

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    Default Recent Update

    I held a crew meeting the other day (to show that I was not trying to single anyone out) and discussed again my expectations from them. The style that I use to be a company officer is one that is fair but firm, I can be a friend but first and foremost I am the boss, and to develop leaders at all levels, and the people that work with me know what is expected of them. I also believe that the organization comes first. With that being said I back the play of my crew when it calls to, and never intentional throw anybody under the bus. I have had this style from the first day of my promotion. I have sought the insight of the senior officers at my department as well as my mentors. I sat down with the two of them and I think it went well until the fireman (the problem guy) realized I knew almost everything he was doing and was calling him on it, than he wouldn’t look me in the eye and just played with his pocket knife. After two hours of discussion I told him that I did not want him to transfer and from this point on he had a clean slate. I did not lose my temper, scream or yell. I think so far things are starting to improve we will have to see.

    I am learning that this is a very slow process and it takes time and with each new day there will be advancements and set backs. So we will see I will keep you all updated and I appreciate your thoughts and insight.

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    1. If you transfer everyone on the job will know you can be chased away by a PITA.
    2. If you transfer him, you get a rep that you can't handle problem children.
    3. Talk to your Chief, he sounds like part of the problem. His first question when confronted with a firefighter telling stories should be "Have you discussed this with your company officer first?"
    4. Keep him busy, as far as treating everyone equally... no way... you treat them all fairly. If we treated them all equally everyone would spend their spare time reviewing equipment and procedures like the probie.
    5. There is nothing wrong with singling him out. If the message from the crew meeting didn't get across you need a private "come to jesus" meeting.
    6. How is it he has time to rub elbows? On the fireground or in the station? Chief and admin ought to be smart enough to know he has something else to do and discourage it from their end. On a fire he needs to be where assigned or you have some serious charges to issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aneff3904
    I have a question since I am a new officer and work at a small fire dept. (only two manned stations) there are two openings on different shifts, how do I go about getting this guy to transfer, with out looking bad to my peers (unable to get along with my crew) and totally ****ing off the fireman. I am more concered about my peers!
    Thanks for the help
    What about a frank discussion with your chief? You were promoted to your position based upon merit and were assigned a firefighter who is older than you and apparently does not like the idea of reporting to someone younger than him. If one of the openings would place him on a crew with an older officer, this could be a win-win situation.

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    Man, I wish I had seen this in the beginning.

    I like the challenge of a punk. They are one of those "scenarios" given to you in an assessment center promotional test.

    This is what I go by:
    1. Stay calm, Do Not let your reactions outweigh his actions.
    2. Consider him a person of either low self-esteem or an exaggerated (cocky) internal view of who he is. Either way, it is actually kind of sad. But more importantly, he's dangerous in either case. Look at him as someone who needs to be taught. You know what is right and wrong, so tell him. No matter his response, you stay focused on the subject at hand. Get YOUR message across, even if you think he's not listening. Don't let him "stray" the conversation. He seems to feel a lack of control. That's why he boasts himself. He needs you to help if feel important w/o having to tell everyone he is. Get to know him a little, personal background and stuff. I bet he'll divulge secrets that explain his goofy behavior.
    3. Take no crap. Stick to the rules and the ranking structure. The earlier he is taught a hard-*** line of firefighting and firehouse behavior, the better. Stay on him 'til he breaks.
    4. Write everything down, especially negative or disciplinary actions such as "counseling" and such. If you can't change him and he finally does something inexcusable, you have to have the backing of documentation to show a pattern, and let the chips fall where they may.

    _________________________
    MGHjr
    www.thefirefighterwithin.com

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    TFW1TFW1,
    You hit the nail on the head about the low self esteem. And I have been keeping notes. I think after our talk that some progress has been made but after talking to the BC about it he made a comment that my Firefighter is not team driven so I sat back and watch. What I found was that my fireman is very team driven when it helps him first and formost.

    New update after another company officer was promoted and after some issues with the new co crew my BC came to me and wanted to know if I would talk to my driver and see if he would switch to the new CO shift. At first he declined and then thought that if thats what the dept wanted then he would. The kicker was the new co fireman wanted to swap to a different shift as well however not having any openings anywhere my BC talk to my fireman and pretty much gave the same answer as my driver. My driver is mad because the fireman is going to tranfer as well. So long story short my trouble fireman is going to transfer on his own and I will get a brand new driver but will have a good fireman.

    I will keep you all posted on the new crew! and keep the pointers coming

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