1. #1
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    Default Advice on a trouble member

    I have a question I need help answering:

    I have a member that has one year now on my dept but was on another dept in another state for almost 20 years. I know this because that is all he ever says whenever he is shot down on a request. I also get the famous "well in my old dept...." WE are not at your old dept!!!! After he joined, we sent him to get his Ohio FF cert (he already had WV but they dont transfer) then he requested to go to the Ohio Fire Academy and get his 240. Reluctantly, we sent him (against my wishes but I was outvoted) We never saw him while he was in class which is to be expected but after class was over, we still never saw him. Now he is complaining that we wont pay for his EMT class. We have a rule that any member who gets either FF or EMT has to serve in that classification for 1 year before getting the other. He just doesnt get it.

    He also cant drive because I have seen his driving first hand. I told him he wasnt allowed to drive until an officer took him out for practice and then I approved it. He still tries to drive to runs and gets angry and leaves when you tell him no.

    Another problem is he wants a radio even though he lives right behind the firehouse and works 20 to 30 miles away. Now tell me, why would he need one?

    I have heard he has been trash talking me and says he is going to tell me off but he has yet to do it. Should I act now or wait to see what if anything will happen? The reason I ask this is he has told this to everyone but avoids me. I think he is afraid to confront me and I am hearing all of this 3rd person. I think I should wait until he puts his foot in his mouth. What do you all think?
    J.J. Bichard, Chief
    Devola Vol. Fire Co.
    Marietta, Ohio

    "A few, serving many"

  2. #2
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    You're the Chief. I assume it is within your power to suspend or dismiss for insubordination or other causes "for the good of the Department".

    You stated one clear case of insubordination: attempting to drive apparatus without permission.

    Don't let it fester. You're The Man. Be the Chief.
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
    IACOJ Power Company Liason
    When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
    and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.

  3. #3
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    pvfire424's Avatar
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    Document, Document, Document.


    Write Everything down! If you told him he can't drive, write down the time & why, get a witness if you can. If he drives after being told not to, write him up, have him sign the caomplaint and have a witness.

    Dont forget to document ( ok now I am being sarcastic) but dont forget to write it down!!
    I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"

  4. #4
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    polecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublej986 View Post
    I have a question I need help answering:

    I have a member that has one year now on my dept but was on another dept in another state for almost 20 years. I know this because that is all he ever says whenever he is shot down on a request. I also get the famous "well in my old dept...." WE are not at your old dept!!!! After he joined, we sent him to get his Ohio FF cert (he already had WV but they dont transfer) then he requested to go to the Ohio Fire Academy and get his 240. Reluctantly, we sent him (against my wishes but I was outvoted) We never saw him while he was in class which is to be expected but after class was over, we still never saw him. Now he is complaining that we wont pay for his EMT class. We have a rule that any member who gets either FF or EMT has to serve in that classification for 1 year before getting the other. He just doesnt get it.

    He also cant drive because I have seen his driving first hand. I told him he wasnt allowed to drive until an officer took him out for practice and then I approved it. He still tries to drive to runs and gets angry and leaves when you tell him no.

    Another problem is he wants a radio even though he lives right behind the firehouse and works 20 to 30 miles away. Now tell me, why would he need one?

    I have heard he has been trash talking me and says he is going to tell me off but he has yet to do it. Should I act now or wait to see what if anything will happen? The reason I ask this is he has told this to everyone but avoids me. I think he is afraid to confront me and I am hearing all of this 3rd person. I think I should wait until he puts his foot in his mouth. What do you all think?
    Seeing how you asked, I will tell you what I think. As the chief, you are expected to make tough decisions,that you feel are in the best interest of your dept. Those decisions should not be made on the advise of others, not associated with your dept. Posting your name,rank,and serial number, has opened yourself up to potential backlash, and the chance that this feared outsider may even provide his own two bits, by suggesting he not only stay,but be groomed for your position. If you want the respect of your membership chief, deal with him face to face, not behind his back.

  5. #5
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    Seeking advice on a public forum may not have been the best way to get that advice even though you named no names there is a presumptive factor that could have legal consequences. That being said I would agree with document consistently and fairly. If this has not become a personal matter and is in fact a matter of violation of the rules and all counseling and documentation leading up to suspension or firing is done by the book then you may still have a problem but it should at least be legally defendable. If you are the Chief then the leadership and all responsibilities leading up to that level are yours. To those climbing the ladder intentionally or by acclamation you need to be prepared for what goes withthe territory. To those who don't want that responsibility it is either from fear or realization that they don't want to or can't handle what goes with the position and maybe that is a wise and prudent choice. Good luck.

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