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Thread: Vol. Firing??

  1. #1

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    Thumbs down Vol. Firing??

    I have a few questions on what my peers (you guys/gals) would do and or think??

    The small Dept that I am a member of is in the process of getting rid of a Assistant Chief, and the way they are going about it seems disrespectful for the amount of time this man has contributed to our community. (although he is unwilling to change from the "old ways" of doing things...)

    The Chief and a few of the firefighters ( Majority) have started a petition for his resignation....
    It has not been presented to him yet, but I was able to read the letter/petition. The accusations of insubordination and yada yada are true, but it is a very loosely ran dept, and if you were looking for reasons to get rid of people there would be only a couple of us left starring at each other

    I think the Chief should just sit the Assistant down and have a real conversation with the guy...instead of back dooring him with a letter.

    Opinions?????
    Suggestions???
    Comments???


  2. #2
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    We went through a similar test ourselves a few years back. Power shifts in a small department can be devestating. My experince is that the stituation you are currently in becomes a living and breathing beast. It will take life as you know it and destroy all you and your fellow members hold dear. Try to kill the beast and slow down the detructive actions. I accomplish this by removing my personal feelings from the situation. Deal with and accept the facts. If the facts point to the removal of a chief officer, move forward with resolve. Once you are on that path( like we were) follow through. Make sure you are in the right though!!! Documentation is a key factor here. You have to be able to prove that he/she does meet the current standard in the fire service. Please learn from me, do allow the beast of discontent to devour your morale. One final statement, a perspective, sometimes you can only find peace on the other side of war. Tough spot, good luck to you brother, I mean that, good luck.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber XRaysJL's Avatar
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    Default Hmmmm

    That is unfortunately a situation that does need to be resolved.

    Depending on how much effort the assistant chief has put into the community there can be different ways of dealing with the situation.

    One way is to have a department meeting and discuss the possibility of restructuring the department. "Maybe" there is a way for everyone to be happy by putting a new person in the assistant chief role and making the old assistant into a different slot. I think one needs to be there to see with their own eyes the best way to deal with the situation.

    I do think that with the information given, a petition does seem alittle ugly. Is the petition just among the fire department? Or does it involve the entire fire district? If it's just a department petition, it's not nearly as bad as a district petition. A district petition gives the whole fire department a ugly embarressment.

  4. #4
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Honestly to me this seems to be a totally gutless way for the chief to act. He needs to get a petition from the fire department to correct a personnel issue? Please...he simply doesn't have the stones to deal with what he sees as a problem. I don't know from the information given whether this AC is a problem or not but it is clear the chief views him as one.

    The proper thing is to call this AC in for a private meeting and discuss the chief's vision of the future of the fire department and how he feels the AC is not on the same page. The discussion should continue on as to how the chief feels the AC needs to be supportive of that vision or perhaps he should step aside and allow someone who can take the position. If the AC cannot work as a team player with the chief he should resign or if necessary after this meeting be reasigned or demoted or let go.

    This of course assumes a ton of facts not in evidence. I assumed the chief is right and his vision of the future is good. Maybe he is an idiot and is destroying the fire department. In that case the AC has a duty to stop the destruction of the department. Either way the petition seems like a good way to cause internal strife and leave a sour bitter taste in people's mouths.

    Good luck because if this isn't settled quickly it is gonna get very ugly and messy.

    FyredUp

  5. #5
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    On my previous post, there is a "do" it should read "don't" sorry. I forgot to consult my editor before posting.

  6. #6
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    I agree with the statements here that the Chief should sit down with the Assistant and work out the issues. After that, the AC will either get with the program or step down voluntarily.

    If that doesn't work, the next step depends on how the department is set up. Our Chief is elected and he appoints all of the other line officers. I know of other departments that elect all of their line officers and still others that have the officers appointed by an outside committee, or other group.

    The best way would be to have him step down on his own. The department can then send him out with some appreciation gifts for all of his time and years of service.

  7. #7
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    It's the Chief's job. Bad leadership to put it on the members. If it were my department, I'd abstain from signing any petition. Don't your bylaws address this situation? If your bylaws say the petition process is the way to do it, then by all means, go ahead with it, but change your bylaws asap. I feel a lot better after reading this post.

  8. #8
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    accusations of insubordination
    I dunno about your rank structure...but if he's an Assistant Chief then he could only be insubordinate to one or two others who are above him.....the sitation is pretty vague from your description....It definately should be discussed between senior officers (including the accused) behind closed doors rather than degrading and belittling him behind his back.....Sounds alot like a lynch mob to me if you ask......You've got to watch for personal agendas and ulterior motives.....good sales people can sell anything to anyone.
    Last edited by lightsandsound; 03-17-2007 at 10:04 AM.
    A vomiting Firefighter is an ugly Firefighter.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Sounds like we need more info on the situation. It also sounds like the AC possibly is'nt part of the "good ole boys club" .

  10. #10
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    The way we fight fire has changed significantly since since the days of our older members. In my 11 years in the Vol. service I have witnessed many changes in our dept, from water to CAFS/foam and from feeling blindly, to thermal imagers. Several years ago we had a major rift in our dept. young vs. old. We were fortunate enough to have two structures to burn (for training purposes) to prove two points. The first was a moble home, we let the elder members put it out the way they fought fire for years and the place was a total loss. The other was a baloon frame structure that the younger members utilized and made several good and quick stops with CAFS and water. In short we showed them it was time to move foward and leave the old ways behind. This inspired many of them to take training and grasp the ways of modren firefighting.
    However, experience can pay-off in certian situations. But with more and more citizens utilizing the legal system. Would this gentleman be willing to defend his actions in a court of law where every aspect of his training and experience will play into the outcome. You would have to think what this would mean for your Dept. and the community it serves.
    If this Asst. Chief is not willing to move foward and give up his old ways and diplomacy fails, then mabye he should be convinced to step down and save your organization from creating bad blood amongst yourselves. Just because he is not calling the shots does not mean he is a good firefighter.

  11. #11
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    So how did he get the position to begin with? Do your officers keep the job till either they move up or want out? We elect them every year. So we are stuck with an officer for just a year if they are a screw up. And we can vote them out if we are not happy with their preformance over time.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for you opinions guys, I feel the same way about the chief not having the stones to do his job, I think its a very irresponsible way to handle the situation and a moral killer for the Dept.,
    Before my time I guess we use to elect officers and for the past five years it has been the same group of guys, Health, Age, Divorce, and retirement, have dwindled our officer ranks down to a bare minimum..... and so its now just two Officers and the Chief and Assistant Chief.
    We are in the process now of testing new officers into vacant positions, I thought about going for it but I need some more experience before I am willing to take on that kind of responsibility.
    I guess a few of the firefighters that are very close to the Assistant have tried to talk him into stepping down and he is not willing to do it, so since the chief will not do his job a officer started this process. With the Chiefs signature on the number 1 line.
    Its just all backwards and messed up and I'm just really ashamed of what is going on, I personally feel if the Assistant is on his way out and the Chief isn't willing to do it maybe he will hold the door open long enough for both of them to be gone.

  13. #13
    DVFD kldugas412's Avatar
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    Default Feeling's mutual

    We had the same situation. The only thing different the Chief was the one in question. At that Pt the chief officers took the lead and started the progress in ousting the Chief. In our case a simple sit down with the Chief officers and then the active members of the Dept. did the trick. He stepped down as Chief and we then held a special election.
    In this caseÖ
    The Chief needs to grow a pair to handle his officers, if the meeting does not work then go trough the proper channels to relive the AC of his dutys. The FF should not have to bear the brunt of this situation they have enough on their plate with training and getting the wet stuff on the red stuff.
    As Fire Officers we have assumed the reasonability to run the Dept. in a safe and respectable manner. How can you teach up and coming officers if the current officers cant teach by example.

    K Dugas
    Duson Vol.Fire Dept.
    FF1 Haz Mat OP's

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