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  1. #21

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    May 2007
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    Default Eskan

    Hey, Chris.

    I'm at Eskan. You can email me at txresq@earthlink.net with any questions you might have.


  2. #22
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisharley911 View Post
    I am slated to deploy on the 6th of June to Saudi. I am new to the world of contract firefighting and was wondering if I could get in contact with some of you who are already at Eskan Village. Thanks!

    Chris
    Chrisharley911 You can use the below email address to contact one of the AC's there. joseph.soper@evab.centaf.af.mi l. Be careful. There are a lot of issues going on there.

  3. #23
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    Exclamation Vinnell/Arabia getting worse

    The problems that have been mentioned before are only getting worse. The newest thing is demoting driver/engineers down to firefighter/emt. This is due to them being unable to hire ff/emt's with haz-mat tech certs. So they hire at a higher position then demote and hire more at the higher position. They say that the pay will not go down. Another new thing is the firefighters had to hire an attorney to dispute the numerous possible Saudi labor law violations. The reply from Vinnell/Arabia was take us to court. They then said if they go to court they will just drop the contract. The ff's were required to sign a paper saying they agree to the new changes to there employement agreement. If they did not, they would be released in 30 days. They say its not a contract but an agreement. There only reply during all of the meeting was "Take it or Leave it". It appears that the parent company Northrop/Grumman ethic department has nothing to say about this. Will try to keep up with all new developments as they come up.

  4. #24
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    Exclamation Additional Problems at Eskan Village Fire Dept.

    There are new things happening at this fire department. They are hiring driver/operators, then once they get there, they demote them to ff/emt status. This is due to them being unable to hire ff/emt's with haz-mat tech certs. They then hire driver/operators to fill those empty positions. All driver/operators with EMT have the posibility of being demoted. Thats pretty bad. The ff's had to hire an attorney to take Vinnell/Arabia to court for possible Saudi labor law violations. Vinnell/Arabia's reply was take us to court. They continued to say that if they loose the court case, they will drop the contract. There whole company attitude to the firefighters was "take it or leave it". The partent company Northrop/Grumman's ethic department seems not to worried about the whole things as they have not gotten involved. The ff's were told they had to sign the amendment to the employee agreement or they would be released and returned to point of hire within 30 days. One thing that has to be said the the members of the fire department are of the finest caliber and continue to do there job to the best of there ability. To bad we can say the same about Vinnell/Arabia. Will try to keep you all involved with the constant changes to the contract.

  5. #25
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    Default Helpful advice

    Fire Medic,

    Here is a way you can sign anything you want and still leave yourself a way to seek legal advice.

    As you stated they said you need to sign a document that basically states take it or leave it. If you sign it you can add a statement along these lines;

    I still maintain my legal right to seek legal support, but I signed this document because I need employment.

    Since Vinnell stipulated that you must sign it or they would release you, you can legally put a statement like that. I would however consult a lawyer about the exact way to state something similiar.

    The bottom line if you just sign that satement you have put the power of the labor law on the side of Vinnell.

    Also remember that if you go to court in Saudi and loose, you can always go to a us lawyer and file again. Since you are oversee's you have this option.

  6. #26
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    Default More Help

    Remeber Vinnell has been in that country for a lot of years. Very few court cases have turned out in favor of the employee because they know how to use the law to their advantage.

    If you have talked with a lawyer you should. At least they can tell you how to sign a document leaving you the ability to seek legal assistance with a chance to win. If not make your 30-40k a year and be happy.

    Take care of you first, that is exactally what Vinnell is doing so you should too.

  7. #27

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    Jun 2007
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    Post Dear Eskan Village Candidates

    If I was you I will consider another organization, Management is involved on this forum and they are hiding the truth. The US Air Force contracting officer is fining Vinnel 2000 dollars per day since they cant meet the manpower requirements. Vinnell will offer you a salary and when you arrive in country they will give you a demotion and a new contract, Some of the firefighter hired a lawyer and the company basically scared the attorney since their Saudi Partner is the brother in law of King Abdhula. Vinnel only pays you at 5.00 flat rate after your first nine hours, if you dont like overtime get ready because as a new guy they will force you to work overtime otherwhise you are going home.
    There is a lot of discontent among the fireighters working over there, the Old Fire Chief went home after the company pull the rug on him also. He knew too much about their dirty bussiness and decided to get rid of him. What they dont know is that there are formal complaints to the Nortrop Grumman Ethics line Case# NGT-07060331. We are Americans no matter if we are working for an overseas organization. The abuse that Mr Larry Wright, Mr. Robert Coffee and Mark McGruder is unheard, this Management team are not apt to work around animals. Most of the firefighters are planning to leave anyway, if you dont believe then is your choice but dont get stuck in lies and bull that doesnt work in any fire department. Soon nobody is going to take the jobs since the word is spreading very quick if you want to try then you can go ahead and hang yourself. I know every one of those guys that is there and the moral went down very quick. A lot of fraud, waste and abuse is happening under Vinnell umbrella dont get involved if you dont want to be label later on. You want more information contact me directly on this forum. Management is lying to protect their jobs and only their interest.

  8. #28
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    Default sole is right

    sole is right. You can check the case number yourself. For all the FF that remain there, stay united, you have more power with many. If you all left right now Vinnell would suffer great financial set backs. Yes you would also loose a job, but there are plenty of people working hard for you now.

  9. #29

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    Jun 2007
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    3

    Default Kuwait is better paying job than Vinnell

    CSA is paying better, the living conditions are excellent. The climate is hot as Saudi however you have a life outside the gates. They are lossing their talent and if Vinnell contacts you expect to get the shaft. No other organization is skiming from the poor firefighters, we work overseas to maintain our families not to live beyond poverty levels. For those that are already in the contract you have a way out, is against the law to force to sign a new contract. If all you guys use your head and dont sign the contract then what. Vinnell is going to loose theirv contracts, the firehouse forum is not the only forum exposing Vinnell dirty actions. The US Air Force General Contracting Office is already in the process to investigate the case and may award the contrasct to another organization. If you are planning to come to Saudi hold on your plans until you see what happens, This action should not take that long and dont listen to those lies from Mr. Soper, this guy paid Alameda College to get a deggree diploma over the internet(he tells everybody that he oposses a Bacheloor Degree). With that I left you make your determination, there is a plan on the works for the new firefighters to leave very soon. Nobody is exposing themselves to what is happenning in Saudi and the company continues on their denial. Mr. Wright smokes 30 dollars Cuban cigars while the firefighters are living unde poor and extrenous living condition.

    Contact any firefighter over there and they will tell you, the treats and abuse continues. We live in Saudi but under the International Law we got rights as human. Vinnell Coorprate Noprthgroop Gruman is aware of the situation and are investigation the allegations.

    Thanks and good luck

  10. #30
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    Angry Prepare to be demoted

    This is to all potential new hires at Vinnell/Arabia. If you are hired as a driver/operator and have EMT, you will more than likely be demoted. This is to fill postistions they can not find anyone to take. One new hire has already been demoted and other driver/operators are expecting the same. That is a very sorry way to operate a company. As for Joe Soper, he does have and Almedia degree. You pay $800 or so and you get a Bachelors and AS degree. You pay extra and can get your degree mounted on a plaque. Sounds like the easy way instead of working hard to get the real thing. I would strongly recommend that people considering Vinnell/Arabia to reconsider. Just a fair warning to all the brothers out there. The contract world is smaller than most people believe. It won't take long before Vinnell is unable to fill there positions. They were warned about the trickel down effect on what they have done last month. There reply was take it or leave it. We will see what happens 6 months from now.

  11. #31
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    Default More information

    Your right contracting is a very small world. Be careful and professional.

    If your professional you will find employement and you will be hired. IF you treat your people bad and compromise your values your name will be posted on every do not hire list.


    It is also true that vinnell is monitoring this site. As long as you dont talk about company specific information your ok. In order for Vinnell to get a court order for the owners of these accounts that would never happen.

    The contracting world is watching this contract and who turns out to be a bad apple.

  12. #32

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    Jun 2007
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    Default Vinnell Used this Terror Tactics for Many years

    From using Software Piracy Programs, to taking away individuals Saudi Award, but the big fish is alive. The DBO is terrorizing those that stayed and survive a year of broken promises. The true is coming out, why they offered the jobs at a rate and later on change their offers. The contracfing officer is very generous only fining them 2,000 dollars. By now any other bidder will have all personnel on board and no false promises. Brother firefighter dont let Vinnell scared you anymore, open up there is no court order that can subpena a record that doesnt exist. We have to use anomynous e-mail to avoid loosing our jobs, so far the moral is very low, nobody cares about anything. If you used to work here you know the good times. Today we only feel the opression from Human Resources, PGM and the Terror Itself .
    Soon he will face his destiny with possible jail time for fraud, waste/ abuse and also miss appropiations. The large contract is through OPM and is governed by the CFR. If they dont believe what happens please contact KBR and see how many others are in jail for the same scams. They have ghost employees like their Saudi lawyer and the Iman that nevers shows to work and collects a check, they pay for his apartment, car and meals . Northroop Grumman should have a Tiger Team and they will discover those irregularities. From holding payment to vendors, to pre set project bids, the US Goverment is paying the price and we the tax payers are getting pinch by actions like the one describe above.
    If you still want a job contact Chief MacdInald in Kuwait he pays better and takes care of people. He tells the truth and is not constant hiding the truth.

    The law is designed to protect those individuals most likely kliving on a Democracy, humans shouls not use terror and intimidation to silence those employees telling the truth. King Abdulah also is reciving those compaints since the SAudi Goverment pays fpor the additional billing.

  13. #33
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisharley911 View Post
    I am slated to deploy on the 6th of June to Saudi. I am new to the world of contract firefighting and was wondering if I could get in contact with some of you who are already at Eskan Village. Thanks!

    Chris
    Hi Chris,
    Read your post here and was wondering how your year is going? I have just sent my resume to Vinnell and hope to hear back from them soon. The information here is somewhat negitive towards the company so I was wondering if you or someone else over there could give a 2008 up date to the forum about conditions at Vinnell?

    Please contact me at tncnp@yahoo.com if you would rather this not be in public.

    Tom

  14. #34
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    Default firefighting

    Is it best to go ahead and start with someone like WSI to get your foot in the door.Ultimately I would like to have the wife come over also. What is the best way to approach that goal and any suggestions of where to go if I can get the wife over?
    thanks for any information
    Quote Originally Posted by garypoe4454 View Post
    I worked with Vinnell Arabia, when they won the contract to provide Fire Protection out side Riyadh KSA. I arrived on 11/17/01 and on 12/1/01 the USAF Personnel were free to move up into Afghanistan.
    We lived on the Saudi Nat Guard/Vinnell Compound, it was the “American Compound” that was attacked by terrorist in early 03 you saw it on the news. I lost good friends in that attack.
    Vinnell like most Contract Fire Protection Departments took the management stance that Fire Fighters are like any other worker; they did not understand us or our needs. We had a GREAT Chief that taught us (those who were not useto to the Contract Fire Biz) about the way of the Contract world and at the same time taught the Office Managers about the fire world.
    It was an interesting learning experience.
    Vinnell gave us good food, good health care, we had “transport SUV” that we could use to go in to town or out into the desert. The pay was good and now it is better. At that time you did not need to be an EMT-P now you do I see in the latest DoD add.
    We worked 24 on 24 off with a “Kelly day” off and there was all the OT you wanted.
    All in all working for Vinnell was not bad at all. I would go back to the KSA as an Asst Chief in a moment.
    If you wish to have a more in depth conversation let me have your E-mail address and I can hook you up with 3 or 4 people who were there from 01 to 03

  15. #35
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    Default Any Vinnell updates please

    Sole,
    Any up dates on the Saudi Vinnell problems? I think Northrop Grumman Corporation owns Vinnell now, have things changed? It has been a year since these posts here. Anyone?

    Thanks!!

  16. #36
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    Default Bueller?

    Bueller...Bueller...Anyone.... ..Anyone?

  17. #37
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Where do we start with Vinnell

    I'm at a loss as to where to start. They are lossing guys all the time there. They run 14 per shift with 2 shifts working 24 on and 24 off. Well guys are leaving on quote "Emergency Leave" and never coming back. It is so bad that they are down to roughly 19 combat personnel. If they loss 5 more people, the remaining men will have to work without a day off. This does not include scheduled annual leave that is already slated for theis guys. They may get their leave revoked due to not being able to man the 14 per shift as required. There are other issues of an extremely sensitive manner that have happened here no one wanting to let out. Any firefighter anywhere would be ashamed if their department had such incidents. The management has just now realized that things are getting really bad. The Chiefs are worried that they might loose their jobs and they are justified. The root cause is Vinnell/Arabia going to a fixed cost contract and underbidding the contract. They keep taking and taking from the fireman and they wonder why they are jumping ship. One recruitor recieved 12 resumes or so in 3 days in Iraq. She asked one of the guys what the heck was going on with the contract there? The rest of the contract world is taking notice. The only fireman they are able to hire now is volunteers with IFSAC certs. Have not seen too many old contract fireman coming to this contract. They are talking and staying clear. Not many fireman here are even asking there friends to come and if they do, they feel bad about doing so. Apply at you own risk of being lied to.

  18. #38
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    Default

    Any contact info for Vinnell/Arabia?

  19. #39

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    Nov 2008
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    4

    Thumbs down Vinnell Arabia

    Vinnell Arabia started out as a good company. Pay was good, along with the working conditions. After the new contract in May 2007 things went down hill very quick. After 2-3 weeks of the new contract program management came in to cut pay retroing back to the start of the contract. My 1st month I lost $3,000.00 in pay and roughly $1800-$2200 each month after. The company was more concerned with profit for the share holders than keeping employees, and they were going to keep profits up at the cost of the employee. Pay was cut significantly in violation of Saudi Labor Laws and working hours were increased due to open positions that could not be filled. The chiefs and station captains have a lot to learn. Only the fire chief has true fire background/experience and he is what I like to call a jellyfish (no spine). The AC's and station capts only have military experience or CDC training. Not knocking the military guys but most will tell you they don’t fight much fire or have experience dealing with real emergencies. Management offers no support to the line level guys and are true "yes men" to program management. Micro management takes place daily and makes it very difficult to do your job. There is no accountability in the ranks or at the management level. The 2 shifts operate completely different and make it very difficult to know what is expected of you, and management does not let you know their expectations but is quick to chastise you for not knowing or meeting them. If you end up going there, AC Walt Heller knows it all and is more than willing to share it with you. He is notorious for asking for opinions/suggestions and then belittling you for your "stupid input". Most all the info in the other posts is accurate. So be cautious about going there, I suggest looking elsewhere as the S**t is still flying. In fact last I heard they are on a hiring freeze. If they loose anymore guys I can't see how they will keep the contract. Be cautious of the recruiters if they do call you. They will tell you everything is fine and promise you the world just to get you on the ground. I did enjoy my time in Saudi and left on good terms however there is a lot happening there they don’t want the outside world to know as well as the head at Northrop Grumman. It is a shame Northrop does not have more control over Vinnell, as they are a good company and take care of their employees. They just hired and *ss for a program manager (Bob Coffey). This post is just to help educate anyone considering going over there and I hope you find the info useful.

  20. #40

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    Default

    I do not usually make forum posts in response to outrights lies and irregularities. However, in order to refute posts by disgruntled current and ex-employees who feel that making these blog posts brings them a few years closer to puberty, allow me to set records straight one time and one time only. My name is William Rippy. After retiring from a Municipal service with 30 years service, I came to Saudi Arabia and Eskan Village in 2004 as a fire fighter. I have been the Chief since May of 2007. When Vinnell Arabia was awarded the new contract under the Air Force in April of 2007, the company did make some changes to the payroll system from those that had existed under the old contract. People did immediately make less money than they had in the past. It was, and is, fully understood by all that these were less than favorable actions that had to be taken due to the change of contract. At the time of the change all employees were briefed as to what the changes were and then given an opportunity to continue on, or to be released from the contract just as if they had finished their obligation, with no loss of money, benefits or awards, and be returned to their point of hire at company expense. To the man, they all accepted and stayed. Several extended their contracts and stayed another year, many are still here.
    Previous posts on the situation included such untruths such as if you came here you would be demoted, or that all these actions were in violation of local labor laws, etc. Pursuant to our “Statement of Work”, our fire fighters have to hold an EMT certification. Driver/Operators do not. One Driver/Operator was “asked” if he would voluntarily move from Driver/Operator to Fire Fighter so that another excellent applicant who did not have an EMT certification could be hired as a Driver/Operator. This employee, understanding the need, volunteered to accept this “change of job description”, at no loss of pay or promotional opportunity, with a letter of full explanation written by myself just in case some future need or question called for this explanation. There were never any “demotions”. The labor law questions were placed into the hands of Saudi Attorneys, and it was determined that there were no Labor Law violations.
    Our department has recently experienced an unusual occurrence of several people “jumping contract”, some for legitimate reasons such as family illness, but most going to a company in Iraq who is hiring Fire Inspectors for what, I am told, are obscene amounts of money. As a result of this highly unprofessional and unconscientious behavior by the job jumpers, we are currently lower than expected on our manpower levels. That’s O.K., if they don’t want to be here, then we certainly don’t want them. Our corporate recruiters, who to my knowledge have never lied to anyone (what would be the reason, that would be breach of contract), are currently working with applicants to get all our positions filled. There is not, nor has there ever been, any hiring freeze. As for the rest of the malarkey about internal problems, please take all that with a grain of salt, as again, this information comes from disgruntled employees who obviously have neither the fortitude nor intelligence to realize that problems do develop in any workplace and many of their problems lie within themselves. Never forget the old saying “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”. No Fire Department or any person is perfect. We all have our problems that we have to work through and solve together, and we have all done a wonderful job of that here. I personally have never lied to any one of my employees. I have always listened to what they have to say, and my door has always been and will be open to anyone who wishes to have a discussion.
    To anyone looking to come to Saudi Arabia, I invite you to look at our department and company. We have a great bunch of dedicated, professional, well educated guys who work and get along extremely well together. If you wish, feel free to contact me directly at DSN 312-448-2431, Saudi phone number 050-328-9761, or e-mail me at William.rippy@evab.afcent.af.m il. I will be happy to talk with you and answer questions. If you would like to make contact with our recruiter, he can be contacted at Jim.bonynge@ngc.com . In closing, I would like to again say that this is a one-time post. I refuse to become engaged in meaningless, continued, non-productive banter and untruths with disgruntled, revenge seeking individuals, who in some cases don’t have the professionalism to speak with their supervisor or give a 30-day notice if they are unhappy, they just “jump contract”.

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