1. #1
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    Default Officer Issues...

    My dept., is a small volunteer that has a MA agreement with a nearby dept. You might as well call us the same dept., as we work and train that close together. My problem is that they select their officers differently than we do (they are appointed by the Chiefs, we elect.) They recently promoted one Lt., and gave a Lt., position to another. One is okay. The other is well, not. And I feel it will be difficult to take orders from someone with much less training and experience (15 compared to 5.) How do I handle them "giving orders" either on a call or in training?
    I do not want it to jeapordize my chances of becoming a ranked officer. Whatever anyone can tell me would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    My dept., is a small volunteer that has a MA agreement with a nearby dept. You might as well call us the same dept., as we work and train that close together. My problem is that they select their officers differently than we do (they are appointed by the Chiefs, we elect.) They recently promoted one Lt., and gave a Lt., position to another. One is okay. The other is well, not. And I feel it will be difficult to take orders from someone with much less training and experience (15 compared to 5.) How do I handle them "giving orders" either on a call or in training?
    I do not want it to jeapordize my chances of becoming a ranked officer. Whatever anyone can tell me would be great.
    Is the reason you're not ok with this is because he's only been around for 5 years? Maybe you should atleast give this person a chance before you come out and say something like this. If this person comes does do a bad job you can come back and say I told you so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dday05 View Post
    Is the reason you're not ok with this is because he's only been around for 5 years? Maybe you should atleast give this person a chance before you come out and say something like this. If this person comes does do a bad job you can come back and say I told you so.
    Its not the time, I have had officers with less time then me, but know the "job". This person is clueless to everything. (I am not the only person that feels this way either.)
    I have worked with the person for the last 3 years, and they never do anything. Always hang out in the back, don't step up to offer help in anyway.
    They do the minimal amount of training to meet requirements nothing extra.
    No schools, absent at clean up/work sessions.

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    Question Where are you coming from....

    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    My problem is that they select their officers differently than we do (they are appointed by the Chiefs, we elect.)
    "My problem";sounds like you just do not like someone being promoted by the Chief Officers because that is not the way your department does it.

    I have been there as both career and volunteer over 23 years. There are a few things you need to think about and one piece of advice.

    1. STAY OUT OF ANOTHER DEPARTMENTS POLITICS!

    That being said.........

    Maybe they were promoted on merit and ability. Maybe the Chief just likes them. You will never know for sure. If they do not measure-up it will show. (hopefully not with an injury or worse).

    Your department elects Officers. Can you honestly say that the election is 100% based on ability and that there is not the slightest bit of a popularity contest involved in your elections? What if you elect someone and the other department feels that they are not competent?

    Some departments promote by testing and boards. What if no one likes the person selected but they performed the best at the board and cut highest on the test?

    Bottom line is that no matter where you go you will have good leaders and bad leaders, you will have technically competent firefighters and you will have some who should not be allowed to blow out a match.

    Make everyday a learning experience (officers can learn from you too) and do your job as safely as possible. If there is a real safety issue speak-up. If you just do not personally think he is a good officer, give it a chance, it will work out one way or the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    I feel it will be difficult to take orders from someone with much less training and experience (15 compared to 5.) How do I handle them "giving orders" either on a call or in training?
    In fifteen years, surely this is not the first time you've run across this. How do you "handle" it? The same way you handle orders from any officer that you DO approve of - you follow the orders unless you see a definite safety issue, in which case you point out the safety issue. If it's not a safety issue, but more of a "this isn't the most logical/efficient/neat way to do it", then I wouldn't worry - if anyone complains about it later, the responsibility for what was done rests with the officer who ordered it done that way. As with everything else, try not to take it personally. Except for safety - take that personally.
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    I sort of see where resq is coming from....But, I agree with bailey...."deal" with it as you have in the past. And don't let another departments policies affect you. It won't be easy...but hey is there anything in the fire service that is? If it was it wouldn't be the job that it is...
    "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
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    do I handle them "giving orders" either on a call or in training?
    Very simple. Follow your departments SOP's. If your department does not have SOP's on how it's firefighters are to act on the fireground...you have bigger issues to worry about than another department.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    Its not the time, I have had officers with less time then me, but know the "job". This person is clueless to everything. (I am not the only person that feels this way either.)
    I have worked with the person for the last 3 years, and they never do anything. Always hang out in the back, don't step up to offer help in anyway.
    They do the minimal amount of training to meet requirements nothing extra.
    No schools, absent at clean up/work sessions.
    You seemed to leave this info out in your first post. Anyways It sort of sounds like a good ole boys type thing going on over there huh? I know that you run M/A with them or what not but, I guess thats going to be that fire departments issue to handle in the future not you or your dept.

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    Push for tested positions, I know it costs some but testing validates the position better then "hay I like you"
    If you want to be treated like professionals you need to act like professionals. The good old boy club needs to stop.

    Until it does, follow orders and document anything that you feel is messed up. If the person is unqualified the department needs to know BEFORE someone get hurt or killed. Don't go head hunting, you may not like him but if he does the job where it counts learn to live with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baileydonk
    How do you "handle" it? The same way you handle orders from any officer that you DO approve of - you follow the orders unless you see a definite safety issue, in which case you point out the safety issue.
    Exactly. Priority number one is "nobody gets hurt, nobody gets killed."

    Quote Originally Posted by baileydonk
    If it's not a safety issue, but more of a "this isn't the most logical/efficient/neat way to do it", then I wouldn't worry - if anyone complains about it later, the responsibility for what was done rests with the officer who ordered it done that way.
    Exactly. If I'm in somebody else's district, my job is to see that my guys safely execute the task(s) they're given. Beyond that, it's not my problem. Now, if asked, I'll give an opinion. If I see something that could be done more effectively/efficiently, I'll probably make an unsolicited suggestion. But at the end of the day, if somebody else's chief/asst./capt./lieut. is bound and determined to burn something down needlessly in their own district, despite everyone's best advice, that's up to them...as long as nobody gets hurt or killed as a result.

    Don't get me wrong...we have very good relationships with our mutual aid companies, by and large, and the officers from the various companies tend to work as one big team when they're together on the fireground. So, this isn't a big problem for me on a day-to-day basis. But I've also been in the "this guy's gonna screw this up badly and won't listen" situation a few times over my 20+ years, and I've learned to just make a good faith effort to help and not get upset if somebody's determined to screw it up...as long as it isn't one of my own guys - that's a whole different ballgame.

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    Like the others say. Continue too do what you guys do. If he tells you something you don't agree with or feel comfortable doing than don't do it. Your pretty much SOL because thats how they do things and your having a beef with it isn't going too change it. Soldier on and keep safe
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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    You follow orders as long as it is safe. Have been there done that. If he is a good leader it will show no matter how many years he has. A good leader will listen to others when he is faced with something he may not have as much expierence with as a more expierenced firefighter. But in the end it is his decision on what to do. He is responsible for his orders. If it is obviously unsafe he must be notified of this. Depending on the officer that can be tricky but if you are a leader, and firefighters can be leaders, then you must be willing to put your reputation on the line.
    Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

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    Until we in the Volley service formulate a plan to remedy the problems like these, we will always have officers and members doing what they shouldn't be doing. One reason is because of the good ol boys club, and the other it seems is due to the lack of membership in a department.

    Years ago, the volley departments around here had no less than 50 members on their active status boards, and a decent amount of people wanting to join. That is not the case today, and with that though, these departments have failed to change with the times and they still have as many officers as they do firefighters or FF/EMT.

    And yes, there are still some of the older members still there and although it can be a great thing to have them there, it can also be detremental at the same time. It is great to know the history of the department, and it is great to have an older member there that is still active in training and aggressive in there sense of actions, but again, it can lead to failure when you get the other side of the coin and have them there and they refuse to train, refuse to listen to newer ways and to learn new techniques as well as to purchase new items, as well as to explain the newere senses of safety as well as rules and regulations that are developed each year.

    Not sure if any of this is what is happening around you, but if the chief and/or members at the mutual-aid department selected their Lt., there is not one thing you can do about it, other than to try and work with him/her during calls as you would with any of their officers, and he/she should be given the same chances of respect for the position as you would give the others, until they make it dangerous for you or your crew.

    In a nutshell, what other departments do and who they select is none of your business regardless of how many trainings and calls you do together. I know that seems cruel, but that is the real sense of it. It only becomes your businees or your departments business when he/she puts your members in harms way, or when he/she may put his/her members in harms way at your calls, then and only then should issues be addressed with the mutual-aid department about this officer.


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    Officers should be promoted by the chiefs. It is the chief of the department who is ultimatly responsible for the actions and decisions for that officer. How can you hold a body of firefighters who elected an officer accountable.
    If that elected officer makes a mistake, its the chief who they are going to question first, not the body.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFD720 View Post
    Officers should be promoted by the chiefs. It is the chief of the department who is ultimatly responsible for the actions and decisions for that officer. How can you hold a body of firefighters who elected an officer accountable.
    If that elected officer makes a mistake, its the chief who they are going to question first, not the body.
    Thats how we do it. The Lt's and Capt's are elected by the Chief and Deputies. The only elected personell we have are the Chief. We nominate people and then its put into a vote,unless of course theres only one.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFD720 View Post
    Officers should be promoted by the chiefs. It is the chief of the department who is ultimatly responsible for the actions and decisions for that officer. How can you hold a body of firefighters who elected an officer accountable.
    If that elected officer makes a mistake, its the chief who they are going to question first, not the body.
    I don't know the correct answer, but my thoughts if the chief elects their own officers I think you'll get a clique thing going on with the chief and all of the chiefs buddies will be in with officers positions. This might take away a position from someone else who would be capable of doing the job. On the other side if you let your membership elect and vote in the officers I guess you might get the same thing so I would think letting the membership would be the best way and if you're doing the job right you should be ok and if your not well....Just my thoughts.

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    at our station we have an election every 2 years. the chief asst. chief and treasure are elected. the captains, Lts. and secretary are all picked by the chief. all this is known going into the election so people do play the games of who do we want as chief and who will they pick as there officers. i have actually seen more people striving to want to get up to the point of maybe being a Lt.

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    Wink

    Sometimes officers have to make desicions that may not be popular to everyone, thats just the way it is. If an officer knows hes going to be up for election soon, then he'll have to start politicing (Butt kissing) to keep his job and not do the job he should really be doing.

    We used to have elections on our department many years ago, I kept my position by buying beer and pizza after drill for a few weeks up until election

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    Requirements, requirements, requirements. The problem in most instances like these is that there are no such requirements that personnel have to have before they are eligible to run for an office, and if there are some requirements, a junior member would be quailified.

    Again folks, it comes down to right and wrong and how the department and its membership (the yous and I's) want the department to operate. The vocal minority will always try to push the non-vocal majority about how it was and how it should be, and some members will give in. It is your department, it is time to take a stand and say that there are certain requirements such as training levels, attendances, experience that should be implemented into the equation of nominations and elections.

    It does not matter if the department elects the officers or if they are appointed by the Chief. It does matter however if these members are not meeting department requirements.

    Without requirements for each position in place in the SOP's the nominations and elections are a farce and the vocal minority will still and always will WIN. Members need to step up and take ownership of the department again.



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