Thread: "Dead House"

  1. #1
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    Unhappy "Dead House"

    "Dead House" Def: A term coming to mean a fire station overrun with poor morale and bad management.

    Anyone here ever been a part of one? Anyone here ever take place in a shakeup that turned the tide? How did things turn around? What was needed? How was trust reinvested into the upper echelons- or was that even possible?

    Got any war stories? Share them... We're watching.


    Bloggins.
    Last edited by bloggins; 06-27-2007 at 06:11 PM.
    B. Bloggins
    AFD / FOD
    "Sometimes, what 'they' know CAN hurt you."

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    I'll let you know once that whole "turn the tide" thing happens


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    I worked a dead house for a while. As a peon, there wasn't really anything I could do but lead by example. I used the opportunity to work on training and education on my own and survived just fine.
    ullrichk
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    I know- the turning the tide thing can take forever. Something just happened here that may have initiated it... I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Unfortunately, it's gone so far here that nothing but the termination of at least one individual will mitigate the problems we have.

    How are you guys dealing with your issues? Where are the problem people festering?


    Bloggins.
    B. Bloggins
    AFD / FOD
    "Sometimes, what 'they' know CAN hurt you."

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    I'm partly surprised to see a lack of response in here, but on the other hand I'm not. I know many of us are silent witnesses to degraded morale, and agree that we sometimes have to take it upon ourselves to do the best we can and think of the community as opposed to the will of those we work under. This is problematic because as the system runs smooth from the outside looking in, it's difficult to justify change.

    On the other hand- it's reassuring to see that maybe the dead houses are few and far between. To that I think we owe solid leadership and love of the job- and to those I pass my envy!

    I'm still interested in hearing stories from those of you who are anonymous enough to post them.

    Bloggins
    B. Bloggins
    AFD / FOD
    "Sometimes, what 'they' know CAN hurt you."

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    I'll take it one step further. We have an entire "dead" dept. Morale has been bottomed out for over a year. Still waiting on some things going on now which may or may not "turn the tide". If something isn't done in the next few months, close to 75% of our dept is looking to move elsewhere. We've already lost quite a few. Only those that are highly invested in the area (with family, friends) are likely to stay.

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    A department with a sick culture is a really depressing place to work IF you allow yourself to be dragged into it. I am a self motivator and I did things on my own regardless of what the other guys were doing. I trained on my own, I looked at equipment maintenance on my own, devised ways to make the job or particular task easier on my own. Eventualy a different job came along and I left there.

    How it is coped with is a personal thing, you can do what I did or simply give in and go to the dark side and be part of the problem.

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    Default hmmmm

    So thats what its called! I never knew what to call (it ) but yes, that fits. I believe fairness and honesty starting at the top, knock out the "good ol boy crap" and show some intestinal fortitude could possibly turn the tide.

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    How the He!! did I miss this the 1st time around???

    Our's is basically an old vs. young situation.

    The young guys are out training, getting educated, going to conferences, being aggressive and doing everything thay can do to make the department a better place.

    The older folks are making decisions that effect the younger (the ones doing the work) members and not consulting one bit. It appears that things go in one ear, and right out the other.

    The majority of the leadership is so egotictical that members are leaving at an alarming rate, and it seems that they are ok with it????

    Me, I'm in the middle. I'm the young guy (28) who's a white hat that thinks like a firefighter but acts like an officer, and I'm the most hated amongst the officers, yet most liked amongst the firefighters.

    I know things will get better, as we've already hit "rock bottom" per say, and we are moving back up, but we've hit a standstill for now. Some of the guys are saying that at the end of this year, things will change (elections), but if they don't, then we risk losing more valuable members. I just try to keep them motivated, keep them out of the BS politics (while stressing myself too much sometime), and encourage them to continue training, learning and being the best that they can. Just hoping for the best I guess!!!!

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    Default Stay Mentally Tough

    It is easy to be a blade of grass, and lay down...it is much harder to stand up and weather the storm like a stubborn old oak. In the end, I think it's worth it.

    Believe me, I'm no superstar. I just love this job, and if I have anything to give back; it is to remind a few guys how much they loved it too...before they were infected by the "kitchen bitchers".

    We all know that nothing changes quickly in the fire service. I'd suggest small steps... Good Luck and stick with it!
    Last edited by HFDL2687LT; 09-16-2007 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Post Too Long

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    Thumbs down Plugging away...

    Hello fellow plug uglies.

    It's been awhile since I drifted this way- but I was relieved to know there are those of us suffering the same intolerable differences with an incompetant, ignorant, self serving or just plain underserving leadership.

    Or are they intolerable differences? I did see that some of you were able to separate yourself from the floor and go about your own business. To others, making anything "better" usually reflects well on those we despise and therefore is countradictory to the entire process. We enter a vortex of sorts where it doesn't matter what comes first between the chicken and the egg: The big bad wolf doesn't really care what comes first as long as dinner is served. In our situation, the wolf barely has enough time to eat between glances in the mirror.

    On our front, little has changed. I have no doubt that our head-shed peruses these forums for even the most casual identifying "peep" about the department. This news came to me not long ago through a second party- Suffice to say it sounded as if a few things in the forum hit home to them, this thread included. Unfortunately, nothing has since changed. We continue to be grossly overweight up top and annorexic on the bottom. Affiliation with this department is generally scoffed at in the region. In most cases members of the department are very careful to whom they say they work for. When the situation becomes intolerable, I take a quick peek at my bank account and remember what I'm doing here. It's my own fault, so I digress.

    I hope one day we experience a changing of the guard- because this place has unbelievable potential. As it stands right now, pride is a rusting tugboat abandoned at anchor in a lonely, uncharted harbor. It's an expensive vessel, with powerful engines and rowdy, willing, albeit weathered crew...

    Ahoy, ye fellow travelers... welcome aboard.


    Bloggins.
    B. Bloggins
    AFD / FOD
    "Sometimes, what 'they' know CAN hurt you."

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    Default Dead horse

    A dead horse on the west coast is a repay of a time exchange, rather than banking one to use later.
    Last edited by Paddiegrunt; 10-25-2007 at 12:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    A department with a sick culture is a really depressing place to work IF you allow yourself to be dragged into it. I am a self motivator and I did things on my own regardless of what the other guys were doing. I trained on my own, I looked at equipment maintenance on my own, devised ways to make the job or particular task easier on my own. Eventualy a different job came along and I left there.

    How it is coped with is a personal thing, you can do what I did or simply give in and go to the dark side and be part of the problem.
    Excellent advise for anyone in such a situation. Allways keep your head in the job and keep up with training on your own(books, mags, classes,etc). The job is only as good as you make it to be, even in dead houses. Remember: You only get out of something what you put into it.

  14. #14
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    Unhappy Any news?

    I'm just wondering if anything has happened on the turning of the tides at any departments. Our guys still push through on bare minimums and look at their pay stubs. Meanwhile, the idiots in charge do so with impunity. Finally, it looks as though we may get some relief... but it takes time. Head down, *** up... isn't there a song about that?

    blog.
    B. Bloggins
    AFD / FOD
    "Sometimes, what 'they' know CAN hurt you."

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