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  1. #21
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    The High Desert of Western Colorado


    We have several members in our department that eat, sleep and breath it. They tend to expect others to do the same. Everytime a new member comes on they push them to be just as dedicated. You really have to let them know where YOU draw the line. As long as you are meeting your minimum requirements they should not push you to do more but many times they do.
    I have a great deal on my plate between my day job, my family, caring for an elderly parent, etc. I give what time I can and that's it. I make my minimum requirements but its tough.

    The thing I hate about my department is they do so many extra activities that we have to help with. Standbys for events, Country Jam, Rock Jam, Yearly Retiree Dinner, Thanksgiving Dinner, Picnics, Fill the Boot, Haunted House, extra classes or presentations, parades, and it goes on and on. I get tired of all of that stuff. I want to spend that time at home. I think responding to calls and attending training nights is enough. I do very little of the extra stuff so I get griped at for not participating. I don't let it get to me. I know what I can give of my time.

  2. #22
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Lawrenceville, VA


    Quote Originally Posted by havok92 View Post
    I'm a firefighter for my local VOLUNTEER Fire Rescue company. I make my calls, I make my drills, I make my sub sales, I try to make my work details, and when we set up for fairs for dime pitches, I make those If I can. My problem is this, my job requires me to wake up at 4 in the morning, I have tons of work to do around the house, and I want to spend time with my wife.

    However, I get griped at when I stay until I gotta leave. For example, last week I worked a dime pitch at our local 4th of july fair, I told my chief that I can only stay from 5-8pm. That's 3 hours, the next thing I know, he blows up. He tells me that he wakes up at 5am, goes to work, comes home long enough to take a shower and eat, leaves for the dime pitch, stays from 5 until 11 then goes home. BTW, he's married too.

    My job is a very dangerous one as I work in a foundry. He calls me on my cell phone, or harrasses me on my home phone, prys and trys to find out what I'm doing. The moment I say I'm doing something with my wife, or doing housework, he expects me to drop what I'm doing.

    Am I wrong to feel like I'm being used and abused by my VOLUNTEER Fire Dept.?

    I love being a firefighter, but this issue is making me push myself to another company.

    I wish I had people who would do that much. most just don't show at all at least you forth the effort.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default you are a VOLUNTEER!!!!!

    tell your white hat to relax. your family and your job comes first. i would bet that there are plenty of your fellow ff's who know that they can count on you to be there when you can and give 100%.

  4. #24
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 1999


    Well said Eng34FF. This isn't a lack of dedication. It's about priorities.

    havok92, I had the same problem when I was volunteering. At the time, my oldest, now 12, was just about 6 months old. One of the "newer" members, decided I should be setting up at the yearly fundraiser when he was. Even called me at the house wondering why I wasn't there. I tried to explain that my wife was working and I had babysitting duty. He "suggested" that I get a sitter and come to the grounds. Needless to say, when the Mrs. got home I immediately went to the grounds and 'splained to him what my priorities were. Just like everyon stated here: Family, job, volunteering. This "yo-yo" had just joined the previous year and he & his new bride were spending all there time at the grounds. He missed the fact that I had been at the grounds setting up every year for 15+ years. Apparently I got through to him, because a few years later he had a family and couldn't make it to as many fundraisers, calls, etc.

    havok92, an open discussion with the chief, or the entire body of members should lay out how you feel. If they don't like it, take a leave of absence from the department. Then come back in a few months. As long as you put in as much time as you feel you can, that's good enough.

    Stay low, keep pushing in, and stay safe.

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