Thread: The Blame Game

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    Default The Blame Game

    I'm an Industrial Firefighter that happens to also be on a volunteer dpt. I started out on this Volunteer Dpt. The thing is of late I've noticed a decline of already low standards, firefighters would just assume stab you in the back as look at you. Approx. 2-4 weeks ago OSHA came and inspected us because someone sent them a letter. Now 80% of the VFD is head hunting and more concerned about screwing the guy that did this too us than fixing the problem.

    It's even gone as far as 2 files missing which contained important training documents, I'm the training officer. I'm here to tell ya one file contained literally nothing and the other contained nothing that was required. I can't conduct training because my chief will only allow his pre-approved water out of trucks. let alone I have a time slot of 40-70 minutes. Also when 0-5 people show for training, it's kinda hard.

    So with these 2 mystery files that were "stolen" the chief has brought in the state police to investigate stolen files which didn't exist. So guess who's in the pot getting cooked? The chief and his minions are also trying to pin this on who they think sent the letter to OSHA. Interesting fact, who they think is involved, isn't.

    So I apologize if this seemed like more complaining than anything. How do I get the others to stop pointing fingers, grow up, and work on fixing what needs to be fixed? Or any other advice, such as how to firmly attach one rope to another, cause I'm getting way to close to the end of this one.

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    I guess you shouldn't have called OSHA, then.

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    Chuck
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    Your also generalizing all VFD. Not all are like that, just like not all Career guys are like that.
    This is not isolated, but not the norm either. Sounds like your chief/officers need to step in and fix this quick.

    Chuck

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    Cool C.y.a.

    That sounds like they are practicing "C.Y.A.". They are more worried about covering their own butts then fixing the problem. This is a example of poor leadership.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XRaysJL View Post
    That sounds like they are practicing "C.Y.A.". They are more worried about covering their own butts then fixing the problem. This is a example of poor leadership.
    Sounds like a lot of people I work with. Will screw anybody, anyway they can as long as they don't get in s**t.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Default Who called OSHA?

    First off, I did not call OSHA, I don't know who did. Right now I think we have more important things to worry about than who did it. Second I'm not saying all VFD's are like this, I'm just saying that mine is. Third, the Chief is part of the problem, spewing out false accusations, pointing fingers instead of fixing things. He also has no FF1 or FF2 or Officer training, he refuses to train or let me train others on anything but getting water out of the trucks. There are isues like incident command. When utilized it protects the firefighters. Issues in the past are no one at the pump when firefighters are doing an interior attack and the hose goes limp. Or when there is an interior attack and letting people free lance and push water through a window and move the fire over top of the firefighters then kick on a ventilation fan. We have no SOG's in place, no training to say, inspections on SCBA's or other equipment. These are problems that need to be corrected before this department can become organized and safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guardo83 View Post
    First off, I did not call OSHA, I don't know who did. Right now I think we have more important things to worry about than who did it. Second I'm not saying all VFD's are like this, I'm just saying that mine is. Third, the Chief is part of the problem, spewing out false accusations, pointing fingers instead of fixing things. He also has no FF1 or FF2 or Officer training, he refuses to train or let me train others on anything but getting water out of the trucks. There are isues like incident command. When utilized it protects the firefighters. Issues in the past are no one at the pump when firefighters are doing an interior attack and the hose goes limp. Or when there is an interior attack and letting people free lance and push water through a window and move the fire over top of the firefighters then kick on a ventilation fan. We have no SOG's in place, no training to say, inspections on SCBA's or other equipment. These are problems that need to be corrected before this department can become organized and safe.
    Sorry to hear you having these problems. The best advice that I can give you is get out of there before you get injured or worse. I really don't think that you will be able to help "fix" anything without ensuing another witch-hunt.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Well, what I am curious about is what was OSHA called into to investigate? Apparently something was wrong and now it seems that people do not want to admit they did something wrong.
    Even though the chief may not be qualified for his job then somebody must like him in order for him to be the chief. If your chief is elected by a vote of the members then already apparently your department does not have high standards, not to make you mad or anything. But if the chief is not qualified then he shouldn’t be there to begin with. And apparently whoever “stole” two empty files are apparently not too bright themselves. Best thing for you to do, if the state police is coming in is to just keep your mouth shut when talking to people and tell the truth to the police. If you are innocent then be truthful and you’ll be ok.

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    Default "Stolen" files

    My opinion of the stolen files is kinda like the theory of the guy on the grassy knoll. I think the chief purposely removed them because they showed that during his terms what little training and hose testing we had been doing had stopped. The cief is chief cuz no one else wants it, and some of the membership like him there cuz he is their puppet.

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    My question is what's the chief think he's going to do when OSHA does a follow-up visit? All the blaming in the world isn't going to do a thing when they come back and nothing's changed.

    At the same time, what's the board going to do if the department gets a nice fine for the violations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    At the same time, what's the board going to do if the department gets a nice fine for the violations?
    The board and the chief are hoping to launch a civil suit against whomever they pick to blame. I hope I don't wqke up to find a knife in my back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    My question is what's the chief think he's going to do when OSHA does a follow-up visit? All the blaming in the world isn't going to do a thing when they come back and nothing's changed.
    7 yrs ago OSHA came out per the departments request to give a list of things that needed work for compliance. The list contained about 20 items, only one item on that list has been completed. All the pipes have been labled.

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    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Instead of anonymously complaining on an internet forum...

    DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!

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    Sounds to me like you are making just as many unproven accusations as your Chief is.

    It's even gone as far as 2 files missing which contained important training documents, I'm the training officer. I'm here to tell ya one file contained literally nothing and the other contained nothing that was required.
    Huh? They contain important training documents, but there is nothing in either of them?

    Sorry, I'm smelling a rat here.

    Good Luck to you, I think you'll need it.
    "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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    I wouldn't waste my time volunteering at a department like you've described.

    Shayne
    "Being talked to death is a terrible way to die"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Sounds to me like you are making just as many unproven accusations as your Chief is.

    Huh? They contain important training documents, but there is nothing in either of them?

    Sorry, I'm smelling a rat here.

    Good Luck to you, I think you'll need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Sounds to me like you are making just as many unproven accusations as your Chief is.

    Huh? They contain important training documents, but there is nothing in either of them?

    Sorry, I'm smelling a rat here.

    Good Luck to you, I think you'll need it.
    The point of my initial post EXACTLY!

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    I'm with George and Bones on this one. Something just doesn't seem right here. See Docs pic!!!

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    No offense to anyone's opinion (everyone's entitled one, after all), and it's not intended to start a major debate or flaming war (although I have a feeling I'll feel plenty of heat), but what's it matter who ratted? If an IAFF local reported unsafe working conditions, most of us would be in an uproar because the chief had the audacity to allow such poor working conditions.

    We have fought and fought for safe working conditions, for both career and volunteer fire departments, why not enforce those rules? OSHA and NFPA both have rules, regulations, laws, what have you to ensure that we have a safe(r) working environment, but chiefs, board, and city councils everywhere ignore those rules.

    I don't know how things work in other states, but it's my understanding that those who report violations to OSHA are protected by anonymity (sp?), at least in my experience where I live. Now, if this chief is out to try to fish out and punish the "rat," it's my understaning that is what's called harassment and that could result in a huge lawsuit against the department itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    No offense to anyone's opinion (everyone's entitled one, after all), and it's not intended to start a major debate or flaming war (although I have a feeling I'll feel plenty of heat), but what's it matter who ratted? If an IAFF local reported unsafe working conditions, most of us would be in an uproar because the chief had the audacity to allow such poor working conditions.

    We have fought and fought for safe working conditions, for both career and volunteer fire departments, why not enforce those rules? OSHA and NFPA both have rules, regulations, laws, what have you to ensure that we have a safe(r) working environment, but chiefs, board, and city councils everywhere ignore those rules.

    I don't know how things work in other states, but it's my understanding that those who report violations to OSHA are protected by anonymity (sp?), at least in my experience where I live. Now, if this chief is out to try to fish out and punish the "rat," it's my understaning that is what's called harassment and that could result in a huge lawsuit against the department itself.
    Of course I would want the rules enforced. I think the problem is when someone comes across as less than disingenuous. If you really read the posts, this guy either called OSHA or was complicit with someone who did. OSHA allegedly has confidentiality rules. But a real man would not hide behind those rules. A man would stand up for what is right and do it in public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Of course I would want the rules enforced. I think the problem is when someone comes across as less than disingenuous. If you really read the posts, this guy either called OSHA or was complicit with someone who did. OSHA allegedly has confidentiality rules. But a real man would not hide behind those rules. A man would stand up for what is right and do it in public.
    I can't say as I would argue with you there. I did take some notice of the whole file thing and I don't really think it's relevant other than potential harassment of a reporter.

    I've been on both sides of OSHA complaints outside of the fire service, but it's a tool that like anything is beneficial of used in the right way. If someone did it just to "get back" at someone, it's a crock. If there's a real issue, I say go for it, but it's usually better received if you go straight to the top and address them first, then report if nothing gets done.

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    Default Alright enough already

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Instead of anonymously complaining on an internet forum...

    DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!
    Since basically you're calling me a coward, I'll try one more time to get this in your thick skull. I DID NOT CALL OSHA, NOR DO I KNOW WHO DID! I also smell a rat, The "files" that contained "important records" which were "stolen" contained nothing. I know this because I am the person that would put something in there if there was something to put in. The records in question are Hose testing, Pump testing, SCBA fit testing, SCBA inspections, and vehicle inspections. I don't know about you, but if I'm packed up and on the end of a hose, there better be know doubt that that hose isn't going to fail, that pack doesn't stop giving me air, or tell me when I'm gonna run out, that my hose doesn't go limp cuz the pump croaked, or that the engine is on fire cuz no one checked the oil, or cleaned the mouse nest off the exhaust manifold. I personally consider these to be IDLH. If you disagree then fine, don't try to blame me.

    I also prefer to work things out in house, I'm former Navy, I work the chain of command if I have too. I've been working on this for 3 yrs, and I believe it will take longer.

    I may be career now, I started volunteer, I still volunteer, I volunteer as an EMT on 2 squads, one of which doesn't charge for its services, I'll be volunteer till I die. By the way, I've only been career for 3 months, 3 whopping months. This OSHA crap, Has been going on longer that that. The first time OSHA came I was some dumb kid in college that didn't even know what was entailed in fire suppression, or community service. So this isn't about Volunteer vs. career.

    I started this forum to seek advice, because as I said a few times already, I DID NOT CALL/WRITE OSHA AND I DON'T KNOW WHO DID! I DID NOT "STEAL" THE FILES, NOR DO I KNOW WHO DID!

    I'm getting the blame for it, and I was seeking advice on what I should do.

    Now I'm getting attacked here, I'm starting to think the brotherhood really is dead.

    As for my accusations, maybe I'm out in left field. Yes, they are unproven. They are an observation of mine, and if I could verbally speak to you, you could see my point, I'm not saying it's true, I just think it could very well could be.

    So thank you for the personal attacks, I rather enjoyed them, could you pull the knife out of my back that my cheif first stuck in, and you pounded in with a sledge hammer.

    Once again I DID NOT CALL/WRITE OSHA AND I DON'T KNOW WHO DID! I DID NOT "STEAL" THE FILES, NOR DO I KNOW WHO DID!

    Since I'm apparently not a man to just fix things, which is what I'm trying to do, because I'm a coward anymonously complaining on the internet I wouldn't sign out as myself.

    Thanks for the misinterpretation,

    Joshua Gerald Guard

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    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Instead of anonymously complaining on an internet forum...

    DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Instead of anonymously complaining on an internet forum...

    DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!
    Are you stupid!? Read my previous post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Instead of anonymously complaining on an internet forum...

    DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!
    Speaking of which, listen to your own advice.

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