1. #1
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    Default Some real scoop from someone who was there

    I recently finished my year in Iraq with WSI. I'm here to post some real scoop.

    In no particular order:

    If it hasn't been said enough times, PACK LIGHT!!!! You'll get uniforms in Houston. If you need an additional bag to carry that once you get
    it, buy something cheap in Houston. You'll get a chance to go shopping. If there are things you just can't do without, suck it up and wait
    until you get to your site and have someone mail them to you. Or suck it up and understand you will be carrying it around. A lot.

    Go in with your expectasions low. Very low. You may very likely still gt disappointed but not as much as if you go in expecting things to be
    anything other than what they are. Remember every two weeks you get reminded why you are there. $$$$$

    Speaking of the $, don't make any bull$hit pretensions that you are there for anything else. If it paid $30,000 a year your butt would be stayign right here in the states. Yes, when you are there you will have many opportunities to do things to help the military, and that's good. It's a great feeling. But you're going for the money so stop frontin'.

    The company does not give a damn about you or anything you want or need. You are a number to them and that is all you will ever be. If you

    quit they'll hire someone else. Just suck up the bull$hit, complain about it to the other guys like they will complain to you and every other Friday look at your bank account and laugh.

    If you are married, set up a seperate account that your wife can't touch. And have a plan before you leave of what you'll do with the money. I'm single but I saw a lot of guys get fu#*ed over by trusting the wife to handle it or spend the money wisely. Lots of divorces.

    When you arrive, don't talk about how great you are or how you have tons of experience or even worse 7 million certificates. Usually those
    who brag aren't worth a damn, so once you start you're labelling yourself and people are going to watch you and expect to see something. Shut up and let your actions speak for you.

    Also when you arrive don't talk about how you did it back home. Your not back home. If what's in place works, run with it. There are in fact many ways to skin a cat.

    Expect to have idiots for officers. I'm not saying all of them are but there are many. The "leadership academy" is often used as a reward for suckups, and quite often for those dumb enough to spend a year or any amount of time at HQ in Baghdad. Real fire experience doesn't mean anything. "OOOOOOOOH, you were in the Air Force for 6 years and have all these certificates. You'd make a great lieutenant. What's that you say? You've never actually seen a fire? That's okay, we haven't either, but we're in charge so it must not matter." No that is not a slam on the Air Force or any other military firefighters. But the truth is that many spend an entire career without seeing much if any fire. Not their fault. It just means they don't have a lot of practical experience. But they have paper. I am not claiming to have been qualified myself, so this isn't sour grapes over not getting promoted. I saw plenty of people well qualified to be officers, much more qualified than
    those who were, but they wouldn't drink the Kool-Aid or they didn't have certs, so they didn't make it.

    Be thankful there aren't many fires there, for a number of reasons.

    Some of the troops live in appaling conditions which are extremely unsafe. Catastrophes waiting to happen. Monster fires with many people
    trapped. This would happen not due to anyone's incompetence, but because the conditions aren't safe, and there just won't be enough firefighters on scene to do everything that's needed. Thank God it hasn't happened yet. Some would claim that's because WSI has such an aggressive fire prevention/inspection program. BULL$HIT!!!!! It is just dumb luck. How can the prevention/inspection program matter when A) there is no enforcement authority and B) KBR isn't going to do anything at some sites (Yes this is written after talking to a number of people from many sites in country) to fix the phenomenal number of unsafe electric conditions that exist. The inspections are just WSI's way of covering their butt in case something bad happens. "But we told them that wasn't safe! See, here's our inspections from the last 2 years with that same violation written up every time."

    Another reason to be glad there aren't many fires is the lack of experience or real qualifications of many officers. In some cases it's just flat out incompetence. Same thing exists on the business end of the hoseline in many cases. I met some real dimwits in my time there who may or may not at any given moment know which end of the hose to point at a fire. There are a lot of guys over there who would never make it in a paid or volunteer department here in the states. Quite often they are "career contract" firefighters. "I've been to Kwaj, Ecuador, Kuwait, etc etc etc. I'm the $hit." Yeah, whatever. Move along.

    There's the heat. You'r going to sweat and someone is going to fall out. If/when that happens they will be blamed for not staying properly
    hydrated or that you aren't in good shape. Might be the case, but it might also very well be the guy in good shape who does his best to stay
    hydrated. HEY YOU IDIOTS THE 10/50 RULE DURING BLACK FLAG EXISTS FOR A REASON!!!!!!!!! You can't get around it just by Rick Tye's dumb ***** harping on hydration every week in the freekin' conferance call.

    There's another point to make. Rick Tye. Ask anyone in Baghdad (AKA the Tye Fan Club and they'll tell you Rick Tye is the stuff. Da bomb. Kiss his ring. Speak his name with reverance and awe. Whatever. You want to know what kind of guy WSI has running things over there? Do a Google Search on Rick Tye and read what comes up.

    There are many who will come in here and debunk what I've said here. They'll say I was probably a troublemaker or that I probably got
    fired or try desparately to find ways to discredit me. Maybe they will make fun of my spelling because it and my grammar aren't perfect.
    Unfortunately for them none of them know me or who I am so they don't have a leg to stand on. They might say some garbage about "why
    didn't you try to make it better if it's so bad?" or some other crap. Easy. Two reasons. First is that nobody is going to make a real change.
    You might make things different for a little while at one site or for one engine crew but that's all. As long as the idiots in charge at HQ in Baghdad remain the same, nothing will ever change. It's that simple. Second is that I'm not qualified myself.

    For those of you company men who come in and slam me, go ahead. Enjoy. Point out as you always do that HQ reads this forum. I don't care.
    I'm home. You probably think you can find out who I am. Someone else tried and didn't. It's good to have friends who know how to cover tracks on the internet. Things aren't always posted from where they appear. The computer (IP) of some unwitting soul in country is being used for this posting. Among a couple of other routing tricks.I hope nobody tracks it down. I'd hate to get someone else in trouble but I received enough crap in the past in email (thank God I have an anonymous email address) when I posted stuff someone didn't like. I exchanged a couple emails with someone pretending to be a newbie wanting information and he passed my email address on to others who sent all sorts of ugly things my way. Amazing how ugly and violent people will get when you speak the truth. I had several "identify yourself to me if you see me in Baghdad or Dubai and I'll straighten out your attitude problem" threats. Nice ain't it? Want some help? I left the
    theater some time between my last post and July 1st. I was at TQ/B6. But I already said that once before.

    So go over, make a pile of cash. Buy a house or get out of debt or what ever you are going for. Do your time and come home safe. Just don't
    expect anything much.

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    i would like to be the first to say AMEN!!!! you hit the nail on the head.

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    Default

    a lot of what you said defintely rings true. reading some of that stuff makes me glad that i work for KBR though!

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    im not over there nor have i been there yet. i am looking forward to going though. im already thinking of doing a few years (if i can deal with things). but what your post pretty much said to me is avoid the asses and keep your mouth shut. thats pretty much how i was when i was a probie. i hope to find out for myself how things are there. i just wanted to say thank you for your post and that i enjoy as much info as i can get on a subject. will you go back again? and are there better locations and / or companies in this contract world?
    No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.
    ~W. A. Nance~

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
    ~Walt Disney~

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
    ~Mark Twain~

    Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.
    ~James R. Cook~

    Life don't suck. Life is what you make of it.
    ~FIREFLY~

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    WSIFire thanks for the thread, good to see objective frankness and honesty can play out in the forums.

    I have worked in the dust bowl once before, and we had a lot of restrictions on personal belongings, What is allowed to be carried overseas as far a personal belongings? (i.e. Cameras etc. ?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireFly61875 View Post
    im not over there nor have i been there yet. i am looking forward to going though. im already thinking of doing a few years (if i can deal with things). but what your post pretty much said to me is avoid the asses and keep your mouth shut. thats pretty much how i was when i was a probie. i hope to find out for myself how things are there. i just wanted to say thank you for your post and that i enjoy as much info as i can get on a subject. will you go back again? and are there better locations and / or companies in this contract world?
    NO I wouldn't go back again. I accomplished my financial goals. I'm used to some bull$hit and there will always be some in any department, but WSI exceeds the total bull$hit output of any 10000 fire departments in the states. It's worth it for a year, but I don't need money bad enough to go back.

    I can't speak about the contract world, but there HAVE to be better companies. If WSI is the best, God help us all. I can't see any other contract paying as well though, except whatever KBR has in Iraq and whoever has Afghanistan (I think it's KBR).

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyin2fire View Post
    WSIFire thanks for the thread, good to see objective frankness and honesty can play out in the forums.

    I have worked in the dust bowl once before, and we had a lot of restrictions on personal belongings, What is allowed to be carried overseas as far a personal belongings? (i.e. Cameras etc. ?)
    You can take a camera or a laptop, pretty much anything you want other than porn or booze.

    There are restrictions on where you can take your camera or have it out, but you'll be told about those in advance.

    Again, you don't want to take any more than you have to or want to carry around. You can order it once you're there, buy it at the PX, have it sent to you, whatever.

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    Default Very Well Put!!

    WSIFire,

    Good Post. I was there as well from 05-06 (B-1). Had a good time for the most part, met a lot of good guys and made some friends for life. There was and still is a tremendous amount of BS going on and that will probably never change.

    Your comments are very acurate and honest (future WSI employees take notice) and Im sure for the most part most of us who have served there feel the same. I miss the guys and gals that worked for me. I would have to say my crew and I had a good time and made the best of the situation that was given to us day to day.

    Lots of Laughs thats for sure stemming from weekly conference calls to new WSI rules to just plain old fun practical jokes. It was a year of my life I will never forget...

    Cam

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    Quote Originally Posted by UTFIREGUY View Post
    WSIFire,

    Good Post. I was there as well from 05-06 (B-1). Had a good time for the most part, met a lot of good guys and made some friends for life. There was and still is a tremendous amount of BS going on and that will probably never change.

    Your comments are very acurate and honest (future WSI employees take notice) and Im sure for the most part most of us who have served there feel the same. I miss the guys and gals that worked for me. I would have to say my crew and I had a good time and made the best of the situation that was given to us day to day.

    Lots of Laughs thats for sure stemming from weekly conference calls to new WSI rules to just plain old fun practical jokes. It was a year of my life I will never forget...

    Cam
    i want to make babies with you. you are my hero.

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    Default H20 Squiter and wet pants

    read below for your message Mr squirts
    Last edited by FIRESKEITH; 07-16-2007 at 09:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by h20squirter View Post
    i want to make babies with you. you are my hero.
    Gheez H20Squirter don't sound like a f
    a


    g

    just say he's your hero man!!!

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    Default Editors note

    The author of the original post here did not intend for this to become a private lovefest between any other posters, or for it to be used as a personal ad or pickup bar. But the author apologizes for the fact that others have done so. Anyone else who is sickened by this behaviur please join me in puking on the keyboard of that Squirt guy.


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    hey don't be jealous that someone is secure enough in their hetero-ness that they can joke around with a guy that they worked with.

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    Quit lying to yourself Squirt. Kick open that closet door and come out for the world to see. Be proud of your rainbow. It's 2007. Why hide it?

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    Talking

    haha, that is really cool that you are open enough with yourself to be able to offer to help me out like that. but really its ok, i am cool with just chicks. sorry to disappoint.

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    Default Wsi Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by WSIFire View Post
    Quit lying to yourself Squirt. Kick open that closet door and come out for the world to see. Be proud of your rainbow. It's 2007. Why hide it?
    HA HA HA that is too funny.

    Hey just so other readers know this is just fun play and is not mean play so don't shut this thread down over a guy who goes down.

    Thanx
    LOL

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    Default WSI Fire

    Hey WSI Fire! I probably worked with you there at B6 up until I left. I saw the threads a few months ago back and forth with you and one of the company "cronies". And how he was threatening to find out who you were. I have a hunch who that was because he was transferred from B1 to B6 (and he was a piece of work) Then you disappeared for awhile. Looks like you're back in the States now? Send me your e-mail address. I was at B6 Station 1 for a short time, laid pretty low the few months I was there and was pretty disgruntled at the company myself.
    I'm curious who you are and actually posted a thread of yours on my new blog! I'll send you a link to the blog if and when I hear from you.

    Until then,
    Peace out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireOfficerTrue View Post
    Hey WSI Fire! I probably worked with you there at B6 up until I left. I saw the threads a few months ago back and forth with you and one of the company "cronies". And how he was threatening to find out who you were. I have a hunch who that was because he was transferred from B1 to B6 (and he was a piece of work) Then you disappeared for awhile. Looks like you're back in the States now? Send me your e-mail address. I was at B6 Station 1 for a short time, laid pretty low the few months I was there and was pretty disgruntled at the company myself.
    I'm curious who you are and actually posted a thread of yours on my new blog! I'll send you a link to the blog if and when I hear from you.

    Until then,
    Peace out!
    Sure, I'm gonna give all my info to an obvious fishing expedition. Whatever. I don't care about your blog and I don't want to trade whines about WSI. My only purpose for this post was to get some real info out there.

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    Default Wsifire

    FireOfficerTRICKY says you are disgruntled like him. Think thats true?
    He was just inviting you to go fishing!!
    Catch a three-eyed monster from the lake around the Palace. MMMM good eating.
    And everyone wonders where the deep fried catfish at the DFAC comes from!!!! Well it aint cat and it aint fish!!
    Last edited by FIRESKEITH; 08-06-2007 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Disgruntled

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    Is it too early for popcorn?

    Oh wait, I gotta go join in the crowd chanting FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT first.

    *hands her popcorn to FiresKeith* Save my seat, please.


    On a more serious note, what a sad world it is that we live in when we can't take things at face-value anymore. Not in the internet age.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    Lightbulb

    So WSIFire thinks I'm on a "fishing" expedition to get his e-mail address and that I'm from corporate. That couldn't be any further from the truth.
    http://wsi-fire-exposed.blogspot.com/

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    Okay so I was wrong. Nice blog. Still not looking to make contact. Nothing personal.

    Still not changing my mind on the Bucks County paper mill either. You may be the stuff, the sh*t, the bomb, the man, the real deal, etc. I'm simply (as I already said) speaking from personal experience (plus conversations with a few others who worked with BCC's) on what I found.

    And for whoever said I'm a "6-20" you are wrong. If you clowns noticed I haven't done any bragging or claimed I was God's gift to the fire service. I know what I'm doing and can hold my own. I don't know it all and haven't seen it all, nor will I ever claim to.

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    Default Oh...OK.

    So, it's just arrogance then? Nooo...no bragging but plenty of condescension. Listen, I have nothing against you and I also appreciate the info that you've posted; but to state that guys with Buck's Co. Certs aren't worth a damn....that's just plain ignorant. All of these guys on this forum are just trying to do what they can to, in some way, better their own situation. They have to jump through the hoops to make it into this circus, ya' know? So, as pappy always said: "If you ain't got nothing nice to say....don't say nothing!" So, be nice! K'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GOTFLAMES View Post
    So, it's just arrogance then? Nooo...no bragging but plenty of condescension. Listen, I have nothing against you and I also appreciate the info that you've posted; but to state that guys with Buck's Co. Certs aren't worth a damn....that's just plain ignorant. All of these guys on this forum are just trying to do what they can to, in some way, better their own situation. They have to jump through the hoops to make it into this circus, ya' know? So, as pappy always said: "If you ain't got nothing nice to say....don't say nothing!" So, be nice! K'?
    What I said, Mr. Nice, is that those I met in country who had gotten their paper from Bucks County weren't worth a damn, and from conversatoins with others they'd seen the same thing. Got it, or do I need to be more condescending?

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    Default Enlightening

    Thanks for the "scoop" WSI. Your scenario is not too far from what I expected, maybe a little (or a lot) more ineptitude than I hoped, but still disappointing. Before I read your post my plan was to keep my mouth shut, do what I'm told, and keep a positive attitude. You have reaffirmed those plans, starting now. None the less, I'm still excited about going and view this as an opportunity. My age has tempered my expectations but not my optimism.

    Sorry if I missed the obvious in the earlier posts but is there a worst and best base to be assigned, or does it just depend on who's in charge? Also, can I expect to be able to handle some of my financial affairs on the internet, securely? I have someone here (trustworthy and competent) that will take care of the bulk of it, but I still need some access. I know it's OK but is bringing a laptop a good idea? Lastly, if you only carry in 2 changes of civilian clothes (as our list suggests), doesn't it limit your wardrode on your furlough, assuming you don't return to the states. Thanks again, and I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain if I think of something else, which I'm sure I will.

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