I did not make a no vote. The main things i have a problem with is lack of accountability both ways. We don't have a discipline board that is used (working on it) lots of things get ignored just told not to do it again multiple times. Which doesn't work if you know you can do what you want and just get told not to and thats as far as it goes then there are people that will just keep on doing it.
There is a lack of progressive thinking and doing things the old way cause thats the way they know and it works so why change, doesn't matter if the new way works better. When you bring ideas up be it new better tactics or better ways to store equipment it shut down or put on the back burner for a long time. Buying trucks that fit the need now not what will be better for us in years to come.
I understand about supervising, spent my time in the Navy in charge of 20 personnel and my fire team. I agree with you, Chief, you can't run the place worrying about if you do something will it get a vote against you or make someone mad at you. You do make alot of people mad when everytime you came to the hall he wants a reason why you have missed any calls, or questioning why you can't show up for fire conference or Fireman's weekend.
He has accomplished things and moved somethings forward but backward on others. We have gotten two new trucks, half of use have new gear, new color coded hose to help ID lines, and saved money on the budget, but with that if you don't use it you lose it, so we have a smaller budget.
Again I didn't start this to bash or attack my Dept's Chief. And i understand where people are coming from with the "moose lodge" and that. Not what we want just a better working and social relationship. As for there when you need them some yes others just say hey sorry to here about that or something along those lines. Trust is mostly there its hard to trust someone when they tell you to do something that either they wouldn't do or they don't know how.
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Thread: brotherhood/famliy problems
07-27-2007, 04:00 AM #21
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
07-29-2007, 04:55 PM #22
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
I have to be honest; being a female firefighter has not been easy for me. I am 34 years old and have been on the dept for 1 year. The first week I joined I heard who was sleeping with who, who cheats, who hates who, don’t go in with this person or that person. I was completely overwhelmed and thought to myself, where is this “brotherhood” everyone seems to speak of??
I had one firefighter (male) offer to help me with training; he would see me standing to the side completely confused and no one else offering to “teach” me. Well that was a huge mistake, the next thing I know rumors where flying left and right, we were sleeping with each other. I was completely crushed. Please keep in mind, Firefighting is completely “NEW” to me, I wasn’t raised around it nor did I have the first clue what really goes on at a fire scene. I didn’t really know what to expect, guess you can say I walked in to the dept completely blind.
I am on a dept with 2 other females but both of them have spouses on as well. I was told I am an outsider. I was told I would never make it through the fire academy. I would ask why do you guys think this of me? I got a response that made no scene to me. “because you are beautiful” “your too girly” What the hell does that have to do with anything? Do you think a fire gives a **** about the way a person looks??
I found myself not participating in as many things, not staying to eat after drills and chat, not really talking to anyone unless it was fireamatic related. I became very closed off. It was not a good feeling.
I would show up at the meetings and drills and pretty much no one would talk to me, but I REFUSED to let it get to me any longer, I sat, I listened, I would always volunteer to “try” something new first. I showed up at as many calls as I could, I participated in every drill, I showed up for the **** jobs, I scrubbed the trucks, I did whatever was handed to me, and I never once complained and I won’t. I am here because I want to be ...not because I have to be.
I came across a quote that helped me get through the rough times ....
"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a
victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
After 4 long months, I finished the fire academy June 9th, it was a 3 ½ hour written exam and then a 6 hour practical exam. I walked off that fire ground that day with my head held high because I knew I just proved everyone wrong. I waited 45 long days to find out if I had really passed. I was driving home from work and I received a phone call from the academy director. He said, you passed, I said YES!, He said, you scored a 98%. (The score is based on the written and practical combined). He said, you scored the highest in the class. I started crying like a baby at that point. He said don’t cry this is a good thing, I said yes it is a very good thing.
I am sure people are saying right now, big deal… who cares… it’s just volunteer. But to me it is something I am very passionate about. I worked my *** off, I read everything I could get my hands on, I ask so many questions, I am sure the instructors wanted to kill me. It wasn’t that I wanted to “prove” everyone wrong, I guess I worked harder to prove “myself” wrong. You see when someone tells you something a number of times, sometimes we as humans start to believe these things. Maybe they are right, maybe I am not cut out to do this job and on and on.
I kept my score to myself for as long as I could, why I don’t know.. Maybe it was because I really didn’t want to brag or shove it in anyone’s face. I didn’t want to be like that. A few weeks later, my chief asked me, have you heard if you passed the fire academy. I said yes a few weeks ago the chief called me. I passed. That was all I said. He said well how did we do?? I very softly said I scored a 98, he said a 98? He looked shocked, but looked right at me, smiled and said that’s awesome! I actually felt like he was proud of me. It was a nice feeling.
Things have changed for me a bit now, it’s been a year, I have finished school, I am now packing up and getting to do much more. People are talking to me, they are helping me, they are answering my questions. I am finally starting to feel like I fit in. My story is not about getting a good score on a test, it's just about my experiances, my feelings and how things do change. I guess you just have to give it time. Does everyone new go through this?
I know there is so much more for me to learn and I am learning something new everyday. I will not give up, I will continue to strive to be the best I can. I love being a firefighter, I love it so much.
Sorry this is so "from the heart" .....just wanted to share....
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