1. #1
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    Apr 2007
    S Charleston, OH

    Default Personality Conflicts

    I am a new Chief (less than 30 days) and unfortunately, I have inherited the exsiting problems that were left unsolved before my appointment. One I'm having difficulty with. I have a couple members of my volunteer department that just can't seem to be in the room with each other without making some smart *** comment to each other. I've already had words with them both separately and then together and its good for a while and then another conflict happens. The problem is they are both hard headed and have differing opinions. I'd like to just show them both the door, but they are both good firefighters and are well trained so I would like to salvage them if I can. Any suggestions for a Chief that is learning the ropes??

  2. #2
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    dday05's Avatar
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    Aug 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by cclark1296 View Post
    I'd like to just show them both the door, but they are both good firefighters and are well trained so I would like to salvage them if I can. Any suggestions for a Chief that is learning the ropes??
    Show them the door chief. You have a dept to look after. What happens when they get into a fight while on scene or what not. I would give them a serious talking to and explain to them so they understand that this bs will not continue. And if they start up I guess you'll have 2 open spots on your dept.

    Are you around the W. Branch Lake? PM me if you would like.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
    Gregory, MI


    Sit them both down, explain the proffessional behavior that is expected from them. Document the talking to, and make it perfectly clear that if any of the crap continues buh-bye.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007


    may i suggest you something:trying to find a training where the guys will have "to work in twos",then they could not insult each other with "bird names",they will not have time to do it,maybe a training with ladders.

    they will learn to know each other better with some drills if they work in twos and maybe,after it will be better.

    they tried this at the station where 2 guys were all the time cursing at each other.then it worked after some drills.

    i hope you could understand my french ramblings.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

  5. #5
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    Jul 1999
    Thomasville, NC, USA

    Lightbulb I don't know but...

    This probably wouldn't work with grown(?) adults but I had a couple of juniors with the same problem. I told them that the next time I had a problem with either of them they both would be gone. Forced tham to look after each other. Like I said, these were juniors, but it worked.
    Kevin Sink
    Fair Grove Fire Dept.
    Thomasville, NC USA

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
    The High Desert of Western Colorado


    I'm not a chief but I'm going to give you my opinion from a volunteer's side of the fence. We have a very similar situation going on in our dept. Its getting very old and I wish the Chief would show these two the door. The arguing is wearing on the other members. The chief keeps putting new policies into effect that are making everyone else mad and making our lives more difficult just to try to accommodate these two and their issues. He won't show them the door because he feels that he needs them because they are both ALS. I can appreciate that but what good does it do to keep them if they tear down the morale of the rest of the membership? These two are starting to make me nervous as to whether they can objectively perform their job. I fear their bickering is going to effect patient care and even others safety if it doesn't stop.

    Please put your foot down with these two, give them a warning. Then its up to them whether they work it out or move on.

  7. #7
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    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Connecticut, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by cclark1296 View Post
    they are both good firefighters and are well trained so I would like to salvage them if I can. Any suggestions for a Chief that is learning the ropes??
    Sit each of them down and calmly tell them exactly what you just told us. Let each one know what his choices is to either clean up his act or he will be shown the door. Be sure to let them each know that'll you will be having (or have already had) the same discussion with the other one.

    Just remember, if you put the alternative to show them the door on the table, you'd better be prepared to use it if they don't straighten out.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
    Dallas Texas


    The Navy has a saying. Shape up or ship out. You do not need two guys at odds with each other. You need everyone to be on the team. I work on backup power systems. If we get someone that will not get along with the rest of us he is gone. We cannot have problems in the ranks and you sure do not need them. Talk to them and if they cannot get along get rid of them.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2007

    Default I need some advice!

    I need some advice. I belong to a small paid, on-call department (volunteer). We have 3 chiefs, 3 captains, 3 lieutenants, and 19 firefighters. I have been a lieutenant for 3 of my 5 1/2 years on the department. We recently had two vacant lieutenant positions and held testing to fill them.

    We had three candidates: 1) has been in the fire service for 19 years as a volunteer, has multiple certifications, a member of this department for 3 1/2 years. 2) department member for 5 1/2 years, full time firefighter for another department and also has multiple certifications. 3)on the department 4 years, has the required fire I and EMT certification as well as ADO.

    All three candidates participated in a scenario-based practical exam designed to specifically test command decision skills on the fireground. Candidates 1 and 2 did the best followed by the third. Our chief decided to take into consideration time on the department and certifications in addition to the test scores. Candidates 2 and 3 were awarded the officer positions.

    Here's the problem. candidate 3 has repeatedly demonstrated blatant lack of respect for officers, disobeyed orders, has had multiple complaints written about him by other firefighters for dangerous behavior, I wrote him up less than two months ago for insubordination and now this person was awarded an officer position over someone who is much more qualified and scored the highest on the command test. I have always had the utmost respect for my chief, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why he would pass up such a qualified candidate and promote someone who has had so many problems. I am extremely angry--I almost resigned when the announcement was made. I made my disgust known to the assistant chief (who I also know is unhappy about the chief's decision) and he seemed to feel that the 3rd candidate was chosen simply because he signs-up for 15 on-call shifts per month even though each dept member is only required to sign up for 2. So it would appear that the qualified candidate who scored the highest on the test and is more qualified is being penalized for only taking 4-5 on-call shifts a month instead of taking 15 shifts per month. Incidently, the 3rd candidate is single whereas the majority of our department have families and full time jobs that they also have to take care of.

    The advice I need is this: do I bide my time and wait for this guy to get someone hurt or killed because he lacks the ability to lead or conduct himself safely? Do I bide my time and hope that he'll get himself demoted before completing probation and hope no one gets hurt in the process? Or do I gather the complaint documentation (including the write-up for insubordination) to my mayor and city council and let them know that this abhorrent behavior is being rewarded with promotions? The really sticky part of this situation is that the number one candidate is a close relative and I have to be very careful about picking my battles. But this is one battle that has been angry enough to walk away from the fire service for good. I don't want to be around when this idiot gets me or someone else killed.

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