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Thread: Too comfortable

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Nov 2005

    Default Too comfortable

    I was asked recently by a firefighter friend who lives out of state to give some direction to an aspiring firefighter who lives here in California.

    As it turns out the candidate knew who I was and was expecting my call. The whole time he addressed me by my first name. I run into students all the time who are new to the fire service and donít understand the rank structure or etiquette. Thatís ok if the candidate does not understand the fire service. I figure he or she doesnít know any better. Certainly they will learn in time.

    As I listened to this candidate on the phone I was shocked to hear he was a recent graduate of a local state certified fire academy. I was completely turned off by his informality.

    When I address another Chief Officer that I do not know, I address him or her as ďChiefĒ until told otherwise.

    When you are addressing a firefighter call him or her: Firefighter XYZ until told otherwise. The same goes for each rank.

    For those of you seeking a job in the fire service:

    You haven't earned it!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2007

    Default Take it easy

    With all due respect Chief, why would you expect anyone to address you by your title if you were simply offering advice to a friend. If the individual was interviewing for a position with your department I would understand your grievance, but it seems from your post you were giving advice to another adult. To call someone by their first name in an informal conversation is hardly an insult, take it easy.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Default "Why?" you ask?

    Quote Originally Posted by rapidwater View Post
    With all due respect Chief, why would you expect anyone to address you by your title...?
    Rank structure. Etiquette. Manners.
    The aspiring firefighter who he was offering advice to had been through an academy; so he should have been familiar with calling someone "Sir" at the minimum.
    I knew who Chief Lepore was long before I actually met him. It didn't mean I knew him. When I did finally meet him, I still called him "Chief" since that is his rank. He was quick to reply for me to call him Paul.

    So, "Sir" or "Ma'am" if unsure.
    Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Chief until told otherwise. Some may not tell you otherwise.

    Funny too, I'm being called "sir" by our new probies.


  4. #4
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    New Hampshire


    But the applicant wasn't looking for advice from John Q Public; he KNEW the words of wisdom were from a chief officer. If he's disregarding rank structure and respect for seniority & rank NOW before he's on the job, how much of a problem might he be once he actually gets a job? The least I would have expected is the same respect I give someone in a similar situation: someone calls, identifying himself as Paul Lepore, and you recognize that name as someone of rank, respond by identifying that rank. "Hi this is Paul Lepore." "Hi Chief... thank you for calling." It's not rocket science here in the fire service to give a little respect to rank.
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  5. #5
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2007

    Default regional mindset

    My original response was form my limited east coast FD frame of reference.
    I gather now the process out west is somewhat different then what I went through.

    The idea of going through "an" academy before you were hired I admit is alien, and so is the hiring process in general, including oral interviews and many other things too numerous to mention.

    I didn't intend to imply that things like rank and etiquette were unimportant, or that any potential hiree should become at all comfortable, only that it seemed to me that one adult was speaking to another, The guy wasn't even a fireman... sorry, fireFIGHTER yet.

    I amazes me how some people take there rank as if it were an identity.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
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    Aug 2007


    I agree Rapid, sounds as if the guy has little mans complex. Get over yourself and lighten up!

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Default I hear ya

    I think what was coming across was the familiarity or informalality this candidate took liberty with. Personally I wouldn't start calling someone by their first name until asked or told to do so.

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