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  1. #1
    Forum Member BOATS22's Avatar
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    Default Management Issues

    I am a full time firefighter, I also run on a volunteer department. Nothing more chaps my rear then voly fire persons thinking there big city fire fighters. I live in southern Maine, Boston is 59 miles away and New York is 269 miles away. I have the utmost respect for my brothers. But when members of my voly dept. feel that they can alter their gear, try to talk the talk, roast the leathers helmets with a pike pole in a fire and talk like they have seen the biggest fires the world has to offer and they have never been to a fire bigger then a 2 Ĺ story home more than 3 of 4 times in 8 years.

    One voly talks like a Jake from NY and is trying to change the terminology of NFPA FF-1 & 2 to big city life nozzle = pipe, tools = irons and so on. This man has no Certs for training other then shipboard firefighting for the merchant marines. And if you know shipboard firefighting itís not the same as land based fires.

    My management issue is this. I took a 8 month leave of absence due to a motorcycle accident not bad just needed time to heal and other B.S. issues within the dept. 2 other members of my full time department are on this voly dept. as well, and I would get the day to day skinny so I knew what was going on. This Oct 2007 the Capt. Of my station (the want to be New York Jake) informs me from the chief that I am no longer a LT, gives no reason. When I went to talk to the chief he advised me that yes, I was not a LT any more due to I could not know what was going on within the dept. not training wise but operation wise.

    I had a meeting with the voly chief in Sept 2007, were I spoke to him about the issues of the fire officers at my fire house (1 of 2 stations). He basically blew me off and asked me to run out of the main station, I informed him this would not fix the issue just post pone it. I know that other members of the voly dept. see the way the chief runs dual standards for the officers in question and how they are ripping apart the bond between both houses.

    The voly Chief was gone for over 6 years before he came in as the chief of the dept. now I know the town manager can hire whomever he likes to fill that job, but does that make it fair to remove me for being gone for 8 months? The only thing I can think of, is that the chief, for lack of better words is in bed with the Deputy and Capt. of my house and I am in the way of them having there run as Deputy and Capt. I was Capt. at my house for 3 years until this past Dec, I am not bitter but, 1. If someone is going to fill a job, shouldnít that person be qualified to be there?

    People get hurt or killed having unqualified people training them, and leading them. The voly chief is letting the high school click mentality over ride the need for qualified persons.

    Please give me your input, I do not need the B.S. of full timers should not be with a voly dept. nor do I want to hear just leave. We all know this countryís fire service was built buy volys. I love my town and this town needs all the help they can get.

    Thank you for letting me vent.
    IAFF-F123 D.O.D. US NAVY PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD KITTERY MAINE


  2. #2
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    Default Management

    Boats22, I am not sure how to put this but I do understand. I come from a small 25 person Voly department. I get so tired of the "full time firefighters"
    way of thinking that they can do no wrong and they are the best at everything under the sun. We have people that want to be like the "big boys" and try to do that. We have had some MAJOR fires and incidents bigger that a 2 1/2 story home. And I do say we do a pretty good job at protecting our community.
    But to you question. Should a person be qualified to be there? YES!!
    I have a been a Leiutenent for 3 years with a 1 year removal in the middle. When I first started I was not qualified. I have continued to take classes like Rapid intervention team, Officer 1 and 2, MICO, STICO, PICO, SO, ED METH.
    I do this to make me more qualified. I also have 2 bachleors degrees. Now am I qualified? I would like to think so. We have persons on the department that play favorites and I do not see myself as staying a LT thru this year. DUE TO POLITICS. No it is not fair but life goes on. Yes one of my biggest concerns is the safety of my fellow brothers and sister. I talk each year about the standdown, driving safety and responce safety. I mentioned 1 year I was not a LT. I was taken off so the chief could put his son in that position. It didnt work and I was back the next year.

    So Boat22 I do understand and feel for you. But you do need to understand the politics of the Voly world. There seems to be nothing wrong with your knowledge and ability. Obviously you do a good job as a Officer. I would love to have a few fulltime brothers on our department. But some are too arregant to do that and most forget where this service started and where most of them came from. WE ALL HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE! Some of us cant do a fulltime service. Please understand that. Because we are Voly does not mean we are not trained the same or in some cases better. In Mich we all have to go thru the Michigan fire 1 and 2. Every single fire fighter in Michigan is trained the same at the start.

    In time they do come around to the mistakes they make. But they have to learn on their own. Just pray that no one dies from the mistake or lack of a proper officer. But it never makes it easier.

    Good luck and stay safe!!

  3. #3
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOATS22 View Post
    I am a full time firefighter, I also run on a volunteer department. Nothing more chaps my rear then voly fire persons thinking there big city fire fighters. I live in southern Maine, Boston is 59 miles away and New York is 269 miles away. I have the utmost respect for my brothers. But when members of my voly dept. feel that they can alter their gear, try to talk the talk, roast the leathers helmets with a pike pole in a fire and talk like they have seen the biggest fires the world has to offer and they have never been to a fire bigger then a 2 Ĺ story home more than 3 of 4 times in 8 years.

    One voly talks like a Jake from NY and is trying to change the terminology of NFPA FF-1 & 2 to big city life nozzle = pipe, tools = irons and so on. This man has no Certs for training other then shipboard firefighting for the merchant marines. And if you know shipboard firefighting itís not the same as land based fires.

    My management issue is this. I took a 8 month leave of absence due to a motorcycle accident not bad just needed time to heal and other B.S. issues within the dept. 2 other members of my full time department are on this voly dept. as well, and I would get the day to day skinny so I knew what was going on. This Oct 2007 the Capt. Of my station (the want to be New York Jake) informs me from the chief that I am no longer a LT, gives no reason. When I went to talk to the chief he advised me that yes, I was not a LT any more due to I could not know what was going on within the dept. not training wise but operation wise.

    I had a meeting with the voly chief in Sept 2007, were I spoke to him about the issues of the fire officers at my fire house (1 of 2 stations). He basically blew me off and asked me to run out of the main station, I informed him this would not fix the issue just post pone it. I know that other members of the voly dept. see the way the chief runs dual standards for the officers in question and how they are ripping apart the bond between both houses.

    The voly Chief was gone for over 6 years before he came in as the chief of the dept. now I know the town manager can hire whomever he likes to fill that job, but does that make it fair to remove me for being gone for 8 months? The only thing I can think of, is that the chief, for lack of better words is in bed with the Deputy and Capt. of my house and I am in the way of them having there run as Deputy and Capt. I was Capt. at my house for 3 years until this past Dec, I am not bitter but, 1. If someone is going to fill a job, shouldnít that person be qualified to be there?

    People get hurt or killed having unqualified people training them, and leading them. The voly chief is letting the high school click mentality over ride the need for qualified persons.

    Please give me your input, I do not need the B.S. of full timers should not be with a voly dept. nor do I want to hear just leave. We all know this countryís fire service was built buy volys. I love my town and this town needs all the help they can get.

    Thank you for letting me vent.
    My dept would have removed your officer status as well. I'm sure you are more than qualified for the job, and I understand you were in an accident and needed your healing time, but you have to remember that Officers have to be there to lead the firefighters and help make things run smooth. You were no good to the dept as an officer sitting at home or not being at a scene. Getting the day to day stuff from your co-workers doesn't really do it. Maybe if you would have been out for a month or two it would be a different story but eight was pushing it.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-01-2007 at 05:48 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't give a rats @$$ if a guy wants to walk around and talk himself up. Who cares? Does it really matter? Does he perform/function well in your Department? That's what really matters.


    He's probably getting his kicks getting the "paid guy" ****ed off for something so minor.
    "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?

  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    first of all, just because you are a paid FF doesn't make you better than your fellow volunteers. second of all, you aren't a boston FF (from what I gather), nor are you a NYC firefighter. so by my count, two of your complaints about them, you are absolutely not better. So you should probably check your holier than thou attitude at the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by BOATS22 View Post
    The voly Chief was gone for over 6 years before he came in as the chief of the dept. now I know the town manager can hire whomever he likes to fill that job, but does that make it fair to remove me for being gone for 8 months?
    ummm, you are gone for 8 months, and you expect nothing to change? you expect not to be replaced, even though you aren't doing the job in the field for more than half a year?

    let me put it this way. lets assuming you are a big city boston FF, Lt on the rescue company. and also a volunteer in your current Dept. now, you don't show up for 8 months. do you expect to not be relieved of your position? do you expect to keep that rank, which you are more than qualified to be, even though you aren't fulfilling the responsibilities of said position?

    Didn't think so.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  6. #6
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    first of all, just because you are a paid FF doesn't make you better than your fellow volunteers. second of all, you aren't a boston FF (from what I gather), nor are you a NYC firefighter. so by my count, two of your complaints about them, you are absolutely not better. So you should probably check your holier than thou attitude at the door.
    I wanted to address that issue as well but was lacking the intestinal fortitude to do that earlier.

    Nothing chaps my ***** more than a career guy down talking vollies just because they aren't up to snuff in his eyes. I know lot's of guys who have taken no formal training and are probabaly better than plenty of career guys. So to be honest, if you don't like the situation( I know you won't like this) then leave!!!! The dept will continue to function without you perfectly fine. Otherwise get over it, carry on and serve your community.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-01-2007 at 09:26 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  7. #7
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    I have noticed a lot of guys switching to the East Coast slang "irons, can man, Take the roof, etc" At first I thought it was just weird, but the more I thought about it, I realized that guys were trying to get a hold of something.

    Many of them joined the fire service thinking they would fight a lot of fire, and be busy on emergency runs. Then they get to their station. They found out that there aren't many of those places left, and they here stories from the old timers about "War Years" etc.

    Then they start using the slang and talk about "East Coast" style because they don't catch enough work. They are validating a career choice based on a misconception. It helps them sleep at night, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Second its a volunteer department, while I recognize the special place that it holds in your heart, if you don't like it quit. There are a lot of organizations in your community that could use volunteers, if the fire department doesn't do it for you anymore, find something else. Your not out anything. You've still got a job, and you won't miss anymore meals or nights at home. I think your probably better off.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvfdff33 View Post
    I wanted to address that issue as well but was lacking the intestinal fortitude to do that earlier.

    Nothing chaps my ***** more than a career guy down talking vollies just because they aren't up to snuff in his eyes. I know lot's of guys who have taken no formal training and are probabaly better than plenty of career guys. So to be honest, if you don't like the situation( I know you won't like this) then leave!!!! The dept will continue to function without you perfectly fine. Otherwise get over and carry on and serve your community.
    I'm sorry everyone we have taken control of the station back from the hostage-takers, they are no longer a threat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvfdff33 View Post
    I wanted to address that issue as well but was lacking the intestinal fortitude to do that earlier.

    Nothing chaps my ***** more than a career guy down talking vollies just because they aren't up to snuff in his eyes. I know lot's of guys who have taken no formal training and are probabaly better than plenty of career guys. So to be honest, if you don't like the situation( I know you won't like this) then leave!!!! The dept will continue to function without you perfectly fine. Otherwise get over and carry on and serve your community.
    As I was reading this I thought of how many career FF's get chapped by DoD FF's thinking their stuff don't stink. Also how many vollies that get chapped by any career FF that thinks his doesn't stink.

    I'm also curious if he took the same amount of time off from his DoD job. If not, then it's hard to claim anyone was wrong in replacing/demoting or whatever they did to him.

    Venting is about all he did. I really don't see one rational point in the entire post.

  10. #10
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    I'm sorry everyone we have taken control of the station back from the hostage-takers, they are no longer a threat.
    Did something I say bother you?
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    As I was reading this I thought of how many career FF's get chapped by DoD FF's thinking their stuff don't stink. Also how many vollies that get chapped by any career FF that thinks his doesn't stink.
    Sooo...DoD civilian isn't a "career"? Interesting POV you've got there... I suppose that Firefighters employed by pretty much any Federal agency (especially USFS, BLM, NPS, etc) aren't "career" guys either, by your standard?

    Not defending him...after all, I know DoD and ex-DoD guys, and in reality, at least around here, they see about as much fire as the slowest vollie houses in the State. So for him to "downtalk" about how much fire his vollie counterparts have seen is kinda disingenuous to say the best...
    BUT, unless there's something in the volunteer department's by-laws about removal of officers, one way or the other, I suppose it's up to the Chief's discretion...he used that discretion, and now it's time to what? Get mad and disrespect his fellow volunteers on here? Brilliant idea, Watson, simply BRILLIANT!

    I suppose the best constructive thing for him to do, would be to propose by-laws addressing leaves of absence and the conditions under which an officer can be involuntarily and unilaterally removed from position, with or without prejudice.
    Then again, that would take work, and it's sooo much easier to just come and rant on here...
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    I'm not really sure what the volly's trying to talk like "big city" firefighters has to do with losing an officers position. In my last department, taking a leave of absense means that you have to turn in all of your gear and pager and are not allowed to respond to calls. A medical leave would be different, but I wouldn't expect to be able to hold a position for 8 months.

    Keep in mind too that this can create moral problems with other members who are qualified to move up into the officer positions. If the person in a position can't show up or do the job, why shouldn't they get the position.

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    Most departments, vollie and career, have a designated number of officers. The reality is that if you have someone out long-term, they need to be replaced or the organization is running short of supervisors.

    The bottom line is you were physically unable to fufill your duties. The department cannot run with an officer unable to do his job. it's probab.ly not personal. it's simply keeping the operation running.

    It sounds like the situation could have been handled better, but I see nothing wrong in replacing an officer that was unable to respond or even be around the firehouse.

    Organizations shange leaders. When those changes happen, you generally have a group that supports the change and is happy. You also usually have a group that does not support the change and are unhappy. This poster is obviously in the latter.

    Many volunteers are less than qualified when they move up. It's the organizqations responsibility to help them aqcuire the needed skills. if that happens, the system works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Sooo...DoD civilian isn't a "career"? Interesting POV you've got there... I suppose that Firefighters employed by pretty much any Federal agency (especially USFS, BLM, NPS, etc) aren't "career" guys either, by your standard?
    I think you know what I meant.

    Career= municipal/district
    DoD= federal/military
    ARFF= aircraft
    Wildland= USFS

    All doing their job as career, I just differentiate the terminology different than you might.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dadman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOATS22 View Post
    One voly talks like a Jake from NY and is trying to change the terminology of NFPA FF-1 & 2 to big city life nozzle = pipe, tools = irons and so on. This man has no Certs for training other then shipboard firefighting for the merchant marines. And if you know shipboard firefighting itís not the same as land based fires.

    My management issue is this. I took a 8 month leave of absence due to a motorcycle accident not bad just needed time to heal and other B.S. issues within the dept. 2 other members of my full time department are on this voly dept. as well, and I would get the day to day skinny so I knew what was going on. This Oct 2007 the Capt. Of my station (the want to be New York Jake) informs me from the chief that I am no longer a LT, gives no reason. When I went to talk to the chief he advised me that yes, I was not a LT any more due to I could not know what was going on within the dept. not training wise but operation wise.
    I wouldn't let terminology bother you. We're a long way from the Big East dept's and we use therms like "irons"(married halligan and axe), etc.

    Was the Leave of Absence done in a proper manner, using common sence channels of communication?
    Were questions asked by you or were options presented by upper officers concerning how a LOA would affect the chain of command at the time of submission?
    Was the LOA submitted and that was that?
    Written or verbal?

    When was the 8 mo. LOA submitted in relation to Sep. and Oct. '07?

    The 2 other members supplying day-to-day skinny suggests that there's some clique stuff going on(your side, the upper officer side, combination of both) and cracks in the command and unity structure within the Vol. dept.
    A sign of other issues fermenting?

    Take this as a learning experience. Have a sit-down with the officers and speak plainly. If the situation is bad enough, and it sounds like it is, perhaps the whole Dept. needs to get together and lay out what's eating at who.
    Repair the cracks in the department before it affects action at an emergency scene.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dadman's Avatar
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    My department has had(still has?) some "officer related" issues, and some skinny-feeding informants.
    It does no good if conflicts, petty or major, are left to continue. It drags others down and affects people in ways your not aware of.
    Whether your right or the offendor, try to get things right.

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    This may be a good time to develop a leave of absence policy

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    Forum Member BOATS22's Avatar
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    I am not down playing any volly! I know how hard vollys work at there day to day job and train as FF on there off time!
    I am not holler then thow and there are vollys i know that are way better leaders then I, just as much as full time FF that lead like the best.
    I am saying that the 4 officers in my volly house (1 of 2 houses) are forcing people away with attitude and arrogance. my reduction in rank was for not knowing what was going on in the dept, they said i could not know how the dept was running being gone 8 months that is BS it did not change its ran the same for the 12 years i have been a volly. but i was never removed as a Lt until i came back they let me ware the hat for 1 month and then took it away.
    I was a Capt. for 3 years, the house deputy would not work with me at all 0% nothing i tried to fix would go threw if the 3 Lts did not want it. as soon as 1 Lt was voted in as Capt. the deputy bent over backwards to work with his buddy.
    I guess i am just scorned and did not realize it.
    Last edited by BOATS22; 11-09-2007 at 09:15 PM.
    IAFF-F123 D.O.D. US NAVY PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD KITTERY MAINE

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    I am on a vol dept in the same area, and I agree with boats22. that captain is NOT even FF1.

  20. #20
    Forum Member BOATS22's Avatar
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    Well on a good note some of the guys have seen this and called me at work, And I am not the only one too see this "this is good" thought i was crazy for a second.

    The buzz around the net is kind of funny "Just when you think you have read it all!, Enjoy the well written rant!". Its not a rant its a vent .
    IAFF-F123 D.O.D. US NAVY PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD KITTERY MAINE

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