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  1. #1
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    Default Member Not Returning Company Equipment When Requested

    Hi All,
    We are having an issue in my department with a member refusing to return equipment property of the fire company relief association. We used to have a base radio installed in this members house. All the radio is, is a mobile radio setup with an inverter as a base. Not very complicated at all. The company is requesting the radio back so it can be installed in a piece of apparatus because we do not use bases in this area anymore and plus the radio was recently upgraded to a new radio about 2 years ago. After a heated discussion at the monthly meeting back in November, the member has finally agreed to return the radio but its been nothing but a project...

    The member has not straight out said they refuse to return it but its been nothing but a run around and it seems all they are trying to do is delay the process. The member has put out orders that they want a professional technician to remove (unplug) the radio and also wants all holes patched in their house (whatever those may be). The tech and myself have been intouch with the member since the beginning of November to try and get this radio and they will not provide a date/time when someone can come over. They keep saying when we are available we will call and schedule. There have been certified letters sent stating that if they radio is not received by a certain date legal action will be taken...

    Help!!!!
    Can anyone point us in the right direction on the appropriate mesaures to take that will be legal? Do we have an obligation as a company to pay for repair of any holes in the house? What would your department do if this was an issue in your department?

    Thank You!
    -JC


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    If he refuses to return it.. charge him with theft of FD property and put out a warrant for his arrest. I'll bet the stuff gets returned faster than a dog attacking a porterhouse steak!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    If he refuses to return it.. charge him with theft of FD property and put out a warrant for his arrest. I'll bet the stuff gets returned faster than a dog attacking a porterhouse steak!
    See the only thing is, they haven't stated they "refuse" to return it. Basiclly they are just lengthening the process as long as they can saying they are not around, the are busy. Now they want to know the arangements on who is going to patch the holes where the antenna wire goes outside of the house. Do we as a company have obligation to pay for the repairs?


    Thanks for the reply,
    -JC
    Last edited by jc29ems; 01-17-2008 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc29ems View Post
    See the only thing is, they haven't stated they "refuse" to return it. Basiclly they are just lengthening the process as long as they can saying they are not around, the are busy. Now they want to know the arangements on who is going to patch the holes where the antenna wire goes outside of the house. Do we as a company have obligation to pay for the repairs?


    Thanks for the reply,
    -JC
    Words are not everything. He is refusing to return it by his actions. I'm with the Chief. Charge him with theft.

    How did he get this radio in the first place? Did someone tell him to install it in his house? If not, then he would be operating a radio station without an FCC license.

    Is he ugly? Charge him with Public Ugliness. Charge him with Mopery and Dopery with Intent to Gawk.

    I can tell you for certain that if this was happening in virtually every FD around here, there would be no need to post a message on an internet forum. The repairs to his walls would be the least of his worries.

    My God, are you people that freaking wimpy that you can't handle in-house problems? Not just you but every single person who posts a whiny "we don't know what to do" message. Ho0ly crap some of you are just freaking unbelievable.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Words are not everything. He is refusing to return it by his actions. I'm with the Chief. Charge him with theft.

    How did he get this radio in the first place? Did someone tell him to install it in his house? If not, then he would be operating a radio station without an FCC license.

    Is he ugly? Charge him with Public Ugliness. Charge him with Mopery and Dopery with Intent to Gawk.

    Its not the can't handle in house problems, its whats the right legal way to actually do it. We have plans but I was looking on how other departments have handled it. They got the radio approximately 22 years ago we were operating a base station out of their house. The radio was recently upgraded 2 years ago to a new radio. Bases are no longer used and the company wants it back.
    Last edited by jc29ems; 01-17-2008 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    Send him a certified letter w/ return reciept request.

    Let him know that you intend pursue every legal option available to you or your department. Inform him that you will notify every state and federal agency that handles complaints of this nature. Ruin his credit by siccing a collection agency after him.

    If that fails then rip his face off and **** in his eye sockets.
    Last edited by RoughRider; 01-17-2008 at 03:47 PM.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider View Post
    Send him a certified letter w/ return reciept request.

    Let him know that you intend pursue every legal option available to you and you will notify every agency that handles complaints of this nature. Ruin his credit by siccing a collection agency after him.

    If that fails then rip his face off and **** in his eye sockets.
    Certified letter has been sent that stated if the radio is not received by such and such a day legal action will be taken. We did get a return receipt.

    We are looking for what legal actions we have? If the radio is not received in the next week we will be going to the magistrate to start the legal process.

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    Don't you retain an attorney for legal matters at the fire house? If not, why? My department retains an attorney for, among the many other reasons, this. We had this happen just a few weeks ago. A member was terminated via certified mail w/ return receipt. His equipment was requested and 30 days was allowed for return. When 30 days passed, our attorney sent him a letter. A few days later, we had the equipment. If you have sent letters stating legal action will happen, follow through with it.

    Send a final letter stating you will be there at such and such date at such and such time. Give him/her 30 dyas notice and don't allow rescheduling. You are giving them plenty of time to adjust their schedules. Grow the balls to the follow through with what you have said you will do.

    As far as the repairs....If your department installed the radio, I would say yes. If he did it himself, then no. However, that is why there are attorneys. Contact your local State Attorney if you don't have one of your own.

    It is FIRE DEPARTMENT property, but you are letting HIM make the decisions for YOU!
    Last edited by SWFD94; 01-17-2008 at 03:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWFD94 View Post
    Don't you retain an attorney for legal matters at the fire house? If not, why? If you have sent letters stating legal action will happen, follow through with it. Send a final letter stating you will be there at such and such date at such and such time. Give him/her 2-3 weeks notice and don't allow rescheduling. Grow the balls to the follow through with what you have said you will do.

    It is FIRE DEPARTMENT property, but you are letting HIM make the decisions for YOU!
    Thanks, thats what we are going to do. Kind of hard with the attorney thing for a volunteer fire department with a very tight budget.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    What legal actions were taken when the radio was installed in his house? What does the written agreement/SOP/ByLaw/etc say in regards to installation of fire department equipment in personal houses?

    If you have no written agreement on who's responsible for what/when/how that was signed when the equipment was put there...you have very little to stand on now.


    ...but I bet for all future stuff, you'll get more stuff in writing a head of time.
    "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?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    What legal actions were taken when the radio was installed in his house? What does the written agreement/SOP/ByLaw/etc say in regards to installation of fire department equipment in personal houses?

    If you have no written agreement on who's responsible for what/when/how that was signed when the equipment was put there...you have very little to stand on now.


    ...but I bet for all future stuff, you'll get more stuff in writing a head of time.
    There is no documentation or agreements. The origional radio was installed 22 years ago.
    Last edited by jc29ems; 01-17-2008 at 03:56 PM.

  12. #12
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    Wait. You want a 22 y/o radio back?
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    JC,

    Been in similar positions myself. Here's my $.02 from the Been there - Done that file.

    1) If the Dept. paid to have the radio "installed" then the Dept. can pay to have it "un-installed" that's only fair - otherwise tough luck kiddo to him.

    2) Contact your local Police or Sheriffs office, explain the situation, and ask if you can simply get a Deputy to accompany you when you go ask for your property back - see #3 below (our S/O is VERY good in working with us on the rare occasion we need to retrieve dept. property). Also have them explain your options if for whatever reason said person still refuses to return the property.

    - and -

    3) Pick a time when you know said member is home and instead of calling - show up unannounced at his home with the Officer (from #2) and the technician (if needed from #1) and remove said radio.

    If this fails - pursue other options as outlined to you in #2 above.

    Historically speaking the registered letter has solved about 95% of our problems and only once or twice have we had to show up on a doorstep with a Deputy and ask for our equipment - however at that point the issue was resolved. Thus far we have never actually had to go to court.

    Wish you the best of luck.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRider View Post
    Wait. You want a 22 y/o radio back?
    No, the origional radio was installed 22 years ago. 2 years ago a brand new radio was installed as an upgrade... Its in my previous posts.

    Has anyone else ever had a similar issue and how did you resolve urs?

    -JC
    Last edited by jc29ems; 01-17-2008 at 04:49 PM.

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    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    I'm with the others- this is theft.
    Luke

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    Quote Originally Posted by jc29ems View Post
    Its not the can't handle in house problems, its whats the right legal way to actually do it. We have plans but I was looking on how other departments have handled it. They got the radio approximately 22 years ago we were operating a base station out of their house. The radio was recently upgraded 2 years ago to a new radio. Bases are no longer used and the company wants it back.
    So he has had this radio in his house for 22 years? 22 years? I take back everything I said. You have not a leg to stand on. You have estabilshed a precedent. If you guys had the thing installed, you very well my be liable for the holes in the wall. This guy was, apparently, operating at your behest and to your benefit. There is no way in the world that a judge will hear this case for more than 30 seconds before he tosses it.

    Seems to me the best approach is to go ask "Pretty please" and offer to fix his walls.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 01-17-2008 at 04:57 PM.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    So he has had this radio in his house for 22 years? 22 years? I take back everything I said. You have not a leg to stand on.
    Why don't we have a leg? It is company property that was placed there to be used as a base for the company when we would get toned out for a call he would re-dispatch it. Our area has a brand new multi-million dollar communications center, one of the best in the country now and we do not need bases. That is one reason why the company wants it removed from the house. The radio was upgraded about 2 years ago with a new radio.

    So basically what your saying because he had it for 22 years it should be his? I don't think so. If I had my turnout gear or pager for 22 years and the company wanted it back, I don't think I have anything to stand on to say I've had it this long its mine. It was bought with federal money, property of the relief association, he has no right to not comply with us.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc29ems View Post
    Why don't we have a leg? It is company property that was placed there to be used as a base for the company when we would get toned out for a call he would re-dispatch it. Our area has a brand new multi-million dollar communications center, one of the best in the country now and we do not need bases. That is one reason why the company wants it removed from the house. The radio was upgraded about 2 years ago with a new radio.
    You have established a precedent. 22 years ago your FD installed a radio in his house to help you run your operation. HE was doing such a great job that 2 years ago you gave him a better radio. Now, this agreement is obsolete. That is understandable.

    But a judge is going to toss this as soon as look at it. Your original post left the impression, at least with me, that this guy did not have permission totake the radio. He did. For 22 years he operated for the benefit of your FD.

    If I was him, I would figure out how much rent you owed me for the past 22 years and counter sue you for that. Seems to me that fixing the walls should be the least you can do.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    We have had some similar problems and we handled it the same as others, but we used the local county attorney. Sent certified letter with notice, I believe 15 days after reciept of notice, to return mentioned items. If not returned then the county attorney was given a copy of our information and they then sent a letter. Thier letter stated that if not returned by such and such date a warrant would be issued. Guess what we have got our equipment. We have only had to resort to the county attorney twice because people now know we are serious about getting equipment back.

    T.J.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You have established a precedent. 22 years ago your FD installed a radio in his house to help you run your operation. HE was doing such a great job that 2 years ago you gave him a better radio. Now, this agreement is obsolete. That is understandable.

    But a judge is going to toss this as soon as look at it. Your original post left the impression, at least with me, that this guy did not have permission totake the radio. He did. For 22 years he operated for the benefit of your FD.

    If I was him, I would figure out how much rent you owed me for the past 22 years and counter sue you for that. Seems to me that fixing the walls should be the least you can do.
    Well your no help and obviously don't understand that no matter how old something is, it is always fire department property no matter how long someone has it in their possession.

    I'd like to see you be the one to explain to the federal government oh I've had it for a while, that makes it mine.

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