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  • Past indiscretions

    I just read an article on this site that is directed toward people who are looking to promote. The article is written to candidates who have some type of indiscretion in their past. The advice from the author is that a candidate should not bring it up as they have probably already forgotten about it.

    I guarantee you that many of us have done things that we regret. I for one am no exception. Burying your head in the sand and pretending like it didn’t happen is really bad advice. I promise the fire chief will have your personnel file in his or her hand and will be aware of it. Even if there was no discipline associated with it, everyone knows. We all know that there are no secrets in the fire service. Don’t try to hide your mistakes.

    When I was a new Captain I took a rig out of district to meet my brother, a Captain on a neighboring department. We both were not only out of district, but out of our respective cities as well. We took a picture (and had a pretty good water fight).

    Six months later I was involved in a disciplinary action with a firefighter. He forwarded the photo of my brother and my engine together to the fire chief and asked why he was held to the policies and procedures if his Captain wasn’t. I got suspended for three sifts, lost my station, and was not allowed to work overtime for four months. I went through the disciplinary system. I had to explain to my daughter who was 13 at the time, why I was in danger of losing my job.

    Six years later I was up to be promoted to Battalion Chief. As I sat before the Fire Chief (not the one who suspended me) the first thing he said is that he had great difficulty promoting someone with a disciplinary letter in his file.

    I explained that I had learned my lesson. In fact, it taught me the importance of being a good leader and following the policies and procedures. How could I expect others to be held accountable, it I was not doing the right thing. I n a weird kind of way, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    For the record I got passed over for the promotion to BC. Fortunately that Chief retired and created an opening. The new Fire Chief, who was in the room as an Assistant Chief for my BC interview was promoted. He promoted me right away.

    I believe that many of us have done things we regret. Burying your head in the sand and pretending they never happened does not demonstrate maturity. It certainly doesn’t show that you learned from your mistakes.

    I have since mentored numerous candidates for promotion. I tell every one of them about my story of going out of district and the impact it had not only on my career, but on my family. Whether or not I ever got promoted, it was a defining point in my career.

    So, if you are in the same boat as I, do not burry your head in the sand. The ostrich approach is a very poor choice. Stand up tall, own up to your mistakes and tell the Fire Chief what you have learned from them.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 12-28-2006, 10:11 AM.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by BCLepore View Post
    So, if you are in the same boat as I, do not burry your head in the sand. The ostrich approach is a very poor choice. Stand up tall, own up to your mistakes and tell the Fire Chief what you have learned from them.

    [/url]
    If I told about everything in my past I wouldn't
    get hired to sweep the sidewalk.

    I agree with honesty, but you must remember
    that peoples lives should be private outside
    the work place, anything less is absolute
    tyrany and a violation of your rights.
    No matter how well the intentions.

    But thats just my opinion.

    Comment


    • #3
      Puzzle Corner

      Originally posted by dave80909 View Post
      If I told about everything in my past I wouldn't
      get hired to sweep the sidewalk.

      I agree with honesty, but you must remember
      that peoples lives should be private outside
      the work place, anything less is absolute
      tyrany and a violation of your rights.
      No matter how well the intentions.

      But thats just my opinion.
      Hear, hear! Remember Hitler wasn't so bad--he loved his dog! Extra point for naming that K9-she was a Alsatian(or I think you call them German Shepherds)--post answer enclosing blank cheque to me.

      B4 some right "plank" gets all righteous and upset--Humour button is "On"

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey..I married a German.
        For some reason (embedded
        in their culture perhaps) they
        seem to love law, order and
        control of the population more
        than others, and your Hitler example
        shows the danger of this mentality.
        It's unfortunatly something Americans
        seem to be buying into more and
        more since 9-11.

        Individualism, liberty, and rebellion
        were once considered quality ideals.
        Now it's considered dangerous.
        Things you say, or do, can/will get wrote down
        in a file and used against you in the future, as
        the OP found out when he tried to put the thumb
        screws to a subordinate.

        I also found out the hard way, working
        in social services, (run mostly by women
        with masters degrees) who made Hitler
        look like an amature, and they hate dogs
        too.

        Comment

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