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  • a girl LT. or not.

    the fire department has been my life. forever. born in raised in it, literally.
    i joined my explorer program 3 years ago, and it has been the best thing i've ever done.

    from having it gone to 8 people, to 4 people, to 9 people, to 3, to 10, i've been there. even when krap hits the fan.

    when we were in our lowest times, i got alot of new recruits coming in and out. and right now its going pretty good.

    our Lt just recently left due to a his job, and now our explorer "captain" or so, has to pick a new LT. && it would be a choice between me, and one of the other explorers. technically i would be first in line, because of my hours of ride time, and training, and how long i've been there. i get along with just about everyone, and work as hard as i possibly can be to get me even more prepared then anything.

    my explorer captain just dosn't think thats good enough.. oh and minus the fact that i'm a GIRL. not to mention the only girl out of the whole explorer program, and have been forever ago. his reasoning was that, and i quote.
    "i just dont think that anyone would listen to her, at all.. so&so would make a better LT, because he's more physically fit, and can be demanding and has leadership"
    not to mention that the one explorer that he has, is one of those kids who "thinks he's seen it all, and is only 17".
    the worst part is, just because we have a split of career and volunteer. he always disses the vollies. that makes me upset, because most of the united states is VOLUNTEER. no matter what you are in the fire department, you should still have respect for everyone.


    and i know strenght is a big issue in the fire service. and i work my weight around it as best as i can. 100 percent even more. but isn't the job about team work too?

    can anyone help me out with my situation?
    Last edited by summermist21FD; 08-11-2006, 11:17 PM.
    Station 4-5-2
    Paradise Pennsylvania.
    Firefighter/EMT

  • #2
    take your concerns to the post overseer. This may seem like overkill, but obviously the captain is rather biased, and the overseer should want the most experienced and capable LT available. I have met and heard about women in the fire service and they are a tough breed. A department in our county has a woman as an officer, and she has her sh*t together.

    As for the "vollie bashing" just polietly remind him that as explorer's, you are technically volunteers, and that that kind of additude will not go over well in the "real" world. A Brother is a Brother (or Sister as the case may be)
    Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

    Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
    (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

    My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

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    • #3
      Thats a bunch of bull. We just had a female capt. up until I got promoted to Capt. a month ago. Our dept. had a female Lt. for a while until she moved away. As long as you can get the job done it does not matter to me what sex/creed/race/religion/truck you drive. I have seen plenty of great women firefighters in my relatively short life time. That is precisely why our advisors pick our officers through a selection process involving resumes/letters of intent/interviews/some scenarios. Way back when, the explorer officers were elected based on popularity, friendship, or whatever not on who knew their stuff and who was a good leader.
      ------------------------------------
      These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
      ------------------------------------

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      • #4
        As for the "vollie bashing" just polietly remind him that as explorer's, you are technically volunteers, and that that kind of additude will not go over well in the "real" world. A Brother is a Brother (or Sister as the case may be)
        QFT...took the words right off my fingers. Although I would delete the "technically" before volunteers. Explorers are "volunteers" by the fact that they don't get paid, either.

        Great minds think alike, eh? *LOL*

        In all honesty, though, it's a problem with today's culture that we have too much of the "you get what you pay for" attitude, therefore anything which is free (Volly FFs) or low-cost (PCFs) must be crap because you're not forking over loads of cash for it.

        I'm part of the volly component of a combination dept, and I don't know how many times when people learn that I'm a volunteer I hear "So when're you going to do it for real?" (said with that same emphasis)
        Attempts at educating them to the fact that I actually do perform fire suppression and extinguishment duties, along with rescue, medical aid, etc, are met with skeptical looks...apparently volunteers just stand around in staging/rehab and play water-boy for the paid guys or somethin. *LOL*
        I've never seen that happen personally, but hey, perception is reality, right?
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by summermist21FD
          my explorer captain just dosn't think thats good enough..

          his reasoning was that, and i quote.
          "i just dont think that anyone would listen to her, at all.. so&so would make a better LT, because he's more physically fit, and can be demanding and has leadership"
          I assume this Explorer Captain is also under the age of 18, correct? If so, I suppose his ignorance, which he has most emphatically demonstrated with that quote, is excusable due to the fact that he's still young and has no real world experience yet.

          See, the thing is...a true leader NEVER needs to "demand" anything. They lead by setting the right example. People will follow a leader that works hard and shoots straight. In my many years in the fire service, having been a follower in the beginning and a leader later on, I can tell you from experience that I learned from and had the most respect for the guys that actually walked the walk. Not the ones that just stood there barking orders at me. I took that same approach when it was my turn to teach and lead.

          Your situation, like a lot of things in the fire service and in life, might not be fair. You just might be a harder working Explorer and a more qualified person for the position. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you'll get it. Remember, when it comes to the volunteer fire service (including the Explorers), many things are a popularity contest and in this case, one person gets to decide and can be as unfair and biased as they want to be. Doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. I wouldn't sweat it too much, even though it will naturally bother you. If you don't get the position, don't let it stop you from continuing to be a dedicated and hard working individual. Give your full cooperation to whoever gets the position and offer to work with him. The most important thing is to be a team player, no matter what rank you may or may not hold. One day you WILL hold a rank, if not in the Explorers, then probably when you're a full fledged firefighter. Keep that long term goal in sight and don't get too down if you get passed over, no matter how unfair it might be.

          So, resist the urge to get mad or bitter or dismayed if you don't get it. You have many years ahead of you to make your mark. The best thing you can do now is show everyone how dedicated you are, and how gracefully you can take defeat or rejection. You'll earn a lot of respect that way, believe me. And when the time comes, the same people who saw how dignified and dedicated you were will back you and support you and maybe even cast the deciding votes when it comes time for you to run for office.

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          • #6
            There is a women FireFighter in my firehouse also, im in the explorer program and she has helped me out a lot shes great, and I have no problem listening to her because shes a "girl", shes the one that has the training and im the Probie so I respect that. I think you should go to a higher authority and state your claim! Seeing as though it is a Brotherhood female or not your right its teamwork!!!!!

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            • #7
              I am sorry to hear about what your going thru. I will be real with you. You will run into this time to time. Over ride it, go above it and let your heart and intentions be known to who makes the final decisions. This is not troublemaking or disreprectful to your elders. How you are being treated is. Remember if you are being treated unfairly don't lose your temper or wits about you. Take care of it professionally and with tact. In time your proven ability will shine! Also check out the website WFSI Woman in the Fire Service. They have been a great deal of help and encourgement. Take care.

              Melissa

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              • #8
                Summermist,
                Being an advisor for an explorer post. I would recommend you take this problem up with your advisors. They are they to guide the post and deal with problems and should set this "boy" straight. You seem to be very passionate about this, and that said go for it!

                see you at the big one,
                Coop
                www.dustincooper.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  ..

                  I am also an advisor for our post as well as the co-founder of it. Right now we don't have any females in the explorers; however I am a female.
                  I know different departments have different SOP's for their programs. We have our explorer capt and lt that are males under the age of 18. The chief for them is an adult. We are just finishing the classes and soon going into the testing for the first group through. We have it set that when the time comes to elect more officers, it has to be voted on by the explorers, and then approved by ALL members of the station, not just the advisors. Just to try to be fair. This way we as a whole know and feel confident that when we have to rely on the explorers to watch our backs in rehab we can trust the elected officers to make sure everyone is doing their part fairly.

                  Just a side note, our explorers got thier first run at rehab two weeks ago during the live burn for our Fire Fighter 1 class. The group was awesome. They did what they were supposed to and thier captain did a great job of making sure everyone was doing the job they were assigned. Mind you this was thier FIRST event together as a group on a "fire scene". EMS was there, but never got out of the ambulance. We had a few minor issues that really wasn't anything to do with them. (we needed more bp cuffs etc) Things ran a little slow, but out of the 30 or so people that were there for the live burn itself only one complained about having to do it. He was ummm Nicely told that he could deal with it or go home and not finish his FF1. Just because our county has never had something like this running before its not only new to the teens, but to the rest of the fire fighters as well. We are trying to get out of the "having to do it on your own" problem.

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                  • #10
                    i think that you being a girl sould have nothing to do with you gitting that position or not i think that girl or boy if you can do the job you should get that position and you need to go straght to the advisers and tell them wat is going on.
                    ashevillefireexplorers.co.nr

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, we used to have a "I've seen it all at 16" kid in my post, the best thing to do for him is to talk to one of the officers on the department, tell him about the kid, then lean back and watch with a smile as one or more of the fire fighters tell him he doesnt know ****. No, im kidding. I'd go to my post advisor on the LT call and kick the know it all in the nuts (OUTSIDE OF A MEETING, also, a ski mask wouldn't hurt, ha ha). Either way, sounds like you earned it, female or not. I hope it works out, good luck and remember, no matter their rank, you're all probies once you start and since you've done a better and more extensive job in the explorers, you will do better in the department.

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                      • #12
                        You know how hard it is to be a girl in the fire service this is still a pretty knew concept to most people. You are going to have to prove yourself and have to work twice as hard you will show them you mean buisness. I was once a explorer and can tell you that the know it all punks get theirs don't worry this job you will never know it all and if you do, retire you will hurt somebody. Talk to your post advisor fight for your position it should be yours.

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                        • #13
                          When I was involved in Scouting (as both a scout and an adult leader) the Scouts who were given positions of authority in the troop/post were chosen by their advisors based on their achievements and leadership skills.

                          The Post's advisors should be making that decision.
                          ‎"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

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