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  • do I need an attitude adjustment?

    I'll try to keep this as short and sweet as possible but I don't know how easy that will be.

    situtation:
    we were doing training, searchiing for a downed FFer with a blacked out mask and following a hose and the sound of a PASS device. I was really exicted because it's the first "real" in house training we've done in I don't know how long. Well, first off they had the Junior FFers doing it for an hour with everyone else standing around. I first come off as the "know it all noob" when I asked if we could turn the hose line around so we could tell which direction we were headed. Well it finally came to the actually firemen to go, so that's only like 2 of us who actually care about training, everyone else is just standing around and doesnt care to do much. The trainer is the "backbone" of the dept for the last litterally 40 years. I first asked him if he would mind putting an SCBA on (so I could use it to make a harness to drag him as he was the down man also) he said no and asked if I knew how to do it with out the scba. I said "I've seen some different ways yes but which way do you like". Well he showed me and I said I would like to use my rope. (trying to shorten it here) long story short he got hung up on this [email protected] rope and ended up sliging it against the wall and telling me that tools (I'd already been told to put the halligan back and not use it) and ropes and **** were useless. Now I'm still baically not arguing but it is a private converstation and I'm asking him questions. Soon it turned public and he used this senario "what if you roll up on a smoldering fire and you know someone is inside, are you going to waste time to put your gear on?".. Well a long time ago I promised myself I was going to be as safe as possible so I answered as follows "Yes, I always have my gear. If a truck isn't there yet, I might forgo the scba if I know someone is in there. The way I see it, if it's smoldering, it could flash or if its rolling I'm going to be a lot more effective with my PPE on trying to save their life. I'd rather take 30 seconds to be safe and effective then be dumb and die". He then refused to train me any more and told me to leave. The way I see it, I wasn't trying to tell hiim what to do, I said over and over please show me. He was hung on the rope and called it stupid over and over.

    thanks, noob.

  • #2
    Jack the noob,
    First off you need to realize who you're dealing with. These guys sound like a bunch of cowboy dinos. These "older" members sometimes never want to learn new training ideas or safety LAWS. They did it this way for 40 years and that is just the way it is. You already recognize their falts and that's good. Now the hard part is to still show them the respect they deserve. No matter what these guys tell you ALWAYS put safety first!!! I don't want to sound like a safety weiny but it's what keeps you around for a while. Running into a burning structure without protective gear is NEVER a good idea even if it's full of kids and strippers. I'm no noob myself, I've been in the fire service for 18 years. I still learn new things all the time. The fire service has changed greatly over this time. I started wearing 3/4 boots riding the back step and no firefighter one required. The back step was fun but STUPID!!! You sound to me like your head is on straight but don't get cocky. Remeber you're a noob and everything will be alright.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KeithA8
      Jack the noob,
      First off you need to realize who you're dealing with. These guys sound like a bunch of cowboy dinos. These "older" members sometimes never want to learn new training ideas or safety LAWS. They did it this way for 40 years and that is just the way it is. You already recognize their falts and that's good. Now the hard part is to still show them the respect they deserve. No matter what these guys tell you ALWAYS put safety first!!! I don't want to sound like a safety weiny but it's what keeps you around for a while. Running into a burning structure without protective gear is NEVER a good idea even if it's full of kids and strippers. I'm no noob myself, I've been in the fire service for 18 years. I still learn new things all the time. The fire service has changed greatly over this time. I started wearing 3/4 boots riding the back step and no firefighter one required. The back step was fun but STUPID!!! You sound to me like your head is on straight but don't get cocky. Remeber you're a noob and everything will be alright.
      thanks man. I LOLed at the "strippers" part. I'm very "gunhoe"(sp?) but I honestly want to learn everything, old, new, prehistoric, whatever and I don't want to be thought of as the know it all guy... just the guy who puts out 110%. What I can't figure out is why he was arguing? I'd already stated that I might not have the rope, it might get lost somehow or broken, who knows. It's just frustrating I guess to get put on the spot like that when you didn't intend to start anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        The dino you speak of felt threatened by your knowledge and coming from a new guy this is a huge deal. The way some of these guys handle this is by making you feel horrible so you will never do it again. These guys sometimes feel challenged by noob's fresh out of the latest school.You may actualy know something his 40 years of experience didn't teach him. And he knows it. Like I said earlier don't get cocky and know your place. When something like this comes up again ask him to show you the way he does it then thank him for giving you the time to show you something. After he explained it show him what the evil school taught you and ask him what he thinks about it. If he freaks out on you than he is just an A - HOLE and chalk it up as such. Sometimes these guys are just impossible to deal with. If you make him feel important he will usually be nice about it.
        IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KeithA8
          The dino you speak of felt threatened by your knowledge and coming from a new guy this is a huge deal. The way some of these guys handle this is by making you feel horrible so you will never do it again. These guys sometimes feel challenged by noob's fresh out of the latest school.You may actualy know something his 40 years of experience didn't teach him. And he knows it. Like I said earlier don't get cocky and know your place. When something like this comes up again ask him to show you the way he does it then thank him for giving you the time to show you something. After he explained it show him what the evil school taught you and ask him what he thinks about it. If he freaks out on you than he is just an A - HOLE and chalk it up as such. Sometimes these guys are just impossible to deal with. If you make him feel important he will usually be nice about it.
          I think you're right. Seems childish to have to walk on egg shells like that, but I guess sometimes its what you have to do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well kid it sounds like you have the right attitude to me. Just the fact that you even questioned your actions says alot. Welcome to the fire service! This place is full of egos!
            IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KeithA8
              Well kid it sounds like you have the right attitude to me. Just the fact that you even questioned your actions says alot. Welcome to the fire service! This place is full of egos!
              thanks for the advice man I appreciate it1

              Comment


              • #8
                One more thing, if he brings up the "hero running in the burning building with no protective gear on" thing - ask him if the atmosphere in the building is so bad that people can't self rescue what makes you any different? This will just create one more person to save when the protected guys show up.
                IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KeithA8
                  One more thing, if he brings up the "hero running in the burning building with no protective gear on" thing - ask him if the atmosphere in the building is so bad that people can't self rescue what makes you any different? This will just create one more person to save when the protected guys show up.
                  yeah... that was part of the problem, me "knowing" too many answers. lol but yeah you're right of course.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KeithA8
                    One more thing, if he brings up the "hero running in the burning building with no protective gear on" thing - ask him if the atmosphere in the building is so bad that people can't self rescue what makes you any different? This will just create one more person to save when the protected guys show up.

                    Which is why you generally see FFs jumping into the bunkers,boarding the rig and putting on the rest of the gear en route,so they'll be ready to go when they get there and the officer starts assigning jobs.

                    As to the other,there were times in training at my old volunteer department where something was covered that I'd already been to and seen.I often noticed some of my other trainees looking like they weren't getting the concept so at the risk of looking foolish,I'd ask for something to be clarified until the" in one ear and out the other "looks started to fade.
                    Yes,some of them had been on the department for a lot longer than I and I hadn't put out a fire since I worked at this one harbor towboat outfit in 1994.The thing about training is to teach things that may or may not already be known to the ones receiving it.If someone's not getting it,the time spent training them was wasted and they could be in danger when the use of that knowledge next come up.
                    Last edited by doughesson; 12-01-2006, 04:09 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know how you feel Jack....I started as a vollie in a place like this. TOTAL BLOW JOBS. It sounds like you did the right thing, ask questions, wanted to chenge things up, etc etc.....but the dinos (not cowboys, Cowboys are good guys remember???? , these guys are morons) didn't like you testing thier "knowledge". You may have intimidated them, and you can garuntee they will be the same cowards far behind you at a job. Anyway, stay motivated, get what ever knowledge you can, and maybe you can move on to a better dept or move up in your dept and change it (not an easy task).

                      Good Luck to you.....and watch you azz around these clowns.
                      IACOJ Member

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VinnieB
                        I know how you feel Jack....I started as a vollie in a place like this. TOTAL BLOW JOBS. It sounds like you did the right thing, ask questions, wanted to chenge things up, etc etc.....but the dinos (not cowboys, Cowboys are good guys remember???? , these guys are morons) didn't like you testing thier "knowledge". You may have intimidated them, and you can garuntee they will be the same cowards far behind you at a job. Anyway, stay motivated, get what ever knowledge you can, and maybe you can move on to a better dept or move up in your dept and change it (not an easy task).

                        Good Luck to you.....and watch you azz around these clowns.
                        as far as the jobs go, I never get ANYTHING crappy. I'm told to tell others to do them. Half the time I do it myself. They're always like "youve done plenty tell whozits to do this". This one particular guy won't be hiding at the fire though, he's a true smokeeater. Dudes not scared of anything (except change LOL). Funny you mention moving up, I was nominated for 3 different officers possitions this year but didn't get them. I declined one and then didn't get voted for the others. I have no business being an officer, I need some time under my belt. Eventually I'd like to be a training officer.

                        Thank you guys for all the great advice.

                        oh, the funny thing, don't EVER start a sentence in my VFD with "I read" or "at training school".... eyes instantly roll and you get told again how bad a straight stream is for example.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How bad a straight stream is? What's so bad about a straight stream? Don't tell me these dinos are still going in with a 30 degree fog. This they read out of a book in the 70's. If straight streams are so bad then why do most city depts come off with a smooth bore? Ask them that.
                          IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KeithA8
                            How bad a straight stream is? What's so bad about a straight stream? Don't tell me these dinos are still going in with a 30 degree fog. This they read out of a book in the 70's. If straight streams are so bad then why do most city depts come off with a smooth bore? Ask them that.
                            bro..... I just keep my mouth shut from now on and fight fire how I get trained in what I read and various schools.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              JackBauer24, I share your feelings on this exactly. I get the impression from one or two of my fellow firefighters that they view my attitude on training and taking classes as competition for them when it comes time to elect officers. I really do not aspire to be an officer. I would accept a position if a Chief Officer appointed me to fill out an officers position on a temporary basis but I'm no canidate for office and quite honestly I don't really want the responsibility.

                              Like you Jack I need more time under my belt anyway. Unlike you my volunteer FC has basically a good training attitude and drill ethic. Plus safety is the number one rule with my co. But there are certain individuals who have ambitions and also the convoluted idea that they already know everything.

                              If you haven't already done this, check out the NIOSH web site which has investigative reports of firefighter faitalities. I know it will not do you any good to bring this up to your guys, but it will remind you of just how dangerous this job is and how even well trained firefighters get into trouble. This is the link to NIOSH

                              http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/

                              Take care.

                              Tom

                              Originally posted by JackBauer24
                              Funny you mention moving up, I was nominated for 3 different officers possitions this year but didn't get them. I declined one and then didn't get voted for the others. I have no business being an officer, I need some time under my belt. Eventually I'd like to be a training officer.
                              FF/EMT

                              Comment

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