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Dealing with useless members

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  • #16
    Pletch - Unless you were the officer on the rig, acting or otherwise, you were totally out of line. The guy up front is the ONLY one on the rig that should be making that decission. Besides there is always one job that no likes to do at the scene, cause there in no glory in it, and that is catching the hydrant. I speak as someone that has been in the vol. fire service for probably more years than you have been alive.

    As for the cost of training that this guy can not pass, some states provide this training at no cost at all.

    There is always room for bricks in the FD. They are so good at doing the non-glory stuff. Teach this guy where everything is, cause then you have someone that can help when someone comes back the the truck with an "I need" question.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    • #17
      If they can Fog a mirror I can find them something to do on Scene,if they are willing to do what they are told.As for riding the engine,heavy,or whatever trucks that are responding its up to the officer to have the best qualified crew on board that he can,our less experianced members will wait to see if there is an avalible seat when the truck leaves.
      as for the last member that we had that thought he was going to to "remove" a less qualified member from a seat he was suspended immediatly and when he did not want to complete counsling was terminated.
      Our members education range from 3rd Grade levals (one of our most reliable pump operators) to doctors,and engineers (dont ask the engineer how it works unless you have free time and everyone looks out for everyone because this is a TEAM sport

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      • #18
        Captiancvfd you sound like you have been around a long time too. You said it all.
        Stephen J Bourassa
        Latham FD (NY)
        member since 1969
        challenge competitor since 1993

        Comment


        • #19
          I agree with the idea that if a person is willing to do the task assigned, then they are an asset to the fire department. We were given a printed copy of the guidelines for being members of the department. As long as our conduct is within the guidelines, then we are able to serve. Somebody may not belong driving the truck, or running a hose line, but if that person can hand a bottle of water to a firefighter who just got out of the hot zone, then that person is making a contribution to the department's operation. Training, experience, and ability are factors in determining where the person provides the greatest benefit to the department. Try finding each person's niche.
          I fish for a living, but I have to work for money...

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          • #20
            We have a guy that has been on for two years. Has 1152 thru pump ops 1. Then stopped training. Has made a grand total of ten calls maybe. Only really shows up for meal/business nights and training nights. Oh, and the Christmas dinner. Always complains if someone asks to many questions prolonging class,meetings,ect. Overheard saying certain ff's need to "get a life" apparently because they like to come down to the station and hang out.( I felt like saying, "you should mention that at the next meeting so everybody can hear it".) Let me clarify, this "member" was brought on without a vote along with a few others when a new station was opened in a neighboring district we had contracted to protect. Which in my mind would call for a little extra dues paying just out of respect for the normal process of being voted on by membership. Normally I have found these situations work themselves out. Not in this case. The bottom line for me is there wiil be a call when this guy wiil be in a position to have to make entry or extricate a patient with someone qualified,(which I don't consider him to be), and that ff he is teamed with is now taking unknown risk added to a routine situation. Good luck at that point. The icing is this guy had a volunteer license tag almost from day one. So in my Holier than thou interpretation he is in it for bragging rights. Any suggestions on this one?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Steamin441 View Post
              We have a guy that has been on for two years. Has 1152 thru pump ops 1. Then stopped training. Has made a grand total of ten calls maybe. Only really shows up for meal/business nights and training nights. Oh, and the Christmas dinner. Always complains if someone asks to many questions prolonging class,meetings,ect. Overheard saying certain ff's need to "get a life" apparently because they like to come down to the station and hang out.( I felt like saying, "you should mention that at the next meeting so everybody can hear it".) Let me clarify, this "member" was brought on without a vote along with a few others when a new station was opened in a neighboring district we had contracted to protect. Which in my mind would call for a little extra dues paying just out of respect for the normal process of being voted on by membership. Normally I have found these situations work themselves out. Not in this case. The bottom line for me is there wiil be a call when this guy wiil be in a position to have to make entry or extricate a patient with someone qualified,(which I don't consider him to be), and that ff he is teamed with is now taking unknown risk added to a routine situation. Good luck at that point. The icing is this guy had a volunteer license tag almost from day one. So in my Holier than thou interpretation he is in it for bragging rights. Any suggestions on this one?
              Yeah, it's called dead weight.

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              • #22
                Hmmmm--Exchange the current nicknames of Goldilocks/Fabio,(depending on the hairstyle that day), for Dead Weight. That might just work. Thanks.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by captaincvfd View Post
                  as for the last member that we had that thought he was going to to "remove" a less qualified member from a seat he was suspended immediatly and when he did not want to complete counsling was terminated.
                  I never take the officer's seat even if it is available; I always go for one of the back seats (being a rookie) if other certified guys show up. I will sometimes give a rear seat up as well if I see experienced guys waiting. I know I don't "have" to but it's a matter of respect for me.

                  There's always a second truck out and sometimes a third. And there's work to do at the hall. Even the guy who brings the coffee wagon is appreciated. Why push it?

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                  • #24
                    If a new candidate in my house isn't cutting it, it is the officers job to handle the counseling. I am not an officer. My job is to bust the new guys / girls chops if they're not trying, and to bust my *** helping them if they are trying. Not everyone wants a handout, some just need a hand up.

                    If they just don't get it no matter what you do, then refer back to paragraph #1 and look for the word " Officer "
                    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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                    • #25
                      I assume that you have no min. requirements to maintain membership. My FD has a points system to maintain membership. If you dont make the req'd points then you are dropped from the rolls.
                      Stephen J Bourassa
                      Latham FD (NY)
                      member since 1969
                      challenge competitor since 1993

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        We had a member like that.He wouldn't do training "our"way because his department did it better back in Eastern Ky,kept checking out underage females too closely(and nearly lost teeth at a school visit over that),and couldn't keep his mouth shut about a fatality wreck we'd had at the funeral.He was overheard describing how the honoree at a funeral had suffered when he was on traffic detail with the other rookies and couldn't have known.
                        The station Captain is an easy going type who won't raise his voice other than to carry it across a noisy fireground but that last was too much.
                        He and the Chief were at an out of town conference but the word got flashed up the chain of command via the "telefirefighter system".
                        He was kicked off by Chief's fiat and the vote was that same afternoon when the officers started calling the Board of Trustees.
                        If your guy is really deadweight as you say,be subtle about it and let the chain of command know there's a problem.
                        Save the evil thoughts in your head for release at the local firing range and assign each thought to a bullet you send downrange.Do not act on them,no matter how easy it would be to do so.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Fitguy51 View Post
                          I assume that you have no min. requirements to maintain membership. My FD has a points system to maintain membership. If you dont make the req'd points then you are dropped from the rolls.
                          Recently,complaints about more than one member not showing up for calls or whatever actually did result in an "adjustment" to the minimum. So what? Just another system to be had. Ours is new this year so I suppose we will see.We used to get a candidates name and he would call us to make his case for being a member. Guess I am old school. Judgemental? Hell yes! Anybody have complaints about dues paying? By the way-- I/we as individuals support our Chief. Like any malady infecting the body the membership will eventually win out for the good of the Department. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            It's unfortunate that your having problems. I am having a problem with a fellow member in our station and while she isn't dead weight, her attitude leaves something to be desired. I try to always be professional, even when she is snotty or catty, and was recently told it hasn't escaped the notice of our Asst. Chief. It needs to be resolved, and while my problem isn't fire, as I know where my place is and will always give up my bucket seat to a FF as I am merely medical, it leaves you fustrated.

                            I know I worry that because this individual is going to an EMT enhanced class, I am in a medic class, she talks smack about that she will be able to push cardiac drugs and do this and that, a few people have had to set her straight on what her roles are. I have gone so far as to tell her to her face, she will be a glorified EMT-B, as I got tired of her mouth. It wasn't right of me, and I quickly brought my attitude back in check. I have tried to talk to this person, explained that I am a senior EMT, it worries me that this individual will go out and not taking what we do seriously, may cause more harm than help.

                            Good luck. If you can't help this person in your house, maybe, like ours, my officers are seeing what is going on. So make sure your being professional and conducting yourself with what it takes to be good. Eventually people like this hang themselves, give them enough rope!!

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                            • #29
                              Thank You ALL

                              I must thank you all, i have seen my flaws and will work to correct them. I also thankyou for letting me realize that he has a place, even though i feel he does not have the dedication and the knowledge to do the job, some one higher than me does, and i must face that and deal with it. If my officers feel has a impediance then they will take care of it.

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                              • #30
                                being an officer for the last 6 yrs. in a very large and busy 100% volunteer department has opened my eyes to many things. One of those is how to deal with people who need that extra little push. I currently have 11 members in my engine company that hold the rank of captain in. I have about 2 people that are dead wieght. I constantly bust their chops about not pulling their own weight. They have gotten better over the past three years since I was promoted to captain. You have to take it upon yourself to try and help some of the people that might need the extra help. Offer to help this ff with studying or practical evolutions. Show him some respect. I've been in the fire service for 15 yrs. and have alot of people come and go. Good firefighters and not so good firefighters. Take the time to get the person more involved. This supposed to be a BROTHERHOOD!!!!!. Brothers help each other out. If this person isn't willing to do the training than talk to your officers about it. Don't kick him off the truck. There is a place for almost everyone in a volunteer department. We have members that are drivers and that is it. We have members that all they can at calls is change bottles and get equipment. It's all about BROTHERHOOD.

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