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Dealing with useless members

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  • bobsnyder
    replied
    I am certainly an advocate of taking people who are having trouble under your wing and helping them do their job better.

    I certainly acknowledge that there are jobs to be done which don't involve being an "interior firefighter" - in support roles both on and off the fireground.

    It is certainly true that you don't always need to agree with - or even like - the people you work with on the fireground to do a good job and come home in one piece.

    And I understand that most departments - especially volunteer - need all the help they can get.

    But at the same time, some people prove to be more trouble than they're worth...and if you're not prepared to make that determination and jettison these folks when the time comes, they can poison your whole organization.

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  • doublej986
    replied
    Trouble member

    I have a trouble member in my dept too. He came from another dept and constantly tells everyone how much experience he has. Problem is, he doesn't show any of it. He hardly ever shows up and when he does, he causes problems. I always hear " well back at .....dept, we do it this way" You can't imagine how much I hate hearing that. I won't let him drive because he cant! Everytime he does show up for a run, he tries to jump in the drivers seat and when someone tells him to get out because I dont want him driving, he gets peeved and leaves. I have even recently heard that he was trash talking me in a dept store to another member saying he wasnt going to listen or do anything I told him and that the only reason things are done my way is because I say so. Duh, Im the chief! He keeps telling everyone he is going to tell me off but he has yet to prove it.

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  • Bowbreaker
    replied
    Yes you can push a rope. It requires special treatments and handling just like the individual in question. You have to decide - is it worth the required effort?

    We have a firefighter that has trouble taking tests. He admits to not working very hard in school and just got by. He just needs a little help with written tests. If we gave up on him he would have quit, or worse, been a liability to the department. Now we have a good firefighter. He may not be chief material but very few of us are.

    Brad

    Leave a comment:


  • jeeten1049
    replied
    Plant seeds

    No, you can't push a rope, nor make someone want to learn if the need is not there. Each person learns at different rates, in different ways. Some need to be lead, others pushed, and yet others can't get enough learning. The latter is due to an inherent need to learn more, these types of people I call sponges. The way to handle the others perceived to be lazy, lax, or ignorant to requirement or need, must have tidbits or seeds of information planted for them to grasp on to and grow. Without the desire, no one grows in knowledge. A way must be found to indicate to best handle this person and plant your seed. Then water, fertilize, and tend with great care. Watch this person grow and bloom into the appropriate niche filling person you want him or her to be.

    Be safe and grow old!

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  • firefighter1962
    replied
    You can't push a rope.

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  • brian441
    replied
    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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  • pletch
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ERAngel
    replied
    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!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Steamin441
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • doughesson
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fitguy51
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • DFDMAXX
    replied
    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 "

    Leave a comment:


  • xsmoker
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Steamin441
    replied
    Hmmmm--Exchange the current nicknames of Goldilocks/Fabio,(depending on the hairstyle that day), for Dead Weight. That might just work. Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • dday05
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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