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  • Ordered to present a medal

    There are more than a couple recent topics about firefighters doing something potentially unsafe that always bring out the opinions, so I find it ironic that I find myself faced with something closely related.

    We had a small room and contents recently, confirmed unoccupied. A police officer shows up, thick smoke showing with flames coming out the window, and runs in with his fire extinguisher and manages to knock it down pretty good. We get there about 60 seconds later and finish putting it out. He was okay, but required some oxygen from our medic crew. Anyway, the Mayor calls me over and tells me he wants me to present a medal to this police officer at a council meeting for "heroism," above and beyond, etc, together with the police chief. It's brewing up to be a real local political side show.

    Anyway, my guys are furious. They understand I pretty much have to do what the boss says, but they fear it's going to cause a rash of cops running in to burning buildings to try to put fires out. It took us years to get them to stop busting out windows with their night sticks, they note, and now this little award is going to set us back a few more years.

    What are the thoughts on this? I see it both sides, but I guess I mostly see the side of my personnel. When I was on the line I once ran a cop from a burning structure by turning the hose on him "accidentally," so I know how frustrating it can be to have people mucking around a fire scene when you're trying to work.

  • #2
    Awards

    As a Fire Commissioner I feel your pain. I think a letter not anything metal . With that said maybe you can bring up what you've just said. While he did enter the building to put out the fire maybe in the future that the Police would be better utilized protecting the scene instead of going in. It's just a thought and I know you are put in a situation that you would not like to be in. I hope you can convince your crews of your displeasure....good luck.
    Last edited by JayDudley; 12-21-2010, 11:07 AM.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

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    • #3
      Start pulling people over for speeding or running stop signs and see if you get a medal.

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      • #4
        The only problem is the "confirmed unoccupied" prior to FD arrival and search.

        There's no such thing.
        Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnny46 View Post
          The only problem is the "confirmed unoccupied" prior to FD arrival and search.

          There's no such thing.
          Excellent point. Very true.
          Pete

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johnny46 View Post
            The only problem is the "confirmed unoccupied" prior to FD arrival and search.

            There's no such thing.
            True, I've often preached that myself. In this case, the neighbor who called it in told dispatch that she knew no one was home because she was watching the house for the owners, who were out of town.

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            • #7
              Time to grow a set and tell the mayor to present his own medals.
              "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
              sigpic
              The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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              • #8
                How to Present It...

                Tell your Guys that sometimes "politics prevail."

                As far as how to deal with the Cops on F/S. During your presentation do it as you normally would, but throw in a comment about how long it took to get L.E. to not go where they do not belong. Keep it light-hearted saying "it took us ..... years to convince the Cops not to ....... (example: park in the "A" spot) but these Guys acted as heroes". Form it in an acknowledgment of their heroism/actions, get your point across and make a joke out of it. Then walk over and hand them a Fire Application saying "the heroes are hiring..." I'd throw-in a comment like, "if the Cops keep putting out our fires, we're gonna have to start shooting their Criminals" or something along those lines.

                We had some P.D. Officers that would try to put out our Brush/Trash Fires with extinguishers or by moving the cans. One of them put a burning Trashcan under the eaves of a garage and we got to respond to an Attic/Storage Area Fire. After that, they started parking a few houses down and want nothing to do with our job.
                Last edited by mikeyboy; 12-20-2010, 09:05 PM.
                "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

                Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

                Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                  Time to grow a set and tell the mayor to present his own medals.
                  That doesn't work here. People that do that end up looking for new jobs. Until I get another one lined up, I'll be doing what he tells me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mikeyboy View Post
                    Tell your Guys that sometimes "politics prevail."

                    As far as how to deal with the Cops on F/S. During your presentation do it as you normally would, but throw in a comment about how long it took to get L.E. to not go where they do not belong. Keep it light-hearted saying "it took us ..... years to convince the Cops not to ....... (example: park in the "A" spot) but these Guys acted as heroes". Form it in an acknowledgment of their heroism/actions, get your point across and make a joke out of it. Then walk over and hand them a Fire Application saying "the heroes are hiring..." I'd throw-in a comment like, "if the Cops keep putting out our fires, we're gonna have to start shooting their Criminals" or something along those lines.

                    We had some P.D. Officers that would try to put out our Brush/Trash Fires with extinguishers or by moving the cans. One of them put a burning Trashcan under the eaves of a garage and we got to respond to an Attic/Storage Area Fire. After that, they started parking a few houses down and want nothing to do with our job.
                    ^^^why go through all that?

                    Just stand up for yourself in front of the major. See what he says.

                    By giving in, you lose your back bone. On top of being spineless, it gets even more complicated when you suggest pulling off all of that suggestive humor to get the point across. Save yourself the waste of time.

                    Sheesh, what an unnecessary, contrived and sophomoric effort. If that's not beating around the bush, I don't know what is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chief_Roy View Post
                      That doesn't work here. People that do that end up looking for new jobs. Until I get another one lined up, I'll be doing what he tells me.
                      With all due respect, that goes back to growing a set. If you give some dumb***** a medal for endangering not only his own life but the lives of your own firefighters as well, maybe a new job is in order.
                      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                      sigpic
                      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                        With all due respect, that goes back to growing a set. If you give some dumb***** a medal for endangering not only his own life but the lives of your own firefighters as well, maybe a new job is in order.
                        I'm looking, I'm looking. The last person to tangle with the Mayor was the former police chief. He was ordered to stop writing so many speeding tickets because the Mayor felt it just looked like a revenue ploy. He refused so he was "invited" to resign. The next guy they hired did exactly as the Mayor ordered.

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                        • #13
                          We just recently had a similar event where a high school football team lifted and held a car up when one of their team mates was run over. The police, school and city council wanted to make a big production out of their heroic effort. We certainly agreed that they acted selflessly and with possibly a little luck no others were hurt. But, the real root of the problem was that it was well known that the team frequently "hood surfed" int he parking lot, and that's how the boy was run over in the first place. In the end, one city councilor presented them with a city letter praising them while noting the lesson they all learned that night. We were "allowed" to bow out of any ceremonious speeches after a frank discussion with the councilor and Dep. police chief.

                          Tough spot to be in. If your guys think anything of you, they'll understand and rather have you play the game so you can stay on to lead. if they don't care for you, they'll probably not understand and hope you fight to the near end, and they'll get a new boss for better or worse. While we all want to fall on our sword at times, sometimes staying the course to avoid hiring a yes man is the better course of action. All depends on whats going on in your neck of the woods and with your personal commitment to your personnel.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Firehouse_Chick View Post
                            ^^^why go through all that?

                            Just stand up for yourself in front of the major. See what he says.

                            By giving in, you lose your back bone. On top of being spineless, it gets even more complicated when you suggest pulling off all of that suggestive humor to get the point across. Save yourself the waste of time.

                            Sheesh, what an unnecessary, contrived and sophomoric effort. If that's not beating around the bush, I don't know what is.
                            Whatever! 15 year old girl huh? Try another screen name you've outlived this one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yeah, do whatever she says..... That's what all the "Cool Gals" are doing..... LOL.
                              "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

                              Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

                              Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

                              Comment

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