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  • #16
    How fun could it be to work on a dept that has time to vacuum?

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    • #17
      I am a firm believer in "Customer Service." (no you don't have to feel my head for fever, I know I'm from NY, and it's slowing grasping up here). While I don't take it to the extremes as Nate does, but most of us partake in Customer Service already. Pump outs, lift assists, cat in a tree, etc. I think that the fire service in general while not using the customer service phrase, should at least have a customer service mentality. I have, and still deal with many brothers (sisters) who have a "the community owes me something" mentality. I'm there for them, not my ego, but the love for the job, and the work. Nozzle Hog, I agree with you a 100%, but I went to one dept. to investigate a fire, and they pulled every ounce of sheet rock in the place. Experience comes to play, and I'm sure most of us only pull what is needed. Even more so is Nate's comment true with those of us that have thermal imaging camera's.
      FRED, as far as your comment on who cares about the carpet on the lower floor with fire above. If I'm the person renting downstairs...I do..Carpet is one thing, every ounce of furniture is another. Salvage is an ongoing process..yes staffing takes precedent, but it should be done as soon as possible. We carry and use often water-vacs when we can. Take a step back and look at it from the other side, what if it was you, your house, wife, kid. I've said this before on here, my father told me this early in my fire/ems career...and I say it when I teach, and to younger members of the fire service (and we all have)...who sit around wishing for calls, and giving the "yeah or woo-hoo" when it comes in....you want a fire...how bout your house. That's when the uh-uh's come in. Well if not at your house, then nowhere. I am a professional, I serve the public. And if I got called for a assitance call and the batteries needed to be changed when I got there...I would, and then explain to them the consequences of there actions. That beats going back to a commercial alarm for the 3rd time in 2 hours because its malfuncting, or the repair company forgot to let dispatch know they were working on the system.

      Engine58, I don't bash anyone on here, and I think explorers are very important to the future of the fire service. I'm not bashing you but I'm stating an opinion I have towards your comment so don't get bent out of shape. So, being that you sign as an explorer I have to tell you that I feel your comments are pretty harsh for someone who is probably fairly new to the fire service and has some time and training to go before you make decisions on what you feel is good for a company/department. Especially on the career side. You have some good opinions, but you don't have to be harsh about it. If Nate's dept. does do laundry that is there business and perogative. I have to tell you, being a former southern state firefighter, there are many things here in the northeast that need to change, and there are some things we are better at. But no one's opinion is better then anyone else's.

      -------------------------------------------
      The above is my opinion only it doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

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      • #18
        I know what you are saying...no offense taken...I was just saying..because I'm not that new to the fire service..been practically raised in a fire house so I know what goes on..and Yes once in a while we do take a certain day out of the month to go and help out people around town. We change batteries in Detectors & assist with some other things...and we are a volunteer Dept..so that makes it even better..because not only are we taking time away from our own families to go help a needy family etc we dont even have to do it but we still do...like others have said.to be a requirement I dont think that is such a good idea... I'm just stating my opinions like everyone else is...

        ------------------
        Andrew
        South Amboy, New Jersey
        Explorer Engine 6 So. Amboy Fire Dept & Cadet Morgan FAS
        "EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE" http://engine058.boltpages.com/south...explorerpost6/

        [This message has been edited by Engine58 (edited 05-10-2001).]

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        • #19
          A few observations...

          We have been doing "customer service" for years...only it has been called protecting life and property! We do this through fire suppression, prevention, education, EMS and good public relations.

          At a fire, if you have enough manpower, you can gather the furniture on the lower floors and throw tarps over them to protect it from water damage, but if you need the personnel to put out the fire, that is Job One!

          If we don't do our job properly in the overhaul phase, to paraphrase Arnold Shwartzanegger "We'll be back!". That why we have to open up walls and pull ceilings. The TIC's are nice, but they do have their limitations. Rekindles are a bitch!

          There are some "customers" who abuse the syetm, like the ones who know their cellars are prone to flooding. Do they buy a sump pump? No. Why should I buy one when I can call the fire department to do it for me? They do not realize that it costs taxpayer $$$$ to put the rig on the road and pay for the personnel. We do it on an emergency basis only, yet there are those who think it's their right to call every time they get water in the basement.

          A person who cannot put a battery into a TV remote has bigger problems...like not being able to care for themselves. The appropriate social service agency or family members should be called.

          An abuse of "customer service"....
          I once answered a 911 call for an "unknown emergency". We got to the address, had to force entry because there was no answer at the door. The emergency? The resident was falling down drunk and wanted another bottle of vodka"...and told us we had to get it for her because "I'm a taxpayer". Unbeleiveable!

          ------------------
          Firefighters: Todays heroes protecting everyones tomorrows!
          Captain Gonzo


          [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 05-10-2001).]

          Comment


          • #20
            Yes there are those people too. Ive had my share of idiots and drunks and people who should have called someone else. It shouldnt make us not want to help someone who maybe yeah it seems insignificant to us but it may be important to them enough that maybe someone can hang on who is lonely because there spouse of 50-60 years has just passed away. There are people who have no families, all their friends have passed and they are alone, doesnt mean we should ignore them.

            I dont advocate doing everything for people just because they are taxpayers. I believe once is enough and then inform them why your not personal service and help them find someone who can help them.

            Im also not advocating vacuming or some of the other things Ive heard. There are some instances where it is necessary to leave right away. There are instances where maybe 5 minutes can make a world of difference in someones life.

            For example, a woman who lived in a trailer, who was abused bigtime by her husband, who was drunk all the time, some kids in the neighborhood with bottle rockets set fire to her trailer. No matter what she was going to get the blame and wrath of her husband. So we spent 15 MINUTES IN SERVICE helping her restore her trailer (small fire, just scorched but burned about an acre of another neighbors yard so that when her husband came home she wouldnt get the crap kicked out of here because quite frankly cops cant get there quick enough to help her.

            Now if anyone says we shouldnt have done this it will show what a heartless [email protected]@@@@@ they are.

            The next time you need the public on your side the person you spend an extra five minutes with doing something for may give you that support that you need to get what you want.

            Comment


            • #21
              I agree with the idea that we've been doing "customer service" all along. I don't like the term "customer" either. It's one of those buzz words which will hopefully die out. They are citizens, neighbors, friends, whatever you want to call them. When someone says customer service I think of "Your call is very important to us. Your estimated time of hold is 15 minutes." Yeah right! Doesn't apply to emergency services.

              Do I believe in doing a good job with salvage? Absolutely. Helping an elderly person with their smoke detector? Yes. If we get a call, we will leave...WITHOUT hesitation. I do not believe in pumping cellars or getting a cat down from a tree. Cellar pumping opens your department up to a huge liability. What if that cellar collapses due to improper pumping practices or if someone gets electrocuted? As far as the cat goes....Did you ever see the skeleton of a cat in a tree?

              If you fight the fire well, the people will hopefully remember and be thankful. We do need to show respect for their loss. Remember accidents happen and we could be in their shoes someday. I have no doubt that the majority of firefighters out there are doing what needs to be done to assist their citizens. Stay safe!

              Comment


              • #22
                I normally don't respond back, but its a slow day, and it appears that there has been some selective reading of my last post. Engine58, I respect you junior or no junior because you post your opinion. What I said was I think you could do it a little more respectful being that you are a junior. I grew up around the firehouse also, and you still have an entirely different world coming to you.

                Also, like I said in my posts when it comes to overhaul, it comes down to 2 or 3 things. Experience, common sense, and additional resources if you have them. Read the post again, I didn't say don't pull walls, all I said is there is no need to pull more then you have to....that is if you know what your doing and what your looking for. TIC's help, I didn't say they were The GOD of overhaul and hotspots. And again, if my post is re-read, you will see that in there I clearly state that staffing takes precedent. The cat in the tree statement was just a run of the mill statement. But yes if it was up on a roof, and animal control needed help we'd go get it. As far as pump outs, that's a case by case basis. If your dept. doesn't, so be it, we do. Where I'm at the taxpayers know that its all $$$$, especially the $$$$ they pay us. The system has always been flawed one way or another. The intox story is not uncommon. Would it be different if it got dispatched as an EMS call, and not an unknown emergency type? Everyone had different lingo, and everyone has different ideas. I apologize if anyone feels I bashed, that was not my intent. I only disagree with some opinions and attitudes.
                ------------------------------------------
                The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Last summer got a medical call of unknown nature. It was in a trailer park mostly for seniors. Upon our arrival the elderly gentleman inside could not open the door and was sreaming for some help, the door was open so we let ourselves in and went to find the person inside. When we got to the rear room we found a man in late 70's or so. When asked what his problem was he stated that he had nothing to drink and could not get to the fridge to get anything. So being the polite young men from the fire dept. we got the man a glass of milk from the fridge and made sure he was comfortable until the family could return. There are millions of these public assist calls. Now, when we got in the truck we bitched and laughed but the truth of the matter is that we helped a person who needed help. That is what this job is about. Yeah, we all like to fight the fire and we all like to be where the action is, but in the end what we are doing is helping people. There is no better feeling than knowing that what you did no matter how big or small qiuck or long made a persons life a little better, a little more comfortable. I don't ever want to vacum but that is because I don't want to see a persons house burn down. But, they do and if the time it takes to help out with the little things helps the persons involed, than how can you put a tag on that. All the people complaing about doing salvage or think that the job is to put the fire out and go home, Think about your mom or grandmom living at home by herself and what you would like to see done.

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                  • #24
                    You know its been said here that we are in and always have been in the "Customer Service" business. So why are we always argueing about this topic? Because the expected level of service has changed. Is this unique to the fire service? I wish! In my field, I am an appliance service tech., there has grown over the years a higher and higher expectation in regards to customer service. Why? Because "the guy down the street does that now". Well people out there have be programed to think that if they ask for it and want it they should get it. DO they always deserve it? Not really, but the expect it. So what is the danger if we uin the fire service ignore their expectations? Well most likely they will make it known to their politicians that they don't think the fire service deserves what it expects, good equipment and respectable pay. Its a what goes around comes around world guys. I don't agree that you have to give them EVERY little thing they want. Rather we just have to use our heads and do what we can afford in both terms of time in budget. Its refered to in the retail trade as Feature Equals Benefit. You have to show your customer that the feature (the fire department) is a benefit. If they don't think you are why should they pay for you? You say well they need a fire department? Well their house isn't burning right now so what do they need you for? Remember these people live for the moment so at any given moment you better let them know you are a nice guy who deserves their support. Yeah you'll still have to look at them and say I just can't do that for you. But just be sure that you truely can't not that you just don't want to. Keep in mind that to many of those people out there anyone can be a firefighter so they think its as easy as firing you and hiring someone new and that's what they'll be more than happy to tell your mayor. Customer Service, do it. You don't need overkill just the appearance that you are trying your best.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Whether you call it protecting the public or serving or the public or customer, remember that when a station is closed or a new apparatus is rejected by the city you serve that the public "can" have a lot to do with it. Remember the impression you make on folks. In one of my recent leadership classes we were told that(don't quote me exactly) when you do a good deed, approx.7 people hear about it but when a bad deed occurs, approx. 35 people hear about it. In other words, all the good stuff you've done throughout the year can be totally erased in instance. Read the homepage here, we see it all the time....

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Nate -
                        I have to agree with you on this. Customer service is important. Your last post in this topic spelled it out the best.
                        I liked the Springer comment also, because in some depts., or some companies of some depts., it is likely true.
                        I have seen firefighters bust out windows when all they had to do was open them, tipping over china cabinets to bust open a wall when it was not immediately dangerous to them.
                        Take the time when the fire is knocked down and save some of the property that you are supposed to save.

                        Nice job Nate

                        ------------------
                        Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
                        Local 3008
                        "Doin' it for lives n' property"

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by F52 Westside:
                          Nate -
                          I have to agree with you on this. Customer service is important. Your last post in this topic spelled it out the best.
                          I liked the Springer comment also, because in some depts., or some companies of some depts., it is likely true.
                          I have seen firefighters bust out windows when all they had to do was open them, tipping over china cabinets to bust open a wall when it was not immediately dangerous to them.
                          Take the time when the fire is knocked down and save some of the property that you are supposed to save.

                          Nice job Nate

                          This is not customer service. It is proper SALVAGE and OVERHAUL. Something that has exisisted for a long time. Should we change the names. I don't think so.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by FireLt1951:
                            This is not customer service. It is proper SALVAGE and OVERHAUL. Something that has exisisted for a long time. Should we change the names. I don't think so.

                            Does it realy matter what they call it Firelt1951? If they call it customer service and you call it proper salvage and overhaul are you not both correct? All that really matters is that we do it, do it well and not complain that it is a part of our job.



                            ------------------
                            I shall fear no evil, for I am a Firefighter

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              This not customer service. This is what we have done for years and its called SALVAGE and OVERHAUL. Something we were taught and it seems everyone wants to replace this with the phrase customer service. I don't think so.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Ever since someone has taken a concept the fire service has practiced for many, many years and put a liberal-new age spin on and added then added increased responsibilities under the guise of "customer service," we will be distracted from the big picture, which is saving lives and property. Proper salvage and overhaul is not and has nothing to do with C.S. More and more of our so called departmental "leaders" have bought this "enlightened" notion of C.S. hook, line, and sinker.

                                The bottom line is that in some jurisdictions added responsibilities do not have a negative impact on workload, but in most areas, the main mission of the fire service has taken a back seat to the other tasks that are distracting, inane, and demoralizing. For instance the "future" of customer service: In-house community immunizations, towing dumpsters on working fires to help keep the sidewalks clean, washing down the side streets and back alleys, daily I'm O.K., you're O.K. checkups. Want me to keep going??? Picking up people at bustops (which I actually don't mind - if the person is female).

                                THERE IS A SERIOUS LACK OF LEADERSHIP IN THE FIRE SERVICE. WE HAVE ALLOWED THOSE TO MAKE THE CASE OF A ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH TO EVERY DEPARTMENT. WE WILL CONTINUE TO PAY THE PRICE UNTIL THE CASE CAN BE MADE THAT BETWEEN RESPONSES, CONSTANT TRAINING (YES, NATE THIS INCLUDES PHYSICAL FITNESS), AND AN ACCEPTABLE AMOUNT OF DOWNTIME IS THE ESSENCE OF 'THE JOB.' AGAIN, FTM-PTB...something Nate Marshall wouldn't have the faintest idea about.

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