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Good officer ethics?

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  • Good officer ethics?

    Recently I have hit the edge of tolerance of a newly appointed officer on our department.(small paid on call dept) I have been responding with the fire dept for 4 years as an explorer and the last year as an active firefighter. I was hired with full capabilities and training completed. My year probationary time will be up in one month. THe only person on the dept that thinks of me as a rookie is this new officer.

    He has yelled at me for doing a leg lock on a ladder because he feels it was unsafe. Well I felt safer in the leg lock since i was working off the ladder and leaning off of it a good distance.

    One of our SOG's for pulling a truck is as long as an officer is enroute to the scene then a truck can be pulled with no officer. For a grass fire three officers were enroute to the scene, three ff's along with myself at station ready to go with the officer in question enroute to the sta. I pull the grass rig with me driving and another ff. The other two stayed to pull the second truck with anyone else that showed up. After the call I was told by him that I was to wait for him before pulling the truck if he is enroute to the station.

    The situation that pushed the final button. At our monthly meeting cake was brought up to us from the family of a recent house fire. Well the officer in question made the comment well you are still a new guy your year is not up so you have to cut the cake and serve us. I said nope i am not eating any and i have copies of bylaws to go make. Then at the end of the meeting he tried telling me to take care of his dirty dishes, in which i told him no because i didn't eat any so i am not going to take care of your mess and walked away. He confronted me a couple minutes later and told me he was not joking about taking care of his mess and with my attitude I will not make it at a full time department.

    I wanted to tell him where he could shove his plates and where to go, but since my year of probation is not up I could not do to possible insobordination. After helping and giving 4 years of my life to the department for nothing in return I would think I would recieve a little more respect. And i have never seen a rookie told to do something like that in the past five years.

    I am talking to the chief about his actions.

    What are your feelings about this officer?

  • #2
    Sounds to me l**** someone is on a major power trip. Is this guy new to your department or to being an officer?

    SOPs are in place for a reason and as long as you follow them people can't change them just because they think they are special. Don't get me wrong i am not against probies doing some of the grunt jobs. But there is a limit to everything, probates are humans. Beside you are not a true probate you have been with the department for 4 years you are just changing from explorer to active FF and therefore should be treated a little different than your usual new don't know much probate.

    Normally i would say go and talk with this guy and tell him how you feel. However, it doesn't sound as if he would be accepting of this or that you would feel comfortable approaching him.

    Good Luck with your Chief and don't let this discourage you. Sometime you come across a bad apple.


    • #3
      If being a firefighter is what you've wanted to do for a long time, then putting up with his garbage until you're probationary period is up shouldn't be hard. Don't let this petty individual take this job from you.
      Just suck it up and finish your month
      Some guys will mess with you because they can, others to see how you react to stress. Sounds this one is doing it because he can, the jerk.
      Hang tough and this will pass.

      This message brought to you by the makers of "Sludge", the breakfast food that makes you wish it was lunchtime.


      • #4
        One of the hardest things about being the new guy in a department is knowing when to "suck it up" and when to make a stand on an issue of principle. With regard to the cake thing, I would be inclined to recommend you put up with the petty bull**** just to show that your own standards are above this guys. For the rest of it, SOP's are SOP"s. Either somthing is done that way or not! You are correct to take this to the chief. You have to be careful not to let an argument you can't lose (following SOP's correctly) be turned into an argument you can't win (acting in an insubordinate manner to a superior). If this guy can't get off his one man ego trip and has to give new guys menial work to feel superior then suck it until or unless he abuses his authority consisently and seriously over a period of time and then take it to whatever disciplinary authority exists for resolution. Have times, dates and examples well documented and verified where possible. You may find that unless he is a really major waste of space he is not worth that much effort on your part. You are in the department to serve the public, don't let a moron who temporarily outranks you (or anyone else for that matter) distract you from this noble calling.
        The best of luck with it



        • #5
          Hey buddy you are not alone. For some reason there is always one of those guys in every department. From experience, just do you job like you always would. You will probably have to put up with his BS a lot but don't back down, don't let him walk all over you. He was either pick on as a youth or just has some weird power trip and wants people to listen to him.

          These are not what I would call a trait of a good officer. Don't stoop to his level. I think you are doing the right thing in discussing this personal issue with you superiors. Best to get this problem solved soon. Good luck!

          BTW how was he appointed to his position?

          Keep Safe!


          • #6
            Unfortunately, this guy is most likely treating you the exact same way that he was treated when he was in your shoes. So, to a certain extent, he's just doing what he's learned. However, that doesn't make it right. Probie's should do some of the grunt work and "pay their dues" but there's a point where this has to stop. Talk to the chief and make it clear that you're willing to do the work - without the attitude that has come along with it. The cycle of abuse has to stop somewhere, so it might as well be here. Be careful, though, you don't want to be known as the whiney guy who got the officer in trouble because he was mean to you. With today's politically correct society, everybody could be nice to your face and curse you when your back is turned.


            • #7
              Quiet down Johnny,

              You're gonna meet your share of firefighters and officers you don't like in your career. The big BUT is, you, as a proby haven't earned the right to second guess an officer or a senior man. Go to the Chief? If it were me you came to with this I would probably extend your probation and assign this officer as you evaluator.
              You don't like having him tell you to clean up? Tell you what Bub. He shouldn't have to tell you to clean up.
              Don't drive 'til he arrives if he's enroute? Damn straight. Do what you're told and grow up.

              Your time will come and your going to be judged on your early years. Right now you're blowing it.

              No doubt this Lt. came up in a real department where the Johnnys kept their mouths shut and their hands busy. He's earned the position and the respect. You owe it to him, like it or not


              • #8
                e22 What the hell are you talking about. Yeah there are times to suck it up, but there is never a time to be walked on. This lt. earned his respect, bull****, abuse of power is not something that earns respect. If I'm not at the table you can be damn sure I'm not cleaning the mess. Now if I'm asked to in a decent manner and others are helping out we might have a different case but I will not be singled out to clean the table of a lazy ****. The only thing I can agree with said by e is be a man if you have a problem go to the lt at hand and let him know about it. He sure as hell won't like the chief taking any action on this and will probably be harder on you. Now don't mistake this rookies do have **** jobs to do you do have to wash trucks and do all the things the others might not have to or want to do. Don't kiss ***, take pride in your dept. and your work and you won't have to, ask the questions it's a hell of alot better than finding out the hard way, respect your higher ranking firefighters and officers but don't be thier doormat because it will haunt you your whole career.


                • #9
                  Well the big thing is that I have earned the respect in the past fours years i have been on the dept. He is the only one that gives me hassle.

                  I have talked to the chief. He said that there was no reason for his actions and he will be talking to him about it. I am not the only one that has been to the chief about him so far.


                  • #10
                    lokks like you need to catch him alone in the bay.........................

                    ...fire fetish???......
                    ...damn right!!!!


                    • #11
                      Go running to the chief because someone made you clean up cake dishes?? Grow up, suck it up, move on. Welcome to the real world. Show me one job or organization that doesn't have people like this around. Learn how to deal with it on you own. No, you don't have to put him on your Christmas card list, but by dealing with him on your own will only make you more more confident and a better FF!!! Deal with it. I hate whiners, your chief probably does, too.


                      • #12
                        I don't know about explorers from where you are from, but explorers from where I am from are (for lack of better words) glorified hose rollers. To say that an explorer earned the respect of a veteran firefighter in my department would be wrong when they can't even go inside.

                        With that said, Your best bet is to follow the SOP's of the your department. That includes not violating the "CHAIN OF COMMAND"(I agree, if I were the chief this would not be a problem that a probie would come to me with first). I'm not saying that he is right or that you are (I'm not there). Just pick your battles wisely. As a probie there are not many battles to be won.

                        Good Luck


                        • #13
                          First of all jdm2267 no i did not go crying I have already have told the guy to shove it a couple of times, and no i am not whinning, I was informing the chief of his unprofessional acts. The chief feels the same way i did and do.

                          I had earned the respect from the firefighters by my ambition and willingness to do stuff and learn, they treated and still do like I have been there for years. It just happens that the wrong person got the red helmet and now is taking evey advantage to get back at everyone he has had scuffles with in the past. His actions has one guy quiting(and no he is not a baby).


                          • #14
                            I would never tolerate such actions from a officer. I am a fire chief of a dept. that has numerous 30 year veterans and numerous probationary firefighters. We all work as a team. We are one department with no one being anymore or any less important than the last. Our veteran firefighters of 30 years plus want it this way. One of these probationary firefighters may pull our butt out of a fire. Thats what I admire about my dept. The 30 year members and officers treat probationary firefighters with the up most respect. They encourge the best of them. And when we it comes time to clean. everyone cleans. I would never tell someone to do anything I myself wouldnt do. And my officers are the same.


                            • #15
                              Probies do dishes, period. That's tradition and that's what the fire service is based on. You say he thinks of you as a rookie. You are still on probation so yes you are a rookie!

                              As for your other issues about pulling a truck out or doing a leg lock, those are departament issues that must be taken care of in house and not on the internet.

                              Advice: Quit whining and prove yourself by your actions. Become the best fireman on your department and have everyone else look up to you. It can be done.


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