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  • DC Chief Steps up to bat again!

    And Strikes out!!!!!! What an idiot.... Why would anyone in their right mind make such a ridiculous move to transfer all the people that have trained in specialties. They invested the money in these folks to train them and then to move them is outrageous. Todays' fire service has become the service of specialist as opposed to the fire service of yesteryear that sported generalist!

    I think he must have hit his head on something...or perhaps him and former Mayor Barry have some of the same friends ...

    What do you think?
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  • #2
    Normally I agree wholeheartedly with Harry Carter. In his current commentary, he writes about the reluctance of the fire service to 'go outside' for leaders. In theory, I agree with him. In practice, my department has now 'gone outside' twice for fire chiefs, and both have been total disasters, for different reasons.

    Otis Latin, now Chief in Ft. Lauderdale, came to DC from Houston, fresh from a stint as EMS Assistant Chief. He waltzed into DC as the first outsider to lead (I use that term very loosely) our department since the founding of the paid department in 1871. He came alone, and never had a chance. Not surprisingly, all of the senior staff he inherited resented him. He was gone within three years.

    Ronnie Few, fresh from stints as the Fire Chief in Augusta and East Point, Ga. took a different tack. He hired all manner of cronies from his old departments, and built an ivory tower from which he has attempted to run the department. He takes no advice from any of the senior managers. He, too, will fail, hopefully before he does much more damage to our department.

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    • #3
      You want A.D. Bell? He worked wonders in PG County. Anyone who can unite the career & volunteer folks here, is one a million.

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      • #4
        If I remember correctly, the only way the two groups were united was in opposition to him!

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        • #5
          I just read Harry Carters commentary...

          I figured out that the second department he was speaking about was DCFD, but who was the first. These guys seem to take the cake!



          [ 11-15-2001: Message edited by: sconfire ]
          Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

          Captain Grant Mishoe, Curator of History
          North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum
          "You'll never know where you're going until you remember where you came from"
          www.legacyofheroes.org
          www.firehistory.org
          www.sconfire.com

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          • #6
            Exactly my point E6.

            Isn't that saying alot?

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            • #7
              The job of a Fire Chief is many times a thankless one. I liken being a Fire Chief to being at the tip of a triangle...the politicians are on one side, the public on the other, and your personnel are the base. If the base is supportive and strong, the it supports the rest of the structure...the department runs efficiently. Undue pressure from both sides want to make the structure collapse.

              I believe that someone should be able to come up through the ranks and become the Chief of their Department, if it is their aspiration. Sometimes, this is a double edged sword...some people rise through the ranks, making note of everything that felt their predecessors did wrong and when they become Chief work with their personnel to make things better...strengthening the base.

              You can't change the world in a day, but you can begin to institute changes as you go along.

              Sometimes, fire chiefs forget where they came from and get the "god" complex, ignoring their personnel in order to please the politicians, or caving in to public pressure, weaking their base of support, ie, the firefighters.

              Then there are the departments that are so screwed up by the actions and policies of their Chief officers that it takes someone from the "outside" to get the operation moving in the right direction again.

              It seems that in the DCFD, it's just the opposite...they need someone from the inside who has a clue (unlike Ronnie Few!) to instill pride and professionalism. The Chief before Ronnie Few was a real jake...he stood up for his personnel and his beliefs.

              I hope that the Brothers and Sisters of the DCFD get a "real" Chief when "No Clue Few" gets the axe.

              [ 11-15-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
              ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
              Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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              • #8
                It wouldnt be Detroit would it?I know they were having troubles but yes DCFD is in some serious need of new leadership.

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                • #9
                  The first department in Harry Carter's commentary -- the department that bucked the judge's orders and issued temporary promotional assignments -- was not Detroit. I'd be curious to know what department that is. It's supposedly located in the Northeast.

                  Detroit is referenced earlier in Carter's article. We're the "major Mid-western city that uses seniority as the sole basis for advancement." He seems derisive toward this promotional system. Yet he is also derisive of Ivory Tower management and butt-smooching politicking. Our system eliminates politics from the equation and delivers officers who are all fireground-tested. No system is perfect, since no people are perfect, but our system is less corrupt than others and it produces quality officers who have paid their dues in the trenches and therefore know how to relate to the men on the back end.

                  Carter also writes: "Heck this is a fire department that sank so low as to have the city administration appoint a police department chief officer as the fire chief." But that's because we have an arrogant (outgoing) mayor who uses the same "stick it to the troops method of management" that Carter is so against. By the way, said cop is no longer fire commissioner; he's back where he belongs as police chief (though the new administration will likely broom him).

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                  • #10
                    I tried fruitlessly to search the web for an answer.

                    "Like many cities, this urban garden spot"

                    Could "garden" be a clue seeing how Jersey is the "Garden State"?
                    IACOJ Agitator
                    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

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                    • #11
                      Our system eliminates politics from the equation and delivers officers who are all fireground-tested. No system is perfect, since no people are perfect, but our system is less corrupt than others and it produces quality officers who have paid their dues in the trenches and therefore know how to relate to the men on the back end.
                      DFD FF I have to disagree with this statement. Just because someone has been with the department for 15 years does not automatically make him a good officer. A more "fair and uncorrupt system" maybe, but as far as "fireground tested" and "quality officers" I strongly disagree with that. I don't mean this in a negative way, but we have all stood beside someone who just puts in their time, scorns continuing education, puts as little effort into their job as absolutely necessary and has the opinion that no one else opinion matters but their own. A fireground tested and quality officer? I don't think so. Seniority should play some part in the promotion process I fully agree with that, however so should willingness to learn and change.

                      [ 11-18-2001: Message edited by: LadyCapn ]
                      IACOJ

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                      • #12
                        I am about 80% sure the 1st department is Boston. I know the union does not like the mayor much, and they just got a new commissioner.
                        This space for rent

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                        • #13
                          The rank and file at the DFD love their promotion system for one simple reason-it can't be corrupted by politics. You only need to look at the promotional exam/ favoritism scandals in the DPD to see how bad it gets. Just visit the DFD, and see what they are up against, and it will give you a whole new perspective.

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                          • #14
                            Well said, gunnyv. Right on the money, especially in regards the the Detroit Police Department promotional exam/favoritism scandals.

                            LadyCapn, you're right that there are some potential shortcomings with our system. But our enviroment and our membership mitigate such weaknesses. The first officer rank our firefighters reach is sergeant. Of current sergeants I work with, the shortest time it took to get there is 16 years, the longest time is 22 years. No matter how much of a jake you are, you can't go that long in a city as busy as Detroit without seeing a LOT of fire. And the peer pressure from our membership to be an ***-kicking fireman is extremely strong. So, yes, our officers are fireground tested. And my opinion is our system produces quality officers at a percentage at least as high as anywhere else. I would put our officers up against any in the world.

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                            • #15
                              So, yes, our officers are fireground tested. And my opinion is our system produces quality officers at a percentage at least as high as anywhere else. I would put our officers up against any in the world.

                              PREACH IT BRO!!!!!
                              WE DONT HAVE A LOT BUT WHAT WE DO HAVE ARE SOME OF THE BEST AROUND.
                              Go raibh maith agat Go gcuire Dia an t-ádh ort! Dyfal donc a dyrr y garreg!!!!!

                              IN MEMORY OF THE "MOOSE" 1974-2002<br />Ni bheidh mo leitheid ar'ris ann.

                              Brothers till the end. "If they don't have GUINNESS in heaven we aint goin!"

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