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Stubborn Chief

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  • Stubborn Chief

    Our department has a problem with our chief. First off he is only in town two days out of the week for about eight hours in which he watches TV and leaves the work to the rest of us (me). Anyways for the past year now I've been trying to fight these new European style helmets that our chief ordered. The helmets are the Assult helmets made by Lion Apparel
    He bought four of them for us to try and we told him that we didn't like them because of the lack of the brim on the back to keep tar and hot water off the neck (nevermind they look goofy). Before we had enough time to test these helmets out he buys four more. Anyways sure enough myself and another firefighter were burnt from tar running down our necks. After that I never wore that helmet again. Well, today at our meeting it all came to a head. I was as tactful as I could be in trying to express the safety concerns of myself and the other guys without starting a huge argument. But he is trying to put his foot down and force us to do something that we feel in unsafe (wear those helmets). He said that the opinions of the firefighters doesn't count, but I explained to him that we are the ones doing the dirty work. I've done everything I can next to taking it up with the township trustees in their meeting. So I guess what I'm asking is for advice as to what else to do because I'll fight it to the end even if it means having to quit.

    Thanks and stay safe,
    Lt. James Woda

  • #2
    If you feel that your life and health is in jeopardy you need to advance to the next step as soon as you can. You have tried talking to your chief and that doesn't work. Is there anyone else with these concerns?? Or are you a lone dog?? Good Luck

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    • #3
      I have at least six firefighters (the same six who does the firefighting) behind me on this. But as I said the chief dosen't care what they think.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like you have a very serious problem here buddy. One of the biggest responsabilites of the cheif is too make sure his guy's are safe. I mean as much as our dangerous occupation will allow us to be right. As you are the Lt. he should be listening to your advice and any concerns you are having, personaly I hate those helmets you are describing, I think they should be used by a swat team not firefighters because the problem of hot water and tar runing down our necks. Anyways what I am trying to say here is if he continues doing what he is doing and not considering the safty of his men. you should go talk to his supperior.

        Anyways good luck with your problem hopefully it will be solved soon as possible with as little confrontation.

        Yves Bourgoin

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        • #5
          Is this a paid department? OR volunteer or what? How many members do you have? If it's paid it sounds like you need an IAFF Local. Is this a paid Chief? or voted on by the membership volunteer thing? If talking to the town's leadership doesn't work..maybe a "no-confidence" vote made public will? I know it has had prompt results someplaces.It sounds troubling that a Fire Chief doesn't put the safety or concerns of his front line troops as a top priority. Sounds like he doesn't need to be in charge anymore.I know that sounds harsh, but our job is dangerous enough without somebody disregaarding legitimate concerns. Besides all the other issue's those helmets look pretty dumb.Our Chief replaced all our "metro" style helmets with the traditional styled ones..so at least we upgraded: )

          ------------------
          Any Opinion expressed, are my own, and do not reflect my Department...RB

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          • #6
            In my department, the members vote for a chief and deputy every other year. The district sets up guidlines for qualifications but in the end, the members have the right to decide who they want making the decisions for their safety. Our current chief has faught time and time again for the members to have this right. Maybe a change in command will bring things in order. "A little revolution now and again never hurt anyone" - Hunt for the Red October

            ************
            These are only me opinions.

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            • #7
              Hey is a problem..our Fire Chief has been in her position for over 20 years..very set in her ways and very reactive. Her neice is a city council member and the fire captain (second in command).. our community is close to 50 sq miles and growing rapidly. our problem is that the top two senior officer not only change thier minds when the wind blows ,but will not put the changes in writing until after the have humiliated thier members openly.. these two individuals repeatedly ignore the training and experiance of their members ,but unwilling to allow thier members to perform training in house, they feel that using outside instructors is better. We have all tried to speak to them but are told who runs the show.. anyone have any suggestions on reforming.....

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              • #8
                Do what I did....Start writing letters to Editors of newspapers!! A few years ago, I mailed two (2) page letters and within 14 days, the Fire Chief, the Assistant Chief and a Lieutenant all resigned and ran with their tails stuck between their legs like the dogs that they were. Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword!

                ------------------
                "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do what I did....Start writing letters to Editors of newspapers!! A few years ago, I mailed two (2) page letters and within 14 days, the Fire Chief, the Assistant Chief and a Lieutenant all resigned and ran with their tails stuck between their legs like the dogs that they were. Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword!

                  ------------------
                  "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

                  Comment

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