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Been Axed, and boy does it hurt

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  • Been Axed, and boy does it hurt

    Since there are some here on the forums that seem like a bundle of good info and seem to actually want to help people, I'm offering up my life story of being in a Rescue Squad, and then getting kicked out. Getting kicked out ranks right up there in my top 5 list of worst possible things to happen to me and I'd like some advice on what to do.

    Here goes:
    (I'll just put in the stuff I think is relevant, if someone wants more info just ask, I'm a bundle of talk just waiting to be asked)

    I joined a Rescue Squad/Fire Department just over a year ago. Was put on the regular probation period (6 months). Doing good on that, but then one day got in a big argument with another member and punched a dent in the wall. The next day (cause I did this at bout 8pm) I went to Lowes and bought paint and plaster and fixed it up good as new. Chief sat me down for a little talk and told me not to do that again. Needless to say I was grateful that that is all that happened. When it came time for me to be voted into membership or be given the boot they instead voted to keep me on probation another 3 months. Oh, also they voted on that a month after I was supposed to come up for vote, they seem to have just forgotten about me that month though. So I'm now supposed to come off probation in March. Well just in the end of Febuary I get in a fight with a fellow employee at my job. Just so happens though that my job is right across the street from the FD and all of us go there constantly (my job was at a convience store). I of course, and with good reason, got fired from my paying job. I deserved it I know. So a few days later I get invited to have another sit down with the Chief (now I'm confused, can't figure out what I've done wrong). He tells me that because of where I worked it's an embaressment on the Station and that I'm being put on suspension for a month. That's the good news. It's now also time for me to be voted on again. I'm given the option of withdrawing from the station in good faith or hanging in and hoping that the membership will not kick me out. We can all see what happened, I got kicked out. So.... Now I've tried applying at another station in the nearby area, they asked me to revoke my application before it even made it to membership. So now I'm basicly screwed cause I can't join a new station.

    What ya'll think I should do?
    What's your opinons on what was done to me?
    Oh, and I know I have an anger problem, so spare me the lecture please.

    Fir Na Tine
    Fir Na Au Saol

  • #2
    I'll spare you the lecture, but have you thought about anger management classes? No one wants to work/volunteer with someone who can't control their temper. Now, without lecturing, I can't think of anything else to say. Perhaps if you can prove you're going to classes to control your problem, they may reconsider in a year or two?
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)


    • #3
      Needle, I dont' know how much help I can be, however I can offer you some words from experience.

      I know what it's like to let your anger consume you to the point that you lash out, but when it starts affecting your life and costing you things that you love, then it's time to do something. You've already covered the first step by admitting that you have an issue with anger, so now take the next step and do something about it. I attended anger management classes, and they helped. Recognizing that you have a problem and doing something about it is not anything to be ashamed of, in fact it's to be commended. It takes a big person to recognize faults within themselves and be willing to take the steps necessary to find change.

      Now I'm sure you're wondering where I'm going with this......... so here it is. I'm thinking that if you were to take the steps necessary to gain control over that nasty emotion, and could prove to your chief that you were, then maybe they'd be willing to allow you another chance. It's difficult to allow second chances to those that don't want to change, or see that they have a problem; however, when you see someone finding the courage to take those steps it's a lot easier to be supportive and offer another chance.

      I hope things work out for you. Please keep us posted and I'll be rooting for you. One last word of advice though, find and deal with the root of your short fuse, it will benefit you tenfold in the long run.
      To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

      IACOJ-WOT proud

      GO WHITE SOX!!!!!


      • #4
        It sounds like you know you messed up and that's a lot more then some people are willing to admit. You're already heading down the right road to get over this. I would have to say that what happened was probably warranted and I'd agree with Pfire in that taking steps to show you're correcting the problem will help. I think it's probably the only chance you have if you want back on Rescue. Anger management would be good. Personally, the thing that changed me from being angry all the time and punching stuff, to having the longest fuse someone could have, was going to a good church. I still get angry sometimes like anyone, but it takes a LOT more to make me angry. And when I am angry, it's controlled and subsides quickly. A good church can be hard to find, but there are good churches and when you find it, God really does change lives. Anyway, I'm not pushing religion down your throat, just offering my suggestion. Feel free to ask me about it.
        Last edited by Jedimike007; 07-09-2003, 04:17 PM.


        • #5
          thanks for the nice replies. i know i've got a problem, and i know somethings gotta be done about it. but.... that's for another story.

          mostly i'm looking for advice on what to do about getting axed (unfairly in my opinion). i've had some odd advice about it from others (someone even mentioned filing a lawsuit against them). I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas.
          Fir Na Tine
          Fir Na Au Saol


          • #6
            Originally posted by needlejockey
            thanks for the nice replies. i know i've got a problem, and i know somethings gotta be done about it. but.... that's for another story.

            mostly i'm looking for advice on what to do about getting axed (unfairly in my opinion). i've had some odd advice about it from others (someone even mentioned filing a lawsuit against them). I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas.

            You know you have a problem. Thats the first step. It is not another story. If you cannot keep your anger and attitude in check, how will I trust you when the stuff hits the fan. Those who work or volunteer in public safety are under a microscope 24/7. Is it fair, no. But it is how it is. You represent a brotherhood greater than the sum of its parts, and you need to behave as such. You want advice, get help, suck it up and deal with it. You made your situation, now you have to deal with the consequences.
            IACOJ, Flatlander Division


            • #7
              Originally posted by needlejockey
              mostly i'm looking for advice on what to do about getting axed (unfairly in my opinion). i've had some odd advice about it from others (someone even mentioned filing a lawsuit against them). I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas.
              needle, I'd feel the same way if i was in your shoes. however, i think you need to think about it from your dept point of view. they might see you as a liability, because of you your anger. in one fight, you ended up punching a hole in a wall. and you patched it up, which was probably the only thing that kept you from not getting kicked off in the first place. 2 major fights in the span of a year. that's not good, especially if you are only a probationary member. that's what your probation is, to decide the FD if they want to keep you on as a regular. 2 major fights in a year. they might not think you would be a good person to have on the department. and keep in mind, you did bring this situation upon yourself.
              Oh, also they voted on that a month after I was supposed to come up for vote, they seem to have just forgotten about me that month though.
              this happened to me too. it was probably just a clerical error, or an accident. don't take it personally.

              remember, departments talk to each other. maybe you should take some time off from emergency services and reapply in a year or 2. doing it now isn't a good idea, because you are fresh in everyone's mind. after a couple years, maybe they will be willing to give you another chance.
              If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!



              • #8
                thanks, you make more sense than i wanted, but i can't ignore it.
                Fir Na Tine
                Fir Na Au Saol


                • #9
                  First dont sue........thats the most surest way to NOT ever get voted back on/in.You have identified your area of weakness now work on it ! Departments talk, so let them say something good about you vs the negative. Unfortunatley your actions do impact your department as a whole, and henceforth your current situation. I wish you good luck in finding a solution to mitigate your problem.
                  IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                  Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                  ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                  RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                  LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                  I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                  "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                  http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115


                  • #10
                    Good Luck,

                    If it was me, I'd leave the lawsuit situation alone. The only thing you will do is pull your problem into the public eye. You would lose the case and your shot at being a FF in the area you live in. First, take anger management classes. Then get a fresh start and move to another area and try things out elsewhere.

                    You could always fake a injury in the station, they would never get rid of someone that is on leave from work with a injury!
                    LOL, Thats a Joke!


                    • #11
                      Someone actually suggested filing a lawsuit? That's definatly not the way to go, and it's a case that would surely be lost simply due to the fact that it's a privilige and not a right to be in the emergency services. Also, not to mention the fact that they gave you "due process" and didn't just suspend you without cause. When you're in this line of work, like has been mentioned before, you are held to a higher standard. It's just the way it is. Ever look at how many people come out and watch when something is going on? Or how people wave at you when you're in one of the trucks? It's a very respectable profession...career or volunteer, people respect what we do. With that being said, how you conduct yourself is a reflection of every orgainzation that you serve. I work for a commercial EMS service and I volunteer Fire and EMS in my town. The drinking and driving example I read earlier was a great one. If I got a DUI, I lose my volunteer services and my paid service, for something totally unrelated to the job. How you conduct yourself in public is a direct reflection on the services in which you serve.
                      Change your image to the public, conduct yourself like you deserve the privilige of being in the emergency services...and just maybe you will have the chance to try again. Good luck.


                      • #12
                        I'm given the option of withdrawing from the station in good faith or hanging in and hoping that the membership will not kick me out.
                        This was the writing on the wall which you did not read well.


                        • #13
                          Writing on the wall

                          A couple of questions.
                          1. Did either of the two fights involve a physical altercation with the other(s)involved?
                          2. What were the circumstances that resulted in the fights? In other words, what was said, done or implied that you felt necessary to fight with the other person(s)?

                          Some observations:

                          1. I don't agree with E229Lt that the writing on the wall was the request to withdraw, your probationary periods, the two discussions with the chief as well as the request to withdraw were all warnings that you were "under the microscope". If you didn't see that then you don't have the necessary skills to deal with the pressures of the emergency services.

                          2. The fire/EMS service is given a trust by the public. Any violation of that trust results in problems for that service particularly if it is volunteer. Their very financial survival requires that trust to remain unviolated. Can you see where your problem(s) very quickly becomes their problem(s)? If a civilian gets into trouble for let's just say assualt, it's just that on page 3 in the newspaper the next day. However when one of us gets arrested for the same offense, it becomes headlines on the front page along with "FIREFIGHTER/SQUAD MEMBER ARRESTED FOR ....."

                          3. Lawsuit equals, you will NEVER BE WELCOME IN MY FIREHOUSE AGAIN! Even if you win your case, and I've never heard of anyone who did, you will never be welcome there. No one will talk to you, and everyone will make your life there a living hell. DON'T GO THAT ROUTE. Your only just likely to make a few lawyers a few more bucks and Lord knows they don't need that; not at our expense.

                          4. Why do you want to be a member anyway? Is it for the right reasons? I suggest that you look at this very carefully. If you were serious about the lawsuit, isn't that about you and you only? The service exists for the public not you or even the service or the organization that provides that service. The lawsuit serves only you and penalizes the service, the squad/fire company, and the general public. I suspect that your motivations for joining the company have nothing to do with service to the public.


                          • #14
                            You'll Need To Show A Track Record Of Improvement

                            I really like PFire's advice. I also recommend getting involved in the martial arts. They're not really about fighting, they're about self-discipline & control.

                            The biggest thing is that you will have to wait awhile: 1-2 years before re-applying. When you do, you'll need to go to the chief 1st and show him hard evidence that you've changed. Documentation of anger management classes may help. Letters from current employer, clergy, etc. that show you've made a major effort, and that you've been in stressful situations without loosing your temper would be very helpful.

                            You should also prepare yourself for the possibility that you might not be accepted when you want to re-apply - or that the chief may counsel you that you shouldn't re-apply. That will be a big disappointment. How you handle that if it happens will show how much you've learned about life and matured.

                            Please view this as a lesson about learning to live well and not as a challenge to get on the dept. You'll always win on the learning side - only the future will tell if you get on the rescue squad.
                            Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.


                            • #15
                              Today's lecture will be on the subject of......

                              It's not the writing on the wall, but rather, the fist into the wall that should have been your wake up call.
                              You don't want a lecture, but you seem to think that there are easy answers here that we can just throw out like some sort of pixie dust.
                              In your current state of mind, you will NEVER accept directions or direct orders well. For some reason, you take things way too personally. Fighting with the people you work with is never a good idea if you have longevity and job security in mind. And when you couple that with the stressful situation of a building on fire and its owner standing there in your face screaming all sorts of nasty crap at you, you will more than likely do what you do best and the city and fire department will face a civil lawsuit and you will be hauled to jail, simply because you got mad.
                              Anger management might be a start, but I don't think that it is the end all/cure all for you. You have to look really deep inside you and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. If you want to devote it to helping others, then you have to develop a core sense for helping you first.
                              And one last tidbit; unless you have spilled a hot liquid in your lap and have Johnny Cochrane as your attorney; forget about suing. You will make more enemies than friends and make a bad situation worse.
                              I like my firefighters to be aggressive....when mitigating hazards. I don't want them exchanging recipes or blows for that matter. Well, not blows anyway.
                              Good luck in your future endeavors.
                              Visit www.iacoj.com
                              Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                              RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)


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