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Teaching lesson vs. harrassment

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  • Teaching lesson vs. harrassment

    Hypothetical situation: A probationary firefighter goes on a call for a fire alarm. He enters the structure with his partner (no signs of smoke/fire on arrival). The probationary FF does not have an scba on and his partner does. The call turns out to be a false alarm. The crews return to the station were upon they make the probationary FF don an scba and wear it non-stop for the next 3+ hours to "teach him a lesson." What are your opinions out there: does this constitute a "teaching lesson" or harrassment.

  • #2
    This constitutes a lesson and he should stop whining.

    I know the guys here can make many a point about places where you go for alarm investigations frequently and then all of a sudden this time it is a real fire and you are useless because you are nto ready to work. This is the mentality that gets people killed.

    You wear the pack becaue it is part of your PPE. And I don't mean having it just hanging on your shoulders, the straps are taught, and the waist belt tightened. The tank may not have to be turned on but you are ready to go. And, make sure you grab a tool as you are getting off the truck. It always annoys me when a guy is not ready to go to work at a fire.

    In this situation, you have your partner ready to go but you are useless to him and he now has to leave with you, wasting precious time, so you can gear up and grab equipment. By the time this is all said and done another 2 minutes or so has passed that could have been spent getting to the seat of the fire or investigating.

    This is not harrassment, this is company offficer level discipline. Kudos to the officer for proper training and reinforcement and also to the crew for looking out for the new guy and thier own asses in the future. I'll bet that the probie will wear his tank from now on though, won't he?
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    • #3
      It isn't harrassment to me.
      I think I would have made him get his airpack on prior to entering the building on the investigation.
      To me it sounds like the probee thinks he knows more then the department sog's. Myself I would consider having him do all the housework on air so he has a better feel for how long a bottle will last. He then will get extra practice filling the scba with the cascade.

      Just remember to fill out a drill sheet, might as well get some hours too

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      • #4
        We had a probie do that once. He got to crawl around the station exterior packed up for about an hour. He has never done that since.

        You are teaching him a lesson, you are reenforcing that you have to be ready all the times to operate and do your job.
        AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

        IAFF Local 3900

        IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

        ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

        F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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        • #5
          And his "Partner" should be right beside him in his SCBA for allowing him to go in without it....

          Firefighting is a TEAM sport... check your buddy!!
          Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
          "Everybody Goes Home"

          IACOJ 2003

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          • #6
            Definately a lesson.

            If you cannot get off the rig ready to work, you shouldn't be on the rig at all.
            IACOJ Agitator
            Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

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            • #7
              Definetly a lesson, it will permentantly engrain such a mistake into a brain so much that he will never be caught without it again. Nothing about that is in any way harrassment. Practice makes Permenant.

              mtnfireguy is right, Fire Fighting is a TEAM sport!
              IACOJ

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              • #8
                This will come as a shock, but I have a different take on this;

                1. It is not harrassment

                2. This type of "leeson" howver, is for the Academy. For example, the probie who falls asleep in class is made to carry a piloow with him for a week.

                3. The people really responsible for this situation
                a) the company officer
                b) the accountability officer
                c) the senior fire fighter who went in with him. He is morally and ethically responsible for the probie's safety if he is partnered with him.

                These people should have dealt with the problem at it's source. Not at the station after the call.
                PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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                • #9
                  Sorry guys, I gotta disagree.
                  Wearing a pack for 3 hours? Without the benefit of rehab or a rest? Even having someone crawl around for an hour. That wouldn't be expected of them during normal operating conditions or even during training.
                  Hmmmmmmmm, haven't we read stories on here about how training officers pushed the guys just a little too hard during the hot weather or made them run just a few too many laps and the recruits ended up in cardiac arrest as a result?
                  YES the guy needs to learn a lesson, and you do that through education and discipline. Ban him from the fire ground, suspend him from the department for a set period of time. DO NOT do anything which could come back and bite you in the a** at a later date or cause any potential harm to the firefighter.
                  You are not his parents, nor are you god. Discipline him as a professional and with dignity.
                  IACOJ

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                  • #10
                    hmmmmm

                    I can not help but to wonder if this is not a realy incident and not hypothetical at all...but...

                    If the policy says you will wear SCBA then the "probie" should know to do it and do it... If his partner allowed him/her to go in without it...then they too are at fault. TEAMWORK...as someone else said.

                    However, this type of punishment may be a bit excessive in my opinion. As ladycapn says....What about REHAB? What impact will this have on the probie for the rest of the shift?

                    Teaching a lesson is one thing..but the extent to which it is done in this case may be excessive.
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      As far as those asking about Rehab, they never said he was bunkered during those 3 hours or even breathing air. They only said he was wearing it for 3 hours. It was also never stated what activities the probie was doing for those 3 hours. As far as we know, he might have been sitting watching TV.
                      IACOJ Agitator
                      Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

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                      • #12
                        I think that sometimes a little pain goes a long ways. We have had people forget their tools on alarm drops. The cure stand t attention for 30 minutes arms straight out in front of you palms down and an ax on top. After about 10-15 minutes you arms are burning. That was used during my time in the Army.
                        AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

                        IAFF Local 3900

                        IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

                        ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

                        F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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                        • #13
                          To me it sounds like the probee thinks he knows more then the department sog's.
                          So, exactly what are the department's SOGs? What was this guys level of training? Sometimes here on the forums we are a little too quick to judge.

                          While something was definitely done wrong, it's hard to judge from here whether its as simple as presented. A lot of departments have a culture of not taking AFAs seriously and maybe this guy was just emulating what he's seen others do all the time. Not to excuse it, but the new guys learn from what they see the old guys DO, a lot more than from what they SAY.
                          And I've got to agree, the partner and the company officer are AT LEAST as much to blame.
                          TW
                          Essex Junction Fire Dept.
                          Vermont

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                          • #14
                            3 hours of wearing a pack to me sounds like FUN! He should of had it on when he got out of the truck though and the guy he went in with should of smacked some sense into him and told him to get a pack on. I dont think that they would of made him wear bunker gear for these 3 hours or have him breathing air so rehab wouldn't really be need all to much. A bottle or 2 of water and he would be go to go. Then again im only an explorer but uh can i wear a pack for 3 hours?

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                            • #15
                              First a couple of questions. Is this the first offense?

                              Has the probationary firefighter been told that air packs will be worn on all alarm investegations? (Should be logical, but if they havent been told then they have an out.)

                              I personally dont see it as harrassment but, I suppose that there should have been some sort of verbal warning made with the emphasis that second chances arent frequently given if things were to go sideways. I also agree with the others that the partner partially to blame because he let the probie go in. I think the others have pretty much said it all.


                              Edited because I thought of some stuff I forgot to say when I originally posted.
                              Last edited by Lewiston2Capt; 07-29-2003, 01:28 PM.
                              Shawn M. Cecula
                              Firefighter
                              IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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