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  • Problems at the firehouse

    Hey guys, figured I would vent a little on here. Situation is for too long now, the firehouse has not been run right. Proceedures aren't followed, rules are broken constantly, we have a serious lack of proper leadership.

    The problem lies within many of our officers. Chief, Head Captain, one of the Safety officers, 2 Lieutenants, treasurer, president, and maybe some others. It has gotten to the point where lawsuits are coming out. Parents of one member suing another member for fraud (from in the firehouse).


    Its not just me that knows this, other members aswell know this, but we are the minority here. We know the problem lies with the guys that make the decissions. How do you fix the problem when the officers are appointed by the chief which is in for the next two years? Its gotten to the point where it isn't being resolved inside the firehouse anymore, its gotten out, now we have lawsuits, and other involvement.

    We went from 2 years ago, being the company that used training facilities 2nd most in the county to last. We were mutual aid to many surrounding companies, we no longer are. We lost all respect as a company, and we feel like we have our hands tied behind our backs.

    One one hand you want it fixed, but the only way thats possible is possibly risking having the company crippled, which works against what we are there for, and the reason we want it fixed.

    Basically I want to know how do you make the big whigs FOLLOW the rules and proceedures when they are the ones supposed to be enforcing them?

  • #2
    Who appoints the chief? If the members vote him in, can they recall him or remove him from office? Do you have a fire commission or board of trustees? If so, what are they doing about this?

    Problems like this do not go away easily.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KenNFD1219
      Who appoints the chief? If the members vote him in, can they recall him or remove him from office? Do you have a fire commission or board of trustees? If so, what are they doing about this?

      Problems like this do not go away easily.
      Problem lies in the numbers. We have about 20 members. 7-8 of them are the officers or position holders that are the problem. A couple more member are loyal friends/drinking buddies with the chief.

      This past election was rigged by them anyway. The other canidate for chief's voting rights were in question, so a letter was written to double check, read in the meeting. NOT following our bylaws, a month before hand, the head captain made a motion to skip the election since no positions were contested (yet, cause the other canidates rights were in question). Plus, according to our bylaws, you dont need voting rights to run for a position.

      They also changed it to 3 year terms this past election, and rigged it, so they locked themselves in for 3 years. Anything besides for chief, asst chief and 2nd asst chief.... is appointed by the chief.

      I have said since this current chief has been in, the firehouse went from a place of training, work, and fun, to a frat house, where they drink, hang out, joke around, and do things how they want, not the way the bylaws say.

      And like I said before, who do you turn to inorder to enforce these rules on the people that are SUPPOSED to be enforcing them?

      Comment


      • #4
        You can:

        1) Quit, You can either go quitely or make it known to the community why you quit. If you quit and then raise issue with what goes on in the FD, members of the FD will just say you could not make it as a fire fighter (or any other story that works for them) and this is how you are getting back at them. It is hard to change things from the outside.

        2) Try and change form the inside. This is not easy and will most likely brand you as a trouble maker. If enough members want to change for the better, the department will change. Someone need to lead the change agents in the FD. Fortunatley, you, and I am sure other members, remember when your FD was better.

        3) Ignore it, but understand that you become part of the problem.

        You are in a tough, almost no win situation. Let your conscience be your guide-do what is right for you, your family, and your community. Only you know that answer.

        Does the chief of your FD answer to anyone or just to the membership?
        -------------------
        "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
        -----------------------------------------------
        Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=Lieutenant516]Problem lies in the numbers. We have about 20 members. 7-8 of them are the officers or position holders that are the problem. A couple more member are loyal friends/drinking buddies with the chief.

          I do believe their is social clubs available for people like this mentioned above, to have a crew like that running your fd I would be ashamed, and discouraged.The chief and his/her fellow officers have to answer to somebody right? I don't have much more to say right now and I agree with KenNFD1219 with his post but I will say don't quit you have to ask yourself why your on the dept. I can tell you that it's not because of your chief or yor best buddy is on your answer is because your their to help out the community and people that your fd protects,not to mention your family,so look at the big picture the residents and your fd could suffer losing a good ff over your fd issues and is it worth it? Can't get any worse right? Good luck to you and your fd!BE SAFE

          Comment


          • #6
            Well the Chief is the highest position. He doesn't answer to anyone. He also is more friends to his buddies in the firehouse than their 'boss'. And quitting really isn't an option. I am looking to fix the department, not leave and let it continue this way. I have already lost their likings when I told them how I felt in last months meeting.

            I have made clear to them that I am not their to make friends (been there for 3 years now, so i'm not that new). I am there to get the job done, done right, and done in a way that everyone goes home. I am all about training, which teaches FF's how to be safer and more effectively get the job done.

            I'm at the point, along with 3 or so other members, where we are willing to do anything to get the department back on the right track, anything that wont cripple or destroy the firehouse. This is a tough bind, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way out of this.

            Comment


            • #7
              Your fire department is not the "top of the heap" most likely. Taxpayers are. Possibly your Mayor and Town Council. They may not ever actually get involved, but that does not mean they aren't. Check into your local town government and see what/if it says about the fire department. It may surprise you, it may not. Make sure everything that is going on is documented as best it can be. If lawsuits are involved, that means it's outside your department and outside people are getting involved. That alone may get some problems taken care of.
              "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

              Comment


              • #8
                Lieutenant516, from a very personal point of experience, I do not envy your position. It True Blue sucks, 100%. All I can openly offer is good luck and best wishes.

                Also, if like you've alluded to, there are law suits pending, then this situation is now outside the dept. This might be a good advantage.... but like any advantage, there are always two sides to a blade. Take care with that.

                One last thing, because of the potential law suits, take care what you vent off here in the Forums - just a little CYA for you - because even though your's are the best of intentions, they can bite, and BITE HARD. Trust me on that one too, again, from experience.

                If you need "an ear to tug on", just pm me.
                If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, well with the city, there are 5 on council, the mayor, and 4 others. 1 is the lieutenant, the other is the wife of the captain. We live in a small town. I dont know, just seems since we switched chiefs, EVERYTHING has been going downhill. I kept mentioning things to them, like we need training, we need to do things according to the bylaws and SOPs. The dont listen, and dont stop. I'm just a little annoying voice to them, trying to get the company back on track.

                  There are MANY problems we have had, where we said we would take care of them OVER a year ago, and still nothing has been done. Purchasing masks for members, portables that work, A/C in our engine doesn't work, radio doesn't transmit right one of the trucks. (Each of these issues were brought up over a year ago, and still not resolved. We set dates to make the purchases, and they just ignore that fact and say we'll get to it later). Everything is done behind memberships back, just in their interests, spec'ing out a new truck without lettings members be aware, or even the Asst Chief (Just that group of buddies). The don't include the Asst Chief in anything, cause she isn't apart of their group. Its just a BIG mess and still trying to figure out how to clean it up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Alright, I think I decided a course of action. I will have a meeting with our mayor and have a talk with him. He doesn't get along with any of the guys that I have a problem with, so I'm sure he can relate. I have talked to him a few times, not FD related, and he knows I'm a good guy. I feel this is the best course of action, and will help out the depatment overall.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lieutenant516
                      Yeah, well with the city, there are 5 on council, the mayor, and 4 others. 1 is the lieutenant, the other is the wife of the captain. We live in a small town. I dont know, just seems since we switched chiefs, EVERYTHING has been going downhill. I kept mentioning things to them, like we need training, we need to do things according to the bylaws and SOPs. The dont listen, and dont stop. I'm just a little annoying voice to them, trying to get the company back on track.

                      There are MANY problems we have had, where we said we would take care of them OVER a year ago, and still nothing has been done. Purchasing masks for members, portables that work, A/C in our engine doesn't work, radio doesn't transmit right one of the trucks. (Each of these issues were brought up over a year ago, and still not resolved. We set dates to make the purchases, and they just ignore that fact and say we'll get to it later). Everything is done behind memberships back, just in their interests, spec'ing out a new truck without lettings members be aware, or even the Asst Chief (Just that group of buddies). The don't include the Asst Chief in anything, cause she isn't apart of their group. Its just a BIG mess and still trying to figure out how to clean it up.
                      You sure you don't live down the street from me, sounds like my town.

                      Just kidding.

                      I wish you the best of luck, from my heart, concerning speaking to the Mayor.

                      You are all heart for standing up for the FD and community.

                      Melissa

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