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Fired for whistle-blowing in N.C.

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  • #31
    Definitely a good case in my opinion to file a lawsuit under the federal whistleblower laws.

    I didn't read anything in the news story that this guy was going to be a problem from day one. Obviously they had no reason to fire him and did it anyway because they got busted doing an illegal burn. I would own that fire department, or at minimum, have my job back with backpay...

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ChicagoFF View Post
      This may come as a shock to some, but I have done plenty of landscaping around our house. It's my house and I'm happy to help improve it. I have even - gasp - come in on my off day to help with house improvements. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your house and taking time to improve it.

      P.S. The colts wern't doing such a good job of holding on to the ball either!
      You did the landscape work by choice. We have a firefighter who loves to garden and mantains the plants and shrubs at his firehouse, too.

      My hypothetical question was "if you were ordered to do it, would you go to your shift rep/steward and would Local 2 file a grievance?"

      The City's Parks department maintains does the landscaping for all city buildings here, the DPW does the snow removal. The only thing we are responsible for for snow removal is to clear the sidewalks and entrances of the stations. 5 minutes with the snowthrower takes care of that.

      By the way, I was rooting for "daBears"... Peyton Manning is a crybaby... but they did keep the ball more than "daBears" did...
      Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 02-08-2007, 08:03 AM.
      ‎"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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      • #33
        Its sad to hear things like this are going on. Maybe Im just lucky with the department I got on, but everyone just seems like pretty straight up guys. All very friendly, even the Chiefs. Lots of training, no controversy...

        I think lots of people have just lost sight of what the Fire Dept stands for, and what their job is.

        I havn't been a fire fighter for long, by any means, but im hoping in my future it doesn't get like this. I know my department has stretched the rusles a little bit, but the only time I have seen it happen is when they're trying to get the probies more training on the fire ground, and we get to do more things than we're supposed to.

        I hope that fire dept gets turned around quickly.
        Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
        IACOJ

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        • #34
          Oilie, sadly this sort of stuff happens all the time, so some degree. Like you I have not been in this service a huge number of years, but as some will testify, my old dept went through some very tough times recently - too much to go into detail here.

          I am very happy to report that those times appear to be behind the Dept now, and they are growing fast and strong again. But just as with any dysfunctional family, we all have our ups and downs. Maybe the folks involved with this incident will learn something from it and will evolve and move on in a positive and constructive manner. One can only hope.
          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.

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          • #35
            besides the fact that this guy was fired for not wanting to partake in a illigal activity, this department was not the right fit for him. He OBVIOUSLY held some grudges against SOMEONE on the department or he wouldnt have slapped them in the face by not participating in the house burn. I'm sure this guy didnt mean to get fired, but he did want some attention brought to this, and it backfired on him. From all Ive read, there are better departments for this guy.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by adam18 View Post
              besides the fact that this guy was fired for not wanting to partake in a illigal activity, this department was not the right fit for him. He OBVIOUSLY held some grudges against SOMEONE on the department or he wouldnt have slapped them in the face by not participating in the house burn. I'm sure this guy didnt mean to get fired, but he did want some attention brought to this, and it backfired on him. From all Ive read, there are better departments for this guy.
              What the hell are you talking about?

              Not the right fit? Why? Because he refused to do what he knew was illegal? Because he refused to be used as a day laborer for hauling dirt to the firehouse from construction sites? Because he expected to be trained to do the job he was hired for? I guess I wouldn't have been a good fit into this so called fire department either.

              Slapped them in the face? What the Chief and that Board member needed was a swift, hard kick in the ***. And then to be brought up on charges for hostile work atmosphere, misappropriation of fire department resources, and being involved in illegal activities.

              Since when is refusing to do something illegal wrong? I can't wait to hear this explanation. Tell me, does YOUR FD often do live fire training at 2300 hours? I have been an instructor for 27 years and I can tell you not only have I never been involved in a live fire training exercise at 2300 hours I have never heard of such a thing. This whole thing stinks and if you would open your eyes you would see that.

              This is what we know:
              1) Previous fire in the structure approximately 95% destroyed. Sounds like a perfect candidate for live fire training doesn't it?
              2) The "Training" took place at 2300 hours. Any body besides me have an idea why that might be?
              3) The "Training" fire was fueled with gasoline.
              4) No permits were gotten and no asbestos abatement was done.
              5) And the grand finale...the Board member involved in the firing of these 2 firefighters just happens to own the house that was the object of this so called "Training."

              Uh huh...nothing that smells going on here...what a joke.

              FyredUp
              Crazy, but that's how it goes
              Millions of people living as foes
              Maybe it's not too late
              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

              Comment


              • #37
                OK, without doing a bunch of searching through the articles and all, help me out here. Was this guy fired the night of the training burn? Or was it a different fire? The reason I ask is that this board member in one of the articles says he was out of town the night the FD burned the house. Then, it says he was there when the guy got fired.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Catch22 View Post
                  OK, without doing a bunch of searching through the articles and all, help me out here. Was this guy fired the night of the training burn? Or was it a different fire? The reason I ask is that this board member in one of the articles says he was out of town the night the FD burned the house. Then, it says he was there when the guy got fired.
                  Bellissimo said he was on a fire call four days later at 11:30 Tuesday night when his captain told him he had been called to the main office.“The whole board was there,” he said. “Billy Myrick and the chief were the ones who talked. They told me to pack up myself and go home…The chief said he didn’t have a problem with me, it was the board. The only person I know is Billy Myrick. The chain of events to me is a little funny. Why would they wait until 11:30 at night and pull me off a fire scene?”

                  Thats from the article

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Firefighter2230 View Post
                    Bellissimo said he was on a fire call four days later at 11:30 Tuesday night when his captain told him he had been called to the main office.“The whole board was there,” he said. “Billy Myrick and the chief were the ones who talked. They told me to pack up myself and go home…The chief said he didn’t have a problem with me, it was the board. The only person I know is Billy Myrick. The chain of events to me is a little funny. Why would they wait until 11:30 at night and pull me off a fire scene?”

                    Thats from the article
                    OK, I appreciate it. Couldn't remember the time frame and I'm chasing around a two-year-old, so not much time to search for it.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      What the hell are you talking about?

                      Not the right fit? Why? Because he refused to do what he knew was illegal? Because he refused to be used as a day laborer for hauling dirt to the firehouse from construction sites? Because he expected to be trained to do the job he was hired for? I guess I wouldn't have been a good fit into this so called fire department either.
                      EXACTLY, apperantly there are others willing to do this. I didnt say it was wrong or right, just that if this is what they do, and there are stupid enough people to do it, then HE DOES NOT FIT IN!! This department would not fit me either.

                      [/QUOTE]Slapped them in the face? What the Chief and that Board member needed was a swift, hard kick in the ***. And then to be brought up on charges for hostile work atmosphere, misappropriation of fire department resources, and being involved in illegal activities.[/QUOTE]

                      And I agree, nothing more nothing less. I think he thought this would happen, but it didnt.

                      [/QUOTE]Since when is refusing to do something illegal wrong? I can't wait to hear this explanation. Tell me, does YOUR FD often do live fire training at 2300 hours? I have been an instructor for 27 years and I can tell you not only have I never been involved in a live fire training exercise at 2300 hours I have never heard of such a thing. This whole thing stinks and if you would open your eyes you would see that.[/QUOTE]

                      Bottom line, I dont think give this fire department ANY credit for what they did, I'm just trying to point out the fact that this guy needs to go to a department where he will fit in better. You read WAY too much into my post.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        adam18:

                        Bottom line, I dont think give this fire department ANY credit for what they did, I'm just trying to point out the fact that this guy needs to go to a department where he will fit in better. You read WAY too much into my post.
                        I don't think I read a thing into your post. I read it as posted and what you said is what I commented on.

                        besides the fact that this guy was fired for not wanting to partake in a illigal activity, this department was not the right fit for him. Again this comment makes it sound like this was his fault. If that wasn't what you meant then this isn't the way you should have said this. He OBVIOUSLY held some grudges against SOMEONE on the department Where did this come from? Again, what proof or even hint that he held grudges do you have? I think YOU read to much into this. or he wouldnt have slapped them in the face by not participating in the house burn. So refusing to participate in an illegal activity is a slap in the face to the fire department? NO, it is not. He knew it was wrong and wanted no part of it. I would expect you are a go along to get along type of guy. I'm sure this guy didnt mean to get fired, but he did want some attention brought to this, and it backfired on him. Believe me I don;t this is even close to being over by any means. Now that this nonsense has been exposed I think maybe some heads on people in power may be set to roll. This whole thing is a bunch of BS and your hinting that the firefighter who took the high road is in any way to blame is shameful. From all Ive read, there are better departments for this guy. Of course there are...but if attitudes like yours are prevalent maybe it doesn't really matter now does it?
                        I commented directly on what YOU wrote. If it wasn't what you meant then that is YOUR fault.

                        Have a nice day.

                        FyredUp
                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Fyred up is right on the money.

                          Adam, I'm not sure how old you are, but doing something illegal just to "fit in" is not the right way to go.

                          Fyred up sounds like he answered your post the exact way you made it.

                          Just because there's a chance this fire department condones this type of activity on a daily/weekly basis doesn't mean that people should leave them alone to get away with this type of behavior. I don't know the complete circumstances of the incident, and I hate to base my sole opinion off a news story, but if it's true, it took some guts to stand up for what's right (and legal) by this guy and he was terminated for it, without cause.

                          The department either needs a new chief to conduct fire operations, training, and other activities the right (and legal) way or the entire department needs to be disbanded and someone else take their territory.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Where are you guys getting the "would you do a live burn at 2300" from?

                            The article says he was FIRED at 2350, three days later. Where does it say the live burn was at a similar time?

                            I don't give much credence to the "95% destroyed" thing, either. Remember, that was not an estimate from a firefighter, but rather fromt the board president, and apparently the building is still standing even now, AFTER the live burn.

                            As for the hauling dirt, I think you are focussing too much on where he was hauling it FROM and not enough on where he was hauling it TO. Loam is valuable, and he was going to get it for landscaping the firehouse. The fact that the board president provided the loam is a point in his favor, not a point to his detriment.

                            Bottom line is that they shouldn't be burning without proper permits, and no one should be fired for whistle-blowing on an illegal burn. But I have seen nothing here that makes me question my first reaction when I read the stories, which was: "I bet there is something more goin on here."

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              randsc: Where are you guys getting the "would you do a live burn at 2300" from?
                              From the post quoted below. This person apparently actually knows these guys and the story. So ask him how he knows.

                              Originally posted by GFDLT1 View Post
                              ****These comments are mine and mine alone and in no way represent any department I am associated with****

                              I know both FF's that got canned, they for the most part are stand up guys. The department in question, more so their leadership is shady has hell. They don't do any training there, and I mean any, this is to include preplans. This is not the first and won't be the last time that houses have mysteriously burnt up in their district.

                              Jason asked questions after he saw what the paid guys at his combo department where he vols at were doing, ie the training during the day, preplans, hydrant maintenence, and wanted to know why they didn't do that type of stuff at Eastern Wake. I can see how ChicagoFF might see Jason as a rat, or cry baby, but he isn't that way. What that story doesn't tell is how he was made to take off his uniform in the wash bay at 1130pm and go to the house. Jason didn't rat anyone out, he did say that he didn't want any part of the burning. Allen (who was the other FF fired) was the one that called the fire marshal's office. He did so anyomimously (sp?) and was found out when the Chief pulled the 911 phone tapes and recognized his voice.

                              One other small detail is that word coming out of the department is that the board president asked the chief for this to be done, not the other way around. You know something fishy is up when a fire truck pulls up to a burnt vacant house, turns off the fire truck and its lights, and precedes to light the house on fire.


                              ****These comments are mine and mine alone and in no way represent any department that I may be associated with****

                              Now on to the rest of your post.

                              I don't give much credence to the "95% destroyed" thing, either. Remember, that was not an estimate from a firefighter, but rather fromt the board president, and apparently the building is still standing even now, AFTER the live burn. Perhaps you are right. But the best description of this training so far has been. Douse the remaining structure with gasoline and light it. Unless the training was on how to be an arsonist for fun and profit I don;t see what training there was.

                              As for the hauling dirt, I think you are focussing too much on where he was hauling it FROM and not enough on where he was hauling it TO. Loam is valuable, and he was going to get it for landscaping the firehouse. The fact that the board president provided the loam is a point in his favor, not a point to his detriment. Let's get serious here. I don't care if loam is worth it's weight in gold, the point is an on duty line fire fighter was taken off his rig and sent to drive dump truck to haul dirt. Just a wonderful coincidence that this board member needs this dirt removed from his development. I don't care how you slice this that is not an appropriate use of on duty fire personnel. IF the board member wnated to donate the dirt and haul it for the FD fine, or if OFF duty fire personnel wanted to donate their time to haul this dirt fine. Takin an on duty fire fighter off his rig and placing him in a dump truck and turning him into a day laborer to conveniently assist the board member by moving dirt off his property is simply wrong and anyone with any common snese knows it is wrong. I honestly don;t care if the dirt went to the fire station or not...this is not proper utilization of firefighting personnel.

                              Bottom line is that they shouldn't be burning without proper permits, and no one should be fired for whistle-blowing on an illegal burn. But I have seen nothing here that makes me question my first reaction when I read the stories, which was: "I bet there is something more goin on here." Of course there is. It seems to me that this fire department is run for the conveience of the board or at least the convenience of this one board member. Firefighters driving dump truck to haul dirt from his development, firefighters illegally burning down a fire damaged structure on this board member's property, is this it or is it just indications of a pattern of miss use of the fire department for personal gain?
                              I just shake my head as the Brotherhood chooses to blame these guys instead of giving them the benfit of the doubt we hear so many others cry for all the time.

                              FyredUp
                              Crazy, but that's how it goes
                              Millions of people living as foes
                              Maybe it's not too late
                              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                When they lit the house up it was after 10 pm and pretty close to 11pm. When he was made to take his uniform off was after an actual house fire a couple of days later and this was done at 1130 at night.

                                There is nothing wrong with doing landscaping around the firehouse to make it look nice, because it is where we live for a third of our life while employeed. What is wrong is that this ff had to haul dirt and run heavy machinery to the board of director's new neighborhood that he was building not to the firehouse. This hauling dirt stuff had nothing to do with up keep of the property of the fire department and everything to do with an on the clock fd employee hauling dirt for the president of the board.
                                Real men wear kilts. www.forourfallen.org

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