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how do i handle this chief??

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  • #16
    This is an interesting situation,

    From what I have read, it seems like this "Chief" is seemingly having issues with you teaching the First Aid courses......OK, BUT as long as you DON'T wear his Dept's uniform or openly identify yourself as a member of such, then there is really NOTHING that can be said or done......

    It is important here to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING that transpires.....even better is to record it.......

    Avoid a hostile confrntation.....IF HE blows up and rants and raves......all the better....especially in front of witnessess OR on tape.....but my suggestion is....take it to the Board or Council........

    Let it be known that his actions are hostile and border on personal harasment...Put the ball into THEIR hands to deal with it.......BUT let them know up front that if it isn;t delt with fairly and quickly.......you'll be letting a lawyer talk with THEM as well as the CHIEF..........

    It will all come down to documentation...were did you get your training....how long have you been doing this....do SOG's limiting what you can or can;t do exist?......if so are they even legal?......and have records of all interactions regarding this .......the more documentation YOU have the better.........

    Reality is.........he has NO liability with what you or any other VFF does in their own time........that is perhaps the most idiotic statement I have ever read..........that would be like saying that he has "liability" while you are grocery shopping, or BBQ'ing or at a football game.......

    Good Luck!.....
    Last edited by Northern Lights FF; 05-02-2011, 09:07 AM.

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    • #17
      Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

      I'm betting there is more to it.
      "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?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
        Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

        I'm betting there is more to it.
        Well, then you probably want both of the other stories... there's always three sides.
        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
          Maybe it's just me...but I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

          I'm betting there is more to it.
          Found out today he let 4 other firefighters go (fired). That now makes 23 in the past 3 years. One thing we have noticed....ALL Every single one of them, had more training than he. He has not completed Fire1 or Fire2. All of them had, all were also either an instructor on the side, EMT, Paramedic or RN. I didn't realize that a couple of them were RN or EMT's elsewhere--in fact one guy who was an RN I thought was a maintenance guy at a hospital, didn't realize he was a surgery RN.......So, basically, the ones who are gone all knew more than he. We have a dentist, whom he is now also starting to ride the case of....

          There is talk of all of them getting together and going to the board.

          We don't even have a medical director, so no one can use their EMT as a volunteer. Very few even have had first responder training.

          I think the issue is, he wants people to be uneducated that are below him. (This guy has several masters and a PHD--all book smarts and lacks in the common sense area.....he never admits to being wrong, and even if there are committees for various events, he takes over and does it all himself. Appoints people to do a job, then when they show up to do it at the assigned time, its already done by him, or if you do the job, he will come along and re do it.

          I am beginning to think the real issue is, he doesn't have the certifications to teach the various classes I teach. And, that makes him in his little PHD world feel threatened.

          I'll give you another odd thing (unrelated to my problem)that he just did.....Recently a FF married. Several at the station sponsored a wedding shower/reception for the bride at the station, and rented the community room there to do so (paid $25 for the room). No fire dept funds or supplies were used. The night before the party, 4 FF wives came in and decorated and set it up. The day of the party, it was noted that the decorations had been changed, and the tables and chairs completely moved around. He had nothing to do with the party, but changed the set up, and took down the decorations and put up others. Said he thought his way looked better, and he didn't like it the way it was before. This was an event for the WOMEN--had nothing to do with him!!!! But he sat there during the shower the whole time, then had the nerve to say that the gift of a night gown was not appropriate for the fire department location...It was given by someone one not connected with the department, but a friend or family member of the bride. Since the station is unmanned, and the room was reserved and rented in advance, that was a non-issue what the gifts were. BUT, HE had to be in control of it.
          Last edited by firefighter 432; 05-04-2011, 12:48 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by firefighter 432 View Post
            But he sat there during the shower the whole time, then had the nerve to say that the gift of a night gown was not appropriate for the fire department location...It was given by someone one not connected with the department, but a friend or family member of the bride. Since the station is unmanned, and the room was reserved and rented in advance, that was a non-issue what the gifts were. BUT, HE had to be in control of it.
            He sounds like a nut job. How did he become chief?
            I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

            "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

            "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

            Comment


            • #21
              Definitely time to go to the board.

              Talk to the other people who have been fired, if you can get support from other currently employed firefighters then that will help too.

              Get your stories straight and present facts, not opinions. Explain that the chief's behavior is harassment and that he has threatened you and for no justifiable reason.

              Be ready for anything the chief might try to use to justify his actions, be they true or not.

              Good luck and please keep us informed.

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              • #22
                One question I ahve - how were these other people 'fired' - in VFD's that I have been involved with, you could be dropped from the active rolls for not meeting certain criteria (number calls, drill, etc).....or has this Chief just told them they were out without any backing?

                Also - if I had been at that shower - I would have told him in no uncertain terms to LEAVE.....if he wasn't an invited guest, he didn't belong there - and as for moving things around - that is totally beyond anything he should be doing. Creepy too.....

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                  He sounds like a nut job. How did he become chief?
                  Very very small town. The fire board is made up of his relatives and good ole boy friends. Fire board members are also the mayor, police chief and school super.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by pasobuff View Post
                    One question I ahve - how were these other people 'fired' - in VFD's that I have been involved with, you could be dropped from the active rolls for not meeting certain criteria (number calls, drill, etc).....or has this Chief just told them they were out without any backing?.
                    He takes their gear from their lockers (only he is allowed to go pov or have gear outside of the station) and changes the door combos. Then, they are sent registered letters that they have 7 days to return their radio or legal action will be taken against them for theft.

                    We have to meet 50% of all calls and 50% of all training. Last week, training was on Tues night, Wed night, Thursday night and Saturday all day. Thats a total of about 18 hours, and so 50% would be about 9 hours just for training. Often he also has all day Sunday training as well (such as this upcoming weekend). Leaves no time for personal life. Then, you just have to hope that 50% of the calls come while you are not working, at and appointment, church or store......

                    Failure to meet 50% is what got the others "fired". Most who stay, are divorced, as their spouses left them for putting the FD before family. 16 still on, 12 of the 16 are divorced, separated or having very serious marriage issues.

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                    • #25
                      My mind swims with thoughts and questions on this. In no random order:
                      • Does the chief have these people brainwashed? Why are the members willing to put up with a tyrant like this?
                      • How many of the remaining members are related to or friends with the chief?
                      • 18 hours of in-house training in a week?! How often is this nonsense going on?
                      • Do the members get any say in the direction of the department during monthly meetings?

                      I'd love to come out there and do an objective article about the department...
                      Career Fire Captain
                      Volunteer Chief Officer


                      Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by firefighter 432 View Post
                        Very very small town. The fire board is made up of his relatives and good ole boy friends. Fire board members are also the mayor, police chief and school super.
                        You're screwed. Plain and simple. The only question left is, are you going down alone, or are you going to take him with you?

                        If the former, I don't blame you - small town politics are irritating at best. If the latter - take out an article in the local paper detailing the facts as they stand. Contact the individuals he fired and see if they'll stand with you. At this point, no amount of appeals to his buddies will make a difference - you need public opinion, and pressure, on your side. Just be aware that mud is flung both ways - you may have facts on your side, but it doesn't appear he has scruples on his. I wish you the best of luck - it's a pretty sh*tty position to be in.

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