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Issues with a firefighter advice needed

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  • #16
    First off I would like to thank BoxAlarm187, Spencer534, ChiefKN and johnsb for the positive replies on this issue it is greatly appreciated and the type of input I was looking for to to pass on to our BOD to help light a fire under there you know what. ALL of the complaints along with information gathered here have been passed on to our BOD and action is being taken. As I spelled out before when we where asked for the other side of the story the whole purpose of this post was to gather information or opinions. (which everyone is entitled to). Based on the unique circumstances from there own experiences. In no way, shape or form was this a trial to decide a outcome, the forum is not a place where that is going happen, that is why the information given was vague and there is no "other side of the story" I even had to go as far as changing my information on here so that no one could link it with my real department, name or position.

    Spencer534 I read the post by bcjack several times to try to comprehend it, at first glance it looked as if it was being said that it was insubordination on my part for making this post, which based on the definition of insubordination and the unknowing of my actual position in all this, it wouldnt even be a valid accusation. After a couple glances its appears that what is being said, is the entire topic that I posted is accused insubordination and that the claims should be documented and presented to the Board of Directors. As far as the "maybe its time to move on. Sometimes, you just can't fix it" I have a beef with that one too. The party whos actions are in question is the one with the individual issue, the larger majority of the department that is being affected cant just chalk it up as a no fix and move on and either continue to allow it or individually quit, that would be a possible department end all right there.

    Unfortunetly in the process of trying to gather positive input, I have had some borderline posts but more then that some personal messages where I had to defend myself, of why I would even ask for answers based on the situation here ? Or why consiquences would even be considered for someone who was once a chief since by one wearing that title they now should have earned exemption from all criticism and rules meant for "others" = (all arent yet or non chiefs im guessing?) But I guess the ex chief factor is what makes this a unique situation to deal with not so much even the chief factor as just plain a seinor member who once left his stamp on a department. One even said this was an inappropriate subject for this forum, last time I checked this was a politics forum and matters like this is what I always been told is fire department politics, I appologize if some are looking for a discussion on the whether a dalmation or a lab is the better dog to have in a fire house, even though I would have preffered to be dealing with an issue of that magnitude....


    • #17
      Good luck and keep us posted.


      • #18
        With any disciplinary process, documentation is the key. Get written statements for every complaint against him and get the BOD involved. It's late into the game, but better late than never. As our chief says...if you didn't document it, it didn't happen. Of course here at an industrial site, paperwork is king.

        Best of luck!


        • #19
          It?s been a few years, 7 to be exact! I watch similar situations get brought up from time to time on these forums. I figured I would check back and see if anyone would want an update on how it all shook out?


          • #20
            Originally posted by Savagehunter View Post
            It?s been a few years, 7 to be exact! I watch similar situations get brought up from time to time on these forums. I figured I would check back and see if anyone would want an update on how it all shook out?
            Well, after reading the thread, Im curious


            • #21
              The issues continued for a couple years, as they continued word got out that the board of directors was documenting and waiting for it to add up to the point that it would be a violation of our (vague at the time) bylaws. By 2014 the former Chief all but stopped coming to meetings and trainings. He encouraged his few followers to do the same. The only time you would see them was at a call, mainly if it was the type of call that would provide a small corner for the group to stand in and critique the call instead of contributing.

              In 2014 the board of directors approved new bylaws and policies that included attendance requirements and a progressive disciplinary policy. The inactivity of the former Chief continued into 2016 when it became a violation of the attendance requirements. The progressive disciplinary process was started with a letter sent to the former Chief and all members who didn’t meet the requirements, demanding them to meet with the board of directors to discuss their future with the department.

              Naturally the former Chief and a few of his followers didn’t respond to the letters and 60 days later they were notified that the board of directors terminated their membership’s. The former Chief did appeal his termination at the following board meeting. His method of using obscenities, threats of taking the whole department down and legal action against the board of directors was unsuccessful with the board of directors voting to stay with the termination.

              I encourage department’s to keep their bylaws and policies up to date and make them be able to address today’s issues. Always follow them and the processes within them to a T. As a department we have taken leaps and bounds forward since our change at fire Chief and the implementation of new bylaws and policies. We have exercised the progressive disciplinary policy with a few other individuals and it made for a clear and fair path to a resolution. The former fire Chief would not allow the board of directors to touch certain members of the department for poor or no attendance due to the fact they were related or at one time a personal friend. In addition it made his roster numbers sound better to the municipalities. Now we have a leaner roster but in turn members attending more trainings and functions has led to a better trained crew that’s on the same page and it shows on calls.

              This spring I started my 17th year on the department and I have seen poor management under our former Chief and ugly situations behind closed doors under the current Chief caused mainly by our former Chief. My experience has shown me that when a department has issues and the finger gets pointed at the Chief half of the people respond constructively, the other half are disturbed by the fact that someone is calling out a Chief, who most likely (like themselves) walked on water to get that position. The best move our department made was taking authority away from the Chief. The President who is guided by the members, chairs and runs the business end while the Board Of Directors handles all personnel issues and makes the governing decisions. The Chief is left with being in charge on calls appointing and directing line officers and making business recommendations to the board of directors and membership.

              Our current Chief who rode it out through the changes and ugly issues will be stepping down as an officer the first of the year 2020. After 9 years as Chief, 14 years as Asst. Chief and 5 years as Lieutenant within his 34 years on the department. We will have a new younger group stepping into the leadership positions. I am very confident the changes that were made due to this situation will serve them well and add longevity to them in their positions.


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