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  • think they know it all!

    I been in the fire service for 22 years, during that time I have seen alot of changes & also have kept up with the times. I have nothing againist training, training is a valuable asset however you must have the common sense & experience also. However within our dept we have a select few, rookies which have attained college degrees now they think they know it all. I'am glad they furthered there education, but they still have a long road to travel within this profession. Is there anyone else out there having the same problem.

    RP Ruma - Captain

  • #2
    I'm a fire fighter with 22yrs operational experiance.I still like the job and the people i work with.
    At the moment moral in my Brigade is thru the floor.
    We have a Chief Officer with less than 2 yrs front line experience who treats his fire fighters with contempt by making such remarks as "a 4 minute delay in attending fires does not make a blind bit of differance,the people in the fire would be dead anyway" and "I don't expect my fire fighters to put their lives at risk in thi day and age" at present he is trying to downgrade fire stations in my Brigade.

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    • #3
      Capt Ruma,
      You aren't alone brother, we've seen a few of these guys too. Personally, I can't figure out where these are coming from... or where they get off. My first couple of weeks on shift I was scared [email protected]%^less of the possibilities of the Job and of what pranks they were going to pull on me; kept my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open! Most of our rookies are initially put at Central Station... larger crew, more people to watch/watch over them and there's all kinds of good experience there. The guys at Central usually can "adjust" one of these attitudes in about a week; sometimes they can be unmerciful but through chores, pranks and kitchen duties it doesn't take the smarter ones long to figure out how best to get along.

      One of our guys with some military experience labels them the "Pepsi Generation", he can bring the rookies around like the best drill sergeant. We've had numerous discussions about the "Pepsis"... seems like it's one of the recent byproducts of our society? It seems harder and harder to find anyone with a work ethic, at least what we would consider a work ethic. Don't have any answers for you... if they were smart enough to get a college degree, then hopefully one day they'll be an asset to your department. They need to see the value of experience and job knowledge though, especially in the hazardous incidents we're involved in.
      Good Luck!

      Watch yer topknot, Led

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      • #4
        The problem I run into is young guys who train hard, try hard, but take it as a personal assault when you have to issue an order or monitor a procedure in the field. They feel like they have to defy authority/ experience so they can pay their dues. Generally these guys haven't had military experience and don't know how to take advice from an aggressive superior, they let themselves get ****ed off, then the person in authority has to deal with an attack on the leadership. Damage control from this can eat up time and effort that is better used elsewhere. Maybe it's a symptom of youth these days, maybe I did a little of the same way back when... sometimes they catch on and progress into really good people to have around, they can except responsibility and accountability and can self actualize their career. Sometimes they just go away ****ed off... and sometimes that's O.K.
        Be Safe, Frank

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        • #5
          Here's one, kind of the same but different.

          I'm 25 y/o. I am a Lieut. in my vol. dept. At this time this is the lowest line office on the totem pole, so I am certainly not the Grand Pooba. I have been involved in the fire service for 11 years, first as a junior and for the last 7 years as a full fledged FF. I am a certified FSI. The biggest problem I have is that because I'm not much older than our current juniors, or our active younger members, they have a tendency not to listen or think that you don't know what your talking about. The other issue is almost the same, but from the newer, older members, espcially those with no experience at all. I am not in any way trying to compare myself to those of you who have already posted, but I can certainly relate to what Rizz is saying about disrespect. I will always look up to more mature (age and experience)FF's as long as I am in this business. I just wanted to let you all know that there are some of us with maybe some more schooling than others, but who understand the value of experience above all.

          Stay Safe.

          Whip

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          • #6
            The attitude ya'll are describing is generation X.
            It is a common occurance across this great land of ours.
            Just because they have a degree they should not assume that they know it all. If you go on the internet and look for generation X you will find a lot of info.
            There is a lot of good that they can achive if you know how to reach them.
            I find it hard sometimes to get inside their heads to see what they actually know but it can be done.
            As a training officer for our dept you must be able to relate to all ages and sometimes its next to impossible.
            They, for the most part, are willing to learn but you have to sometimes draw the line in the sand and let them understand whats what.
            They can be a great source of information if you let them be. I suggest that you find a way to talk to them and explain how you feel.
            I hope that I helped.


            [This message has been edited by Spanner (edited April 16, 2000).]

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            • #7
              I can appreciate your difficulties in working with people who "think they know it all". But I ask you and all those who read this to not lump everyone with a college degree into this category. I'm 22 y/o and although I might be in the minority, I realize how green I am and that there is much to learn. Be assured that not everyone is as pigheaded as those you know. I'm not in the fire business but the same problem exists with EMS.

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              • #8
                I have a different perspective of things that might help a bit. I am in no way trying to imply that I know it all or that I've seen and done everything.

                I am just about to turn 27 yrs old in May and have been a firefighter/emt for 9 years now on a paid on call fire dept. The last 5 years as a Lieutenant. During this time, I have been a full time firefighter at the city airport fire dept for 3&1/2 years. Of that time, I was Chief for almost 2 years. (one truck, 4 guys, and $80,000 operational budget but it still kinda counts!!) I also have 2 yrs expericence on a nieghboring ALS ambulance service. I am currently working full time as a city/county 911 dispatcher for Eau Claire County in Wisconsin and have been for 3 years now.

                So what does this all mean?? When I introduce myself as a Lieutenant, most people give me a second look to see if I'm serious or not. I got the look even more when I introduced myself as Chief before. In my dept, I have gained the respect of new guys as well as the seasoned older guys. I have seen the disrespect that young guys show toward the vetrans and I don't like it. Some feel that the way they have been trained is the only way to do things. Others feel that since they have a degree, that makes up for years of experience fighting the Dragon. I feel lucky that I had a wise old Chief that told me once "...just when you think your sh*t don't stink, you slip and fall in it, proving you don't know jack!!" He told me those words long ago and they have stuck with me and kept me humble. I truly believe that I am the firefighter that I am today because someone took the time to point me in the right direction. He gave me a little guideance when I needed it and so far so good, but the road is still very long. When I see a "newbie" come in with an attitude, I try and relay to them what he taught me.
                Everytime I see or run into a retired firefighter or a vetran from another dept. I always try to make an effort to talk to them and and show a little respect. Hopefully I can learn some pointers from those who have been there before to make myself and others I'm responsible for better firefighters.

                I think the answer is for older guys to be a mentor. Most "newbies" are book smart but not street smart. They need someone to show them the way, but yet not baby them either. I think it's the job of the vetran firefighters to knock some sense into these guys so they become great firefighters that one day will be doing the same thing to our grandkids.

                Stay safe,

                Lt. Jason Knecht
                Altoona Fire Dept.
                Altoona, WI

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