Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

When is it OK to remove problem volunteers?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • When is it OK to remove problem volunteers?

    Anyone have experience with "trouble" volunteers? When is it acceptable to ask a volunteer firefighter that causes constant morale problems and negativity to leave? I have 2 now that always bitch and moan about everything, backstab and cause others to not want to be around. Any thoughts? [email protected]

  • #2
    Sometimes a chat with them telling them that no one wants to work with you because of this situation works.

    What are your procedures under bylaws and/or SOP?

    You've got to take a stand or the members will feel you let them down and moral will sink lower.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

    Comment


    • #3
      Our department by-laws/SOGs allow for a member to be voted out by a 2/3s majority of the membership. If a member is voted out, he can't see it as personal issue between himself and the leadership. This has worked for us.
      Kevin Sink
      Fair Grove Fire Dept.
      Thomasville, NC USA
      [email protected]

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't run into problems with FF's, but have had plenty of this at work.

        Mongo is right. You must take care of the problem or the rest of the crew will become even more dissatisfied.

        Most of the time, a little one-on-one discussion with the problem causer will clear things up. Many times they don't even realize they are causing a problem.

        If that doesn't work, a formal, written warning is in order. If that still doesn't work, it is time to get rid of them.

        In a perfect world, this type of procedure should be in your by-laws, policies, or SOPs. That way the VFD has some cover if the member brings this into a legal setting.

        It is also important to document all disciplinary actions, including the simple, one-on-one chat. This documentation should be put kept in a safe place so that if the problem causer takes this to a legal proceeding, you have all of the pertinent information. Thay way you don't have to rely on your memory.

        Just my thoughts. Stay safe.

        Joe

        Comment


        • #5
          Our Fire Department follows the guidelines of the Town and most businesses -
          1. Discuss the problem with the individual and define your expectations
          2. If Step 1 does not work discuss the problem with the individual and note in the personnel file as a verbal warning.
          3. If Step 2 does not work repeat #2 but have the individual sign a documented verbal warning.
          4. Should Step 3 not work give the individual a suspension and/or fine.
          5. When all else fails - FIRE the volunteer

          This is a long process, but will hold up in court.

          Good luck

          Comment


          • #6
            I have also found that having another officer sit in the office while you are talking to the problem maker works to your advantage. that way that person can't say that you said something different then what you actually said.
            NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
            IACOJ Attack

            Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

            Comment


            • #7
              We provide for removal in our by-laws. Complaints are submitted to an advisory board of three firefighters and two officers. The firefighters elect their members and the Chief appoints officers, all for two year terms.

              Counselling by an officer is normally the first step and then any member can refer the matter to the advisory board if the problem is not resolved. The board investigates the complaint and takes the appropiate action ranging from written counselling/reprimand, suspension or dismissal. We have no monetary penalties.

              Comment


              • #8
                We have a clause for 'conduct unbecoming a member' in our rules and regulations. This allows innapropriate conduct to be handled with discipline:

                1st offense - verbal warning (documented)
                2nd offense - written warning
                3rd offense - 30-day suspension
                Any subsequent offense of the same nature = dismissal from the department.

                We haven't had to use it yet, trouble usually weeds itself out, but I would in a heartbeat. People that are that negative bring down the whole organization. They will not just be negative to your members, they will run their mouths outside the organization as well. This could prevent applications from coming in or invitations to outside trainings etc. Handle your problem ASAP or it will only get larger!
                Susan Lounsbury
                Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
                Griffith Volunteer FD

                Comment


                • #9
                  We had the same problem with a few.We handled ours through our by laws and evicted the trouble.We had one guy tourque us off so bad we were going to do it old school style you know out back with rubber hoses and bars of soap wrapped in a towel .But the problems were solved and as posted before,stop it NOW or it will get out of hand and drive members away.Stay safe.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [quote]Originally posted by NCRSQ751:
                    We have a clause for 'conduct unbecoming a member' in our rules and regulations. This allows innapropriate conduct to be handled with discipline:

                    1st offense - verbal warning (documented)
                    2nd offense - written warning
                    3rd offense - 30-day suspension
                    Any subsequent offense of the same nature = dismissal from the department.

                    We haven't had to use it yet, trouble usually weeds itself out, but I would in a heartbeat. People that are that negative bring down the whole organization. They will not just be negative to your members, they will run their mouths outside the organization as well. This could prevent applications from coming in or invitations to outside trainings etc. Handle your problem ASAP or it will only get larger!




                    This is the best one I've seen yet...It gives options and a chance for the "problem child/children" to get themselves straight
                    ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

                    Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

                    Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NCRSQ751 is right. We all know what it's like to deal with "problem children". It can't be tolerated in a volunteer setting. No one in your department should be allowed to dampen morale, not even for a minute. It's too easy for a volunteer to become discouraged by the words and actions of another and turn in their gear. My department, and I'm sure most others, can't afford that. If you don't yet have a policy for conduct in place, I'd suggest doing it soon. In the mean time you need to document what goes on with the individual. If you are in a chief officer's position, have others document what you don't see. Even the little things can prove useful when it comes time to confront the problem child. Trust me..

                      [ 12-09-2001: Message edited by: jab1415 ]

                      J. Adam Berry
                      Deputy Chief
                      Griffith Fire Department

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After you become a member you are on Chief's probation the first year. If you don't complete the required training, work sessions, clean ups, drill sessions or you are a morale problem you can and will be dismissed from the department. It's part of the contract you sign becomming a memmber. If there is a conflict in scheduling you can't make the required items your Chief's probation can be extended.
                        ex Chief 500

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          On my dept our policy is that when brought on to the dept your application is discussed at the executive level (Cheif & Capt's) then brought to the membership for discussion. Who knows this guy/gal and what kind of input would you have about the candidate. Usually some one knows him/her from the community. Good or bad charector
                          commitment etc. If sucessful (few arent) then you are brought on for a 6 month probationary period. 1st 3 months you attend weekly practices (as all do). Then after 3 mos you are given a radio (pager) and then you are able to respond to calls and to see how you handle yourself @ calls and on scene etc. At the end of the 6 month probation period your candacy is discussed (w/o you present)so people can discuss if there were any issues with attendance, personality conflicts, conduct... any thing pertinant to your membership. Then is put to a secret ballot of the membership. The reason for the secret ballot is so that you can vote comfortably how you wish. If you are a good "fit" you are informed (either way) of the results by the chief. In my 13 yrs I can only remember about 3 people that didnt make the vote. One exremely poor fit and the rest couldnt be bothered to show up.
                          SIDE NOTE:
                          We had one guy make the vote and seemed like a good fit for the next 6 mos or so. Then things went sour, started w/ extremly poor conduct at an xmas party. In the mean time he had managed to get a job in the mayors office w/a direct line to the mayors ear. Very delicate situation for about 6 more months. The saving grace was he developed a habit of making enemies and burning bridges. He ended up getting a job 1000 miles away where no one knew him and was gone all together. Phew!
                          Some days yer the fire hydrant and some days yer the dog.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            many of the above suggestions/thoughts are valid. Bottom line- our SOP's state you must not bring dishonor among your peers. It's a very simple catch-all

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Theres a reason behind this behavior. What that reason is lies behind these members motivation for being in the fire dept. Did they join because they thought it was a great place to hang out on a friday night? Was it for the need for belonging to a group? or did they join for the need to be a fireman and somehow become disillusioned with the way the company treated them or the way the dept was run? The bottom line here is, before you chuck them out for being malcontents sit down with them, find out why they do what they do, and maybe you will find out not only why they have chosen to be disruptive but that you are able to identify a problem in you orginization that can be corrected. On the other hand it is not outside the realm of possibilites that they are just simply dirtbags! In this cse dicipline according to your Dept SOP's.
                              Stay safe----
                              "Never trust a smiling dog"
                              Delaware F.O.O.L. FTM-PTB-EGH

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X