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Dealing with Politics in the emergency services??

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  • Dealing with Politics in the emergency services??

    Hello, I need to vent here so bare with me Ok here I go, I'm on a volunteer first aid squad, pretty small...the older people who've been there on the squad have recently just made it extremely tough on the younger crowd. Ok Situation #1 I borrowed some tables & chair for a party from the squad. Asked the captain (young guy) to use the 1st responder truck to bring them back. An Old bastard of a member who knows every single rule like the back of is hand yelled at me when I came back,said I had no business doing that etc..etc...#2Older person situation again. I am also a 1st year cadet advisor, out of the 3 advisors I am the only one that cares enough to actually train,hold meetings & fundraisers etc. with the cadets. So anyway, 1 cadet CLEARLY broke the rules and went on a call for a shooting,so I with hte permission from the Captain & squad president suspended the cadet for 2 weeks. being that this cadet is an extremely bad brown noser to the Asst. Capt & 1st LT Right away I'm wrong for during that, and the old people are out to get me and want to remove me from my position effective monday at our monthly meeting. so Far I have enough backup so hopefully I wont get removed. #3 our Asst. Capt who's old...has been on the squad for a long time and runs the squad as a dictatorship decides to answer a call at 3 in the morning. The call went 3 alarms and finally someone showed up, right away we have to do something about night calls its bad that we dont get anyone at night like that. But yet when I complain every month about it, everyone basically tells me to shutup they dont wanna hear it on the meeting room floor, which is not fair. So anyway....The old people are starting to apply the rules for only certain people they dont like, and the rest are free to do whatever the please. Unless its majorly obvious that its bad what they are doing, and if they get caught the punishment is less than what others who they dont like would get. So....how do you guys deal with this BullSh*t at your squads & firehouses. My firehouse..runs fine....but the squad..this is what I have to put up with..and I'm gettin fed up...I dunno what to do... Yes I am new to this organization stuff...been on the squad for 3 1/2 years now..and the firehouse about 2 1/2 most of that time as an Explorer or Cadet.My old first aid squad I used to be on..never had a problem...but this one...good lord!! Sorry had to vent!!
    New Jersey

  • #2
    There is politics in the emergency services???!!!

    Welcome to the club kid. That's how it works in any job, fire service or not, and the first thing you have to do is get the idea out of your head that it will ever become this beautiful democracy.

    The second thing you have to do, is stop equating old with a pain-in-the-***. You should be thinking old=experience. You may have a couple of stubborn guys on your dept, but it's probably because they don't like to be told what to do by a junior (or they could just be *******s, what do I know).

    The third thing you need to do is understand that diplomacy is just as valuable a tool as any specific knowledge you will gain in your fire training. You have to realize you must choose your battles and you won't win them all. Fighting over personal use of a dept vehicle is just not worth the hassle. Let it go and don't lose sleep. The cadet who attended the violent call is a different story. There is a personal safety issue there, and if someone broke the rules, they probably should have let the suspension stand. I would normally suggest a private talk with the Chief/Asst Chief, but since you are already taking flack, I'd focus more on keeping your position right now. If you get a meeting with the Senior Officers, ask them what they expect from you so you can do your job better. Don't bitch or you'll be booted down to polishing the explorer toilets (and what could possibly be lower than that?).

    The best advice I can give you is to pick your fights carefully. You're young and inexperienced, at the bottom of the ladder, and if you nag at every little thing you won't be taken seriously. Focus your time on learning, and save your energy for the serious stuff. You will find people will support you when you are right.

    Leadership is about giving direction, motivating, and creating a team. It is not just about giving orders. Work on creating that team through positive example and genuine concern for the needs and safety of your crew, and not worrying about what so-and-so did or said.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



    • #3
      If you want to avoid the politics- leave!!

      It's everywhere!!! (Unfortunately )

      Seriously though, have a think about a few things:

      Situation #1-
      Asked the captain
      He's the highest authority in your department isn't he? Don't need to worry about what the others said...

      Situation #2-
      I with the permission from the Captain & squad president
      Sounds pretty high up again isn't it? Don't need to worry about what the others said...

      Situation #3-
      our Asst. Capt who's old...has been on the squad for a long time and runs the squad as a dictatorship decides to answer a call at 3 in the morning. The call went 3 alarms and finally someone showed up,
      Sounds like a problem for the Captain to sort out. From there, it'd become a community issue and if worse case scenario was to happen, maybe a problem for the courts to resolve once an avoidable situation was to occur such as a proven fatality as a result of non-response of the department.

      You can worry about all this (As I've done also, in similar situations ) or let those in the positions to do something about it, decide to do something!

      Yes, it's going to be frustrating.

      Yes, you're going to get knocked down a peg or two.

      Unfortunately, the fire service is very set in its ways in so many ways and really doesn't take to change all that well....


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