I jumped into the fire service 17 years ago during a flood. I've been on my department for 14 years and they threw me off. What can I do? Here's the facts: We were on a 10-50 with a fatality, there was two departments arrived on scene. Two vehicles with two victoms each. I was a Captain/EMT and have no extrication training. When I arrived one of the firefighters from my department that was already on scene told me there was already several responders assisting patients and he needed my help starting the extrication. I let him know I had no training but to tell me what he needed, so I laid out the tarp and he left the area. At that point one of the Responders who was first on scene hollered for me to relieve him as he had no turnout gear on and they were ready to cut the door to get his patient out, so I took over C-spine and as soon as the door was off I directed the crew who was with me to backboard and we loaded the board straight to the waiting chopper as this was the most seriously injured on scene. I then assisted with another patient applying a traction splint. When we loaded that victom I walked around the side of the ambulance and my Chief was standing there and told me to get off the scene and drop my gear at the station. He said I was off the department for refusing to follow a direct order and saying I wasn't trained in extrication. I was never allowed to defend myself or told exactly why I was being booted. Since then I have been threatened to be taken to court to hand over records that don't exist and even have threats of physical violence. What can I do I don't want out but my best ex-best friend of 20 years and the person who got me in the service is the one who betrayed me. I can't go back to that department as all possible trust is gone. So what are my options??
I dont know how much i can help but they way i see it from what you wrote in this story is that you are in the right and if it was your best friend that betrayed you then he or she is not a friend as for losingyour position as a captain and emt in the department they have to provide you with a turn to tell your side of the story were you with a career departmetn or a volunteer departmetn
I'm a volunteer, and yes there are a half dozen departments in the area that will put me on right away but that means moving and I don't have that kind of money. What I need is to make the guilty parties pay for what they did to me without hurting the department. Because not only did they do this to me, but I found out after my termination that the whole department including myself have a whole list of certs that none of us took classes for. Which I think is dangerous because all the surrounding departments are expecting what the crew can't give. I contacted the state about the fake certs but they are dragging they're butts about doing something.
I don't want to sound off, but if you were an officer (Captain, no less) Then you should've known how to run your own equipment. If not, you should've had someone show you 17 years ago. If you want to go back to your former department, you need to set up a meeting with your municipal head (i.e. mayor, township super) and chief, and hash out your greivences.
Maybe you could provide a little more information so we could get a better assessment of the situation.
Is this is 100% volunteer or a combination department?
Have you had any previous run-ins with the officers involved, particularly on scene?
How long has your department had this extrication equipment?
Has training with this equipment ever been offered by your department?
The process of suspending and/or dismissing a member from any fire department should be well covered in the department by-laws. Regardless of that, your state's municipal laws should cover the situation. Here's a snippet from New York State's general municipal law:
§ 209-l. Removal of volunteer officers and volunteer members of fire departments.
1. The authorities having control of fire departments of cities, towns, villages and fire districts may make regulations governing the removal of volunteer officers and volunteer members of such departments and the companies thereof.
2. Such officers and members of such departments and companies shall not be removed from office, or membership, as the case may be, by such authorities or by any other officer or body, except for incompetence or misconduct.
3. Removals on the ground of incompetence or misconduct, except for absenteeism at fires or meetings, shall be made only after a hearing upon due notice and upon stated charges and with the right to such officer or member to a review pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Such charges shall be in writing and may be made by any such authority. The burden of proving incompetency or misconduct shall be upon the person alleging the same.
4. a. Hearings upon such charges shall be held by the officer or body having the power to remove the person charged with incompetency or misconduct or by a deputy or employee of such officer, or body designated in writing for that purpose. In a case where a deputy or other employee is so designated, he or she shall, for the purpose of such hearing, be vested with all the powers of such officer or body, and shall make a record of such hearing, which shall be referred to such officer or body for review within ninety days from the close of such hearing along with his or her recommendations.
b. The notice of such hearing shall specify the time and place of such hearing and state the body or person before whom the hearing will be held.
c. Such notice and a copy of such charges shall be served personally upon the accused officer or member at least ten days but not more than thirty days before the date of the hearing.
If I am reading you story right you never actaully cut on the car you worked on the patients. So I do not know why they would do this to you because you are an emt and working on the patients.
Even though you are a volunteer there should be something in your By-laws about charges and expulsions, they should have some type of hearing board for you to go before to hear both sides of the story and rule on it. You might also want to call your governing body either township,municiplality, or county and let them know what is going on they may step in and help.
Also you said in a later post that there are certificatesfor classes your fire fighters never never took. If that is true then who ever made those certificates is committing fraud and you are right they could get people hurt.
I think you should get a lawyer and have him review the call and certificates and see what your options are even though your are with a volunteer fire department they have procedures to go by and you may have a case for wrongful termination and the chief could be in trouble if he knows those certificates are fakes also.
Sounds like a bad deal, but I too can't figure out how you get 17 years of experience, rise to the rank of Captain and have no extrication training. Sounds to me like their might be some other underlying circumstances here.
I don't want to start a career/volunteer issue here, but StFlorianshelper suggested the union might help. I assume you're referring to the IAFF, and if you are that's not going to happen. You might get a union member to give you some advice, but don't expect any help in an official capacity.
I don't know what advice i really can give to make things better, but I have a few things to help you stay in the fire service. You were totally in the right by helping with extrication and informing the other person you were not trained. Secondly the firing of you on scene is not right. You have to have the opportunity to defend your actions. so what i would do is check into what options you have for getting on another department near-by if there are any. and two, maybe talk to a lawyer about unlawful firing. Best of luck to you man.
Take it to a higher authority: board of directors, town board, police, mayor, etc. - or a lawyer.
And the volunteer fire service wonders why people aren't knocking down our door to join us. I have two words for them: Good luck.
As for motivating you to stay in the fire service, which I wholeheartedly encourage you to do for your own sake and for those who deserve to have you on their team, I suggest you read my blog titled: Fix it.
Well it sounds like you need to present your case to the board of directors for the department you are with if they have one. Secondly, try and confirm who is treating you and get it recorded or witnessed. That way you are covered and you can have charges brought up against that person for assult by threat. And if you had been betrayed like you say, it was not much of a friendship to start with.
We had an issue awhile back and a firefighter was removed from our dept. He was put on leave until he met with the officers. He was givin the chance to tell his side of the story then the officers voted on how they would handle the situation. You should be given the chance to meet and defend yourself with the command structure within your department.
How did you make Captain or EMT without ANY extrication evolutions?
I'm not being critical, but I am puzzled.
The rest of it sounds like a misunderstanding or they were gunning for you.
Is there more to the story?