I just heard that a group of Fire Explorers were witiness to be climbing on, dancing and running around our county LODD memorial. I was wondering what punishment these young people should endure for this?
Ok, that makes more sense.
I would reprimand the hell out of whoever is (supposed to be) supervising them and their program. Don't blame the dog, blame the owner. (Not that one hell of a finger pointing and rant session wouldn't set their young minds to ease.)
Me personally I would fire thier adult leader and all of the expolors would be on probation. Yes they are teens but even teenagers know death isnt a joke an a LODD is nothing to laugh at.
Perfect example my 13yo had stopped by the station on day last summer, another department in our county was working a structure. A mayday firefighter down was called, my 13yo and my 6yo literally froze. They didnt move or talk until it came over the radio that the firefighter was out of the hotzone and getting medical treatment.
Respect is something a fire explorer should have for a fallen firefighter if not I dont know Id want them in fire services in a few years
Who ever was in charge of the group obviously isn't, either he can't control his group or doesn't control them. In either case he needs to be removed and replaced. Now for the explorers involved how about they police the memorial and shine it up. That's my take.
Like most, I read from the top of this discussion thread down, arriving at your comments Roy, which I totally support except for the removing the adult leader part. There are two sides of the story and I would be cautious to make any quick decisions not knowing if the adult leader was actually a part of the 'deed'. What do they say? "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink..." The same thing goes for the adult leader who more than likely had no knowledge of what the explorers were up to, and I seriously doubt any of the participants were female.
I don't think firing the adult leader is the right message here, nor kicking the explorers out of the program. Instead, the concept of doing something 'respectful' seems to be in order. Explorers are still children that require adult supervision and leadership. This is why many of us do not support explorers participating in emergency response(s). It's all about having the appropriate maturity level. I could throw a wrench into the discussion by noting that female explorers can be much younger than their male counterpart based on women generally being more mature than males during adolescent years (and throughout life for that matter for some...).
I'd like to bring a different perspective to the table (not saying it is right, just different).
First of all, we don't know exactly what was entailed in the climbing, dancing and running part. What one person considers excessive or uncalled for. Cemetaries around the country are starting to take on a more park-like atmosphere. People are starting to celebrate the life and memories of loved ones and have picnics, run/jog, relax & read and so on.
As CB pointed out, even though they are explorers they are still children (ok, all you explorers don't take offense at this). Heck, look around most of the fire departments and you will see childish behavior from alot of the senior members. As young adults, they may not have the experience, upbringing or knowledge of what is the appropriate way to act.
I do not think that firing the leader is appropriate, at least not from just the two sentences at the top of the page. What is in order is using this as a teachable moment and having a good discussion on proper etiquette in regards to memorials and respect. I like Roy's suggestion on doing a little community service to "make ammends" for their transgression.
Far too often we get in the mentality that when something is done wrong then "heads need to fly", when all it takes is generally bringing the incident to attention and having a good discussion about it. Then if it happens again start to sharpen up the guillotine.
agreeed ashfire by them having to do some manual work and research wise it will make them better people / future FF. Make them understand this is part of our jobs in the role as public servants in the eye of the public.
obviously the leadership of this dept they belong to isn't as strong as it needs to be. With juniors or explorers leadership doesn't stop at the adult supervisor. it'severy member of the depts responsibility to make sure that these kids(yeah remember your still kids) learn and understand the demands placed on a firefighter.
Mostt older people in society complain about how kids don't get it, they're lazy, they don't work for anything. With juniors/explorers halfthe battle is already done. They're invovled for any number of reasons, but most importantly they are there. teach them skills for the fire ground, the history of the dept or company,Ask them to help you do some maintenance on equipment and teach them why. I started as a junior 18 yrs ago. i was lucky enough to have a great group of firefighters to learn from. These guy's ranged in age from 18-70 yrs old and i learned something from all of them.
Don't underestimate, how getting involved with these kids may affect them as people. Remember there here at the Fire Dept for a reason. The other night at after a monthly meeting i pulled two new juniors aside and asked them if anyone had shown them anything, or if they had any questions. At that moment i saw them light up and they unloaded a hundred questions on me.That nite I showed them how a pack works. it's importance, and how to change a bottle. this is a skill my co. rely's on them to perform on scene. Next week it'll be how to help the engineer set the truck up to pump, connecting the supply lines etc... I have asked a 25 yr member to pull out some old photos and articles, and take a little time to talk to them about the history of the dept. with memorial day coming up. talk to these kids and find out what they know about the day, what it means to them. then tell them what it means to you. if your a veteran tell lthem that. life is different today. these kids don't grow up with the same connection to countryt,and community that some of us did. if you have juniors or explorers you now have one more job , helping make them firefighters.
While I think it's an incredibly poor statement on their program that these explorers were acting this way, there's a lot to be said for the possibility that they don't even know the significance of the monument. I think any of us that have hammed it up in front of any monument or statue (especially in our youth) should keep that in mind. I know for certain I have a picture of me on the statue at PI helping to raise the flag on Iwo Jima. I certainly didn't mean any disrespect to those fine soldiers then, but looking back on it now, I can see where some old WWII leatherneck looking on at that moment might have thought that way.
But more importantly, I think Michael's comment is right on. I have seen too many times that new members, be they explorers, juniors, or simply new career or vollie members, aren't considered worthy of even teaching them the traditions, or giving them the time of day to teach them some of the tricks of the trade. Unfortunately, only a few of us were raised in a fire station. Everyone else had to learn it on Day One of the job.
Like Michael said, take out some old photos, teach these new people more about your organization, teach them how they can help on the fireground, and be a mentor. Having been in the position of the "new kid" and getting treated like crap, I can say that 30 years later, I should still remember those lessons myself. So excuse me, I'm going out to find a new guy to mentor.
Thats just plain wrong. Not only on the explorers part but the supervisors part. Those explorers should be suspended or if you feel it warrented expelled from the program. Behavior like that should not be tolerated