what is your thoughts on the growing problem in fire houses, or do believe it is not as big as it seems? "Extamaritial affairs." As a chief officer I have seen a problem developing in our fire house, as we move to equality in the fire service. has our societies drop in morals moved to the place we held moral values and high standards as part of our honor. just like to see what you all have to say.
I belong to small Volunteer Co. and it turned out to be a huge problem.The fire chief wife(31) and a younger member(19) were fooling around and it lead to them being arrested.They were fooling around for almost 2 years and the Chief said he did not now about it.They got bored and started setting fires.He is accused of setting several fires and she help plan some of them. Everyone of us new she was doing this(fooling around)and she told us her husband was OK with it,but he did not now, he work out of town a lot. It has caused problems with in the fire co.He is still Chief.We have several husband and wife members.
Since the replies are all over the chart, do you mind clarifying the exact problem? Is it extramarital affairs between department members and/or other departmental member's spouses or extramarital affairs in general?
I hope I'm not naive to this here at my station, but I see it more on the police side versus ours. I used to be a 911 dispatcher and constantly saw it in law enforcement but being on the fire service for 16 years it is far and few. I remember when I first joined members always saying its never appropriate to look at another fireman's spouse or even think about anything more. But I see your point, and believe this is just the way society is going today. Television alone exploits this (i.e. Jerry Springer Show)on a day to day basis and some feel compelled to take on that risk. I am proud of my marriage with my wife of 18 years and many have told me that today, this is a great accomplishment. Not many relationships go very far today. If it's occurring in the fire house, I would be concerned of the safety of the personnel because the line of trust has been crossed. That's why I hope it's not happening here or other fire houses. This is a job that holds us on higher pedestal and we need to live by this 24/7. Hope I didn't ramble.
There was an incident years back at our FD concerning this issue. The 2 FF are both still at the station and work together. I'm sorry I don't know many details of it because it happened before my time there. There haven't been many females at our station and I've never heard of there being a problem with this. Personally, the older members treat me like a daughter and the younger crew treat me like a sister.
My boyfriend is a member with another company and works with both men and women. I have no issues whatsoever with it. I believe it is within the person. If they are the type to have an affair then it's bound to help happen at the FD or elsewere.
There was a little going on...actually I thought it kind of funny...the only people fooled in the situation were the ones involved, in trying to keep it under wraps.....everyone else knew all about it...as I said before...There are NO secrets in the Firehouse.....Paul
The fire station, or house, is really a place of busines. Yet sadly it is more of a clubhouse to some, especially with those who have the entitlement attitude, and feel they answer to no one becouse their station is some exclusive, eleite organization that is immune from public scrutiny.
No matter where you get your funding, it all comes down to mostly the community paying for your equipment and facilities. You have a moral, and professional obligation to keep your business as above board as possible.
There will always be men and women seeking each other out. It happens in even the strictest of workplaces. We are not immune from human behavior. But we must do everything possible to maintain a professional, respective image. Those who tarnish that have no self respect, let alone respect for their organization.
I think it's prone to happen in any job situation where people are in close proximity to others for a good portion of their daily life. It's also prone to happen when people find someone to "connect" to that has the same goals, aspirations, and interests as they do. Is our current generation perhaps a little more "morally ambiguous"? Sure, we're more open in our communications on the subject of sex, but affairs have been in occurance since the beginning of time. Businessmen having affairs with secretaries, actors and actresses sleeping with directors, etc. The current generation always takes 'lessons' from previous generations and garner their own knowledge from it. The affairs in today's society are far less 'discreet', and in some instances people are in "open" relationships with their spouses. I suppose that's a prime example of the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality.
Should we hold ourselves to a higher code of conduct? Absolutely. I don't think, however, that persons who are married should be prohibited for serving on the same department. I don't know that I would discourage someone who is willing and able-bodied from serving their community when both persons are aware of the benefits and risks. In fact, it may be beneficial to have a married couple serving together - how "discreet" can any affair be when your spouse is a part of that same 'brotherhood' of firefighters? Besides, if you share that much in common there's a good chance you won't be tempted to stray in the first place.
I believe that it is very un professional. We as Firefighters and EMS personel are people that the younger generation looks up too. Just knowing that we are looked up to makes me think that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than that which society portrays as Ok. How could one consider oneself a roll model when their behavior is such that it portrays a bad name on us. It only takes one bad person to ruin a whole bunch of good people.
Frank, Fantastic topic! I can tell you that with my paid department, it aparently used to be a HUGE problem prior to me starting there. Since I've been there, there has been conversations about who the "male whores" were, but it seems to have stopped. There is however an ambulance service in our county that has this problem BAD!.. Marriages, divorces, children, etc, etc.. It seems that everytime you talk with someone, they're divorced from one co-worker and are dating another. I know of one female who works there that has 3 different children with 3 different co-workers. I suppose the only thing that I can say towards it is, I can understand falling into that since of family with those folks you see more than your own family, but it seems like if you keep that moral compass pointed in the correct direction, this shouldn't be a problem at all. Sorry, I know I'm kinda straying a bit, I just don't get it.. I don't understand how going to work can make someone shed their morals, their love of their family, their creed if you will. We are in a position thats in the public light. Why would we paint ourselves into a corner?
I have heard of stories of members in my department running around and things happening in the station for years.
If its someones husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or someone they pickup somewhere at someones house or even in the firehouse.
I have heard of someone being at someones house during a fire making out someone's wife many years back and then telling others and myself about it.
I am starting my EMS school next summer in order to start my fire training, and I've been talking to a lot of my friends about anything and everything to do with firefighting and this is one of the topics that they brought up. It made me a little nervous, becausse I do have a girlfriend and we've been dating for about 8 months, and my intentions are that we will be married someday. By the time I start at a station, we will have been together for a few years I'm sure, but nonetheless (sp?) this topic did still worry me. I guess the only thing that will settle those thoughts is trust and time. I completely agree with all of the statements about today's younger generations being more accepting and open to other types of relationships other than marriage. I am about to turn 21 in January, so I have first-hand experience in seeing almost all of the options for relationships exhausted. I've even seen 20 year old swingers. To sum it all up, I think that I would say that if the person you have committed your life to is willing to throw it all away, then they are not the right person for you and they are not worth committing your life to, and you should move on. I can only imagine how it would feel for that to happen to me, and it must be devastating. I am sorry to any firefighter (or anyone in general) who has ever had to go through that.