I had never really thought about it - I had taken a physical to get into my volunteer fire department, but I was never really given a psychological. I know that I, personally, am fine in that area, but we got a new member within the past year that has raised some serious red flags about his psychological competency.
The guy is nice and all, but one cannot help but get that weird feeling when they're stuck alone with him in the coffee room. He brings up awkward subjects, cracks stupid jokes that can be over the top at times, and so on. I understand possible social anxiety, and this is NOT it.
The member in question has talked, with a serious demeanor, that his family has been abducted by aliens and that he once was possessed by demons. He also said (although this isn't AS bad, but still... it's extreme) that he goes to 6 or 7 different churches every weekend. He's extremely religious (not always a bad thing, but it's to the point that it can get worrisome).
Physically the guy has potential - he's tall and stocky. It's just that he's not all there... psychologically. I am not the only one who has noticed this, either. I am honestly to the point that I would never have him back me up in a working fire. I fear for my, as well as my fellow firefighters', well-being.
Does your department have a psychological? Our department is to the point where I've talked to the President and he says that the board is contemplating psycologicals, primarily due to this current member.
"Does you department NOT understand what a probationary period is for? It's to do exactly what your department did NOT do, weed out a person not suited for the job."
Honestly, I have no idea why this member wasn't weeded out. It was obvious why he was incapable of handling the basics. If I were on the board of a Chief I would've investigated this member further. Maybe they are afraid of a lawsuit of some kind? Someone else has filed a lawsuit against our department already, or so I've been told, regarding allowing them in... But that is a different story. But then again, there aren't Chiefs riding on the ambulance where I've seen the worst of the worst. It's past the point where we can merely "toss" this member out for no reason. Or maybe, just maybe, they're looking for reasons as we speak and I have no idea about it.
"So a 30-day period gives the department MORE time to evaluate a new member than a 1 year period does? Please show your math."
I meant a probationary period WITHIN a probationary period. The general probationary period, to my understanding, is regarding firefighting in itself. Why not try and clear such people out with a miniature probationary period that regards their psyche and personality only? It was merely an idea, although I know where you're coming from. I am going to assume that I should have been clearer about my idea.
"As I understand this statement, this guy joined within the past 12 months. So.......is he still within your (you think) 1 year probationary period? Get Rid Of Him!
Honestly either you haven't a clue how your department runs or your entire department doesn't have a clue, period.
How could this person -as *off* as you claim this person to be- have been allowed to remain within whatever probationary period you have? Is this the Chief's son? Fire Commissioner's son-in-law? You keep harping on psych evals and a 'mini-probationary period' when you didn't use the probationary period you already had in place.
The further this discussion goes the more suspect it becomes."
I belive I said "within the past year or so," in the original thread. It has been over a year, as the member in question has obtained their FF1 Certification.
Listen, Capt., I don't MAKE the rules, nor can I enforce these rules, which is why I am SUGGESTING a mandatory psychological examination, or whatever it may be called. Something to review people's psychological competence and check their personalities to ensure that there is an adequate level of maturity and responsibility prior to their entry into the fire department. I don't think that is much to ask for. As for the "Miniature Probationary Period," that was being pushed for their personality and psyche ONLY, as it is sometimes impossible to judge and gauge someone during a one-time half an hour interview. A bigger window (hence the 30 days) would give the department a better idea as to how this member would truly act, especially on emergency calls and/or in emergency situations or at trainings/meetings.
I don't like to demean or talk bad about my department, but it seems that their stuff isn't together in this aspect. When it comes to being united, working as a team, and working emergencies in general, we're great. But this portion - taking in new people and adequately reviewing them, it needs some work.
This is a guy you'd have to meet and talk to - trust me. I've said it too many times in this thread. No matter what, the safety of myself and others is the biggest thing. Maturity and responsibility is paramount. This guy does NOT have that. He doesn't fit the mold whatsoever. I don't want to see anyone get hurt because of this guy - is that so hard to comprehend? I don't care how it is carried out, but there should be something - some test, whatever you want to call it - in place to ensure that someone of this caliber cannot enter the fire department. Call it the FD Olympics 3000. Call it the FDSAT's. Call it the FD Bar Examination. Call it the FD IQ Test. I really don't care - but there has to be some sort of test in place to gauge people - whether it's volunteer OR professional.
I mean, look at what happened about a year or so ago (maybe longer) - a volunteer firefighter with "Hero Symdrome" committed arson, subsequently killing a family because he wanted to act as a hero on scene. He set the stairwell on fire, so the family had no escape. Am I saying this member in my department will do that? No way, but the possibility that he may get someone else hurt definitely poses a threat.
As I've stated a million and one times before, Jack, it's hard to gauge someone. Right now all you hear about this guy is stories and information through me. He's a nice guy, but he doesn't have what's needed. I am really, really reluctant to allow him to even sit in an ambulance with me. The mere thought of him picking up a stretcher makes me cringe. Imagine if that was a loved one of yours being dropped, how would you feel knowing this guy has done so in the RECENT past, yet he still riding around helping out in the ambulance? He asks some of the most dim-witted questions I've ever heard. He's an infection in the fire house, as mean as it sounds.
Safety = paramount. He puts people, whether it's myself, other responders, or patients at risk.