To make a long story short I am considering leaving the fire service. Its not under my free will, I love the job and still get that feeling from helping people. However, lately one of our members has been making it hard for me to do my duties at Lt.
On Sunday morning aroung 3:30am we had a house fire. Upon arival to the station I hoped out and there were 2 guys out front getting their gear on. One of them was running his mouth. He was yelling that we were taking to long to get there and get ready. He went on to yell that he was glad it wasn't his house and that we are a joke. I asked him to quiet down two times and he continued to yell. At this point I am tring to hear the size up from a unit that just went on location and I am ready to call our engine in service (I was driving). In order to get some quiet I yelled at the man to shut his f&$king mouth so we could hear the radio and each other. (I knew it was wrong but it worked, he was quiet at this point and I got the needed info). The next day he went to the police chief and fire chief and made a complant on it. (I knew he would). Today I was given 30 days out and striped of Lt.
This guy and I have had a few run-ins before. He likes to say that its a race issue. (he pulls this every time he has a problem). I would like to say this, I am not a raceist person...I can prove this due to my job. I am a shop Foreman. I have people of ALL colors working for me and we all get along just fine. There has never been a problem like this with anyone else.
All this said, He has been gunning for me for the two years he has been around this station. I get no backing from the rest of the dept because they all want to stay clear of the guy. They are afraid of him. What are your thoughts on this? I'm lost here. thanks -Matt

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i dont think the punishment fit the crime personally (if it even was a crime) . Did you get in trouble for your language or because he told them you were discriminating because of his race? I really cant see what you did wrong, you needed him to be quiet to get information and he didn't. Then again i only have 7 months experience in the fd under my belt, maybe im missing something?
Matt I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve learned that with these guys you can’t play there game because you weren’t invited.
But you can usually turn the tables and he won’t know any different in fact he’ll think he’s won his game.
It’s a hard thing to do but you have to bite the bullet and give him all the rope he needs to hang him self with and in time he will do just that.
Just watch your back, dot your I’s, cross all your T’s, pay attention, document every thing.
It helps if there’s some one in your corner to back you up if need be but time is the key.
If you leave now this A-- hole has won and will move on to someone else there won’t be a day go by that you won’t think about it and fell bad for it.
Guy’s like this can destroy a department and the whole community will suffer for it.
Like they say “you go…we go” hang in there.
Matt, I had the same problem with one of our members and also faced some discipline actions like you because it was mostly my word against his. From then on I tried to make sure someone was with me when he was around and I carried a tape recorder and recorded a bunch of the incidents. I took this info to our board and chief and he was dismissed from the company.After hearing all the evidence I was reinstated as an officer.I was very hard for me to treat him as I did everyone else and not just turn around and lay him out. But I knew I had to set an example and rise above this. By doing this it gave others the courage to come forward and stand up.Best of luck to you I"ll say a prayer for you.
It sounds as if your chief would rather have a 74 year old LOUD MOUTH calling the shots instead of a duly appointed officer. "Noboby wants to do anything because they don't want it to be a race issue"? Guess what; it already is. If your department is making decisions based on the notion that they DON'T want trouble from this guy, then they are already in trouble because they are treating it DIFFERENTLY. "They" are afraid he will sue? So can you. If YOU were treated differently, you have just as much right as the other fellow.
How much do you love your fire department?
THAT should guide you in your next course of action.

I am a Fire Chief and I just want to say is to stay on and do not quit. I truley believe that your Chief should stick behind you and listen to what you had to say and have you wite up your side of the story and have the other guy do the same. Once he has both side of the story and also anybody else that may have head what was going on. The let the Chief make his decision. You as the LT should write that guy up.. I agree with everbodt else take the time at the station to make sure you and you people have all there gear on and arrive back to the station safe. You as an officer could not hear the size up the other guy was interfering with your ability to know what was going and what your were about to face. He is the one that should given a 30 day out and maybe he would regonsider running his mouth. He seem to me that once he got on the fire ground he would be a loose cannon and not listen to you as an LT any way. Better off letting that guy go..
Don't throw away a job that you love and enjoy doing Matt. If I would have abandoned the fire service because of conflicts, I would have never got into it. When trying to get on my department there were a few officers that were totally against letting new and younger guys on the department. I faught for two years to get on. And I fight it every time I go on a call. They just like to get a reaction, which i stopped giving them after a while. My advice to you brother is to just sit and talk to your chief about that incident and what was said and happened. Then try and do your duties and job and ignore him. He'll pay the price in the end when he pisses in the wrong bowl of Cheerios and the chief cans his ass.
This sounds like it could become a saftey issue to me. If he wants to run his mouth, act all big and bad and then run and tattle about what you say to him, let him. Just be watching out, he sound like one who wont have your or anyone elses back when the crap hits the fan.
The other 2 two guys made a statement to the chief about what happened. it seems to have fallen on def ears.
It was brought to me as a "race" issue. The cuss word was a bonus...
I have sort of the same problem though "race" is not involved in my case.

I have three memebers who got away with alot under the old chief but since I took over now they are trying to run things around me.

They are arguing over every thing from radios to truck and to pagers and when I go against what the are saying they start threatening to quit.

I have only been chief for about twenty one days and they are getting on my last nerve.

But come next meeting I am going to lay it on the line and tell them if they do not like they way I am running things then they can run next year.
Damn, thats a hand full and a half there. Good luck man. (good to see most depts go through this stuff)
Sure is. Good luck to you too.

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