How is your department handling respect issues with your 16 to 20-somethings? How does the entitlement generation learn to earn respect when so many think they are just entitled to it.

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being from long island too i know what you mean and i loved being around the old guys because their stories were sometimes better than any training i got

BTW i graduated from SCC (fire science) before comming to Fl and i went to school with a chief from E. Northport



You proved my earlier point.  While the young guys may have respected you because of your seniority previous to this drill, they have a new found respect for you because your experience allowed you to show them a better way to do something.


It is the same with newbies, they get common human respect, but EARN the respect of their firefighter peers by showing they can do the job.

thank you Don. I also dont believe in hazing (even though it was done to me and it was a love/hate thing) forget the legal stuff, some of it has no place in the modern fire service an some of it is disrespectful....but i do enjoy taking video of a newbie on their first day and waiting about 5 years for them to become "one of the guys" so i can run it and ask..."what happend to that person?)

Here are some good ways to get them to respect you some that i found when i was one. Take as many classses as you can. Show up a lot so they know your interested and want to be there. Go over your trucks alot, know where everything is, ask about tools or how you would deploy things. Dont act like a know it all (even if you have more certs and know more than other people there). Just a few ways. Just get involed with your dept alot. When i was a JR. i took classes and by the time i turned 18(senior member) i had more certs than 90% of the members there. The bad thing is i still have more certs. me and my best friend there(our leu.) have the most certs. yes more than our chief. But no ones going to listen to someone younger than them. I had the worse problem as a Jr. at my one station i actually stopped showing up alot and joined a second dept. Just dont let them get to you.

our juniors learn real quickly and pay close attention to what they are taught.

they know we will not put them into a situation they cant handle,

we have a strict policy in place to deal with disrespectful and abusive behaviour.

but respect is earned by being given!

if the young junior is respectful in his attitude and learns what is taught then he earns the respect!

most get a wake up early on about what they don't know and how fast it can harm them. (usually by a senior correcting them or by the lessons learned in classes and on scene)

don't get this wrong, if you make a mistake because you didn't know that's one thing!

but if you do something intentionally stupid that could harm yourself or others you had best hope I don't catch you! (and that goes for seniors as well as juniors)

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