"Need Some advice What do you do when the dept (the Chief's) appoint new officers ( LT ) who i  have no respect for.

I have personal issues with one who shows no respect to his parents, let alone other members of the dept.. has made remarks to the chiefs on things a 18-19 yr old should just be quiet about and listen ( am i to much "old school")

The other officer doesn't have my trust, he will ask me what we should do, about the things we do around the fire house." should we check the scba packs? does this tool go here?  

I like doing what i do but i have a problem with people who don't want respect but does not show any for anyone........


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Need Some advice What do you do when the dept (the Chief's) appoint new officers ( LT ) who i have no respect for.


Quite simply, you need to respect the position, you don't have to respect the person. Just getting a promotion does not command a personal respect, but respect is due to the position of authority.


This means the onus is really on you, especially in the realm of respect. You have to put your personal issues aside and look at the bigger picture. For whatever reason, this person you have animosity for, is now in a leadership position, and that position should be recognized. So it is up to you to act the bigger person and put aside petty differences.


You have to follow orders, (you can make suggestions etc contrary to orders, but don't refuse because you don't like the person issuing them). You need to perform your role and it helps to do that in a professional way, not complain and gripe, or spread your personal animosity around. You need to perform your job functions and perform as a crewmember when around this person, but it doesn't mean you have to hang out with them outside the dept, etc.


However, I see where you may not be showing examples of the respect you wish to recieve. You outright say you can't respect this person, another officer doesn't have your trust, and so forth. If you want to facillitate change, it helps to look in the mirror first. One thing you can change is yourself.

I read once a firefighter can be many things, they can be a prick, a thief, a liar, and a cheat, but they cant be a coward.  I don't know if that means anything but I got a chuckle out of it.  I had a fellow respond to a question I posed on a blog the other day about respect and commitment.  He suggested to train them up and keep mentoring them, as your level of commitment and dedication will either rub off on them or they will quit.  If they don't quit the rest of the group will either push them out or be infected with their attitude, which is of course what we don't want.  this person may need to be shown the way so to speak, the way to duty, honor and respect or shown the way to the door.  A bad attitude can be like a disease that spreads throughout the dept. if not treated early enough.    

The only control you have is your own personal actions and demeanor.  Like John said, you need to respect the bugle but not necessarily the man. Respect gets respect so if the new officers want respect they will eventually figure out they need to give respect to get some, otherwise they will be alienated from the group dynamics.


That said, follow orders, chain of command, and often times things work themselves out. The most important position in the fire service is actually the experienced senior man, they often make or break the group dynamics, and to be honest... make the Lieutenant or Captain look like a hero.  If the officer refuses to give you some respect they will eventually be forced to make decisions on their own and that's when they look like a zero.


Check out this internet radio show on dealing with negativity in the fire service and compensating behaviors... 



Keep your head up bro.



I have to agree with John on this. You may not like the guy but you do need to stay professional around the firehouse. Respect the position and try to work out your difference's. By not respecting the position you will just cause bigger problems in your department.                                             

             If the other officer is asking questions on what to do and you know what should be done take advantage of the situation. You know what you need for training. So when he is asking and you know what you and the other guys need tell him that. Be wise and polite and before you know it you will have him trained and can fell good about it and he won't even know it happened. Remember the big picture we are all in this together. Kill'em with love. They will change or quite. Good-luck

Only other thing: Be careful about airing dirty laundry in public. This is a good discussion, but this is a public forum, so your chief and other officers may see it at any time. It appears you've done a good job of keeping your remarks in check.

Best of luck. Like others have said keep a positive attitude and work through the difficulties and you'll be better than the rest in the end.

I thought the OP was a captain for some reason, and was in the position to mentor a young LT.  I still think a senior firefighter can take a young officer under his wing and shape him up.  Like in the army, where a green Lt. would get a lot of information and guidance from a crusty old first sergeant or sergeant major.  I like what FETC said about the senior man can make or break a Lt. or Cap.  A little understanding goes a long way.  At least around here the crummy officers seem to weed themselves out.  Those that need a little guidance to succeed seem to get it if they are willing to accept it and the whole company seems to benefit if everyone works together.      

You've kind of thrown these officers under the bus publicly. It could be pretty difficult to move forward in a positive manner which as others have pointed out is the way to go here. With this kind of decision-making you may not be earning their respect either. It's a two way street. How he treats his parents isn't really a Fire Department concern, although I understand where you're coming from. I think your only choice here is to be the better man and help thee guys develope in any areas in which they are lacking. That would be best for you, them and the rest of the department. Good Luck.

Sadly, its an ongoing problem in the volunteer fire service.  Departments want people who are around and have free time to be officer.  Who has the most free time?  Younger guys still living at home with no responsibilities...so who gets elected to positions that should be reserved for older, more experienced and better trained firefighters?  The younger members fresh out of Firefighter I and responding to 100% of the calls because they either have no job or work in town (like the highway dept) and leave work for everything.

I have seen it here too.  People with large amounts of training, many years in the service, but they work 1 maybe two jobs, have families at home and responsibilities other than the firehouse, and they dont even get considered for the position based on their availability.  If you can live at the firehouse you are perfect candidate for officer...if you hold your job and family first tough luck...

Just a few more questions for you; are these spots appointments or elected?  Do you guys have qualifications in order to run for office and what are they?  Do these youngsters meet them?  Are they any relation to the current chiefs of the department?  Are there other, better qualified people that should be in office that are interested in running for a spot?


Yes Moose one of them is the ASST. chiefs son, they are appointed by the chiefs (4 of them) so it's a political who likes who game, but now the LT's figured out i won't be bullied so they are trying to abuse my son tho just became a member last yr. ( thank God I have the county SAR team ) 

If I were you,I would have sent my question to people here for advice in private.Your Lt if he's been also here might see these words that may impact the brotherhood between you and him.I know some guys who didn't respect me when I was a Lt,I didn't require they should respect to me but they have to respect my rank.Always remeber,sallute to the rank not man.

It is SO much better when people can respect the person, not the rank. To a certain extent they have to respect the rank. But they want to respect the person behind it. And the person behind the rank should want them to respect him/her. Basically I'm saying that no one should hide behind or be propped up by their rank.

Always remember you're respecting the rank not the man/ woman.

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