Why is it Brand New Rookies come straight out to the field from the acadamy and act like they've been on the job 10 years?  They show up with the wrong shoes, no belts, piss pour attitudes, and think that they can argue with the officer when he/she gives an order of where to ride.  They also stand around with a dumb look on their face and wait to be told every little thing to do, step by step.  What happened to common sense?  It's beginning to happen more and more and I am at a loss of where they think that this is right. 

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A lot of it stems from this generation believing that they are entitled to everything. A lot of youth these days are pampered by not only their parents, but by society in general. If you look at how things have changed in this country over the generations. Youth used to have responsiblity placed on them at an early age; now kids often don't get their first job until they are out of high school or even college, they are constantly plugged into the internet with information just a click away with little to no effort involved.

Before anyone jumps on me, I am not saying that all youth are this way and I know that there are some great kids out there that know how to work and put in the effort required. The key is to change that entitlement mindset with the ones that need it by mentoring and working with them and letting them know what is expected and why. Voerall there is no quick solution to it and I feel that it is only going to get more abundent in the years to come.
While I wouldn't group myself with the new group of rookies that you have found yourself with, I do agree, there are many people in the fire service that really have you questioning how they got on or how they are still there.

It's not just the new guys with bad attitudes and poor work ethics. There are many times when we get to a call and the bodunks are showing up looking like they've never dressed themselves in a bunker suit before. I see a great deal of complacency and piss poor attitudes from new guys on the job to guys with less than a year left.

What can you do to change it? Can you help the new guys at the hall with checking equipment and teaching them how what is expected of them, or are you off hiding on your laptop and cellphone completely absolved of any of the goings on of the daily hall life.

Are you in a position to get on the hiring board? Are you able to re-write procedures in dealing with probies that don't cut it?

This is no an attack on you, just a generalized thought about what seems to be a common topic

How true you are. As you mentioned, there are some that do come out and work their butts off to do what's right and those are usually the ones that you actually have to tell to slow down and not to over do it, yet there is this abundent group of youth that do have the mind set of being given the "silver spoon" treatment and then they have to be taught that that's not what they are going to get here. It just flat out amazes me the mind set that they show up with now days.
It is simply the mentality of kids...and I do mean "Kids" today, Period. Take a step back and take a long hard look at what we as an "older" generation have to look forward to. It has been thrusted upon us as Line Officers to turn these little knuckles heads around. We have the best job in the world...and it has "Babysitting" written in small print. Somebody has to do it, and this we (you, me and other front line Officers) WILL DO.
Although I agree in the sense that there are obvious generational differnces, learning styles, and general approaches to work and life, I don't agree with the overall belief/opinion that Gen Y is lazy, feels entitled, or has no clue.

I feel these attitudes adn behaviors are learned and can be found to some extent in every generation. I think the problem is not in Gen Y - it is in the Baby Boomer Generation as they are the parents of most of Gen Y, they raised these children, they spoiled and coddled them, and most of Gen X is resentful of it.

As far as why do new recruits behave the way that they do? Some of it has to do with their upbringing, but if this behavior is wide spread, I would recommend taking a strong look at your academy program and its delivery. My department certainly experiences these attitudes as I am sure most do, but it should be the exception and not the rule.


While this generation may indeed feel entitled to certain things dont forget to point the finger at the generation that wanted their children to be entitled.

Back to the original question:
We used to call the newly minted paramedics "paragods" since once they went on orders they knew everything. Generally that air of superiority left after a bad call when they realized they where in over their heads. While I'm not advocating putting them in harms way just to take that away the best you can do is try to teach them the ways that will let them do the job and save their lives, and allow them just enough room to make the mistakes that will enable them to learn. Like my dad used say "sometimes you have to lose a little skin to learn to ride a bike"
Our county is planning a project. When a career rookie comes out of class they have to be in a ambulance internship. Meaning they have to prove they can ride the right seat as a officer before they can get to. Meaning they will be under a training officer in the field. They also plan to do this on volunteer members fresh out of EMT class.
We are waiting to see if this will work.
And just to play the Devil's Advocate which generation is running the academy's and not addressing this seemingly widespread problem there? Is there something in the way academies are run that perhaps unitentionally promotes this attitude???

Lead by example, because people learn by emulating the example set. Working with people is the best way to build relationships, identify problems, and correct behavior (early before it's a habit). Yeah, a captain may have reports to enter, but maybe it's important to be out in the bay helping to wash the truck too (even if just to run the hose). Don't just mold the rookie, bolster morale, and build your own credibility. As a firefighter I like having confidence in my officer and that comes from trust and trust comes from working together. I am lucky to say I have that confidence in every officer I've worked under in my department.
I just joined a local vfd as an emt. At 41, I've just been an EMT-B for a year. I understand the need to ride 3rd seat until proven. But then again, I'm from a different generation.
Don, I wrote a blog a while ago titled, "Look At The Instructors Before Blaming the Recruits".

Feel free to read it at: http://my.firefighternation.com/profiles/blogs/889755:BlogPost:881693

There may be contributing issues such as what they're taught, how they're taught and who taught them....

On a similar but slightly different tangent, I wrote another one titled, "Lead The Way or Step Aside" where I question what our leaders are really doing- do they truly lead the way or is it time to step aside and let someone really lead?

Feel free to read it too:
We had to go to training this morning for some CE Hours and after class was done, I followed my Officer to the Front Office where he very calmly asked the Training Staff what their opinions were on the situation which he is about fed up with. They stated that they are held to very high standards while in training, including pressed uniforms, spit shined boots, and are told to maintain that appearence once they move out into the field. Come to find out, what seems to be happening is that they all of a sudden loose everything that they are taught in the acadamy and revert back to "I'll do what I want attitudes." Wrong!

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