I dont know if any one else has run into this problem or not but i have. Guys joining the fire depts just to say they are "fire fighters". Ive been in the service my self for about a year so im no verteran but sence then i have taken many classes and i have been in many struture fires doing all jobs from fire attack to water boy. but there are guys on my dept who think its cool to have lights in their trucks and turn out gear who do absolutly nothing. if you have this prblm or a solution to it plz comment
We have a couple like that. Had one join recently that has been to two meetings and no calls. Another one shows up occasionally, and does nothing when he does show up. He went with me on a call last week and I made him ride 5th seat. We have had a loose membership program lately and have decided to revamp our policy for new members. These people are a liability if they won't train. They need a better way to find chicks.
Since this is mostly a volunteer problem I guess it goes with the demographics of the area you cover. The gene pool in our area is shallow and poluted, so we just hope for the best. I'm not being sarcastic, that's the way it is.
You are not alone. We have been fortunate to have good leadership and strong peer pressure. We weed those folks out quickly and send them on down the road. After that they're on their own if they get caught "pretending." Bill- I think the gene pool could use a little chlorine!
It's difficult if not impossible to police folks when they are not on duty, or at the fire station volunteering their time. The off duty / shift time, regardless of volunteer or paid/call position, results in some folks being involved just for the ego or bragging rights, including lights on the cars, decals, tee shirts, hats and the most dangerous tool that can both embarrass and denigrate our profession... their mouths.
So, you have a couple of choices here. Go along with status quo, or raise the bar. What do I mean Dwight? Simple. Either do nothing and let things just go the way they are or... make being a part of the fire department something that is earned, not given away. This includes standards and expected accomplishments to be able to be called a firefighter. If folks can just show up, do nothing, and parade around like a peacock, then you have problems on your hands. Any competent firefighter I have ever met, the ones who know the job and are both mature and confident tend to be pretty low key in their off and on duty approach to this calling.
Bottom line is get rid of the dead weight. If folks are not contributing, and making everyone proud that they are a part of the team, then it's time to say see ya! WE are own worst enemies. Attitude and behavior patterns start from the top. Folks need to lead by example. It may not be what you are envisioning as the perfect department or personnel but it has to start somewhere if there are problems. Just try to be the solution and not the problem. Remember, any one can bitch and complain about something, and in fact, firefighters are pretty good complainers. What you want to be is the person who recognizes the problem and comes up with solutions. Be that person.
My department has requirements to stay on the department. We have training every Monday night and there is a certain call volume that they want you to achieve. You have to attend 75% of the yearly trainings unless you have prior approval. It comes out to missing something like 15 trainings a year.
If you only make 1 or 2 calls in a month (usually we average 100 to 150 calls a month and around 1500 - 2000 calls a year) and miss trainings you will get a letter telling you to make more calls and trainings and a stern talk from our BC. If nothing improves you will get another letter and a call from our BC asking you to turn your gear in. You have 15 days to do that and after that the issue gets shipped to the sheriffs office where they issue a warrant for you.
Usually after the person has a talk with our BC things improve though because our BC can motivate a rock.
My suggestion would to be to suggest something like this to your dept. so it is made clear on hire that they are required to do certain things and make a certain amount of calls and training and if they do not do that they will be axed.
Do you really feel it's your job to decide why someone can or can't be a part of a department, I'm pretty surprised that "you" can have the only reason to be part of the fire Service. Not to mention, the number of Jr. FF's that are judging others, I can just about guarantee, that's rumors, something newbies really need to avoid. I've seen all kinds of Firefighters through the years, they've joined for different reasons, done more than the job has ever expected from them, give everyone a chance, let them just be themselves.
ps. Use your Spell Check or a Dictionary next time...
When I was in the fire service, I worked for a couple different departments. They were small departments compared to what most on here are probably familiar with. We had no state mandated training programs for the most part back then; we did it ourselves. Learned from the more experienced personnel. We'd get all types coming in dropping applications. Some just didn't make it and left after a short time. A lot of the volunteers we had left after a short time too. We did have mandatory meetings/training sessions and most departments in the area held periodic state sponsored training. At the time, it was a basic 42 hour course which taught basic skills and expectations. The rest you got OJT.
Having said that, I had one volunteer that has since risen to become Chief of one of my old departments as well as holding a County official position. That man devoted himself and dedicated himself to his duties and chosen profession. Those under his command can count themselves lucky and fortunate today. Another man that came into the fire service as a "paid" position, started out greener'n grass and he and I spent many hours together on duty. I still remember his first working fire. ROTFLMAO!! It was a blast. He has also risen to become Chief of his department and those under his command can count themselves lucky and fortunate to have him. No, I'm not gonna names names here because likely some here personally know these individuals and I don't want to get any "war stories" going. Suffice it to say, I have the highest respect and admiration for them for doing what they love to do. It damn sure ain't for the paycheck, that's for sure.
We had those who only came on board for the paycheck too, as well as those with a "red light" fetish. I don't recall any of them who held on for very long. As in any profession, there are those who are there because "it's a job and a paycheck." The ones who are there because they love it and yearn for it are the ones you want to look up to and pick their brains. They're easy to find. Look for the one's who are there when you need them and who will take the time to sit a "talk shop" with you into the wee hours just to see YOU succeed.
Not much you can do about yard breathers. Sooner or later they will leave for greener pastures. Problem is, "we" have to keep them from getting "us" killed in the process.
I'm a Volunteer as well and I'm proud to say that since I've joined I've missed only a handful of meetings and runs,but thats only because I was at work when something went down.We too have the same problem though.Our Roster has probably any where from 80-90 members on Paper but theres about 15-20 that show up for the occasional meetings.And on our Fires we have usually 5 people and the driver show up and on Car wrecks its usually just me and our driver(Captain)so there is definately a problem atleast in Volunteer departments.I'd say the carreer guys probably show up regular don't they?
brother there is no solution to that problem besides the problem itself you know as well as i do if your heart and soul is not in this job you will hang up your helmet and turn in your boots its not one for the untrue just sit back and relax do your part and live up to your codes of brotherhood the ones who are heartless to this job will not last, and the problem will fix itself