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First off, Today is the last day to sign up for the Health Care and Child Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Thanks to Stafford on the heads up.

Secondly, I will be sending out a collection for Scooter and his family tomorrow. There are also some other things in the works for him by other departments. Captain Rorrer is working on getting some guys/gals together to do a chore over at Scooter’s house. We will know more about what needs to be done this weekend.

Finally, I apologize but for some reason the comments on the post “Things I need to get off my Chest” didn’t come through until today. I approved them and I suggest you read them. As a matter of fact, I will post some of them right here below. I don’t post them to exploit anyone. As a matter of fact, I have never meant to exploit anyone…maybe certain actions or ideals but it has never been personal.

I would also like to add that I always enjoy hearing what people think about me. Does that mean I need to change if I don’t like what I hear. NO. It just gives me an idea of how people perceive me and if that isn’t the perception I want them to have, then I make sure to clarify myself. Not everyone is going to agree with me or like me…But if nobody does…ugh, I better get out the mirror and take a look.

Some of the once lost, newly added comments are below.

Anonymous said…

well said. how many more great firefighters are we going to lose to other depts? it seems every couple of months we lose someone, sure some come back, but most don’t. it’s pretty sad when guys would rather go to Iraq then work here. you barely get to know some of these guys and they leave for other depts. or just change careers. i’ll be gone in about 6 years and i have seen this dept go downhill. here is some tips chief,
1. promote the ones qualified. not guys who freeze on the radio and give back their rank. not guys who get drunk and bad mouth you and the dept. not people who spend most of their carrer in training.
2. forget the emt-i bulls**t. you want medics, hire medics. don’t run these guys off because they are C students. (that C is an exaggeration for some of you knuckleheads.)
3.make a decision and stick to it. don’t change sop’s constantly on us. you are running this dept in the ground.
one more thing, where the f**k is my station exhaust system?
12:21 AM
Anonymous said…

Great Points Rhett. Since you ranted, I’ll put my two cents worth in as well. Sorry, but I think it’ll be a little long.

Maybe the problem lies in trying to run a Fire Department without ever really being involved with having a Fire Department run around you. If you never really experienced the issues from the “grunt” side, how can you effectively handle the issues that affect those below you? Or for that matter, know how they affect those below you?
It is a numbers game. Betting on the odds of things not happening at one time.

Betting the lives of the Citizens and Firefighters.

We don’t have multiple, simultaneous incidents anymore, so we can do with less.

But wait. Let’s see. Airport Alert, Structure fire (with a firefighter down shortly after arrival) and another fire incident somewhere on the back side of Mill Mountain. Did those all happen at the same time?

How often are we “dumped” for ambulances in the City?

But it is okay, it doesn’t happen often. How would Scooters outcome have possibly differed if the Mill Mountain call came in first, then the Airport Alert and then the Structure Fire? Would there have been enough people on scene to do what needed to be and was done to save Scooter?

Promotions? Hah, seems that it is a whim and popularity contest.
Are the best candidates at the top?
Not entirely. Many great pump operators/drivers sucked at taking tests and were never on the top of the list.

But that really doesn’t matter today. Instead, if you pressure wash the Chief’s and his family’s floors, paint the Ass. Chief’s Church, or maybe even hint at discrimination, you get promoted.

People skipped repeatedly and given different reasons each time, you didn’t do this, or you didn’t have that, or someone had more time than you, only to next promote someone with less training, less time, etc.

Micro-management, there is a word that the office knows all too well. You MUST call ME before taking your apparatus to the garage to get a lightbulb replaced!!!!! Inconsiderate and plain STUPID comments are the norm. Comments that in the future can come back to haunt the individuals and the Department. But then again, “I do not recall saying that,” “I did not knowingly or willingly do anything wrong,” and “we have no plans to do that AT THIS TIME” are well know, rehearsed and used statements.

Policies written, rewritten and interpreted on a whim. Variations in disciplinary action for the same infractions. Decisions made and enforced without consideration of legality, morality, etc. until someone challanges the decision. And once challanged, the old “oops, we were wrong, sorry. A new policy will be out tomorrow to cover that.”

Many years of service have seen this Department go from a place that people enjoyed coming to work, to a place that people can’t wait to get out of. How many people do you hear today, that can tell you how much longer it is until they can retire?

Wake up Administration and smell the coffee (you expect someone to make and pour for you when you show up at a station). Get out in the field in an informal manner. Visit the station and the personnel. Show a genuine concern for the welfare of the men and the Department. Quit trying to find ways to punish people or make them guilty of ANYTHING, instead, find ways to raise your employees to a pedistal to which they belong.

Every day gets better or worse. The choice is yours.
1:14 AM
Anonymous said…

You said it Brother! This department is beginning to be so caught up in me me me that its blurring their vision.We have one who just wants to move you here and there just because he can. “Respect my athorati” as Cartman would say. All with no thought on special skills and knowledge. So we just say ” Boy it will piss him off if I send him here!” It doesn’t matter if people at 2 can actually do Hazemat or the ones at 6 are HTR, 10 can do ARF or E-5 and L-1 even have personnel who actually know extrication. Hell we even got a Lt. on L-1 who cant drive cause his foot is numb and cant feel how hard he’s pushing the peddles and has to wear 2 different size boots because of the swelling so he has to “Till” or ride the seat.I saw him the day before he returned to work walking with a cane. If it where any other we’d still be on light duty or lookn for a job! Wonder why he’s there? The promotions are all about what have you done for me lately, and will he still do what I want and not what he wants or what is right. These “young ones” cant do what there told because all they want is to get a badge and get off the medic truck or they are just here for the money. This makes guys 6 months out to busy to learn because there too busy taking officer classes and instructor. They need to learn there job as a firefighter and get some time in before they run the world. The quints are junk and need to be sold to the highest bidder to get some real trucks in here. Why not buy some nice used ladders that some Vol. Company has had sitting in a building for 5 years and go on 3 runs a year and they got money for new ones. Because we all know the Vol. motto “if we don’t spend it somebody else will”. We don’t really need new trucks just nice dependable trucks. All the “Tick” trucks have all the options you can get on them so there better than we could afford anyway! We need E-7 back on the streets or another ladder somewhere. I know for a fact that 7 was down the other night and L-1 was the only ladder on southside,and the were in 901 so how quick where they going to get there? The I’s is another story all together. If all these young guns would bite the bullet and take the class we would have enough medic’s that they wouldn’t have to ride as much as they do now. Think about that? If there were 3 or 4 medics at each house it would be better for all. You could skip cycles at a Oh the mouthy one’s? We as officers need to take this in hand and get control of our firefighters. I don’t mean be a ass just make them understand that if we tell them to do something there is a reason for it. Be a good leader and they will follow and respect you. Some of this is to blame on us because they have had officers that let this happen or didn’t care happend as long as they still got paid and nobody bothered them. So we need to ask ourselves are we here for the right reasons? God knows were not going to get rich at this. So I leave with this, There are hundreds of people who would love to be in our shoes! And if its so bad here don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I love this job and Department there’s not much I would trade it for and I never get up and say I don’t want to go to work today……CAN YOU?

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