Things I have to get off my chest

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Warning – Rant ahead. If you have sensitive feelings, do not read. Otherwise, tell me what you think in the comments section.

  1. I got the promotional reading list and bought the books. Then I get the updated reading list, and guess what? The first list was messed up, so I bought a book that the City isn’t going to use. Where do I file to get my money back. The book being used is the newest edition, however there is still another book on the list which we use the older edition. WTF? Either way, for the most part the books are written by individuals. These individuals are gurus of their topic. However, at least some of them contradict each other in their theories, disciplines, and ideas. So which one do we listen to. Me? I just listen to the voice in my head that says it doesn’t really matter, because we have no way of checking to see if the test is actually correct. If we had an issue with a question, there isn’t anyone there to listen to it or make a correction. Plus we just have to guess which questions we got wrong and go from there.
  2. Promotions; when are we going to correct the problems with promotions. How many times are firefighters going to hear an excuse why they don’t get promoted. Excuses that cover the facts or real reasons why they don’t get promoted. I was told one time when I got skipped over that the others had more time in the department. WRONG. They didn’t. The other thing told to me was that Jack and John (names changed) had to be promoted because they were 1 and 2 on the list. HUH? You had to? But you skip over #1 and #2 all the time. I thought you had to. These excuses came from the top.
  3. Promotions part two. It is a good thing that we have a decent grapevine in Roanoke. Otherwise no one would have known that promotions were taking place. Remember, we are required to hand in a resume. How are we to hand one in if we don’t know when they are occurring? Why don’t we post an official promotional list. We have people who find out too late that they were looked at for promotions. If it weren’t for the firefighters putting together a list, no one would know. But that list always has gaps and is not always correct. We just need an official list sent out after all the candidates are made aware of their scores.
  4. Lack of tact. When a firefighter suffers cardiac arrest on the fire ground, and is spared his life because of the quick actions of Roanoke’s Great Firefighters, don’t ask stupid questions like “Mrs. Smith (name changed), do you know of anything that your son might have been doing to make this happen” (quote for effect, I don’t have the exact wording.
  5. Intermediates. Don’t tell guys one thing one day and change your mind the next. If they have to get their EMT-I then be honest. If you tell them no, honor it and don’t change your mind.
  6. Intermediates part two. Why don’t we fix the damn problem with the EMT-I contracts. Why don’t we just say that ever new hire and their mother will have to get there intermediate from this day forward. We know you can’t afford to put everyone through class. Better yet, why not put them through class before the fire part of recruit school. That way you can get rid of anyone who doesn’t want to take it. Find the money and afford the class. What are we going to do if the EMT-I certification is no longer acceptable and everyone will be either an EMT or EMT-P. Raise of hands who want to go to college for two-four years to get their Paramedic?
  7. Intermediate part three. Why is there so many different contracts for the EMT-I and EMT-P’s who have gotten promoted. This guys has to ride the medic truck once a cycle, that guy once a month, that guy once a quarter. This is not going over well among those involved. We need to have something that is reasonable and consistent.
  8. Seniority. The lost word in Roanoke. What the hell does that mean. The only thing it is good for is vacation sign ups…Unfortunately. It should mean more than that.
  9. Ladder 7, 13, and the Reserve Ladder. What the hell is going on. We play musical ladder trucks all the time. Trucks go to the service center to get fixed and they have to be pulled out to go back in service. It seems as though either Ladder 7 and 13 are at the garage constantly. Why don’t we prove to the City that we need another ladder truck yesterday. That way, Ladder 7 can park Ladder 13 outside as a parts car.
  10. Ladder 7 run as an engine. What has is come to that Ladder 7 is replaced with an Engine. See the above post. We need another reliable ladder. I wouldn’t be surprised if 7 and 13 have “Fisher Price” stamped on the bottom somewhere. And we don’t need to buy a single rear axle ladder truck. Who’s idea is that? WTF?
  11. Firefighters don’t need to be micro-managed. Our best leaders are at the Company Officer Level. They lead by example and firefighters respect them and follow them, learn from them, and work hard for them. Let the Company Officers and Battalions run their companies and shifts and the department will be so much better off. Don’t get me wrong, the work of higher Chief Officers is very important, as that of the subordinate firefighter. However, it gets hard on the firefighter when he/she has everyone above giving them orders. It is a lot easier if the chain of command is followed up and down.
  12. Firefighters answer to their company officers. One thing that really gripes my ass is when a firefighter, or subordinate officer supersedes their officer. You want to know what you end up with, micro-management. If you are told to do something, do it. It is as simple as that. I hate hear questions like why do we have to do that, or I don’t feel like it. It gives you a bad name.
Don’t think that I just made this stuff up. And, no this isn’t directed at anyone directly. I am just voicing issues that I hear about daily. If you think that something can be done to correct these issues, then work at it. If it doesn’t pertain to you, then so be it. Due to certain strong-armed tactics, firefighters feel they cannot bring up these issues to the ones who call the shots. Therefore, these issues and others remain at the company level and continue to spread discontent.

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