You know the rule….well its just not written down
In a world of digital media, we the firefighters find ourselves out in the dark without a flashlight. Most Fire Departments are para-military. Meaning we have rank and follow the rank. We understand our role and follow orders.
Recently, as in a few years ago, the department went to SOP’s online. The SOP book in the station was not maintained after that point. Therefore if you were looking at the SOP book, you had to go online to make sure nothing had changed. This is not a huge deal, however it seems as though memos and emails have taken the place of updated SOP’s and it has created a problem. Now, when you want to see what the rules are you have to get the emails, memos, and SOP’s and put them in chronological order and put them together like a jig-saw puzzle.
However, there is one more thing you have to take into consideration…the unwritten rule. What is the unwritten rule? Well to be exact, it could be anything. What weight does an unwritten rule have? To me, nothing really.
I know the SOP’s, I receive email, and I know where the Memo board is. So I guess it is up to me to know what is going on and what rules to follow. If indeed I fail to follow the rules, I will pay the consequences. That is the way it works.
Unwritten rules? Well don’t expect me to know them.
But it could be better. It is very simple actually. All we have to do is update the SOP’s to common practice, discontinue the practice of using emails as policy because not everyone uses it, and get rid of relying on unwritten rules.
I would be happy to be on a committee to clean up the SOP’s and make them more understandable. After all, it would be beneficial if I could go to one place to know what is expected of me, other than the City POP’s.