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I have something that has been bothering me for a while now, and am looking for guidance/ help with understanding something. Is it me or are our ACO/Lt.s abusing the Honor, Authority, and the Pride that comes with their position? I currently work for Four fire departments, and work under a lot of different leaders. Lately I have been noticing a trend, I understand that a lot of people are under a power trip when given a position of authority, or just enjoy making themselves look good for the higher Brass, and this may be a stupid question but why? Why is it that people put themselves ahead of their FFs? What happened to the senior guy getting the position he WORKED for, STUDIED for, and deserves. The guy that is going to put his men before himself or take the time to get away from his laptop and get to know his men, or be there to answer his questions and not take Ball busting to an extreme. It kills me to be at work and see newer guys making mistakes, not asking questions, because they are the first to the recliner because their officer says its ok sit down we arent that busy, and would rather give them a ball busting when they make a mistake especially infront of a crowd than teach them ahead of time so they didnt make the mistake. Whats even worse is when I try to help the new guy and company officers tell you your wrong so they look good, especially when a higher up is around. I mean really, WTF! I hope this makes sense, because at the current moment Im fed up with Half a** leadership and am starting to get very discouraged. I ask for any advice anyone out there may have. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Stay Safe and Stay Low

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Brother Matthew.....What you are seeing is something that is happening all across the country and not just your neck of the woods! The Me Generation is coming into the fire service and that is what this is all about. There used to be the pride of doing a good job and showing the old guys that you knew how to do the job well thanks to their teachings. Now you have the folks who think they have the "right" to be here. They have watched the youtube video on how to cut a h*** in the roof and played all kinds of simulator games showing how to force entry or move a hoseline.

YOU are the key to keeping this tradition alive! I know the love you have for the job and know the line from where you have come. It is up to you to be that informal leader and get things done. It doesn't take much to pull the candidate off to the side and give him some tips when nobody else is around. While the boss is in his office sucking up to whoever he can it is your time to shine. Take the guys out on the floor or just strike up some interesting conversations about situations and use your experience. Also, this gives you an insight about the way these guys think, so when it comes time to do the job you are already two steps ahead and can help guide them in the right direction....All while letting them think they did it themselves, sooner or later they will come around and realize how much you actually did for them!
Brother Matt, I've been where you are and I realize your frustration. As a company officer, I strive to know my people. They look to me for positive leadership and to make sure they all go home! I look to them, quite frankly, to help me in that mission. We take care of each other, always! You are now placed in the same position. You are the future of our Service. Take a look at my blog, The Ties that Bind! Says what you're feeling Brother! I've come up through the ranks, in my career and will never forget where I came from our the men that went before me!
Staying safe! Staying Low! I have been there my BROTHER! I just keep plugging away, keep trying to make a difference. Todd McKee
Thank you for the kind words and advice. I really Appreciate it Brother. KTF


Todd McKee said:
Staying safe! Staying Low! I have been there my BROTHER! I just keep plugging away, keep trying to make a difference. Todd McKee
Chris,

God I wish we could work together Brother. I was kinda hoping you would reply, I wanted to hear your thoughts. Thank you for what you said and I will keep it in mind and try to deal with the situation. I just keep seeming to to get frustrated with the situation and im really dwelling on it. Two things I know better not to do, but Its in my blood. I hope all is well and cant wait to see you again. Stay Safe Brother.

Chris Piepenburg said:
Brother Matthew.....What you are seeing is something that is happening all across the country and not just your neck of the woods! The Me Generation is coming into the fire service and that is what this is all about. There used to be the pride of doing a good job and showing the old guys that you knew how to do the job well thanks to their teachings. Now you have the folks who think they have the "right" to be here. They have watched the youtube video on how to cut a h*** in the roof and played all kinds of simulator games showing how to force entry or move a hoseline.

YOU are the key to keeping this tradition alive! I know the love you have for the job and know the line from where you have come. It is up to you to be that informal leader and get things done. It doesn't take much to pull the candidate off to the side and give him some tips when nobody else is around. While the boss is in his office sucking up to whoever he can it is your time to shine. Take the guys out on the floor or just strike up some interesting conversations about situations and use your experience. Also, this gives you an insight about the way these guys think, so when it comes time to do the job you are already two steps ahead and can help guide them in the right direction....All while letting them think they did it themselves, sooner or later they will come around and realize how much you actually did for them!
Matt,
I see this alot in my dept, its a lack of respect for the job, the dept, and worst of all the citizens. As a Lt who does not let his crew act like this or tolerate this type of activity i am seen as a bad guy. I had to talk to a member of my crew about argueing with me! He feels it is his right to question me on decisions and complain and argue if he wants, wtf? Dont get discouraged, both sides are dealing with the me generation. I feel if its waited out they will weed themselves out naturally, it wont be tolerated forever!
Matt, I hear you loud and clear. You are certainly not alone on this issue. It took me a long time to "understand" how to get my positions and thought across. If the higher ups don't embrace, encourage and support the senior FF's to teach and mentor the young jakes on the job, it makes it difficult. I've learned (sort of) to take it one day and one guy at a time and let it spread that way. It is alot slower than I'd like, but it's not as painful as banging my head on the wall.

Stick to your beliefs and ethics and they will follow!!

KTF Todd
Brother Matt, KTF Bro! It comes down to are you a veteran with initiutive or a dinosaur, that sits in a chair and complains!

Keep em Safe!
Jeff
We all must keep ourselves focused on our mission. I just returned from the Andrew Fredericks Training Days Seminar in Alexandria VA and the most asked question during our Q&A sessions was "how to motivate, change our members attitudes, work ethics". I heard one awesome answer and I believe it was Joel Kanasky (FDNY Rescue 1) that said it and it was "solve the problem". Firemen are problem solvers so we must "solve the problem" and not worry about "change". I also work for Co. Officers and Firefighters (they don't deserve the term "firemen") that are just like you described Matt. It's frustrating and can get your own morale down if you let them, fight it Brother, don't let them keep you discourged about the job you LOVE. Stay Safe Brothers!

Larry
Brothers in professionalism turmoil, Oh how I feel your plight. As a Chief officer I encounter this on a daily basis from junior officers and line firefighters alike. Brother Chris is so right. The ME generation is in effect. As much as I agree with the others that YOU have to keep the traditions alive, you can't do it alone. In my experiences peer pressure does seem to work, howver slowly. We as the "older" jakes have to change witht the times as well and try to find ways to include them into our traditions and work ethic so they will learn. The video game firefighter is not going to help anyone without you there to guide him. Realistic training and tips and tricks seem to hold their attention the longest. Death by PowerPoint and lectures go in one ear and out the other. Technology can help us, but as we all know nothing beats getting down and dirty on the training ground to learn the essentials.
As for the junior officers, well to be honest I feel involving the chief officers and company drills seem to work pretty well. Having that junior officer get dirty with the line firefighters on a regular basis tends to mellow out a power hungry officer. Instilling a little humility is a good thing. But your chief officers have to be on board and understand your plight.
All I can say is keep going. Never let them see you give up or sweat. If so then they have won and you will be no better than them. They are the future of our fire service. It's up to us to leave it as good or better than what we got it!!!!

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