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Last week I found an article on the Fire Engineering web site where a situation was posed to how the officer would handle a situation.

In short the situation was that an employee called in sick and had to be replaced to open the doors of the fire station. A short time later you see that very employee unloading some lumber at the lumber store. The article goes on to say that in this instance the employee is violating policy. (The article was very well written and had much more in it than I'm presenting here but I need to move on.) I copied the article and its an attachment you can open.)

How would you handle it? is the question I posed my officers and drivers.

Most of the responses were great. Most of them stated they would approach the employee and inquire as to why he was there.

This was the right thing to do. Depending on what the employee tells you, will ultimately decide how you proceed from there.

I put my response to the officer as an attachment as well.

What was interesting are those who were hesitant to tell me what they'd do. Some said it was too vague. Some went on to tell me how can they be expected to do the right thing when they think the administration of the department doesn't do the right thing. Some stated it was none of their business. Some tried not to respond at all.

So now, my question to you, how would you handle these employee's responses? You can read what I put out to everyone as my official response.

Those who tried to not respond. I force them.
Those who tried to blame administration. I posed the question to them how one relates to the other and made them explain it to me.
To those who said it was none of their business. I sat down with them and showed them how it was indeed their business.

What say you?

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Replies to This Discussion

I love these challenges, especially because they take me out of my comfort zone.

The posted response was pretty well reasoned. The first thing I have to do is to make sure that I know that he was there by speaking directly to him, but I don't think that a lumberyard is a good place to confront him, it's too public. Let him sweat awhile, he may realize that there was a problem and try to make it good. If he follows that route, my job is done.

More likely, though, my ff will have to be confronted at the firehouse the next time he shows. This is done in an office behind closed doors. There it depends on his attitude. Again, if he's contrite, understands the problem, and this is a first offense, a note in my computer (yes, I have a verbal warnings folder) will suffice. On the other hand, especially if this is repeated behavior and/or he doesn't take responsibility, it gets written into his permanent record.

In my organization, he gets another chance, (officially, two) but then he's gone permanently, with a big DO NOT REHIRE in his permanent file. We need people we can trust on and off the fireground, otherwise someone else on the team becomes an LODD. I'd rather work overtime or short than have a bad apple on the team.


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