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What would you do? Job related

Discussion in 'The RoundTable' started by gyver, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. gyver

    gyver Rely on yourself not on others.

    Just going to post facts.
    Joined volunteer/ paid fire deptartment in 2000. Worked my way up through the ranks and served as Asst. Chief at 2 separate stations in the County FD.
    Got hired part time 8 years ago to Central Station and have pretty much worked every weekend and holiday for last 6 years then started pulling all of the Chief/ Fire Coordinators night shifts for his last year before retirement. (3 shift rotations). He hired me full time last July as Asst. Chief/ Asst. Training Officer for the county. ("All requirements met" in his letter to the board and effective Aug 1,2013). I'm currently in the final stages of getting my Level 1 Mississippi State Fire Instructor certification.
    My 6 month probation period ends Jan. 31 so the new coordinator puts in for my 10% pay increase. The board not only denied it, they want me to go to the State fire academy for 7 weeks and take the basic ff course. The coordinator tells them I don't need it but they say it will "look good" for the department. I'm 45 yrs old. Have been at my other job for 22 years, I manage the machine shop and do all the CNC programming.
    #1- I don't make enough at the fd to pay all the bills.
    #2- I can't take 7 weeks off from the shop.
    #3- the state fire coordinator and county coordinator, who is against me going, say I meet all criteria for my position.
    #4- they denied me my $3000 raise because of the county budget but it will cost the county almost $14000 in course fees, paying me, and hiring someone part time to cover my shifts while I'm gone.
    They gave me a year. The fd is always 1 vote away from going all volunteer.(politics)
    What would you do?
  2. red55

    red55 curmudgeon

    OK, the board wants their chiefs to have the top-level training, so . . . write them a nice letter.

    1. Tell them you understand the training request and that you want to do it yourself for professional reasons. (being agreeable, cooperative, and able)

    2. Then explain how difficult it will be to do that with your other job and the county costs involved. (being thoughtful and helpful)

    3. Point out that you are already doing the work, deserve the raise, and will be difficult to replace. (being honest and ambitious)

    4. Ask them to help you find a way to earn the credentials and work around your logistical problems for the good of all concerned. (being forthright and flexible)

    Just don't go in like your personal concerns are all that matters. Pay some lip service to their concerns and get them on your side. Don't make noise that you might walk and leave them high and dry (save that for later). if it is pure politics and budgets there may be little that you can do. But if it is just institutional inertia, then be a sympathetic character that is an asset to the county. These are the guys who can make something happen if they decide they like you and you're worth it.

    Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
    LSUDad, Rolan, Winston1 and 4 others like this.
  3. gyver

    gyver Rely on yourself not on others.

    Thank you Red. I will definitely take your advice. I showed the Chief another course more suitable to the job also, Fire Service Management. We don't actually fight fires ourselves anymore so that makes the 7 week course a waste. We take care of purchasing, supervising, legal aspects, maintenance, etc... And 3 of us man the station 24/7/365. 911 dispatch calls us when they are called. We tell them which stations to tone out and make sure the necessary equipment is on scene.
    I plan to finish the Instructor certification 1st and then go straight to work getting my CPR/1st Aid instructor certification. The man I replaced was responsible for certifying all the county employees and training all the volunteers. That should help me be a little. They advertised the position and I was the only one to apply.
    I also plan on starting a Volunteer 48 hr. class July 1- Oct. 11. Then jump right back in and have another class Nov. 1- Feb. 14,2015.

    I feel sorry for the new guy. Stanley has been a volunteer for over 20 yrs. and has fought more fires and worked more wrecks than any 2 paid ff's on the city dept. He was in the 1st group to get certified when they started the FD. He's 55 yrs old. CPAT will hurt me but it will kill him.
  4. KyleK

    KyleK Who, me?

    Great advice Red.
  5. tigerchick46

    tigerchick46 Quick Learner

    Look at you @red55 aka chossigo! Dammit why are your politics so fucked up.
  6. red55

    red55 curmudgeon

    Ahem, perhaps it is not my politics that are fucked up.
    LSUMASTERMIND and mobius481 like this.
  7. mobius481

    mobius481 Registered Member

    Really good advice. I'll be sure to run all career moves past you in the future. My advice would have been to go in naked and smothered in sheep's blood claiming racism, agism, sexism, and if it really got bad, sexual harassment.
    gyver likes this.
  8. LSUsupaFan

    LSUsupaFan Founding Member

    The advice you got from red certainly seems to be approriate. Did they give you a rationale for why they want you to take the training? This sounds like it has something to do with fire insurance rating. If that is indeed the case no amount of reason will help.
  9. LSUMASTERMIND

    LSUMASTERMIND Veteran Member

    really solid advice, damn shame they denied your raise knowing that you probably deserve it.
    gyver likes this.
  10. gyver

    gyver Rely on yourself not on others.


    Just got off the phone with a supervisor. They think it will look good having all 3 of us that are full time certified by the MSFA. "When we have something big and you pull up on scene the other guys will know you've been through the course and are The Man. And with the certification you can go to any fire deptartment an get a job" was his exact words. I reminded him that the course is a basic course and it will cost the county almost $14,000 apiece by the time it's done.
    I have had several big fires (gin, warehouse, oil mills, cotton compresses, and a furniture store) and a couple of hundred house, vehicle, farm equipment fires, etc... I don't think I need to go back to learning search patterns, nozzles, streams, and hose roles again. And at 46 years old I don't think too many FD's will give me much thought.
    When you go through the Volunteer certification course you get a condensed version of the 7 week course. It's 3 -6 hrs a week over a 3 month period. You have to take a written test and score at least %70 then you go to the academy on a Saturday and the instructors test you on the skills over an 8 hr period. Full turnout gear and we roll hoses. Tie the knots. Don air packs and fight a car, fuel, and propane tank fire. The smoke house is my favorite though. 3 of us go in and look for a victim (dummy). We search a 3 story smokehouse and find the dummy. Take it out then go back in and extinguish the fire. It hits 200-250 degrees in there and let's the instructor know if you have what it takes. I've gone down there 3 times for field days just for the smokehouse. Find em hot, leave em wet ;)
    Sup tells me they had to cut a deal with 3 of the other Sups. If they can get all of us certified the central station stays paid. If not it goes all volunteer. They think all we do is watch tv all day. 180+ runs last year and I had a house fire, 2 car fires, grass fire, and a vehicle extrication on my last 2 shifts. Not to mention the fire reports, equipment checks, and studying.
    I reckon its soul searching time.
    I may not be as young as I once was but I can be as young once as I ever was.

    I've done every bit of this, real life and training.

    It's pretty fun actually. If you don't mind sweating a lot.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014

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