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Commissioners Corner - Verplanck Fire

Commissioners Corner

Being inspired by the Verplanck Fire District, it’s only fitting to have something related to fire departments and firehouse. 
Hook & Irons has come up with a firefighter version of the film “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days“.  Although Hook & Irons has the best intentions and their article is sincere, their article and  list of rules have been modified to fit our own selfish desires.


How To Lose Good Firefighters In 10 Simple Steps

1. Don’t eat dinner together
Crawl into the dark nooks of your firehouse and only come out to eat alone. Bring your own special vegan-soy-protein infused meals, separated into individual tupperware containers and stored in one huge collapsible cooler that takes up half of a refrigerator–and make sure to never share. Take turns in the kitchen, one at a time, cooking and preparing your own personal meal and eat by yourself while you scan your Facebook page dreaming of other places you’d rather be at that moment. 

If anyone feels like being social and try’s to have fun at the firehouse, accuse them of stealing food and ban them from the firehouse. 

2. Do exactly what is expected of you and nothing more. Look and see who is doing less and who is getting more than you. See who drives the truck more than you. See who sits in the better seat at the dinner table. Make sure you show up right before shift change and whatever you do, make sure to never hold over.

Run for an officer rank, beat out someone who actually does more than expected, and stop showing up after you have been elected. 

3. Stop Training.
Complain at drill time. Make excuses. Drag your feet. Whine and roll your eyes when you do the same drill again that you’ve been doing for the last fifteen years.

Find out what the nightly drill is and just skip going to that drill because you don’t feel like doing anything and don’t want to deal with the people who think they own the firehouse. 

4. No Recognition.
No matter what happens. No matter what the new guy does, do not compliment him. Do not recognize the effort. He’s just doing his job, right?

Complain about your crew and all the other misfits you are stuck with. 

5. Micro-manage.
One of my friends and one of the best drivers on our department was once told by his new chief not just to catch a hydrant, but ‘how’ to catch a hydrant at a fire. After the fire, the order that was given and the way it undermined his knowledge and his skill, bothered him so much that he gave up his bid a week later, citing that, ‘if he is going to tell me how to do my job at a hydrant, then he can get someone without a brain to do it for him.’ At the time, I thought the move was extreme, but later I realized that he knew that particular Chief would never trust his efforts and he would never feel happy with his work. That Chief has only needed two or three of these steps to lose almost all his good firefighters.

Pull rank, remind everyone you were a chief and that you always know better than them. Throw your weight around. If you hold additional positions of power and have good personal connections, congratulations! You have just won the trifecta of micro-managing!

6. Ignore Feedback.
You’re the senior man, right? You’re the officer, right? If you wanted feedback from the junior guy, you’d ask for it.

Pretend you know it all when you really do not have a clue about anything. Eliminate anone who might know just a wee bit more than you and may actually speak up and stand their ground. 

7. Be dishonest.
Say one thing and do another. This is a fantastic way to lose a good firefighter. If you can’t be trusted, there really isn’t much more to say.

Lie and cheat others out of what they deserve and work for just to further your personal agenda and improve your clout. 

8. Do not support growth.
Belittle your firefighter. Use training time to show how terrible they are when they make a mistake. Do not work to make them better. Don’t let them act as officers and don’t support outside education.

Suspend firefighters just because you don’t like them or feel threatened by them. It doesn’t matter whether you have the right to or not. 

9. Sabotage the efforts of others.
If someone takes on a project to improve the truck or the station, tell them ‘they are all ate up,’ or tell them to chill out, the department is not paying for that. Better yet, tell them they’re wasting their time by going to off-duty training.

Take away their equipment or gear and send them walking away with their tails between their legs. 

10. Disrespect yourself, your crew and your firehouse.
When you’re off duty, act like an idiot. Be selfish. Make the same mistake over and over again. Do something stupid and when you come back to work be stubborn and arrogant. Whatever you do, don’t apologize.

Talk about them behind their backs but cowardly don’t mention names, even though everyone knows who you’re referring to. 

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