“Taking out the Trash”

I came to work the other day and the Lt told me “I took out the trash.† FF ____ is going to another house.† He’s not our problem anymore.”† My first question “Why?”.† Now, don’t get me wrong this firefighter is apparently not cut out for this work.† He does not go into the building when commanded to, he abandons the pump at fires and frequently goes AWOL and that is the start of the list.

So he’s gone now, not our problem anymore, right?† WRONG!

Now he could be detailed in.† He could very likely be a pump operator at a fire we are at together. He could do something stupid that endangers everybody at an incident.†† At least when he was on our company we knew what to expect, or more realistically what NOT to expect.

What do you do?† To most of you it’s obvious; document, document, document then terminate his employment. My officer decided that strong arming the firefighter into putting in a transfer bid was the best option.

He is a liability to the department and as an officer it’s up to you to do the right thing for everybody’s safety.† But because you think it’s better to “take out the trash” than do your job he remains a liability.

The firefighter in question is a good guy, just not a good firefighter.† He would be better served by seeking other employment but that cannot happen while he believes† he is an “awesome firefighter” (his words).

I think I’m digressing into a discussion about weak leadership here.† Hmmmm..

Stay Safe


  • Nick Morgan says:

    Yep, I’ve dealt with people like this! Good people, they just should probably be delivering mail, not going to fires. As long as people like this remain on the job, they become EVERYBODY’S PROBLEM, and become a danger to others in addition to themselves.

  • drillmaster2 says:

    Unfortunately, our service has more than our fair share of these folks. I agree with Nick, they are everyones problem and letting them off probation is the worst thing a boss can do. I was thinking more of “do you want mcfries with that?”

  • blancety says:

    Seems to me we are not supposed to dump the problem children on other people. While maybe a nice thought, it doesn’t solve the problem. Consider it payback for something you did wrong earlier in life and spend your time trying to fix the problem….

  • drillmaster2 says:

    Attempting to solve these problem children, does make the day go by faster. When the problem has existed and the problem has been passed, someone has to step up! STEP UP OR STEP ASIDE!!!

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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