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..