What’s Up With Woodstock Fire Department?

MORE STORIES OF MISMANAGEMENT FROM THE CITY OF WOODSTOCK
The action on Saturday of the Woodstock Fire Department administration in the closure of Station 1 was inexcusable. The City will contend that there was no suitable officer to supervise both Stations necessitating the closure of one station. This is patently untrue. On duty that day was a fourteen (14) year veteran firefighter who was more than competent to assume a supervisory role on a temporary basis. Neither Association representatives nor Health and Safety worker representatives had any issue with this designation. Instead, management decided to close a station, increasing response times and jeopardizing the safety of Woodstock residents and Woodstock firefighters.
When the station was finally reopened, it was under the supervision of the Deputy Fire Chief who has less divisional experience than the aforementioned firefighter, and has not been on suppression duty in several years.
It is shocking to our Association that this sort of chronic mismanagement of your Woodstock Fire Department can be allowed to continue. It is important to remember that the Woodstock Firefighters Association worked to facilitate a solution to this crisis and avert a Station closure at all costs. Call your local counselor. Get the truth. Let’s all ensure that this reckless and dangerous situation will never happen again.
Carl Bloomfield
President
Woodstock Professional Firefighters Association
IAFF 477
After having read this letter(as submitted) and a few accompanying details, I have come to the conclusion that there is something seriously awry with this department especially after being informed that due to this lack of human resources judgement that we have paid out well over $50,000.00 in overtime expenses when in fact there was no necessity to do that considering we already had well qualified indivudals in place who could easily assume the mantle of leadership in an emergency situtaion.(or any other time for that matter.)
So, why is it that when we have fully qualified persons on staff would the city of Woodstock decide instead to hand out massive overtime payments instead of dealing with the personnell crisis that is unfolding before their very eyes?
We’ll have to ask Tony Pihowich the answer to that one.
Tony??? You there????
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63 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    C’mon firefighters! Look at the B.S. that has gone on for year’s in your dept with management. Look at the arena mould situation. If your a manager there is “NO ACCOUNTABILITY” You are managing and doing your job. But if one of those union guys does something wrong will get their ass!

    Council members know what has happened out at the Hall as well as at the rink. But they do not want to wade in and micro manage. Remember this next elections.

    Remember Ross Gerrie Labour Representative who I’m told is being courted for the paid Police Services Board Position by the Mayor. Any wonder why he is silent on City Labour issues? Jack never would have let this shit go! Ross would never let this shit happen at TRW!!! Would you Ross? Your a BIG shot in the plant setting but nothing but a bebe outside of it!

    I’ve got an idea Carl. WE should pool our 2 depts together and demand a public hearing into the mismanagment of these city assets? What do you think?

  2. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    So we have spent $4M on an art gallery we dont need, $50,000+ on covering up mould at the rink, $50,000 in OT at the fire department….. Is anyone else wondering why our taxes are so bloody high here???

  3. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Tony cant answer until Paul B-P gives him the answer as he can’t think for himself.

    What do Shane Caskanette and Scott Tegler have to say about this gross mis-management is my question??

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “So we have spent $4M on an art gallery we dont need”

    Not yet we haven’t! Sign the petition! Raise a little hell!

    Start asking the obvious question. “Just who are these Friends of the Gallery and why do they deserve MILLIONS of our tax dollars??”

  5. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    What good is a $4M art gallery when it burns to the ground because we have shut down a firehall once again???

    Too bad Toyota didn’t have issues on that date. You can bet they would be alarmed to say the least to know their million dollar building was not protected.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Look at all sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. How many times have we seen all fire trucks at the Vansittart Avenue Station or driven by the Parkinson Road Station and again seen all the fire trucks there? Are the stations closed then or is it a social club time for our fire crews? It's never been raised as an issue by the Woodstock Firefighters Association before, why now? Oh, because according to another SR article they are now expected to write a test to prove competence before being placed in charge of other firefighters in a potentially life threatening situation but they feel that a un-tested "14 year veteran" to be more competent. I'm sure this individual does a great job, but at some point you have to prove yourself. Let's ask other persons who are in charge of life safety issues whether they have to take a test before they are qualified. I'm sure any Certified Health & Safety members can confirm that they have to write a test before their designation. I'm concerned that the Fire Department's worker reps weren't more concerned based upon this alone. Was this an impartial view point, a personal opinion or simply Association support?

    As a tax-payer and local homeowner I want to know that the persons in charge of dealing with a fire at my or loved ones homes have shown that they are up to the challenge and have not just been there long enough.

    I don't agree with closing a station, but it doesn't appear to have been much different than other times, as mentioned earlier, when all the trucks are at one of the two stations for some other reason, it just seems that this time there was some posturing that was wanted to be performed.

    I'm sure there are issues from both sides of the labour/management relationship at the Fire Department, probably due to the timeframe without a contract, but come on… look at the big picture before trying to make an issue of something that you have to be honest and say makes sense. Testing to ensure compentency makes sense, at least to this resident.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    I see you got your facts straight from the horses mouth. That sounds like a typical Tegler / Caskenette issue…. problem is they have it wrong. We have no issue with the taking of the test. Maybe get your facts straight and then comment.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Well, the association is quoted in the SR article as saying that they didn’t want to take a test so if that’s what you are referring to as the horses mouth, you are correct. Your reply gives the taste that you are a member of the department and it seems that your have more of a personal issue with the Chief and Deputy than a departmental one..oh well.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    An as a continuation to my above comment, set me straight on the issue as you feel I’ve got it wrong.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    There are major problems within this department, that is for sure. I believe that good leadership promotes a great department, maybe you should look at the top. Those of us that work there as firefighters give the residents of this city the best fire protection possible. We just aren’t managed very well by very inexperienced leaders in the Chief and Deputy Chief. That is the real issue. Excuse my anonymity, but yes, they are that petty that I would pay dearly for saying the above. Their egos are massive.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I think that there are some massive egos within the association as well. Maybe the top that should be looked at is within the association.

    As an aside, weren’t your current Chief and Deputy the head of your association at one time? I recall reading their names in articles from the past as the representatives of the firefighters association. Is it maybe that as they (Chief and Deputy) know both sides of the coin (Management and Union) that the current association is frustrated that their antics aren’t working?

    I’m sorry but you kind of lost a lot of face when you were complaining about your wages and the fact that you’ve had no contract for the past number of years. “The cost of hockey is going up as is everything else…” I’m sure if we compared your current wages to the rest of us you would still be far and away ahead of the game. As for costs rising, you, like the rest of the population, need to reassess what’s important and may have to cut out some extras. Now if you were complaining about not being able to feed your kids or keep a roof over your head, that’s one thing, but come on, hockey?

    A lot of what I’ve read from your association releases to the paper sounds like internal issues that don’t really need to be publically released to try endear you to the hard-working, struggling general public.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2008 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Yes you are correct they both were presidents of our association.

    Scott was president in a time when the Chief of the department maintained a relationship with the guys. The association and the Chief both worked together for the greater good of the community. Since Scott has become Chief he has unfortinately become a “my way or the highway” kinda person. Its unfortinate as this is not the Scott I know. I think it is important to mention that this was his attitude prior to the breakdown of negotiations.

    When it comes to Shane,I think it is important to know that he resigned from our assosiation when he tried to pull some shady deals and got exposed for them. You go ahead and give him all the credibility you want but we know what he was like when he was on the trucks. Trust me he hasnt changed much. Oh ! wait, there was that one day…

  13. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr. / Mrs. Resident

    I can understand your concerns with these issues, why shouldn’t fire fighters be tested to determine their competencies? As my friend expressed above this is not the issue, there are many underlying facts that have not been discussed.

    Our association has approached the Chief and Deputy on a number of occasions in an attempt to solve this issue. It is my understanding that the Chief is determined to implement a policy referred to “Equalization” This refers to the equal sharing of acting time with no consideration for departmental seniority or experience. Let me explain further. The Chief would like the residents of this community to believe that it is more beneficial to have someone with 10yrs departmental seniority and one day as a qualified acting officer, be put in charge of other qualified acting officers with 7-8yrs acting officer experience and 18-19 yrs departmental seniority. I know and agree that just because someone has seniority over another that that alone should not guarantee them these positions. But it is also important to remember that people perform and learn in many different ways. Just because an individual is able to ace a test, does not mean they are going to be able to Command a complicated fire scene. The ability to do so comes with experience and constant evaluation of your performance and crews. The current system as far as I am concerned allows for the smoothest transition into these positions as possible. It is our position that each shift should maintain a Senior and Junior Acting Officer. When an Acting Officer is called upon, we maintain that it should be the most senior person available for numerous reasons. (Experience being the biggest). If a Senior Acting Officer is not available, then the Junior Acting Officer would receive the assignment. This is the way the department has been run as long as I have been employed. As a person who has gone through this system I can tell you that your first day sitting in the big guy’s seat is a humbling one. The nice thing about this system is that you are gradually introduced to the duties and responsibilities. You have time to evaluate your performance and make adjustment accordingly. It is also important to mention that every Officer on the Department is expected to attend the Ontario Fire College and successfully complete the Company Officer Certification. This is no small feat having completed it myself. It took me 6yrs from start to finish attending 5-6 weeks per year with extensive testing and performance evaluations along the way. Upon completion you are certified by the Ontario Fire Marshals Office as a Company Officer.
    Personally, I think this alone should satisfy any questions of competencies.

    Now with all that being said there are many Labour / Management issues that have made things difficult. But with respect to the issue of testing we have no issues. We only want the most qualified and experienced Acting Officer to do the job. The Chief wants to flood the acting list with guys of extremely different seniority and experience and call them all equal. Allowing someone with 10yrs seniority and zero “in charge experience” to Act over more qualified people. It doesn’t make sense. This is not the best way to utilize your resources. Not in the business world or for that matter any world I know of.

    Quote:
    “As a tax-payer and local homeowner I want to know that the persons in charge of dealing with a fire at my or loved ones homes have shown that they are up to the challenge and have not just been there long enough”

    I assure you Mr. / Mrs. Resident we are looking out for your interests and yes ours too.

    Quote:
    Look at all sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. How many times have we seen all fire trucks at the Vansittart Avenue Station or driven by the Parkinson Road Station and again seen all the fire trucks there? Are the stations closed then or is it a social club time for our fire crews? It’s never been raised as an issue by the Woodstock Firefighters Association before, why now?

    There are many reasons you see all the trucks at one station or the other.

    Training evolutions: It is impossible to operate as a team if you don’t train as a team. We train on a daily basis, some of it can be done individually but most of it needs to be done as a crew.

    Paper Work: It’s in the daily duties that all paperwork from the previous day be delivered to Station #1

    Air Bottles: They lose pressure over time and require top ups almost on a daily basis and Station #2 does not have an air compressor.

    The list could go on but I think you get the idea.

    I am not going to deny, when we get together we do spend time catching up on each others lives too. This builds camaraderie, trust and friendships. Traits that I would think everyone would want to see in their Fire Dept.

    You asked “Why now”.

    In the fire service there is a thing called “Span Of Control” It refers to the number of people that are allowed to be under one supervisor or Officer while at an emergency scene. This was violated on the day in question. There were 9 firefighters and one Officer on duty that day, far exceeding the 5 to 6 recommended by any fire service body you prefer. And yes our Certified Health and Safety Rep’s are all over this.

    One other thing I would like to mention on this topic. Having performed the duties of a Company Officer I know how comforting it is to know you have someone to assist you with the mitigation of a major incident. While at an emergency scene the Officers work together to form an Incident Action Plan. While forming this plan they consider tactical objectives, life safety concerns and resources available. No small feat in the time of crisis. On the day in question the Officer on duty would have had to perform all these tasks on his own and then possibly face reprimand or lawsuits if something had gone wrong.

    Mr/Mrs Resident I agree, there are always two sides to the story and you have just heard mine. I am not going to pretend that I represent the WPFFA because I don’t. I am just an employee of the city of Woodstock that is very concerned with the direction this management is heading on this issue and many others.

    If you would like to repute anything I have said please feel free. Everything I have stated is accurate and factual.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Listen to this person (notice I didn’t say “guy” because I don’t know if there are any female fire fighters), maybe the City should smarten-up and hire this person as Chief. As a resident of this great city, all I can say is that I trust our fire fighters even if they can’t trust their management.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    It is important to note that firefighters from station 2 are allowed to go to staion 1 when they run low on toilet paper but are strictly prohibited by the fire chief from attending on 9-11. A real credit to the fire service Chief.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    You were not allowed to go to parkinson road fire station to attend the 9-11 services?? Is Sep 11th not considered nation firefighter day?

    That is an outrage.

    I support the firefighters and I thank the firefighter who took the time to explain their side.

    I am thankful you are protecting me and my loved ones.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    A very articulate response from a member of the Woodstock Fire Department, but it seems to fly in the face of the letter to the editor that started this column. The writer states that they need to have an acting officer to oversee the firefighters, and goes to great lengths explaining why they need to have the experience they do after all the courses. Carl Bloomfield mentions in his letter that they had a veteren firefighter available, but either omitted, or carefully avoided, mentioning if this person was qualified as an “acting officer”. The impression I get from the above poster is that it needs to be an acting person, and my gut tells me that the individual in question was not one.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    A Firefighter’s Wife

    Chasing flames and saving lives is a firefighters thrill;
    And I’ll do this job, the best I can, with the Lords grace and will.
    But even though I love the flames, the excitement, and the roar;
    There’s someone waiting back home for me, that I love even more.

    My best friend, my soul mate, she is the love of my life.
    I am so very grateful that she is my wife.
    She understands the job I do, but how she hates it so.
    I hear her cries, and see her tears, each time I have to go.

    As I race to the fire, to battle the beast, I wonder how she is;
    And pray to God, to let me return, to feel her tender kiss.
    I know she won’t sleep, with her heart filled with strife,
    She knows why I must leave her, to go and risk my life.

    She would only have to say the word and I would walk away;
    And never fight another fire, or keep the beast at bay.
    But I know that’s something she’ll never do, she loves the man I am.
    She’s proud of me for the lives I save and for my helping hand.

    Though someday soon, the Lord may say, this job will take my life;
    And I must leave this happiness, of my family and my wife.
    Deep down inside I truly doubt that she would change a thing,
    As long as we’re together and wearing her fireman’s wedding ring.

    –Author Unknown

    To To Chief tegler, to Deputy Caskanette, to City administrators…

    On the devastating day of August 16th not only did you put this City in jeporady but you put my children’s father and my husband at a greater risk. This may be a game to you but its not to us. Imagine had the fire at the old farmers market happened on August 16th. Imagine having to knock on my door and tell me my husband was killed or hurt because of your decision making processes. We are human beings maybe you should be as well.

    To Mr / Mrs Resident,
    You can joke and bash and say what you may and that is your prerogative. I would never have the audacity to judge your spouse at work so why would you judge mine? You want to talk about labour management issues? The Woodstock fire department has more then any other work place I have ever seen. They all fall at the feet of 2 people. Your chief and deputy are running this department into the ground. Never in the history of the fire department has it been this bad. Bring us back any of the previous Chiefs and we would take them hands down over these 2. We may not have always agreed with our past Chiefs but we worked together for the betterment of this community. Something that hasn’t happened since Shane and Scott took over.

    I sincerely hope you wont have to eat crow over your harsh words.

    Thank you,

  19. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    I think people here are losing perspective on what the original topic of the letter to the editor was and running with their own agendas.

    To Firefighters Wife,
    I agree, you should not have to worry about that type of visit, and I think you are glad that an the person in charge of that call, I assume, was in fact an officer or acting officer, and not someone who simply had, as the previous comment from the firefighter, 14 years experience with zero in-charge experience. This was the initial topic that was raised in the news article and the letter to the editor.

    My personal view, after reading all the above comments and the news articles/letters to the editor is that the firefighters themselves seem to have different view points. As I pointed out above, the President of the Woodstock Professional Firefighters Association is saying that a 14 year veteren is more than competent, their Health & Safety reps have no issues, yet in the response from an obvious firefighter above, he/she states that it needs to be someone with experience.

    I also find it a bit hard to believe that there was no other off-duty officer/acting personnel that, if told about the short-fall of man-power, would not have come in.

    There have been many other issues raised as well. The response time issue I don't think either side really has anything to stand on. Again, according to the firefighters response, they are all at one or the other station frequently for a wide range of duties. Are not the response times increased then too? If you are all at the Parkinson Road Station and a call comes in for a response to the Sally Creek development area, are you not looking at a long haul then? That's not due to a station closure only, so I do feel there was a little grandstanding in the letter on that topic.

    As for the camraderie building, I agree it's important, but if response times are at the forefront of the firefighters minds, maybe they should be meeting somewhere midway between the stations. I'm sure many of us have seen ambulances and police cruisers having a chat in parking lots. I'm hoping that they are trying to be out of the way and rather somewhere where they can still respond to their area in a timely fashion.

    My opinion, be it as it may, to the original topic presented here.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    It makes no difference who is in charge of our association. The Chief and Deputy have zero relationship with their staff. Every single person.
    When we work, we perform sometimes life threatening work professionally and for the benefit of our community. The Chief and Deputy have done nothing to make us feel proud of what we do, have done nothing to make us feel like we are worth their time, and have done nothing in the way of leadership. Their form of leadership is strictly emails and memos that threaten. How about some regular meetings with your staff? When was the last one? Last year? Leadership is more than orders and reprimands.
    Building inside relationships are crucial to a strong team. I suggest you start over somewhere else.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    “I think people here are losing perspective on what the original topic of the letter to the editor was and running with their own agendas.”

    I think you’re right. Isn’t it wonderful? That’s what makes this sort of forum vastly superior to newsprint.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Quote:
    ‘The Chief and Deputy have zero relationship with their staff. Every single person. “

    Careful, a single person speaking for the entire department? I don’t think so. Maybe your view is about yoruself and a few others, but I know that it is not the fact for everyone there.

    Quote:

    “How about some regular meetings with your staff? “

    Again, not the case. Maybe there hasn’t been a large group meeting, but talk to all the officers and they’ve all had one-on-ones with either the Deputy and Chief. I feel that’s a relationship, don’t you? Can’t items be discussed one on one, or does it need to feel like strength in numbers?

    I agree there are issues in the department, but let’s not stretch things beyond what they are. I’m speaking specifically about the above quotes. My view is that you are not an officer or feel that you need to be approached, rather than being the one to approach. Both sides need to play by the same rules guys. You cannot complain about something when you don’t lead either.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I know every single one because I am the guy working with, talking with, and maintaining a relationship with everyone else, not at the office part time, locked behind my door all of that part time. I am aware of what YOUR people are thinking because of the above. You are right, I am not an officer, but no one has to be to understand the futility of talking to either one of you beyond very simple day to day operations. It is not a case of strength in numbers, that is a real simple and paranoid idea. Instead, get everyone together so that ideas are shared in an open and honest forum. I think you should get even just the Captains together at least quarterly to maintain good communication and share information. If you are getting hammered in a meeting, you probably have done something to deserve it. Over a hundred thousand a year demands you at least try to fix it.
    You are wrong that I can’t complain when I don’t lead. I demand the best from my leaders as they from me. I hold up my end of the bargain just fine, I certainly can’t say the same for you, either of you. Trust me, you don’t need to approach me. My job gets done.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    First, I would like to thank the person that referred to my comments as “articulate”. You have just provided me with the perfect cover. LOL

    Mr. Anonymous You said

    Quote
    “I assume, was in fact an officer or acting officer, and not someone who simply had, as the previous comment from the firefighter, 14 years experience with zero in-charge experience. This was the initial topic that was raised in the news article and the letter to the editor”.

    I think you completely missed the point. At no time did I belittle this person’s ability as you seem to suggest with this comment. My comments spoke to the MOST qualified person on duty performing the job. On this day in question he was the most qualified and if the policy was not in dispute, would have been a qualified Junior Acting Officer.

    Quote
    “I pointed out above, the President of the Woodstock Professional Firefighters Association is saying that a 14 year veteran is more than competent, their Health & Safety reps have no issues, yet in the response from an obvious firefighter above, he/she states that it needs to be someone with experience”.

    I did not say that it needs to be someone with experience. I said that it doesn’t make sense to have someone with less experience or no experience act over a more experienced person. Could this not possibly lead to a lawsuit if something goes wrong? I don’t know for sure but it makes sense to me. I would think it would be in the Cities best interest to be able to say they had the most qualified person in charge.

    Let’s look at the current/past policy on this issue. Prior to the introduction of this new policy approximately 4yrs ago “in times of emergency” it was acceptable to call upon a 5yr veteran to fill an Officer void. What has changed so much in the last 4yrs? Is it liability? If it is, then what I have said only makes sense.

    Quote
    “I also find it a bit hard to believe that there was no other off-duty officer/acting personnel that, if told about the short-fall of man-power, would not have come in”.

    I assure you there was no conspiracy. It happened in the middle of holiday season. All off duty officers were not available. And for the record, many of them have gone out of their way in the past to ensure this doesn’t happen. I sure hope you are not suggesting that they caused this problem?

    Quote
    “According to the firefighter’s response, they are all at one or the other station frequently for a wide range of duties. Are not the response times increased then too”?

    “Frequently” is your word not mine. That’s just not true.

    Yes, response times could be increased. This is a balancing act that all the emergency services struggle with. When, I said “we spend time catching up on each others lives” I was not suggesting that we do this at the expense of the public’s safety or for an extended period of time. As I stated earlier this is a balancing act that each Officer deals with on a daily basis. I guess it could be considered “Risk Management”. It is up to the Officers to determine if the potential gains out way the risk. I am sure this would apply to any of the emergency services. Knowing our Officers as I do, I can assure you none of them would intentionally create any undue risk.

    Now, closing a hall does create undue risk as it was for an extended period of time and ultimately, unnecessary.

    But this is off topic for me.

    It is important for me to mention that the 14yr veteran is not the only person being affected by this policy. There are three others, one being Carl. Their sacrifice has cost them considerably. If they had been promoted to the acting list as they should have, they would be well on their way to gaining the confidence and knowledge that experience provides. And the city would have saved that 50k.

    Their stance has kept this alive. I don’t know many people that would turn down an opportunity for personal and financial gain like these guys have.

    For the record guys we do appreciate your sacrifice!!

    It is not my intent to offend anyone, Chief and Deputy included. I just disagree with them on this and some other issues. I have not heard or seen one concrete thing that would support their stance on this.

    I am a reasonable person and welcome any facts that would support the other side.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Quote:
    “I know every single one because I am the guy working with, talking with, and maintaining a relationship with everyone else, not at the office part time, locked behind my door all of that part time. I am aware of what YOUR people are thinking because of the above. You are right, I am not an officer, but no one has to be to understand the futility of talking to either one of you beyond very simple day to day operations. It is not a case of strength in numbers, that is a real simple and paranoid idea. Instead, get everyone together so that ideas are shared in an open and honest forum. I think you should get even just the Captains together at least quarterly to maintain good communication and share information. If you are getting hammered in a meeting, you probably have done something to deserve it. Over a hundred thousand a year demands you at least try to fix it.
    You are wrong that I can’t complain when I don’t lead. I demand the best from my leaders as they from me. I hold up my end of the bargain just fine, I certainly can’t say the same for you, either of you. Trust me, you don’t need to approach me. My job gets done.”

    Bitter! Apparently someone thinks they know who was posting…and are way off base! I know anonymity makes things confusing, but I don’t feel like taking crap during work from the outspoken who don’t agree. I’ve seen what happens to outspoken members who go against the grain of the day. Trust me, I’m not the Chief or the Deputy.

    Also, tone down on the “part time” comments. We aren’t watched 100% of the time we are on shift, so likewise we really don’t know what’s going on when they aren’t in the office either. If you claim to know then you have far more spare time than I to be following them around.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    At least we can say one thing for this forum. THis is the most the chief and deputy have talked to their staff in four years.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Quote:
    “At least we can say one thing for this forum. THis is the most the chief and deputy have talked to their staff in four years.”

    Again with the assumptions. It’s rather funny really. Are we going to start trying to figure out who have been all the posters?

  28. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Pretending you are firefighter at work? That’s what it has come to for you. There is only one problem with that. WE DON’T HAVE THE INTERNET…..

  29. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Quote:
    “Pretending you are firefighter at work? That’s what it has come to for you. There is only one problem with that. WE DON’T HAVE THE INTERNET…..”

    And how are you posting right now? Could it be… you’re at home, on your personal internet access (as the library is closed at the present time)?

    Maybe I’ve got service at my place too? Who’d a thunk it?

    Where have I said that I’m currently working? But some thoughts to your retorts.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Quote
    Bitter! Apparently someone thinks they know who was posting…and are way off base! I know anonymity makes things confusing, but I don’t feel like taking crap during work from the outspoken who don’t agree. I’ve seen what happens to outspoken members who go against the grain of the day. Trust me, I’m not the Chief or the Deputy.

    Also, tone down on the “part time” comments. We aren’t watched 100% of the time we are on shift, so likewise we really don’t know what’s going on when they aren’t in the office either. If you claim to know then you have far more spare time than I to be following them around

    Okay, so you are not the chief or deputy, that puts you in the union. Apprently you dont care that the managemnt thinks our contract is for wiping their asses with. That they arbitrarily put poilicies like the one being discussed here into to place contrary to the contract. I suppose that your relationship with the chief is just great because you are in a division which has not been arbitrarily affected. You may not care about these issues but when something that affects you comes along like “you must be at work for fire prevention week” and you dont like it maybe then you will care. Oh maybe when the raise comes down you can stand on your principles and give it back. By the way 8hr days is not “on shift”

  31. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Again with the fishing….keep going..

    Showing your view of the your co-workers though. I’m simply stating an opinion on certain matters that apparently is different from yours.

    Shall we move on to Training Division next?

  32. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Have you stopped to think that I’m not defending anyone? I’m simply pointing out my opinions based on my experiences, which I’m entitled to do. I don’t agree with everything that’s going on with managment but I’m obviously not at the depth of disdain that you are. I can be in disagreement and not want to slam the crap out of everyone. I think I’ve been rather relaxed in my comments, with the exception of the “put some thought into your retorts” (yes I know I spelled “But”) post, and I apologise for that, I just wanted to point out that apparently we are both off duty.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    You are right, I misread your comments. But still, pretending to be a firefighter? Common!! We are more united than that. There is not one member that would/could make the statements you are trying to pass off as a fire fighter’s. At least not in this city.
    But some thoughts to your retorts, right back at you…

    Nice try though!!

  34. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Then I guess you don’t really know what everyone there is thinking.

  35. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    On second thought, there are two and I bet you are one of them..

  36. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I agree with my colleague, stop pretending to be a firefighter! Please make all the comments you want. i for one welcome your opinions, but please dont misrepresent yourself. You only damage the credibility of your opinions. And of course we dont know what everyone is thinking. We have meetings to fairly and openly discuss issues. Not everyone agrees but we come to a consensus and decide a course of action democratically. Once this has been done we stick to it as a group of brothers. OR dont you remember your oath?

  37. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The whole reason for the shit in this blog again comes back to how the place is led. I don’t care if they are out at meetings or whatever, they still don’t spend time with their staff, and that cannot be argued. If the person arguing this is in suppression (which I highly doubt) Showing up to work after nine am, and leaving early just about every day doesn’t mean they are at meetings, pal. Those meetings take up at least an entire day to 3 or 4 days. Man they have alot of meetings.
    By the way, any sales on at Nutt’s Collectibles?

  38. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I dont know what to think about this imposter pretending to be a firefighter. I guess you could say I am “undetermined”

  39. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Bitter? No shit, asshole.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    This post has gotten away from the jist of things but I will say this… There isnt a day that my husband goes to work that I dont think something bad could happen. There isn’t a day that goes by that I dont hear the hair brained schems that Shane and Scott are pulling and think to myself “we are in trouble”. It is going to take a disaster before Scott and Shane are held accountable. And I kid you not if Shane and Scott come anywhere near my door with bad news or cap in hand they will regret it.

    The City may wish to turn a blind eye and anyone else for that matter but this is my family. This isnt a joke. This isnt something I take lightly. Scott and Shane if this is a competition to see who can screw this department up more, guess what you both win.

    I dont want to play your little game. I dont want anything to do with you. However I am stuck with you calling the shots on my husbands future while at work.

    Treat us the way you would want to be treated is all I ask.

    Firefighters Wife.

  41. BobbyCaps
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jim for providing this forum for people to comment, it has been both entertaining and informative.

    As an outsider looking in, it seems as though the Chief and Deputy have little business being where they are. (They make over $100,000, wow!)

    There are some fire fighters that are “articulate” and make some very good points.

    There are some fire fighters that are very angry, and must feel very betrayed by their management.

    And then there appears to be someone who is trying to support the Chief and Deputy, it seems as though this person must have something to gain by this.

    IMHO, it appears that the majority of fire fighters don’t support the Chief or Deputy, so in the interest of spending my tax dollars wisely maybe the City should do something about it. Maybe the Chief and Deputy should receive a significant pay cut until things improve.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Hey boys…

    I support you (frontline guys) in that I know to some degree your problems at the hall. But the atagonist is trying to tell you that you can't bitch & complain if you want it both ways.

    Just what the hell was the firetruck doing on O'Rourke Ave after your fire call around noon today? Someone need new batteries in their fire alarm at that residence? Why were both firefighters out of the cab? I support you guys in taking down your atagonist whom ever it is. But it doesn't help your cause when taxpayers who work in factories, stores ,construction etc don't have the same liberties as you to stop and visit home or someone while on duty. AS the atagonist states you can't have it both ways.

    If you want Joe citizen to come to your side of the issue then you must keep in mind your actions! Perception is just as deadly as being fact.

    I just wanted to ask why would you guys stop at noon hour in the firetruck while on duty at a public residence? Remember your credibility is now being tested!!!!! NO I'm not a firefighter, your boss or city official. I'm citizen Joe. You really could tell me to go pound salt for all I care. I'm still on your side. This incident does not make me an enemy alone. However, if you lie or try and B.S. your way through this one as to why you were there. Then you lose another allie!

    You lose credibilty & respect. This is something that you acuse your leaders of! They don't appreciate your work. They don't appreciate your efforts. They don't respect you and so on. Should taxpayers support you with respect etc when you take opportunities to visit home while on duty in a very expensive firetruck. Gee I wish I could leave my job to visit friends and/or home while on duty. Think about it boys. Be a little more discrete where your driving to! Joe citizen is watching & judging your credibilty!

  43. Anonymous
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I asked my source at the fire department what’s up with the last post.

    They pointed out that they do work 24 hours straight.

    They don’t get conventional coffee breaks, lunch breaks or dinner breaks.

    If they need something from home (change of clothes, grocery item)they have always been allowed to stop for a minute.

    Because they work as a team the whole crew has to travel together in that big expensive fire truck. (Which on a side note I’m told were all purchased from the same company the Chief’s wife worked at)

    As you stated “after your fire call”, so obviously they were in the nieghborhood in the first place.

    So what’s the big deal “Joe Citizen”?

    What does it matter how many fire fighters were out of the truck?

    Before you attack them maybe you should consider they may have been helping somebody.

    Do you work 24 hours straight at your job?

    Do you go home for lunch?

    Is it O’Rouke Ave or Place?

    Do you have an issue with this person that lives there?

    Do you live in the area?

    IMHO I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone “bitch and complain”.

  44. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    HI Mr. Firefighter, family member, fraternity member or very close friend of the firefighters (Suppression Unit)…

    I wasn't aware of some of the information you so kindly informed the readers & me in this blog.

    I would assume that suppression staff are the ones who work 24 hour shifts? The admin, education officer etc work 8 hours mon-fri? If this is correct, Citizen Joe's would like to know how the hell do you work 24 hours in a row? How many days in a row? How many days a week and/or month? How on earth are you paid? Do you work 80 hours every 2 weeks? How the hell does that work?

    Since who ever responded to my thoughts & opinions seems to have a direct line to the firehall could you please educate me & other Citizen Joe's who read this blog on what it is like to be on suppression as far as working hours per week/month?

    You asked many questions at which I will respond in due course. I would like to be educated first before I make anymore personal observations and/or opinions as a citizen (taxpayer). If it is true that Scott has a dept. policy that allows workers to go home on errands then my objection is with him & the policy. Not you the firemen. Is it considered a perk of the job?

    What is the acronym IMHO? I also don't underdstand that "you are not sure that you have heard anyone bitch & complain". Help me understand what you are saying here?

    Were they helping some citizen in distress today on O'Rourke? Rather than pose a question that I should have considered that they might be helping a citizen you could have provided the answer since you called the station.

    So please help us hard working Citizen Joe's understand your problems working the 24 hour shifts etc. Help us understand why suppression firefighters would need to go home on errands for clothing, food, etc during their shift in the big firetruck. What is considered to be a reasonable drive off the route in the nieghbourhood?

    You obviuosly are offended that I would challenge the firefighter unit about this issue. You haven't clued in that it doesn't really matter how you want to justify that they have the right to do this. It's all about optics. While you may have a policy to allow you to do this. Do you think that joe citizen knows this? I don't think so. So what do you expect when you drive down a residential street and stop at a firemens house to have a pee or pick up some clothes, food or visit the family? Believe me when I say that this is not the only time you guys have stretched the limits of the policy if it exists.

    It's all about optics!!! I'm sure that some firemen probably the older guys understand what I'm saying. It's about a dept image in the community. Do you guys want joe citizen's on your side when it is time for elections? Time to hold a public inquiry into the mismanagement of the dept? It's all about optics when you leave the hall. Joe citizen judges your actions whether you like it or not! It's all about optics which includes not only the visable truck but your actions with that truck outside of handling an emergency. I'm not talking about an Emergency situation. I'm talking about what happened today after the fire call was dealt with. So please don't mix the 2 up! Firefighting is a very difficult, dangerous and stressful job. No body can take that away from your profession.

  45. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    As I sit here and read these comments, it’s easy to see they are written by disgruntled firefighters. You call yourselves “Professionals” but yet you air the departments dirty laundry and slag your superiors in an open forum like this website. Very professional guys.

    I’ve know many firefighters in my lifetime, some retired, some no longer with us and many of you on the force today. I know some of you on both sides of the issues. I will not by any means paint all of you with the same brush so, for those of you who go to work everyday, do your job and didn’t choose this career for the status of the job, I’m on your side.

    Now, for those on the other side, we’ll call them the “bitchers” for lack of a better term, I can’t believe some of your thoughtless remarks. We are all well aware of your contract situation but you are not alone. Many of us report to work every day with unresolved contracts, so on this matter I say “suck it up boys”.

    Slagging your superiors seems to have become an Olympic event with some of you and you drag others down with you. We all know however that some of you are where you are today because of those very same men you drag through the mud. Maybe you’ve forgotten where you came from. Look at youself in the mirror and take a reality check.

    If you find that your working conditions and the terms of your contract are so bad, maybe it’s time to move on. There’s a line a mile long of qualified people who would love to have what you have. I guess though it’s due to your narrow minded way of thinking that you really can’t appreciate what you have.

    When we were growing up, firefighters were like heroes and we looked up to and aspired to be like them. Quite frankly, I hope my own children don’t look up to the likes of some of you. I want my children to look up to those of you who are in the job for all the right reasons and are there for the good of their community, not to be a look at me glory hound.

    Perhaps my words may have bruised some of your ego’s but for those of you with your heads in the right place, you know the truth and for that I respect you.

  46. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    IMHO = In my humble opinion

  47. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    A firefighters shift is 24 hours at work, 24 hours off work, 24 hours on work and then 5 days off.

    They do not have set coffee, lunch or dinner breaks.

    Between them all they work 365 days a year as the station is always open.

    If they are sick they use 2 sick days to be off the 24 hour period.

    Sometimes they are required to stop home. Maybe they have forgotten something or maybe they have just spent 6 hours in a fire and need a dry pair of clothes or some toiletries to freshen up with.

    Sometimes they might have been called in on overtime and are working a 36 hour shift. 36 hours is a long time.

    I am not saying they dont have the freedom to be out and about because of their job but their job is different then mine. Can I leave my desk to run home and grab something no. Could a taxi driver or another City worker say in the Board of Works department make a pit stop somewhere…. sure they could.

    The hours are long. There could be many reasons for a pit stop.

  48. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    So the city of Woodstock purchased a truck from a company that Scott’s wife works at…. Let me guess the commission cheque bought her new boobs?

    Well one thing for sure Scott isnt a stupid man. He knows where his bread is buttered.

  49. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    I for one would be honoured to have my children look up to any one of you.

    Ignore the obviously disgruntled guy that either didnt have what it takes to do your job and is jealous or is just plain pathetic.

    I support you!

  50. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    We all know however that some of you are where you are today because of those very same men you drag through the mud. Maybe you’ve forgotten where you came from. Look at youself in the mirror and take a reality check.

    SOME??? Most of them were there WAY before dumb and dumber came into Management.

    Maybe Shane and Scott forgot where they came from. Might not hurt for them to do a little reality check as well.

  51. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    CONGRADULATIONS!! VERY PROFESSIONAL OF YOU!

    How low can you go? Dragging a persons family members into this issue. What people do on their own time, what family members do is of no concern to anyone.

    Get back to the REAL issues.

  52. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    You spelled CongraTulations wrong and hey I can drag anyone through the mud I want. I’m not a firefighter, or an employee of the City whatsoever. Its a public forum. I just thought it was funny.

    I went to school with Helen and am just adding my 2 cents.

    Helen if I hurt your feelings I apologize. They look fabulous. Worth every cent!

  53. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else find it funny that the firefighters stopped posting on Sunday yet here we are on Tuesday still talking about it?

    Doesnt seem very professional of any of you if you ask me.

    I give credit to the firemen for knowing when to not sink to the levels of the public who are obviously looking for a reaction on this site. The comments have gotten out of hand.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the def on IMHO

    There were several questions you failed to answer. Did the firemen who stopped at the O'Rourke residence assist a citzen in distress?

    Is there a written policy in the dept that says staff can use the firetruck to drive home and pick up toiletries, food, clothing?

    I still don't know what you meant by that you have not heard any firefighters bitching & complaining?

    What is the threshold for driving off route to visit a nieghbourhood i.e. 1 kilometer, 5 kilometers?

    Are you looking for sympathy from Joe's like me? Do you need Joe's like me to back you up? I mean Carl Bloomfield whom I have the upmost respect had asked Joe's like me to talk to City Councilors and find out the thruth! So it seems that your elected spokesperson needs Joe's like me to stand behind you guys. Right or wrong?

    Please clarify. A single Suppression staff works 2 days a week. So that's 8 days a month with 22 days off? Is that right? That would be 192 hours a month. Right? I need help here to understand your hours of work in a month. Do you, like most get paid bi-weekly? Are you supposed to work the equivalent of 48 hours a week? Most city workers work 40 hours a week; 80 hours per pay period. How does it work for you guys?

    So you do get coffee breaks, lunch & supper. Just not at a designated time because you could be called out of the hall. Right or wrong?Whew I thought from your earlier comments that you didn't get these breaks. Seems contrary to the Employment Standards Act as well as your collective agreement.

    Don't bring O/T in on the issue I brought up today. O/T had nothing to do with it. However, I would agree if a firefighter spent 36 hours on the job straight that there would be a policy to allow him/her a break to stop at home for a valid reason.

    Don't use Board of works as a crutch. They too shouldn't be using liberties to visit their home while on duty. They wouldn't be able to anyways. Ken Roth follows the workers around in his truck harrassing them all the time. They have GPS so they know where workers are! You guys should be so lucky! Making a pit stop as you say for a timmies, I have no problem with that or you guys doing the same. That isn't the same thing as to what happened today. Don't muddy the waters with irrelevant examples that I don't have a problem with as far as the firemen go i.e. stopping for coffee or going out to pick up supper for the crew. It's just one issue as todays example stated.

  55. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    You sound very angry. (ex. "What the hell?")

    "Did the firemen who stopped at the O'Rourke residence assist a citzen in distress?"

    Don't know I wasn't there, but I do know a fire fighter lives in the area (but you already knew that!)

    "Is there a written policy in the dept that says staff can use the firetruck to drive home and pick up toiletries, food, clothing?"

    Not sure if it's in writing, but it is an accepted practise, the Chief is aware.

    "I still don't know what you meant by that you have not heard any firefighters bitching & complaining?"

    I have read most of the fire fighter's posts (the ones I know come from actual fire fighters) they mostly stick to the facts, there are many non fire fighters "stirring the pot, bitching and complaining"

    "What is the threshold for driving off route to visit a nieghbourhood i.e. 1 kilometer, 5 kilometers?"

    There is no official "threshold". The city is divided in half diagonally. Each station, for the most part, tries to stay in their area. Should a station get a call and find themselves in that other area of the city, it's not unreasonable for them to drive a few kilometers to pick something up and get back to their area. At the same time this is happening an officer can have another truck stand by in other areas, so that no area is totally unprotected.

    "Are you looking for sympathy from Joe's like me? Do you need Joe's like me to back you up? I mean Carl Bloomfield whom I have the upmost respect had asked Joe's like me to talk to City Councilors and find out the thruth! So it seems that your elected spokesperson needs Joe's like me to stand behind you guys. Right or wrong?"

    Sympathy, no. Support, yes

    "Please clarify. A single Suppression staff works 2 days a week. So that's 8 days a month with 22 days off? Is that right? That would be 192 hours a month. Right? I need help here to understand your hours of work in a month. Do you, like most get paid bi-weekly? Are you supposed to work the equivalent of 48 hours a week? Most city workers work 40 hours a week; 80 hours per pay period. How does it work for you guys?"

    This information is all available to you from City Hall. Fire fighters average a 42 hour work week and are paid bi-weekly. Many fire fighters use the time off to fund raise for local charities, volunteer and participate in community events, not to mention raise their families. I won't deny that some work other jobs and have thier own businesses, but in doing so they employ others, these fire fighters are mostly a minority.

    "So you do get coffee breaks, lunch & supper. Just not at a designated time because you could be called out of the hall. Right or wrong?Whew I thought from your earlier comments that you didn't get these breaks. Seems contrary to the Employment Standards Act as well as your collective agreement."

    As stated earlier they don't get "conventional" breaks. They don't happen at structured times. They get fit in where ever possible. It is because of the employment standards act that they are allowed to get a few hours sleep at night.

    "Don't bring O/T in on the issue I brought up today. O/T had nothing to do with it."

    Do you know wether or not the O'Rourke guy was on OT? Got a feeling you know him.

    "Don't use Board of works as a crutch"

    I don't think anyone is using them as a "crutch", just facts.

    "They have GPS so they know where workers are! You guys should be so lucky!"

    The fire trucks have GPS units as well, the Chief/Deputy can log onto a computer at any time and see where they are.

  56. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    nope not angry.. just disappointed that you can't as adults be responsible enough to bring shampoo into work or your lunch, supper etc. Rather then acknowledging that running home for this stuff is a little unreasonable you defend it with rediculous justification.

    What do you guys do when your shift plays hockey? Get the guys in the truck to run home to pick up some shampoo?

    J.C. I wish I could get a cottage industry job in the fire dept to supplement my income. You guys have well paid jobs. I work 40-60 hours a week trying to feed my family, educate my kids, pay business taxes etc. only to find you guys operating a business competing against me for those hard earned dollars in the community that I too volunteer in, give sponsorship money, make donations etc. How much do you guys want? Your comment about your do good businesses on the side employing others is just bullshit justification for doing so. Do you realize that you are starving other families who ONLY have this business as a source of income?

    Don't know the firefighter nor if one lives on O'Rourke. Don't really care either. All I know is that it doesn't take the whole truck of personnel to go in to a residence to retrieve a bottle of shampoo. Unless, you are taking the liberty (practice)to another level.

    Choosing to use this public forum to air your complaints was started by you the fire dept. Several comments were made bitching & complaining about your work environment. Fact or not it is bitching in public. Citizens have waded in because they have lost respect for some of you guys justifying every critique as being excusable. Yet you slam your bosses for not meeting a standard you guys think should be imposed. They, everyone else has it all wrong accept for us. That attitude gets you nowhere accept community disfavour with you guys.

    Unfortunatly, the good, accountable, have integrity for their actions guys in your dept will get caught up in this shit storm. Hopefully for their sake some of the more mature, level headed thinking, objective firefighters will take some of you aside and offer some advice on life in the public eye! Don't piss off the taxpayer when they have a vaild reason to complain. Like we expect of Shane & Scott to accept responsibility for their actions or for that matter in-actions.

    To the good guys in the dept. I apologize for my comments going after some of the absurd. You are the respected ones. You are the role models in your dept and profession. You are model citizens who get it! Thank you for being a great firefighter & citizen. Thank you for doing a great job and being loyal to your job & community. I hope that somehow you can rain in the shit disturbers in your dept who are causing a negative public backlash in this blog.

    City hall admin, some council members, Scott & Shane all deny your allegations which pisses you off to no end. The writer(s) deny my critisim of taking a truck home to pick up shampoo, toiletries as being a little unreasonable. All he/they had to do is say "yes, we took a little advantage of the practice". "Yes it looked bad to those citizens that don't know our practice". "Yes we will try and be more responsible to bring in our food, clothing, toiletries etc to TRY and avoid in future taking out the fire truck to go home on a personal errand. That would have been the end of it!!! You would have had my total respect for taking responsibility to an unacceptable practice in my HO as a taxpayer. But like you I have lost respect just as you have for Shane & Scott not taking or admitting responsibility.

    Double standards as I see it!

    End of rant!!!

  57. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t gonna get involved but…..
    So let me get this straight, you’re pissed off because in the middle of the day a fire truck pulled up to a house and some fire fighters (first you said 2 now you’re saying the whole crew, whatever) got out of the truck and went into the house. So you immediately go off with “Just what the hell was the firetruck doing on O’Rourke Ave after your fire call around noon today?” There must be more to this situation. In my mind, the first thing I would think of is that maybe there was some sort of problem with the people there and I hope everything is alright. You obviously have a hate on for the fire department if this is your reaction or there is more to the story.
    So what if this happened to be a fire fighter’s residence. I know lots of people who have occupations where they are out driving around the city, if they stop at home to pick something up big deal! Like the guy stated before, as long as there are fire trucks covering each area of the city, who cares! And yeah maybe they should be more responsible and remember these things when they go to work, just because they are fire fighters does that mean they are super human robots who never forget to pack an extra pair of underwear. Give’ em a break! I found the hockey comment funny, I hope they are out playing hockey on their days off to stay in shape should I ever need them to carry my ass out of a fire!
    Let’s face it fire fighters are human beings, does this mean they don’t have any rights. Like the right to bitch like the rest of us. I don’t ever remember the fire fighters publically bitching about anything until recently. So what’s changed? It looks like their management for one thing.
    Do they not have the right to have a second job? Last I checked this was a free country. I personally know lots of guys who work shift work who have second and third jobs. Look at Jonkers Lawn Care, that guy worked at the tube when he was starting his business. I call this ambitious. It may not be for everybody but if they want to work that hard who are you to judge, go get another job! Or better yet why don’t you apply at the fire department and get one of those “cottage industry jobs”. From what I’ve been reading it sounds like a pretty good job to me. Good hours, good time off and oh, hey you might get to save someone’s life. And let’s not forget that women love a man in uniform. Sounds like a lot to be jealous of to me! Then again the idea of running into a building when people are running out or scraping a dead burnt dismembered body off the road, no thanks. Let’s face it, it’s a whole different world. I for one and extremely proud of fire fighters everywhere. Unfortunately they are a necessary part of our world.
    When I was growing up firefighters were like heroes to me and I looked up to and aspired to be like them. I did this because of the job they do, poor labour/ management relations has nothing to do with that. The job they do is noble and courageous and as a kid that’s all that matters. Now that I’m an adult I still look up to them as heroes, yeah maybe they have some shit disturbers amongst their ranks, but we all know there are shit disturbers in every profession.
    To the fire fighters,
    I know some of you and I know your Chief and Deputy. I know that your work environment is poisonous at times. I commend you for doing your jobs. I know that most of you are in the job for the right reasons. I have complete faith and trust in you that should I ever need your services you will risk your lives to save my family. This applies to all employees of the Woodstock Fire Department. I hope you are able to resolve your conflicts. I wish you all the best!
    And to all you anonymous people, have a nice day!
    I’m done and personally I won’t be reading anymore, so have your fun!
    End of rant, I doubt it!

  58. Anonymous
    Posted September 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The following was written by myself…. A firefighters shift is 24 hours at work, 24 hours off work, 24 hours on work and then 5 days off.

    They do not have set coffee, lunch or dinner breaks.

    Between them all they work 365 days a year as the station is always open.

    If they are sick they use 2 sick days to be off the 24 hour period.

    Sometimes they are required to stop home. Maybe they have forgotten something or maybe they have just spent 6 hours in a fire and need a dry pair of clothes or some toiletries to freshen up with.

    Sometimes they might have been called in on overtime and are working a 36 hour shift. 36 hours is a long time.

    I am not saying they dont have the freedom to be out and about because of their job but their job is different then mine. Can I leave my desk to run home and grab something no. Could a taxi driver or another City worker say in the Board of Works department make a pit stop somewhere…. sure they could.

    The hours are long. There could be many reasons for a pit stop.

    That was my very own personal quote. I am not a firefighter. I am not related to one in any way. I am friends with a lot of them but I am also very good friends with Shane Caskanette. Scott not so much but I have no ill feelings towards the man.

  59. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Firefighters… I was the first one in and hopefully the last one out.

    I know almost all of you. I work at the rink. I'm glad that this coluum has reached some civalty. I hope that you can move on with the task of grievances and reconciliation that must take place for all of your health & welfare. I respect all of you in your work and how difficult it must be to deal with the tragic accident recently of 2 persons most of us know. I can't even comprehend what that must feel like and to deal with. I can only imagine many sleepless nights. All the best and we arena workers support you in your quest for peace in your workplace.

    AS you have probably read in todays paper we too have a terrible situation of denial by senior staff about there incompetence in the Civic Centre mould issue. You guys know the consequence all too real of occupational illness caused from exposure to toxic substances. We had 4 staff not trained, not wearing appropriate PPE and demanded to clean the toxic mould. Then Bob states today that front line staff are responsible because they didn't know what to do? If you don't want to get over it too bad? So like you, we are infuriated at our leaders for being so insensitive in a time of crisis. WE do not trust nor do we respect these leaders any more. I don't know how both of us can overcome our problems but we could probably use your help and maybe you could use us in a solidarity movement to expose these problems.

    In signing off thanks for listening. Thanks for all that you do. Best of luck! I would put my name but I would put myself at risk with my employer. I think that you guys will figure it out. I remember the waves & thumbs up at CASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    “nope not angry.. just disappointed that you can’t as adults be responsible enough to bring shampoo into work or your lunch, supper etc. Rather then acknowledging that running home for this stuff is a little unreasonable you defend it with rediculous justification.”

    We are all together in how we feel, we have a great job, enjoy helping those that need our help. We earn a good living putting our lives on the line at ANY given time for someone else. This community is fortuante to have the dedication that exists at the fire suppression level, all residents can be assured that our guys are the best at what they do, period. This is in spite of extremely poor leadership at the top, which is what this all eventually comes back to. If you think the job is so great, why aren’t you one of us?

  61. Anonymous
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Just for the latest update. Tony from H.R. has decided to try and punish Carl for his letter to the editor. They have completed their investigation in November. Not bad only about three months late, and feel Carl’s letter is reckless. Just another attempt of the strong arm tactics being used at the hands of mismanagement.

  62. Anonymous
    Posted December 4, 2008 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    THis “punishment” resulted in the city withdrawing their discipline. What a bunch of bullshit. Nice work chief. one more blast to the morale of the whole dept.

  63. 1581
    Posted December 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Brothers and Sisters,

    WOW – I just wanted to say thanks for filling me in on the day to day life in the Woodstock Fire Department. I was just doing some research online (interested in the posted TO)and came across this blog.

    Is there no one interested in the position in house? Wondering if it was worth applying.

    Also – Collingwood had a similar staffing issue. It was resolved in house. Call them.

    Thanks and good luck with your issues.


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