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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Open Post

The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary Bowling Night has been canceled for this Friday and will be rescheduled.

Otherwise...OPEN POST

Someone asked me about a shirt I was wearing once. The shirt was the Roanoke Fire Blog shirt. You can purchase them here: http://www.cafepress.com/roanokefire. There are two designs. The newest is the one with the "Roanoke Fire Blog" on the front. If you have a slogan you would like to see let me know.


43 comments:

Anonymous said...

What has our union website been changed to? The old address does not take you there anymore!

FireFleitz said...

It works: http://www.local1132.org

Anonymous said...

Recently at shift break the station was talking about how low moral was. One of the guys threw out this story and destroyed any moral left in the AICs standing around. The story goes that about 10 years ago the city decided to pay paramedics $4000.00 a year for their skills. It was an incentive to draw people to the department. All of the medics on the units at the time received the money and it was placed in their salary in a way that their future pay raises would reflect it. At the time there were some medics in the department that had moved up in rank and were no longer assigned to the medic unit. They did not receive the money. Chief Grigsby had the final say on who got the money and who did not. He gave Hoback the $4000.00. Keep in mind that Hoback was in the office and has not been assigned to a medic truck since the 1980s and some of the guys still in company did not receive the pay. Some quick firehouse math determined that Hoback has received over $60,000.00 for providing this skill to the city. One of the guys made the point that the story can’t be true because you have to be checked off on the paramedic application every other year that you have maintained your skill level. It was kicked around that he either lied on the application or the city paid $60,000.00 to provide an AIC to Blue Ridge Fire Department the department he volunteers in. After hearing the story one of the medics simply walked out of the station and took the door off the hinges as he slammed it. Another made the point that Hoback has come out pretty good by having never fought a fire or rode a medic truck in the City of Roanoke

Anonymous said...

damn, open post and just 3 comments so far. whats going on?

Anonymous said...

The more I read this blog, the more I realize that I don't want to read this blog.

Anonymous said...

That Wizard of Oz cartoon is funny as shit. I hope someone has posted this downtown. If you can't laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at. It is fuckin great!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Wizard of Oz thing was funny because truth is always funnier than fiction. But wait, did someone call me a flying monkey? If they did, then.....uhh, I uhh.....guess they are probably right.
If I were a flying monkey in real life I'd fly over downtown and get some of those brand new white durango's/explorer's covered in creamy shizzz-nit.

Anonymous said...

I just read a email sent out from the training divison. Wanting people to come for a mandatory meeting on Sept 4 or 5th so you can teach rookie school. if you dont come to the meeting you can not teach. But here is the good part, it says that you are on your OWN TIME. How does a Internationally Acreditied Dept. operate this way ? Why should we give up our time to volunteer for the department we are paid to work for. i wounder how the FlSA laws apply to this? If no one comes to the Training meeting who will teach rookie school. Why would the department think we want to come out and work for free. We need to put our foot down once and for all on this matter, this is not the first time this has been done to us.Just remember all the GREAT things this Department /City has done for us in the last 12 months when you go out to the meeting(Ha Ha) SMutter

Anonymous said...

I remember watching you kissing all the Chief’s Asses and volunteering for everything when you were coming up in the ranks so you could get promoted.
Now that you are a Captain and where you want to be in the department you turn on them.
The meeting will be packed with people like you that will do anything to get promoted and administration knows it.
They will come in on their day off for free!
It’s people like you and others in this department that talk the big talk when you aren’t around the chiefs. Then when they came around, you serve them coffee and tell them what they want to hear and do what they want you to do.
That's why I am still a firefighter.

SO SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Anonymous said...

Cha......ching!

Anonymous said...

I would like the person that created the wizard of oz poster to publish it here. It's great! thanks

Anonymous said...

With the ban on the firefighter blog, we should have many new readers visiting from across the country. I encourage you to read our blog. Welcome to the surreal world of Roanoke EMS/fire. Most comments are anonymous because of retaliation. Of course the comments include some inside personal attacks which I don’t condone, and some humor, but pay attention to the comments about our administration.
Read back as far as you can and see the frustration and problems we have here in Roanoke.

A little history: Years ago, the city manager brought in a new chief, a hatchet man, Jim Grigsby, for the merger. He ran off many firefighters as he ran the department into the ground. He did such a good job that he is now assistant city manager. Many promotions under him were to the unqualified. We have many inexperienced officers. When he took the assistant city manager position, he put Hoback in his place as Chief to continue the job. They sold our identity with the merger and trampled Firefighter tradition but ironically try to pass themselves off as firefighters. Most say Grigsby still runs the department. Now the significance here is that there is no one in our department management or in the municipal building (with the possible exception of the new members on council) that cares about the firefighters or our concerns. The city manager, her assistant, and our department management ARE our main problem, so we have no one to take our problems to.

We want to address issues such as stagnant pay, pay compression and the attack on our benefits, but must devote most of our time fighting to stop the continual downsizing of manpower, apparatus and stations as well as pleading for needed equipment. These reductions are a threat to firefighter safety.
In this job that means human lives; firefighters and civilians.
We have forced EMS. Being a Firefighter or EMS provider are two distinct disciplines. Dual role forces employees to do both although most do not want to be both. To be a professional in either requires much training. With budget constraints that’s not going to happen. To imply that either is a part time endeavor is simply ridiculous if you have professional standards. Management seems to feel that it looks good on paper and they’re saving money, so they don’t care if the performance level is less than professional, if employees are unhappy or if we are more at risk. They can always spin it.

We routinely face retaliation and harassment. They seem to think they outrank doctors when we should have privacy on medical issues. They run sick leave and FMLA concurrently. They think they are our bosses on our day off. Our benefits erode daily under this bunch. We have a distorted promotional process. Morale is in a continual ever growing downward spiral.
We could present a vote of no confidence in our management team but most are afraid of the certain retaliation that would follow.

The frustration shows in the voices on the blog. They censored it because it exposes their incompetence; it tells of the way they treat us and their lack of concern or respect for us.
I’m glad to hear of support from citizens and from our brother and sister firefighters, but we need local support. We need members of city council to listen to us and help us. We need the local news to pick up our story. We need our people to submit comments and editorials. Most have given up.
We do not have collective bargaining so union actions are limited.
The International should come visit us with grand media attention.

We need our managers to be replaced with leaders. There are some good people in our stations. People that take great risks for the public; dedicated in spite of the disgraceful way we are treated. They quietly continue their work as the department sinks around us.
Maybe that’s the way it is everywhere, but all I know is that we’re taking a beating here.
Ghost

Anonymous said...

The fact that you even posted the comment:
"It’s people like you and others in this department that talk the big talk when you aren’t around the chiefs. Then when they came around, you serve them coffee and tell them what they want to hear and do what they want you to do"

Shows just how simple you are. Did you not see that i signed MY name to MY post. If you know me as you claim to, you would no that iam a whole lot of diffent things. but a THIEF,LIER& ASSKISSER are not one of them. Many years ago i would have read your post and called you a stupid S.O.B. and kicked your ass when i saw you. But now i would...... (probally still do the same thing)
From your post you say.
"That's why I am still a firefighter". I think you are still a firefighter because you are to lazy and simple to pass the test! "And thats the way it is". SKM.

Anonymous said...

Is Scott a suck ass, have no idea, but when I look at all the people that signed up to teach after all the bullshit we have put up with I’ am dumb founded. With all due respect how are we going to ever get are point across when we continue to volunteer to make them look good . The same people I respect in the dept., plus listen to their valid complaints are many of the same ones that are right there on these extra dept. activities.
I bet Ralph had all the volunteers he needed for the gulf trip within minutes of his page. What kind of message would it send if we couldn’t field a team for that trip? The reason people will have for going I can only imagine.
AT SOME POINT WE NEED TO MAKE A CHOICE, I’m thinking we already have…
pl

Anonymous said...

yup, the deployment team is assembled. It will be difficult to get all that ego in two vehicles. maybe they can take an Abbot bus.

Anonymous said...

ok - it's a deployment - if we're so short of money how can we afford it? ok - it was a trick question - we all know the answer...

Anonymous said...

The same way they "can" afford to build two new 5 million dollar stations, but "can't" afford to get rid of both of the money pit quints. "Can't" afford decent raises or help us with insurance.

All that money being spent, yet they have to cut 6 firefighters to meet budget.

Their math don't add up.

Anonymous said...

SKM: I didn't mean to hurt your feelings I just call them like I see them.
"A rock hit that dog!"

Anonymous said...

The city does not pay for a deployment, the feds pay for it. Why would someone sign up to go, good experience and you get paid good. I dont know about you but i am here to make money and pay my bills.Sounds like someone is sour cause they would have never been picked to go in the first place.I did sign up to teach some at the recruit school but i am not going to no meeting for free but i will teach for $20 an hour cause its extra money in my pocket. You and i both know that this dept and union WILL NEVER COME TOGETHER so why come on here and cry about what every one else does in his or her job. I do not complain when you go out on your days off and mow grass or paint buildings so why should you care if i teach a class or deploy somehwere????

Anonymous said...

Scott I didn;t write the comment but I love you whether he does or not.

As for the deployment, yeah the feds pick up the bill for the deployed team but what about the hole in our ranks we are left with. First we are short manpower, second the vaccuum that is left is gonna upset our pressure around here.

Hoback blocked Rhett's website because he was tired of the negative comments and the snowballing bad feelings in the stations (which he isn't helping at all) and thinks this will curtail the talking. Thing is that the block is making the nay-sayers point for them.

Medic pay sucks, the entire merger was mismanaged.

Wizard of Oz? Someone come up with the cartoon I haven't seen it.

Ass kissing. Like it or not, admit it or not each and every officer in this department has had to kiss his or her measure of ass in the past to gain the promotion. They ease the pain and remove the ass taste by saying it is 'just playing the game'. The game IS kissing ass.

Anonymous said...

The City pays for the deployment and the Feds reimburse the City at their pleasure.

The City will also have to pay the overtime to fill missed stifts if that happens.

Now with that said, if the people in the gulf need help, then by all means I hope they get it, whether it is from Roanoke or else where. That is what we do, help people!

As long as people are going on the deployment for the right reasons, I say more power to ya, but if you are going so you can come back and brag about being on a deployment, or how good "your" people worked while there, then I don't want to hear it.

As for teaching, yap, yap, yap I agree with SM, that rock hit the dog.

Anonymous said...

I heard Lipes broke his ankle on duty. anybody know anything?

Anonymous said...

I cant believe some ass hole is talking about one of the best Capts to work for in the dept...and not to mention a very experienced officer. (and I have never worked for him directly, but ask him men) Its not his fault your still sitting on your ass as a FF bitching on some blog that he's a Captain now. Why the hell havent you climbed the ladder yet? I'll tell you why, because your too sorry to do it. Your pissed and sour now that someone who has been here longer than you is more successful than you. Your pouting...not a company man any more.."fuck em I just wont test anymore, I'll show them." Do us a favor and retire!! As far as teaching and deploying, Its what we do. Its making money. Teaching is sharing knowledge and helping the recruits hopefully stay positive and like their job unlike some of you miserable sons of bitches on here that constantly cry and bitch when anyone does something besides their 24 hour shift. You are the people that make our working environment and morale into shit. As far as deploying, the people that went and may still be going have signed up, showed some initiative and want to help the people in need. Do you think the 32 guys from the Va Beach FEMA team that left their families @ 2 am on Labor Day weekend headed to the Gulf are suck asses that need promoted? I DONT THINK SO. Its their job. You bitches that sit and cry and point fingers and anyone and everyone that does something extra in the dept just stay home and out of my way....and out of the way of the rest of the positve go getters in the department. I'm going to teach recruit school and go on any deployment I can....not only for the experience and the money, but because its my job and I love what I do even if I have to put up with, work directly with and read rants from such miserable Mother Fuckers like you. Can I get an AMEN??

Fool said...

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

if you feel so strong and aren't ashamed of the department and what you say then why didn't you sign your name big man.....
by the way amen

Anonymous said...

Let’s hold on a minute here.
I kind of have to agree somewhat with the firefighter.”
I think that why he is probably choosing to stay a firefighter is because he has some morals about him.
He is not going to kiss ass. He is not going to play the promotional game that we have in this department.
Look at what has been happening to the promotions lately.
The most qualified have not always been chosen.
Many times the promotions go to the person that is hanging around the chief’s office on his days off or the one who volunteers to do things for no compensation.
Look at all the promotional projects officers have done on their own time.
I think this is one of the reasons many of the older firefighters and officers have left.
They saw what the department was coming too.
Some one said earlier in a post that you have to kiss ass to get promoted.
Unfortunately and sad as it may be we all know that this is very true in the department today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
......................................................................
"AMEN??"
My first post on this discussion.

You sound like you are either fairly new, or currently in favor.
I don't disagree with some of what you have said but....

Do yourself a favor, print the post you made and tape it to the inside of your locker, when you are closer to retirement then to being a new hire, read it over and see if you still feel the same. I hope you don't.
You see, we are brothers and when you say "You bitches that sit and cry and point fingers and anyone and everyone that does something extra in the dept just stay home and out of my way....and out of the way of the rest of the positve go getters in the department" makes me worry about my safety and that of my brothers. Try to understand, we are all one,we are brothers, and when it gets hot and dirty there is no room for someone that just wants their brothers "out of my way". When a brother falls, we don't push them out of the way, we bend down and help them up, hell, we carry them if we have too. (If you haven't figured it out yet, I am talking about life, not just in a fire).
Sit down for just a minute in your trip to the top, stop drawing ladders on peoples back, and listen to everyones opinion - chances are none of them are 100% correct, but you just may learn something that will make you one of the great officers one day.

It's a great job, and I think we should do all that we can to help where ever and whenever it is needed, but believe me, the disgruntled employees are NOT the sickness, just a symptom.
And ALWAYS remember-
The toes you step on today may be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

To the pissed off volunteer....a little bit sensitive there aren't ya?? You can try to defend your actions and rationalize things in your head, but the bottom line is you're a suck. This place can strip away our raises, benefits, and moral; and still people are waiting in line to say "yes chief." Pretty unbelievable. This is why the city can take a big shit on us, because they know there will always be individuals who are ready and waiting to volunteer; whether its emt-i, training, or pouring a cup of coffee. Bad moral is a combination of shitty leadership and bootlickers! So go on dowm to Luziannaa, roll those sleeves up, throw out a couple of big nasties and be all that you can be!!

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, my life does not revolve around this department. I show up, do my job, try not to step on anyones toes, and give respect to my officers.

I enjoy it when im on the job, but enjoy it even more when I am off. No ass-kissing for me. I really dont care if nobody even knows my name.

No desire to get "deployed". If I could, Id go down there on my own dime to help but I cannot stop my life to assist right now. Good for those of you who can afford time away from your families to help others in the Gulf but I guess my priorities are not the same as yours.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you all are just mad at the state of things or idiots. (maybe both) But I would like to know your definition of a asskisser.

By what I have read on hear, you are an asskisser if you: take EMT-I, are on the HTR team, Swiftwater team, HAZMAT team, take training so you can teach for DFP and get paid to teach your department, are on a committee, learn a trade that can help the department, ever in your career go in a station on your day off, get FEMA training and go on a deployment. I could go on, but all of these things are what we do.

I say, you are an asskisser if you take the chief (any chief) breakfast every morning, call him at home to say "Hi buddy", bring him his personal coffee each day, pay for his food while eating out together, offer him a date with your wife, polish his shoes, park his car in his favorite spot for him, volunteer for every special project that your chief has. I could go on here too, but I think you should get the idea.

We are suffering through bull shit right now, but lets focus on where the problems are coming from, not beating each other up. While they sit and laugh at us upstairs, we still have to live with each other, and trust each other with our lives.

Anonymous said...

Not just the promotion process is unfair. I hear in the latest round of hiring someone that was way way way way down on the list was hired simply becuase of a physical attribute of his. Now how fair is that?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what I'm reading! Now is a time when we need to join together as brothers & what are we doing? We are throwing jabs at each other worse than ever before. Everyone labels our "leaders" (if you want to call them that), as a bunch of idiots. If you don't think that they read this blog & see us tearing each other apart, then some people need a much needed reality check. Who cares what Mutter did in the past, who cares what any of our true brothers & sisters did in the past! I for one know that you won't see Capt. Mutter kissing anyone's ass, especially the individuals downtown that call themselves chiefs. I know that the fire service is known for it's Monday morning quarterback routines, but really; enough is enough. Say what you want, but we all know that we the firefighters are the foundation of this department. Anyone knows that if the foundation of a house is destroyed then nothing will be left. Mark my word, if we keep talking this bs about each other, administration won't have to destroy this dept., we will. And whoever posted the comment about volunteering for "mandotory" meetings & the deployment, you're exactly right. If we don't put our foot down & say hell no to not getting paid, then we aren't doing anything but pissing in the wind.
--TrailerParkTrash

Anonymous said...

what physical attribute?

Anonymous said...

Thanks "TrailerParkTrash". It's about time someone said something about our self destruct. We make ourselves look like a bunch of bickering fools. When you Google Roanoke FD, this site is what comes up. So when an outsider wants to know what we are all about, this is what they see. A bunch of Firefighters tearing at each others throats. We look like idiots, not professionals.
-CFF

Anonymous said...

calm down Tim enjoy your trip.

Anonymous said...

HEY MR Amen positive go getter, whats it like under grisbo and hobacks desk. Never mind, have you thought about joining the army...

Anonymous said...

Hey MR ARMY recruiter. Do you not see that your part of the infection in our department. Did you not read any of the 30 some posts before yours? Enough with with the negativity. You gotta keep stiring it up.

Anonymous said...

ok i agree but when you work here its hard not to get infected. ITs just everytime you agree and help out your a suck, but if you don't your disgruntle. If all you want to do is come in do your job and go home your really a outcast.I think all the work we can do above the norm is great. My only point is if we continue to do more and more with less, this current group of downtown idiots are going to take advantage of the hard working people of this dept.

Anonymous said...

The Roanoke Fire ems department is broken and will not be fixed or change.The Admin has no clue.The chief of department has the Education but no experience. chief 2 has the experience but has no education or people skills. Chief 3 has no education or experience or people skills.So none of the 3 meet the qulaifications for their jobs.The rank and file of the Roanoke fire ems is split down the middle.Some want to kiss ass for everything and the other half want to fight for everything. Both sides stab each other in the backs to get their agenda out. We no longer look out for one another from the top down to the bottom.No one trust one another anymore. The union has no power to put a stop to it cause our members are the ones i speak of above.Mr Grigsby has succeeded in his plan to divide the department and keep us fighting so they can achieve their fire dept plan of reductions of manpower and firehouses. WE ALL should be very disappointed in our selves and ashamed We have become a joke in our community and our profession. We are broken and can not be fixed until this admin downtown leaves and we get new fire chiefs, and then WE ALL change our ways of thinking.Thats the ONLY WAY!!!! we can fix this mess. It's everyones fault. All the problems and bitching about our department on this site is OUR FAULT. look in the mirror.And then we air our dirty laundary on this site for EVERYONE to see.And we call ourselfs professionals. I have never seen moral this bad!Where do we go from here??? can it get any lower??

Anonymous said...

Whoever posted the last comment was exactly right about the qualifications of our leaders. However, I have to disagree w/ you when you say that the individuals in admin must leave before it gets better. I believe that the improvment of morale has to start w/ us. As bad as it is around this joint, I still love my job! If you sit back & think about it, does you neighbor & other family members have a job where they get to see & do as much cool stuff that we do. And what about the schedule? Where else could you work your full-time job 10 days/month & also have the benefit of having a second job? Believe me, I know that the majority of us have that second job to make ends meet, but we all knew coming into this job that we would NEVER get rich doing it. We have to be the one's to increase the morale around here b/c we all know the problem children downtown aren't going to help us. I have thought about leaving this hole several times but what keeps me here is the job description, not the people that call themselves our leaders. This job has alot of tradition in it & always will no matter how bad it gets here in Roanoke. You can be asked what you do for a living, & when you respond "I'm a fireman", I don't care where it is, ears perk up. Why, b/c every little boy still wants to be a fireman when he grows up @ some point in his life, b/c we are still the good guys that show up when people are in trouble. Guys, and girls, we are the backbone to this dept., & it's time that we started acting like it. Who cares who calls who "buddy", or goes to different classes, although I must say that coming into work on your off day to paint tools is a little excessive. We need to look @ each other the way our forefathers in this profession did, not as someone to walk over to get promoted, but as fellow brothers.
--TrailerParkMedic

Anonymous said...

Bite me!

Anonymous said...

I can guess but I am not sure. Who is painting tools on their day off.

Anonymous said...

TrailerparkMe dic you hit the nail on the head. Everyone wants to brag about being a firemen. Just like a tick standing around in the ER with turnout gear on. The real firemen I looked up to in this dept, you would never no their profession ex. Patterson, Jennings Big Willy, King etc. If one truely loves the job why does one have to tell everyone,sounds like insecurity. The only excuse would be a very hot chick that nothing else is working. joking not...