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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Open Post

Here is an open post while I am out of town, although I have a topic for you.

If you would like, please discuss the blog. For instance what you like or don't like. Maybe what you would like to see done, or what you would do if you ran things. I will be back in town Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Rhett, I think it would be cool if you added something like a weekly or bi-weekly opinion article (fire department related) written by some of the readers who commonly post in the comments section. Something like a newspaper op-ed.I think it would be a good way to start some directed conversations about various topics without being quite as wide open as the "open post".You could solicit submissions and post them in the main page. I think this would encourage more well thought out articles than what normally gets posted on the comments page.(admittedly, some are well thought out,but many are not.)Just an idea that I think might generate some good content for your blog.Hell, you might even offer it to some of the members of our administration if they are brave enough to endure the scrutiny of the comments that will follow.

Anonymous said...

Hmm likes and don’t likes about the blog. Let’s see Rhett, there’s a don’t like. I for one am sick and tired of Rhett pointing out the obvious flaws in our department. His flagrant use of the truth is continuing to muck up an otherwise sinking ship. Why can’t you be like the band on the Titanic and continue playing until your lips are below water like the rest of us.

Let’s see, the frequencies with which you post your blurbs of truth are far too sporadic.

Your unwavering bias towards union affairs is sickening.

There is too much talk about the abundance of vacation Rhett takes. Can’t you live a boring life at home like the rest of us and never leave the firehouse?

The fact that you omit a post about someone specific feels a lot of us with ire. Like say for instance if I said there was a guy in the group in New Orleans that has more suction than a Hoover Vacuum Cleaner plant you would probably omit this post. Or if I said Rhett couldn’t pleasure a cricket. I mean man damn, WTF!

Oh yeah and no new posters on here. Why isn’t the road to promotion poster on here? All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road. What about cartoons? None can be found. Pictures, where are they? Mark Pod retired and there isn’t a photo. Damn it man. I want to see more midgets in bikinis, face smashing crashes, jerk slamming jokes/cartoons, admin criticizing, and info on the new guys (the real stuff not the propaganda). Step it up man.

Anonymous said...


The site is doing what it should be doing. Getting issues out in the open. Here is another issue that people should be made aware of. There are some misconceptions amongst people inside of, and outside of this department. One is that you work 10 days a month. That is incorrect. You work an average of 10 24 hour shifts a month. You work an average of 20 days a month, just like everyone else that works Monday through Friday for the city. You work 6 days straight, and get a 3 day break. You work 50% longer hours than anyone else in the city, but get the same pay as any other city employee in your pay grade. Every other city employee earning hourly wages gets overtime after 40 hours, but you get overtime after 53 hours. And then, when they give overtime for any given pay grade, other city employees get their overtime based on their weekly salary divided by 40 hours, while you get your overtime based on your weekly salary divided by 56 hours.
City Employee making $40,000 a year in the municipal building.
Average of 2000 hrs. a year, gives that employee $20 an hour, with $30. an hour for "time and a half" overtime.
Firefighter making $40,000 a year. Average of 3000 hrs. a year. The firefighter makes $13.33 an hour, and $20 an hour for "time and a half" overtime. A firefighter has to work overtime to receive the same hourly pay as any other city employee at the same pay grade.
How fair is that?

Sure, being a firefighter is a great job, but how much respect do you think you get from the city? Well, the answer is NONE. Sitting back, talking about how great your job is, wallowing in your self-perceived illusion of grandeur, while the city screws you only proves that firefighters are not the brightest bunch of employees that the city hires. Top that with all the back-stabbing, stepping on others for promotion, and all the volunteering that you brought with you from your "social club" volunteer departments makes it nearly impossible for our firefighters association to work for the benefit of all members. I am not talking about all Roanoke firefighters, but you know who you are.
You all are your own worst enemy.

FireFleitz said...

Great comments. I love it. I have always told those who ask that I will post whatever they want as long as they sign their name to it. This goes for posts and comments. That being said, I have reposted comments as posts which were anonymous.

Furthermore, I would be happy to post articles written by whomever. Whether they want to write as anonymous or as themselves. I will give more leeway for writers who post using their name, but it is not a necessity.

Thanks for the great comments. I love:

His flagrant use of the truth is continuing to muck up an otherwise sinking ship. Why can’t you be like the band on the Titanic and continue playing until your lips are below water like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

To whoever wrote the Hoover Vacuum comment, holy shit that was funny. I literally fell over in the floor laughin'. My stomach hurts from that workout! You gotta truly understand that comment to appreciate it. Hey Rhett, who says this place is bad for moral. I read that comment and it added brightness to my day.

Anonymous said...

I think it’s great that members of the Roanoke Fire EMS have been deployed to LA.

This is a momentous occasion, not only for the Department but the men as well.

Why? I ask!

Seven against One.

This is the Department’s big chance!


It’s up to the DEPLOYMENT TEAM. Don’t let your country down. Don’t let the Department down. "You can do this!"

Listed below are some ways that I have come up with to help you in this mission.

I know that you will stop at a store while down there, preferably a Wall Mart. ( More Stuff) I need you to pick up a few items.

Benadryl Allergy tablets. Don’t get children’s. They are not strong enough.
A roll of duck tape.
A strong magnet.
Super Glue.
Ex-Lax. Chocolate flavored.
Case of breathes mints. Any kind, but make sure they are strong. "Don’t eat them!" They are for Ralph!
Assorted boxed candy. You know the kind that has all the different kinds in the box with the lid.(Whitman's?)
A case of bottled water.
Assorted soft drinks.

Below you will see when to use these items.

We know that he will be riding up front in the passengers seat.(He likes that seat, it makes him feel important.)Tell him you think the right rear tire is going flat.
Pull over first. He might try to check it while the DEPLOYMENT TEAM VEHICLE is still in motion. This could have a tragic out come for family members, maybe not for the Department though.When he gets out to check it.


When he is not looking or while he is napping while you guys are driving. (Remember old people nap a lot.) One of you needs to switch some of the chocolates in the box of assorted candy with the Ex-Lax.
When he wakes up, offer him some candy and a soft drink. He will take anything if it’s free.
After about an hour or two, he should start to feel some discomfort. He will ask to stop at the next rest stop.

Delay! Delay! Delay!

Finally after you can’t take it any more. Find the shittiest dirtiest one you can.
When you do stop. Make sure you get to the bathroom first. Make him suffer. Hide the toilet paper. Take the drying towels. Use the Super Glue on the toilet seat.
Do anything to slow his return to the Deployment Team Vehicle.


When you all go to a restaurant on the waterfront to eat. Slip some Benadryl in his meal when he is not looking. This will take an hour or two to take effect so you have plenty of time.

Insist that he pay for the meal with the city credit card.(Darlene bling card.) Have the one that is sitting on the side where he keeps his wallet in his back pocket pass the magnet back and forth and around his wallet without touching him. This should clear the data from all his credit cards.
When the restaurant management staff confronts him about his credit card.


Finally, if you have not left him by now, he should start to be getting very veeeerrrrrryyyy sleeeeeeeepppyyyy. Wait until he falls asleep. Then duck tape his mouth hands and feet. Place him in one of those motorized DEPLOYMENT TEAM RESCUE BOATS. Make sure his cell phone only has one bar showing on the battery. Put the case of water and the rest of the candy, soft drinks and toilet paper that you stole from the rest stop in there with him. Start the boat put it in gear slow speed and head it out into the Gulf.


Now that all these scenarios have been run by you. I hope you the DEPLOYMENT TEAM MEMBERS have not let your Country or Department down.


Reports have been coming in from down there that the ROANOKE DEPLOYMENT TEAM looks like one of those Chinese Dragons that we see running around the streets during Chinese celebrations.

Ralph is in the front with fire coming out of his mouth. Beckner’s head is up Ralph’s ass. Adkins head is up Beckner's ass and so on down the chain of command. They say it looks quite amusing.

Anonymous said...

trust me...ralph isnt the chief you should be worried about. And as far as getting paid per hour like other city employees, shut the hell up before they change it. I love the schedule we work. I'm not complaining about getting paid to sleep.

Anonymous said...

The point that person made was that your not getting paid while you sleep. Hence we make less money per hour or you could say that we aren't getting paid to sleep.

Anonymous said...

payed to sleep what station do you work at and you must not ride on a medic unit

Anonymous said...

check this out from

When Firefighters Fail, Look At Command

Yesterday a reminder of weak, ineffectual leadership was on display. Through trying to "look" like command rather than taking command firefighters were unable to perform basic tasks common to the fire ground across North America.

Firefighters are only as good as their leadership. In almost every case if there are serious issues on a scene they can be traced back to those in command. Thus, prior to assuming the responsibility of command one must possess the tools. Certifications and time are not enough. One needs to lead.

Leadership is the art of getting others to buy in. It's easy when there are no incidents taking place but each time there is a screw up in the field the doubt about the leader grows. Eventually the person is revealed as lacking the needed qualities. This, even if said person says all the right things, dresses the part, and gives his or her "all" for the department. None of the aforementioned mean anything on the line.

People who are weak leaders are usually put there by other weak leaders. It's patronage rather than talent. It's the desire to have someone you like around you rather than someone competent. The fire chief is usually the last to know that the horses he picked can't finish the race and will likely cost him his job.

Leaders may not be the people who dress like a million bucks and learn all the catchphrases. In fact, they may appear to be just the type of people you don't want. Sadly, when you overlook them for others, it sets in motion a complex failure waiting for the right moment. The moment will come and the firefighters pay the price. "They" know it and they don't like it. They will speak out.

Anonymous said...

The Hoover Vacuum cleaner is the funniest comment you've ever heard??? Jeez, you must laugh uncontrollably when watching America's Funniest Home Videos (which is lame by the way).

Rhett, you do focus too much on Union Activities and C-Shift in general. At times you forget that there are 2 other shifts. I remember that you posted several pics when your captain retired but not a one damn picture when Pod left??

Its your site and you absolutely have the freedom to do with it what you want.

We do get shafted on the "chinese overtime". Not only are a lot of us not sleeping all night we are putting up with white trash, gang bsngers, drugees, and all other types of human scum throughout all hours of the night. NO other city emoloyees are dealing with that type of behavior for 24 hours straight.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more on the long lost art of midget tossing. Can't get enough of those little guys!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"City Employee making $40,000 a year in the municipal building.
Average of 2000 hrs. a year, gives that employee $20 an hour, with $30. an hour for "time and a half" overtime."

I work with a lot of police and firefighters as a City employee, and I make about the same as the above poster mentions. Most of the employees at the municipal building are now Overtime Exempt, which means that even if we have to work more than 40 hours we do not get paid for it. I agree with you guys for the most part here, but let's try not to create class warfare between your issues and the issues all other city employees have. We're all in the same sinking ship.

Michael Overacker said...

The person working at the Municipal building needs to fight for their own rights, and quit trying to make the firefighters and police officers quit fighting for their rights. Federal law states that employers are "NOT" allowed to claim employees as "exempt" just to keep from paying overtime. There are specific rules by federal statute that the city must follow. Basically, if you are not a salaried employee, and work for a defined "per hour" rate, then the city MUST pay you overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours a week. If the city has said you are an exempt employee, and you receive raises based on an hourly rate, and not on a yearly rate, then you are most likely eligible for overtime. Do a Google search for "Overtime wage laws" for a ton of information about it. Just because you choose to ignore your right, and are not willing to investigate the laws for yourself, does not mean that we should not be able to fight for our rights as employees. The city relies on employees that are not willing to fight for their rights as employees.
And, BTW, you cannot be fired, demoted, or retaliated against in any way by your employer for addressing wage issues. The Department of Labor is very tough on even a hint of retribution against employees on wage issues.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying you guys aren't right to fight for better pay and benefits and more support from admin...but municipal employees don't have a union and I've seen good people get fired or "reassigned to similar positions" for trying to stand up for themselves. People gotta take care of their families. My way of dealing with the Overtime Exempt issue is that once 5 o clock comes I stop what I'm doing and go home, no matter how much is left to do. You guys don't have that luxury, and that's why you are right to be more vocal. Just remember that not everyone in the municipal building is "the bad guys".