Station Pride Articles

The Untouchables.

Every station has them, maybe one ,or maybe a pack of them. They are the highly trained book smart firefighters that have no on-the-job experience to back-up the fancy sheet of paper they achieved. Sometimes they like to trade war stories that end with, “i was outside searching the yard for tools.” These are the people that like to go to training burns and melt their shield and the 20 Stickers off of there helmet. So really what makes them untouchable?

funny-selfie-fireman-FBI’ve had the “honor” to experience a few of these so said masters of the fire service. These hotshot young guns of the fire service come straight out of the fire academy thinking that the little 64 hour class and 8 hour live burn makes them the best of the best and one of the seasoned guys. But when it comes to putting their money were their mouth is, they fail every time. Why is this and why are they still untouchable?

These people have the mindset that no matter what, they are better then everyone, and a belief that everyone is beneath them. They have a false sense of entitlement due to the fact they received a fancy sheet of paper that means nothing when you are just pushed along in a class without having to truly preform the tasks required. But what causes this mindset of entitlement? Is it an age thing? Is it a generational thing?

I can tell you now it is not an age thing. I’ve seen 40 year old grown men act like they are entitled to everything. I have also seen 18-19 year old’s that are grown responsible respectful and committed students tof the craft that never leave a page unturned. They work constantly to better their skills and brake the mold that is formed around the age difference in the fire service. But sadly, this is not always the case. Most of the time it is the young guys that bring those that earn their salt down in the fire service.

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Signs to look for to see if you are dealing with an untouchable.

  • They have done that and some no matter if they finished the fire academy yesterday. they have done more then you have in 30 years on the job.
  • Brand New Helmet and shield with Burn marks and no true salt.
  • I fight what you fear decals……
  • They want to do it all and don’t want to go about it in the right steps.

How do we fix this? How do we deal with the so called untouchables?  Now i’m not very sure but i can tell you from what I’ve seen they for the most part weed them selves out after awhile. Now my idea of fixing it would be making sure that new members are mentored by the right members and that they understand that this is not a little league baseball team not everyone gets a juice box and trophy. Earn your place in this amazing brotherhood and pay your dues. No free rides in the brotherhood!fdqtr-clinton

About Riley Amoriello (6 Articles)
Riley Amoriello is a 7 year student of the fire service. Riley works for a urban/rural fire department in which he holds the current rank Lieutenant and Emergency Medical Responder. Riley Started the fire academy in 2010 were he graduated most improved recruit. Riley Strives to better himself so that he can become a better mentor in the fire service. In early 2015 Riley became a father to his first child this life changing moment showed him how much family means in the fire service. It was Rileys Goal in 2013 when he started the very small facebook page station pride to give brothers and sister a place to show that pride and tradition was alive and well in the fire service.

27 Comments on The Untouchables.

  1. Matt Preston // June 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    It just seems that this was written as a way to vent or something. No real solution or anything. I feel there needs to be some legitimate solutions or discussion on how to be a leader in the fire service. Maybe explain the process of recognizing these individuals and not confusing them with just uneducated firefighters who simply love the job. Because if you start to break down a firefighter who just loves the job and wants to be a salty firefighter, then they will lose motivation and probably quit before they can become experienced enough to gain approval from the brothers of the fire house.

    MP

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  2. I’ll be back in a minute……..just read Lt. Billy’s article and have to hurl right now. Punk that he is, his ego continues to thrive. The lad has no clue. I’m not in the habit of posting any fire related spankings but made an exception here. GbA

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  3. Robert Duncan // June 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm // Reply

    Where in the foothills of E. Tennessee? I live in Cleveland and work near Etowah. Say where and we’ll chat about the fire service one day young-un.
    Lt.(Ret.) Punkin Duncan
    Cobb Co, Ga. Fire & Emerg. Svc

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  4. Glenn Drake // June 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm // Reply

    I fully understand where you are coming from with this. It used to be here in Philly, you graduated the academy and got assigned to a company with a “blank” helmet. You did not even see your company numbers until you made your first real job. And your officer determined what a real job was.

    Enter the safety concious era of ICS and nobody is allowed on an apparatus without a numbered helmet for acountability reasons. Down the toilet with another tradition in the name of progress…..

    On the other side of the coin, in the volunteer arena, numbers are rapidly dwindling. Everybody willing to step up is comsidered an asset to some degree, as long as they are performing some needed function on the fireground. Hitting the hydrant, outside vent, pulling cords for fans and lights, etc….

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  5. I recently had to replace my bourkes and a 18 year old member asked why I was doing that, he said they look cool. I replied because I couldn’t see out of them anymore. I had another ask me why I was rinsing off my helmet after a run and I explained to him that I didn’t want to take the carcinogens with me.

    We all complain about these new guys but they are following the lead of someone. Often it’s a veteran member who wants everyone to know their status in the company. If we are bothered by it we need to make sure that we are setting the best example.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unfortunately a lot of today’s mentors are of the same breed and mentality which never corrects the issue. Just sets the new trend for today’s fire service.

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  7. Terrible article. Author sounds like he is whining. I say grow up. Don’t worry about what others are doing….worry about yourself. Just work hard and stop complaining and writing articles about insecure people.

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  8. A mistake can kill you or your brothers that why trading is an ongoing thing! A critique after every call teaches what to do and not do! Learn from the senior firefighters and you’ll be a great firefighter, safety first is rule number one, rule number 2 is safety first!
    I remember Gus complaint about retraining on the same thing! Repetition is key in learning any task!
    It’s a great brotherhood, strive to be the best!

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  9. Stephen Bellew // June 15, 2015 at 9:42 am // Reply

    I completely agree. When I started in the Fire service the salty guys put you in your place and made sure that you understood that you didn’t know anything and that knowledge came from experience on the job and not the classroom. Sometimes it took being a jerk to the new guy to make them understand that. Now that the entire country has gone to the softer everyone gets a trophie even if you suck mindset, it has made its way into the Fire service via lawsuits that an individual is being singled out or hazed. I always veiwed what is considered now by most “hazing” to be a teaching tool that you are not at the level of the salty dogs. It also seems that some people though have taken things way to far trying to teach someone. We have created a bunch of crybabies who think they are owed that title of Firefighter and it does not have to be earned by performance on the job. Even in training a new person with deficiencies, will whine and cry about being singled out. all I can say is continue to train and when they whine, train more.

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  10. Sounds like someone just generalized the entire fire service in one bad article. If there is an issue with junior members all you have to do is look as far as the leadership.

    In today’s age of dwindling interest and manpower in the beloved (volunteer) fire service talking down about someone who is showing clear interest and passion in the organization is clearly naive and not for today’s fire service.

    Sounds like someone who had an issue with someone in there dept and is now using this venue as an outlet. Maybe you should have taken the time you wasted on this article and mentored some of the junior members. Seems like time better spent and has more probability of saving a brothers life than this article does.

    $.02

    Be safe, stay low.

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  11. True test is live fire burns. I understand safety is above all but let’s be honest…. Multiple water supplies with multiple “instructors” and multiple safety precautions give a false sense of security and false realization of talent and knowledge. False ideal of a true fire and situations that arise. When it hits the fan for real there is no other water “your out” there is not “instructors ” to lead you to safety. This is not a building with stable roof and floors. Teach the real experience with the guys that have been there… Not the ones that have an instructor certification!!!!!!! We “older” ones trained that way and we’re still here. Facts are facts….. It’s dangerous work… Sugar coating it from the beginning does not heLp

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  12. 7 years on the job? You’re gonna “fix” the fire service? Find a mirror, and I’ll bet you find where you should start “fixing” the problems of which you speak…

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  13. Hand out some QTIPs. quit taking it personally. We all fit in some category. In 28 years I may have been in a few catagories. Burned my stickers off too. Teach the young ones yo be old ones.
    KTF, PTB.

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  14. A SQUAAAD

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  15. You gotta be kidding me untouchables? I don’t have a hell of a lot of experience in the fire service with 5 years in, but in my department that gives me more experience than some of our cheifs. The very ones who order me into no win situations, as if they were saying well i could do it, my skin is fire proof. I’m so sick of the fire service at least here trying to come down on junior members like myself, who work as hard as we are capable, and there’s always someone to put you down. The brotherhood is dead, i wish it weren’t so but it is. You can say I’m whining or whatever you want, but i go to work every 3rd day knowing damn well i may not be coming home the next. There seems to be a culture of putting down the man next to you to lift yourself up. I don’t want to be that way with anyone. I joined the fire service for the brotherhood, and trust me it ain’t always there for you. People say I’m easy on rookies, hell yeah i am. I remember what it was like. I will always say somthing to someone higher up if someone is incapable of their duties, but we all make mistakes. I mostly get along with the older firefighters who recognize true ethic from the bullshit and guff that’s given off by the over trained under experienced colleauges of mine. I don’t think anyone in the fire service should ever be referred to as untouchable, it just sends the wrong message. Get on the line and do your job and you have my respect. I also expect the same.

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  16. LEADERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Good chance it’s not the service but it’s the organization you work for. There are a lot of bad places out there just like in any profession. Here a few suggestions from a guy who has been in the business more than likely longer than you have been alive. Get to the station 20 minutes before shift change in a squared away uniform and shinned shoes. Appearance makes a difference and this is something where you get to set the standards from yourself. Do PT everyday!!! When you can smoke the couch commandos they will normally back off just a little. Make a point to do at least 2 SCBA drills every month. If they don’t want to join in screw them, let their skills fail them when that critical moment comes. Stay the course. There have been many turd buckets that tried to run me off and I just would not let them. No body is going to deny me the opportunity to be able to serve my community and make a difference in this world. My least point is the most important. Why are you on the job? Set your own standards as high as you can and then push a little more. There are others in your organization who probably feel the same way and are just looking for someone to rally around. The brotherhood is alive, you might just have to go out and find it instead of waiting for it to come to you. Oh one last point, never sit in the recliner until after supper. The recliner is the most dangerous place for a firefighter.

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  17. The best thing an old firefighter can teach a young firefighter is how to become an old firefighter

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  18. I’ve always said that the new firefighter isn’t the problem, it’s the 4 to 8 year ones that are. Article has just made my argument stronger.

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  19. Before you try to come up with solutions to fix this age old problem, you might want to fix your egregious spelling and grammar mistakes. Looks like this was written by a middle schooler. You have 7 years in. You know half as much as you think you do. I would offer the suggestion of letting them be young firefighters. I know very few who come and go in the service that does not fit into this category at some point. This whole thing is just whiney banter.

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  20. Lets gets some stuff straight every one acts this way during there time on the job in one way or another it is part of the growing pains. The best thing is to harness this drive and point it in to the right direction. You may have to show them they are not untouchable you may have to embarrass them but you need to still treat them like they are a man. Also don’t take any of this personally so what if there helmet is too salty for your delicate eyes if it is from training they have to live with that you know the truth. The best thing is to be a real senior man not a guy with time on.Your not a senior guy even if you have 100 years on the job and the biggest baddest salty stash if you have spent most of that time sitting on a couch giving orders. Every fireman when they get back from a job should be saying to themselves what could I have done better not matter how much time on the job they have, if not time to quit or retire.

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  21. So this article about people coming out of the academy and thinking they know and have seen it all, and how bad that can be is written by someone who’s only been out of the academy 6 years and is already a LT!! Does anyone else see the irony and hypocrisy here?

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  22. L A Cardenas // June 17, 2017 at 9:13 am // Reply

    Worst Brother Bashing I’ve seen in a while. This guy finds fault in others and offers no solution. I’m sure that “untouchable” behavior is not isolated but it’s usually their peers and salty members that reel them in and guide them. I recommend you try inspiring your readers and stop pointing fingers. I for one will not read another article you post.

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  23. Eddy Garza // June 17, 2017 at 11:09 pm // Reply

    64 hour class?? My Texas academy was almost if not 700 hours and 6 months long.

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  24. E229Lt (ret) // June 20, 2017 at 10:34 am // Reply

    “If you throw a book at a fire, will it go out?”
    I asked that question when the author was in grammar school.
    Problem is most departments do not run enough to build experience in its members.
    The result is, book smart firefighters or faux experienced ones, neither worth their salt in a good job.

    Like

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