101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, July 27

You Make the Call...Evening Visitor...What Happened

Awkward a situation as it was on Friday, this was made more of a nail biter by the obsessive manner of supervision the Battalion Commander that day ran his shift. He was always stopping by unannounced, but since they always went in service on the air, you could look busy by the time they arrived.

When Mrs Happy came knocking on the door late that night, I had doubts initially about what I would do, whether it was making coffee or offering her a spot on the day room couch.

This station is one of the new fancy ones where the female bunk rooms and bathrooms have locks on the doors.

I made the decision to let her stay the night in the female bunk room and leave in the morning. I later told my supervisor the situation from that night and he nearly blew his top. It was against the rules, but was in the best interest of safety that night. I would do it again if I had to.

If you said let them stay, you made my call.

3 comments:

Timothy Clemans said...

I'm not even a firefighter candidate so take the following with a grain of salt:

But the policy clearly states no visitors after 8pm. In the fire service due to its paramilitary structure rules are not to be broken. If you want to permission to override policy contact a supervisor about the situation. If I were a supervisor I would probably have allowed it that one time with the understanding that I would not allow it a second time.

If I was in the position of doing so I would start a program to allow family members of non-probationary firefighters to stay overnight. I do think it would take a lot of planning and oversight to make sure that such a program operated smoothly.

The Happy Medic said...

Timothy,
Thanks for reading and great comment!
Creating a policy about folks sleeping over in the firehouse could be a recipe for disaster with loopholes and grey areas.

I broke the rules. Plain and simple. This rule was put in place to avoid a situation that later blew up in the face of this department, hurting an old co-worker.

This particular supervisor would have screamed and yelled on the phone and likely driven the 20 minutes to chew me out in person, simply for asking. I broke a rule that had no effect on my abilities as a rescuer.

Great comment and come back next friday for another You Make the Call!
HM

Little Girl said...

I am sure you didn't want Mrs. Happy to be you next call that night - no responder wants to go on a call only to find our its their loved one who is hurt.