A "Partner in Progress"

What is your arrest policy?

Thursday, October 20, 2016   FLINT-GRESHAM, TX

Does your department have an arrest policy? Say what? Yes, an arrest policy.  Most departments go through an extensive interview process when bringing someone new to the department including reference checks and background checks. That's fantastic! Things check out okay and your hire them on. Now, what about on an ongoing basis? Let's say someone who has been on your membership logs for 3 years now gets pulled over and arrested for DWI. Does your bi-laws, SOPs, SOGs, etc, require your personnel to report that arrest to you? Or is it possible that they could be arrested and you never know? Then that same individual gets into one of your department vehicles a year later and gets pulled over, in your dept vehicle, and is charged with his second DWI offense. This is the situation that both the department and the individual are facing in the link attached. Read the article and role play if this were you in the leadership positions of that department. 



Delaware takes a financial stand

Tuesday, October 18, 2016   BETHANY BEACH, DE

The state of Delaware is taking a financial stand in their efforts to realign financial reporting in the state.  Several fire companies in Delaware have and/or are facing embezzlement by their personnel, and now the Volunteer Fire Departments Financial Management Review Task Force will be charged with reviewing the entire state.  While it may seem sad for the need of such a task force, it will certainly ensure financial responsibility and improve reporting. Read more about the cause and effects by following the link.



Fire Chief took advantage of Donations

Friday, September 9, 2016   MILWAUKEE, WI

When soliciting donations for any charitable event, please be sure that any checks are written out directly to the charity and not to you.  If the checks are written out to you, then you are forced to either deposit them into your account or cash them. Either way, you run the risk of miscounting, you open your private checkbook to audit, and it's just not good practice.  Read about how this Chief of the Fire Service for the U.S. Air Force has now been indicted as a result of donations made out to him, only he chose to use them for personal advantages vs forwarding to the charity. 



Fire Chief charged with DWI in Dept Vehicle

Wednesday, August 24, 2016   WARWICK, NY

A fire chief has now resigned after being charged with DWI, in his department vehicle. According to the reports, he and an unnamed female were in the fire chief's car when it struck a tree. As a result, he has been charged with DWI and since resigned from his position in the department. Read the complete article below and put yourself in the leaderships' shoes and hypothetically test your bylaws to see what questions may be raised if this happened in your department. 



How do you track your FD equipment?

Saturday, August 20, 2016   WILMINGTON, NC

Does your department have a logistics coordinator or a system in place that is accurately tracking each piece of equipment you have? If not, you may want to read the article below and consider developing a system and assigning a specific person(s) to the task.  There are so many tools of the trade that we staff our apparatus with, whether it's an engine, ladder truck, tanker, ambulance, or brush truck.  Someone is assigned to ensure the equipment is in solid working condition and ready at all times. However, whose job is it to keep track of where exactly that equipment is?  Two fire captains have landed themselves in trouble with the law after they chose to utilize the fire department's equipment for other things. Read more below.



Clayton fire arsonist suspect was trained firefighter

Tuesday, August 16, 2016   CLEARLAKE, CA

The suspect arrested for the Clayton Fire and over 17 fires in the past few years, was once trained as a firefighter.   No stranger to the criminal justice system, Damin Anthony Pashilk has spent time in prison before and was actually trained to be an inmate firefighter.  Victims who have lost everything are relieved someone has been apprehended, while others find it hard to believe that he could be the root of the destruction.  Read more at the link below... 



Fire Chief & his wife at center of investigation

Saturday, August 13, 2016   EAGLE, CO

Missing equipment and 'bookkeeping irregularities' was the cause for an investigation being launched that now centers around the Fire Chief and his wife. Over a five year span it is alleged that he stole over $120,000 from the city, then resigned. Recently hired by another fire department, his new career is now in jeopardy. Read more by clicking on the link below...



Fire Chief arrested after theft investigation

Thursday, August 4, 2016   CLANTON, AL

Who has the authority to cash checks made out to your department?  How frequently do you audit your treasurer? In this particular case, the Fire Chief was receiving checks on behalf of the department and cashing them at local retailers. After reading this article (link below), take a few minutes to have a discussion with your leadership team and ask the difficult questions of yourselves... If this happened in our department, what would our response be to our faithful donors, to our community, and to our members? 



Best advice from from the Chief

Thursday, July 28, 2016   


The social media postings of firefighters continues to be a current challenge of police, EMS, and fire departments nationwide. Following yet another investigation being launched within his department, Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun had some great advice for his firefighters...

"Our words have consequences and we have to watch what we say. What we do is dangerous in and of itself and we don't want to make it any more dangerous than it is."

Continue reading (link below) about the way Cincinnati is handling the challenges before them and think about what your departments' approach is and/or should be. 



UPDATE: Captain fired due to Social Media

Monday, July 18, 2016   COLUMBIA, SC

In a previous post we shared the dangers of posting controversial issues on social media, particularly where a Captain was fired over his social media posts. Well, it continues further in the same department and has led them to actually close a fire station.  In the best interest of the safety of the firefighters, apparatus and crews were relocated from one of the stations because the address was circulated and posed potential problems.  Once again, we ask you to read the article and put yourself in the shoes of the leadership of that department and ask how you are prepared and how you would respond. 



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