What is the real problem with the Bri...

What is the real problem with the Bristol TN Fire Department

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Informed

Bristol, TN

#1 Apr 26, 2009
What is the problem with the Fire Department?
FedUp

AOL

#2 Apr 26, 2009
What do you mean "What is the problem with the Fire Department?"
BTFD HA HA HA

AOL

#3 Apr 26, 2009
I will tell you exactly what is wrong with the fire department. There was a time when you actually had administrators who loved the "BRISTOL TN FIRE DEPARTMENT" You had people who wanted to make the BTFD the best fire department in the state...they lived, eat and breathed the BTFD. You had top line administrators who stood up for their employees and who honestly strived to make it a great placed to work. Now you have a city manager who is a joke...he is afraid of confrontation and wants people in positions not because of their abilities or knowledge but because he knows that he can control them and that they will not stand up for what is right. You literally have a fire chief who has no earthly idea how to command...just look around...he doesnt know what to do so he just sits back in the shadows. He hasnt done anything productive since he has been in office...he makes the fire department look like a joke...they are running around in about 4 different kinds of fire trucks and probably have changed uniforms about 3 different times. He doesnt even have enough pride to wear a fire department uniform...or drive a marked city vehicle...could that be because he is afriad of having to face the public. Another problem is that you now have people in positions that spell a recipe for disaster. Promotions should be something that you work towards and are deserving of...it shouldnt be a given because you will stay in line with Broughtons "Puppet" factor. You have Chiefs with 10 years on the job...you have an assistant chief who cares more about his volunteer dept and staying in the shadow and sneaking his way in than protecting his career fireman....you have another assistant chief who was scared to death of broughton and the things he was asked to do but when he was handed a promotion...that all fell on the back burner. There is no brotherhood in the BTFD...you went from an almost zero turn over rate to now they are having to hire part time employees to be able to keep the ambulances on the street....oh yea that sounds like a move in the right direction. It breaks my heart to see good fireman being passed up on promotions all because they literally devoted their whole life to "loving the BTFD." I get sad when i think of a LT. who was pushed out of the department by the new chief all because of his love and devotion for the fire department and the fact that to be just perfectly honest...that kind of love and ambition towards the job threatens the new chief. The bottom line is that the citizens of bristol are recieving an injustice by allowing this to continue...the BTFD went from one of the most highly equipped and respected departments in this part of the state...to now being a laughing stock. You now have leaders running the department who never cared about the department...they were the ones who never did anything more than just draw a paycheck but now they are running the show all because they are liek puppets and broughton is holding the strings.
ENG21-51

AOL

#4 Apr 26, 2009
A Lot
wtf

Elizabethton, TN

#5 Apr 27, 2009
seems the city of bristol has quite a few problems. spending money when they say they dont have any. promoting that female to lt, after reading all of that, seems like that was a disaster, and once she gets someone hurt or killed how will that look? now from reading this it seems like the fire dept is a mess, will have to see what this is all about, but one things for sure it seems like bristol tn isnt a good place to live right now
over the line

Bristol, VA

#6 Apr 27, 2009
Yes , most of what has been said is true. leadership needs a lot of help,the whole ambulance thing is wearing out the paramedics and they are going elsewhere.Running 2- ambulances to cover the whole city and for a 24hr. shift is a job when 1 amb. might run 5-10 calls a shift. OH which they are now charging the tax paying people of bristol for even if the ambulance dosnt transport.Also abuot promoting a lt. around a sgt. where did they come up with that one , no where has that kind of promotion policies.And last but not least the asst chief that was an inspector, that doesnt have a clue .Must have made a hell of a promise. oh and please get him some que cards to read from on tv.lol.Sure this is the tip of the iceburg,watch uot titanic.
spankey

Bristol, VA

#7 Apr 27, 2009
over the line : pretty much on the money. I will go as far to say there were better sgts, and firefighters promoted around with higher test scores.I guess we could blame it on OBAMA but we cant.There is to much how you are than he is the best man or lady for the job, using the word lady losely.There is so much kissing ass and back stabing going on at promotion time it would make you sick.There has been a lot of good people leave the btfd within the last year and it has hurt morale and the overall firefighting ability they once had. There once on a time had a great program called the firefighter explorer program where 14 to 18 year old kids could come learn and see if someday they might want to be a firefighter or work in the ems field. Well the program is kinda still there but the limations on them are so great we do not have 1 person in this program. There are some that was in this program working for btfd at this time and doing a good job.Most that left program are at vol. fire depts. now getting training.Dont get it WAS a good place to work...
Howie

Bristol, TN

#8 Apr 27, 2009
spankey wrote:
over the line : pretty much on the money. I will go as far to say there were better sgts, and firefighters promoted around with higher test scores.I guess we could blame it on OBAMA but we cant.There is to much how you are than he is the best man or lady for the job, using the word lady losely.There is so much kissing ass and back stabing going on at promotion time it would make you sick.There has been a lot of good people leave the btfd within the last year and it has hurt morale and the overall firefighting ability they once had. There once on a time had a great program called the firefighter explorer program where 14 to 18 year old kids could come learn and see if someday they might want to be a firefighter or work in the ems field. Well the program is kinda still there but the limations on them are so great we do not have 1 person in this program. There are some that was in this program working for btfd at this time and doing a good job.Most that left program are at vol. fire depts. now getting training.Dont get it WAS a good place to work...
Not to sound like an ass...but I'm not surprised by this. This type of shit is going on alot more, everywhere nowadays.

Where did all the ethics and common sense go?
spanky

Blountville, TN

#9 Apr 28, 2009
Its all wrote down in a book somewhere now, because no one can use common sense, hell that would be to easy! The problem with ethics is that is there is no book and they dont have a clue. When they shaft some one they should get that weard little feeling you get when you know you done wrong.It must not be in human dna anymore, or some humans dna.there is a new strain of the swine flu in bristol i will leave that up to the tax payers and voters to find a cure ...
howembarrassing

Elizabethton, TN

#10 Apr 28, 2009
didnt see this posting when i was making comments about the female lt or would have saved some of my comments for here. is this dept really in this bad of a mess? if it is then its time for the city council to step in and see whats going on and fix these problems since it seems either the dept is not going to do or doesnt care. what is going on that is destroying this dept? i hadnt heard that much about them til this female promotion thing, were things like this before then. i truly feel sorry for those in the dept who are trying to do a good job and do whats right, but it seems like this dept is on a downward spiral and doesnt appear to be stopping any time soon unless someone stands up and takes hold of the situation and gets them back on the right track.
medic

Elizabethton, TN

#11 Apr 28, 2009
im not a firefighter, but have been a medic for a long time and cant believe what im reading. these medics at the btfd are complaining because they might run 10+ calls a shift? i know every day is not like that, bristol just doesnt seem that busy a place. if they cant handle that small a volume they should get out and do something else. ive been in a system where 10 calls is a slow day. how would they handle working in places like chicago, ny or la or even charlotte? sounds like some of these guys got their medic just so they would have the patch on their arm. i dont know how the system works there but if you dont want to be a medic then let it go and be an emt again unless its going to cost you your job then it should be no big deal. from what ive read, i have to agree with some of the rest of you, the promotion system seems pretty screwed up there. where ive worked you went from medic to sgt(field training officer) to lt to shift supervisor and those were the highest ranks we had and you had to be one before moving up there were no jumping ranks, i know it stinks for those who dont have rank, but the whole idea was to put experienced knowledgable people in rank that could lead others and have the knowledge to help when the others ran out of options. i hope things get better for these guys, it sure doesnt sound like its going that well for them right now.
btfd

Elizabethton, TN

#12 Apr 28, 2009
whats up with all the criticism of the btfd? sure there are problems, but if you can find a place to work that doesnt have any let me know cause i want to see it. if you have nothing better to do with your time than criticize then you must have a great job or are unemployed and have nothing better to do, or maybe youre a disgruntled former employee. to address some things on this posting and others ill start below.

1.lt sanders promotion-really dont want to touch this one to much, but she was the choice and while others that were more qualified got passed over she was the choice, get over it and deal with it.

2.the vehicles and uniforms-yes the colors and styles have changed, but they are unique to this area and stand out and they are units and uniforms to be proud of. other than maybe nashville these are the only ambulances in the state that ar not orange and white. dont beo hung up on the colors of the units when its the people riding them that makes them special. the trucks dont save your life when your having a heart attack or your house is on fire its the dedicated people inside that do. as far as the chiefs vehicle goes, anyone that remembers back far enough knows that the former chiefs vehicle was unmarked also, so get off his back about that.

3. yes people have left for varying reasons and yes there are part time medics to help out. there are some that are in the process of getting their medic and some that will be starting medic school so this probably wont last long. admittedly there are some problems with medics who dont want to or think they should be on the ambulance but thats a problem only administration can fix.

4. administration-yes things have gotten a little stricter, but things were also a little loose for a long time, plus the new administration is getting things done and trying to progress the dept forward. ive yet to work at place where everybody loves their bosses or each other why should this be any different? im sure there are a lot of things people would like to see done differenty or changed but everything doesnt happen overnight so give them a chance. seems like except for a chosen few, there were some not to crazy about the old administration either.

5. billing for ambulance calls-this is nothing new, agencies around the country have been doing this for yrs. yes taxpayers dollars pay for the dept. but with the increasing cost of fuel, supplies, manpower and equipment the money has to come from somewhere. and yes now it seems you will get a bill if you dont go to the hospital then maybe that will cut back on some of the needless calls these guys go on, this type of billing has also been in place for yrs around the country and just recently put in place here. if you havent noticed sullivan county ems is county taxpayer sponsored and bill for their services but noone complains about that so why complain about the fire dept doing it.

the bottom line is while there may be some problems, its not as catastropic as some of you people make it out to be or are just trying to stir things up and see what happens.
ENG21-51

AOL

#13 Apr 28, 2009
BTFD wrote that perhaps the writers of some posts are disgruntled former employees. Due to the absurdly large number of "disgruntled former employees" I would say that's a safe bet. As for getting off the Chief's back for driving an unmarked vehicle, that's not that big of deal by itself. However, he doesn't wear a uniform either. If you saw him in public there is nothing about him that makes it known he is the Fire Chief (sometimes I not sure he's figured it out yet). As for the truck colors, you're right they look fine and who really cares what color they are? As for the administration moving forward, can you show me where? or tell me how? A lot of yor post makes good sense, but a lot doesn't.
BTFD Fire Chief

Bristol, TN

#14 Apr 28, 2009
Please, all of you shameless, no name cowards; post your name like a man and please get your facts straight. Questions and concerns can be addressed to me directly at the Central Fire Station. Quite frankly, the department is in better shape than it has ever been, morale is the highest I have seen in 35 years, and staffing is at an all time high. I don't blame anyone for leaving the department for better retirement--I don't control the retirement system. Promotions have been based on performance and merit, not on who sucks up to a deputy chief. The department is being run like a FIRE DEPT-not a boy's club. By the way, I earned through a competitive process every position in which I have served--Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, and Fire Chief -- I've never been appointed due to favortism like some past employees. If you really have to condemn and judge me by my clothing then you really are grasping at straws. Finally, I would not trade either of my Assistant Fire Chiefs for fifty of the previous assistant chief. Bob Barnes,BTFD Fire Chief
Howie

Bristol, TN

#15 Apr 28, 2009
BTFD Fire Chief wrote:
Please, all of you shameless, no name cowards; post your name like a man and please get your facts straight. Questions and concerns can be addressed to me directly at the Central Fire Station. Quite frankly, the department is in better shape than it has ever been, morale is the highest I have seen in 35 years, and staffing is at an all time high. I don't blame anyone for leaving the department for better retirement--I don't control the retirement system. Promotions have been based on performance and merit, not on who sucks up to a deputy chief. The department is being run like a FIRE DEPT-not a boy's club. By the way, I earned through a competitive process every position in which I have served--Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, and Fire Chief -- I've never been appointed due to favortism like some past employees. If you really have to condemn and judge me by my clothing then you really are grasping at straws. Finally, I would not trade either of my Assistant Fire Chiefs for fifty of the previous assistant chief. Bob Barnes,BTFD Fire Chief
I wonder if this fellow violated the BTFD's IT policy by posting to a blog during working hours....?
howembarrassing

Elizabethton, TN

#16 Apr 28, 2009
its good to see the chief stand up for his dept. i hope that he is right in his statements, the only thing i dont understand is his stance on promotions, is doing well on a written test and saying the right things in an interview the only criteria, doesnt experience and seniority count for anything? and if what i heard was true where's the justification in jumping a rank or promoting someone with 3 yrs and i think i was told around 7 yrs experience. other than that judging by the chiefs comments he has everything under control and i truly hope things are better than what others have posted here.
btfd

Elizabethton, TN

#17 Apr 28, 2009
good comments chief barnes, and eng21-51 whats the big deal on the chiefs manner of dress? i have seen other fire and police chiefs who dont wear a uniform. its the chiefs choice and what he wears doesnt mean he is any less of proud of who he is or what he does. the dept has moved forward with new equipment,vehicles, staffing, and is the process of setting up a hazardous materials team, has aggressive ems protocols and doing more training in house than they ever have. sounds like progress to me.
What a Joke

AOL

#18 Apr 29, 2009
Bob Barnes calling someone a shameless coward...that is the best thing i have heard in a while. Talking about your qualifications....could you tell me how i could go about registering at sneed college...i had considered taking some courses there. The truth of the matter is you have turned the BTFD into the biggest amature operation i have seen since mayberry R.F.D. You want to talk about shameless cowards...how about refusing to send help to a firefighter at a fire on 12th and broad even after the firefighter requested it several times and then blaming the reason for the property loss on the actions of a Lt. Another example of a shameless coward...how about when an at the time Battalion Chief (bob) was asked by a Lt. on his shift for help due to the fact that he was not recieving the correct pay due to being a member of the at the time PSO program...bob would tell the Lt. he was doing all the could to help him when in fact he did nothing.
What a Joke

AOL

#19 Apr 29, 2009
(cont)I cant believe that you would say that you do promotions based on performance and merit...seems to me you appointed the two deputies we now have...did i miss the test?? Oh and with the battalion chief promitons....seems to me that you confronted a senior lt. in the bunkroom and told him the job was his if he wanted it...however he declined. I do think it is odd that the 10 year man that got the job knew two weeks ahead of time....either he has E.S.P. or sounds like the good old boy system in place. Then when you got the bright idea that we needed 3 captains....at the time there was 4 Lt's up for the promotions...when you wrote the job qualifications...all but one was qualified. In the end we had 3 people appointed to Captain...what happened to the other Lt...oh yea i remember now...you ran him out of the department. This was a department that he loved more than life and devoted everything towards and someone like you ran him out. You know something i think is odd is the fact that this Lt. was trying to get a member of the explorer post (no longer in existance thanks to you) hired on and one of your extremely short but "qualified" deputy chiefs called him and told him that the explorer may have a better chance of getting on if some of the older guys would go ahead and leave. Seems like when you are beat out by people who have actually worked hard and are deserving of the job the good old boy system is no good but now you consider it a fair promotional process to hand out promotions. However, lets get focused on the big topic at hand...the recent promotion to Lt. How can you say that you promote on preformance and merit when it is common knowledge that she was beaten out on the test. There were a lot of guys who had been on the department a long time and were better qualified for the job. You used to say that seniority should count...what happened to that? She has only been a firefighter for 3 years. Plus she has never been an officer so what leadership experience could she possibly have. Seems to me that you let your eyes override your mouth. Myself as well as many others can remember those days in the dayroom when you were talking about how you wish you could get your chance or how you stated that as long as you were a shift commander, she would be at the main station so you could have something to look at...i can say that under oath...can you??
What a Joke

AOL

#20 Apr 29, 2009
(cont)It seems to me when it all came down to it...that trip to the golf course and drinks were the performances that put her over the top. I dont know how you could say that moral is at an all time high when the BTFD is seeing the biggest turnover rate it has ever had. Oh and if you believed us when we told you we were leaving because of "retirement" then you are badly mistaken. I mean do you think we are actually going to tell you the truth when we are being threatend that you want to make an example out of someone. I mean we have families to provide for and take care of...if you cant understand that maybe you should have one of your "qualified" deputies explain it to you. The truth of the matter is now like you...the department is made up of people who say what people want to hear...Broughton has trained you into being his little puppet and now through the threats of making an example out of someone...we have no choice but to suck it up and go on. It kills me to hear you say your going to make an example out of someone...you never did anything for this department...when you were a battalion chief..you wouldnt even answer calls with us. The only advantage to being on your shift is that we didnt have to see you. The department is moving forward...that is a joke. This so called hazmat team that is being formed...that has been in the works for years through money obtained by sullivan county EMA...that is nothing you have done. The new vehicles...seems to me the new engine was already in the works by the old administration. I wont talk ems jargon to you because i know you wouldnt understand it but the fact of the matter is the old administration established BTFD as the primary care provider for the city and purchased 2 ambulances that would be totally staffed by BTFD members. The old administration also implemented a 5 year plan to be able to replace the ambulances with revenue generated....i will say that you did make the "qualified" decision to make them multi-colored. The old administration got a grant to get us new top of the line morning pride turnout gear however you seemed to think it was too expensive and are now buying a cheaper look a like product. The old administration got a grant to get laptops for the fire trucks and also after placing the computers in all the front line apparatus downloaded software that could be used for preplanning of buildings...they have since been removed because you said they could better be used. The old administration got us a grant for exhaust removal systems for the stations, instead of getting the "top of the line" model recommended by the advisory committee, you again settled for the cheaper product. Oh and as for the fire truck that was already in the works by the old administration...again you did make the "qualified" decision to change the color. The old administration got us new air-packs, radiation equipment, a new pick up truck, extrication equipment, a training building...i could go on and on. It was however noticed that you decided to change our uniforms 3 times...finally settling with a public works look a like, buying you a new unmarked vehicle and remodeling your office. Seems to me that money could have better been spent to do something about the high levels of radon that have repeatedly tested positive at one of the fire stations. Oh yeah Broughton told you it would be ok and as usual you agreed. The truth of the matter is people walk around on pins and needles because they are afraid of being the "example." I remember the good days when people actually loved coming to work and it was fun and we actually felt like the department was progressing forward...now we come in and work and draw a pay check so we can provide for our families.

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