So a term that would have never been heard or known just a few years ago is "Firehouse Bully"... Maybe a "School Yard Bully?" Sure. But a Firehouse Bully? Seriously. Come on...
Much like dealing with firefighter behavioral health and cancer, it's relatively new. At least to those of us who weren't aware of it.
The more I thought about it in 2019, I thought back to the 70's and 80's and had this great realization... the firehouse bully? Oh, now I get it, that's the department A$$HOLE. NOW I know who they are talking about.
Once again, regardless if we like it or not, things may be different than when you/we/me started -but we have to deal with the realities of today. What we did in the 70's or 80's as just goofing around could potentially land us in court today. We were just having a good time...but that was back then. Why is it or why does it have to be so different in 2019? What's the difference?
The realities (and headlines) of today have clarified that there is a lot of confusion and serious problems existing in some firehouses. Maybe more than some. And what's happening to some firefighters and officers is the exact opposite of how we would want our own kids or loved ones treated if THEY were in a firehouse.
So now what?
How do we know if it exists?
How do we figure out how to deal with it?
How do our personnel understand the difference in having fun vs being a bully or just a jerk?
How do our personnel deal with it when they feel it?
How do our officers deal with it when someone comes to them, with a concern?
How do our officers deal with it when they witness it?
Why is the chief responsible if the chief wasn't even there when it happened?
There is a very unique opportunity coming up that we wanted to pass on to you. It's an opportunity for your department to send one or more of your officers to a "train the trainer" program in answering the above questions, and many more.
The IAFC is offering this unique and limited enrollment program entitled:
Bullying Prevention: Train-the-Trainer Program
Monday, August 5 thru Wednesday, August 7, 9 AM - 4 PM in Atlanta, GA.
This program, provided by subject matter experts, will provide education and training for future trainers to help reduce bullying in the firehouse. This training is a fire service specific version of the very popular Workplace Bullying University put on by the Workplace Bullying Institute.
Atlanta is an easy in and out for travel and this program ends on the day that F.R.I. starts, so it may be very convenient for some, who also plan on attending F.R.I.
Take a minute to check out this upcoming opportunity, developed by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section (SHSS) and the Human Relations Committee.
I wouldn't pass this on to you if we didn't think it was worth your time.
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for additional details.