ETHICAL SCENARIOS. A team based approach. Presentation provided by the Volusia County Fire Chief’s Training Committee. ETHICAL SCENARIOS.
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A team based approach
Presentation provided by the Volusia County Fire Chief’s Training Committee
On November 2, D.C. firefighters were alerted about a house fire. 21-year fire veteran Lt. Gerald Burton was several blocks away, driving a fire engine to a training class. He called his supervisor to say he was near the fire and could help. The supervisor told Burton not to go to the fire, and ordered him to continue on to the training class. When Burton's truck was about two blocks from the fire, he was flagged down by bystanders who told him that a home was burning. Burton drove to the address, and saw that it was indeed on fire.
Burton again alerted his supervisor, who this time told him to play a backup role rather than a frontline role in fighting the fire. But he and another firefighter riding with him were the only firefighters on the scene, so they extinguished the flames before the "frontline" firefighters had time to arrive.
Burton is facing a two-day suspension without pay for disobeying an order. Disobeying the order, in this case, meant placing the safety of community residents and their property above protocol.
Do you feel Lt. Burton made the right choice?
Burton made the right choice: his supervisor's orders were unreasonable and risky, and he was correct to disobey them. The department needs to acknowledge that sometimes the most ethical conduct involves breaking the rules
As the supervisor how would you handle this situation?
As the employee defend your actions.
Scenario 1:An employee consistently comes in at the last minute before shift change. He/she has never been late but it has caused employees being relieved to occasionally run a call causing overtime. Other members have discussed this with the employee without any change in behavior.
As the employee, do you feel obligated to change your behavior?
As a crew member, what persuasive arguments would you use to try to stop the behavior in question?
Scenario 2:A senior member of a crew has a behavior based issue: smoking, weight, drinking, staying up late, overexertion when weight training, not working out etc. While there are no specific functions the employee has not been able to perform, you believe this employee appears at times physically to perform the job safely.
As a member of the crew, what are your thoughts on how this situation should be handled?
As the Lieutenant, if you have not missed any deadlines or faltered operationally, do you feel obligated to change your behavior? Explain
Scenario 3:A station Lieutenant is also the owner of a business. The Lieutenant spends an extraordinary amount of time every shift managing the business and spending numerous hours on the cell phone. The Lieutenant also uses the cell phone to make business calls while responding to emergencies and while on emergency scenes.
Should the department write a policy to address this situation?
As the Lieutenant, your driver advises you of this situation. What would you do?
As the acting driver, what would you do?
Scenario 4:You are the senior firefighter working out of class as the driver of a 3-person crew with a probationary firefighter. The firefighter comes to work on a holiday morning and you notice the employee looks very tired, bloodshot eyes and tells you he/she “partied” last night. The station Lieutenant has been filing paperwork in the office and has not noticed the employees appearance.
As the Lieutenant, how do you handle this situation?
As the driver of the truck, you are advised by the station Lt. about the concerns. How do you handle this situation?
Scenario 5:You are a firefighter/paramedic on a two-person rescue truck. You complain to the station officer that you feel the driver on the truck often drives slowly to calls in an attempt to be cancelled. You are concerned that his/her actions may be placing your license at risk if you fail to provide ALS in a timely manner.
Would the actions of the driver be justified if at any time he/she had been involved in a serious accident while responding emergency? Would this change your opinion of the driver’s actions?
As the driver, do you feel obligated to eat dinner and assist with clean-up? Defend your actions.
Supervisor-How would you handle this situation?
Scenario 6:Each shift, your crew eats dinner together and everyone assists with clean-up. Crews are re-arranged and you receive a driver with a history of having a negative attitude. The driver doesn’t eat dinner with the crew and does not feel obligated to help with clean-up. Crew integrity is faltering which is causing growing anxiety and animosity each shift.