Personnel Issues in the  Fire Service

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The Chief!. How do you picture the jobIncident CommanderEnvied by peersFree lunch engagementsMost popular person on the department. Your Responsibilities20 % fire related issuesFire Runs Extrication EMS80% personnel issuesPayroll Discipline Hiring Firing Problem Solving - Difficult People Complaint Department - CouncilorOSHA - NFPA HIPPA NIMS - EEOCI could go on and on.

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Personnel Issues in the Fire Service

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1. Personnel Issues in the Fire Service Topics The Chief! Communications Employee Relations Employment and Selection Systems Attendance – Leave Policies Employee Performance and Conduct Pay Administration Employee Recognition General Administration and Workplace Practices

2. The Chief! This slide is what some may think the chief job is.This slide is what some may think the chief job is.

3. Your Responsibilities 20 % fire related issues Fire Runs – Extrication – EMS 80% personnel issues Payroll – Discipline – Hiring – Firing – Problem Solving - Difficult People – Complaint Department - Councilor OSHA - NFPA – HIPPA – NIMS - EEOC I could go on and on I wanted to get the point across that we are more responsible for the overall big picture than some may think about.I wanted to get the point across that we are more responsible for the overall big picture than some may think about.

4. What to expect…. “After I was appointed (and happened rather unexpectedly), I was told, by the way, the 5th horn is the heaviest. What set in real fast was that the buck stopped at my desk! I would love to have been prepared for that day. As a Deputy or Assistant, it all goes to the Chief; and somehow in the back of your mind, your off the hook no matter what happens. But now you are the hook. I guess a Chief’s course on What to Expect is warranted.” IFSTA Chief Officer

5. Supervision and Management Supervising-Act of directing, overseeing, or controlling the activities and behavior of employees who are assigned to a particular supervisor Managing-Act of controlling, monitoring or directing a project, program, system or organization through the use of authority, discipline or persuasion Leading-Act of controlling, directing, conducting through the use of personal behavioral traits that motivate the employees to the successful completion of goals Give some description of the different levels of supervision in the departmentsGive some description of the different levels of supervision in the departments

6. Dealing with change Denial-People refuse to believe they will be affected by the change Exploration-People start to gain a better understanding through training Commitment-Increased understanding leads to an increased commitment to the new process, procedure, or structure Resistance-When the threat of change is real, people will start to resist it As the chief you will always be challenged with changing things. People traditionally will not want to change. This will be a challenge in most any endeavor we jump into.As the chief you will always be challenged with changing things. People traditionally will not want to change. This will be a challenge in most any endeavor we jump into.

7. Resistance Issues Fear of the unknown Loss of control or power Self-interest Learning anxiety Lack of trust

8. Coping with Resistance Plan for change Communication Employees need to know Your Vision, Mission and Benefits to them and The organization Involve the employees in the change process Seek input and support of “opinion leaders” in the organization Listen to them, Incorporate some of their input Don’t patronize This slide is a detail to explain ways we can make change work for us. You have to explain where you are going, what you want to do and how you want to get there. I want to get the point across that you don’t have to use everything they give you but if you don’t incorporate something into your system they will thing you were just giving lip service. You can loose creditability very quickly here.This slide is a detail to explain ways we can make change work for us. You have to explain where you are going, what you want to do and how you want to get there. I want to get the point across that you don’t have to use everything they give you but if you don’t incorporate something into your system they will thing you were just giving lip service. You can loose creditability very quickly here.

9. Personnel “Our most valuable and expensive resource”

10. Communication Policies General statements that guide in the decision-making process Procedures Step-by-step ordering of activities that are intended to accomplish an objective Rules Specific statements of the actions that may or may not be taken rules or regulations do not leave any discretion or flexibility to the manager or officer Other Email, Bulletin Boards, Memos, Directives and of course verbal

11. Communication Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations Must be taught up front and reviewed frequently and enforced Remove or change the ones that are not followed or enforced

12. Communication “Open Door” Policies – Are a detriment to the para-military fire service Erode junior officer’s ability to problem-solve increase Chief’s workload Chief is usually too far removed to be effective lead to “micro-manager” label If you use “open door” have rules in place

13. Unions/Organized Labor Labor/Management Play a significant role in the success or failure of an organization. Can be a great resource. Rules, Policies, Sogs, Pay Scales etc. Can manage small problems and leave us to handle the big ones. Can be a great resource of people to meet a common goal. (sometimes at no cost) There is no benefit to you working against them and them against you. Having the union membership do community service events and things like that at no cost can be an assets. Add it to their contract on how many hours of community work the union will do.There is no benefit to you working against them and them against you. Having the union membership do community service events and things like that at no cost can be an assets. Add it to their contract on how many hours of community work the union will do.

14. Insurance Required Disability and Workers Compensation, Death Benefits, Permanent Disability, Liability Coverage Other considerations Standard of Care Must not become stagnate as the industry progresses. you can be held accountable to standards set by peers Know what's required before its required to know what you need Proactive not Reactive As the industry moves forward so must we. If peer departments are offering EAP (employee assistance programs) and you start having emotional problems within the ranks and don’t have a plan to help you may be in trouble.As the industry moves forward so must we. If peer departments are offering EAP (employee assistance programs) and you start having emotional problems within the ranks and don’t have a plan to help you may be in trouble.

15. Employment and Selection Systems New Hires Career Departments - Merit hiring covered under IC 36-8-3.5 Career Departments - Non Merit covered under IC 36-8-3 Public Safety Board and Disciplinary Procedures Volunteer Departments – Adopt a policy & be consistent ??? All processed must be Creditable, Defendable and Measurable Verify citizenship Affirmative Action Back ground check criminal & drivers Follow local and Federal laws (EEOC, Americans with Disabilities act) Vietnam Era veterans Professional/Physiological evaluations – Follow their advice The key is to have a Creditable, Defendable and Measurable system. That will make a valid hiring process or process to bring on volunteers. The concept of voting people out must have a good reason. Follow the advice of the psychological evaluation. If the professionals say don’t hire them then don’t. You will thank me later. Getting the info The simplest way is to have the applicant provide the documentation with their application: 1. Birth certificate (which most people have a copy of at home). If the person is an alien, they will have a green card or naturalization paperwork from the feds. 2. Certified copy of their driving record obtained from B.M.V. (not real expensive). 3. For criminal history, a person can request such a thing themselves from the state police of the state they are from. Obviously if it's Indiana, you can go to the ISP. That will tell you if they have been arrested or are wanted for anything. I might suggest that they develop a relationship with the local police agency or Sheriff's Department in their county. Running a criminal history through NCIC and IDACS is permitted for public safety member applications. Most of them would be more than happy to do it if you just make friends and say please. That is the quick and cost free method for a smaller department that does not have a budget for such things.The key is to have a Creditable, Defendable and Measurable system. That will make a valid hiring process or process to bring on volunteers. The concept of voting people out must have a good reason. Follow the advice of the psychological evaluation. If the professionals say don’t hire them then don’t. You will thank me later. Getting the info The simplest way is to have the applicant provide the documentation with their application: 1. Birth certificate (which most people have a copy of at home). If the person is an alien, they will have a green card or naturalization paperwork from the feds. 2. Certified copy of their driving record obtained from B.M.V. (not real expensive). 3. For criminal history, a person can request such a thing themselves from the state police of the state they are from. Obviously if it's Indiana, you can go to the ISP. That will tell you if they have been arrested or are wanted for anything. I might suggest that they develop a relationship with the local police agency or Sheriff's Department in their county. Running a criminal history through NCIC and IDACS is permitted for public safety member applications. Most of them would be more than happy to do it if you just make friends and say please. That is the quick and cost free method for a smaller department that does not have a budget for such things.

16. Employment and Selection Systems Advancement/Promotion Opportunities Post open positions Post required qualifications Apply Merit Law or other adopted system required All processes must be Creditable, Defendable and Measurable The key is to be Creditable, Defendable and Measurable. That will make a valid promotion process. The concept of voting people in as officers may be ok but make sure they are qualified.The key is to be Creditable, Defendable and Measurable. That will make a valid promotion process. The concept of voting people in as officers may be ok but make sure they are qualified.

17. Attendance and Leave Policies Attendance requirements Alternate work arrangements Medical absence Leave of absence (medical) Americans with Disabilities Act Leave of Absence (FMLA) Leave of Absence (Personal) Leave of Absence (Military) (USERRA) -Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

18. Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Major Sections Places a 5 year limit on the cumulative length of time a person may serve in the military and remain eligible for reemployment Requires individuals to give written OR verbal notice to their employer prior to departure for military service Establishes time limits for reporting back to work Provides for the continuation of employer-provided health insurance (at the service member’s request and their expence) for an 18-month period An employee is not required to request permission to be absent for military leave, but rather provides notification of pending service

19. USERRA…CONT’D An employee cannot be required to use earned vacation or similar leave days for military leave of absence Military service will not be counted as time away from the employer for retirement purposes No law, policy, practice etc. that would diminish the rights established in USERRA takes precedence over the provisions of USERRA. Conversely, USERRA does not supercede, nullify or diminish any federal or state law or company policy, union agreement, practice or contract that provides greater rights or benefits to service members

20. Pay Administration Fair Labor Standards Act Federal Regulation Part 553 Written to set forth the regulations to carry out the provisions of the 1985 Amendments to the FLSA Subpart A-interprets and applies provisions generally applicable to all covered State and local government employees Subpart B-deals with volunteer services performed by individuals for public agencies Subpart C-applies provisions as they relate to fire protection employees of public agencies Overtime/Emergency Recall/Call in pay/Incentive pay Establish written policy, then follow it May need to be different policies Investigator Edith McCullough with US Department of Labor 429 N. Pennsylvania Room 403 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Office phone: (317) 226-6772 Office fax: (317) 226-5177 Website www.dol.gov Investigator Edith McCullough with US Department of Labor 429 N. Pennsylvania Room 403 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Office phone: (317) 226-6772 Office fax: (317) 226-5177 Website www.dol.gov

21. Pay Administration Policy for other leave opportunities Vacation Sick Holiday Medical Education Jury Duty/Court Appearances ETC

22. Pay Administration Follow the tax laws Easy way to be assigned another uniform without a badge Time Cards Employee will judge fairness of management by their handling of time cards Have written policy and follow it Any deviation or mishandling must be immediately and aggressively investigated Employee will be watching It is very important to get it right

23. Employee Performance and Conduct Job Description Employee must know what is expected of them Employer must have a standard to evaluate employee performance Performance/Employee Evaluations Review Should be completed bi-annually Must have documentation for all sub-standard performance, especially if pay increase is performance based Acceptable Conduct Policies i.e. Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Free Workplace policies Privacy Policy- Employee files etc Personal Appearance Policy May have to grant exemptions on ethnic or religious grounds

24. Employee Relations Harassment - Protected Classes 3 firefighters rising the flag and the Japanese heritage. (Hostile work environment because of any of the items below. The test is if a prudent and reasonable person of the same listed below would be offended then it must be stopped. Some things people might have to live with. A Japanese person might be offended because the firefighters were put in place of the military in the scene of the flag rising at ewogemia. That is not a reasonable thing to change that person will have to accept that situation. It can also be direct at one person or harassing in general. Example hanging pictures of stripper’s male of female an area is general; putting them in the face of someone would be direct).3 firefighters rising the flag and the Japanese heritage. (Hostile work environment because of any of the items below. The test is if a prudent and reasonable person of the same listed below would be offended then it must be stopped. Some things people might have to live with. A Japanese person might be offended because the firefighters were put in place of the military in the scene of the flag rising at ewogemia. That is not a reasonable thing to change that person will have to accept that situation. It can also be direct at one person or harassing in general. Example hanging pictures of stripper’s male of female an area is general; putting them in the face of someone would be direct).

25. Employee Relations Harassment For purposes of clarification, harassment includes but is not limited to the following behaviors: 1. Verbal Harassment - Epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, propositioning, or otherwise offensive words or comments on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age, whether made in general, directed to an individual, or to a group of people regardless of whether the behavior was intended to harass. This includes but is not limited to inappropriate sexually oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features, sexual rumors, code words, and race oriented stories. Because of the nature of the fire service with some "free time" within the shift, comments about television shows, radio shows or magazine articles fall within this category. 2. Physical Harassment - Assault, impeding or blocking movement, leering, or the physical interference with normal work, privacy or movement when directed at an individual on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age. This includes pinching, patting, grabbing, inappropriate behavior in or near bathrooms, sleeping facilities and eating areas, or making explicit or implied threats or promises in return for submission to physical acts. 3. Visual Forms of Harassment - Derogatory, prejudicial, stereotypical or otherwise offensive posters, photographs, cartoons, notes, bulletins, drawings or pictures on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age. This applies to both posted material or material maintained in or on XYZ Fire Department equipment or personal property in the workplace. Cable TV shows and personal video tapes shall not be viewed by fire department personnel while on duty as they may contain offensive material. 4. Sexual Harassment - Any act which is sexual in nature and is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, is used as the basis of an employment decision, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. What is obscene material? Obscene material is material which: includes child pornography; pornography promotes crime or violence, or incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence; describes or depicts in an offensive manner, the use of violence or coercion to compel any person to participate in or submit to abnormal, unusual or degrading behavior; or makes reference to matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or other such violent activities. For purposes of clarification, harassment includes but is not limited to the following behaviors: 1. Verbal Harassment - Epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, propositioning, or otherwise offensive words or comments on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age, whether made in general, directed to an individual, or to a group of people regardless of whether the behavior was intended to harass. This includes but is not limited to inappropriate sexually oriented comments on appearance, including dress or physical features, sexual rumors, code words, and race oriented stories. Because of the nature of the fire service with some "free time" within the shift, comments about television shows, radio shows or magazine articles fall within this category. 2. Physical Harassment - Assault, impeding or blocking movement, leering, or the physical interference with normal work, privacy or movement when directed at an individual on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age. This includes pinching, patting, grabbing, inappropriate behavior in or near bathrooms, sleeping facilities and eating areas, or making explicit or implied threats or promises in return for submission to physical acts. 3. Visual Forms of Harassment - Derogatory, prejudicial, stereotypical or otherwise offensive posters, photographs, cartoons, notes, bulletins, drawings or pictures on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or age. This applies to both posted material or material maintained in or on XYZ Fire Department equipment or personal property in the workplace. Cable TV shows and personal video tapes shall not be viewed by fire department personnel while on duty as they may contain offensive material. 4. Sexual Harassment - Any act which is sexual in nature and is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, is used as the basis of an employment decision, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. What is obscene material? Obscene material is material which: includes child pornography; pornography promotes crime or violence, or incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence; describes or depicts in an offensive manner, the use of violence or coercion to compel any person to participate in or submit to abnormal, unusual or degrading behavior; or makes reference to matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or other such violent activities.

26. Employee Relations EEOC – (equal employment opportunity commission) review and follow federal guidelines cooperate with any investigation Diversity and Harassment Training should be conducted during new-hire orientation plan for recurrent training may need to be used as remedial training to satisfy legitimate complaints VIFSVIFS

27. Sources Internal customers External customers Call and assure you addressed problem Managing Documentation (mandatory) Investigation (internal vs external) Remediation (correct) Education (avoid reoccurrence) Progressive discipline (if warranted)

28. Progressive Discipline Considerations Key must documentKey must document

29. Progressive Discipline Process Policies, procedures, rules, regulations, codes of conduct, etc. must be in place to apply them to an infraction. Punishment must fit the infraction. Must be fair, objective, impartial, and consistent. Retaliation efforts become very evident during grievance and civil proceedings.

30. Employee Recognition Employee Awards programs for behavior “above and beyond” use sparingly or awards become “watered down” Recognition of Significant Family Events weddings births funerals “When you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway!”

31. General Administration Computer Resources Must secure information stored on them Be aware of what they are used for Confidential Information Classification/Protection HIPPA, PHI, Discipline, Personnel Records

32. HIPPA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Includes first responders of EMS calls Cant release any Patient information except to other care team. May only give law enforcement information that is required for their reports Name, Drivers license number, birthdates etc Unlawful to be probable cause for law enforcement May not communicate things like (patient smells like alcohol or think the patient is on drugs)

33. Line of Duty Death

34. Disaster Planning Local Emergencies Emergency Management Agency State Emergencies Emergency Management Agency USAR Team Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergencies Emergency Management Agency USAR Team Department of Homeland Security

35. The day you say “I know it all,” please follow it with “I therefore submit my resignation.”

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