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Steps to diversify fire services
Firefighting departments are critical departments in the U.S and other countries that care about how they respond to emergencies. In the U.S, the importance of the departments cannot be underestimated because their services are not confined to firefighting only. They respond to many other emergencies such as accidents, EMS calls, and natural calamities. As a result, the departments must have enough personnel to meet the demands of the citizens.
Since the services of the firefighters involve interactions with different societal members who have varied cultural, economic, and political backgrounds, diversity is one of the most important qualities that the department strife to exercise. However, the U.S fire departments experience diversity problems since they are characterized by poor women representation. Diversity is an enormous challenge that faces the U.S fire departments and one that should be addressed for the departments to work effectively.
Lack of diversity in the U.S firefighting departments is evidenced by the poor representation of women and discrimination in the departments. Colored citizens, lesbians, gays, and transsexuals are discriminated against and this makes it hard for them to perform their duties effectively. Diversity is the secret of success in all public and private organizations. It is possible to achieve it without discriminating against any individual since discrimination reduces the effectiveness of the departments. The first step that should be taken to promote diversity in the fire service is to educate fire chiefs on the importance to recruit diverse and qualified firefighters.
This will ensure that all communities are represented hence minorities will not be left out. The second step is to increase the retention of women who join the firefighting departments. The third step that can be taken to diversify the fire service is the introduction of training programs that will assist firefighters in their efforts of explaining to others the importance of diversity in the fire service. The fourth step that should be taken is to give women leadership positions. By taking the above-mentioned steps, the firefighting departments will be able to achieve diversity and enhance their services (Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws 3).
Reasons for dissatisfaction among workers
A fire chief at a firefighting station is an important person who oversees the overall operations at the station. His duties range from controlling all firefighters to the maintenance of equipment used at the station. It is not an easy task to ensure that everything at the fire station operates as it is supposed to operate, thus this often poses challenges to fire station chiefs. For instance, sometimes they experience problems when dealing with the employees.
Workers at fire stations may not be satisfied with the decisions made by the chief because they feel secluded. In situations where chiefs make crucial decisions without involving the rest of the workers, this often leaves the workers dissatisfied. Workers develop reservations towards the chiefs and instead of addressing their concerns through the formal channels, they resort to the use of informal channels. This is because they feel unsafe and betrayed by the chiefs who represent the formal channels. Eventually, the workers lose trust in the leaders which amount to problems across the whole station (What Causes Job Dissatisfaction 4).
The other reason why the workers may be unhappy with the formal organization is that the formal procedures introduced by the chief may require them to do a lot of work than they are supposed to do. The standard operating procedures have strict rules of operation that may not favor the firefighters. As a result, the workers express their views through informal channels because it is easier.
Potential legal issues during the hiring
One of the legal challenges that may face a hiring department while employing additional staff is the health status of the potential employees. The issue of overweight individuals is a sensitive health issue in the hiring process because firefighters should have ideal weight. This is because firefighting requires workers to be agile in their work. When investigations reveal that there are overweight workers, the fire department is faced with a risk of being sued based on hiring physically unfit firefighters.
The second legal issue that may arise from the hiring process is discrimination during the process. Diversity should be respected by giving both men and women equal chances during the hiring process. Gender issues remain an area of focus in the U.S since discrimination against women in all employment sectors is a reality. As a result, the government tries to ensure that women are not discriminated against. This implies that the firm can face legal action after it is discovered that the hiring process has some discriminatory elements (Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws 2).
The third legal issue that may land the firm into legal problems is favoritism in the hiring process. Some hiring processes are full favoritism in that those involved in the processes have their preferred candidates. In some situations, they may ask for material things or even sexual favors to hire certain individuals. If favoritism is detected in the hiring process, serious legal actions may be taken against the firm.
For the firm to ensure that it is not sued as a result of flaws in the hiring process, it should exercise integrity throughout the process. All potential candidates for the jobs should be medically fit and meet all medical requirements. The process should also exhibit diversity by giving equal chances to men and women. Finally, instances of favoritism should not be avoided during the process.
Advice to the mayor on what to ask from the fire chief
The mayor should try to get as much information as he can from the fire chief about all the costs incurred by fire fighting departments. One of the most critical areas that should form the bulk of the budget is the firefighting equipment. This is because as the name suggests, the primary role of fire fighting departments is to fight the fire. Firefighting equipment eliminates the risks associated with fires. The mayor should get information from the chief on the cost of the most effective machines for fire fighting such as portable fire extinguishers (Firefighting Equipment and Facilities 2012).
In addition to the cost of machines, there are transport costs incurred when firefighters are called upon to put off fires. The mayor should enquire from the chief the average costs that fire fighting departments incur when they travel. It is also important for him to know the frequency of fire occurrences to make enough preparations. Since the chief has been in the business for over twenty years, he will be able to give an estimate of how frequent the fires occur.
There should also be a functioning department to deal with the motivation and welfare of the firefighters. This involves their payments and any other issue that affects the way they do their work. The mayor should factor in a comprehensive budget that ensures that the firefighters are always motivated to continue with their work.
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Handling misbehavior among firefighters
Discipline is one of the most important things that firefighters should uphold. This is because fire fighting deals with people who are exposed to certain dangers. It is therefore important for firefighters to be modest and focus their attention on the provision of effective services.
As the chief of the fire department, the first thing I will do after learning of misbehavior among firefighters during their duties is to establish the facts of the reported case. This will be done by listening to individuals who witnessed the reported incident. The accounts given by the eyewitness will be compared with what the firefighter involved says about his unwarranted behavior. The police will then be given time to carry out their investigations after which action will be taken against the firefighter based on factual information about what happened at the scene.
Once the case is concluded and the firefighter is released out of police custody, I will take disciplinary action against the concerned firefighter. The most suitable disciplinary action that I will take against him will be to suspend him from work for some time. This will ensure that he rectifies his behavior and that he serves as an example to others. The other action will be to offer training to all firefighters and teach them how they should behave while in the field to avoid such scenarios.
Firefighting Equipment and Facilities 2012. Web.
What Causes Job Dissatisfaction 2010. Web.