Category Archives: Leadership

Charlie the Complainer

ComplainerEveryone has complained about their job.  The question is “how often and how derogatory do you complain?”  Let me tell you a story about one of the best, or worst you might better say, complainers.

We will call him Charlie.  That wasn’t his real name because his first or real last name would clearly identify him to some.  Anyway Charlie was a station officer.  I followed Charlie’s shift so I got to hear his rants every morning before going on shift.

Charlie didn’t hold back on his criticism.  It usually started in on the fire chief, his staff officers, and what a crappy job they were performing.  Charlie would rip into the fire chief like a monkey on a cupcake.  But it didn’t stop there.

Charlie was so good at it that you would mention somebody you knew and he would rip into them too.   Once he thought they were properly denigrated he would spike them like a football player would a football in the end zone.

One morning after Charlie had his typical rant, he left for the day.  One of my fellow firefighters – Ron – commented.  Ron said, “There’s a lot of truth in what Charlie said this morning.”  I couldn’t believe what he had just said.

I told Ron he was as crazy as Charlie.  I explained that there was a method to the madness.  Charlie would take a small piece of information that had a speck of truth and he would then spin his web of falsehoods off that one truthful nugget.  If you boiled down his whole rant you would find under that intricate web that miniscule piece of truth.

Charlie had an impact on me.  First of all I started showing up right before roll call so I wouldn’t have to listen to Charlie but just a few minutes.  Charlie also helped me recognize when I too was falling into the trap of complaining.  One view of Charlie on my shoulder yapping his big mouth caused me to complain a lot less.

Being a constant complainer harms you.  If you have a position of authority it’s likely that those subordinate to you might not say anything.  But, it doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking it.

Be careful whenever you find yourself speaking negatively about others.  Understand that it can be solely you that’s the problem, not somebody else.  Put your positive view on and you will be much happier as will those around you.

Northern Butler County Task Force

Task forceButler County operates with a northern and a southern task force.  The reason for the task forces is to provide a way for an on scene department to get a multitude of firefighting assistance versus going through the process of asking for individual departments.

The northern task force met last evening.  Trucks from each of the departments were brought to the meeting to discuss hose coupling congruency.  Any one department in Butler County can fight even the biggest fire when multiple departments assist in the fire fight.


Back to the Basics ~ Firefighter Safety & Survival ~ Saving Your Own

*Story by Captain Troy Jellison

4On Thursday October 9, 2014, many members of the El Dorado Fire Department and one member from Andover Fire Rescue attended a day long training course titled “Back To The Basics” FF Safety and Survival.

The class was brought to El Dorado by a very dedicated group of Firefighters from the Shawnee Fire Department.

Approximately 4 years ago Shawnee Firefighter John Glaser lost his life in the line-of-duty. Since that day this group of men from the SFD have gone around offering free training to other firefighters to help prevent another tragic loss of life.

The members from Shawnee were Capt. David Wolff, Capt. Curt Searcy, FF Spencer Rogers, FF Justin Verbenec, and FF Mike Schubert. These men came to El Dorado without being paid to be here. They volunteered to come train others in honor of their fallen brother.

The El Dorado Firefighters were instructed on the tried-and-true techniques of self-survival. These methods were hard-learned from past Line of Duty Deaths.

The lessons were designed to give our firefighters the “tools” they need to survive hostile environments and to help reduce the number of LODD’s. Mastering these basic self-survival methods will help ensure muscle memory when our firefighters are faced with a life threatening situation.

Those in attendance were taken through five drills which included the following: SCBA Air Consumption, the Pittsburg Drill, the Denver Drill, an emergency ladder bailout drill, and a search and rescue “Mayday” drill. Everyone involved learned a lot about their own abilities and about how far they could push their bodies if it means making it out alive!

By the end of the day there were a great many fully exhausted firefighters……Exhausted, but better prepared.

*Slide Photos by Photographer “El Dorado Volunteer” Chad Wittenberg

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Plymouth Belvedere Lessons – DRAFT

Belvedere 2DRAFTThe year was 1977. It’s funny how old memories sometimes pop into your head for no particular reason.

My meager savings was nearly exhausted after attending two years of college. This was back when running up a tab wasn’t part of the college attendance formula. Not only was my college fund exhausted, so was my 1965 Ford Mustang.

I needed some wheels. I checked out the periodicals and there it was: “The Shopper’s Guide” “1966 4-door Plymouth Belvedere II – low mileage – one-owner – $500 or best offer.”

I called the number listed and arranged a time to look at the car – immediately. The owner turned out to be a female senior citizen. Even though the car was immaculate, it was definitely a little old lady car.

The slant 6 cylinder engine was so quiet you couldn’t even tell it was running – not a hot rod.

It was a living room wall beige color – not too striking. And it did indeed have four doors – not exactly a chick magnet. But it was perfect in another way – price. SOLD!

So, why did the Belvedere memory spring forth? I knew the answer after just a moment – it was the lessons.

Belvedere’s reliability was one lesson. Even though he wasn’t the flashiest fellow on the block, he never failed me – even on the coldest Kansas morning. There are few things as important in life as reliability.

The immaculate condition of the car was another lesson. Belvedere was eleven years old and looked like he just came off the show room floor. A little old lady could keep a car pristine – shouldn’t any young person be able to do the same?

Economy was a third lesson. Fuel consumption wasn’t a big concern in the ‘70’s but Belvedere was different – he was ahead of his time. Is my ultra conservative nature tied to Belvedere’s lesson?

But the most important lesson of all was trust.

There’s something that’s certain when a woman chooses a man that drives a four door Belvedere – she doesn’t love him for his money or his status. Belvedere gave me and my high school sweetheart a ride to the cathedral for our marriage vows.

Memories of a 4-Door Plymouth Belvedere isn’t really all that strange after all.

America’s Heroes – El Dorado Pitstop

IMG_1813The Army Reserve 242nd Unit headquartered out of Coffeyville was headed to Wichita today when they were advised that their route was going to be changed. Their orders were to stop and await instructions on the new route.

Their stopping point was 12th St. in the City of El Dorado.

There are many heroes in this world – fire, police, and EMS to mention three.

But, our military men and women take the hero definition to the highest point. Reason being that not only do they risk their life for us. IMG_1814

They do something that is in the big scheme of things even more important than a life. They protect our Freedom!

They gave me the honor of having my picture taken with them. I personally thanked them, but wish I could have done more.

Here’s an idea. How about me and you who are reading this, “Say a prayer for their safety.”