Monday, March 20, 2017

Fire Departments Take on Latest Diversity Challenge

SPADRA, CA—After two decades of successfully diversifying its ranks, the nation’s fire departments are now set to tackle the latest challenge when it comes to hiring practices.

“The humorless are still under-represented in fire departments across the county,” notes Peter Throckmorton, a human resources expert for the generational consulting firm of Weiner, Throckmorton & Franks.

Although municipal departments have steadily increased the number of minority and female members over the last 25 years, a recent study concludes that younger, humor-impaired employees still only represent a modest percentage of the total workforce.

“There’s no question about it—we have to do a better job,” concedes John Thomas, Fire Chief for the City of Spadra, California. 

But some legacy members seem resistant to change. “I’m not gonna lie to you, we had some good times back in the day,” reminisced Captain Geoffrey Simms. “Pranks, practical jokes, water buckets, crams, sarcasm, Pollack jokes—you name it.”

But Millennials apparently aren't having any of it. 

“Today’s twenty- and thirty-somethings are more brittle, more easily offended,” notes Throckmorton. “They grew up on soccer trophies, safe spaces, trigger warnings, safety pins—all of that. Their parents and teachers assured them they were precious and special, so Millennials get confused and even butt-hurt if they get Miller-boarded,” he says, referring to a time-honored fire service initiation ritual that has all but disappeared.

And offending the humorless can be costly.

“We’re getting our asses sued off,” said one city official who asked to remain anonymous, but whose name is Norma A. Smith, a secretary in the legal department. “We just can’t afford humor anymore.”

Conceded Throckmorton, “It’s true that the humorless are naturally more litigious. But that doesn’t mean agencies shouldn't aggressively pursue them in the hiring process.”

To that end, Spadra City Fire has joined hundreds of other departments nationwide in developing finely-tuned and specifically targeted outreach programs and offering special workshops in an effort to attract more humorless prospects. In fact, that department’s program is headed by Firefighter Scot Erickson, who is himself humor-impaired. 

“We’re setting up recruiting booths at college campuses, yoga classes, whole food groceries, Bernie Sanders rallies, and even local Starbucks,” says Erikson, who is genetically unable to detect irony. “Any venue where Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock lost a booking, we definitely take a closer look.”

Will it work?

Chief Thomas is optimistic. After all, he says, “The humorless are our future.”

#   #   #

As reported by “I Just Drive a Truck.” For more information, read our apology and disclaimer here...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Firefighter Stuck in Tree Calls Cat for Rescue

MOUNT LEE, CA--In an ironic twist to an age-old story, an off-duty firefighter trimming a tree in his backyard became stuck and had to call his cat for help.

Aaron Stott, a veteran firefighter/paramedic for the City of Mount Lee, was thinning out the uppermost branches of a 40 foot-tall eucalyptus tree when the ladder he had propped up against the trunk shifted and fell to the ground, stranding the rescue worker high above in the canopy.

“My heart just sunk,” said Stott.

He attempted to call out for his wife but realized she was inside their home doing mat pilates while blasting to the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack on her iPod earbuds. Only the family cat, Mister Whiskers, loitered below at the base of the tree.

“So I’m like, ‘Mister Whiskers, go get your mom!’” explained Stott.

At first the six year-old siamese simply sat down and started grooming himself. But after about a half hour of imploring the cat to get help and tossing twigs at it, Stott says the tabby finally wandered over to the screen door at the rear of the house and started meowing.

Unfortunately, when his distracted wife opened the backdoor, Stott could only watch on helplessly as the cat then sat down and waited to either be let back out or let back in. This continued for about another hour until the cat ran after a butterfly. It was only then that Stott’s wife Cindy notice her husband high up in the eucalyptus.

“He’s an idiot,” said Cindy Stott, who placed the ladder back against the tree, enabling her exhausted and embarrassed husband to climb down. “I told him to hire an arborist.”

#   #   #

As reported by “I Just Drive a Truck.” For more information, read our apology and disclaimer here...