Whether you are planning to take a company officer or chief officer promotional examination that may require you to successfully pass a fireground simulation exercise, or you just want to improve your knowledge, skills and abilities as a company officer or chief officer, the information in this...
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- Stay in one place. I realize there may be different opinions on this issue, but the more you move around, the more you can be distracted or attracted to or by others. The command post is not meant to be mobile; it's meant to be in a location others can easily find — but not easily accessed if you don't want them there.
- When preparing to give a radio report, try to not look at the incident. This can only confuse you and if things are changing in front of your eyes and this gets you off track of what you were going to say, then you're not going to demonstrate much command presence.
- 9. Use accepted and appropriate terminology when appropriate. This is especially important when talking about the Incident Command System (ICS), strategy and tactics, and the situation at hand. For example, within ICS, a group is a specific function and a division is a specific location. If you assign members as Ventilation Group, it should be obvious as to their tasks. However, if you assign them Roof Group, that could be left open for interpretation as there is more to do on a roof than just ventilation. Now if you called them Roof Division, that would mean they would be in charge of everything on the roof, which could include ventilation as well as other tasks.
- Do not swear, scream, yell, be rude or be abrupt. Or do anything else you will regret or be embarrassed about if seen on YouTube or on the 6 o'clock news.
- Remember that someone is out there watching. Virtually every phone has a camera or video function and YouTube or even worse the news media are just an email or text away.
- Try not to use words such as "suggest," "recommend" and "looking." Such words do not project much confidence or decisiveness.
- When talking to a dispatcher, or anyone else for that matter, don't have hesitation in your voice. Don't finish your sentence with what sounds like you are asking them a question as opposed to making a statement or a request.
- When in doubt, go back to number 1. Stay calm, cool and collected.
STEVE PRZIBOROWSKI is a Firehouse.com contributing editor and a battalion chief for the Santa Clara County, CA, Fire Department. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Chabot College Fire Technology Program in Hayward, CA, where he has been teaching fire technology classes since 1993. Prziborowski is a past president of the Northern California Training Officers Association and was named the 2008 Ed Bent California Fire Instructor of the year.