The Fire Scene: New Officers: Don't Be Afraid to Change

When firefighters are promoted to officer positions, there is often much discussion about how well they are going to perform, how they will treat their firefighters and in general how they are going to behave. Most firefighters work in the fire...


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These are just a few of the many issues that arise when a firefighter moves up the ranks. Some of the issues are relatively minor and may involve only the officer and a single firefighter. Others may be events that eventually reach the chief’s office. Whether minor or major, they are all important.

As an officer, you must make decisions based on your new position, and that is as an agent of the department. You are answerable to your superior officers and must make your decisions based on that fact. Yes, you must maintain a positive relationship with your crew members and consider their safety, comfort and preferences, but the “good of the department” must receive your first consideration. n