Guest Commentary: Unintended Consequences Of Transfers in the Fire Service

No matter how big or how small a department, the fire service is made up of small groups that work together very closely. Generally, cohesiveness is created in a relatively short time. While this puts a highly efficient team on the fireground, changes...


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Having the patience to give people time to work through this process while keeping them on task is difficult. Knowing how to deal with a person who is having a tough time can have a huge impact on how that person deals with you when you are having a difficult time. If you support your team, your team will support you.

Don’t let a problem grow

Regardless of one’s leadership capacity, whether in the formal position of rank or the unofficial leader by personality, if we are concerned with our coworkers and want to see them succeed and be productive, then we must recognize a transfer as a potential problem for our organization. Once we recognize the potential problem, we have a duty to resolve it as it is happening and do our best to effectively ease people and crews back on track. This takes time and understanding. Good communication and disclosure of facts are essential to retaining and rebuilding trust. The process will not be the same for everyone. It may be frustrating and seem to take forever. The best solution to a problem is to prevent it from happening. n