1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Defiance
    Posts
    12

    Question No Officer: Who's in Charge

    I am the captain of a very rural fire department in Northwest Ohio and we are currently undertaking the task of redoing are Standard operating procedures. Last night we started to review the chain of command as it pertains to our Fire Department and our Mutual Aid agreements. Being a volunteer department we are lucky enough to an officer on most calls, but in discussing the instances when an officer wasn't available? Who is in charge? Arguments were made in favor of the most senior member, the most senior Firecard holder or do you just leave it to the ones on the engine to hash it out? Needless to say an hour and a half later we had no real answer and was curious to what other department thought?

    Remembering, the most senior member isn't exactly the most experienced.

    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Greensburg.Pa
    Posts
    52

    Default

    If no officer is on the call, then we use the most senior apparatus driver. Does not have to be the person operating the apparatus at the time.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Sounds like some review of ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800 are in order along with NIMS. The first responder on scene that calls command is the Incident Commander.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    With no officer present, the most experienced firefighter rides the seat. That person takes command until an officer arrives. That officer may be from a mutual aid department if none are responding from our department.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    With no officer present, the most experienced firefighter rides the seat. That person takes command until an officer arrives. That officer may be from a mutual aid department if none are responding from our department.
    This is how they work it with Malahat, Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake VFD's. Seems to have worked very well so far. It was always the most senior person in the first arriving vehicle, and then it may or may not get passed up, depending on the situation. A lot of times if the Chief or DC arrived a bit later, they would often leave command with whoever had it initially. The idea was to give command experience for the time when maybe neither could be there. Of course situation dictates.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,112

    Default

    We say whomever is in the officer's seat is the person in charge. This could be the most senior, or one of the newer guys, or someone with the most training. Regardless of who it is, if you sit there, you are in charge. People know that and whoever does not want that responsibility, they don't sit there.

    If you want help with SOG's, send me an email and I send you a copy of ours. No sense of re-inventing the wheel right?
    dickeydo@charter.net
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    No sense of re-inventing the wheel right?
    Just borrow someone elses wheel. [quoted from Big Al, Medic (retired) Vienna, VA Jan 07.]
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 01-30-2009 at 08:53 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,700

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    With no officer present, the most experienced firefighter rides the seat. That person takes command until an officer arrives. That officer may be from a mutual aid department if none are responding from our department.
    What he said.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    sdff1520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    322

    Default

    Passenger seat of first apparatus assumes command (upon leaving the station). If needed due to incident complexity and/or the person in command doesn't feel they are capable of running the incident command may be transferred to a more experienced member or officer. Otherwise if they are confident and things go well, no reason to transfer command. Seems to me to be the only way to get newer members and less experienced people the time needed in the command role to feel comfortable and gain the experience needed to be proficient. They may be shadowed by a senior member or officer for guidance, but no sense in automatically tranferring command to an officer just because. Got to get some experience built for those folks as well, after all they will no doubt be senior members or officers in the future.
    Last edited by sdff1520; 01-30-2009 at 11:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Memphis Tn,USA-now
    Posts
    5,436

    Default

    Believe it or not,I have been IC twice due to being the only guy to respond.Once when an ambulance was called to my trailer park,and all the officers figured I could handle guiding them to the right house and then knew to let the real responders handle it.The other time was when it was a wreck with no injuries.I handed off to the first county S.O. that arrived and left it at that.
    I did get help filling out the reports,though.
    Anyway,the usual practice on my old volunteer department was that if no officer responded to the initial tone(VERY rare),the senior guy was the driver and IC until an officer DID arrive to take over.
    There were some calls where newer members all eat up with carrying a pager that they also carried their radio so they could announce their response and updated locations.If it turned out to be an unfounded call,i.e. someone calling in a fresh lit off fireplace as a structure fire,the officers would go to the station just in case something did happen,sometimes passing the address,and let the nugget make all the radio calls and then let them know to come to the station for the report.
    It ws our version of snipe hunting.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Here's the chain of command that has been in effect since i first joined the fire service almost 35 years ago:

    Fire Department Chain Of Command:

    Effective 11/1/75

    Chief Of The Department

    1st Assistant Chief

    2nd Assistant Chief

    Deputy Chief

    Captain of first arriving Engine Company.

    Captain of first arriving ladder/fire patrol/rescue Company

    1st Lieutenant of first arriving Engine Company

    1st Lieutenant of first arriving ladder/fire patrol/rescue company

    2nd Lieutenant of first arriving Engine Company

    2nd Lieutenant of first arriving ladder/fire patrol/rescue company

    First arriving Ex-Chief

    First arriving Ex-Captain

    First arriving Apparatus

    Company Level Chain of Command:

    Captain

    1st Lieutenant

    2nd Lieutenant

    First Arriving Ex-Captain

    Driver

    District Staff Officers Chain of Command:

    District Safety Officer

    District Training Officer

    District Records Officer

    It's worked well for the department over the years and as such i don't think there's been any modifications made to it.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Transitioning from Company Officer to Chief Officer.
    By BrandonFD6 in forum Emergency Services Training
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-19-2008, 07:50 PM
  2. County Officer Injured By Fellow Officer Dies
    By MalahatTwo7 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-26-2007, 08:38 AM
  3. Officer Development classes/Fire Officer I
    By npfd801 in forum Illinois
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-29-2007, 01:54 AM
  4. you are officer in charge
    By hotboy in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-30-2004, 06:09 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register