What do you carry into a working fire (please specify which apparatus you ride)
Engine Company with a three man crew. (FO, DO and FF) (Normally, my medic crew is with us on the assignment and they are the forcible entry team and primary search crew)
What I carry...
-Sheet rock rake
-"A" tool with the Officer's bag(Department standard: set-up more so for high-rise op's. However, all the equipment that it holds can be used on all structural fires.)
-Boxlight for the point of entry/exit when visibility is an issue. Personal light on the coat that is with me all the time.
-Need I say Radio?
What do you think are qualities which are integral to being a "good officer"?
-Inform your crew was is acceptable behavior from the start. That way there are no surprises.
-Teach them everything that you know and allow them to surprise you with their abilities.
-Train your subordinates on what their responsibilities are prior to the 0300 hours job.
-Realize that the indicator of a good officer is how well your crew performs when you are not there to tell them what to do. (This is not to be confused with when an officer is such a bonehead that he actually weighs his crew's performance down like an anchor.)
-Take the heat from your superiors when things may not have gone as it should have in their eyes. DO NOT pass said heat down.
-You and you alone are responsible for your crew's performance. If they fail, it is due to your inability as a company officer.
-Give your crew all the credit for a job well done to your superiors.
-And, the most important thing to remember is that you need your crew more than they need you.
How do you deal with "incapable" crew members?
Make them capable through enforcing expected performance standards and additional training. You must also allow for acceptable mistakes. Reinforce that it is not how bad you fack up but how quickly you can recover.
Sometimes firefighters are incapable due to lack of proper guidance from previous "poor" work-environments. Such as exposure to fire officers that could have stood in for Hitler or Stalin if they needed a vacation. I've had relative success with firefighters that were branded as bad-apples or nimbrods by these types of fire officers.
However, in a rare case, there are firefighters that have absolutely no clue and they never will. The bad thing is that they are normally the ones who think that they are the new Johnny or Roy. Regardless, they need to be shown the door.