Just recently we formed a new fire district from two small departments. As we merged we have been working out equipment placement. Currently the chief is swamped with the paper work end of getting the district up and going. So I am looking for a form and a SOP to work for equipment location change.
This is prompted by a Lt. who wanted to double role the 100’ 1 ½” Forestry line. It currently is single rolled. The single role allows it to fit in the jump truck in an organized manner. When the LT was told we don’t make changes to equipment without the ok of the chief. It became an issue. Now, I agree with him that doubles are way easier for deployment. Though it’s hard to make them understand there are hoops that have to be jumped through …..There’s training everyone on the change… storage…etc… So if any one has any good advice, I’m open.
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Thread: Equipment Change SOP
10-14-2009, 01:31 AM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- Manzanita, Oregon
Equipment Change SOP
10-14-2009, 09:08 AM #2
Since your OPEN to suggetions...
I do not know the configuration of your truck, so I can't advise what the best method of storing the hose might be. A double (donut) roll is much faster to deploy, but we only donut roll our reserve hoses, not the preconnected hoses. That enables crew members to add sections as needed much quicker.
Preconnected hoses are always laid in a tray or special hose bed designed for that purpose. Since you state you must roll your hose, I assume this is a tried and true method for your use. I won't tell you there is only one 'right way', because your department must adapt whatever works best for your crews.
I assume that the Chief takes an active role in the design or designation of equipment on your fleet. And it is understandable that he may be a bit busy worrying about how to merge two groups of people together.
I have a couple of questions for you:
"Did the Chief assign you, him or both to this specific task?"
If you have taken this on yourself, you both may be begging for trouble.
Is there not an existing Policy or SOG already in place that serves during the transition?
Look for guidance in existing dept policy. Then make written suggestions to modify that policy.
Who advised him that changes cannot be made without permission from the Chief... you or someone else?
If you told him you may on very shakey ground unless the Chief has specifically assigned you to make this statement. The Chief may take exception to this statement if he reserves this ground for himself.
You must understand that your Chief must put the common good of the Community, the Department and his personnel above his own desires and the old rules. He has to find a way to bring all of these people together to build an effective fighting force; one team. He may give pause to some issues and consideration to others in order to secure that end.
I assume that this Chief was your Chief originally and your original department is the receiver of the other agency on some level. But nevertheless, the old policies and SOGs may not be in effect during the transition, except for the ones that pertain to life and property.
You do not state your rank, but your user name indicates that you are a Lieutenant. If two LTs are arguing about hose procedures, I find that a bit troubling since it seems to me that there must be bigger issues at hand. If existing SOP/SOGs or policies state that the LTs will decide equipment procedures, and you cannot work it out, you have no choice but to seek higher authority to settle the issue. But be prepared to be forced to work together to find resolution.
Our SOGs are pretty well established on this type of issue. Each Company Officer (Lieutenant) is responsible for his truck and crew. But they are given Strict guidance as to where everything is to be located and how it is to be stored/carried. When one of my Officers wishes to make a change, I listen. If a sound reason is offered, I might be agreeable, but I then suggest that the Officer reduce the change to writing. In other words, he must provide me with the exact language that covers that change; how it is stored/carried/deployed. That makes them think a bit and many times those new ideas never get to paper.
Opinions and suggestions are easy to come with, but becoming part of an evolutionary or natural process to improve what we do, is much more difficult. I invite my personnel to help me solve issues or come up with good ideas. But they know the rules... if it ain't in writing, it ain't gonna happen.
Please understand, I am not trying to take a swat at you here, but if my LTs were having a fit over some hose, I would really be concerned about if I made the correct decision about their rank status. We really have bigger issues to worry about and you must have each others best interest at the forefront.
So my advice to you is, seek higher authority, but do not push it too far; You might look immature. Short of going that route, let him have his way on this. If a Captain or the Chief takes notice, then see where it goes. One of three things will happen; 1) He will be told to return it to the former method 2) It will be ignored and thus accepted 3) He will get credit for finding a better way. You have 2 out of 3 chances to lose this, but the single win may save your rank status and cost him his.
Becoming known as the guy that throws his weight around will certainly get you into a weight reduction program down the road, just as becoming known as the Chief's pet will label you as an outcast.
Yes, I am a Chief. I don't allow pets and I don't like pets. They just make a mess and I don't like to clean up after them. You have to work with this guy, so please get on with it.
We have a saying... It is easier to seek forgiveness than seek permission.
As far as jumping through hoops goes... that may be. But since this new department is the product of two entities, you must understand that change is difficult for most of us.
Somewhere common ground must be established, not battlelines.
Pick your battles very carefully and make sure they are over really big and important issues.
And Please, accept my apology if I appear to be too harsh.
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