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    Default Firehouse Leadership

    I am active duty military and I am working on a leadership degree. I am currently researching leadership of both military units and fire departments. The research hypothesis is that leadership in both types of organizations is related to Servant Leadership Theory. This theory proposes that the leader serves the follower to mutually accomplish a higher goal. Any fire fighter that would like to help me with my studies and make an input to this research can simply click on the link below and take a short survey. It is my hope that I can document the servanthood nature of your proud profession. Thank you for your time and what you do for us all each day.


    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?...l8DiwH2w_3d_3d
    Last edited by StudentLeader; 11-24-2009 at 10:30 PM. Reason: I recopied the URL. Please try again! Thanks

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    I will say that many top notch organizations also use this model. The job of the manger is to enable the employee to do their job. The manager is to get you the tools and the training you need. Come to think of it, this was something I learned in the Managing people and Technology class I took. The course focused on "geeks". Introverted folks who tend to work on their own. When leading these types of people it is best to let them do their work and you enable them or guide them as needed.

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    Your link is going to the home page. Fix it and folks will help you out.

    With my experience on both sides, fire and military, I would say you are on the right track. For an interesting take on the similarities, here's an article from the former Marine Corps Commandant, Gen Krulak.

    http://firechief.com/mag/firefightin...ss_management/

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    Thanks for posting that link Gunnyv. Outstanding article.

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    Default FireHouse Leadership (Reply)

    Scarecrow57, Gunnyv & Cheffle,

    Thank you for your replies, the article and the heads up on the URL. I copied the URL again. Hopefully it will work now. Otherwise the webpage may have some kind of screen.


    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?...l8DiwH2w_3d_3d
    Last edited by StudentLeader; 11-24-2009 at 10:34 PM.

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    Took your survey, as wiht many surveys I oftne have a problem with some questions
    I took the time to show my problems here

    8. My leader talks more about followers’ accomplishments than his or her own.
    My leader talks about the accomplishments and services of the group. It isn't about him or the individual, it is about the team and the service.

    15. My leader understands that serving others is most important.
    Subjective here. I would say that in our case serving our own needs first, others second. Reason being if I don't fulfill my needs then there is no way to serve others.

    18. My leader gives of his or her self with no ulterior motives.
    There are always ulterior motives. Be it the motivation of the employees, the direction of the organization or satisfying the customer.

    29. My leader understands that service is the core of leadership.
    I don't believe this statement to be true. The core of leadership is to provide direction and enablement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I will say that many top notch organizations also use this model. The job of the manger is to enable the employee to do their job. The manager is to get you the tools and the training you need. Come to think of it, this was something I learned in the Managing people and Technology class I took. The course focused on "geeks". Introverted folks who tend to work on their own. When leading these types of people it is best to let them do their work and you enable them or guide them as needed.


    I think the OP wanted "firefighters" to respond to his survey!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    I think the OP wanted "firefighters" to respond to his survey!!
    I am.

    However, leadership is leadership, doesn't matter what the job function is.

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    Hate to say it, but scarecrow is right. My Principle of Management class, which focused on private sector business very much mimicked the management style of the fire service. Terms may be different, but objective is the same. Get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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    Are there any differences in the military and civilian firefighting tactics? I'm sure there is. Just wondering.

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    Certainly are, depending on circumstances. The likelihood of explosive ordnance often has an effect. There are even differences between the services way of doing things. For example, in my experience, Marine crash crews fight aircraft fires more aggressively than the Air Force. We have smaller apparatus (more easily deployable) with less water but more manning (single role crash crew vs crossmanning structural pumpers). We will spot on the aircraft and deploy handlines earlier to concentrate on a rescue path to the pilot vs circling the a/c while extinguishing with turrets. They are not wrong, they just have more water to use. Of course, this tactical method might have something to do with the innate aggressiveness that comes with being a Marine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rice09 View Post
    Are there any differences in the military and civilian firefighting tactics? I'm sure there is. Just wondering.
    Yes, there are a-lot of differences. First and fore most, as firefighters, we know how fire will move, we can predict the fires travel and the same tactics work fore the most part. Stretch a line, go through unburned section, open the roof...etc etc. In military tactics...there are TOO many variables....combat is a chess game. Your enemy is not as predictable as fire. There are Western and Eastern mentalities of fighting. For instance; Firepower(Siege)[Western Style] vs Mobile Warfare [Eastern Style]. If a combat commander does not learn to balance his capabilities then he is doomed...well...his men are doomed. The combat commander has more to loose than a fire chief. Granted, they both can loose men...butm the combat commander WILL loose men and worse that can happen is loose a nation, the chief...will loose a building.....worse...is loose men.

    Even within the US Military there are even more complex differences. US Army Infantry fight different then US Marine Infantry. The reasons can be attributed to man power, TO&E, tactics, training, warrior ethos, and esprit de corps. Marines are far more aggressive than any other service out there. Its helps us and it hinders us.

    Military Tactics trade lives for rel estate. Firefighting tactics trade rel estate for rel estate. Watch the movie 300 and you'll get what I mean. As a platoon Sgt, I made my Marines read the book before we deployed to Iraq. Then they started to understand why I am such a fanatic.
    Last edited by VinnieB; 11-28-2009 at 09:12 PM.
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    Hate to say it, but scarecrow is right. My Principle of Management class, which focused on private sector business very much mimicked the management style of the fire service. Terms may be different, but objective is the same. Get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible

    Another reason why fire department operations is much closer to a business than most would admit, and shy fire service leaders should be required to obtain business degrees before taking command positions.

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    I agree, but the Public Administration degree is a much more well suited program than business, as it mixes business, political science and government principles into a Baccalaureate and eventually a Masters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haligan155 View Post
    Hate to say it, but scarecrow is right. My Principle of Management class, which focused on private sector business very much mimicked the management style of the fire service. Terms may be different, but objective is the same. Get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Public administration would also be a good fit. It would cover areas that a business degree would not, though there are areas of a business degree that I feel are important which are not covered in Public Admin.

    The bottom line is that the days of the "street firefighter" advancing through the ranks and being promoted to a position as a member of the command staff should be long gone if we are to be taken seriously as professional service run by professionals.

    They simply do not have the skills to handle the business end of the fire department.

    IMO a Lt in a career department should have a minimum of 30 college credits before promotion and a Captain should have a minimum of 60. Any divisional Chief position - Training, Prevention, Communications - or Battalion or District should have completed a minimum of 90 hours and any Deputy, Assistant or Chief of department should have completed a BS program before eligible for promotion to that position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    IMO a Lt in a career departmen

    No one cares about your opinion.....Firemen are talking...sit in the corner and raise your hand when you want to speak.
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    Nope, but I do hear dinosaurs grunting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    No one cares about your opinion.....Firemen are talking...sit in the corner and raise your hand when you want to speak.
    BAM!!!!

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    Posted by LAFireEducator
    IMO a Lt in a career department should have a minimum of 30 college credits before promotion and a Captain should have a minimum of 60. Any divisional Chief position - Training, Prevention, Communications - or Battalion or District should have completed a minimum of 90 hours and any Deputy, Assistant or Chief of department should have completed a BS program before eligible for promotion to that position.
    This drivel is coming from someone who feels that covering all of the aspects for firefighter 1-2 isn't necessary for his FD...

    Opinions are like anal sphincters. Everybody has one, some of them are full of fecal matter and are extremely malodorous.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    This drivel is coming from someone who feels that covering all of the aspects for firefighter 1-2 isn't necessary for his FD...

    Actually ....

    This drivel is coming from someone who feels that covering all of the aspects for firefighter 1-2 isn't necessary for the volunteer component of his FD...

    Big difference.

    I am not one that beleives that volunteers will ever achieve, in most cases, the same level of training as a career firefighter. In most cases, it's simply not practical given the demands of work and family to achieve the same level of training as a career firefighter, who is usually trained while on the clock during normal working hours, and is compensated (at normal pay or overtime) for off the clock training.

    In addition, most rural volunteers simply never have the access to the training opportunties that career firefighters have. That's just reality.

    Career firefighters do it for a living. The training expectations and training demand should be much higher, including some college hours for entry level, with an increasing level of college time as they work their way up the ladder, culminating with a college degree for all command level positions, in addition to fire specific advanced education..

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    Actually ....

    This drivel is coming from someone who feels that covering all of the aspects for firefighter 1-2 isn't necessary for the volunteer component of his FD...
    Tell that to the fire and to those who feel that "Career or volunteer, we do the same job" crowd.

    I am not one that beleives that volunteers will ever achieve, in most cases, the same level of training as a career firefighter. In most cases, it's simply not practical given the demands of work and family to achieve the same level of training as a career firefighter, who is usually trained while on the clock during normal working hours, and is compensated (at normal pay or overtime) for off the clock training.
    Except in Bossier Parish, where the FD expects it's paid members to "volunteer" to work for free in violation of FLSA rules and regs.

    Call and volunteer firefighters can be trained to career level. It can be done, it takes a longer time frame.

    In addition, most rural volunteers simply never have the access to the training opportunties that career firefighters have. That's just reality.
    See my thoughts above.

    Career firefighters do it for a living. The training expectations and training demand should be much higher, including some college hours for entry level, with an increasing level of college time as they work their way up the ladder, culminating with a college degree for all command level positions, in addition to fire specific advanced education..
    Newsflash.. many firefighters already have college degrees. Some of them start taking college courses after being hired for a fire science degree, to boost their salary and gain points for promotion. Some of them have worked in the corporate world and saw the backstabbing, butt kissing career ladder and decided to be part of a brotherhood and a noble profession and were willing to take a pay cut to achieve their dream.

    Some of them have a different education.. from the college of hard knocks.

    Putting on a gown and mortarboard and getting a piece of paper saying that says that one completed 120 credits of higher education does not certify that they can do the job, and certified doesn't mean qualified.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 11-29-2009 at 10:35 AM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Tell that to the fire and to those who feels that "Career or volunteer, we do the same job" crowd

    Vollie firefighters need to be trained to the level of fire their community. That is very simple. If their community is primarily single family residences with some farms and a few small shops .. They are trained to operate within that environment.

    Same with a vollie department with townhouses, factories, strip malls, hotels or whatever else they may face. Train them to the level they will deal with. If a new hazard is built, address it with training.

    Fact is most volunteer departments do not face the wide variety of occupancies and hazards that their career counterparts due. In most small communities the hazards are limited and the training can address those issues. In urban areas, the hazards are much more varied and often much less defined.

    Yes, we do the same job. But no, the number and types of tasks we are expected to perform are not the same.

    Call and volunteer firefighters can be trained to career level. It can be done, it takes a longer time frame.


    Yes it can. I have known quite a few "pure" volunteers that have the same level of training as most career firefighters. They often were single. They often had very flexible work schedules and had an income from that one job that didn't require a second job. Many owned thier own businesses.

    I honestly don't beleive that we can make it an expectation however.

    As far as access, you live in MA, which is small state. In LA, a department can easily be 4-6 hours away from the primary state fire training facility. Add to that the fact that LA does a very limited number of outreach programs, and access is an issue. That's the story in most states, and it's getting worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Tell that to the fire and to those who feels that "Career or volunteer, we do the same job" crowd

    Vollie firefighters need to be trained to the level of fire their community. That is very simple. If their community is primarily single family residences with some farms and a few small shops .. They are trained to operate within that environment.

    Same with a vollie department with townhouses, factories, strip malls, hotels or whatever else they may face. Train them to the level they will deal with. If a new hazard is built, address it with training.

    Fact is most volunteer departments do not face the wide variety of occupancies and hazards that their career counterparts due. In most small communities the hazards are limited and the training can address those issues. In urban areas, the hazards are much more varied and often much less defined.

    Yes, we do the same job. But no, the number and types of tasks we are expected to perform are not the same.

    Call and volunteer firefighters can be trained to career level. It can be done, it takes a longer time frame.


    Yes it can. I have known quite a few "pure" volunteers that have the same level of training as most career firefighters. They often were single. They often had very flexible work schedules and had an income from that one job that didn't require a second job. Many owned thier own businesses.

    I honestly don't beleive that we can make it an expectation however.

    As far as access, you live in MA, which is small state. In LA, a department can easily be 4-6 hours away from the primary state fire training facility. Add to that the fact that LA does a very limited number of outreach programs, and access is an issue. That's the story in most states, and it's getting worse.
    That is a **** poor excuse. Training does not have to be done by a state sponsored facility. It can be done in house by competent personnel who know what they are doing, utilizing their talents. A guy who does carpentry can do instruction on building construction. An electrician can teach about electrical hazard recognition, a guy who works for a propane distribution company can teach about the hazards of dealing with propane, etc. etc. etc.

    There are many training sessions that are available ON LINE, FOR FREE through Firehouse.com. FireEngineering.com, theSecretList.com, Vententersearch.com and a whole host of other fire websites.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    That is a **** poor excuse. Training does not have to be done by a state sponsored facility. It can be done in house by competent personnel who know what they are doing, utilizing their talents. A guy who does carpentry can do instruction on building construction. An electrician can teach about electrical hazard recognition, a guy who works for a propane distribution company can teach about the hazards of dealing with propane, etc. etc. etc.

    There are many training sessions that are available ON LINE, FOR FREE through Firehouse.com. FireEngineering.com, theSecretList.com, Vententersearch.com and a whole host of other fire websites.


    I agree.

    Fact is, most departments around here do most of their training in-house. And they use their builders to teach building construction, and their guys who work at the local refinery to teach classes about flammable liquid operations.
    This is not a new concept. It's something we have had to do for years because the state training academy was a solid 5 away. We now have a much smaller branch of it 15 minutes away, but guess what .... We, and most of the other area departments, still rely on in house training because this new facilities props and offerings are still very limited, and quite pricey for most classes.

    But the bottom line is most of their guys only have the experiences that they gained fighting fire in their community and in their local occupancies. Not much a firefighter from Fire Department X can teach his guys about high-rise firefighting if town X doesn't have a high-rise and he's never operated in one. Fact is, that is a skill they do not need and they will never use, so why even bother teaching it.

    My point was training needs to be applicable to what the department does. If the department has no strip malls, then strip mall operations have no relevance. if they have no standpipes, then standpipes ops have no relevance.

    I know some very well trained rural departments that do what they do in the occupancies in their districts quite well, but have no idea how to work with standpipes or sprinklers because they have no standpipes or sprinklers in thier communities. But unlike the city firefighter that has no use for tanker ops, and have no clue how to run a shuttle, these folks can move water like nobody else.

    The fact is training is local. Firefighters need to be trained on what they are expected to do, not on what somebody else is in another community is expected to do.

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