Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 68
  1. #21
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Command

    As far as I am concerned, the fire service is a paramilitary organization. Since I am an Army veteran, I was trained young in following orders.

    With the exception of safety concerns at a fire scene, I believe we need to follow orders and do what we are instructed.

    When I was younger, I had a chief that ordered me to put water on a burning power transformer, before the electric crew had arrived to disconnect it. Did I tell my chief no? Yes, I did. That is one of the few times I ever challenged a chief on a fire scene. Other than that, I did what I was told to do.

    The fire chief and his officers are responsible for the fire fighters and the firefighting equipment. The Chief reports to the authority having jurisdiction (city council, fire district board, etc.), who in turn answer to the taxpayers, insurance companies, etc..

    Maybe there is too much military in me, but I followed orders unless the chief was wrong and they are not wrong too many times. I have since been a chief, assistant chief, etc. and expect the firefighters to follow my orders. I am responsible. If one of my firefighters gets hurt, I am responsible.

    If I am the one responsible, I give the orders. If someone else is in command, I follow their orders, unless it is a serious safety issue (like the energized(?) burning transformer).

    After the fire is out, the crews can have an After Action Review, where members on scene can give their perspsective of the incident. The Chief officers should be there to listen to the other members concerns. This happens AFTER the incident and it is the time to hash things out. If things need to be ironed out, this is the time to do it. Having a committee trying to run a fire scene does not work.


  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Really? I remember reading a "letter to the editor" in an issue of Fire Engineering about 20 some odd years ago where the author of the letter stated that the fire service was too "militaristic" and needed to be made more "palatable" to "attract a more diverse group of people"....

    I can sum it up in a word that RFDACM02 used in his post...

    "pussification".
    I can't speak to an article 20 years ago, but I just know we spent a significant amount of time talking about the topic in one of my EFO classes.

  3. #23
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,583

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    I can't speak to an article 20 years ago, but I just know we spent a significant amount of time talking about the topic in one of my EFO classes.
    Strictly out of curiosity, what do those who feel that we should abandon the present rank structure propose the titles be changed to?
    ‎"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

  4. #24
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Nice Part of New Jersey
    Posts
    6,981

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Strictly out of curiosity, what do those who feel that we should abandon the present rank structure propose the titles be changed to?
    Senior Patrol Leader
    Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
    Patrol Leader
    Assistant Patrol Leader
    Scribe
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Strictly out of curiosity, what do those who feel that we should abandon the present rank structure propose the titles be changed to?
    I don't recall if they were suggesting any titles at all. What was interesting was that the guy who was leading the discussion (our instructor) was a retired Naval Commander. I sort of tuned out during that discussion because it just doesn't seem very plausible. It's one of those business world management theories that will just never work in the fire service, from my perspective.

  6. #26
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,413

    Default

    I sat back on this one until I saw where it was going.

    I see a trend in the new generations where they seem to have this concept that they know more than the older guys. Of course, I have seen this play out over and over with many generations of firefighters.

    A few of us old guys are still hacking around the service and I think we are all in agreement that we must keep our minds open to new ideas, technology and tactics. But I also believe that us 'old guard' would agree that democracy on the fire ground is not something we can embrace or warm up to.

    As a young firefighter, I was much the rebel, asking "why" on way too much at the wrong time. It is a miracle that I survived all of these years. The rebel instinct is still within me, but I had to learn to choke it off when I felt compelled to question a tactic or order. I spent many years gaining demerits rather than brownie points. Translation: I harnessed the ability to stay on the Chief Officer's radar much of the time. This was unwise of me and it took me some time to understand that.

    So much for trying to do it my way out of the chute. As I have become older, I see this same thing over and over, and frankly, it ticks me off. If I had worked for me, I would not have worked very long. It was only because my leaders took the time and patience to let me clean my system out.

    While I tend to strive for patience and tolerance, I also understand that when you're dancing with the devil, you must get it right every single time. I am not tolerant on a scene if someone wants to debate my decision in regard to the attack or tactics.

    Recently, I assumed command of a dept that the prinicpals of democracy were rampant. The transition has been a difficult process for the crew. But it has made it easy for me to determine which guys will be here in the future. I want team players, not a bunch of Chuck Norris "want to be"s. No offense intended to Chuck. Because budget cuts are coming, many will be axed as the bell tolls. It isn't difficult for me to spot danger or dangerous people.

    So you guys that believe in democracy in the job place, keep dreaming. It will lead to a total breakdown in command and control. You become nothing more than a mob of freelancers.. You may as well eliminate the Chief and Commanders since they will no longer be needed. But this experiment will fail.

    Some call it democracy, but I think this is nothing more than a thinly veiled disguise for utopia... you know the perfect world. It is a pipe dream that is inconsistant with reality.

    You signed up to be a firefighter. It is a militaristic organization, based on the chain of command and authoritative rule. If you decide that my orders have no bearing on you, you will quickly find yourself in another line of work, or a line searching for work.

    Your life may depend on what I or my subordinates decide. If you feel strongly that the orders or operations are not valid, be prepared to suffer the consequences. As a Chief, I am quite prepared to stand by what I do. If I wasn't, I would not last very long. My job is to maintain order and control the operation in the safest and most responsible way.

    If I call for vote on what we are going to do, then I have failed and I have waisted time. If I ask each firefighter how they feel about the mission, then I have failed. If I question a firefighter if he thinks he can solve the issue at hand, then I have failed. If I ask a firefighter if he is scared, then I have failed. If I ask everyone for their opinion, then I have no business being there.

    If I make a mistake, I am resigned to the fact that I am accountable. But my mistakes have never lead to the death of a firefighter. That is not because I am not agressive, it is because I study the situation and keep your life in the forefront of my mind. Most injuries that have come on my watch are due to people that cannot seem to carry out orders. Some tend to believe they know more than everyone else. Some think their red cape and mask make them invincible.

    If you are instructed to only go this far, or pull back, and you do not follow the order, and all hell breaks loose on your butt... who are you going to blame? Me. But it will be without merit my friend. My mistake will be not spotting you and weeding you out before you decided to disobey the order.

    I will not debate the operation or tactics. As many have found out in the past, I will simply look past you, and have someone else carry it out. I have no tolerance for insubordination and you will most likely be removed from the ranks swiftly. If for some reason you survive and maintain your ideas of democracy in the command system, let me know how that works out for you when you grow up to be Chief.

    I think you will see it differently when so many guys lives depend on your actions.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In no way do I suggest that all Commanders are created equal or have equal talents or abilities. I have seen bad commanders; I have worked for a few. There is no doubt that some people should never be placed into a command role. Some cannot accept responsibility; some cannot take the pressure; some do not understand the mission; some are just not equipped to deal with issues. Some do sneak by. But this is only a very few of the vast number of excellent and talented commanders.

    If you feel strongly that your life is in danger due to an order, then you should recuse yourself and stand prepared to suffer the consequences afterward if the mission proceeds as planned. This is a personal reflection on you, not the command. If the mission fails and you feel vindicated, then you have quite possibly discovered a crack in the system. Either way, you are rolling the dice.

    No doubt an investigation will determine fault. But I have seen fault fall on firefighters that could not see their way to carry out orders which caused delays in the operation.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In fluid situations, we must choose to be proactive or reactive. Reactive does not allow room for tactical innovation or aggressive operations. It is a losing battle, simply an attempt to hold a line. It is what it is. A proactive stance means you are keeping all options on the table while pushing to resolve the issue quickly. This should not be confused with foolhardy or ill-advised. You can draw a line and still be proactive.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you find yourself questioning every decision, then you may not be cut out for this duty. You may have issues with authority or not trust anyone. If you think you know more than the guy in charge, then why hasn't anyone else seen that in you? If you think that you can reinvent the wheel, then stand in line behind the others that think the same.

    If your desire to be a firefighter is second to your desire to be special, then you might be a great firefighter. Only you can decide. Until then, do your job, and do it right.
    Last edited by PaladinKnight; 08-23-2010 at 12:14 AM.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  7. #27
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    Very interesting discussion....and without drama!!

    RFDACM02...I can't agree more with your statements.

    I also agree with Chief Gonz's statements that the guys wearing the plungers and all the gold are not always the smartest ones in the department.

    I agree mostly with what has been said already. There is a time and place for everything. For safety concerns, yes, please let me or another officer know because it could mean someone's life....like Chief Gonz says, I expect it.

    If you might have a better tactical idea of how to handle a situation, let me hear it and I will consider it. Two sets of eyes are better than one and it's good to get someone else's perspective but it's NOT a 2/3 vote. It is a paramilitary organization and if I am the incident commander, I will take all the information I can to make a reasonable and educated decision based on my training and experience. I would hope any of my guys would do the same. I expect that once the decision is made and orders are given, orders are followed.

    I also will not micro-manage. If I tell a crew to cut a hole to vent, I expect them to get it done like mentioned before. Communications have to be an open line from the bottom to the top and back again. The commanders cannot make good decisions without good information flowing in and vise versa.

    To answer your questions roykirk1989...I don't think this issue is new, just presented in a different wrapper. Like Chief Harve said...his grandfather was dealing with this same type of issue in his day. When we are old and sitting on our porch yelling at the neighbor kids to get out of our yards, the generations behind us will be talking the same things. I too was brought up under chiefs that would slap you if you didn't follow an order. I too am glad those officers are gone. I firmly believe you lead by example, not by force.

    As far as using first names in the station....in a relaxed situation, I guess I would prefer to be called "Jason" instead of "chief" but I guess it's a preference thing of what they want to call me. It is a respect thing too so I don't mind it. I am not used to be called chief so it's a little weird for me yet. If it is an official function/meeting/incident, especially if there is media close, then I would say use the rank when addressing someone. To me it sounds more professional. Again, it's all how you were brought up and taught. I was taught to be relaxed, yet respectful in training and hanging around the station.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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

  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    PaladinKnight....

    We were writing at the same time...



    Well said sir!!! To quote the great Gonz....

    Bing-freaking-o!!!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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

  9. #29
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,413

    Default

    Thx Jason. Yes, it seems we were inspired at the same time.

    I do appreciate some of what you bring to this discussion. You have pointed out that we are not the all-knowing and all-powerful OZ.

    I must add, due to my own human ability to be wrong from time to time:

    If a firefighter on my scene sees something that I or the safety officer possibly have missed... they have a duty to immediately report it. Sometimes it may appear that I blow this off, or perhaps I just note what I already was aware of.

    But this has nothing to do with following orders. I stand by my words. They have served me well for many years.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  10. #30
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    Its human nature to be given an inch and try and take a mile. While you proably dont agree with the style of your old batt chiefs, I think they realized things can become a slippery slope.

  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Good points, Paladin. It seems we're all on the same page that democracy isn't going to work too well at a fire scene. I'm still a subscriber when it comes to inside the station because it seems to work for us, but of course you have to use it within reason. And that's not to say that somebody like yourself who might come after me won't be cursing my name for years to come either. And that's not to say that it hasn't come back to bite me a couple of times.

    One way where I find the "democracy" thing working well is when it comes to things that affect their day-to-day lives. For instance, if we need a new policy drafted on something (and it's not operational), I'll throw it to the guys to draft up. A good example was a new cell phone policy. I could have come up with one, but I figured I'd get more buy-in if they drafted it themselves. If I have a non-critical decision that has to be made, I'll sometimes step outside my office and grab the nearest firefighter I see and run it by them and ask them what they think. Sometimes you get some good ideas that way. When it comes budget time, I'll tell them what we're faced with, send them a copy of the budget, and ask them to offer up some suggestions on how we can accomplish it. They all know I make the final decision, but it's some of these little things that keeps them involved and informed.

    I don't know if you call this democracy or not, but I guess it's certainly an empowerment.

  12. #32
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,413

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    Good points, Paladin. It seems we're all on the same page that democracy isn't going to work too well at a fire scene. I'm still a subscriber when it comes to inside the station because it seems to work for us, but of course you have to use it within reason. And that's not to say that somebody like yourself who might come after me won't be cursing my name for years to come either. And that's not to say that it hasn't come back to bite me a couple of times.

    One way where I find the "democracy" thing working well is when it comes to things that affect their day-to-day lives. For instance, if we need a new policy drafted on something (and it's not operational), I'll throw it to the guys to draft up. A good example was a new cell phone policy. I could have come up with one, but I figured I'd get more buy-in if they drafted it themselves. If I have a non-critical decision that has to be made, I'll sometimes step outside my office and grab the nearest firefighter I see and run it by them and ask them what they think. Sometimes you get some good ideas that way. When it comes budget time, I'll tell them what we're faced with, send them a copy of the budget, and ask them to offer up some suggestions on how we can accomplish it. They all know I make the final decision, but it's some of these little things that keeps them involved and informed.

    I don't know if you call this democracy or not, but I guess it's certainly an empowerment.
    I just have one word that comes to mind at the moment... DAMN.

    Thanks for your excellent example. You are 110% correct and have hit the nail on the head. This is not democracy, it is EMPOWERMENT.

    What you are describing is what most Chiefs with any sense will do. I do want to hear what my guys think. I want their input about many of the important issues that we face. I want them to knock on my door and present ideas. I want them to think and get very good at it. Their survival may depend on their ability to think.

    It isn't my goal to make anyone afraid of me. I am really a nice guy. I might be tough and demand excellence, but this does not make me a dictator. I have been called worse, usually during contract time.

    I suppose my statement might seem that I am intolerant of any discussion about any matter. But I was not presenting a position on anything except the fire ground. The point is really that I do not have time to explore everyone's opinion at the moment of truth. I expect everyone to do the job as prescribed in our SOPs. When that doesn't work, you throw the book out the window and pull up your socks... it is going to be a very long day (or night).

    I learned a long time ago that you must keep your people engaged. I refer to this as team building. They must understand me and each other. They must know where I stand and what I stand for. I, as well, must understand them. I would be completely out of touch if I did not listen to what they think. Part of my job is to develop leaders, and I can't do that if I clip their wings. They must learn how to spread those wings and assert themselves. They must learn that we as commanders are not served by those we lead, but we serve them.

    You have correctly identified this as Empowerment; which happens to be one of my favorite topics during discussions and training.

    When we respond, if I have correctly empowered the individual members, they will never fail to impress me with their ability to solve the problem with their brains. Their talent, skill and ability to perform is very much dictated by their ability to problem solve (thinking). They should not need me to tell them how to do their jobs (tactics). They only depend on me for direction of the operation. I am the responsible party that will be staked out if an operation goes horribly wrong.

    As Jason rightly pointed out, our job is not to micromanage. If I decide to micromanage, then I have lost the ability to look at the big picture, thus I have lost command of the scene. My focus is now reduced to a tactical level, and I do not have faith in the team. My effectiveness as a commander is questionable since it is indicative of my failure.

    If I need to adjust a part of the operation, which requires a change of tactics, then I must trust the guys that are in the heat. They will advise if it is possible or not. This is not the same as disobedience.

    If I need a hose team to push, and they say they cannot, this is the subjective result of what they see. This is not democracy in action... it is reality.

    If a team calls a Mayday, who am I to question it? Obviously, if it cannot be seen from my position, then they get to make the call. If I can see it from their prospective, then I am not where I should be. This is not democracy, this is their survivability.

    So, in my humble opinion sir... do what works for you, and do not let old farts like me tell you that you are wrong. We each have our ways of molding the clay. The end result is the only thing that matters.

    One last note: The only reason that I or anyone else would curse your name is if you thought of something first. But it would be a very respectful cursing of course. But then there would be that royalty thing when I steal your idea.

    Carry on sir.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  13. #33
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    Roykirk -- I think you might want to change your title - fire scene vs at the station / long range planning - apples / banannas

  14. #34
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Thx Jason. Yes, it seems we were inspired at the same time.

    I do appreciate some of what you bring to this discussion. You have pointed out that we are not the all-knowing and all-powerful OZ.

    I must add, due to my own human ability to be wrong from time to time:

    If a firefighter on my scene sees something that I or the safety officer possibly have missed... they have a duty to immediately report it. Sometimes it may appear that I blow this off, or perhaps I just note what I already was aware of.

    But this has nothing to do with following orders. I stand by my words. They have served me well for many years.
    My faITH IN hUMANITY IS rESTOReD.hEHE T.C.

  15. #35
    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Roykirk -- I think you might want to change your title - fire scene vs at the station / long range planning - apples / banannas
    Yeah, I was just off on a tangent. Clearly they're not the same thing. I think it can work in the station, but clearly I don't think it will work on the emergency scene.

  16. #36
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,818

    Default

    Of course, we the "older" generations are at least partially, if not mostly to blame or our current dilemma. We have ignored many things that individually seem to have little consequence, but when viewed from a distance show that we've neglected to show a good example. It's time to take the NYC "Broken Windows Theory" and put it to work for us.

    1. Over the last 15-20 years it seems many instructors allow too much latitude in getting the job done vs. ensuring a consistent process. Sure there are many ways to do most tasks, but there should be one way for all recruits, as this helps ensure that whatever the task, everyone knows what's happening at any time. We seem to allow too many opinions and have adopted the kids "T-ball" principle where everyone's a winner, there are no losers. Not telling a student they're wrong immediately makes them right, at least in their own minds, which can lead to tragic consequences when they fail to complete fireground tasks. Maybe our instructors are not as sure of the material as they should be, or maybe the new age thinking has them scared to offend anyone, but not teaching the right way or correcting mistakes is flat out wrong.

    2. We need to eliminate rules/SOPs/policies that we don't enforce. Either enforce the rules or strike them from the books. Being inconsistent in enforcement shows weakness. It says "we have rules we'd appreciate it if you'd follow, but we'd rather not rock the boat if you choose not to". Of course then we enforce other rules that seem menial and everyone scratches they're heads wondering how we ignore big things and enforce petty BS. We have a petty rule that says your not allowed to let your sunglasses rest atop your head while in uniform. I know it's petty as I pushed for this after a low spot in our FD's history with discipline and morale. Basically when the chief and A/C are told they cannot tell firefighters what or how they can wear something on duty, said firefighters get it jammed in the backside. We'd devolved to the point of the group was telling the admin they had no right o set rules and policy. The rule remains as a reminder.

    3. Officers need to be officers and leaders first. Being friends with the group is a nicety that needs to be born out of respect for the position and your abilities. If the group sees you as a true friend they will understand your disappointment when you have to discipline them vs being incredulous that you could share beers one night and write a rip the next morning.

  17. #37
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,583

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Of course, we the "older" generations are at least partially, if not mostly to blame or our current dilemma. We have ignored many things that individually seem to have little consequence, but when viewed from a distance show that we've neglected to show a good example. It's time to take the NYC "Broken Windows Theory" and put it to work for us.

    1. Over the last 15-20 years it seems many instructors allow too much latitude in getting the job done vs. ensuring a consistent process. Sure there are many ways to do most tasks, but there should be one way for all recruits, as this helps ensure that whatever the task, everyone knows what's happening at any time. We seem to allow too many opinions and have adopted the kids "T-ball" principle where everyone's a winner, there are no losers. Not telling a student they're wrong immediately makes them right, at least in their own minds, which can lead to tragic consequences when they fail to complete fireground tasks. Maybe our instructors are not as sure of the material as they should be, or maybe the new age thinking has them scared to offend anyone, but not teaching the right way or correcting mistakes is flat out wrong.
    This is the truth. The "everyone's a winner" mentality does not prepare one for life in the real world... In some FD's, the only thing that is consistent is inconsistency.


    2. We need to eliminate rules/SOPs/policies that we don't enforce. Either enforce the rules or strike them from the books. Being inconsistent in enforcement shows weakness. It says "we have rules we'd appreciate it if you'd follow, but we'd rather not rock the boat if you choose not to". Of course then we enforce other rules that seem menial and everyone scratches they're heads wondering how we ignore big things and enforce petty BS. We have a petty rule that says your not allowed to let your sunglasses rest atop your head while in uniform. I know it's petty as I pushed for this after a low spot in our FD's history with discipline and morale. Basically when the chief and A/C are told they cannot tell firefighters what or how they can wear something on duty, said firefighters get it jammed in the backside. We'd devolved to the point of the group was telling the admin they had no right o set rules and policy. The rule remains as a reminder.
    Amen... some rules and regs were put in place when horses pulled the apparatus!


    3. Officers need to be officers and leaders first. Being friends with the group is a nicety that needs to be born out of respect for the position and your abilities. If the group sees you as a true friend they will understand your disappointment when you have to discipline them vs being incredulous that you could share beers one night and write a rip the next morning.
    Some fire officers are afraid of being "left out of the social circle" and let friendship or perceived friendship set the tone for their day to day ops.

    I had to have a "come to Jesus" talk with my group in February over a couple of issues. I got "the silent treatment" for well over a month. Eventually, they came around.

    Friendship is friendship, business is business, don't let friendship get in the way of what needs to be done.
    ‎"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

  18. #38
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
    Posts
    9,920

    Default

    Democratic fireground? Not a chance. Battle is no place for democracy. There needs to be one incident commander and his decisions are FINAL.

    That doesn't mean you don't use all your resources to your advantage. A smart officer will know their firefighters and know that they are another set of eyes and another brain working the incident. A confident commander will listen to the observations, thoughts, and ideas of their firefighters.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  19. #39
    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Podunk
    Posts
    378

    Default

    [
    I think this is one area where paid and volly depts differ. A paid FF is expected to be trained to do the job he is commanded to do. Regardless of who is inside the mask, as a paid FF it is assumed that you know how to perform any fireground task.

    Being in a small volly dept we have a huge variance in skill levels. Depending on time of day etc we may have a good turnout of skilled firefighters or we may have an engine full of newbies. Once they don their PPE it's hard to tell exactly who it is behind the mask. As an officer you assume they are trained to perform fireground tasks but that isn't always the case.

    I try to match the individual's capabilities with the tasks that I order them to do. I never send an inexperienced firefighter into an IDLH situation without a veteran partner. If I don't have personel that I feel are able to do vertical vents then I don't order it.

    When I was a new firefighter I personally refused an order from an officer on an incident and I was correct in doing so. I did that because I knew better. That may not always be the case.

    If we as officers are going to expect our firefighters to follow our orders without question then we damn sure better be right.
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

  20. #40
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
    Posts
    9,920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    [
    I think this is one area where paid and volly depts differ. A paid FF is expected to be trained to do the job he is commanded to do. Regardless of who is inside the mask, as a paid FF it is assumed that you know how to perform any fireground task.

    Being in a small volly dept we have a huge variance in skill levels. Depending on time of day etc we may have a good turnout of skilled firefighters or we may have an engine full of newbies. Once they don their PPE it's hard to tell exactly who it is behind the mask. As an officer you assume they are trained to perform fireground tasks but that isn't always the case.

    I try to match the individual's capabilities with the tasks that I order them to do. I never send an inexperienced firefighter into an IDLH situation without a veteran partner. If I don't have personel that I feel are able to do vertical vents then I don't order it.

    When I was a new firefighter I personally refused an order from an officer on an incident and I was correct in doing so. I did that because I knew better. That may not always be the case.

    If we as officers are going to expect our firefighters to follow our orders without question then we damn sure better be right.
    I am a volunteer firefighter as well as being a career firefighter. Your post is EXACTLY why I am opposed to less than fully qualified firefighters being allowed on the fire ground.

    If your FD wants to have guys that won't go interior, or won't climb ladders, or whatever, they need either a different color helmet or different color gear to ensure they aren't asked to do tasks they either aren't qualified to do or simply aren't comfortable doing. It should be readily apparent to the officers that this guy isn't interior, or won't climb ladders. The fireground is no place for guessing who can and can't do the job you need done.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. World Of Fire Report: 11-11-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-13-2005, 09:11 PM
  2. World Of Fire Report: 06-03-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-04-2005, 10:31 AM
  3. World Of Fire Report: 04-19-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-22-2005, 11:09 PM
  4. World Of Fire Report: 04-11-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-15-2005, 12:06 AM
  5. World Of Fire Report: 02-02-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-03-2005, 10:42 PM

Posting Permissions

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