1. #1
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    Default Making the fire scene democratic

    I was reading a different trade publication recently, and I read an article from a chief officer advocating that our fire scenes should be more democratic than autocratic. The reasoning behind this was ostensibly due to the younger generation of firefighters that are pre-programmed to question everything, and also that it could improve safety. The theory being that if even the most junior firefighter feels comfortable questioning a potentially unsafe order that lives could be saved.

    I thought I'd bring this up for discussion here because something like this has the potential to really change how we do things. I certainly believe in a progressive fire department. I let my guys call me by my first name (in the station), and my "open door" policy really is that. A probie with 2 months on the job knows he can walk in to my office and say, "I disagree with that new policy you just came out with, chief." It opens up lines of communication and allows me to explain where I'm coming from on certain things. There are always lines, of course, and most of them know where they're at. But there was one instance where a veteran firefighter commented over coffee one morning, "That was a stupid comment you made at Council last night." We had a talk in the office afterwards and he never made a comment like that again. I guess that's where this article gets me worried.

    I think democracy at a fire scene is fine to a certain extent. I want my guys to get the job done as safely and efficiently as possible. If they see something that looks unsafe that perhaps I haven't noticed, I want to know about it. If they think the way I want them to vent the roof is going to take too much time, they're welcome to suggest a better way. But I guess my concern is that if we open up this fire scene "democracy" too much, we're going to have some real problems. I know this younger generation is wired to ask questions, but sometimes we don't have time for questions at a fire scene and things need to get done. So, related to my last paragraph; where do we draw the line?

    I started in this business over 20 years ago, coming up under battalion chiefs that would have literally punched me in the face if I had dared question any order they gave at a fire scene. I'm glad those dinosaurs are long retired now, and I'm certainly trying to create my own style of progressive leadership that I feel works best for the age of my department, but I disagree that this fire scene democracy idea is a good thing. But I'm also willing to accept that perhaps I'm now the dinosaur and this is the wave of the future.

    Thoughts?

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    Welcome to empowerment.

    As far as safety is concerned - the heart of any safety program involves the employees (paid or volunteer) looking out for themselves as well as each other. If they are aware of a situation or condition that the IC may not be aware of, they should "question authority" - it might mean that they'll go home instead of not.

    As far as overall operations go - hopefully everyone is on the same sheet of music going into an incident so there is little need (or desire) to devolve a fire scene into "managment by committee." That's why we have the command structure that we do.

    But the door should be open for ways to improve the operation - either on-scene or in the debrief (however informal). The communications on the scene needs to be two-way, not just "because I said so."

    A seasoned old chief I once knew told a group of us that during an incident he was running once the command staff wasn't quite sure how to handle a situation. A rookie firefighter offered up an idea, they listened, and used the idea. I heard that story 40 years ago. That chief's career probably ran for 40 years before that.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    In general I agree with you. Although not a chief, I am open to additional info on the scene. I welcome somebody pointing out that something might be unsafe, or something that I might have missed. While I am open to that, it is not a democracy and I won't take a vote on strategy or tactics.

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    Default Ahhhhhhh....NO!

    The fireground has little room for democracy. When the fire is burning it's time to follow orders and do your job the way you've been trained and as so many others are counting on you to do. We do not have the luxury of time to discuss alternatives with every firefighter who might see another way. That being said, only a dangerous fool would not listen to a legitimate safety concern from anyone and then act upon this information.

    I see some of the younger personnel lacking the necessary tact to ask questions without ****ing an officer off. I have always encouraged those people working under me to ask me anything after a call. Often I admit that there may have been a better way, but most often, it is time to act and decisions are made and based on the information you have at that moment. Failure to make timely decisions is a dangerous trait that many of have seen. Officers that must use the perfect algorithm to find the most logical solution often find the problem has grown by the time they're ready to act.

    Show me a FD where they need a 2/3's majority to agree on the plan of attack and I'll show you a town with plenty of parking! Questions, empowerment and explanations have their time and place, just not at the scene of true emergency.

    This is further pussification of the fire service that I'd attribute to new people not being required to learn respect and officers who would rather be buddies than lead.

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    I'm not an officer to take my opinion with that in mind.

    I personally feel that any FF should be able to bring issues/questions to the IC/command staff. I also believe any semblence of violating that chain of command would lead toward a breakdown in effective command which is mentioned in a lot of the NIOSH LODD reports.

    I work in a major university and I see the next generation. I would agree many have been empowered and some ways too empowered. At times, these students feel that they have as much say and wieght as those with decades more expierence. Any attempt to 'correct' that notion is fraught with 'self esteem' issues. Its not that I want these students to mindless drones - its just that they need know that there are more considerations than they might be aware of and its frankly not in thier position to be informed of them (as they don't get to make the decision)

    So on the fireground - bring your concerns but realize, the IC's decision stands whether you like it or not.

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    Chief:
    You touched upon several points that concern me when opting for a “DEMOCRATIC” control of the fire scene. The control must never be allowed to expand to the point where people are free lancing without communicating. It is a fine line that must be walked between encouraging thinking and suggesting to acting without properly communicating to the “Nerve Center”. I find that, even in my own family, there is a tendency to not communicate what is really going on in a situation. While line officers are well aware of the conditions in their area, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the whole situation. Personalities, experience, and communication techniques all play a vital role in the fireground success. As an example, my son rarely says anything about the contents of the numerous cell phone conversations he has in the course of an afternoon. Some of these calls have a significant effect on our mutual activities later on in the day. If this type of information were communicated earlier in the day, I could then plan my activity around the impending changes, instead of being faced with coping with situations where the extra pair of hands was expected. Some people simply do not think far enough ahead to recognize that their immediate decisions will affect and change the expected activity and/or outcome at a later point in the operation.
    Effective leadership nurtures the free flow of ideas and knowledge both up and down the chain of command. It is absolutely essential to the proper functioning of any organization. You, as a leader must set the example of what is expected. When you send an order down through the ranks, don’t you expect that the next in command to repeat the order or in some way convey that he / she completely understands the request? At the same time do you not convey a requirement to report back when the job is complete or has run into significant problems in execution? You can have your team sit in a classroom and discuss communication systems and methods, but if it is not placed in practice on the fireground, the classes have been worthless.
    Early on in my career we were called to a mutual aid in a small community where the school was on fire. When we arrived, it took a while to establish effective lines, due to laying about 800 ft to a small stream. Our department has always been fairly aggressive, so we were in B/A and ready to enter when the line was charged. There were two class rooms fairly well involved, but our chief thought that the 2 ½ could knock it down. We got the order to go in and were about 50 feet down the hallway in the uninvolved portion of the building. Our chief had continued making his circuit of the building, when the local chief came around the corner and found us inside and advancing. We were ordered to back out , “Get out of there, the building is going to collapse.” This happened two more times until the fire had taken hold in the ****loft and we lost the structure. NIMS is a good thing when you look back over 42 years of examples of what not to do on the fireground.

    Kuh Shise

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    I don't know that "democratic" is the word I'd use, but I can see what you're saying. There has to be a certain amount of autocracy and chain of command to any fire scene, but there also has to be communications.

    Our guys are taught if you think an order is inappropriate, you as "are you sure?" Officer are taught that phrase should throw a red flag and the response should be "what are you seeing that I don't?" If the officer deems it still safe, he repeats his order and those under him should follow.

    If someone refuses an order, they had better be sure they can substantiate why. You can refuse an order that is unsafe or is illegal, but you had better be sure you can prove it.

    The heart of the issue on the firegrounds that I've seen is communication and task management. Crews operating on the fireground have to get the IC the information needed for him to make decisions. This includes interior crews, divisions, etc.

    A good example is watching this video that myself and another training officer watched the other day. If you were the IC and had no other information than what you were seeing in this video, you might have pulled the guys out once the smoke started chugging and pushing out, indicating a potential fire growth. However, if you knew that the crews were at the seat of the fire and spraying water, you would expect to see a forceful expulsion of smoke followed by steam (which is what you end up seeing). It's all about communicating important information.

    However, you also have to be able to manage tasks while not micro-managing. If I send a crew to vertically ventilate, I expect them to be able to determine themselves, based on their training and experience, where and what size of a hole to cut. If they have a question in that regards, they ask that question. If they feel the roof is unsafe when they get there, they should offer the IC an alternative plan for ventilation to complete their assigned task.

    "Communication" and "democratic" are two different things. When it comes down to it, the fireground is never going to be "democratic", where everyone gets a say and gets to vote on the proper technique. It's a paramilitary application. The head guy is the general and determines strategy while the lower ranks perform the duties to accomplish the goal. The fire service in general has been behind in this. The IC should have the intel (preplans) and constant feedback as to the progression and tactics being implemented by his crews where all he has to do is move the pieces to accomplish the goal, not assume what's happening where he can't see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfdacm02 View Post
    the fireground has little room for democracy. When the fire is burning it's time to follow orders and do your job the way you've been trained and as so many others are counting on you to do. We do not have the luxury of time to discuss alternatives with every firefighter who might see another way. That being said, only a dangerous fool would not listen to a legitimate safety concern from anyone and then act upon this information.

    I see some of the younger personnel lacking the necessary tact to ask questions without ****ing an officer off. I have always encouraged those people working under me to ask me anything after a call. Often i admit that there may have been a better way, but most often, it is time to act and decisions are made and based on the information you have at that moment. Failure to make timely decisions is a dangerous trait that many of have seen. Officers that must use the perfect algorithm to find the most logical solution often find the problem has grown by the time they're ready to act.

    Show me a fd where they need a 2/3's majority to agree on the plan of attack and i'll show you a town with plenty of parking! Questions, empowerment and explanations have their time and place, just not at the scene of true emergency.

    This is further pussification of the fire service that i'd attribute to new people not being required to learn respect and officers who would rather be buddies than lead.
    bing-freaking-o!
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    The firehouse isn't a democracy, and it ain't utopia... Suck it up and deal with it.

    The fireground requires making snap decisions to be made to protect the lives of our personnel, the public we are sworn to protect and property. Asking for a consensus vote does neither.

    I don't mind if someone points out something on the fire that they see that can has potential to cause harm to my personnel... as a matter of fact, I expect it.

    There are those occasions where someone comes up with a better idea and I will implement it. Remember, not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear gold badges, bugles or butterbars on their collars.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 08-22-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: additional thoughts...
    ‎"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."
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    I've been hearing about this troublesome "new generation" for the last 20 years.

    Seriously, there always seems to be some slant on how they should be managed, what their expectations are, etc.

    I know this isn't 'en vogue' and will probably get me some sort of label, but I'm seriously doubting that there is this significant difference.

    Is there room at the firehouse for some consensus thinking? Sure, I think there is. Again, it might depend on if its a career or vollie department. Especially, when the urgency of a fire scene is not a concern.

    On the fireground, I do think its important that everyone operating has the option to say "no" if they think their assignment will put them at significant risk. The forest fire service has learned this the hard way and has made it a part of their culture.

    Do I think that this sort of culture will lead to a free-for-all? No, I think that it can be managed in a way that doesn't impact our operations. Heck, most times, when I was Chief, I was holding them back...

    There is one other significant change in firefighter training that would have pleased Henry Thol Sr.—a former Forest Ranger who sued the Forest Service for negligence in the death of his son at Mann Gulch. Before the Board of Review, Thol had argued that crewmembers did not feel free to question the authority of the foreman without the fear of losing their jobs. Today, overhead members encourage their groundpounders to question their superiors. If an individual feels nervous about being sent into a certain situation, or thinks that following orders will put him or her in jeopardy, they have the right to refuse to follow that specific order without fear of losing their job. In most cases, a threatened mutiny would force the overhead team to assess a situation more carefully--which is never a bad idea. Today's Forest Service stresses the notion that safety of firefighters comes first; trees and private property a distant second. That's the rule everybody follows--or else.
    http://www.wildfirelessons.net/Additional.aspx?Page=186
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    I am open to ideas, suggestions, and questions. But, remember, there is a time and a place. The fireground is not NORMALLY the place nor the time. Lifesafety? That transcends everything.

    Pointing out something is a good thing, but are we going to take a vote on it? HAH!

    Thats why we elect our chief officers. Oh no, wait, we don't do that stupidity either!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    The fireground has little room for democracy. When the fire is burning it's time to follow orders and do your job the way you've been trained and as so many others are counting on you to do. We do not have the luxury of time to discuss alternatives with every firefighter who might see another way. That being said, only a dangerous fool would not listen to a legitimate safety concern from anyone and then act upon this information.

    I see some of the younger personnel lacking the necessary tact to ask questions without ****ing an officer off. I have always encouraged those people working under me to ask me anything after a call. Often I admit that there may have been a better way, but most often, it is time to act and decisions are made and based on the information you have at that moment. Failure to make timely decisions is a dangerous trait that many of have seen. Officers that must use the perfect algorithm to find the most logical solution often find the problem has grown by the time they're ready to act.

    Show me a FD where they need a 2/3's majority to agree on the plan of attack and I'll show you a town with plenty of parking! Questions, empowerment and explanations have their time and place, just not at the scene of true emergency.

    This is further pussification of the fire service that I'd attribute to new people not being required to learn respect and officers who would rather be buddies than lead.

    I agree with you 100% bro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    The fireground has little room for democracy. When the fire is burning it's time to follow orders and do your job the way you've been trained and as so many others are counting on you to do. We do not have the luxury of time to discuss alternatives with every firefighter who might see another way. That being said, only a dangerous fool would not listen to a legitimate safety concern from anyone and then act upon this information.

    I see some of the younger personnel lacking the necessary tact to ask questions without ****ing an officer off. I have always encouraged those people working under me to ask me anything after a call. Often I admit that there may have been a better way, but most often, it is time to act and decisions are made and based on the information you have at that moment. Failure to make timely decisions is a dangerous trait that many of have seen. Officers that must use the perfect algorithm to find the most logical solution often find the problem has grown by the time they're ready to act.

    Show me a FD where they need a 2/3's majority to agree on the plan of attack and I'll show you a town with plenty of parking! Questions, empowerment and explanations have their time and place, just not at the scene of true emergency.

    This is further pussification of the fire service that I'd attribute to new people not being required to learn respect and officers who would rather be buddies than lead.
    I agree also. I have told several over the last few years, want to question an order, go to the military and see where it gets you!
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    52 years ago, I was that new Generation that everyone complained about. Since then, I've noticed that Younger folks complain about older folks, Older folks complain about younger folks, and everbody complains about the NFPA. My grandfather's generation was upset when my Dad's Generation bought the First Engine with a Closed Cab... Dad's Generation was able to get some great Knocks on Fires with their One Inch Booster Line with 75-80 GPM, but my generation pushed for (and Got) 1.5 Preconnects....... I think Roy has raised a legitimate Question, and one worth debating, Not because anyone agrees or disagrees, but rather to allow us to look deeper into how we operate. My opinion on this subject is best explained by saying that we should Remember that an Elephant is a Chipmunk that was designed by a Government Committee. and that Change in our Environment is inevitable, Change in our People isn't.............. There is a huge amount of Truth in Deputy Chief Gonzo's Signature Line........
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    I am not a Chief Officer.

    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    I certainly believe in a progressive fire department. I let my guys call me by my first name (in the station), and my "open door" policy really is that. A probie with 2 months on the job knows he can walk in to my office and say, "I disagree with that new policy you just came out with, chief."
    ....where do we draw the line?
    Thoughts?
    I feel if you're a Chief, you're the boss. Not Mr. Buddy Buddy, and definately not on a first name basis. I've seen officers try to be a pal in the firehouse and a boss on the fireground. Sometimes it doesn't work well, especially when there's an unpleasant task to be done. It can send a mixed message to the troops. Also, there's a chain of command with a Captain or LT in between. The company officer should be the one to explain department/company poilcy. The chief should not have to do a one on one to justify it. All policy might not be completely right, but there's no way a 2 month probie knows enough about his job to question policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    I welcome somebody pointing out that something might be unsafe, or something that I might have missed. While I am open to that, it is not a democracy and I won't take a vote on strategy or tactics.
    I second that.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    The fireground has little room for democracy. When the fire is burning it's time to follow orders and do your job the way you've been trained and as so many others are counting on you to do. We do not have the luxury of time to discuss alternatives with every firefighter who might see another way. That being said, only a dangerous fool would not listen to a legitimate safety concern from anyone and then act upon this information.

    I see some of the younger personnel lacking the necessary tact to ask questions without ****ing an officer off. I have always encouraged those people working under me to ask me anything after a call. Often I admit that there may have been a better way, but most often, it is time to act and decisions are made and based on the information you have at that moment. Failure to make timely decisions is a dangerous trait that many of have seen. Officers that must use the perfect algorithm to find the most logical solution often find the problem has grown by the time they're ready to act.

    Show me a FD where they need a 2/3's majority to agree on the plan of attack and I'll show you a town with plenty of parking! Questions, empowerment and explanations have their time and place, just not at the scene of true emergency.

    This is further pussification of the fire service that I'd attribute to new people not being required to learn respect and officers who would rather be buddies than lead.
    Very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    ...On the fireground, I do think its important that everyone operating has the option to say "no" if they think their assignment will put them at significant risk. The forest fire service has learned this the hard way and has made it a part of their culture.
    I feel it depends on the person questioning. To a 2 month rookie almost everything seems dangerous and could cause him to second guess. I've seen it. To the 15 year vet with a lot of fire under his belt, it's doing what you normally do.
    I don't deal with forrestry issues so I can't accurately comment on what they do except to say they have a BIG pair to fight a fire the way they do.


    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I am open to ideas, suggestions, and questions. But, remember, there is a time and a place. The fireground is not NORMALLY the place nor the time. Lifesafety? That transcends everything.

    Pointing out something is a good thing, but are we going to take a vote on it? HAH!
    I agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I feel it depends on the person questioning. To a 2 month rookie almost everything seems dangerous and could cause him to second guess. I've seen it. To the 15 year vet with a lot of fire under his belt, it's doing what you normally do.
    Fair enough. It's unlikely that a pure rookie is operating on his own, in most cases.

    I don't deal with forrestry issues so I can't accurately comment on what they do except to say they have a BIG pair to fight a fire the way they do.
    This is also a fair comment. It's a different kind of firefighting, where generally the only people at risk are the people there to put it out. So the urgency may not be the same.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I am not a Chief Officer.


    I feel if you're a Chief, you're the boss. Not Mr. Buddy Buddy, and definately not on a first name basis. I've seen officers try to be a pal in the firehouse and a boss on the fireground. Sometimes it doesn't work well, especially when there's an unpleasant task to be done. It can send a mixed message to the troops. Also, there's a chain of command with a Captain or LT in between. The company officer should be the one to explain department/company poilcy. The chief should not have to do a one on one to justify it. All policy might not be completely right, but there's no way a 2 month probie knows enough about his job to question policy.
    Fair enough. But I guess I've never had a problem with the first name thing. The guys know it's only in the station and about half of them still won't use my name, preferring "chief." It's probably because of the chief I came under my first few years. He *insisted* that everyone call him by his first name. He'd get upset if you called him "chief." Looking back, it was one of the best times of my career and one of the most open and relaxed departments I've worked at, yet we still got the job done. There's a very vocal group out there right now that is advocating doing away with the titles and paramilitary structure of the fire service altogether, claiming that it inhibits open communication and exchange of ideas. Not saying I believe it completely, but it's probably another thing we'll all be debating over the coming years.

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    The first name thing is interesting - I tend to address our chiefs (which do change from time to time, we being a volunteer department) informally, for the most part.

    On the other hand, if it's really official, it's "chief." Rather like when mom calls you by your full first name and your middle name...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    There's a very vocal group out there right now that is advocating doing away with the titles and paramilitary structure of the fire service altogether, claiming that it inhibits open communication and exchange of ideas. Not saying I believe it completely, but it's probably another thing we'll all be debating over the coming years.
    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".
    ‎"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."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Fair enough. It's unlikely that a pure rookie is operating on his own, in most cases.


    This is also a fair comment. It's a different kind of firefighting, where generally the only people at risk are the people there to put it out. So the urgency may not be the same.
    Didn't mean to imply a rookie would be on his own. At times they can forget their officer has "been there done that" many times, and hopes they get out alive.


    Very different indeed. I'd rather use my bail out system from a 3rd floor than wrap myself up in aluminum foil like a potato in a BBQ if things go bad. I give them tons of credit.

    Quote Originally Posted by roykirk1989 View Post
    Fair enough. But I guess I've never had a problem with the first name thing. The guys know it's only in the station and about half of them still won't use my name, preferring "chief." It's probably because of the chief I came under my first few years. He *insisted* that everyone call him by his first name. He'd get upset if you called him "chief." Looking back, it was one of the best times of my career and one of the most open and relaxed departments I've worked at, yet we still got the job done. There's a very vocal group out there right now that is advocating doing away with the titles and paramilitary structure of the fire service altogether, claiming that it inhibits open communication and exchange of ideas. Not saying I believe it completely, but it's probably another thing we'll all be debating over the coming years.
    Maybe it's what we were taught early on. In my early days a company officer was all knowing. A Battalion Chief was all powerful, and a Deputy Chief was the right hand of God and the left hand of the Devil. While they cared about their men, if a FF wandered too close to a Deputy Chief on the fireground, his shadow could kill him.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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
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    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."

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    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.

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