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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spencer534 View Post
    Is this an issue of everyone wanting to be the firefighter and no one wanting to be the officer so they can do firefighter tasks and not officer tasks? Been there before too.
    Well, we may have that issue with at least one and perhaps two of our actual vol officers.

    But, when we get a group of non-officers responding I think its a matter of not having any official policy on who is in charge and we sort of stand around looking at each other waiting for someone else tells us what to do. I think its that no one feels like they have a mandate to take the lead in that situation. And when the gaggle is given a task it is sort of performed by committee with everyone piping in on how to do it.

    The times I've seen this happen it was in fairly benign circumstances and while inefficient, wasn't going to get anyone killed. I'm just thinking ahead to what might happen in a really critical situation.


  2. #22
    Forum Member Miller337's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    So... I show up (served as a VFD officer for 15 years, including Chief, and I have to wait for the 26 year old LT from the other end of town?

    Let's not be stupid about this.
    Works very well. The first reason we don't have any any 26 year old Luies,what we do have a very dedicated group of seasoned officers.
    As to you at our hall, just give me an arrival date Chief and a uniform size. I think we may have the fastest promotion in the history of the dept.
    In all reality this works very well for us. We do not have a very high call volume, the downside of that is that the vast majority of our calls tend to exceed the abilities of a young firefighter. Please don't think I'm dissing them, they do incredibly well. Their biggest failing is not being able to smoke cigars.

  3. #23
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller337 View Post
    Works very well. The first reason we don't have any any 26 year old Luies,what we do have a very dedicated group of seasoned officers.
    As to you at our hall, just give me an arrival date Chief and a uniform size. I think we may have the fastest promotion in the history of the dept.
    In all reality this works very well for us. We do not have a very high call volume, the downside of that is that the vast majority of our calls tend to exceed the abilities of a young firefighter. Please don't think I'm dissing them, they do incredibly well. Their biggest failing is not being able to smoke cigars.
    I'm not sure I'm following what you are posting.

    Are you saying that if you have an engine full, you wait for an officer?

    When I said "i show up..", I meant on my department, not as a transfer. Maybe that is where we went off the rails in our posts. I don't mean as a transfer.

    Do you elect your officers? We do (and I don't like it, but so be it), so it is very likely that you will have quite a few senior guys (and ex-chiefs) responding on an engine with a brand new LT. So, that was the point of my post. It doesn't make sense for me and the engine to wait for him.

    The only rule is that if you see an officer pulling in the lot and you are not actively pulling onto the street, you are to wait.

    An unwritten rule is that if a bunch of officers show up, they are supposed to try to split up and ride with different crews. The exception would be if it would delay the response. Putting all the brass on the first due is not the best strategy.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 01-22-2012 at 09:54 AM.
    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."

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I'm not sure I'm following what you are posting.

    Are you saying that if you have an engine full, you wait for an officer?

    When I said "i show up..", I meant on my department, not as a transfer. Maybe that is where we went of the rails in our posts. I don't mean as a transfer.

    Do you elect your officers? We do (and I don't like it, but so be it), so it is very likely that you will have quite a few senior guys (and ex-chiefs) responding on an engine with a brand new LT. So, that was the point of my post. It doesn't make sense for me and the engine to wait for him.

    The only rule is that if you see an officer pulling in the lot and you are not actively pulling onto the street, you are to wait.

    An unwritten rule is that if a bunch of officers show up, they are supposed to try to split up and ride with different crews. The exception would be if it would delay the response. Putting all the brass on the first due is not the best strategy.
    Chief, we operate in much the same way. Chief officers are elected, but must meet county standards for experience and training. Lower officers are appointed by the Chiefs. We roll as soon as we have a crew. if an officer arrives later and still needs to get to the scene, they either catch the next piece out the door or can take a utility vehicle.

    Miller: If the system works for you, great, that's what matters. In most cases at our department, if you are not at the station, you won't catch the first piece out the door. Waiting for an officer just wouldn't work for us.

  5. #25
    Forum Member Miller337's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I'm not sure I'm following what you are posting.Yeah. I have the same problem.

    Are you saying that if you have an engine full, you wait for an officer?
    That is correct. It is possible that a truck could have to wait for an officer, but it is not very likely. We put alot of planning into making sure it doesn't.

    When I said "i show up..", I meant on my department, not as a transfer. Maybe that is where we went off the rails in our posts. I don't mean as a transfer. DARN.

    Do you elect your officers? We do (and I don't like it, but so be it), so it is very likely that you will have quite a few senior guys (and ex-chiefs) responding on an engine with a brand new LT. So, that was the point of my post. It doesn't make sense for me and the engine to wait for him. No we don't do elections. A firefighter must meet a set of minimum standards to even be considered. The Chiefs review the qualified firefighters and allow input from other officers concerning the firefighters abilities for the position. The Chiefs then make a selection and present their choice to both the Council and the Rural Board. I think the Rural Board has only ever questioned one selection, Council can talk things to death . After that review the firefighter is promoted.

    The only rule is that if you see an officer pulling in the lot and you are not actively pulling onto the street, you are to wait.

    An unwritten rule is that if a bunch of officers show up, they are supposed to try to split up and ride with different crews. The exception would be if it would delay the response. Putting all the brass on the first due is not the best strategy.
    Normally we don't, On most calls it is one officer per piece of apparatus with the exception of tenders. There are some calls we are reluctant to expose many of our younger members to, so you get a cab of brass. Thankfully those calls aren't real frequent.

  6. #26
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    I'm talking about who is in charge of the volunteer company when they respond to incidents. And it actually isn't really a power struggle situation, but power avoidance seems to be more of the issue.
    If you're a combination department, then you're all in the same fire department. Whoever is in charge of the incident is in charge of everybody. If the volunteer companies have company officers, then it would make sense for the immediate span of control to fall to one of those volunteer officers.

    If you have officers who don't want to function as officers, you've got another issue entirely.

    Assuming enough personnel and seats on the apparatus (we still have a commercial pumper that seats two or three, depending on how cozy you want to get), then an engine or truck company should be responding as a cohesive unit and should remain so throughout the incident. The company officer is under the control of, and gets his/her orders from the next step up the chain, and he then directs those under his command to complete the assignment.

    Even if you're assembling functional companies from folks who respond directly to the scene, they should be that same cohesive unit. Anybody else is just freelancing.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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  7. #27
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    This happens very occasionally in our department, probably at most 4-5 calls a year, and only on BS calls. (ie, auto alarm with back up call reporting burnt toast). In the event of no officer, the driver of the first due is in command. Past officers/chiefs can assume command as well. The first fire of the year we had 5 past chiefs on the first in engine! Of course, that doesn't happen very often either but there is usually a past chief on most trucks and a lt/cpt on the first and second due.

    All of our officers are elected for 1 year terms. You have to meet quite a few requirements to be eligible to run for an officer position. (don't have the list in front of me at the moment) The unwritten rule is you serve 2 terms in each position and then move up. So with 2 LTs, 2 Cpts, 3 Chiefs (2 assistants) it takes some time to get to Chief and by then you've had significant command experience. However, if you don't pull your weight, like not showing up to calls, you will be challenged and likely lose your position.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePrimitive View Post
    This happens very occasionally in our department, probably at most 4-5 calls a year, and only on BS calls. (ie, auto alarm with back up call reporting burnt toast). In the event of no officer, the driver of the first due is in command. Past officers/chiefs can assume command as well. The first fire of the year we had 5 past chiefs on the first in engine! Of course, that doesn't happen very often either but there is usually a past chief on most trucks and a lt/cpt on the first and second due.
    Just curious as to why you chose the driver to be in command. In my experience, on a working incident, when command is needed most, the driver is busy securing a water supply and setting up the pump. I know I would be hard pressed to do both.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Just curious as to why you chose the driver to be in command. In my experience, on a working incident, when command is needed most, the driver is busy securing a water supply and setting up the pump. I know I would be hard pressed to do both.
    It guarantees a minimum level of experience and training. To drive in our dept you have to be 21, have 2 years in, take FF1, EVOC, Pump Ops and 20 hours of additional driving and pumping to qualify. But yes, you have a point that at a working incidents this would not be ideal. However, I can't remember any working fire (or even big MVA) that didn't have at least one chief on location plus LTs and Cpts. It just doesn't happen at working incidents. It only happens during those middle of the day CO alarms. And even then it's about only 4-5 times a year. Out of 900 calls/year, that's what ~0.5%? I guess we're fortunate that we have enough dedicated officers to run calls.

  10. #30
    Forum Member BrianB35's Avatar
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    Most senior person takes command 90% of the time. If it's not a bad call our Chief encourages to let the less experienced people have command so they can learn and it's worked well. I let them have command, then if I'm not dealing with a pt. I keep an eye on them and answer any questions they have. We all were newbies at one time

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