1. #1
    Doc7610
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb Looking for tips...

    Was recently promoted to a Captain position within my Department overseeing one Crew. Looking for suggestions from those of you with some experience about do's and dont's and the lessons you may have learned. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    CONGRATS!!!

    Take the task seriously but have fun.

    Lead by excample, not mandate.

    Remember, ultimately, it's the folks under you that will decide how much farther up the ladder you should go.

    The one thing I've seen that kills more new officers in the troops eyes is that they let their new title go to their head.

  3. #3
    Capt Lee
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    S Cook hit it right on. Remember how it was for you and the Captain's you worked with. You're in a difficult position now, it's not 'them' or 'those white shirts' that make you do it. You're now almost a part of 'them' Oh No!! It's not that bad. Remember we're a team and that decisions are team based. You can't please everyone, so don't try, you'll go nuts attempting it. Be informed and make a sound decision, only thing worse then a bad decision is no decision. Listen to the guys but don't let them sway you too much.
    I was told something by a Captain when I started and it rings true, still. "If I can send you home to your family none the worse for wear, then I've done my job". That's all that matters, do your best and be safe, the most you can. Congratulations and have a good career.

  4. #4
    Captstanm
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Congratulations or condolences...not sure which!

    Seriously

    *Lead by example
    *Do Not Get a big head
    *Change does not occur overnight
    *Watch and listen in your new assignment for a week or two and learn about the people, what is working and what is not. Fix what is not.
    *Remember each member of your team is different and thus will contribute differently.
    *Build on their talents and optimize on them
    *Be up front with what you expect and ask them what they expect from you. Then stick to it.
    *Keep it simple and be consistent and FAIR!
    *Chief Brunicinni once told me that too many rules were hard to digest.
    *Remember where you came from is the biggest thing!!!!!
    *Watch your back...there are those that want you to fail, perhaps even those in Administration who you "think" are behind you.
    *Stick to what you believe.

  5. #5
    mtnfireguy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    What they said.... plus

    Keep this in the back of your mind... there are people out there who will not like you simply becasue you are now an officer, don't let em get to ya.

  6. #6
    firera
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    CONGRATS- first off

    I agree with all the others , when i first made captain the cheif told me that if you lead by example you will get alot further, well it was true. So stay sharp and never stop trying to be open to all suggestions from your crew

    these opions are my own and should not be reflected upon my dept.

  7. #7
    Chief03
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Congrats to you..
    The things I learned at that level were..
    Be willing to lend a hand when giving a order.
    Remember where you started.
    Always look for the good along with the bad.

    I also believe that the most important lesson is that respect is earned and not a given. The red helmet is just a helmet and doesnt make you the good officer or the bad officer, your in control of that.
    Well anyways congrats and I'm sure that if you've taken the time to use the forum and put in the effort, you'll do a great job.

    Jeff

  8. #8
    FF Brin
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Hi Mike. Good topic, and very sound advice from the gang.

    One thing I learned well, is when I was in college studying Business Administration, I took an evening course on Management. It taught me to be professional, encouraging, and open minded. I try to keep a positive attitude at all times at the station and fire scene.

    I am also reading the IFSTA Instructor Manual. Not so much to be a leader, but to learn "how people learn".

    I also watched how others taught or lead and saw that jerks can't lead. That agressive yelling or put-downs or bullying causes resentfull employees, and how they made morale very low.

    Be open-minded, and learn everything you can about the fire service--sounds like you are working on that aggressively.

    Good Luck!!
    FF Brin-
    prof trained call firefighter

  9. #9
    WOODMAN
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    GOOD LUCK IN THE FUTURE

    DO NOT MAKE YOUR CREW DO ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN NOT DO OR WILL NOT DO,AND BRING HOME AFTER THE ALARM.LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND THE WILL
    FOLLOW YOU TO THE GATES OF HELL AND BACK AND
    MOST OF ALL BE FAIR BUT FRIM WITH THEM ALL.


  10. #10
    Spanner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Congratulations!!!!

    A good book that I found was the Company Officer book by IFSTA.
    Another book that I highly recommend is the Management in the Fire Service by Dr. Carter. He also has several other that I have on order.
    Yes, he is the same person on the homepage of Firehouse.com. Read his articles they are great and contain a wealth of information.

    I agree with the others, go slow, stand tall, back up your people, show respect and you will receive it.
    BE A TEAM PLAYER!! always remember that there is no I in TEAM.
    If I can help, please feel free to contact me

    [This message has been edited by Spanner (edited April 16, 2000).]

  11. #11
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Some quotes a fellow forum member posted a while back..I picked a few that seemed relevent to officer positions. Good luck in your duties.

    LEADERS CAN ONLY POINT THEIR UNIT IN ONE DIRECTION OR ANOTHER, BUT SUCCESS IS LARGELY DETERMINED DURING THE HOURS SPENT GUIDING, COACHING AND TEACHING.

    IF YOU MUST RUN AWAY, DO SO QUIETLY, SCREAMING LOOKS BAD ON THE NEWS

    WHEN IT'S DONE RIGHT, SAY SO.

    WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING AND REMEMBER WHERE YOU'VE BEEN.

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND IN ADVANCE TO LEAD, FOLLOW, OR STAY OUT OF THE WAY, THEN DO IT!

    SUBTLETY HAS NO PLACE ON THE FIREGROUND

    BEING POPULAR CAN GET IN THE WAY OF BEING AN EFFECTIVE LEADER.

    SOMETIMES IT'S GOING TO HURT

    NOTHING WILL SAVE YOUR *** AS OFTEN AS THE BASICS.

    KNOW WHERE THE SPLATTER ZONE IS BEFORE IT HITS THE FAN

    IF THE CREW ISN'T FOLLOWING, IT'S BECAUSE THE LEADER ISN'T LEADING

    TEACH BY EXAMPLE.

    LEAD BY EXAMPLE

    BE AN EXAMPLENEVER MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE ELSE (UNLESS IT'S POSITIVE)

    IT'S NOT THE EQUIPMENT THAT DOES THE JOB BUT THE PEOPLE USING IT.

    GET SERIOUS OR GET OUT OF THE WAY.

    IF IT WASN'T YOU THIS TIME IT COULD BE YOU NEXT TIME.

    FIRST CLASS TRAINING RESULTS IN FIRST CLASS FIREFIGHTERS,

    SECOND CLASS TRAINING RESULTS IN THIRD CLASS FIREFIGHTERS.

    LEARN YOUR LIMITS, SET YOUR GOALS, THEN RE-LEARN YOUR LIMITS.

    LUCK IS FOR THE POORLY TRAINED

    GIVE THEM THE JOB, GIVE THEM THE TOOLS, GET OUT OF THE WAY.

    LEADERS SAY "FOLLOW ME"




    ------------------
    The opinions and views expressed herin are solely mine and not on the behalf of any department or organization I belong to.



  12. #12
    ENG86INE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    CONGRAT'S AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR POSITION. I HAVE BEEN AN OFFICER FOR 3 YRS NOW AND I AM PRESENTLY A CAPTAIN OF A 1 1/2 YRS NOW. I AGREE WITH EVERYONE THAT HAS GIVEN YOU ADVICE IN THIS. TRUST WHEN I SAY LEAD BY AN EXAMPLE AND STICK TO YOUR DECISION, YOU MAKE ON THE FIREGROUNDS OR AT THE FIREHOUSE. THE WAY I LEARNED WAS THE HARD WAY, I SERVED AS A ACTING ASST. CHIEF AND ONLY LASTED A MONTH BECAUSE OF A DECISION I MADE ON A BIG FIRE WE HAD IN OUR MUTUAL AID COMPANIES LOCAL. DONT LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD.
    MAKE SURE YOU DONT MAKE YOUR CREW DO SOMETHING THAT YOU DONT WANT YOURSELF TO DO.
    BE FIRM IN DECISION MAKING.
    LEARN FROM YOUR SENIOR OFFICER'S AND BUILD YOUR SKILLS, ESPECIALLY SCHOOLS, FURTHER YOUR EDUCATION ON THE FIRE MATTER'S.
    KNOW WHEN YOU ARE FRIENDS AT THE FIREHOUSE AND FIREGROUNDS, REMEMBER, YOUR THEIR BOSS NOT THEIR FRIEND ON A FIREGROUND.
    IT IS TRUE IN SAYING THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR FIREFIGHTER'S WILL DETERMINE HOW FAR YOU GO IN THE OFFICER'S ROLES. ( TRUST ME ON THAT ONE!!!)

    STAY SAFE AND STAY LOW
    CAPT 86


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


    [This message has been edited by ENG86INE (edited April 18, 2000).]

  13. #13
    nsfirechap
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    In addition to what every one else said-GREAT ADVICE. Get a copy of Alan Brunacini's Fire Command Book. Lot's of good info, plus there's a lot of humor that helps get points across.

    Good luck-the transition was hard for me, but had lot's of help. One thing that really helped me was I always loved to train so I trained my crews hard and preached safety.

    Jeff

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