Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    RomeChief
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Officer Qualifications in a volunteer dept.

    im coming up to a new year where changes need to be made. I would like for someone to maybe give me a list of what a leuit. needs a captain needs as far as classes, years of service an so on. also for deputy chief, assistant chief,chief


  2. #2
    BBoucheyFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In my department the minimum qualifications for a lt. is Basic firefighter, Haz-mat operations, and CPR. You must also have been a member for 2 years for your name to be put on the ballot. The same applies for Capts.

    The qualifications for chief (minimum) is basically the same. But you must be a member for 5 years.

    These are bare bones qualifications. Most everyone in the department is trained to a much higher level. I hope this helps http://www.firehouse.com/forums/smile.gif.

    ------------------
    All opinions are my own and have nothing to do with any agencies i belong to.

    Check out my departments website - Schuyler Heights Fire Company

    [This message has been edited by BBoucheyFD (edited 12-28-2000).]

  3. #3
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Three years, firefighter III, and 160 hours towards other state certifications. (that's just 4 40 hr classes)

    Just because a person is a volunteer doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as the rest of us. Fire burns the same in Cridersville, OH as it does in Chicago, IL.

  4. #4
    FFTrainer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Before I get to the question at hand, what the hell does the following quote have to do with this post???

    ----------
    Just because a person is a volunteer doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as the rest of us. Fire burns the same in Cridersville, OH as it does in Chicago, IL.
    ----------

    There was never a mention of the word volunteer in any of the previous posts, it was a simple question about officer qualifications!!

    Now as far as the actual question goes, we go with minimum 2 years in dept, FF1, HazMat and IMS 200 to get in the lowest rank. To move up the ranks, you have to hold each position in the chain for at least one term before being eligible for nomination to the next level. Training reqs. also increase. FF2 and Fire Officer are required to be at least started while you are in the LT spot and finished before you can be nominated for Captain.

  5. #5
    WTFD730
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    I would just like to add...remember one of the number one set backs in volunteer fire departments is poor people skills by its officers. I'm sure we can all agree that additional or advanced technical training along with experiance is very important to become an officer. You can dazzle your fellow members in the station with all your technical training, but if you lack good people skills you will never succeed as an officer. In my volunteer department we give a promotional test every two years to qualified candidates who wish to become officers. The list is good for two years. Thats does not mean there will be changes in our officer ranks, but if an opening should occur within those two years, we will select candidates from that list. A few years ago we used to have the association body pick officers for a one or two year terms, that process never works out, you cant maintain any continuity in your leaders, also officers were afraid to disipline members due to fear of being voted out the next year, I'm sure we all hate to disipline members but sometimes we just have too. Now our Chief appoints his officers which I feel is fair due to he is ultimetly responsible for the actions of his officers, if an officer makes a mistake he has to explain. Its easier to defend a officer that you appointed rather than someone you did not. Our officer candidates need to be state certified volunteer FF's and be EMT certified. Just this past year we also require any member who would like to become an officer to take a fire service leadership type course, through our state fire school or through a local community college that offers fire science courses. The department pays for this training. This way an officer has some type of training in people skills also rather that a book of certificates for all his technical training. Respect of your fellow firefighters is not given to you because you took alot of technical FF training, its something you have to earn.

  6. #6
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Sorry that I touched a nerve.

    You didn't have to say "Volunteer" to figure out what you were describing wasn't a full time, career department. Having held an administrative position on a small volunteer rescue organization it has been my experience that a department runs better, with less turmoil and personality conflicts when its officers test into their respective positions. Holding elections, appointing or nominating officers through the general membership is nothing more than a popularity contest.
    Even if the Chief appoints officers without testing he isn't getting the best person for the job. His officer core will be comprised of friends or just plain suck ups.
    Develop qualifications, Basic firefighter plus several hours of additional coursework. Then run a comprehensive test, post a list, and promote off of that list (in order).

    Using that system I promoted a man who I absolutely hated. I thought that we wouldn't get anything done and it would lead to eventual discipline. I was wrong, he wound up to be one of the best officers I had. While still a pain in my ***, he preformed his job well and always looked out for the members under his command. If not for the qualifications and testing that I set up, he would never have been promoted.

    You must be objective, by setting up qualifications and not making exceptions.

  7. #7
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    To answer your question completely.

    Lt. 3 years FF III and 160 hrs additional coursework.

    Capt. 3 years as Lt., Officer I and 160 (I think) of additional coursework.

    Deputy Chief 3 yrs as Captain, Officer II and additional coursework.

    Chief is non tested appointed by the District trustees. Min. of a college degree, DC spot/admin. experience etc.

    I hope that helps, Stay Safe

    [This message has been edited by ADSN/WFLD (edited 12-29-2000).]

  8. #8
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Sorry that I touched a nerve.

    You didn't have to say "Volunteer" to figure out what you were describing wasn't a full time, career department. Having held an administrative position on a small volunteer rescue organization it has been my experience that a department runs better, with less turmoil and personality conflicts when its officers test into their respective positions. Holding elections, appointing or nominating officers through the general membership is nothing more than a popularity contest.
    Even if the Chief appoints officers without testing he isn't getting the best person for the job. His officer core will be comprised of friends or just plain suck ups.
    Develop qualifications, Basic firefighter plus several hours of additional coursework. Then run a comprehensive test, post a list, and promote off of that list (in order).

    Using that system I promoted a man who I absolutely hated. I thought that we wouldn't get anything done and it would lead to eventual discipline. I was wrong, he wound up to be one of the best officers I had. While still a pain in my ***, he preformed his job well and always looked out for the members under his command. If not for the qualifications and testing that I set up, he would never have been promoted.

    You must be objective, by setting up qualifications and not making exceptions.

  9. #9
    BlazeDog
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Well said WTFD730 I totally aggree with your comments and with what your saying. My department is a perfect example of what your describing. To be an effective officer you have to have the right personality to go with all that technical knowledge you may have. I have 22 years on my volunteer FD and have seen alot of people come and go, we had alot of dedicated members who tried hard and took alot of extra classes and felt they should be officers, but failed miserably due to they just rubbed off on people the wrong way with there gung ho attitude. That they were better and smarter than everyone else because he took alot of extra training. They failed because they had poor people skills as you call it. Respect from your pears is something you have to earn through hard work, more training and yes...the right personality. I started to chuckle when I read some of these posts because I keep thinking about a couple of young wipper snappers we have on our department right now. These young men are very eager to learn the fire service and do take a ton of extra classes more than most on our department do...only because they have the time to do so. I do admire them for there hard work...but one of them made the comment the other day how thay should be officers on this department because they have more training than everyone else. I kept my comments to my self but I'm sure you can imagine what I was thinking.

    Stay Safe,
    The Dawg

  10. #10
    msovick
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In addition to the other good suggestions within this post, if your officers & chiefs will be responsible for writing reports, evaluations, budget proposals, etc., they should demonstrate the ability to create a respectable document. Your testing process should include some tool to measure writing skills. Poorly written documents are creating major headaches for fire & EMS agencies.

    Mary Sovick
    Fireline Communications


  11. #11
    Chief79
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I feel you must first determine what you want these different officers to do then write the qualifications that will ensure they can do the job assigned. I see no need of having a bunch of certificates that don't apply to the duties they are assigned.

  12. #12
    Chief Sanborn CFR
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    A good guide to use are the NFPA Fire Officer Qualification standards. Some variation can be used, but it is a nationally recognized standard, so one would have a hard time arguing that they are not realistic.

  13. #13
    AntiqueFireLt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Well here's my $.02. First, FFtrainer, the name of the post is Officer qualifications in a Volunteer Dept. That being said, I agree that it's a non-issue, you're either qualified or not. Unfortuneatly it is much more common for volunteers to have less requirements, due to the time involved. Working 40+ hrs/week and then all the training doesn't leave alot of time at home! It's much easier to require more of FT FFers, to advance you must perform, this includes serious pay incentives (not the only reason to be an officer). In our combo dept. there are to standards one for FTers and one for callmen. This leads to problems. Rank is rank so we have volunteers who are Capt.s who have less qualifications than probationary FT FFers. This is often frustrating for the FTers, but worse for the call-officers. They know that they don't know as much, so they constantly ask FT FFers for advice, undermining their own command. I'm sure they feel their decisions are scrutinized and second guessed. They should because they are! Don't get me wrong, I was a volunteer for years and will be again. I've worked with volunteer officers who make some FTer's look like they never saw a fire. But the fact of the matter is, the fire doesn't recognize paid or call status and the citizens you protect expect professional service in their time of need. Stringent qualifications must be in place to ensure that officers make educated decisions, not popular ones. Following NFPA for the course work and setting minimum years of ACTIVE service is a good start.

    This is the only opinion to have, if yuo're me! If not, get your own, this ones mine!

  14. #14
    TO719
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    WTFD730,
    Well stated. They have to know you care before they care what you know...

  15. #15
    D.SCHWER
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I once was in a fire company that had bylaws that addressed qualifications but they could be thrown out at any time so that they could get in unqualified officers.

    But the primary qualifications was who could kiss up the most.



    ------------------
    The views and opinions expressed herin are my personal views and opinions and not those of any organization, department I may belong to or represent

  16. #16
    tlfd600
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My personal opinion in choseing officers is you need to check out who can deal with the members the best and be positive with them. I personally didn't like my last chief because he was gruff and didn't listen to us and was intimidated by his personality to bring my concerns to him, you should not be in this position. I feel totally confident in my present chiefs fire knowladge and do not have a problem talking to him about any questions or problems I have.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Posting Permissions

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