1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Vol FD Command Structures

    Hello All, my department has reached a crossroads of sorts and there is presently some great debate going on as to what direction our department is headed and what kind of Command and Control structure is needed at present and will allow us to continue to grow.
    Presently our department has 52 members running out of 3 stations covering an area of 1700+ square miles. We provide fire suppresion, rescue, EMS, Wildland suppression, and Haz-mat support. At present time we are orginized with a chief, (1) assistant chief, (2) department staff officers, (3) captians, and (3) Lt's.

    Like most departments we are experiencing tremendous growth and our call volumes have gone up approx 20-45% every year for the past five years.

    My question is, how have your departments orginized yourself. What kinds of Command structures are you using and why?


    James Tarpley
    Dept. Safety Officer
    North Tooele County FD

  2. #2
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest


    While this probably isn't of much help:
    Operate out of 1 station, we have around 30 active members, and run about 250-300 calls a year(EMS, Extrication, Fire) Our command is like this:
    -2 Asst. Chiefs
    -Station Capt.(Makes sure Station equip is good)
    -1 Lt. for each truck(5 trucks)
    the main job of the Lts and the Station Capt. is to check the equipment, if maintenece is needed it is contracted out. The cheifs are the "incharge" people and take control of scenes. Because we are small it works well for us.

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley
    Steve Kelly Jr.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My FD has the following running out of 1 station:

    1 Chief
    1 Asst. Chief
    3 Captains
    6 LT's
    1 Communication Officer (holds the rank of LT also)
    1 Chief Engineer (holds the rank of LT)

    The Chief Engineer appoints engineers for each truck (7, used to be 8). The engineering department is in charge of truck and equipment maintenance, if it needs something repaired we send it out.

    We've thought about getting rid of 1 LT position before but that didn't go through. Then we thought about getting rid of the Support Officers (ie Communications Officer and Chief Engineer) and giving those duties to LT's. The reason we have thought about eliminating positions was primarily because of the ever lowering number of non-officers. However, our current setup has worked for us in the past and still works for us today.

  4. #4
    Capt. Clay
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Currently, my dept. has;
    Asst. Chief
    2 Lieutenants
    20 firefighters

    We, like most, are experiencing a shortage of volunteers.
    We require a class B CDL license for anyone driving an engine or tanker, yet everyone goes through an emergency driving class before they can get behind the wheel. Senior member has the option to drive on a run.
    We use the "standard" incident command system format for all calls, even minor ones. This allows the first engine in to establish the command structure and everything upgrades from there as necesary. There have been times when I leave command with a Lt. to have some fun, and the Lt.s are free to do the same with capable firefighters. That way the different colored helmets are not always outside the fire instead of inside making a difference. This works really well for us, but may not for you. Find what is best for your dept. and go with it. All the technecalities seem to work them selves out along the way to make the system better.

    Be safe, have fun!
    Captain Clay Rheinlander
    South Hays Fire & Rescue

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We run out of one station. We have 5 engines, 2 rescues, 2 utilities, 2 5000 gallon tenders, 1 brush, 3 command vehicles, 1 ATV rescue w/2 quads. We have a membership of about 35. The command structure is as follows:
    1 Chief
    1 Asst. Chief (Operations)
    1 Division Chief (Training)
    1 Battalion Chief (Safety and Mechanic)
    4 Captains
    4 Engineers

    All ranks are progressive. We do not vote a person into rank.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are all volunteer, run about 100 to 130 calls /year (No EMS) with 10 trucks out of 2 stations with a total of about 30 to 40 firefighters.

    The second station (or outpost) is a new concept to us and will eventually spli off into a seperate station (hence the high number of trucks).

    Our current command system is :
    1 Chief
    1 Asst Chief
    4 LT's (2/Station)
    2 Seargents (1/station)
    and the rest firefighters.

    All positions are voted on every year (which unfortunatly means that a lesser experienced FF could become an officer over one w/ more experience/training)

    We also use the standard ICS and will "upgrade" or "downgrade" who's in charge as needed.

    Take Care - Stay Safe

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department consists of two companies: an Engine Company and a Ladder Company.

    Each company has one Captain and two Lieutenants.

    On the department level we have a Chief and two ***'t Chiefs.

    We also have Deputy Chiefs (former Chiefs), who are in charge of operations when there are no Chiefs or Captains available.

    Deputy Chiefs are also in charge of Training and Records.

  8. #8
    Josh Drouard
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are a paid on call department with 2 people on during the day from 8-4 M-S. We have 1 Chief, 1 Assistant Chief, 2 Captains and 4 Lieutenants. We have 2 ehgines, 1 85 ft. Quint,2 ALS ambulances,1 utility vehicle,and 1 personnel carrier.We are able to have 35 members but rarely do we go over 30.


  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department has around 45 members. We run out of 2 stations, however we are moving to 1 centrally located station due to personel response times to 2 stations. We operate 2 Engines, 1 Engine/Rescue, 1 Rescue/Mini Pumper, 1 Tanker, nad 1 Brush unit. Year-to-date call volume is 189 Fire, 86 EMS. Command Structure is:
    1ST. Asst.
    2ND. Asst.
    3RD. Asst.
    4TH. Asst.
    1ST. Captain
    2ND. Captain
    First officer on scene is Command until a higher ranking officer arrives on scene. Command may then be transfered should the situation warrant.

    Glenn Ralston
    Bay Ridge Fire-Rescue
    Queensbury, New York
    The views represented here are mine and mine alone.

  10. #10
    ENGINE 52
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The command structure in my deptment.
    2 LTS
    We have 25 active Firefighters.
    Operate 2 Engines.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Chain of command in my Dept. is this:
    Asst. Chief
    Station Captian
    Engine Captain
    Ladder Captain
    Engine Lieutenant
    Rescue Lieutenant

    The statements above are my own opinions

    FF Greg Grudzinski
    Oaklyn Fire Dept.
    Station 18-3

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have 3 stations, 75 members and run about 1450 calls per year. We have a Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal (Capt equivalent) and 3 station Captains. These are all elected positions. All other officers are appointed.

    Station 1:
    Station Captain
    Junior Captain
    4 LTs (company officers)
    1 Apparatus LT ("chief engineer")
    2 engines, 1 tower, 1 heavy rescue

    Station 2:
    Station Captain
    2 Lts
    1 engine, 1 equipment truck, Hazmat trailer

    Station 3:
    Station Captain
    1 LT
    1 engine, 1 equipment truck (coming soon), 3 rescue boats, large PPV trailer

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department has 30 members. 29 volenteers and a paid Chief.

    Our officer staff consists of:
    1 Chief
    1 Assistant Chief
    3 Captains
    5 Assistant Captains

    Operationally we are structured in 5 teams of six members. Each team is led by a Captain and has an Assistant Captain as 2nd i/c. The Chief and Assistant Chief act as team Captains for 2 of the 5 teams. Each team is on call for one week in five.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One station with 13 career members (3 shifts of 4 and Fire Inspector) and 40 volunteers, covering 40+ square miles and responding to 1000+ Fire/EMS/HazMat incidents yearly. Our command structure is:

    PIO Safety-Deputy Chief-Chaplain
    Assistant Chief

    **The preceding comments in no way represent the views of my department, its members, or associations that it may belong to.**

    [This message has been edited by FFCode3EMT (edited 12-11-2000).]

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