1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question What is the best way to determine who should be a fire/EMS officer (from the chief do

    What is the best way to determine who should be a fire/EMS officer (from the chief down)?
    Should fire/EMS officers be selected or elected?
    How does your department select or elect fire/EMS officers?

    [This message has been edited by kvfdlife (edited 05-08-2001).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well in our department, if your living and breathing, you can become an officer...it also helps if the individual is buddie buddie with the chief. We had one guy join and two weeks later he was an LT. none of us like him, but we can't say a blessed thing about it.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my opinion, officers should be elected by the department, but should only be eligible for election if they have met a set of minimum requirements. In our department, someone has to be a member for at least two years before becoming an officer. At election time, members are asked to consider the following factors for each candidate: training, experience (time served and number of calls run), availability for fd duties, and leadership qualities.

    Mike Bagott
    Palouse Fire Dept.
    Palouse, WA

    [This message has been edited by ffemtmjb (edited 05-10-2001).]

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I feel that the Chief should be elected by the members. The rest of the line officers should be assigned by the chief. You need to have a good working relationship in order to keep a good management team working together. If you elect people who can't work together you are asking for problems also you will get a good old boys club voting for officers and someone who would be a great asset for the company may be overlooked. Why would you expect members who do not understand the positions or have never been in the position or who don't understand all the responsibilities to make a good decision on who is going to run the department? Just something to think about.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our chief is a paid department head (1 paid & 29 volunteer in our department) and is actually appointed by council. When our last chief retired we advertised the position and then a committee of FFs (2) and councillers (2) selected a new chief based upon resumes and interviews. The chief appoints his officers. That's how we do it.

    I agree with NKF - I can't see how the best line officers can be selected by a popularity contest.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Chief, Asst. Chief, and Capt. are elected by membership, two Lt's are appointed by the other three a the first officer's meeting.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our Fire Dept. Constitution states that the Chief is appointed by Council as it is a Town Dept. Head position, although it is 100% volunteer. The Dept. membership submits the name to the Town Council and so far they have not challenged it. The other Officer positions are appointed by the Chief who really is in the best postion to know the personalities and capabilities of the membership. This avoids a popularity contest or appointing the loudest mouth and prevents the Dept. from going nowhere.

  8. #8
    Philip C
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm not a fan of electing officers which many times comes down to who is liked by most of the membership. My company votes on three lts, three capts, two asst chiefs, a deputy and a chief. The chief then selects three sergeants if he feels any members are worthy of that position. I like the idea of letting the membership pick the chief and him choosing his officers. That gives him the opportunity to choose who he feels would best help him run the company. What do you guys do in your part of town, kvfdlife? Take care and be safe.

    Phil Clinard
    Laurel VFD
    Prince George's Co Sta 10
    Laurel, MD

  9. #9
    Captain Mike
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Our all-volunteer dept elects officers every two years. There are minimum requirements for time on dept and training (EMT or 1st resp/FFI&II/basic wildland)and previous time as Lt if running for captain, asst chief and chief. It generally has worked OK but occasionally someone is elected on a "sympathy" vote, such as for a long-timer that is otherwise not very qualified.

    Captain Michael Guy
    Lyons Fire Protection District
    Lyons, Colorado

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