View Poll Results: Rate your leadership of your fire department.

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  • A. Outstanding

    8 14.29%
  • B. Good

    21 37.50%
  • C. Mediocre

    16 28.57%
  • D. Bad

    11 19.64%
  1. #1
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    Default Fire Dept. Leadership

    How would you rate the leadership of your fire department?

    A. Outstanding
    B. Good
    C. Mediiocre
    D. Bad

    Was your Chief put into his position because of:

    A. His abilities & experience
    B. Politics
    C. He/she is a good puppet.
    D. other

  2. #2
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    Exclamation If I were you....

    I would not expect too many replies on this thread...a lot of the posters are well known in their FD's and a lot of Chief's read and post on the forums....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
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    Well my chief got his position because of politics!!!!!! He may know a lot about the fire service and spent a lot of years going through the ranks but he did only get his position because of politics. + it helps when your father is well known politition in the area..... He is a great Chief
    Lieutenant
    Joel Chouinard
    Rescue Co. 106 "When Push Comes To Shove"
    Engine Co. 307 "Pride Of The South Side"
    Cairns Leather, the only choice!

  4. #4
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    In my old career department the top leadership was horrible (Chief). She got her position after being hired as a civilian to do an EMS position. Then she kept getting upgraded to uniformed positions "working" her way up to Deputy Chief. Then she was hired by my department. She never worked a day in a fire station, rode an engine or managed a company....much less a fire. She was seen sitting around the corner or down the street from fires so she would not be first there and have to make decisions. Once called in a serious accident and even though she was on the scene, asked the arriving B/C what she should do. Had "0" credibility!!!

    My old volunteer department was hot and cold depending on the leadership. The last leadership corp was a bit two faced and played to the tune of the audience. Now I understand it is great! (way to go Kevin)

    My current volunteer department is mediocre. We are transitioning from a seperate VFD into part of a County Wide System. Now the folks there have rules to go by...imagine that.... The Chief and his administration are part of the County career system and put in command by the County Career Chief to coordinate the transition (after the old administration was removed by the Board of Directors). Then after the transition, the career chief will appoint a District Chief to manage the station under county wide system. The career folks in charge are currently part of the old VFD and will have to leave after they merge. There is a lot of micro management now...such as the chief being concerned about two pieces of paper in the trash can. But...there is much improvement from the "good ole boy" management when I joined there in August of 2001.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I can honestly say that I do think that my department is ruin in a excellent condition! I think the cheif, deputy cheif, asst. cheif, captain, lueint., and all those are doing the best job they possibly can as a volunteer orginazation! Keep it up.

  6. #6
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    Our last Chief was appointed by the Mayor, as he is every year. His family has a tradition of being in high ranking positions through deception. I will admit the man is a great, great firefighter. As a Chief though, he really put the screw to many enemies. When the Mayor leaves, he will too.

  7. #7
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    "She was seen sitting around the corner or down the street from fires so she would not be first there and have to make decisions. Once called in a serious accident and even though she was on the scene, asked the arriving B/C what she should do. Had "0" credibility!!!"

    Ill give her this, at least she knew that she didnt know what to do instead of trying to act like she did and poss. get people hurt.

  8. #8
    District Chief
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    DFD3

    Ok...I give her credit for knowing she could not do the job. Still...."0"...notta...none...nill credibility
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  9. #9
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    Oh i completely agree with you, im just thinking of some upper brass in my dept that are incompetent but wont acknowledge it. Theyve been door holders all their career then on a big scene try and order people around. It hasnt happened to me yet, as far as the said individual/s ordering me, but I think id suddenly come down with acute hearing probs. Personally Im gonna listen to my BC who has always been an agresive ff coming up and that I know will watch out for me and not just himself.

  10. #10
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    Not to get hung up on semantics, but the poll says to rate your department's leadership! On the department that I serve as chief, ALL officers have leadership roles AND firefighters are encouraged to demonstrate leadership skills as they work towards their eventual promotions.
    I believe that you are once again getting hung up on focusing on the top dog as leader.
    That notwithstanding, I would rate our department's leadership as excellent!
    Just my biased opinion.

  11. #11
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    Default Strong Leadership at the top a must!

    Chief Reason

    Everyone can't be a leader. Leadership of a dept. generally is the upper brass, if your leaders our among your firefighters your dept. is in trouble. A solid fire dept. has a good solid leader and/or leaders.In my opinion, alot of upper brass did not aquire their position because of their leadership abilities and their depts. reflect that.

    The reason I posted this poll is because I feel many good leaders are over looked because they don't have the ***** kissing part down very well.

  12. #12
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    Read my post, dude. My firefighters are FUTURE leaders. And my department is not in trouble. We are doing quite well, thank you for asking.
    So just upper brass should be the leaders. That is an interesting concept. Let's talk about a volunteer department. Suppose the chief, asst.chief, a captain or two, and a couple of lieutenants are out of town and there is an incident. Who will be the leader? Well, according to your logic, no one. If the firefighters have been treated like sheep, they will just mill around until it's time for slaughter.
    I know why you posted your poll. But your opinion that the upper brass should be the leaders frankly sucks, because you want someone to blame and not necessarily one who will lead. By the way, what rank do you carry? If you are of rank, then shame on you for posting such a ridiculous poll. Go fishing; it will be more productive.
    You are just another one trying to drive the stake between officers and firefighters for the sheer pleasure of it. My patience is wearing thin with this topic, but I swear to you and everyone who has it in their mind to bash the rank of chief, that I will post each and every time I see an attempt by someone to bash, due to rank.
    And your observation that my department is in trouble if the firefighters lead couldn't be farther from the truth.
    Where are the future leaders going to come from?
    I'm outta here.
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 03-29-2002 at 11:54 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Leadership

    Chief Reason,

    I do agree with you that we should develop our firefighters to become the future leaders of our fire departments.This is not a personal attack on you and I apoligize for stating your dept. was in trouble.
    I beleive you and I am looking at this slightly different. If firefighters are leading the dept. and the upper brass isn't I do beleive this is a problem. If both your upper brass and your firefighters are leading the dept., the fire dept.it is probably a very good dept.


    From my viewpoint and frustration with some upper brass positions, this is way I make these observations. I'm a officer and I do lead my men. However, my frustrations are as follows:

    1. SOP's that are poorly written and/or don't exist. I don't have the power or authority to write these.

    2. Appreciation or a pat on the back is never given. However, I do give my firefighters a pat on the back on a regular bases.

    3. A fire dept that does not know what direction its going in. Again,I have no power to change this and beleive me,I have put my .02 cents in.

    4. Projects that are only done halfway. Quote from a chief "We have done it this way forever!"

    5.A chief who doesn't make his dept. look good. Doesn't sell it to the public and/or community leaders.

    There are chiefs out there that I would love to work for because of their great leadership, however, there are also chiefs out there with major leadership problems.

    GOOD LEADERS HAVE FOLLOWERS!

  14. #14
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    Default

    Well stated Lt.

  15. #15
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    eng4lt:
    Why didn't you just say that in your first post? Be more specific? Now, it makes a little more sense.
    However, it sounds like you believe that you are powerless to be that conduit for change within your department. We'll get back to that. But now to the big question: what is it with Decatur? Ugly labor strikes(ADM); plant closings(Bridgestone/Firestone); fistfights at football games(Jesse Jackson) and a high unemployment rate. I have been to your town on many occasions; I used to visit the Cat plant that is located there. Your town could use a little sprucing up, but I detect some kind of attitude that is there. Can't quite put my finger on it, but the people there aren't real friendly. Maybe I just haven't met them yet. Anyway, back to your situation.
    1) Get a couple of other Lts and maybe a captain to approach the chief about "reviewing/revising" SOPs. Don't tell him that they are poorly written; tell him that they need to be reviewed to be sure that they meet the changing needs of the department. Remind him of your communities expectations vs. services.
    2) Continue to lead your men and pat them on the back. People like you don't do it for the money, although money is nice. Getting recognition for a job well done is even better. Sounds like that's not your chief's style, so it is up to you and your brothers to be a surrogate, so to speak.
    3) Make sure that due consideration will be given to those from within the department when it comes time to take over as chief. It sounds like the day is coming, unless the chief's relative happens to be mayor. It sounds like he is lazy, has gotten comfortable and perfectly content to kick back and draw a check. He needs a reality check.
    4) Continue to put in your two cents, but get the others to put in their's as well. Ten cents from the officers will buy you more than two cents. In fact, you would be amazed at the return you will get for such a small initial investment. But make a "group" purchase. If the chief isn't hearing from the others, he has no reason to think that he is doing a poor job and that you are nothing more than a whiner(I don't think you are).
    5) Oh, the stories I could tell you about "we have always done it that way"! But I won't. You have obviously identified some valid concerns and now, you need to take that next step. Hell, you've done some of your chief's work. He should be thanking you instead of ignoring you. Use diplomacy and tact, though. Some chiefs are very insecure; especially the bad ones. Emphasize team, group, family, morale, public perception. Do you have an inspection program? Great way to get your face in front of the public. What about fire prevention/education? Kids have a way of spreading their enthusiasm to their parents.
    6) Take your energy and instead of channelling it towards frustration, re-direct it towards change. Set the example for the rest of your department. If it is as evident in your department as you say, then they need a person that they can look up to and then say to themselves "if he can tough this out, so can I". Change is inevitable. You either embrace it or it will steam roll you. It's coming; your chief may slow it down, but it's still coming. Be there when that happens. You might get what you wish for!
    You know as well as I do that you have faced some pretty tough shots, but you get up and go again. Day after day; year after year. You want to stay in Decatur, but under the current administration, you don't think that you can. Again, if you don't think that you can muster enough support, then you know what you must do. Alot of openings with other departments. The next one could be the best one OR you can stay and make Decatur FD a better department.
    I know what I would do, but then, I am a little bit nuts.
    You have my admiration and respect. "Middle management" on a fire department is a tough place to be, but if you have a goal of becoming chief, it is necessary to the process.
    Stay safe, Lt.

  16. #16
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    DING DING DING

    This is a good post. I personally feel that it should not just be directed upon the Chief, but the entire upper eschelon. I agree that alot (all) of the responsibility is given to the Chief, but I also look upon the Lieutenants, Captains, and Asst and/or Battalion Chiefs as well. Let's face it, if the Chief chooses to keep a goofball Captain in his/her position, just because they have been with the department forever, then it will be his/her a** when someone gets injured or killed.

    The problem I see most is the "good ol' boy" system. Those people who are in their position because they are senior members, Chief Pets, or because they are buddy buddy with someone else higher up. Is this the type of people you want "directing" you at an incident? Me neither. But how do you go about removing these folks? Who knows. All you can do is keep trying, and hoping they get a clue on their own.
    K.A. Dempsey
    fire69dawg@yahoo.com
    "If you want to make God laugh, tell him what you are doing tomorrow"

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