1. #1
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    Default What is more Important?

    Just curious as to how many other Counties/States out there have positions such as Division Chief or Battalion chief that can be held by volunteer Chief officers. For example, here in Prince Georges County, a Volunteer Chief can also be what is called a "Division chief" or a "Battalion Chief." The Division Chiefs basically respond to all Large-Scale emergency incidents, usually doing not much more than getting in the way, making for a more confusing fireground and putting yet another emergency vehicle on the road. Battalion Chiefs however are dispatched to each Assignment just in case no other Command officer checks up on the air. This is done to ensure Command Officer coverage to every box alarm. However, there is a career battalion chief from 0700-1500 hrs M-F, and Volunteer Coverage all other times. This usually Rotates every month, In March, company "A" has the battalion, next month its Company "C." and so on and so forth, So.....Let me get to the point here...........

    Lets say there is a Large fire in P.G. County, and Truck, um lets say Truck 5 is due on the call.....Company 5 has little volunteer participation and only has 3, 24 hour career staff assigned there. Well, before this large fire goes out, Ambulance 5 is dispatched on a drunk at the Capitol Heights Subway station and they are tied up...that leaves a career officer by himself at the firehouse cause his 2 firefighters are on the Ambulance. Well, lets say Old "Volunteer"( I use this term loosely) Chief 5 is up in his office at the firehouse, "Volunteer" Chief 5 is also the "Volunteer Operations Commander" for Prince Georges County, His ladder truck is due on the BIG FIRE! Now, as the VOC he is supposed to show up and do what all commanders do, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXCEPT SHUCK COFFEE AND LOOK BUSY! There are countless numbers of Command officers on this large fire that his "Driver Only" Ladder truck is due on. Should he go on the big fire as the "VOC' or should he Staff his ladder Truck to ensure that the Driver is not Alone? What would some of you do if you were a "Two-Hatter" Chief in the same situation? Would you Commitment lie with the Company who got you where you are today? Or the County who made your position to make you feel important? Lets Discuss here.......Please, civil discussions, no name calling.

    Q:What do you call 15 Guys in White Coats Standing near a Coffee Pot?
    A:The Volunteer Division Chief Program of the PGVFD!
    You Waste your time, YOUR LINE IS MINE!

  2. #2
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    shammrock54's Avatar
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    Default

    For my money an understaffed truck is more of a danger than one chief short of the crew that will come and huddle around a big incident. I think the chief should wait or retone for manpower, get a decent crew, and take his vollie helmet w/ him. Unless he is desperatly needed by the IC than he should help w/ the ladder and watch out for his crews, keeping his vollie hat on, but w/ his BC hat in the cab "just in case".
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  3. #3
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    Default Officers at fires & volunteers

    G'day, guess we are lucky in Canberra (Australia) we have only permanant firies on station. We have volunteer bush fire fighters which we work with at bush fires or wildfires as they are now called.
    Our Brigade has 9 stations and all of these have minimum manning which is Station Officer (lieutenant?) and three firies on a pump and some stations have more than one pump such as breathing apperatus support vehicle (2 firies) and a Bronto hydraulic platform (2 firies).
    At a big job we have our District Officer show up and like you he just interferes and confuses everyone. Not really at least not always. I suppose that he would be like a Battalion chief but he is attached to our Platoon (shift) and when we work, he works. The same applies to the other three platoons in our Brigade. If this confuses you I would have to explain our roster to you. regards Mav

  4. #4
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    Yes MAV, your district officer is like our Battalion Chiefs. Must be a different world where you are at, cause here the "Permanent" firefighters are merely here to support and supplement the volunteers, I guess in a lower populated area where it might be harder to get volunteers your system works well. But actually, your system in Australia is very similar to how a larger paid department works here in the USA. Usually Engine Companies (Pumps) have an Officer and 3 Firefighters, and a Ladder Company has the same or one extra Firefighter. And these companies are grouped into Battalions or Divisions with one person being the Battalion chief or the Division Chief. Sometimes they will take a few different battalions and make up a "Division" Have I confused you yet?
    You Waste your time, YOUR LINE IS MINE!

  5. #5
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    Default

    with you so far. sorry for the delay but we had a few calls. we are fortunate i acknowledge but we do what we call cross crewing here in the ACT. that means we have several different appliances at each station which we man with our basic four man motor crew (station officer and three firies). for example we have one station that has a pumper, tankers (for bush fires) and vertical rescue light units.
    we have a population of about 310'000 people and three hundred firies (if we are lucky) so we have to multi skill as much as possible.
    your system sounds similar to ours with different names for the ranks and i must say the senior officers when they decide to attend sound similar. we have a saying here: the fire tetrahedron consists of fuel, heat oxygen and a D.O. take any of them away and the fire will go out. This is of course not true of all D.O.s

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