1. #1
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    Default Terms for Volunteer Elected Line Officers

    Are the Line Officers Elected or Appointed in your Department and what is their length of term?

    I have been in Fire Departments that elect their Line Officers each year and one can only hold each position for a period of two years. After the two years, you either move up or get off the line.
    Usually, if you start at the bottom,(3rd Assistant Chief) and serve two years at each position, you would have worked the line for eight years after making Chief. I have also been in a Department where the Chief has been Chief for 10, 12 or more years. There is one Department in Far Western NY that just had an article in the area newspaper, that the Chief has been the Chief since the Department was organized, some 50 years ago.

    I personally like to see term limits in Volunteer Departments because it gives incentives to members to take training, strive to better themselves and their Department, and adds to the cohesiveness of their organization. I realize that the small Volunteer Companies may have difficulties in doing this because of manpower availability and/or the demand of the job.
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    What if you have a good chief ???
    Why would you want to get rid of him just so someone else can have thier turn at being chief? If you get a good chief stick with him. The chief should be able to motivate people to train and move up the ladder. It should be for the betterment of the department and not so everyone can have thier turn at it.

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    I have to agree with ggtruckie on this. We vote in for 3year terms. We tie ours in with the municipal elections.

    Works well, and frankly sometimes it takes 3yrs to change they way things are done, introduce new ideas and make them stick.

    Every Chief has a different way of doing things and different thoughts on how the departments should operate. Diffent ideas on service requirements. Equipment needs etc.

    I know of departments that re-elect every year. And these Departments make little progress as by the time a chief get comfortable with councils, politics, duties and just gets ready to make some changes they are on the sidelines and a new guy starts over.

    The other thing to look at is the synergy between the officers. The team has to work with common goals. My Co Captain and I have worked together for almost 6yrs now and we work as one. This held me back from DC last term as no one wanted to break the synergy. Leut's are the same and the DC and Chief work the same.

    And I wouldn't trade my Luet for all the tea in China.

    In short why force a good team to break up when you don't have to.

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    Our dept the chief and assisant chief and also the board are elected for a term of one year. the captain and the LT. are appointed by the chief. oh the training officer and ems captain are appointed as well. there is no limit someone can be reelected in our SOPs.
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    Ummm.....I must be having 'puter issues...this post wasn't supposed to be here. Apologies to all.
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 05-29-2002 at 12:16 PM.
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    For our dept, the Chief and DC do the "election Campaign" thing within the dept, then their names are forwarded to the Regional District, who review each file, and there is an interview process as well. After they are "nominated" by the Board, then we the Members get to vote on who we want as Chief and DC.

    For the other officers, their names are also forwarded to the Board for review, but they don't have to do the interview thing. Their applications are either accepted or denied. If accepted then, again we vote on who gets the job.

    Elections are held every two years, and for us, cuz we are so small, if you lose your "Big Hat", then you may either fit yourself with a "smaller Hat" or you leave all together - its your choice. Also, due to size, we have only the Chief, Dep Chief and one Capt. Any more than that and we would be all Officers and no workers.

    That could pose a problem: Officer #1: "I'm not going in, you go in." Officer #2: "No I'm not, you are, I was voted in 10 minutes before you were, so I have senority..." Lone YellowHat(and probably a Probie to boot): "Look you two, one of you make a decision, cuz we got work to do and I can't go in by myself."
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    All of our officers are elected for one year. They do not have to move up but almost all have. You must start at the bottom and serve at least one year in each position.
    The chief should be able to motivate people to train and move up the ladder
    If the chief stays in office forever, where do others move up to?
    I know of departments that re-elect every year. And these Departments make little progress as by the time a chief get comfortable
    Is the chief the only one who deals with any of this process? Are not all officers involved with this the entire time they are in? They should be involved and getting comfortable as soon as they are elected and not simply following along. Use all the officers, most of them will probably have some good ideas and may have differing opinions.


    Just my thoughts...

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    Quote:Is the chief the only one who deals with any of this process? Are not all officers involved with this the entire time they are in? They should be involved and getting comfortable as soon as they are elected and not simply following along. Use all the officers, most of them will probably have some good ideas and may have differing opinions.


    Bones your right all have input and different ideas, but it is the Chief who has to guide and make the final calls. Often these changes require modifications to SOP's, Policy ect. Many of these require ratifiacion via Emergency Services Boards, then send back for revisions, then back to Emergency Services, then Council, back for review and input from Emergency Services, back to Fire, Back to Emergency Services, back to council, then pass 3 readings if all is good. To change one item in an SOP or Policy could take months. By the time this is done the next cheif will have diffenent ideas.

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    Cap22 - wow, I feel for you. We have a simpler process which I guess can be good and also can be bad. Our Board of Fire Officers makes our policies. Most times, not always, but most times an idea/change is brought up at our monthly officers meeting and discussed. We then bring it to our individual company meetings for open discussion there, and bring it up again at the next monthly officers meeting for approval/denial. Usually done in two months time. Each of our two companies meet separately monthly. The officers from each company then have a combined meeting monthly of all the officers. We are actually in one of the rare occaisions where a possible policy change has been going on longer than this as there has been lots and lots of discussions back and forth. Good luck to you.

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    Thanks Bones. Politicians need to justify thier pay check. We used to have a very simple process just like yours. I forgot one step in the above prior to the 3rd reading by council the SOP's are normally reviewed by the Provincial Fire Protection Bureau and a lawyer.

    Often I long for the easy ways of yesterday. If it needs to be done just do it.

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    We do two year terms for all officers, line and administrative. The main reason was that we found it took time to judge how policy changes, etc., were working, sometimes more than a year. If a new chief was elected after a change was made, and changed the change, a good thing could be lost....
    My views are, of course, mine alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of my station

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