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  1. #1
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    Question What is a Sgt???

    My brothers in Detroit and DC might be able to help me out on this one. What exactly is the role of the rank of Sgt. on your dept?
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.


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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    While I was on vacation in the Chevy Chase/DC area a few years ago, it was explained to me that the rank of Sergeant is equal to we consider the rank of Lieutenant, Lieutenants are what we call Captains, etc.

    I have heard of departments whose Chief Officers are called Majors and Colonels.
    ‎"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

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    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Wink Officers

    So who would be above lieutenant? Would it still go Sgt., Lt., Capt., and then assorted Chiefs? Or do they omit Captains?



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    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    I don't know about Detroit but when I was in DC I asked the same question. I got the impression that a Sgt. was someone that is on the Lt's list in an "acting" position, waiting to be promoted. I could be wrong though.

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    I have heard that DC is working to make their officers equal to officers in other jurisdictions. They were trying to do this under a previous admin, because it is silly for a DC Sgt to not be equal to a PG Sgt, or any other career Sgt.
    The current status of this transformation may be in jeopardy due to the Chief problems they have.
    Howard County, MD "transformed" many officers a few years ago in a similar move, moving all Sgt's up to Lt, and most Lt's to Captain positions, and some Capts to Chief positions. This was important to justify salary changes and training req's.
    Last edited by sgt128; 06-03-2002 at 05:17 PM.

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    In Detroit, sergeants are officers in training basically. Each company has a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant. The captains and lieutenants never take details, and company schedules are such that they don't work the same days (junior lieutenants swing between two companies).

    Sergeants fill in where bosses are needed, so they take a lot of details. Sergeants get red helmets just like the lieutenants and captains, and their pay is between full-paid firefighter and lieutenant. If there are enough bosses on duty for the day, the sergeant will ride the back end at his own company. That is rare, except for junior sergeants during low furlough seasons.

    Our promotional system is strictly seniority-based, so it's a big deal in every firefighter's career here when he goes from deckie to boss, in our case sergeant.

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    In the DC Metro Area the easiest way to explain the rank of Sergeant is that it is the lowest line officer rank...the step in between Firefighter and Lieutenant. Each jurisdiction (PG, DC, MoCo, etc) has their own littles spins off of that. In PG, for example, the Career side of the department does not use the rank of Sergeant, it is used on the Volunteer side and not all volunteer companies use it.
    Move fast or move aside...

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Truckman22122

    Thanks for the clarification!
    ‎"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

  9. #9
    Rabble rouser Kobersteen's Avatar
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    I'm going to focus on Suppression Sgts in the DCFD, since I can't really recognize EMS Sgts considering there is no real competitive process and they are all but appointed.


    I got the impression that a Sgt. was someone that is on the Lt's list in an "acting" position, waiting to be promoted.
    Actually that is not true at all. Sgts are a rank in themselves, in between Firefighter and Lt.

    Sgts in DCFD have two primary functions.

    1) Battalion Aids. Some Sgts (6/day) are assigned to drive BCs, help with the Battalion paperwork and act as the BCs right hand on an incident.

    2) Battalion "floaters". A majority of Sgts float around the battalion filling in for Lts and Captains on apparatus.
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    In our dept. it Sgts. are like they are in Chevy Chase by the impression I got from "The Gonzo" post. Our rank structure is screwy anyway being that "P.S." thing.

    Top Mutt being the Public Safety Director
    Fire Operations being a Fire Marshal
    then Training Officer / Asst. Fire Marshal
    Lts. then Sgts.

    Goofy I say
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  11. #11
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Wink Well Sarge...

    Live and learn. Some departments have "No time for SGTS.!"

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  12. #12
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    In my department Seargents are drivers/pump operators/FF. They are considered to be officers they attend officers meetings and carry portable radios, but they wear the same uniform as firefighters with silver accesories and a firefighter badge as the other ff except they have silver Sgt. collar pins. I recall someone mentioning departments having majors and colonels in an above post. We used to call our District chiefs majors and they wore a gold oak leaf instead of 3 bugles signafing major. The Chief wore the gold colonel eagle but was still titled Chief. The Lexington FD in central Kentucky has Majors also. They act under the Batt. Chief on each shift. From what I understand they having training Majors, Suppresion, and Ems then one over each district, but not real sure.
    "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01

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    In my department Seargents are drivers/pump operators/FF. They are considered to be officers they attend officers meetings and carry portable radios, but they wear the same uniform as firefighters with silver accesories and a firefighter badge as the other ff except they have silver Sgt. collar pins. We used to have Lt.s, and at one point they were considered to be drivers before becoming line officers,Then they were made lin officers then they were line officers noe we dont have any. I recall someone mentioning departments having majors and colonels in an above post. We used to call our District chiefs majors and they wore a gold oak leaf instead of 3 bugles signafing major. The Chief wore the gold colonel eagle but was still titled Chief. The Lexington FD in central Kentucky has Majors also. They act under the Batt. Chief on each shift. From what I understand they having training Majors, Suppresion, and Ems then one over each district, but not real sure.

    Our Dept. is set up like this:
    1 Chief
    2 Dist. Chiefs
    5 Capt.'s
    3 Sgt.'s
    1 FF/driver that hasn't been on long enough to become a Sgt.
    13 ff
    4 Jr. FF's
    "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01

  14. #14
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    To all the brothers that replied, Thank You for the clarification!!!! Stay Safe!!!
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    We used to have Sgts, up until about 20 years ago, then they just changed the name to Lieutenant, same job different title. In our job Lt's are in charge of rescue trucks and aerial trucks. Captains man the Pumpers. An LT can also be a junior station officer, although there are aptains in charge of each station.

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