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Thread: New Officer

  1. #1
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    Default New Officer

    I was recently made a Sergeant, and want to know what the other saltier officers have in way of advice of gaining the support of my crew.

    I definatly have my work cut out for me, many of the members act on thier own accord, and do whatever pleases them at the moment. The chief refuses to disapline anyone, so disapline has become a huge problem, and they feel they don't have to listen, because nothing will happen to them anyway. I have tried to set a good example, that isn't working so well.

    We have also got a large number of newer members who have thier training but havent been in a wroking house yet, we have been dry for awhile, very minor fires in the past few months, nothng big.

    I want this more than anything in the world, this is my goal to become an officer, and what I strive for this in my career goals as well. But I am getting fed up, and frustrated.

    I am not trying to vent or bad mouth the chief, but I want to make a difference, and need some advice. Our department has changed drasticly ove the past few years.

    Sincerly;

    Trying to Weld the chain of command back together.
    Last edited by ggtruckie; 10-12-2002 at 02:34 PM.


  2. #2
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default I got a million of these...

    I got a lot of these and could send you more in the
    mail. Here are my favorites with a *-

    *-Remember, egos eat brains. Keep it in check.
    *- Communicate, talk to, not down.
    *-Choose respect over popularity. People want leaders
    who are technically competent and give direct
    leadership.
    *-Top priorities for Fire Officers- What do Firefighters
    want in an officer?
    -Indicate the right way.
    -Employees want honestly, competent, inspiration,
    Enthusiasm and forward looking.
    -Credibility due to- Values are clear, ID what they
    want, communicate with enthusiasm, stand for your
    beliefs, LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

    Seriously too- Think "customer service" both inside
    the station and outside. If you Chief wont discipline,
    make the troops self-discipline.


    I think you will find more goodies from Phoenix Fire
    Chief Brunacini.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Junior Member firegod911's Avatar
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    Cool Just know when to take the boot of their necks.....

    gg- Just kidding....congrats on the new job. The age old problem, do I lead, or do I manage. The best can do both, the worst can do neither, or at best, are stong in one, non-existant in the other. Too much info to cover here, but I can pass on two pieces of advice I was one given:

    1) An officers only job is to make sure the personnel he/she supervises are disciplined in the policies and procedures of their department. (Disciplined meaning: trained in, knowledgeable, understanding, practicing, and occassionally behavior changing)

    This will depend a lot on what your department's policies look like.

    2) Q: What's the best color for a fire engine?
    A: What ever the Chief wants if to be.

    Most of us would say red, but ultimately I can do my job on a green engine. I was hired to do a certain job, and so was the Chief. If the Chief is loose on the structure of the department, is not overly strict, and requires a lot out of his officer's....then I suggest you go back to advice #1.

    Good Luck with the new job,

    FG
    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    LAO TZU

  4. #4
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default I got more...

    Again, I got a ton of these. I study them for future promotions.

    - Remember, a Captain (Company Officer) needs to watch his crew's
    back once onscene. You will want to jump in and get "hands on",
    but that is what your crew is for.

    -When it is time to put away the hose. You are NOT too good to help.
    Get in there and help the crew roll hose and clean up vs. kicking
    it with the Chief.

    If you email me your snail mail address, I will hook you up!!!

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    Default

    I answered one of these once before.
    I am not an officer, so I know what us peons want.
    Here goes:

    1) Never tell us to do something you can't or WILL NOT do.
    2) You are not too good to clean up.
    3) When someone comes to you with a problem listen and follow-up
    accordingly. (Builds respect and trust)
    4) Never publicly discipline.
    5) Never try to make someone feel stupid.
    6) If one of your firefighters has a problem with another officer
    get involved. (If they are like me they WILL be wrote up)
    7) You get respect by giving respect, you had to earn respect as a
    firefighter now you have to earn it as an officer.
    8) Don't be afraid to challenge other officers including chiefs.
    (If you do not then people will feel there is no point in talking
    to you because you won't do anything anyway)
    9) In my opinion your 1st priority is your crew(after yourself) as
    as long as your crew is happy and willing to work for you the rest
    will fall into place.

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    Default

    ggtruckie,
    All good advise. Let me add just two.

    You no longer can be "one of the guys". As firegod911 has stated very well, you will need to discipline your personnel. You can't do that as "one of the guys". It may be nice to be their friends but that's not your job.

    At scenes, you have no more important job than to make sure they all come home in pretty much the same condition as they left.

  7. #7
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default

    >Do not be a "know it all"

    >work with your crew....not "on your crew"

    >lead by example

    >do a needs assessment on your crew or your department and then put those identified needs in priority list and begin to address the needs

    >If the chief appointed you...he must have faith in your abilities. In light of that you should go to him and discuss your concerns about discipline.

    We have talked before.....from the day you started ...so I don not need to tell you more. Since I know you...I know your abilities and potentials... Think before you speak and act...remember that..
    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.

  8. #8
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    Default

    I dont really know what kind of a dept you are on or what/who u are responible for. If u are on a career dept and have your own company or on a vollie and are in charge of a bigger group. It seems u have 2 groups of probs, some older veterans that are used to doing what they want and new guys with no real experience. Beyond setting the example and putting your troops welfare before your own I would sit down and set some goals. What do u want to happen in your company? What do u want the older guys to do and how they should act, the same with the new guys. It would be a good idea to get together with the older guys and show them what u want to get done, where u want to take the company and let them know it will be up to a large part the help they give u in getting there. Let them have some ownership in attaining your goals, make your goals their goals. Have the older guys train younger guys etc. be more democratic with the older guys in the firehouse, but always let them know who is boss on the fireground. Not in an arrogant manner, but what u say on a fire goes. If they wont take your lead that way, youll have to teach and train them what following means. I think if u try the above they will follow you, if not youll have to discipline and train them to do that. Your chief might not discipline but u can in your own firehouse. If they are going to act like 5 yr olds then youl have to treat them like 5 yr olds, with extra cleaning, yard work, whatever and let them know that the reason they are doing these menial things is because they arent acting professional and until they can figure that out they will continue to do things like that. Most guys want to do the job and are motivated. Some guys after being with weak leaders that let them get away with whatever will get lazy and form bad habits. But they will come back to acting right with good leadership once again just ease them back into it and they will catch on, good luck
    Last edited by dfd3dfd3; 10-14-2002 at 01:04 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    1) dont micro manage
    2) remember that you dont know everything-dont act like you do

  10. #10
    Junior Member firegod911's Avatar
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    Cool Maybe it means "small" managers......

    Micro-managing is an over-used, obsolete term. There is no way to measure, weigh, or decide what is micro-management except by the individual who "thinks" his supervisor is doing it.

    I think we can all agree that good "managing" involves delegating the tasks, evaluating the finished product, and in between occasional checks on the progress. By trusting the employee to complete the task on their own, we earn leadership points, but......

    ...sometimes a supervisor has to step in. It could be a time issue, or money, or quality, or "god forbid" a political issue, or any of a dozen reasons, and what happens? The coined-term "micro-manager" leaps out? Why? Perhaps the supervisor forgot to give out needed information in the beginning of the project. Perhaps the task now has greater or less priority then before.

    Let me give you a quick example:

    A four years ago, I assigned my shift to wax the engine and an ambulance, and specifically told them the engine first. Why the engine? Because it was to be used in public display the next day. A couple hours later, I called to find out their progress, and was told that they had split the crew, and was done with about a quarter of each rig. I told them to stop waxing the ambulance, and get on the engine

    We got busy with calls, and they finished half of each rig.

    The next day, the youngest guy on shift (it's always the youngest) complained to the oncoming shift about my micro-managing, specifically three things:

    1) Deciding which apparatus should be waxed first
    2) Calling to check on their progress (like I didn't trust them)
    3) Changing how they had decided to do it

    In retrospect, I should have told them why the engine first, but in reality, if they had followed my directions, everything would have been fine.

    FG
    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    LAO TZU

  11. #11
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    Default

    You have gotten some good imput on this question so I will try not to repeat the things already mentioned.

    1. Don't be one of the guys who uses the code of Do as I say and not as I do to lead your men

    2. Be Honest with the Guys in the long run they will respect the honesty if you always are

    3. I know that everyone said that you correct the men out of the public eye, as hard as this is to do try to make your correction positive based. Nothing will get a guy down faster than always being told what he is doing wrong, rather than telling him that there is better way of doing it

    4. Use the mistakes of your men to teach them all. Maybe if you find a problem you could bring it up in a lesson style so they all can learn from one guys mistake

    I am sure your chief chose you for a reason. Maybe you should sit down and talk with him and bring up the problems you are having with the discipline around the station.

    Good Luck ... Be Safe Out There ...

  12. #12
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default

    This has much of what has been said here, all in a nice little package.

    http://www.hyattsvillevfd.org/policies/role.html

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    Default Thanks...

    I have been beyond feed up with some people who make it their job to resist the officers at the firehouse, as well as the officers who act alone or outside "the plan" that we come up with at our officer meetings.


    Firegod911Ö
    Glad to see other people read the same stuff I do. "Victorious warriors win first, and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first, and then seek to win." -LAO TZU

    And I know were you are coming from on the concept of explaining why, this has been one of my biggest pet peeves, when I ask someone to do something I always get why, even on fire grounds, which I think is dangerous, granted I expect them to ask if they don't understand, or have some safety concern, or they do so to learn. But I constantly have to do this, like when I ask people to turn down the radio at some ungodly hour of the night. Sometimes I think if I were to develop a way to teach people common sense I could retire a millionaire.

    It is definatly frustrating, sometimes i just want to say,..." because I told you so" but i don't know if that would be a good reply.

    CaptStanm1Ö
    Now I know why you were always grumpy, LOL, j/k. I have been trying to do the lead by example thing, kinda works, i go out grab the rag start wiping down, but everyone takes thier sweet time to go out and grad a rag to wipe the rig down, just so they have less to do.

    I was thinking of making the last person to the rig, clean the windows along with thier fair share, but how I read it now they would just say no, and leave. after calling me a bunch of four letter words, not that I care, but still not productive.

    Rsq14...
    Thank for the link, I have seen that before, actually used to run there awhile ago. Not sure if you are a member there or just someone that has seen the site but hit me up if you are.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    I have always wanted this ( to be an officer), and it is really frustrating to me when I feel that other are as driven to drive me away, as I am to break into this aspect of the service.


    Thanks again,

    pray for me.

  14. #14
    Junior Member firegod911's Avatar
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    Cool Better learning tool than IFSTA Essentials.......

    ggtruckie,

    I keep a copy of the "Art of War" on my desk. I think my guys are going to kill me if I continue to quote from it. (wife too)

    Here is another of my favorite quotes (translated version)

    Understand the nature of victory,
    It exists in preparedness and in opportunity
    It exists in the enemy's failure
    It is never determined by only one side

    Sun Tzu

    Give's me goose bumps,

    FG
    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    LAO TZU

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    GG, roll out to the book store and pick up Richard Marcinko's "Leadership Secrets of The Rogue Warrior" and "The Rogue Warrior's Strategy For Success." Very very good insite. Dick is very well educated and is very knowledgable about how to motivate people and get the maximum out of thier work. I HIGHLY recommend both of them. Two of my favorite books in my library.

    Your drivers got your back bro!

    Matt

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    Default

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the free advice. I was promoted from engineer to lieutenant this week. All of this backs up what my captain told me the night I was promoted. Good advice to be put into practice.

  17. #17
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    Default

    PWC606...
    Yea I read some of his strategy books already, Actually I have to return one of them to the other guy from California. I agree very good books. Wish I could have applied them better to this point. Maybe the next to get promoted will realize all this, before I did.

    Thanks.

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