1. #1
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    Angry

    He assumes command, he owns the fire. Now, if he is doing it while still a good distance from the call, will he accept the responsibility if the scat hits the fan? Remember, he assumed command before arrival, so it's his fire.

    This "captain" is endangering the firefighters under his "command". It sounds like he is on a power trip, or does not trust his personnel, or a combination of both factors.

    To sum it all up...he's dangerous!!!
    ‎"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."
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    Once again, Gonzo read my mind. (becoming a regular thing...lol)

    I would assume someone has already brought this to his attention but it needs to come up in an officer's meeting. What does the other officers think of him doing this???

    How can he make descisions if he cannot see the scene and be informed?
    Like Gonzo says, can't do much about it on scene but back in the office you sure can. Very very very dangerous!!! Just a matter of time before something happens so it needs to be addressed ASAP!!!!!!
    Somehow you need to talk to someone like another officer, the Chief, the Police and Fire Commission, Mayor or someone who will correct this problem.

    I wish you luck. Keep us informed.
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    Smile Someone's always in command......

    Not knowing how the system works, I have a few questions (I think) about the operation. Better yet, compare what you do to this: A dispatch is made for a house fire "123 main st. reported house fire, engine companies 18, 19, 48, 6, Truck 39, Rescue Squad 20 Respond. Now, as those companies check up on the air, there will also be some chief officers coming up. If a dispatcher has any question about the assignment, such as a unit comes up undermanned, the dispatcher goes to the ranking chief for approval. When the first unit marks "on the scene" and gives a sizeup, the dispatcher checks with the ranking chief, who may do one of the following: Assume command and have the units switch to a tactical channel. Advise the officer on the first unit to assume command until the chief arrives. Advise the dispatcher that the first arriving chief will have command. (usually done when the ranking chief knows that another chief will arrive first) It sounds complicated, but in a county of over 3/4 mil. population and a heavy call load handled by a combination department it works well. Is this example close to what is happening in your department??? Stay Safe....
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    I like the saying, "You have to show up to be in command".

    h woods - I do not know your system, and it may work for you, but to me it seems like too many variables. Isn't this confusing to the "newer" officer or confusing to everyone responding (as far as who is command) or just extra radio traffic when radio traffic is at its peak?

    In agreement with all the current curriculums, I still believe that you can't beat having the first arriving unit establish and assume command. No extra radio traffic, no extra decisions, and a consistent way of doing business. If command needs to be passed or transferred, then it should be done. But again, whoever has command needs to be on the scene.

    It sounds like the officer who takes command from a distance (in the words of my teenage daughters) "has issues"!

    John

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    Angry Easy!!

    Who's the OIC? ( first in attendance ) easy...Me...

    Who works there nuts off.. and put it out...My boys..

    I'm in charge....untill an officer takes over.....and says SO...( that means on scene).....if you wanna be the OIC..get the details of the OIC at the Incident usually me and then...take over ..
    IF YOU NEED TO..

    Know where my crews are and then know my initial plan of attack.....

    I have committed crews on my decision..why?...well ask Me

    There is a chain of Command..practice and use it.....

    Start from the bottom.....it's where the solution is...

    Thats the way the Brits do it......it works!!!

    Stay Safe

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    This situation needs to be addressed BEFORE firefighters or civilians are injured or killed.

    There is strength in numbers. Do whatever it takes for a large number of you to confront this issue at an officers meeting, countywide meeting...wherever you think it will get attention....And make your point as a group. Because of his friendship with the Chief....this needs to be a group effort. Stand firm...this EGO trip can not be allowed to continue.
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    As Sub16 has said, surely the first arriving unit will be in charge until relieved by a higher ranking officer. It would never happen over here that an officer who was not on scene of an incident took charge. Even when a senior rank arrives, they must inform the other officer that "I am taking over this incident". That information is then relayed to Fire Control, who update the incident to that effect.
    This way, if the "effluent does hit the cooling system", and there is an investigation, it can be seen plainly who was in charge when an accident etc. took place.

    To not be around to see what is happening puts lives in danger.
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    Red face Taking command

    Sounds like another case of ego and lack of understanding the ICS (or IMS).

    The first arriving officer,(Engine,Truck,Car)is in command, but until your span of control exceeds 3-5 companies do you really need to announce to your people that you are in command? Haven't they been trained adequitly on your ICS!!

    Command on a car fire! Let me guess, this Captain has to tell his crew to pull a line too?

    If we let our people think, and train them to do their job (and let them do it) we could operate with less uneeded radio traffic.

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    Unhappy SEEMS THE AYES HAVE IT

    I am in full agreement with the majority on this one. Example on 3 separate events now, (and this was while still a Probie) I have initated command as the first on scene, and on all occasions passed it to a higher level when either the Cheif or one of the other "Regular Officers" arrived.

    I also concur with NJ's suggestion too. There is strength in numbers, and a coalition of those who will not respond or will leave the scene this this guy is around is necessary. Chances are the guys who are too intimidated by him to stand up for themselves will likely also join the band wagon once they see positive action being taken.
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    How about an on-air reply to his assumption of command like: "That's clear, Car 1. Request you meet with Engine 2 for an update when you arrive on scene. Please advise your ETA."

    That way dispatch and everyone on scene knows he's not there yet and you've publicly requested he gets a face-to-face briefing. This won't guarantee he does any of this, just that his actions are visible to all who listen, including everyone with scanners which hopefully includes some people who can make a difference.
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    Last edited by fireflyer; 07-01-2003 at 12:56 AM.

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    Here's the scenario to picture.

    Any old incident. First units on scene establish OIC and begin doing their job. The "Captain" is in route and radios that he is, "taking command of XYZ incident." Moments later - it hits the fan and decisions must be made quickly. He isn't on scene. Things don't go well and someone is hurt/killed.

    Investigation leads to many items of concern. Injured party/family of dead person decides to sue. Plaintiff's attorney gets recording(s) of radio traffic from incident from the dispatch folks. "You stated that at ABC time you assumed command of the incident" -Yes- "Were you on scene?" --No-- "How could you make decisions......"

    Now you have an officer assuming command - it's on tape, it's a fact - unless someone wants to explain that, "Well he wasn't REALLY in command 'cause he wasn't on scene....." Lot's of nasty questions come up at that point. Done deal. Negligence. $$$ damage award and heads will roll. There will not be much question of his "assuming responsibility" for the incident. It is his and he doesn't have a choice.

    Did other officers know about this problem (see the post on Firehouse.com that was found during discovery)? Were concerns raised? Did the Chief know and allow this? Is there a pattern of behavior? Did this behavior concern regular firefighters? Were those already on scene - particularly the OIC - not capable of managing the incident?

    You get my drift. You have a major problem that opens your dept. up to significant liability and more importantly - endangers FFs/civilians/everyone at the incident. Get your leadership together and get this addressed BEFORE someone has to explain it in court.

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    Angry IC

    I have always been trained that Command can not be assumed until you are actually on scene, after which you may pass command off in a face to face with the next officer. Assuming command in route is a big no no and can kill the members of your department, you must put a stop to this crazyness.
    Last edited by Ltmdepas3280; 10-19-2002 at 04:46 PM.
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    I agree w/ the majority, but something i picked up was
    two of our new guys who responded to a car fire with him night before last, they were talking about how big the fire was and I asked how many air bottles they used- 0. They said he told them there was no need since it wasn't very windy.
    Now the Captqin was wrong but SHAME ON THE FFs! They endangered themselves, i dont care if this guy is god himself, on a car fire or any other hazardous situation if you dont look after your self and use the right tools and tactics your a damned fool! So this guy sounds like a mutt and a half, but you the FFs must not allow this guy to risk your lives or safety.
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    Ohio has the right idea...

    Hmmm...Just wondering what happens on the next car/dumpster/woods fire that doesn't pose a life safety/property issue if the folks on scene set up but wait for the IC to arrive before starting suppression operations. I know that this is not what we want to do, but if the IC is three minutes out when I begin the attack, seems to me that we have NO incident command. Read the NIOSH reports on firefighter fatalities.

    In your situation, My approach would be to simply reply on the radio when he "assumes command", that I will retain command and that he is welcome to assume command once he arrives on scene. If I get any grief over this before he arrives and assumes command, I will pull my crew out and cease operations. This guy is a danger to everyone operating at the incident.

    Good luck and watch your back with this mutt.

    Stay Safe,

    Jim

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    I also have the same comments as the rest. Ego problem, big ego problem, and apparantly a lack of ICS knowledge or a blatant disregard for it.
    One question I do have:
    Is he "assuming" command or establishing it before he arrives?

    If he is assuming it, and you follow ICS to the "T" the person who established command or the person who currently holds it has to "pass command." One thing is for sure, I'd be the first to bust balls and refuse to pass command to him and I'd let dispatch know and anyone else listening in scanner world why.

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    Post Duh...Hoo....Meee......????

    Think if someone told him to read this thread that it would get the point across?? Just a thought.... Stay Safe....
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    Assuming command with-out actually being there is absolutely crazy and will get someone killed.

    I'm not sure what is your dumpsters, but there is all manner of haz-mat crap in the ones around here...
    Car fires- there isn't anything good burning on them!
    All good reasons to wear a SCBA.
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    In my town a person calls on the scene and sets up command. If a higher chief comes in he may assume command if he wants to but is all done on the radio. THERE IS ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH NOT WEARING AN SCBA. WAIT A MINUTE THERE SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM BECAUSE ACCOPRDING TO OSHA NFPA PESH AND ANY OTHER GOD FOR SAKEN ORGANIZATION THEY WILL NOT ALLOW A PERSON TO ENTER A HAZARDOUS FIELD LIKE ANY FIRE WHERE THERE IS A HEALTH RISK (EVEN A CAR FIRE) WITHOUT THE USE OF AN SCBA. I dont want you to get your department in trouble but if the chief and other higher archy won't do anything it might be good to go and talk to one of the guys from the health and safty commison of your state. This guy is dangerous! SCBA's are bought for a reason. They are not exspensive to fill so why not use them. It is a guy like this that is going to get a guy killed. I have been in the fire service for 2 years and have just earned my interior certification. Ever since I got in at age 16 I have been trained in the use of an SCBA. I am now 18 and have gotten the ok to enter burning buildings because I am highly qualified in course area. I NEVER WANT TO HEAR ANYONE ESPEACIALLY A PROBIE OR YOUNGEN SAY THEY DON'T NEED AN SCBA TO ENTER A STRUCTURE FIRE. I like my lungs. best of luck to you and I hope this guy is removed ASAP. Or else can we say law suit.

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    I am an officer in a small volunteer fire dept. 35 active members, roughly 300 runs per year, including medical. Even we use ICS. It exists for a reason, it works. If I'm on scene first and the chief is in route, I may be communicating with him on the radio, and he may be giving me instructions prior to his arrival, but that incident is my baby until he arrives on scene and takes command....if he chooses to take command.

    SCBA. Wonder what your insurance carrier would think about paying medical expenses for a firefigher when proper protection (bunker gear, SCBA), dictated by OSHA/NFPA, was not used. I'm certainly not willing to take the risk for myself or anyone under my command.

    I wouldn't want to be that chief when he got slapped with a civil suite by the family because he was derelict in his duties.
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