1. #1
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    Default Advise for the New Chief Officer

    Ok, I'll even seed one of these:

    You can be a Chief, an Indian, but not both at the same time.

  2. #2
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    I am not a Fire Chief...but I play one on TV...

    On a serious note...based on observations from working under three chiefs so far in my career...

    Don't forget where you came from.

    You can't please everyone all the time.

    No means no...and stick to your decision.

    Don't promise what you can't deliver.

    Respect has to be earned... it can't be demanded.

    Utilize the talents of your personnel... not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear the bugles.

    Admit when you're wrong, but don't gloat if you are right.

    If something happens and it comes down to siding with the politicians or your personnel... choose wisely.

    When the buck stops at your desk... make a decision.

    Praise in public, scold in private.

    Your personnel are there to make you look good..your job is to make sure that they do it safely.

    Ask for your personnel's input when you are buying new equipment and apparatus... remember those who will be using it (and unless it's a new portable radio, laptop computer or Chief's car... it isn't going to be you!)
    ‎"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

  3. #3
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    Listen to us, we've been around as long as you have, in many cases. We just didn't take as many tests as you did.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Truer words have never been said! I have a couple of new officers who will be given this to read.
    Well said gentlemen!

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo

    When the buck stops at your desk... make a decision.

    And stick to it unless there's a truly compelling reason not to.

    (for all those wishy-washy officers out there )
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  6. #6
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    Default It shouldnt take a conflagration to bring changes to your department!

    I would avoid the same types mistakes(refuseing new technolgy,labor problems,getting the "fire chief" mentality,wall falling on him ) James Braidwood made in the later years of his carrer.

    And congradualtions to you!

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    When something good happens, the credit goes to the troops.
    When something bad happens, the blame goes to you.
    (At least publicly.)
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

  8. #8
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    Did I miss something or did Dalmation90 make Chief?? If so..congrats....if not.... I will throw in my thoughts....


    First..As I read CaptainGonzo's reply I was thinking to my self..."Wow..this is like a laundry list!" Very inclusive, so I will echo his thoughts and then add mine at the bottom.
    Don't forget where you came from.

    You can't please everyone all the time.

    No means no...and stick to your decision.

    Don't promise what you can't deliver.

    Respect has to be earned... it can't be demanded.

    Utilize the talents of your personnel... not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear the bugles.

    Admit when you're wrong, but don't gloat if you are right.

    If something happens and it comes down to siding with the politicians or your personnel... choose wisely.

    When the buck stops at your desk... make a decision.

    Praise in public, scold in private.

    Your personnel are there to make you look good..your job is to make sure that they do it safely.

    Ask for your personnel's input when you are buying new equipment and apparatus... remember those who will be using it (and unless it's a new portable radio, laptop computer or Chief's car... it isn't going to be you!)


    >Have integrity and be honest.

    >Don't be leary of sitting and talking or eating lunch with the troops

    >I will re-emphasize the fact that you must not and can not "Forget where you came from."

    >To build on the CaptainGonzo's last statement....not only ask...but LISTEN!

    >As the Chief....you are we and we are you... Look out for your personnel...not just yourself.

    >Show up on the "big ones"...not so much to take charge but to show you are in touch with what is going on. Be there to HELP if needed...regardless the size of the Department.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Dal90 checks,

    Nope, all my mental faculties are still 100% in tact. No White Helmet on this head!

  10. #10
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    I am the chief of the volly FD where I live. I have been chief there for 5 years now. My philosophy on being a chief is really quite simple:

    1) Make the firefighter's look good so the fire department looks good, if some of that washes down to me great, if not that's okay too.

    2) Utilize the firefighter's talents. If someone expresses an interest in a project, fund raiser, training idea, piece of equipment, or anything fire department related, I give them the parameters and get out of their way. I tell them this is your baby, tell me when you have a problem you can't handle, or tell me when you have good news or information to share, but otherwise just do it.

    3) Don't stifle enthusiam that is well directed. We have a policy that says if you want to go take a class or go to the Wisconsin weekend at the Fire Academy or a regional seminar or whatever, you can go as long as the budget can support it.

    4) Don't forget that I still am a firefighter. Now a boss, but still a firefighter. (by the way my helmet is still black as is my A/C's)

    5) Keep up on what is going on in the fire service, equipment, training, politically, and funding alternatives.

    6) And...in my case, have an A/C that has the guts to look me right in the eye and say, when dealing with people or non-fire scene issues, shut up you are doing something stupid. Of course not in front of the firefighters.

    7) Share the credit and the glory and shoulder the blame when itis your fault.

    It took me a while to learn some of this stuff but fortunately I had 10 years as an A/C to leearn from a great Chief.

    FyredUp

  11. #11
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    I'll throw in a couple more.DON"T make radical changes;make a series of smaller progressive ones.At BIG fires let subordinate officers have a piece of the show and/or run it.They're gonna be the next Chiefs.Spread the wealth,people who are well taken care of will serve you well.Grow a set,occasionally you may have to make decisions that won't be popular.Proper input and planning will minimize these events.Last, it is impossible to please all the troops all the time.Do your best to take care of their TRUE needs and it will pay you back many times over.T.C.

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    The AC who will tell you to shut up cause you are doing something stupid is useless if you dont have the ability to listen to him. I about went through the roof when I heard the chief tell the AC that he didnt care what he thought cause he was JUST the AC.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

  13. #13
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    All of these are great. I second all that has been mentioned. Great job CaptGonzo and Captstanm1!!!!

    I will add two things:

    1. Do not get a big head and let your ego get bigger than your helmet.

    2. When there is an issue in front of you, listen intently to all sides before making a judgement or descision.

    3. Show up to calls and trainings to at least get to know faces and show your are interested in what is going on. I know of one chief that asked a new guy that he hadn't seen before how he like the job so far. The firefighter replied "Great. I've really learned a lot in 4 years now!" Don't be one of "those" kind of people.

    Ok, 3 things.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    ________________________
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  14. #14
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    12TruckIrons...

    Specifically why my A/C is my A/C is because I value his opinion and trust him to pull my head out of my *** when necessary.

    A Chief must build a good team of officers and part of building that good team is trusting them and respecting them and most of all listening to them.

    FyredUp

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