Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default US Fire Service Rank System

    Prompted by another thread;
    I pretty much understand the difference between UK & US/Canadian Rank Structures in the Big Cities. And although there aren't any Fire brigades as big as London elsewhere in the UK, they are all large County Brigades with several Hundred to a couple of Thousand Personnel...so a Chief Fire Officer (Chief of Department) is a very Senior Manager wherever you go who has to have come up through the ranks of the UK Fire Service...Most real high flyers swap from Brigade to Brigade to get the next rank, we are very busy and with frequent Promotion rounds; many use London beceuse we have 400 Senior Officers.

    But, Obviously a Chief of Department for a Major City such as New York or LA is carrying out a massive task compared to a Chief of a Small Town Department with only Two Fire Stations. Surely he only equates to a Big City Battalion Chief (aside from his Strategic & Political role). So how do they compare? A UK Divisional Officer (Deputy Chief) with US Citizenship recently took up a job as Chief of Dept in Connecticut...But there is no way he could have got a Chief Fire Officers job in the UK...he was still 4 Ranks away.

    Here are the comparisons (compared to FDNY with a similar size and responsibility);

    Company/Station Ranks
    Firefighter------Firefighter
    Leading Firefighter------No equivalent
    Sub Officer------Leuitenant
    Station Officer------Captain

    Chief Ranks
    Assistant Divisional Officer------Battalion Chief
    Divisional Officer------Deputy Chief
    Senior Divisional Officer*------Deputy Assistant Chief
    Assistant Chief Fire Officer**------Assistant Chief
    Deputy Chief Fire Officer------??Chief of Operations??
    Chief Fire Officer------Chief of Department

    *We did have a rank of Deputy Assistant Chief Officer but all of the DACO's and SDO's were assimilated to one level, so SDO now equates to DAC.

    **In London alone the ACFO's DCFO & CFO are known as Asst Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner & Commissioner...although these are still Uniformed ranking Officer who came up through the ranks.


    Thanks.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 03-04-2005 at 02:14 PM.
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    584

    Default

    NOt all US departments have the same ranks, for example some East Coast departments have sergeants, I'm not sure if these are drivers, senior firefighters or what. What I am familiar with is as follows, and not all these positions are found in all departments.

    As far as promoting to a Chief officer that seems to vary widely, most small departments require 3-5 years at the Captain level or above to apply, medium size departments seem to require at least 3-5 years as a batalion chief or above, larger departments seem to require experience equivelent to the next lower ranking position from a similar department or Chief experience from a smaller department (very rough statement)

    Fire Chief (5 gold crossed bugles)

    Deputy Chief (4 gold crossed bugles)

    Assistant / Division Chief (3 gold crossed bugles)

    Battalion Chief (2 gold crossed Bugles)

    Staff Captain (2 gold parallel bugles)

    Captain (2 silver parallel bugles) runs a company or station

    Lieutenant (1 bugle) runs a company

    Engineer / Driver-Operator / Fire Apparatus Operator (generally no rank symbol but some have a single bugle or an engine) drive apparatus, may fill in for a company officer

    Lead or Senior Firefighter (not common in my experience)

    Firefighter

    Probie



    Just to confuse you here is the system used by the US Forest Service and approximate equivelent ranks

    Forest Fire Management Officer (Chief)

    Assistant Fire Management Officer (Deputy Chief)

    District Fire Management Officer (Division Chief)

    Assistant District Fire Management Officer (Battalion Chief)

    Hotshot Superintendant or Helitack Manager (falls between Captain and Battalion Chief)

    Captain (Engine, Hotshot or Helitack)

    Crew Boss (Type 2 handcrew captain)

    Fire Engine Operator (Engineer / Lieutenant)

    Squad Boss (Crew Lieutenant)

    Assistant Fire Engine Operator (Engineer / Senior Firefighter)

    Watertender operator (Engineer)

    Senior Firefighter

    Seasonal firefighter
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 03-04-2005 at 03:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SE MI
    Posts
    1,407

    Default

    My Dept has the following ranks in Fire Suppression:
    Firefighter
    Lieutenant
    Captain
    Battalion Chief

    FF/Paramedics are a pay grade, not a rank.

    Neighboring Depts-City of Detroit, Warren, Sterling Heights, and many others-have a driver position, variously called:
    Engineer
    FF/Driver
    FEO-Fire Engine Operator

    Sergeant is also common. It is either the first company officer rank-my Dept used to have Sgt, Lt, Capt-no BC-or, as in the other cities I mentioned, it is an upgrade position. The Sgt works as a FF or FEO on a normal basis, but fills company officer vacancies as they occur. My Dept used to do this by always sending the senior FF on duty-a "defacto Sgt", but now we upgrade the senior FF in that company to Acting Lt.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    959

    Default

    Have experienced both:
    Fire Chief
    Deputy Chief
    Battalion Chief
    Captain
    Engineer (Driver/Op)
    Firefighter

    Also:
    Fire Chief
    Commander (= Bat. Chief)
    Captain
    Lieutenent (= Driver/Op)
    Sr. Firefighter
    Firefighter

    Never come across Sergeants...

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    2 miles past sane 3 miles before crazy
    Posts
    288

    Default

    My dept is as follows... pretty ordinary I think.

    Chief
    Assistant Chief
    Captain
    Lieutenant
    Sargeant - Certified to drive on all apparatus, pay grade mostly
    Firefighter
    Probie
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

  6. #6
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Many departments in the Southern California area have both Captain I and Captain II ranks. A Captain I is similar to a Lieutenant in some departments. Generally, at stations with more than one company, a Captain II will serve as the shift supervisor and as the company officer for one company with one or more Captain Is serving as company officers on the other companies.

    As LAFD uses it with their Task Force system (a light force consisting of a combined engine/truck staffed with 5 or 6 and an engine staffed with 4), a Captain I would be the company officer for the engine company and a Captain II would be the company officer for the light force and the task force commander. (I may have it backwards as to which Captain rides on which company, but you get the idea)

    At our department (volunteer), we also use the Captain I and II ranks. Each crew (12-15 members) has a Captain II who is the crew supervisor, and a Captain I who is the assistant crew supervisor. Either can serve as a company officer on any apparatus, but the Captain II has more administrative duties (personnel management, etc.). Captains are also required to be qualified as Engineers. We used to have Lieutenants as well who could serve as a company officer but did not have to be qualified as Engineers...these positions were phased out some time ago.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  7. #7
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Fairfax County Virginia had Captain 1 and Captain II for a while...but I think they did away with it.

    Prince William Virginia has Technician I which is a firefighter. Technician II which is a pay raise and designated driver or could also be a paramedic. The Technician II can ride up as officer when the station officer is off... Then there is Lt (two types EMS and Fire) and Captain (Ems & Fire). After that there is Battalion Chief, Division Chief and Assistant Chief.
    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
    MembersZone Subscriber FireCritic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    241

    Default Ranks

    Roanoke City Fire-EMS consists of 13 stations and about 280 personnel.

    Chief (1)
    Deputy Chief(1)
    Assistant Chief(1)
    Battalion Chief
    Captain ( company officer, rides seat of engine)
    1st Lieutenant ( rides seat of Ladder trucks)
    Lieutenant ( Driver/engineer, fills in for 1st Lt. or Capt.)
    Firefighter ( Either EMT, Cardiac tech, or Paramedic)

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    Many Thanks for the responses so far gang...

    I notice a few places had a few grades of captains....we where the same once...there were Three Grades of Divisional Officers; DO III, DO II & DO I ???

    They all had slightly differing roles of Management and it was a nightmare to understand, fortunately...as much as I have a lot of reservations about the so called 'Modernisation' of the UK Fire Service, the Ranks are now clearly alligned with roles.
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    I know little backwoods Altoona is about a fart in a hurricane compared to FDNY or the UK but we have a little different rank to what I see so far.

    Chief- Chief of Department
    1st Assistant Chief- 2nd in command
    2nd Assistant Chief- 3rd in command
    Captain
    Lieutenant
    Firefighter
    Recruit/Probie
    Explorers

    The main difference is the 1st and 2nd Assist Chiefs. The 1st Assistant is basically the chief of operations and the 2nd Assistant is the chief of personnel and our full time fire inspector as well.

    Deparmtents close to here have the 1st and 2nd Assistants as well. Basically they are the ones who run the department but when push comes to shove, the 1st outranks the 2nd.

    Just a little different twist on things.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber fieldseng2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    826

    Default

    We have..

    Chief of Dept.-1

    Asst. Chief - 1

    Batallion Chief - 3

    Captain - 4 (1 for each house)

    Lieutenat - 8 (they work when capt is not on duty)

    Private - 42

    Except for the Chief of Dept., these are all protected civil service ranks. We have a Director of Fire Prevention and a Director of EMS. They are tested positions covered by civil service.

    Extra pay if you are a paramedic or EMT-B

    fieldseng2

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,554

    Default

    Marlborough Fire Department rank structure

    Chief of Department: 1
    Deputy Fire Chiefs: 4
    Captains: 4
    Lieutenants: 8
    Firefighters: 56
    ‎"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

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    216

    Default

    Something to toss in and confuse you. I never heard of this rank untill I moved to Ky. But around here you can have a Major instead of a Batt. Chief.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    But around here you can have a Major instead of a Batt. Chief.
    Mmmm, Maybe I like the sound of that one...my Rank; 'Assistant Divisional Officer' is a bit of a Mouthful, Major SteveDude has a ring to it!!!!
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    868

    Default

    Our system is a little confusing (but when you've got a dept that is 5 times the size of FDNY it's bound to be a little confused )

    We have -
    Chief - 1
    Dep. Chiefs - 4
    Operations Managers (I hate that term) - 11 (roughly equivalent to a division chief)
    Operations Officers - about 45
    Captains - about 1230
    Lieutenants - about 4800
    Fire Officers - about 80
    Leading Firefighters - about 80
    Firefighters - about 60,000 (but nobody is probably quite sure )

    ...yep it's all one loving, caring sharing department - most of the time - oh and our department protects 59,000 sq. miles
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    Still,
    I thought you operated a similar way to us with Station Officers, Divisional officers and all that in OZ?

    I didn't know you had captains etc... Or Am I thinking about the City Brigades?
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default

    North Providence Fire Department:

    Chief of Department = 1
    Battalion Chief = 5
    Fire Captain = 8
    Rescue (EMS) Captain = 2
    Fire Lieutenant = 19
    Rescue Lieutenant = 6
    Firefighters = 63
    Fire Alarm Operators = 6
    "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.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    868

    Default

    Originally posted by SteveDude
    Still,
    I thought you operated a similar way to us with Station Officers, Divisional officers and all that in OZ?

    I didn't know you had captains etc... Or Am I thinking about the City Brigades?
    Steve,

    You are thinking of the City Brigades. The combo ones have a whole mish-mash of ranks like ours. The KISS principle hasn't quite made it here yet
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    391

    Talking

    The way things are here:

    Chief Fire Officer. (1)
    Deputy Chief Fire Officer (1 Operations)
    Asst Chief Fire Officer (1 Fire Marshal)
    Batt Chiefs (3 Operations}
    Batt Chiefs (1 EMS, 1 Fire Prev, 1 Safety, 1,Training)
    Captains
    Lts
    Driver Engineers
    FireFighters.

    At the moment it is possible to promote from FF to BC, though to my knowledge I can only recall a D/E who went to BC
    Plenty of FFs have gone straight to capt.

    You have to pass written exam, followed by assessment center, followed by Interview, then if you get through that there is an Interview with the CFO and the DCFO.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    Chief Fire Officer, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Assistant Chief Fire Officer
    Hey Proto...they sound like very 'British' Ranks...nothing to do with You I hope...

    Next you'll be in a Fire Brigade instead of a Fire Department with Pumps and Turntable Ladders instead of Engines and trucks!!!
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts