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    Default Officers "qualifications"?

    Hypothetical question here...

    Should an officer (LT., Capt., etc..) be able to operate (pumps, various tools) and or know all aspects of a certain vehicle (engine, ladder, rescue)
    before they get put in said position?

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    Absolutely. The company officer should know how his/her company operates. If a crewmember has a question or a problem, the company officer has to be able to help them out. It would also stand to reason that the officer should have come up though the ranks so should know how to operate the equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgoodearl
    Absolutely. The company officer should know how his/her company operates. If a crewmember has a question or a problem, the company officer has to be able to help them out. It would also stand to reason that the officer should have come up though the ranks so should know how to operate the equipment.
    Yes, I agree. They may not be the expert of the department but should have a working knowledge of the majority of the equipment the department has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire
    Hypothetical question here...

    Should an officer (LT., Capt., etc..) be able to operate (pumps, various tools) and or know all aspects of a certain vehicle (engine, ladder, rescue)
    before they get put in said position?
    Absolutely!

    Any officer who does not have those basics, in my opinion, should not be an officer.

    The Company Officer is ultimately responsible for the entire unit as well as the crew. How can someone who doesn't even know the basics evaluate personnel in their job performance, or mitigate problems that may arise? Not to mention the safety aspect of it all.




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    I agree, he has to have a notion of how things work in his dept... He will be responsible to guide his co-workers in their job.

    But it also sounds like a trick question; yes he has to know the basics to get the job done but he doesn't necessarily have to be the best at everything. In fact, most good hockey coaches didn't cut it as players...

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    Thanks! I recently found out that an officer I work with, is not comfortable about his pump operating skills. Basically stating last time he was near/operated one was in a class years ago.

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    Default officers should know their job

    Anyone in that position should know his job function. Having officers that don't know how to operate pumps, tools, and set up a ladder truck is a pretty dangerous situation. The officer should be FF 1 at minimum. How is that person going to train the members of the department if he isn't comfortable with doing the task himself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire
    Thanks! I recently found out that an officer I work with, is not comfortable about his pump operating skills. Basically stating last time he was near/operated one was in a class years ago.
    Most departments will require you to be an Engineer with experience before ranking as an Officer. Also some but not all will make them take a test. Reguardless how each dept does it, an officer needs to be well trained and experienced before they can tell anyone how to do anything.
    "Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
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    We started to test LT's prior to appointment. This gives an general idea of their knowledge of procedures and operating equipment. It may not be the perfect solution, but its is a start for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949
    Absolutely!

    Any officer who does not have those basics, in my opinion, should not be an officer.

    The Company Officer is ultimately responsible for the entire unit as well as the crew. How can someone who doesn't even know the basics evaluate personnel in their job performance, or mitigate problems that may arise? Not to mention the safety aspect of it all.




    Kevin
    I agree 100%. Why would anyone want the responsibility without a basic understanding the job. What confidence can he expect from his/ her crew when sh*t hits the fan?
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    I'm gonna' jump on the band wagon here and agree with the others. Any officer should be qualified at least to the point of a Driver / operator and have equal firefighting skills that he or she uses on a regular basis.

    How can one be an officer if they can't drive or operate ? -- Now Officers generally shouldn't be wheeling the wagons but in the absense of a regular driver the officer needs to be able to jump in and get the piece on the street.

    Also knowledge of the equipment and how everything works should be manditory because if something goes down the officer should know and needs to know how to solve problem and rectify the situation. --- Further more officers are the ones that younger guys look up to and rely on to show them the tricks of the trade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire
    Hypothetical question here...

    Should an officer (LT., Capt., etc..) be able to operate (pumps, various tools) and or know all aspects of a certain vehicle (engine, ladder, rescue)
    before they get put in said position?
    Hi, since this was posted in the "volunteer" forum, I would assume that this is a volunteer department that you speak of. Volunteer fire departments pick their officers in different ways.

    Some do so from the members experience and training (which should be the case). But others do not.

    I have seen dept.s that pick their officers by length of service alone. Although I agree that these members may have the most experience, no amount of training is asked for.

    And the last way I have seen dept.s pick their officers is by vote. In my opinion, this is like going to your local casino and play the slot machines. You pull the handle and hope your guy/gal does a good job.

    With all that said....which way does your dept. handle this important task????
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    Not only should she know how to operate the engine and associated tools, but she should be knowledgeable in all the areas that the dept. may respond to such as IMS, hazmat, trench, or vehicle extrication.

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    We vote for our officers. But first, to be eligible for the position, you must meet all of our standards. Anyone that meets the standards and wants the position is eligible to be voted on. That way, the guys pick who they are confident with, not stuck with what some "board" wants. I know a place that lets the Chief pick all officers below him, he picks who he wants even if the rest of the department does not trust/believe in that person.

    Our standards:
    First & Second Lieutenant
    o Must have at least two years in the company and three years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have passed Pump School.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Captain:

    o Must have served as 1st & 2nd Lt. for at least one year respectively.
    o Must have at least three years in the company and five years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Deputy Chief:

    o Must have served as Captain for at least one year.
    o Must have at least five years in the company and six years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Safety Officer

    o Must have at least two years in the department as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have passed a Safety Officers Training class or its equivalent.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Assistant Chief

    o Must have served as Deputy Chief for at least one year.
    o Must have at least six years in the department and seven years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Department Chief

    o Must have served as Assistant Chief for at least one year.
    o Must have at least seven years in the department and eight years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Bones,

    One quick question.....

    I understand your officer qualifications and length of time in the fire service, but I don't understand the length of time on the dept. What if you are new to the dept., but you came from another progressive dept. and have all the qualifications (and more)?
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    We vote for our officers. But first, to be eligible for the position, you must meet all of our standards. Anyone that meets the standards and wants the position is eligible to be voted on. That way, the guys pick who they are confident with, not stuck with what some "board" wants. I know a place that lets the Chief pick all officers below him, he picks who he wants even if the rest of the department does not trust/believe in that person.

    Our standards:
    First & Second Lieutenant
    o Must have at least two years in the company and three years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have passed Pump School.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Captain:

    o Must have served as 1st & 2nd Lt. for at least one year respectively.
    o Must have at least three years in the company and five years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Deputy Chief:

    o Must have served as Captain for at least one year.
    o Must have at least five years in the company and six years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Safety Officer

    o Must have at least two years in the department as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must have passed a Safety Officers Training class or its equivalent.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Assistant Chief

    o Must have served as Deputy Chief for at least one year.
    o Must have at least six years in the department and seven years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.

    Department Chief

    o Must have served as Assistant Chief for at least one year.
    o Must have at least seven years in the department and eight years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    o Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be approved operator as per the Driver/Operator Standard Operating Guideline.
    o Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    o Must be FAST Level II certified.
    Almost the same as our company. Seems to work very well. The only difference is our Chief and Deputy is appointed by the Mayor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT
    Bones,

    One quick question.....

    I understand your officer qualifications and length of time in the fire service, but I don't understand the length of time on the dept. What if you are new to the dept., but you came from another progressive dept. and have all the qualifications (and more)?
    Simply that if you came from a department that did things differently than what we do, you may not be familiar with our operations. There are departments that I know of in NJ that never search without a hoseline, never search the floor above a fire until it's out, rarely make entry in a commercial building, believe that SCBA is for Hazmat calls, etc. We want our officers to know how we do things, why we do them, what to expect to have done.

    We currently have 2 or 3 guys that were in departments very near to us. Their first 6 months with us were very eye opening to them in how firefighting is done differently in different areas.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Default just a twist

    Okay, what about favoritism? How big of a part does that play? In my department, we vote for officers and favoritism is a big and unfair factor on who gets the positions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scvfd412
    Okay, what about favoritism? How big of a part does that play? In my department, we vote for officers and favoritism is a big and unfair factor on who gets the positions.
    I've never been a vollie, and don't pretend to know the inner workings of your promotional procedures. However, who would you want directing the first due if your house was burning, the most popular guy in your dept., regardless of his abilities, or the best qualified, best trained guy?

    Being popular is fine...Being qualified is imperative!




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    Okay, what about favoritism? How big of a part does that play?
    Are they qualified and meet the standards? If so, they get as fair a chance as someone that people don't like and is qualified and meets the standards.

    Plain and simple, you have to meet the standards. Then it's a choice of who guys want to lead them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I agree with Bones on this one. The department must have minimum requirements that make a firefighter eligible to be an officer. After that, the membership can decide of that group of qualified guys, who they trust and want to lead them.

    Unfortunately, I know a couple fire departments that don't have any minimum requirements in their bylaws or SOPs and leave it strictly to a vote. This is where I can see it going downhill on the fireground...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Are they qualified and meet the standards? If so, they get as fair a chance as someone that people don't like and is qualified and meets the standards.

    Plain and simple, you have to meet the standards. Then it's a choice of who guys want to lead them.
    Yes, qualifications are important, and we do have standards to be met, but holding FF1 and First Responder dosen't mean anything when you really don't have a clue on a scene. My department recently voted a LT. that has certifications, but has never really 'done' anything, if you catch my drift. And hasn't got a clue on how to lead people. I just wanted other peoples opinion and to know if anyone has the same thing happening.

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    Paper qualifications are important. REAL Experience is important. Command skills are important. And yes, being liked and being able to get along and communicate with the troops is also important.

    There are obviously a lot that goes into the making of a quality officer. The officer does need solid firefighter and scene-management training, but the thing that sometimes I see is that there are some departments that put too much weight into the "paper" one has earned. There needs to be some flexability built into the slection process so that a firefighter with solid training training cerdentals who may possess strong management and people skills will not be automatically beat out by someone with a stack of "paper" who lacks the skills in the other areas. Being an officer is more than having recieved a ton of "certifications", and those intangibles needs to be judged as just as critical as the paper on carries.

    That being said, there are departments where certifications mean nothing, and that is equally wrong as making certifications the be-all-and-end-all of the process.

    Our department requires Firefighter1, an EMS qualification (preferably EMT or higher) and a time on the department requirement (which varies with the job title) for any position. While it does not require a strack of paper, it does require a solid training background. tha applicant must also meet other criteria that varies with the position,

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    Paper qualifications are important. REAL Experience is important. Command skills are important. And yes, being liked and being able to get along and communicate with the troops is also important.

    There are obviously a lot that goes into the making of a quality officer. The officer does need solid firefighter and scene-management training, but the thing that sometimes I see is that there are some departments that put too much weight into the "paper" one has earned. There needs to be some flexability built into the slection process so that a firefighter with solid training training cerdentals who may possess strong management and people skills will not be automatically beat out by someone with a stack of "paper" who lacks the skills in the other areas. Being an officer is more than having recieved a ton of "certifications", and those intangibles needs to be judged as just as critical as the paper on carries.

    That being said, there are departments where certifications mean nothing, and that is equally wrong as making certifications the be-all-and-end-all of the process.

    Our department requires Firefighter1, an EMS qualification (preferably EMT or higher) and a time on the department requirement (which varies with the job title) for any position. While it does not require a strack of paper, it does require a solid training background. tha applicant must also meet other criteria that varies with the position.

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    Dagnamit ... Double post.

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