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    Default New Lt. Looking For Help

    I am a new Lt. and I just started about 3 months ago. I started on the shift I was on prior to the promotion. I new the members and there abilities. Now I am being moved to a new shiftwith people I don`t know well. I was told by my chief that I am being moved to this new shift because of the changes I had made to my old shift for the better. I am taking over for another Lt. that believes all people need to do is sit around a fire house not drill or train. now to my question I am looking for a general firefighter evaluation form for any type of firefighting skills. I am looking for forms and skills used by other FD's to evaluate new firefighters or evaluations used for firefighters quarterly, or yearly. Please I will not copy anything I just need some Ideas. I need help I am coming in on new people and I don't know how to deal with me not knowing their skills and also the fact that their prior officer did nothing. Also I need to know how to curve up coming training so I hit what needs to be hit.

    PLEASE HELP!! I will give out my e-mail for anyone who can help and send anything.

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    How do you currently evaluate personnel? Surely there is already some type of system already in place to determine the capabilities of line personnel.

    Is this a career dept., or volly?




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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter2454
    I was told by my chief that I am being moved to this new shift because of the changes I had made to my old shift for the better.

    PLEASE HELP!! I will give out my e-mail for anyone who can help and send anything.
    I would say to take some time and get to know your new crew. And then make the same changes that you did with your old one. This is why your chief transfered you. Why would you do anything different?
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    we are a carreer department combination full time/part time. There is no current evaluation standard. the old fire chief in for 6 years never cared about how anyone proformed. He did not even believe in constant training until his last 8 months when he finally let our current cheif then assistant cheif start a traing divison. the only problem is when starting from the ground up things don't move quickly. Now we have a training commity that i am on and this is one of my ideas but unfortanatly i need move quickly now with the new shift. As far as me doing what i did before i plan on it but i first need to know their abilities. Again if anyone can produce a sheet of some kind or a couple for me to get ideas i would be thankful.

    Thank you for posting

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter2454
    we are a carreer department combination full time/part time. There is no current evaluation standard. the old fire chief in for 6 years never cared about how anyone proformed. He did not even believe in constant training until his last 8 months when he finally let our current cheif then assistant cheif start a traing divison. the only problem is when starting from the ground up things don't move quickly. Now we have a training commity that i am on and this is one of my ideas but unfortanatly i need move quickly now with the new shift. As far as me doing what i did before i plan on it but i first need to know their abilities. Again if anyone can produce a sheet of some kind or a couple for me to get ideas i would be thankful.

    Thank you for posting
    Just an idea, but you may want to get your hands on an IFSTA Essentials book and use a practice test from that to gauge your personnell. Or, possibly get an Instructors manual. There are plenty of tests and info on the internet that you could use as well. If you need any help don't hesitate to let me know.

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    Cool Employee evals.......

    What both of my Departments use for Employee Standards are the current editions of IFSTA Training. In the lesson plans, it gives a general time frame how each subject should be covered.
    What we do for our Evaluations is have a set number of personnell perform a task (such as "Catching a Hydrant," we then average that time out..... we will then compare the times to our neighboring Departments and then average those times together).
    The key element is safety and all evolutions must take safety into consideration.
    When setting times, be consistant..... don't let personalities get in the way. If a friend or buddy is not making the times then don't let 'em slide; sit down and discuss with that person: What you observed, what the standard for that evoulution is, the reason why the standard is set, how is that individual going to improve to meet the standard, set a time limit for when the standard will be met, and then evaluate.

    In your scenario, I think that if you are positive, supporting, honest (however, stay away from criticizing their former boss), and tell your new employees what you expect from them and why that you will not have any problems. I have had to step into a simular scenario just recently and it worked for me. The true question is do you wanna be percieved as their boss or their leader? I chose a balance of both, leader around the house and on most incidents, but also a boss when I have to be (and to be honest rarely do I have to put that hat on).

    Hope that helps a lil' bit..............
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy
    What both of my Departments use for Employee Standards are the current editions of IFSTA Training. In the lesson plans, it gives a general time frame how each subject should be covered.
    What we do for our Evaluations is have a set number of personnell perform a task (such as "Catching a Hydrant," we then average that time out..... we will then compare the times to our neighboring Departments and then average those times together).
    The key element is safety and all evolutions must take safety into consideration.
    When setting times, be consistant..... don't let personalities get in the way. If a friend or buddy is not making the times then don't let 'em slide; sit down and discuss with that person: What you observed, what the standard for that evoulution is, the reason why the standard is set, how is that individual going to improve to meet the standard, set a time limit for when the standard will be met, and then evaluate.

    In your scenario, I think that if you are positive, supporting, honest (however, stay away from criticizing their former boss), and tell your new employees what you expect from them and why that you will not have any problems. I have had to step into a simular scenario just recently and it worked for me. The true question is do you wanna be percieved as their boss or their leader? I chose a balance of both, leader around the house and on most incidents, but also a boss when I have to be (and to be honest rarely do I have to put that hat on).

    Hope that helps a lil' bit..............



    I like the IFSTA books also but with this crew i have a interesting scenario. My new senior man has 5 years in the fire service and I don't like saying this but believes he's gods gift to us also I have a new member to the department and while he does have 3 years in the service he is new to us as in 3 weeks. Also I have a medic who has been a member of the department for 2 years and went through the fire acadamy but never passed and has beleived up until now that she did not have to be a fireman. now with that said I also have to say I not going to send someone in that is not comfortable going in but I want to make sure that if I need this person to do somthing that they understand what i'm asking them to do. Now it has always been a standard in our department to be a certified fireman to work shifts but when she came on she was not held to the same standard by the old chief. the new chief now is enforcing it but until she gets finished i am stuck with the concequences. lastly I have a man with 4.5 years on and I nore anyone I know has ever had a problem with and he is none as a hard worker and a good firefighter. The really bad part about the whole situiation is that you say you don't have to put the boss hat on often but that is what are chief is looking for in his new officers because we are a young department average age of 25 and many new guys with less than 2 years in the fire service. Also our old chief never was a stickler for any thing he would let guys sit around not train and never had control and now that control is trying to be established the fireman our tring to push officers buttons. I need a standerard of work to hold them buy so if I do extra training in a day i'm not hearing complaining and to make sure all members of my shift are on the same page and I am looking for some evaluation points.

    For anyone who reads this I am sorry if it looks like bable but I feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place and it is hard as an officer to move to a new shift and no it was run poorly and not just lay down the law which is what I really feel like I am going to need to do.

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    Cool Advice.......

    Nobody should see this as "babble." We all start somewhere and we all need advice sometime.

    It's great that you have a FF that is well respected, I suggest you empower him..... have him help you to motivate the others. I would be very careful how you do this though, because you don't wanna seem like you are favoring 'em.

    How I would deal with the Medic situation is pull the job description and read it..... if it states that she is to perform the function of a FF first, then that is your support. Badges are also great for this since most read Firefighter on top and Medic under that.

    Dealin' with the other personnel will be tricky; don't expect 'em to jump up and change their tune......... just because you want 'em too. The chore is to get 'em to change because they want to. For personnel that lack self-motivation, I will tell all my personnel what we are going to get done for that day (keeping in mind that Emergecies are a priority) and I let them "divide and conquer" the chores. Getting them to enjoy or respect training needs to be dealt with carefully also. What I've done in the past is have the crews instruct the training...... if it is a FF type of training then I deligate that to a FF. If it's an Engineer type of training then the Engineer does the instructing (at my Full-time Department this is where I fit in), etc.

    Remember, we work in a very dynamic occupation..... if they want to work at a static job, there are plenty of desk jobs out there....... or they can train on how many ways they can say "would u like fries with dat?" LOL
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer
    Just an idea, but you may want to get your hands on an IFSTA Essentials book and use a practice test from that to gauge your personnell. Or, possibly get an Instructors manual. There are plenty of tests and info on the internet that you could use as well.
    Try this idea and you might find life miserable on your new shift. This might work for new recruits but not for firefighters already on the line. Your new crew might resent this and begin to make you look bad in the chief's eyes. Your chief might second guess himself and wonder if it was you who made all the changes on the other shift or was it the firefighters? Not a good situation.

    From Mikeyboy:
    "In your scenario, I think that if you are positive, supporting, honest (however, stay away from criticizing their former boss), and tell your new employees what you expect from them and why that you will not have any problems. I have had to step into a simular scenario just recently and it worked for me. The true question is do you wanna be percieved as their boss or their leader? I chose a balance of both, leader around the house and on most incidents, but also a boss when I have to be (and to be honest rarely do I have to put that hat on)."

    This is good advice and will work.

    Also lead by example and be certain that you know your stuff.

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    Cool Thanks.......

    lexfd5,
    Thanks for the props.......... What I type here is from years of Informal and Formal Leadership........ in that time I have made thousands of mistakes (and that was jus' last week) LOL.

    Leadership when it comes down to how to treat people was described to me the best like this....... "Treat people how they wanna be treated." Since being told this, my outlook on how to treat people has improved.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter2454
    I am a new Lt.

    I need help I am coming in on new people and I don't know how to deal with me not knowing their skills and also the fact that their prior officer did nothing. Also I need to know how to curve up coming training so I hit what needs to be hit.

    PLEASE HELP!! I will give out my e-mail for anyone who can help and send anything.
    I was in the same boat with you, although I was a newly promoted officer on a new department. I had over 10 years experience with a progressive department that emphasized training and annual evaluations. My new department lacked both. On training nights, our Chief would ask what we wanted to do without planning for the drill. Most of our guys thought it was a waste of time...and it was. I became an instructor and developed a training program for our department. I started by going through a few basic drills, drills that even a firefighter with little training should know. From there I kept making the drills more complex until I found the level of training that our guys (and gals) were trained to. We went back to the basics to refresh our older (more experienced) firefighters. It sparked their interests as more and more would show up for training nights. Just having a structured training schedule improved moral and attendance. Our department went from having only 3 Level II firefighters (our Full-Time members) to over 80% of our part-time members trainined to a Level II firefighter. The other 20% are waiting for our next Firefighter I transition course and the FF II courses.

    Sorry for babbling, just go back to the basics to find out where everybody stands, and then just build from there. As for evaluations...my new department has yet to implement an evaluation process.

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    I'm a chauffer in my dept. We are required to learn the next rank up, which is Captain. My experience there is limited, but I've had the advantage of working for a series of strong officers.

    As a Chauffer, I am my Senior Captain's aide, and I am one of the guys. I can function as sort of a go between. I back my Senior and I bring legitmate concerns to him. If someone groans about training, I am able to support the training without the Captain saying anything. I feel I can bolster his leadership on the rare occasion that it is neccesary.

    If there is someone you can mold to take on a role like this, your work will be half accomplished.

    The last poster mentioned scheduled training, and that's great. The biggest complaints I have heard are over surprise training or drills that dragged on.

    You're responsible for these firefighters' lives, whether they like it or not. You're not a manager so much as a commander. There's a subtle difference. You can lay down the law, but you need someone on your side.

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    Default Your job is to lead, not cuddle

    My best officers were the ones that expected the best from all of us in the co. With that said, be prepared to make "game day" decisions to work within your departments, and your companies, limitations. Regularity in daily activities seems to help also. Set a daily regiment. Work around your call volume, but consider making your shift better firemen, er firefighters, in 3 ways. Mentally by studing your response areas, Table top drills or building tours in the AM. Physically by some type of fitness time for the shift, after lunch ,to help keep us awake and interestead seemed to work. Emotionally by encouraging them to take on projects that will directly benefit them for their safety and/or their pride of the job. Anytime someone shows interest in extra effort, jump on it!
    As far as getting a baseline on their abilities, I would take some notes on what your strongest shift member has to say in private about his fellow shift members capabilities. Communicate your expectations to him, and figure out who will need the most "encouragement". Keep the same standard for all, and stick to your guns. Welcome to middle management Bro! Good luck!

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    2454...from where I am, I can see the mess.

    A Senior Man(Lady) must have at least 15 to 20 years in my department before they may take on that responsibility. Your Senior is the laison person between yourself, your Captain and the grunts. I am assuming he has no experience which instills respect from less senior people at this time.
    An interesting sidebar from one who has been in a major department for 28 years...If you have a brash young FF, all **** and vinegar, it only shows that HE HAS NOT BEEN HUMBLED BY FIRE.
    I don't wish to pry, but how many years do you have on the department and as an Lt? How many fires a month have you attended and thought you performed well at. I'm afraid that if the answer is not many...then how in the good Lord's name do you expect to instill respect in your Senior or the other less senior people.
    If your seniority and experience is at the same level or only slightly higher than the people you lead, is it any wonder there will be problems.
    Your only option may be to bring the hammer down and weather the discontent.......

    However...

    Enough about that. To your training problem.
    After being on the same shift for 26 years, I was made Lt. on the completely opposite shift. Most names I had only heard of but knew nothing of them or there abilities, and, just as important,they knew nothing of myself,very similar to your situation.
    I found the best course of action was for a time to lay low and observe each member while responding to calls. Each of us have our strenghts and weaknesses, including you and me. After observing for a while, I started drills with some Basic Evolutions such as laddering buildings, multiple hose lays or relay pumping, individual levels would emerge on their own.
    A note of advise..never dress down an individual in front of their peers.
    One individual on my new shift decided to push the limits with me in front of the crew. I acknowleged his disrespect towards the rank and waited till we were alone(on the machine on the way back from a call), where I told him that I respected him enough not to tear him a new ******* in front of the crew and that if he cared to pay attention, maybe I could teach him something that could save his or someone elses life, including my own.
    That mano a mano talk worked and I've won an ally.
    Another good idea that I have found progressive is to not schedule drill sessions for a few days and request ideas from your crew for drill. The way that I worded it was that on my days off I (as I am sure they do) go through senarios of "what ifs" in my mind, which inevitably bring up questions. Ask your crew to bring those questions to the kitchen table for discussion. Then formulate a drill session around that.

    Sometimes a structured session on "salvage tarping" just isn't what one of your crew needs at the moment!

    In any case... you got the brass, now find a way to keep everyone safe.
    THAT IS YOUR JOB.

    Good Luck Newbie Lt!!

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    careyc1090 thank you for your input i was suprised to see someone post after so long as far as years in the fire service it has been 6 years as far as fires go my department handles 65 or more a year full still's (confirmed structure fires) a year i have also worked with other departments to get outside veiws of how other departments work so I don't just go off of the way 1 department does things and at those other departments we may look at aproxx 15-25 a year combined. My senior man also does have 12 years in the service and 8 years with our department. As far as time as a Lt. This is my first time. Now one thing I have learned is that I had experience as an Acting officer but That does not help much in learning the ropes. I thank you for the drill comments and that is coming very well for the shift. Time only is helping pick out very good and very poor skills both in drills and on scenes. As you said you step back and watch as they go through the real motions. I also wish to say that as I have worked with the younger portion of my crew that I push drills very hard and try to do as meany scenarios as possible but using abandoned houses and even our own fire house. As I teach the "kids" I see that they seem to learn each time and i walk them through when they screw up and talk about all the "what ifs" but also the personal emotions and feelings as well as physical attributes that occur when you screw up in real life. Now I would like to say thank you for your input if you have anymore I am always listen to learn.THANK YOU

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