1. #1
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    Question Who is responsible?

    I have a question that I hope someone out there can help me with. The question is, if we are staffed with 6 fulltime firefighters, 1 OIC a lieutenant, and 5 firefighters. The Lt. and 1 firefighter are on the rescue squad for the day and a squad call comes down, the resue squad takes the call. While the squad is committed to the rescue call a working fire call comes down, the senior firefighter takes the OIC position and the other 3 fall into their place and go to the call. While at the fire call there is a problem and a law suit develops from the incident. Who is ulimately held responsible, The Lt. who was not there and on a squad call or the senior firefighter on the engine who is the OIC of the fire call?

    I hope I explained this well enough and I sure hope I can get some feed back. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jprasek
    I have a question that I hope someone out there can help me with. The question is, if we are staffed with 6 fulltime firefighters, 1 OIC a lieutenant, and 5 firefighters. The Lt. and 1 firefighter are on the rescue squad for the day and a squad call comes down, the resue squad takes the call. While the squad is committed to the rescue call a working fire call comes down, the senior firefighter takes the OIC position and the other 3 fall into their place and go to the call. While at the fire call there is a problem and a law suit develops from the incident. Who is ulimately held responsible, The Lt. who was not there and on a squad call or the senior firefighter on the engine who is the OIC of the fire call?

    I hope I explained this well enough and I sure hope I can get some feed back. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Jim

    In most cases it is the Chief of the Department that is heald responsible for all actions taken by his designee. (IE: anyone who steps up to be the OIC) Not that the OIC will not have to answer for their actions, but the responsibility will get spread around....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jprasek
    I have a question that I hope someone out there can help me with. The question is, if we are staffed with 6 fulltime firefighters, 1 OIC a lieutenant, and 5 firefighters. The Lt. and 1 firefighter are on the rescue squad for the day and a squad call comes down, the resue squad takes the call. While the squad is committed to the rescue call a working fire call comes down, the senior firefighter takes the OIC position and the other 3 fall into their place and go to the call. While at the fire call there is a problem and a law suit develops from the incident. Who is ulimately held responsible, The Lt. who was not there and on a squad call or the senior firefighter on the engine who is the OIC of the fire call?

    I hope I explained this well enough and I sure hope I can get some feed back. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Jim
    I would have to agree with the post above mine. I would say that the majority of the blame would be spread between the Chief, the Lt., and the OIC (and possibly any firefighters who contributed to the problems...).

    Just out of curiosity, is it normal for the Lt. to ride on the Rescue Squad? What type of calls are considered "squad calls"... medicals? In no way am I saying that this department is right/wrong with where they place their staffing, I have just always worked at places that believe the OIC (in this case, Lt.) should be on the apparatus that would *normally* be first in to a fire. Just curious..
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    FTMPT15, Our Lt. is usually the officer on the engine and not on the Rescue Squad (for medical calls), but the question has come up that if he was to be on the squad would he be held liable for a call he was not the OIC of.

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    Ahhh.. ok... I understand.
    Do it because you love it, not because you love being seen doing it.

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    I would say the Chief of the department is accountable to the community he/she serves. The chief is to assure the public that all of us is efficent,effective, and safe regardless of the operations. How he/she does it is based on their ability,knowledge, and education (aka: job description). We as firefighters all have a responsibility of being safe and making sure that our department is put on a "positive light" from the public. With that said be "proactive" rather than reactive.

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    Yes it is the Chief, although the LT is the senior officer there the fire chief is responsible for all incidents and accidents that happen on most calls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jprasek View Post
    I have a question that I hope someone out there can help me with. The question is, if we are staffed with 6 fulltime firefighters, 1 OIC a lieutenant, and 5 firefighters. The Lt. and 1 firefighter are on the rescue squad for the day and a squad call comes down, the resue squad takes the call.

    While the squad is committed to the rescue call a working fire call comes down, the senior firefighter takes the OIC position and the other 3 fall into their place and go to the call. While at the fire call there is a problem and a law suit develops from the incident. Who is ulimately held responsible, The Lt. who was not there and on a squad call or the senior firefighter on the engine who is the OIC of the fire call?

    I hope I explained this well enough and I sure hope I can get some feed back. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Jim
    I don't want to slam you but if the Lt, is assigned to the squad this day why was he/she assigned to it? I would venture to guess the Lt. is in charge of assignments for the shift right? Maybe he/she should've assigned 1 other ems person to that and stay back for fire or what not. I'm just throwing some of my thoughts out there.

    What time of day was this and was it during the week or weekend?

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    To answer the question in my own opinion. I would say the blame will start at the Chief. The chief will take the fall first, any actions the fire department takes are a reflection of the chief. Now the question of why was the officer on the bus? That would be a toss up. Maybe the squad should have a officer on the ems side and have a officer on the fire side. But the senior firefighter would've been the OIC until the Lt. arrived. You know this could also come down to a staffing deal. Maybe you need more then 1 officer. I don't know with 5 firefighters and since you run trips to the ER maybe you should have 2 officers. Where was the chief at?

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    I concur with everyone who said "the chief" All of the statutes that I have read in regard to fire departments / roles / responsibilities always say the Chief of the Department or his designee. If the Lt. is not at the scene of an incident it is difficult to hold him responsible unless he has made an error in training - for instance he instructed his firefighters to not wear their PPE unless it "sounds good" or something of the like.

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    Seeing that this started in October of last year and someone livened it up I would like to hear an update from the original poster to see whats happened. So if you read this fill us in please.

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