Brother and sisters,
I am a new (about to be new) fire officer. I have worked in a combination department with the same people for many years. I will have 6 career folks that work under my supervision. The career staff has never had a middle managemnt position to report too, issues etc. have always gone directly to the chief.
Obviously one of teh biggest issues is setting expectations for the people that report to me. Again I have worked with these folks for years as a FF/EMT. I have an idea of some expectation however I feel as though I am taking for granted that everyone will know what to do when. What are some of the expectations that you would set??
Again I have a general idea and maybe I am getting too caught up in figuring out the expectations.
what do you think?
Have a talk
Have a talk with your crew let them know what you expect.
Let them know that it is up to them not to put you in a position that would make you discipline them. Get it all on the table before the buddy buddy thing happens. You are their leader and they must follow you, in return you must have the knowledge that they will perform their duties with out a doubt. At the station it's business that is your job. Ask nothing more than professional respect and give it in return. As an Officer you must look at things or problems in a neutral aspect. Just because you are friends does not mean you must give them special treatment or be harder on them.
Being able to draw the line between the fire department and friendship will need to be established. I feel no matter what you expect from your firefighters they learn from training. If you train and train like you want, thats how they'll operate on the fireground. Good Luck.
I am in a similar situation. I was recently promoted to company officer. I work for a 100% career department, and I have two guys assigned to me with 15 years on the job. I've got eight.
I got lots of advice from different people, but making your expectations clear is very important. You don't need to have a "This is how it's gonna be, deal with it" lecture. I've had good luck starting off with a question like: What do you expect of me? That is easily segued into "my expectations."
At some point though it is important to make those expectations clear:
1) On a medical: this is what we are going to do.
2) If your fire-ground SOP's leave a lot of decisions to officer discretion, talk about some of the common situations and what you expect. For instance when your first due, when will you lay 5" or when will you leave the supply line to the second due.
Not encyclopediac, but a place to start. Good Luck.