Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    96

    Default Electing your Chief

    volunteers.................... .........
    Last edited by rcgregor; 12-05-2009 at 08:00 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northwest OH
    Posts
    355

    Default

    not all depts use voting. My dept has a full time chief appointed by the mayor and city administrator. He then appoints his officers based on interviews and abilities.

  3. #3
    Badgerland FOOL mvfd27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southern WI
    Posts
    337

    Default

    My dept. uses the voting method but most everyone recognizes the importance of having a chief/officers who are the most qualified, experienced or best suited to run the dept/run a scene. Occaisioanlly a name will pop for an officer's nomination that does not belong but the majority recognizes who truly belongs in the positions of responsibility. In other words we use a membership vote but it has never been a popularity contest, at least as long as I have been on. Hope that helps allay some of your fears or hesitations about volunteering.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,645

    Default

    Section 4: In order to hold a line office a member would have to meet the requirements of an active member; and must have completed Fire Fighter I.

    A. To run for First & Second Lieutenant:
    1. Must have at least two years in the company and three years experience as Fire Fighter.
    2. Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    3. Must have passed Pump School.
    4. Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.

    B. To run for Captain:
    1. Must have at least three years in the company and five years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    2. Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    3. Must have passed Pump School.
    4. Must have served as 1st & 2nd Lt. for at least one year respectively.
    5. Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.

    C. To run for Deputy Chief:
    1. Must have at least five years in the company and six years experience as a Fire Fighter.
    2. Must have New Jersey Fire Fighter Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.
    3. Must have passed Pump School.
    4. Must have served as Captain for at least one year.
    5. Must have an I.M.S. Level 1 Certificate issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety.

    Assistant Chief must have served at least 1 year as a Deputy and also must have I.M.S. Level 2.

    Department Chief must have served at least 1 year as Assistant Chief.


    The earliest you can possibly make Department Chief is in your 9th year of active service.


    Yup. It's a popularity contest.
    Last edited by Bones42; 03-14-2008 at 09:32 PM.
    "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?

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Looks like your dept has a good system, but I have heard the horror stories.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,330

    Default

    Welllllllll as for horror stories go... I feel the way things are changing in the fire service these days a chief from any dept must know what he/she is doing. The days of having a good ole boy club and kicking back drinking at the firehouse and bumping into stuff days should be way over. I know there are probably some dept's still like that but they need to get with the program!
    Any chief and or officers for the matter of fact should and ought to have a good grasp of what's going on. It is a big responsiblity (sp) and should not be taken lightly!

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgregor View Post
    Looks like your dept has a good system, but I have heard the horror stories.
    I've heard horror stories as well. Never actually seen a place where it really happened, but they were great stories anyway.
    "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?

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcgregor View Post
    Soon I will be in an area with a vollie dept. and will be considering joining, and can't help but wonder if the small town ole boys club politics will affect my family's safety not to mention my safety on scene?
    .
    Well, look at it this way...if you don't join, your family's safety is whatever it is with that particular fire department. Nothing you can do to change that (other than choose to move somewhere else). On the other hand, if you DO decide to join, and you take your commitment seriously, then the department will be just a little bit better than it was before.

    My advice to you...join the department. You'll never know until you try. You may find that they're a fine organization with good leadership and you'll be glad you did. And if they're not, well, it's a volunteer gig, isn't it? If things are as bad as you feared, you can always quit (although perhaps with new misgivings about your family's safety, see above )

    Or maybe they're a middle-of-the-road department, with decent leadership but they've still got "issues"....Perhaps you can be one of the new voices that helps make a difference.

    One bit of advice I'll offer, however, and you can take or leave it....it seems from your profile, previous posts, etc., that you've got some military background, and that's a good thing. BUT, don't judge the department too harshly if you find that things aren't as "tight" as you're used to in the military. I've encountered an occasional problem with ex-military guys who join the department and think that everything should run like a military unit. In most volunteer fire departments that I know of (and I'm sure there are exceptions), they don't. If the chief is a jerk who tends to throw his weight around and make everything an order or "mandatory", he WILL get voted out in short order by the membership (if it's an elected position), even if he's the most qualified. Trust me, I know.

    A volunteer chief has to find a way to keep the members happy (at least most of them) while still trying to maintain some professional standards, because in a volly department, if someone doesn't like they way he's being treated, he can leave. A guy from a military background may percieve this as being soft or not promoting discipline. I prefer to think of it as diplomacy, and it's a skill I'm still trying to learn. Every department has its own culture and its own rhythm, so try it out and stick around long enough to get a feel for the place before you write them off.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Our departments chief is elected by the select board. The Fire Department itself makes a recommendation to the board, but they really have no say. Currently, I am in this position. Our current chief is leaving in June 30. I stand in line as the next most experienced officer, but the chief won't recommend me to the town due to my age. I am 30 and been a firefighter 10 yrs. I am a EMT and I have been an officer of this department since I joined 4 yrs ago. I am the second youngest firefighter in a 10 man department, with an average age of 40. the membership has sent a letter of endorsement to the town fathers stating that they want me as their next chief. If they feel I can't do the position, or feel that the current chiefs lack of endorsement is reason not to give it to me, then the department is without a chief. The current chief isn't supportive of me because I am half his age and have half his experience. He was a officer on a paid department for 30 years and came to this department 4 years ago. We have a very green department, most have less than 4 years experience. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't endorse me either, but what other option do we have. I have been working since January to learn how to run the department(pay bills, inspections, town politics). The chief knows I am going to take over if it is up to the membership. He doesn't want his name tied to it by endorsing me incase something negative happends. So basically, myself and the membership are fending for ourselves. I am going to have baptism by fire....lol

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Dorchester, WI
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Well, look at it this way...if you don't join, your family's safety is whatever it is with that particular fire department. Nothing you can do to change that (other than choose to move somewhere else). On the other hand, if you DO decide to join, and you take your commitment seriously, then the department will be just a little bit better than it was before.
    Ours is a popularity vote yet. But I quoted the above because this is exactly why, even when there are tough times on our department with arguments and lack of training issues, etc. that my husband says we won't quit. He said if we quit, we will move out of the area. He said before he joined the department, he never thought about who would come when he called 911, and whether they were properly trained, etc. Now that he knows the deal, he has to stay on to try to make a difference and change things for the better. So the previous poster is right. Maybe you can be the one to make a difference.

  11. #11
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Winterpeg Manitoba
    Posts
    2,461

    Default

    Membership elects the Chief and 2 DC's. So yes it could be turned into a popularity contest sometimes but in the end the right person is always elected.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    985

    Default

    Our Board of Directors appoints a Fire Chief. No minimums or anything.

    I guess you could stack the Board, but it would take awhile, since we elect one member a year and there are 5 members.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD
    Posts
    1,033

    Default

    We elect a Chief, Assistant Chief and 2 Deputy Chiefs. The county and department require the chief to have EMT-B, Fire Officer 1, Haz-Mat Ops, and have been a chief officer (assistant or deputy) for at least a year. Assistant and Deputy Cheifs must have the same training and have been a line officer for at least a year.

    Most have considerably more training than the minimum.

  14. #14
    Piney Power PineyPower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey, United States
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Our department requires that you go through the ranks and meet our set requirements for training and education before you can become Chief. We don't really have an age limit, but since you have to go through the ranks, it could only take a minimum of 5 years to get to Chief if you do everything that is needed right away.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Kearney, Ne
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Our department elects our chief, 2 assistant chiefs, and 5 captains. All of our captains must have at least 5 years on the department. All assistant chiefs must have been a captain for at least 2 years, and our chief must have been an officer for at least 3 years. This has worked for our department for 125 years so far. All of our new members for the last 10 years have gone through a state instructed FF I, the department pays for the testing and certification. Even though it is somewhat of a popularity contest most of our members take this responsibility very seriously. The chief and officers are then approved by our city council, and the Rural board. So far there has never been a problem with the approval by these governing bodies.
    Recently our state legislature got in the act and wants towns with a population of over 35,000 to have a paid chief. This was in a direct response to a certain community that has had too much power, and that was not responsive to their community.

  16. #16
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    eastern Ohio
    Posts
    952

    Default

    To make a long story short with how ours works. When the term comes up as Chief. We run three year terms the first being term consisting of a probation year. After that the term runs two years then if reelected it runs full three years.
    .
    The process there are standards. 5 years firefighter, 3 years Officer above captain, and training/certifications as well. With that letters must be presented to Executive Board Officers. (which is President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasure, 4 Trustees. They do an interview process and determine who they feel is the best person. After that they bring it to the department Association for approval and appointment. Still popularity contest to say, however hard to stack the deck. The last railroading so to say happened in 1992. The Association seen it and amended the bylaws so that it could not happen in that way again. Nothing is fool proof. Just have to hope for the best.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  17. #17

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default

    is daddy PIG EYE'S happy now that he got his way, ( as always )

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Stamford, CT
    Posts
    411

    Default

    One of my previous departments required at least cursory levels of certification to run for any office. Another previous one lives and breathes as if it's 1950 so the good ole boy gets the job.

    I'm a firm believer in a combination appointment system for all officer positions that requires certification, testing, time "on the job" in lower ranks, and the vote of the membership. I think that by using all four criteria the pool of candidates should be fairly capable of performing the duties of the position.

    To me using just one of the criteria can and does lead to problems.

    Having all the beautiful certifications in the world hanging on your wall does NOT make you a good firefighter, officer or administrator. While education and certification are important for a variety of reasons ranging from legal ramifications to dedication, for me there is no substitute for experience.

    Testing alone is no better than certifcation alone, as some people test well on paper or in an interview, but are completely lost in the real world. But testing does help determine the most qualified from a knowledge standpoint, and will help reduce the pool if there are many certified candidates seeking a position. This is one of the basic criteria used by our career brothers, and there is no reason why it shouldn't apply to us as well.

    Having experience is the most important criteria for me, but in this day and age we must have a paper trail as well to keep the lawyers at bay. It is paramount to have people in leadership positions who have had experience dealing with the different aspects of any position, on and off the fireground.
    Lt.s maybe are an exception in terms of leadership, but they should be well versed in the many facets of your departments operations from their time as firefighters before they lead anyone else.

    As for popular vote alone..well most of us have lived the results of that system at one time or another. Popularity contests are just that, and if that's the only criteria we use then we deserve what we get. But to me it is also of the utmost importance that the membership be given an opportunity to choose their leaders from a qualified pool of candidates. Who knows better than us who can lead us the best at any particular time. Better to have members vote from qualified people than with their feet. Voting gives us the ultimate control of our departments course..and it should be under our control.

    As for appointment by fire commission, mayor or other agency, well there is always the very real possibilty of good ole boy political backroom deals. Or the appointment of strictly "paper" fire officers. Here again, the membership should never be left out of the loop when it comes to our collective destiny. That's why the 4 point system described above is to me the best criteria for officer selection.

    I don't know if anyone uses this type of system, we don't as of yet. Change is a difficult thing, but that's another topic.

    Take care
    and as always
    Stay Safe

    Cogs

  19. #19
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Nice Part of New Jersey
    Posts
    6,981

    Default

    We have elections every year, you must be off probation and carry an average.

    To be 1,2,3rd LT:
    • 4 years on Department with at least a 60% average of calls/meetings/drills
    • Qualified and approved to operate all engines
    • State FF 1 Certificate
    • State IMS Level One (I-200)

    To be Capt:
    • 1 year as LT
    • 5 Years on Department with 60% average of calls/meetings/drills
    • Qualified to operate ALL apparatus
    • FF Level 2 from approved academy (w/FF state cert)
    • State IMS Level One (I-200)

    To Be Asst Chief:
    • 1 year as Captain
    • 7 Years on Department with 60% average of calls/meetings/drills
    • Qualified on all apparatus
    • FF Level 2 from an approved academy (w/ff State cert)
    • State IMS Level Two (I-300)

    To be Chief:
    • 1 Year as Asst Chief
    • 8 Years on Department with 60% average of calls/meetings/drills
    • Qualified on all apparatus
    • FF Level 2 from an approved academy (w/ff state cert)
    • State IMS Level Two (I-300)
    • You have to be crazy!

    And the Chief has a term limit of three terms and must step out as chief (can remain an officer if he's really nuts).

    If you go inactive, you cannot run for office for 2 years once you return to active status.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Fire district voters (90 some) vote 3 fire commissioners (6 year terms) one every two years. The commissioners select the cheif. Current one has been 3+ years, last one was 15+ years. Cheif goes to commissioners with recomendations on *** cheif, captian, and lieutenant.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Fire Chief & Deputy Chief Face Charges In Firefighters Death
    By RalphSafety in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-10-2006, 11:53 AM
  2. Electing officers
    By hfd534 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-24-2004, 11:58 AM
  3. San Fran: 1st the Fire Chief, now the Police Chief
    By sconfire in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-20-2004, 09:30 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-09-2000, 04:42 PM

Posting Permissions

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