Leadership & Command Magazine Articles

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 10:

    As we will explain from the start, the answer to this question may be more meaningful if it were restated and asked of the entity that is the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ): How does our AHJ treat the standards that are published by the NFPA and...

    Article • January 3rd, 2013

  • What If the Fire Service Gets Out of EMS?

    Another fire chief and I were having a conversation about how much the fire service has an impact on EMS. He said that during a recent meeting with business leaders, he had mentioned that his fire department is one of the largest health providers in the...

    Article • January 1st, 2013

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 9

    These questions get to the heart of the fire department’s efficiency. Set aside for a moment that it is extremely difficult to predict when an emergency will occur. On-duty staffing serves, in some respects, as an insurance policy for businesses...

    Article • January 1st, 2013

  • Know Your Crew, Part 5: Leading the "Expressives"

    In August, I started a five-part series about knowing your crew and the four different social styles on your team, based on the Merrill/Reid Social Style Model. If you haven’t read the first four installments, be sure to start there so this column makes...

    Article • January 1st, 2013

  • Riding the Right-Front Seat: Basic Leadership Skills

    I recently came across research on the basics of leading people in a volunteer environment that applies to every type of fire department. In an article titled “Thoughts on Leadership” (Professional Safety, September 2003), James Kendrick suggests...

    Article • January 1st, 2013

  • "The Wrong People Are Here"

    I was presenting a leadership program in a suburb of Denver, CO, with my buddy Rick Lasky, retired chief of the Lewisville, TX, Fire Department, when a young firefighter came up to talk with us. He was enjoying the program and told us that the stories...

    Article • January 1st, 2013

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 8

    The quick answer to this question is a resounding “NO.” You don’t need to respond to all “911” calls in an emergency fashion. The operative word in this question is “all.” The success or failure of fire service emergency and...

    Article • December 1st, 2012

  • Speak Up: Restoring the Flame at USFA

    Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark report, America Burning. A must-read for fire service officials, America Burning brought together many of the brightest minds in the fire service to develop a report that captured the seriousness of the...

    Article • December 1st, 2012

  • Command Post: Riding the Right-Front Seat: Sharing Your Knowledge

    Let me begin by making a simple, but direct comment: If you are going to lead people, you must be able to train people. Everybody in positions of leadership, regardless of rank, must be able to share their knowledge and experience with the people who have...

    Article • November 1st, 2012

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Question 7

    Many of the installments of this series refer to the new challenges that have been placed upon the fire service and, more specifically, how to pay for those services. Many government agencies – federal, state and local – are critically examining their...

    Article • November 1st, 2012

  • The Fire Scene: New Officers: Don't Be Afraid to Change

    When firefighters are promoted to officer positions, there is often much discussion about how well they are going to perform, how they will treat their firefighters and in general how they are going to behave. Most firefighters work in the fire...

    Article • November 1st, 2012

  • Leadership Lessons: Know Your Crew, Part 4: How to Lead the "Amiables"

    In August, I started a five-part series about knowing your crew and the four different social styles on your team, based on the Merrill/Reid Social Style Model. If you haven’t read the first three columns, be sure to start there so this month’s column...

    Article • November 1st, 2012

  • The Fire Scene: Nothing Showing

    Have you ever heard an officer say “nothing showing” on arriving at an alarm location? I often wonder what that means to the other firefighters responding to that location. Does it mean there is no condition to deal with? Does it mean you can slow...

    Article • October 1st, 2012

  • Leadership Lessons: Know Your Crew, Part 3: How to Lead the "Drivers"

    In August, I started a five-part series about knowing your crew and the four different social styles on your team, based on the Merrill/Reid Social Style Model. If you haven’t read the first two columns, be sure to start there so this month’s column...

    Article • October 1st, 2012

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 6

    Response time and available staffing are the two most important factors that influence fire department success at emergency scenes.   There has been much debate in the fire service literature and among fire service managers and city administrators...

    Article • October 1st, 2012