Leadership & Command Magazine Articles

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  • For the Record

    Finn Named Boston Commissioner Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed Deputy Fire Chief Joe Finn of Division 1 as Fire Commissioner/Chief of Department on July 7. Finn was hailed as a seasoned leader who will command the rank-and-file’s respect...

    Article • August 1st, 2014

  • Making Mistakes – And Correcting Them

    Nobody likes to talk about making mistakes. The problem with that is in our business, if you make mistakes, someone could be killed or seriously injured. And if you don’t talk about mistakes, you or someone else could make that mistake again! Yes...

    Article • May 1st, 2014

  • Rural "Chiefing": Times Have Changed

    Chiefs, it’s time to talk about your department’s most important resource – people. A fire department is a group of individuals with a common interest, much like a corporate board of directors, a school board, a town council, a bowling league and...

    Article • May 1st, 2014

  • Going for the Gold: Tips for the New Chief

    In my April column, I shared some thoughts about how the newly promoted chief officer should think, act and perform. It is my fervent hope that you chose to remember the part about caring for your people; otherwise, this month’s column will have...

    Article • May 1st, 2014

  • Command Post: Going for the Gold: A New Direction

    For the past couple of years, I have been sharing my thoughts about what you might need to know as a first-line fire service supervisor. My “Riding the Right-Front Seat” series came about as a result of some serious discussions with my good buddy...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • Higher Education: Leadership in Extreme Contexts

    Leadership in extreme contexts, such as those experienced by wildland and urban firefighters, represents an area deserving of formal study given events such as 9/11, the wildfire in the South Canyon on Storm King Mountain in Colorado in 1994 and the...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • Disaster Response: Commanding the Storm: Lessons Learned From Oklahoma tornados - Part 3

    Several challenges related to staging were identified in after-action meetings. Early in the response, multiple agencies established their own mobile command and staging areas.   This led incoming resources to check in at the wrong locations and...

    Article • April 1st, 2014

  • As Firehouse Sees It: "The Tradition Continues": FDNY Captain Dan Tracy, RIP

    Recently, a retired FDNY captain I had talked with at length passed away. Captain Dan Tracy was in his 80s. He had been ill, but never mentioned it to me. I had the pleasure of sitting next to him at several breakfasts held monthly among retired...

    Article • March 1st, 2014

  • The Fire Scene: After-Action Reports: Analyzing Your Performance

    In my travels across the country visiting firefighters, I often hear the stories about a recent dramatic fire or emergency that the local company handled. Usually, several people are there, firefighters and officers who operated at the scene, and they...

    Article • March 1st, 2014

  • The Fire Scene: Retrieving Information

    When we arrive at a structural fire, one of the first actions we take, if possible, is to complete a 360-degree survey of the building. This is one of our first on-scene methods of collecting information about the situation we have been summoned to handle...

    Article • February 1st, 2014

  • As Firehouse Sees It: What Lessons Have You Learned?

    If you are a fire chief or an incident commander, no matter where you live or work, one person or multiple people, a natural disaster or an unusual weather-related event can determine whether you or your fire department will be on the national or...

    Article • February 1st, 2014

  • Command Post: Riding the Right-Front Seat: Discipline As a Training Tool

    W hen you are the person riding in the right-front seat, it is your job to ensure that the tasks your company is expected to perform are done correctly and in a timely manner. You must be able to control the actions of the people onboard your unit...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

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

    What we have addressed throughout this series is that times have changed and many fire departments no longer have the funding or support they once had. We are now required to justify our programs, services and budget expenditures more than perhaps we have...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

  • The Fire Scene: Firefighting: "The Greatest Job"

    In the weeks and months following 9/11, many unique and motivational phrases, bumper stickers and signs began appearing around New York City and in its firehouses. One in particular said, “FDNY Still the Greatest Job on Earth”. It was true before 9/11...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

  • Disaster Response: Commanding the Storm: Lessons Learned From Oklahoma Tornados - Part 2

    One of the first priorities every fire officer learns in Incident Command System (ICS) training is to maintain the safety and security of your personnel. One element that led to an increase in the complexity of this disaster was the fact that the storm...

    Article • January 1st, 2014

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