Leadership & Command Magazine Articles

  • Rekindles sidebar 12/13: FDNY Battalion Chief John Howe: A Fireman's Fireman

    T he FDNY Department Order dated Dec. 23, 1913, announced the retirement of Battalion Chief John P. Howe at 8 A.M., Dec. 24, 1913. This was, and still is, common practice in the FDNY. All appointments, promotions, retirements, departmental charges and...

    Article • December 29th, 2013

  • The Fire Scene: Failure as a Motivator In Firefighter Training

    Nobody likes to fail, least of all firefighters. We take our business seriously and none of us likes to even do a decent job – we like to do a great job! Having said that, I guess you’re wondering how failure fits into our high standards. Believe...

    Article • December 1st, 2013

  • "Great Expectations" Of Those Who Serve

    During the last 16 years of my 33 years with the FDNY, I served as a battalion chief in the 18th Battalion in the Bronx. Sixteen years is a long time to spend in any one rank or firehouse and doing so lets you develop and establish routines and procedures...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • Riding the Right-Front Seat: "Leadership Landmines"

    It is critical for those riding the right-front seat to remember that, above all else, you are in a position of leadership. You can never ignore that if you hope to be successful as a tactical leader in your fire department. In line with that...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? - Question 19

    This is truly a complex question. As we have done in previous articles, let’s break this question down into its fundamental issues. To start, we tackle the issue of how your fire department should evaluate and mitigate risk. In other words, how can...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • Rebrand Your Fire Department's Name to Include EMS

    Does your fire department pump more oxygen than water? Is your fire department actually a busy EMS agency that sometimes goes on a fire call? Let’s be honest with one another. Many fire departments are more involved in the emergency medical business...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • EMS sidebar: Why One Department Made the Switch

    The first steps to involve the Chesterfield, VA, Fire Department in emergency medical services were initiated by Chief Robert Eanes, the county’s first fire chief, who required all new firefighters to be certified as emergency medical technicians...

    Article • November 1st, 2013

  • EMS: Don't Leave Money On the Table

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is here. Passed by Congress, signed into law by President Obama and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, it is the law of the land. Some 2,700 pages of law and already 14,000 pages of regulation that...

    Article • October 1st, 2013

  • 20 Tough Questions: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? - Question 18

    et’s break this question down into two fundamental issues. We will tackle the issue of where information comes from first, then take a brief look at best practices. Information or data can hurt you or help you, often depending on where it comes from and...

    Article • October 1st, 2013

  • The Fire Scene: "Conforming": Teaching Our New Members to Excel

    The word “conforming” often carries a negative or restrictive connotation. Many people think of conforming as a surrender of their own ideas or behaviors in favor of those of another person or group. When I use the word conforming relative to...

    Article • September 1st, 2013

  • Interior or Exterior: Where Do We Begin?

    Some members of the fire service are experimenting with variations of what have become standard firefighting tactics in many departments – the “interior attack,” sometimes called an “aggressive interior attack.” The interior-attack concept calls...

    Article • August 1st, 2013

  • 20 Tough Questions For the Fire Chief: Are You Prepared To Answer Them? Question 16

    The wording of this question may immediately lead the reader to presume that privatizing fire services will improve efficiencies. While privatization may produce improvements in service, it is not a guarantee. We would propose structuring fire services in...

    Article • August 1st, 2013

  • Talking People Out Of Going to the Hospital

    I have been on several calls where people were playing Russian roulette. Usually, the people were young and drinking was involved. In Russian roulette, one bullet is loaded in chamber of a revolver and the cylinder is spun. If the cylinder has six...

    Article • August 1st, 2013

  • Riding the Right-Front Seat: You Must Be a Student

    I know lots of people who are book smart, but operational dumb. One buddy had two conflicting knowledge-related attributes: • Photographic memory for information • Inability to use that knowledge efficiently during an emergency The man knew what...

    Article • July 1st, 2013

  • Don't Change Channels For Rapid Intervention

    I’ve had many discussions and spent many hours thinking through the issue of radio tactics for fireground rapid intervention teams (RITs). Of course, like many other fire- and rescue-related tactics, there are many ways to perform RIT tactics with a...

    Article • July 1st, 2013