Montgomery County’s Officer Candidate School - Day 3

Oct. 17, 2003
Day #3 of OCS was dedicated to learning about the leadership roles and responsibilities of the company officer.
Day #3 of OCS was dedicated to learning about the leadership roles and responsibilities of the company officer. To do this, Garry Briese, Executive Director of the International Association of Fire Chief's served as the day's keynote speaker. Briese's 7-hour workshop discussed the many important aspects of becoming a leader at the company officer level. Topics discussed included the changing fire service, training one's followers, the public's perception of the emergency services, and key actions company officers can take to be successful.

Fire Chief Tom Carr participated with the OCS students in this important workshop. Said Carr about the leadership program, "It's invigorating to feel the energy and enthusiasm of these young leaders. Garry draws reaction from within every nook and cranny of each individual. This commitment to the future of our organization is critical if we are going to continue to develop and focus on the issues associated with our changing threat environment."

Assistant Chief Mike Love of the department's Special Operations Bureau added, "As a leader, if you develop personal respect for your people, be honest with them and provide them sincere feedback about their performance, then you have provided some critical requirements for them to follow you. Our organization cannot be successful if our company officers do not exercise courageous and on-going influence on our fire fighters as they do their jobs."

According to Briese, "What leaders pay attention to tells everyone what is really important to the organization. And how the leader pays attention, speaks to the actual values of the organization." Briese also emphasized that "Being a good leader means showing others how to be good followers."

In the morning, Day 3 fitness training brought a whole new dimension of PT to the OCS students. Today, a 20-station core workout circuit was introduced to the group. After a warm-up and flexibility session, the participants were paired together and divided up between the circuit stations. On the Peer Fitness Trainer's signal, the participants worked at each station for 90-seconds and then moved quickly to the next. The twenty stations included activities that worked to improve the participant's balance, cardio output, endurance, and strength stamina. Jumping rope, tossing medicine balls, riding stationary bikes, lifting weighted poles, and balancing on soft-textured discs were just some of the circuit stations.

Said Lieutenant Dee Howard, "Today's circuit training was a challenge and a great change of pace. It gave us the opportunity to build our OCS team, improve morale, and get away from traditional exercise." The development of the circuit program is accredited to Dr. Joanne Roberts and her team of fitness trainers. Their focus all along has been to provide physical fitness training that is enjoyable, doable, and that prepares fire fighters for the kind of work that they do every day on emergency scenes. Today's circuit training certainly did just that!

Tomorrow - That ugly word, "discipline", what it takes to be an LT in Investigations, how to be safe, and internal affairs.

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