Welcome to EMTBravo.com

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

This message will be removed once you have signed in.

firemoose827

Advice, Pointers, Warnings or slaps in the head...Please.

30 posts in this topic

I am not a member if the fire service but sit on the B.O.D of state and national organizations. That being said. I have always felt IMHO that if even if it is a non-paid position. If you would not be willing to "Hire" the person for a position don't give them the position because they are running unopposed. If you do not feel comfortable and would not "hire" yourself for the position then don't take it. Remain as your current officer position and leave the other vacant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ever hear of the expression “where there is smoke there’s …………! I think you have reason to worry. At best I would try to have a sit down and ask the chief and 2nd Assistant chief and see if they are willing to disclose what they feel the problems are and what dangers they foresee if you take the position.
PEMO3 and KelliPVAC like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a member if the fire service but sit on the B.O.D of state and national organizations. That being said. I have always felt IMHO that if even if it is a non-paid position. If you would not be willing to "Hire" the person for a position don't give them the position because they are running unopposed. If you do not feel comfortable and would not "hire" yourself for the position then don't take it. Remain as your current officer position and leave the other vacant.

I see your point, but I would pose this scenario, because I honestly don't know the answer.

Assuming your rank structure is the following:

Chief of Department

1st Assistant Chief

2nd Assistant Chief

1st Captain

Since these people are resigning, your rank structure would look like this if you DIDN'T take the position

Chief of Department (If filled by the current 1st Asst. Chief)

1st Assistant Chief (Either VACANT or filled by current 1st Asst. Chief)

2nd Assistant Chief (VACANT)

1st Captain (Moose)

So here's my question. If the 1st and 2nd Asst. Chief positions are left vacant, the responsibilities of those positions still need to be taken care of, so wouldn't those fall on the Chief and the next highest officer in the chain of command (in this case, Mr. Moose,) regardless of what their official title was? Just curious what everyone's thoughts are about that.

Edited by SageVigiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes responsibility will have have to be divvied up and the next officer down would be doing some or all of the duties of the next in line after the chief. But in my history when the actual position is still left vacant it allows you to find a qualified person. Unfortunately when positions are just filled for the sake of filling them ( I am in No Way saying your an "empty Shirt"). That organizations tend follow the same concept and before you know it or want it will become chief. Now is the time for your organization to take a good hard look at itself and think of the next 3-5 years short term and 10-15 years longer term not tomorrow

PEMO3 and SageVigiles like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moose,

You mentioned OSHA in your post. Is there something that you think your department is doing wrong? in NYS you would have to be looking out for PESH (NY OSHA). They also don't normally respond to complaints from the public just an FYI.

Edited by JM15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here's my question. If the 1st and 2nd Asst. Chief positions are left vacant, the responsibilities of those positions still need to be taken care of, so wouldn't those fall on the Chief and the next highest officer in the chain of command (in this case, Mr. Moose,) regardless of what their official title was? Just curious what everyone's thoughts are about that.

Just one point that should be considered. The "duties" will need to be taken care of but it should be remembered that you can delegate the task or duties but you can not delegate the responsibility for the task or duty. That being said if Moose were to remain as a Captain performing the "tasks or duties" of a chief the ultimate responsibility for those "delegated "duties" would fall to the Chief not the Captain.

SageVigiles likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just one point that should be considered. The "duties" will need to be taken care of but it should be remembered that you can delegate the task or duties but you can not delegate the responsibility for the task or duty. That being said if Moose were to remain as a Captain performing the "tasks or duties" of a chief the ultimate responsibility for those "delegated "duties" would fall to the Chief not the Captain

Thank you for correctly articulating the point I was trying to make. I am on the small screen of a phone.

SageVigiles likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Leaving us with only 2 people qualified to be a chief officer; our current 1st assistant, and myself currently serving as 1st Captain.

... I do not want to take office as a chief officer and find out 2 months later OSHA is coming in for a spot inspection or something due to a unanimous complaint called in from an un-identified member of our community...

Wow, tough spot. More thoughts and questions than answers here, but you know your FD best. Short of the anonymous tip to OSHA (if it was unanimous I'd advise you to quit :o ) maybe you know how well you FD is doing in regard to meeting standards and providing a valuable service to the community? Are there mandatory requirements being ignored? Money issues? Are the books completely transparent? I'd think it would be very difficult to prove your negligence as a new chief if something suddenly happened in your first few months or even year, short of things all citizens would believe every firefighter or officer should know.

Sometimes the position that takes you out or your comfort zone is the most rewarding. That being said, I'm confident that over the past 27 years I've learned I don't want to be the Chief of Department yet and far less likely of a volunteer FD which I would consider more difficult to get right in many respects. There's a lot of responsibility and headaches in the chiefs ranks but likely you better than us can predict what will happen if another void goes unfilled. What are the potential outcomes if a lesser qualified person is put into the position and can you live with that?

Good luck.

Edited by antiquefirelt
SageVigiles likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any real input but to remind you of this. In the years you have been on this board, I have read several of your comparisons and complaints about your department, if you find yourself in real leadership role with energy, power and motivation to change the way your department conducts operations, you may finally be in position to make the positive changes in your department you want to see. Maybe buy that thermal imaging camera, sign some M/A pacts with surrounding departments, maybe get some dual dispatch locations.

This might be a chance for you to turn your department into the department of the future, not the department of your past.

JetPhoto and SageVigiles like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moose you have been given good advice here so I won't repeat what others have said other than to say go for it. In my experiences as a former chief you are always going to run into problems. Happens everywhere. Now you will be in the driver's seat and will have the opportunity to change things for the better. Never be afraid to reach out to the senior members of your department or network with other chiefs for advice. I wish you the best of luck!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like what I've been reading is that you want to help your fire department improve. As such it is not about the problems that currently exist but the willingness of the members to change and listen to your direction. All organizations require good leadership, and one of the most important attribute for leaders is the willingness to lead.

I wish you well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moose, you have 23 yearsin the fire service, so you have a fair amount of experience. As you have been Capt you also have leadership experience. This happened to me when i first became Chief 1 year each as Lt,Capt, Asst chief w/ 13 years in service. use the knowledge you have gained through classes and experience and don't be afraid to find a senior member to assist you. I had an ex-chief that i kept in my hip pocket for the first 2 years. he assisted me greatly on calls. you can't remenmber everything and having someone experienced to help out is invaluable, Good Luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just do it. You will regret it if you dont.

Of course - you will regret it if you do too, so dont worry.

Ahhhh....the romance of the volunteer fire service.

BFD1054, JM15 and helicopper like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever choice you make will have it's ups and its downs.

Best of luck to you and your future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for it!

As others have pointed out you seem to have the choice to either become a Chief or a Captain who is an acting Chief. Either way you get the job.

One other thing to consider, is there anyone qualified for your old Captains position that will ultimately move up? If there is than at least taking the Chief's spot will mean doing one job and not two. If there is not, and you will have to do both, well it's not possible to be inside the fire as a Captain and outside as a Chief. In that case you would need to decide which serves the department better.

I would not be worried about hidden issues too much, especially wqith the member who is a past Chief from somewhere else. I had an instructor once who was a long serving Chief in one town then moved to another town. He went in to join the local department saying he did not want to hold office, that he was happy just to be a firefighter. Then next time I saw him, he was wearing a helment that said Chief Engineer. Sometimes office is like an octopus and those damn tenticles just reach out and grab us willing or not.

Also in my past ife as a VFF, I went from Firefighter to Lieutenant, back to Firefighter then to Captain, then back to Firefighter. In the volunteer service it is sometimes a rollercoaster ride that has its ups and downs. I don't know you personally but would sometimes rather have a reluctant officer than someone who actively campaigns for the postiion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck Moose, you're doing it for the right reasons, I'm sure you'll make a great Chief!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep us updated,Chief! Hope to hear all good news about you and your department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Moose

helicopper likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Moose!! If your concerned now, to ask questions before you got elected, I think you will do fine. Never be afraid to ask. (I am learning this myself)

SageVigiles likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats!! You seem to have a big support group here. Take advantage of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations. Just remember the road of a 1,000 miles starts with the first step. Modernization takes time, start with the easy things.

x4093k and BFD1054 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations. Just remember the road of a 1,000 miles starts with the first step. Modernization takes time, start with the easy things.

Yep...and just think, with red lights and a siren, you'll get there faster! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Members

    No members to show