By Forest Reeder
The officer is the connection point between emergency scene operations, non-emergency operations, and the fire departments' organizational structure. Knowledge of the organizational pathways, the various roles and responsibilities and the policies that help guide your actions and decision making are paramount to your longterm success.
For example, your company is out completing a routine assignment in the community and a resident asks you what the department's operating budget is, are you prepared with the correct information? Do you know who to refer the resident to for further questions? At face value, this scenario might not mean a lot to you, but when you look at the full picture, you may find that the resident was part of an influential community group working either on your behalf or as part of a "smaller government" campaign who is seeking information.
Your task in this "Fire Department 101" drill is to complete and understand a short list of administrative and organizational orientation tasks to help you develop a better working knowledge of the basic structure of your department. Access department policy, organizational charts, directories, and reference materials, and review them with your crew to improve your professionalism through education in these areas.
- Firefighter Training Drill: Mentoring Program
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: Standing Orders
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: Expectations
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: The First Hour Exercise
Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Division Chief of Training & Safety for the Des Plaines (IL) Fire Department. He is a past recipient of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) prestigious George D. Post Instructor of the Year award and has been responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service firefighter training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.