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Firefighter Leadership

More Stepping Up Articles

Stepping Up: So Why Are We Doing This?

Fri, Feb 15, 2013

Taking a moment to let your firefighters know the learning objectives of a particular training session can help them focus on its purpose, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: The B+ Firefighter

Fri, Nov 2, 2012

Helping the B+ Firefighter may make a huge difference to the firefighters and the people around them, including you, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: Who Needs a Chief?

Wed, May 9, 2012

Who needs a chief? It's okay to ask this question, Ron Hiraki writes, but it may mean line firefighters aren't aware of the role you play. Stepping up when such situations arise will help aid communications in your fire department.

Stepping Up: The Enabler

Tue, Apr 3, 2012

Ron Hiraki paints a portrait of "the enabler," a firefighter who allows the status quo to persist, regardless of whether things are correct or not.

Stepping Up: The Value of Role-Playing, Part 2

Tue, Feb 21, 2012

Ron Hiraki discusses some more benefits of role-playing for firefighters and describes how to design and administer role-plays for training your department.

Stepping Up: The Value of Role-Playing, Part 1

Wed, Jan 11, 2012

Role playing is a valuable activity that allows firefighters to apply information they have learned or received and deliver that information using their interpersonal skills. Ron Hiraki writes about using role playing in firefighter training.

Stepping Up: Initiative

Thu, Oct 27, 2011

Initiative is a quality we look for in firefighters, especially in leadership roles, Ron Hiraki writes, but initiative is only helpful when it is taken in the right circumstances.

Stepping Up: The Lean Enterprise Fire Department

Thu, Sep 15, 2011

Implementing suggestions from firefighters can help improve your fire department's service, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: Should You Be a Manager or a Leader? Part II

Fri, Aug 19, 2011

Firefighters and fire officers need a combination of both good leadership and management skills to be successful, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: Should You Be a Manager or a Leader? Part I

Tue, Jul 26, 2011

In stepping up to be a good fire officer or acting fire officer, one has to be both a manager and a leader, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: The Socratic Method in the Firehouse

Tue, Jun 28, 2011

The Socratic Method is a process of question and debate that can help develop critical-thinking skills in firefighters and, ultimately, the fire department-at-large, Ron Hiraki writes.

Stepping Up: Parlaying Your Experience

Fri, May 27, 2011

You train to develop your knowledge, skills, and abilities in preparation for the opportunity to use them some day in a real life event, to gain real life experience. For firefighters, getting real life experience in a real life event is itself an “odd event.

Take Time for Yourself

Thu, Apr 21, 2011

If you are not healthy, well trained, reasonably satisfied, and moderately happy, your value to your fire department and other people is limited, Ron Hiraki writes, so remember to take some time for yourself.

Stepping Up: The Checkbox Chief

Wed, Mar 16, 2011

Fire officers often make prioritized checklists to ensure that work gets done, but it's important to not let the mere accomplishment of goals take priority over getting things done in a meaningful way, writes Ron Hiraki.

Preparing For the Promotional Process

Fri, Feb 18, 2011

Ron Hiraki shares general strategies and advice to help firefighters prepare for the promotional process.

The Value of a Thank You

Wed, Jan 19, 2011

Firefighters are known for their willingness to help other people, including their own. Ron Hiraki writes that a formal thank you after help is given is a display of you stepping up, not just as a leader, but more importantly as a good person

Assuming Command

Wed, Dec 15, 2010

Ron Hiraki has some advice for firefighters and fire officers who may be taking on a new assignment or tackling a new project in the new year.

Drills and the Four-Step Method of Instruction

Fri, Nov 19, 2010

Firefighting instructors can teach firefighters problem-solving skills by tweaking existing training scenarios and introducing problems that students must solve. Ron Hiraki discusses adding variety and complexity to drills for veteran firefighters.

Stepping Up: Bonding, Part 2

Thu, Oct 14, 2010

The purpose of bonding is to get to know the personal side of people. Ron Hiraki discusses how developing better personal relationships can help firefighters on the job and build one fire department.

Stepping Up: Bonding, Part 1

Fri, Sep 17, 2010

It may seem obvious that "bonding" or forming better relationships is important in the fire service, Ron Hiraki writes, but actually making this happen, especially when obstacles exist, is another story. Consider stepping up and opening the door for a better relationship with the other firefighters in your crew.

Stepping Up: Orientation for the New Firefighter

Mon, Aug 16, 2010

Giving new firefighting recruits an orientation that helps them understand your fire station and your crew can help open lines of communication and avoid possible obstacles down the line. Ron Hiraki discusses the benefits of creating an orientation program for new firefighters.

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