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Home>Topics>>Boston Fire Commish Roderick Fraser

Boston Fire Commish Roderick Fraser

Mon, 8 Feb 2010|

Chief Halton talks to Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser about the Boston FD's new training program that targets officer development.



I'm walking down the road volleyball and I'm here with the commissioner of the Boston fire department commissioner Frazier. And the commissioners started a new program here training for all the Boston fire officers themselves liberal Boston firefighters. What's new about this program what was spurred this commissioner. Well when -- -- here when I first took over the Jonas commissioner one of the top priorities that people in the field came to me with was. The lack of training specifically lack of officer training. So what was happening was you take the test for lieutenant for example we take the test for district chief. You pass -- test. When there was an opening you get promoted and we didn't do any training with you we didn't take his side and we -- help young leading give me give you mentor and and and we didn't give -- management skill training and leadership training or any of that stuff. And we we felt there -- put -- her people had a slight disadvantage. So the leadership said this is something that we really feels important we had a couple external studies done in the department of the studies recommended that. We have officer training also so that's really the impetus. To get this officer training up and running and and have a training program that will take this of the futures of those people get promoted because they come on on the promotion list Eagles the training before they step up step -- that position. Standing here that's not an unusual. Occurrence of fire service and number one complaint. We hear from most officers and most departments of strength there which is a good thing for me as I run training magazine and a training conference of the site. But its -- thing that training which to me and in my -- -- always been an investment is looked upon as the first expense that gets cut. Typically in the fire department budget and -- we know these are sometimes but it in your tenure here in Boston you decided to put that number one. How difficult was that the -- -- the man. -- -- the man who was it difficult at all I mean there's a lot of guys that don't really unborn training and once you know one of the things and I found interesting is -- besides seeing training was a priority. Ideas are coming from the field office of the commissioner ideas -- -- from the field on other other training programs and that we now a place like retraining. And though we did have that in place a year ago we have that in place now we've trained twenty companies where we're gonna train all the companies were also looking -- -- companies from. Fire departments in us running communities such a great program also that there was -- came from the field an idea in in -- in we get that little. So that's a big thing but you know I come -- a very strong. Trading background in the military so to me training as a no brainer you gotta do -- -- make a party every day life he would train the way fight. Absolutely and for those of us that those -- -- might not know. The commissioners and former captain in the states -- yeah former commander -- -- captains or commanding officer of the US is under. Aniston and we have everybody out there as the utmost respect community its military and when you think about it it makes so much sense because. The nice things fire service mirrors the United States navy. In our uniforms and rank structure almost every aspect is the instant thing would be the only place but really not a bad idea if you think about it. And officers' training. This is rigorous continuous and they give it to the men. Before they get the position right it's almost interest it's almost kind of dysfunctional the American -- service. We train you after we -- -- You think we we have the cart before the horse shows because it was really nice to see the Senate seat and you have the speakers series we -- myself here just open up people. You guys feeling good and we've got Jim Smith from Philly you just can't get a better fire officer and that there's very few guys practical experience and confidence that -- -- -- It's really nicely network which began in and it's really great to see and hear what what else is gonna happen for these guys what else we gonna see her boss. Well this is a continuous training was starting here now this is kind of our kick -- session. And and this is gonna continual over the next few months -- negative tactics when you get into leadership and management training. So that what we're covering basically the gamut of responsibilities for an officer not just you know. RS OP's in his actions on the fire ground but did when you back to the firehouse you know how do you -- manage people. Heidi Heidi implement them do the rules of the fire department fear of fairly and equitably for everybody that works way so elusive it we've. Feel very important concerts also we've -- -- on on kind of continue training where we want it we want to get all of our chief officers all of our officers. Fire fire -- who won -- and a chief officers are asked to of that so that over time we get bills on national certifications for all of our leadership. And I and I think in my opinion I think that the approach that that you were taken in and chip and and and she was thinking this is exactly right. Because the strength of the Boston fire department is tactics. An opportunity a couple of jobs and -- -- here and in particular captain Brian to -- -- and three story walk up. You could not have tactically. Handled that more professionally more accurately -- more effectively than the than those companies operated that evening. Coordination. The integration of the tactical. Approach that fire was virtually flawless in and they did it was such use of such professionalism. And it was such dignity and such Karrie and such focus on the fire ground even -- wouldn't call bread and butter fire. These men were. Keenly aware of every single thing that every other man and woman and -- rooms making and to see that was so uplifting you know as a fire officer. Because so often feeling when you talk to fire departments that their biggest weakness is tactics -- -- got the personal stuff then and they got. All that stuff down similar empathy they feel -- tactically they're struggling. Boston it was just just a bastion of tactical excellence and it's reflected in your property -- in your in your low death rate for your civilians. Absolutely one of the most efficient -- effective departments in the country and and that's not. Loan sunshine up your skirt that goes to through -- the investment that people who made in this organization. Hundreds of years. And is just wonderful to see overlaying it now. With some more in -- continuous improvement focus training. And I diskette does so proud to be -- this is such an honor the opportunity of Boston to meet these men and women and you and a couple of hours to spend with them and and just talk about what we're looking at what's going on because I think that. This organization is incredible. And to see an organization that is effective and efficient as this one striving to be better. That's beautiful and it is really. Boston's really doing when you know you you commissioner Roscoe and in Chicago. You've really got some top shelf leadership chief Freeman -- LA. -- Skater she's that is the chief in New York City itself. Because I don't talk -- we have got such incredible leadership and -- major organizations that. The strength of them of the personality in the strength of the commitment to integrity and that. And just the desire to do the right thing for the man right now and it's really a Renaissance time almost for for the American fire service were -- who we are what we can do. We're also we discover what our number one mission -- And it's not. For -- -- absolutely he's always Paramount -- Would -- that civilian death. Right that's which -- talk. Service to -- community and you know anyone who thinks it's important vote this time and it's not just this fire department I think it's a fire service is. A lot of these guys do you see that you're talking to today -- the audience. The average age of our fire department -- 46. A lot of these guys again very very close to retirement. And -- lived here in the seventies when there was a fire every single day. Right and now we -- we don't have that many fires who have city 2000 runs of those six -- 7% of those are actual real fires. So a number of fires it. Someone may respond to any year two years for years is down from what a lot of that. More seasoned firefighters on -- it's important to take take these these guys take advantage of their knowledge. Get a better -- Training process in place so that -- to be passed on to these young kids. Is today one that really experience is gonna be have to be replaced with training and and -- -- building for example. -- -- -- -- And things like that will. Yeah and just that oral tradition get guys talking about it shared. Make every officer teacher. And and that's gotta be the bedrock of who we are because you can't expect the academy's you can expect these settlers to do it. Gotta feel like you said that it's going to be the -- the -- running natural romantic company focused on trade focused on improvement. We we in the navy have so much in common and it's just. It's wonderful to see that integration I was -- -- -- Classes I love that lyrical references to character but he was the same way and you gotta train. What you most likely to face. A lot of -- -- today is perfect for these guys do terrorism albeit critically important. -- that day the day. Is more important in my opinion because you can't expect to show that the Super Bowl if you haven't won the division you haven't -- there. All the games in between. The Super Bowl. Is for winners and if you wanna be -- -- there which you know god bless the giants on Sunday and just. In god bless the past. Best of luck to you got a prayer but. Those teams got there are from continuous improvement and excellence and they had to overcome on both sides tremendous obstacles to be in nineteen. And and if we considered major events the game. You better have played hard all the way along in and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that next spring. Tom Brady's got a tree in the backyard with a -- and he's throwing passes through that -- as -- he was trying to make the white FL team and he was eight years old all over again. Because you don't get to be -- Tom Brady and Eli Manning. Or any of those other greats without continuous practice and continuous improvement continuous stretch -- it is just wonderful to see I really appreciate you having me here and and we wish you continued success with this program and it's just wonderful to -- great leadership and is in the Boston fire department as always in the -- fire department. -- thank you. Thanks bomb and thanks very much true what you do and you in the seminar. I hope -- these guys take some new recommendations in that. And good run Linux I think we've seen is correct you know these guys -- -- -- knowledge on. That's just -- -- -- thank you thank you commissioner thanks and thanks for watching on the road about real. -- --

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