Firefighting

“Hired Guns”

Issue 8 and Volume 153.

Hired guns, ax men, snipers, and sharp-shooters. We’ve all heard the names they’ve been called, those people hired from outside the organization, usually for management positions. In fire departments, it is a particularly volatile subject. The grapevine rumor that goes around, almost without exception, is that the outsider has been hired to “lay down the law.” Is there any truth to this type of fire station hype? And whether or not there is, can you successfully hire someone from outside the organization as a battalion chief or shift chief? In the fire service, the practice of hiring from outside the organization is still relatively new. It has been commonplace for the positions of chief or assistant/deputy chief. For the position of battalion chief or shift chief, however, it is still considered a radical management decision, because this person must walk the fine line between management and shift personnel of which,…

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