Leadership, Officer Development

FROM “BUDDY” TO “BOSS”: LESSONS FOR NEW COMPANY OFFICERS

Issue 7 and Volume 154.

BY CHASE N. SARGENT To effectively operate, the fire service must employ small teams to meet its emergency and nonemergency roles. Small teams account for more than 90 percent of all the customer contacts associated with fire and rescue services and accomplish 90 percent of all the work. Such a team might be an engine company, a truck company, a rescue company, instructors, or inspectors. The team’s effectiveness, safety, and efficiency depend on many factors, the most important of which is leadership. Unfortunately, the fire service is famous for promoting people from a labor to leadership role overnight with little to no training or preparation for a role as company officer. We take personnel that are riding in a jump seat one day and say the next, “Congratulations, you scored number 1. Here is your white shirt and gold badge. Report to Station 20 tomorrow as the lieutenant or captain.”…

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