As a Young Company Officer Sees It

Issue 7 and Volume 164.

BY CHRIS J. STEPHENS Today’s fire service is witnessing a rise in the promotion of young and inexperienced firefighters into the ranks of frontline company officers. Fire departments across the country are hiring younger firefighting candidates and thus promoting younger company officers when such positions become available. With the promotion of a young firefighter come positives and negatives associated with age and inexperience. On the positive side, a young fire officer may be more inclined to new ideas, thoughts, and education. With this same young officer, though, come some of the following negatives: inexperience in fireground operations, decision making, management, leadership, and communication. Whether you work for a career, volunteer, or combination department, the young company officer is becoming more common. As a young company officer myself, I have learned much in the short time that I have operated as a frontline supervisor. Some of these lessons I learned through…

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