Engine Company, Firefighting, Leadership

Higher education criteria added for promotion

Issue 2 and Volume 168.

These comments are on Pabel Troche’s letter (December 2014) regarding the importance of formal education in the fire service. Troche’s comment regarding firefighters’ resistance to obtaining a degree is a valid point that we counter by posing the question, “Are you going to ride backward your entire career?” Certainly, the fire service needs personnel riding backward and doing the heavy lifting during emergency responses, but 30 years into a career, that is a tough way make a living. Our job descriptions for each rank have been modified to include the requirement of degrees for certain promotional opportunities. The fire service is a business, and regardless of the individual department’s structure-municipal, special-purpose district, combination, or volunteer-it must be recognized as such. Even in the smallest of volunteer departments, finance and accounting are required, as are the need to prepare a budget, develop personnel policies, engage in labor management, oversee insurance issues,…

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