Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Fireground Management

Loyal Insubordination

Issue 4 and Volume 169.

For the past couple of months, I have been telling the bizarre story of my first assignment as a battalion chief. I went through the regular promotional process and received a very good score. Everything was okay (to me), except I suddenly learned that I was way too young to be a chief officer based on the upward mobility timetable expectation of the senior bosses, who were (very) senior themselves. They believed that the testing process would have selected out anyone as young as I was; but lo and behold, the kid somehow survived the promotional obstacle course. Because I met all the qualifications established by the city’s personnel department, the big guys were forced to promote me. They had the power and the inclination to selectively assign me to a place that would send a message inside the department that it was in the best interest of a very…

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