Leadership, Officer Development

The 21st-Century Company Officer

Issue 7 and Volume 173.

By DAVID DeSTEFANO The company officer position has influence on the safety, efficiency, morale, and direction of the entire fire department that reaches well beyond the vision of the individual officer. As a group, a fire department’s officer cadre is positioned to impact all aspects of department culture and operations rapidly and continuously. Anyone in a leadership role should identify this potential and leverage it to benefit the mission of the department, the welfare of the members, and the safety of the citizens served. Mission-Critical Roles Perhaps the company officer’s best-known mission is that of a liaison between the strategic and tactical components during incident operations. Given an objective through the command structure, the officer must often select and oversee the appropriate tactic. Therefore, he must employ expert knowledge of potential alternatives and outcomes to select the best means of achieving the objective. In the 21st-century fire service, these tactical…

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