By Forest Reeder
Fire officer, leadership, and management textbooks and curriculums are full of terms and principles often taken from private-sector business applications. Fire officers sometimes find themselves trying to figure out where and how these terms apply to fire officer duties and job responsibilities. This exercise will require you to provide a locally applied definition of a basic management principle and then to make both non-emergency and emergency examples for them.
Some organizations will following these principles very strictly whereas others apply them in a situational approach. Your duty as fire officer is to understand how and what the organization expects of you (see previous exercises on this topic) and to be consistent and fair in their application. Consider the following terms in your organization:
- How is the chain of command established and followed?
- What areas are defined according to a division of labor by job task assignments?
- What is the typical span of control for emergency assignments and non-emergency work?
- How is work delegated by job assignment, function or position?
- What level of discipline does your job level allow you to apply?
- What roles of coaching or counseling a problem or poor performing member of your crew do you play?
Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Division Chief of Training & Safety for the Des Plaines (IL) Fire Department. He is a past recipient of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) prestigious George D. Post Instructor of the Year award and has been responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service firefighter training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.
- Firefighter Training Drill: Fire Department Infrastructure and Operations
- Firefighter Training Drill: Mentoring Program
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: Standing Orders
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: Expectations
- Firefighter Training Drill: Officer Development: The First Hour Exercise