Leading with Attitude: Secrets of the Rock Star Engine Company—Q&A

Photo by Tim Olk.


On July 13, Hanover (VA) Fire-EMS Department Division Chief Eddie Buchanan provided insight into elite performers and elite team performance on the webcast “Leading with Attitude – Secrets of the Rock Star Engine Company.”

Case studies of elite performers are used to identify common behaviors that firefighters can leverage to improve their performance in the station, on the fireground, and as part of their company. If you are ready to take your individual and company performance to the next level, then maybe you are ready to be a rock star!

Below, Eddie answers some questions submitted by viewers.

Q: Where can we find and listen to the previous lecture (part 1) on owning your environment, leading, following, leading yourself?

A: I did the original “Leading With Attitude” Webinar in 2009, but it’s not longer available. Also the Leading with Attitude Keynote from FDIC is available online. 


Q: How does communications with ALL of your crew members factor into being the rock star Engine Company?

A: I think being transparent is key. Elite groups talk through everything and often. You’ve seen bands huddle before they go on stage. They actually do periodically through the day too! Communications is key. A member might not be an elite performer, but they’ll get to hear the dialogue anyway. 

Q: How do we move towards elitism in an age of electronics and attention deficit?

A: Electronics can be a distraction to a non-disciplined performer. To a focused performer, they are a tool. The key is to master the device and not let the device master you. We could do an hour on “focus” alone.  


EDDIE BUCHANAN began his fire service career in 1982 and is a division chief with Hanover Fire & Rescue in Richmond, Virginia. He is the immediate past president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and division chief with Hanover Fire & EMS. He serves on the FDIC advisory board and Fire Engineering editorial advisory board.

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