Tactical Leadership

At FDIC on Wednesday, March 23, New Haven (CT) Fire Department Lieutenant Frank Ricci addressed a standing-room only crowd on the topic of leadership and the effects, both positive and negative, that it can have on not just a firehouse but an entire department.

Ricci stated, “I hope that students learned from my successes and FAILURES as a boss on one of the busiest first-due company’s and most senior shifts in the city! This is the class I wish I had before getting made.”

“Whatever you let go will become the new minimum standard,” he said. He also said that, as a leader, “Training is how you can communicate your vision.” Ricci also promoted the importance of the senior members to push the probationairies to begin taking on a more involved role that will eventually lead them to become future firehouse leaders.

Realistic approaches to tough roblems inside and outside of the firehouse, common pitfalls, and tactical mistakes were addressed as well as the roles and responsibilities of a strong leader. The need to prevent tactical drift was also emphasized. Class topics include shift life, paid and volunteer staffing, and becoming an advocate for issues that affect your responsibility to market our services to our elected officials.

Ricci also spoke about the need for optimism while on call. “You can leave the wrong impression on the customer, and leadership is a huge aspect of this optimism.”

One of the more interesting suggestions of Ricci’s presentation was the notion that eating together, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, can build a more family-oriented atmosphere, greater comraderie, and an environment more condusive to joking around, which can alleviate tensions within a firehouse. 

Ricci continued, “As a leader you deal in two commodities, credibility, and trust. All too often as a service we wait until a promotion to educate ourselves. This has to change! The cost of not learning from past mistakes is too high, especially if you are an officer or aspire to become one. If you want guidance through the tough decisions to be the firefighter that everyone looks up to, than this program is for you.”

He concluded, “I covered what you won’t find in a Fire Officer I program or a cookie-cutter leadership class that talks in the abstract. We covered real life in the firehouse, selling the fire service and tactical operations on the fireground!” 

No posts to display