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  • Small department Offices

    I am a member of a small rural volunteer fire department. We just changed offices and are looking to add an extra office. After our lieutanant we want to put someone younger who would be the new office we are starting. Our thoughts are them having more say around the house but on a fire ground if they have nothing to do they could stand with the chief or who ever is in charge and see how they run things. The point in this office is training them to be an officer later down the road. I am curious as what to call this office and even some ideas on things they could be taught and can do around the house.

  • #2
    In our house we have 4 offices, Chief, Asst Chief, 1st lieutanant, and a 2nd lieutanant.

    Have your 2nd Liutanant work the scene, run a crew and take care of small but important jobs. Example in a grass fire have them in charge of the grass rig. In a house fire have them in charge of scba's and venting the structure. I feel its important to give a small crew to help build some leadership skills. Just make sure they are able to do and handle the jobs they are given.

    Good luck

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    • #3
      Why not assign him under the Lieutenant and call him a Sergeant?

      Although, that is not an officer that really stands next to the Chief to learn.

      The Chain of Command is designed to fit several applications.

      Chief - The big enchalada.
      Deputy Chief - Chief's right hand man
      Assistant Chief - Training, Administrative, Resource or Command
      Battalion Chief - Commander of Several Stations or a Battalion of Companies.
      Major - Can be the Station Boss or Battalion Officer.
      Captain - Usually the Station Chief or Station Boss commanding several companies
      Lieutenant - Usually the Company Officer; i.e. Engine or Truck Company
      Driver/Operator - What it says.
      Sergeant - Lts right hand man. Can also be the Driver/Operator.
      Firefighter - The backbone and guts. The worker bees...
      Rookie - The new guys, or gophers. The new-bees
      Cadet - The trainees or gopher guts
      Explorer - The baby gophers

      This is a basic Command Structure. Some departments use just a few of these, some use more ranks. Pick what works best for you.

      Good Luck
      HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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      • #4
        We have the following command structure:

        Chief
        Assistant Chief
        2 Deputy Chiefs
        3 Captains
        3 Lieutenants
        3 Sergeants

        One key is that although they are junior in rank, the job of the Sergeant isn't to stand by the Chief on the scene. They may be the first on the scene and are expected to be capable of taking command until a higher ranking officer arrives. Once that happens, they will be given another assignment, probably a division or group.

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        • #5
          Eng34 - Are Sergeants like an officer in training? Do they assume an "acting" Officer role on the apparatus when no regular is available? Curious how it exactly works for you guys.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by THTMAN View Post
            Eng34 - Are Sergeants like an officer in training? Do they assume an "acting" Officer role on the apparatus when no regular is available? Curious how it exactly works for you guys.
            Not an officer in training, they are an actual officer. The highest ranking officer at the station when the rig rolls out rides the seat. If the sergeant is highest ranking, they ride the seat. More than likely though, if there is anything to the call, a higher ranking officer will make it to the scene and assume command if needed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by htvfd2910 View Post
              Our thoughts are them having more say around the house but on a fire ground if they have nothing to do they could stand with the chief or who ever is in charge and see how they run things.
              If they are on the fireground and have 'nothing to do' then they are already officer material.

              Seriously, It depends on the size and structure of your dept. You don't want too many chiefs and not enough injuns. Do you have engine companies?? What is your current command structure?
              My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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              • #8
                One option may be a rank of Senior Firefighter.

                My combo department does not use a rank below captain such as LT or SGT, but instead uses this title. We do not sit at the table as officers, but we function as small crew supervisors on scenes and in training. We often also are given sector or staff assignments at incidents, and frequently run incidents until the arrival of an officer, or in some cases, will be handed command of an incident if the only officer on scene needs to leave or needs to respond to another call.

                The captains are promoted from the Senior Firefighter ranks.

                As one member said, you want to avoid becoming topheavy. This is one way to prevent that.
                Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                • #9
                  1 Chief
                  1 ***'t Chief
                  2 Captains (1st and 2nd, 1st outranks 2nd)
                  2 Lt's. (Same as Captains, function as training officers also)
                  32 members total

                  At any given incident one or all of the officer functions may be utilized by the IC (Highest rank on scene). If no officers are present, IC is given to most qualified or senior member. (Almost always officer on scene) People know what their strengths are and whether or not they are able to take control of an incident.

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