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  • District Chief's

    I need some help clearing up a confusing conversation I had with someone, maybe I could use some of your response's to make it a little bit more clear for the other person. just some questions,
    Do you have a position of district chief on your department?
    Where are they in the wonderful world of ICS or department structure?(rank=assistant chief, 4 bugles or 3)
    What is their role.

    There are 2 two district chiefs on my department which are the assistant chiefs we jsut call them district chiefs for some odd reason(I think its the only title that hasen't been used in the dept.'s history). I'm trying to explain what a district chief is to someone by relating to other departments but I really cant get it clear enough for them to understand.

    Any help would be greatly appeciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01

  • #2
    The general rule for Fire Department ranks in the U.S. is Chief is on top, Firefighter is on bottom, and everything in between changes every other town.

    "Traditional" or should I say most commonly seen:
    Chief -- The Big Cheese
    Assistant Chief -- "Division" level officers, like Operations Division, Fire Prevention Division
    Deputy Chief -- City Wide Commander for a shift
    Battalion (or less commonly seen) District Chief -- In charge of a group of companies for a shift
    Captain -- Senior officer in a company, direct responsibility for one shift plus mentoring of Lieutenants & overall company operations
    Lieutenant -- Officer in charge of a company for the shift
    Engineer/Apparatus Operator/Motor Pump Operator -- Runs the truck and gets put in charge if no other officers are around
    Firefighter -- Hose Humper

    "New England" (Although half of New England goes traditional...)
    Deputy Chief
    Assistant Chief
    Battalion/District Chief

    "California" (Although not all of Cali does this, either, it's just common
    Assistant Chief
    Captain (No Lieutenants!)

    Now, not all departments use all ranks. Many small departments dispense with the Battalion/District level Chief. Many don't have Engineers as a rank per se.
    IACOJ Canine Officer


    • #3
      What about Major?

      If you are not Chief of Department, then any other description along with "Chief" is under the Chief of Department in some lesser rank and capacity.
      HOWEVER, there is a department not far from me who does just about everything differently. Their District Chief is the "top" chief. Why?
      Because he is the Chief of the fire district! His fire district also has four communities in them. The chief of these communities are just plain "Chief". They report to the omnipotent "District Chief".
      Anywhere else on the planet, the district chief would be a lesser rank than the chief. But not in the aforementioned fire district.
      Hope this helps.
      Visit www.iacoj.com
      Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
      RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)


      • #4
        We have two stations/districts. Each station has a chief that oversees that particular station (district chief). He then has an Asst. District Chief, 2 captains, and 2 Lt's that assist him.

        Both District Chiefs report to the City Chief. We also have an EMS Chief that has the rank equivalent of a district chief. We have the option of adding a Asst. City Chief, but have not done that.

        City chief 5 bugles.
        Asst. City Chief (if position is ever filled) 4 bugles.
        District Chief is 3 bugles
        Asst. District Chief is 2 crossed bugles
        Captain is 2 parallel bugles
        Lieutenant is 1 bugle
        The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
        We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........


        • #5
          Our system (fire side) goes:
          Dep Chief
          Asst Chief
          Battalion Chief
          Advanced FF (ie fully trained)
          Basic FF (either AFF in training or just exterior support)

          However, to streamline the borough (county) Dept of Emergency Services structure, they've created the position of District Chief. The district chief will be in charge of the fire and ambulance chiefs in the district, so that fewer people report directly to the director of emergency services.
          For my area, this isn't too hard to work out. Our acting fire chief is the fire chief of the other FD in our new district. He is now the District Chief. Our district is covered by one ambulance service, so the ambulance chief is now the Deputy Chief for EMS.
          So for us, District Chief is over a chief.
          The other areas are still sorting things out (except for the one other district that only has one FD and one ambulance service).


          • #6

            Thanks guys. I talked to this person again and figured put a way to explain department structure and ranks to them, so now they've got a better understanding of it. thanks again.
            "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01


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