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  • ullrichk
    replied
    A general comment on questioning authority

    Some excellent points have already been made.

    Under most circumstances I would agree that you should always follow orders on the fireground.

    A good discussion of when and how to refuse an order (for cause) was outlined in a series of articles in Firehouse Magazine. Do a search for "crew resource management" on this site and you'll find them.

    The reader's digest of the Cliff's Notes version of the article is that the aviation industry discovered that pilots (Incident Commanders) are not infallible, and that crew members had damn well better speak up if something's amiss, irrespective of rank.

    It was a well-written series and is definitely worth reading.

    Leave a comment:


  • blaze79
    replied
    not crazy...well...not THAT crazy

    That's a good point, ChiefReason. I guess what I mean is that if someone tells you to go and shut off a pump or whatever, and you don't know what to do, you should ask for help. Everybody is at different training levels and experience levels on our deparment, so people are constantly learning new skills through training and on scene. I don't know other departments do things, so I'm sure there's many, many different ways that things get done. And I'm sure they all work just as well.

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  • ChiefReason
    replied
    Call me crazy, but.....

    On scene, if we're assigned a task that we aren't sure about, the officer will make sure that someone helps us. That way, we learn how to do the job properly and safely, and the officer can be assured that it will get done. Peace of mind, you know?
    Call me crazy, but I would want to work on "function and form" during training exercises and NOT at the fireground or the scene of an MVA. Since we work in an environment where seconds do count, on-the-job training should be limited to a bare necessity. Training is "show time", but response is "go time". Once the incident has been mitigated, training can resume in the de-briefing.
    Sorry, but for me, when I tell someone to do something at a scene, they'd better know how to do it, because they have been trained to do it. Officers are there as an extension of the Incident Command. And they are assuring that it is GETTING DONE.
    Peace of mind? Yeah. Mine.
    CR

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  • blaze79
    replied
    When responding to a call, the officer of the truck assigns the roles of attack and hydrant to the firefighters before we leave the hall. The officer makes darn sure that we are all comfortable with our positions. On scene, if we're assigned a task that we aren't sure about, the officer will make sure that someone helps us. That way, we learn how to do the job properly and safely, and the officer can be assured that it will get done. Peace of mind, you know?

    Leave a comment:


  • ThNozzleman
    replied
    If a Captain tells you to do something, you'd best do it just like they said. He/she may know something you don't know. Freelancing can get you hurt and, perhaps, fired.

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  • MikeF25
    replied
    Ok, well I backed out and let the next guy in with the cutters. The door was ripping pretty good, but I could have popped it. The guy with the cutters wasn't as expperianced as me and he got part of the door and it basically bent the metal back to how it was before I started. I tried to spread it again and my tips were a little too thick to get a good bite, and being the other department had a little smaller tool they got in and popped the door.

    Afterwards I asked my chief how I should have handled it. His reply was listen to the guy at the door, he is closer and can see what is going on better.

    I just wonder if his answer would be the same if he was the one telling me to back out and I didn't.

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  • mark440
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeF25
    I am working the door, my captain tells me to back out and to cut the hinge, the firefighter from the other department is telling me to spread it (which I agreed with), who do you listen to?
    As taboo as it is... the Captain isn't always right!

    If I'm the one operating the tool, I'm going to cut it my way. There is more then one way to do everything, and I'll take thier advice & suggestions, but then accomplish the task in the most effective, patient oriented manner possible.

    *Mark

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  • truckie226
    replied
    He is the chief and probrably for good reason. He was maximizing his resources and he knew the training level of his men-therefore knew that you were capable of doing it. And a rule of thumb-unless something puts you in danger-work now grieve later. If you dont feel comfortable doing what you did-then talk to him but the bottom line is you got it done and your chief either made a good decision or got lucky. So just tell the "operators" that you were following orders.

    Leave a comment:


  • BLACKSHEEP1
    replied
    Hey newguy, just a thought... maybe this was a test, and only a test, at no time would you have been held responsible.

    Leave a comment:


  • raven911
    replied
    A little Strategic Tactfulness goes a long way. It is a skill you must learn to survive in the fire world. CapStanm1 and ChiefReason both hit the nail on the head.

    Leave a comment:


  • ThNozzleman
    replied
    Monitoring a level indicator is a far cry from operating a pump with multiple handlines in operation on a working fire, especially if they are operating inside of a structure. Sounds like it was a straight forward order that wasn't that complicated and shouldn't be a problem. Oh, yeah; I think you should revise your signature...it's very inflammatory and I assure you, flames do NOT fear you. Just some friendly advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • blaze79
    replied
    Oh dear

    I have been taught to tell your officer whether or not you are comfortable with the tasks that he or she gives you. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PERFORM A DUTY, SAY SO!! Whether it's the chief or not, if you aren't sure what you have to do, speak up so somebody can help you. That's what we're here for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bones42
    replied
    MikeF25, if I'm using my tools, I listen to my Captain. It's up to the Captain to determine whether he is IC or they are IC.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeF25
    replied
    Hey buddy, I agree listen to the man with the most bugles.
    He is the one you have to worry about.

    Here is another situation for you.

    Extrication on the border of two cities, both cities dispatched and arrive at the same time.

    I am working the door, my captain tells me to back out and to cut the hinge, the firefighter from the other department is telling me to spread it (which I agreed with), who do you listen to?

    After I get some replies I will tell you the answer I was told.

    Leave a comment:


  • hfd66truck
    replied
    And in the name of next time...there is always a next time...have you talked with the Chief about it? Maybe he wasn't aware you were not trained, maybe he was and thought you could handle it.

    A little different perspective on the "other guys", giving them the benefit of the doubt, they too are looking out for you, making sure you don't get in over your head and also making sure they don't get hurt in the process.

    You need to weigh everything said and form your own opinions too. Yes, if the Chief tells you to it is his responsibilty, but you have to work and get along with the others too.

    Ideally you should never be put in a position where you are asked to do something you have never done, or are not qualified to do. My guess is that the Chief felt comfortable asking you to handle this task....so handle it.

    Dave

    Leave a comment:

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