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  • #16
    We are changing our by-laws now because of the "popularity contest" problem. We have three stations in our district. We will have a Chief, 1 or 2 ***'t Chiefs. There will be a Captain and 2 Lieutenants in each station.

    The Chief is appointed by the board. He appoints the Asst. Chiefs and the station Captains. The Lieutenant positions will still be filled by the election process.

    It is believed that this will keep the ranks happy by allowing them to choose Lieutenants as officers, but the Chief still has the authority to end promotion of unqualified officers with Captain appointments.

    The only qualifications needed for Lieutenants will be 3 years service. Captain and above need 5 years service.

    This adresses the "Popularity Contest", but still leaves holes in training qualifications. Hopefully those will be adressed before everything is finalized. It seems like a good set-up at this time, but only time will tell how it works.



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    Stay safe and Have fun
    Rob

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    • #17
      I believe the solution is fairly simple not flawless but simple. Qualified officers (keyword qualified) that meet your Dept.needs hold their positions until they either do not want it anymore or they no longer meet the annual minimum standards (training attendance , conduct, call attendance) set forth by the department approved by the selectmen or council. A board of review could be used to review the annual requirements if needed. When there is a vacancy post it, take applications, match applicants to minimum qualifications your department has set, look at the applicants past history working at or handling incidents. From these applications an interview board made up of the town manager,Selectmen Chief, Deputy Chief, an out of town Chief. Two out of town Chiefs if you are filling a chiefs position in your own department.This board would make the descision as to who should fill the position based on fact, qualification,and interviiew information. An offer is made, and the person may accept or decline.
      Even volunteers are hired, they fill a position of responsibility to the customer,our firefighters and the town they serve. We often forget that we owe our customers the best service from highly qualified personel.
      Summary: qualified persons as officers, a method to remove them if needed, no more popularity contest! There are not many problems with a system like this. If there are popularity and lack of qualifications are definitely not included.

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