Success as a company officer
What is the hardest part of being a new company officer?
Managing a large incident? Writing reports? Using time effectively? All these responsibilities present challenges for officers. But when new officers have time to think about it, most of them say the same thing. The hardest part of becoming an officer. Figuring out how to lead effectively and still be one of the guys.
Some people would say that combining the two roles is impossible once a firefighter becomes an officer he can never really be one of the guys as they once were. These people would say that it is better for a new officer to distance himself from the other firefighters, cleanly defining the separation between ranks.
But such complete separation would be a mistake. Officers are part of the crew, and much of the normal fire departments work day does not require the officer to be in charge. For example, it is not necessary for the officer to take command of such things as the menu or what to watch on TV. There are times when the officer is part of the crew. Yet even when not making decisions, that person is still an officer.
1- It means that when a firefighter comes to you during the work shift as a friend you are obligated to remind him that you must still be the officer. 2- It means that when behavior crosses the line the line, or even threatens to cross the line, it is your responsibility to stand up and stop it. 3- It means that you are the example your crew uses to determine what it means to be good firefighter, both on and off the scene.
It’s a big job that goes far beyond just being able to manage a fire scene. For those who choose to become company officers, the new responsibilities begin on the first day you become an officer, and the training and education will never stop, it will be there till you quit.