The “Drunken” Officer

So, this is not going to be an article about officers drinking on the job. It is however, going to be about officers that are so involved in themselves and the title that is bestowed upon them to be an officer, that they become “Drunk” with power.

We have all seen this type of person. They are the one who gets the position and becomes a complete and total idiot. Now, they may have been an idiot before but, now they are an idiot with a title and power. This is the person who sits behind a desk shouts orders and doesn’t even attempt to interact with the crew. The one who doesn’t, at least, stand there with a towel and try to look like he’s helping dry the truck. He is the one who thinks it is important for the crew to train but will leave it up to the Engineer or Senior Firefighter to conduct while they sit at the desk because they have “administrative stuff” to take care of. This type of officer while putting on a seemingly good show on the exterior is just another pencil pusher that wanted the position for the title on the inside.

The “Drunken” Officers are the ones who tell themselves that they are the greatest officers while their crew suffers due to their lack of leadership traits. They walk around and tell everyone how great they are and how they were “hand picked” for the position they are in. They see the position as a feather in their cap. They fail to see the fact that they are responsible for the lives of their crew and not just their own. Decisions are made on what they think is the “right” decision and not what is actually the right one.

We have all worked with, or know someone who has worked with, a “Drunken” officer. I would like to get feedback from our followers of some ways you have or would deal with an officer like this. We unfortunately will have to deal with one someday. We can’t exactly just blow them off because they are an officer. However there are ways of dealing with them and still not getting written up. Stay safe and go home at the end of every tour.

4 Comments

  • FireMedic89 says:

    How many times have I seen this. How to deal with them….well, the knee jerk reaction it to bring them back down to reality with a swift kick to the butt!!! But since they are an officer, they can write you up for that so you have to put that feeling to rest. Trying to talk to the “Drunken Officer” , is like talking to someone who is deaf, and you don’t know a bit of sign language! They have the “golden pen” and they just can’t wait to use it! Some of the ones I have seen forget where they came from, use the term “Rank Has Its Privilages” and hide behind there new found fame! It takes someone above them to talk to them and bring them back to reality…..because remember this….while you may be the officer, respect is earned….you don’t deserve it! And treat your people with respect, and you will get the respect you desire. Don’t forget the people that covered your A** numerous times, you may need them again! Make informed decisions……and above all….just because you have a bugle, or two, or three on your collar…doesn’t mean you have to be rude to people, think that its your way or no way….when your way isn’t right as well, and be open to new ideas! And above all know your job…..and be qualified for it! lord knows we have all seen people get promoted that didn’t hold the qualifications for their job title! If this offends people that read it……then obviously you need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions…..and maybe apply for a new outlook on life…..and a better attitude! And don’t treat people that were your “friends” on the floor like crap…..they may be your best asset one day!!!!!!

  • FireMedic89 says:

    How many times have I seen this. How to deal with them….well, the knee jerk reaction it to bring them back down to reality with a swift kick to the butt!!! But since they are an officer, they can write you up for that so you have to put that feeling to rest. Trying to talk to the “Drunken Officer” , is like talking to someone who is deaf, and you don’t know a bit of sign language! They have the “golden pen” and they just can’t wait to use it! Some of the ones I have seen forget where they came from, use the term “Rank Has Its Privilages” and hide behind there new found fame! It takes someone above them to talk to them and bring them back to reality…..because remember this….while you may be the officer, respect is earned….you don’t deserve it! And treat your people with respect, and you will get the respect you desire. Don’t forget the people that covered your A** numerous times, you may need them again! Make informed decisions……and above all….just because you have a bugle, or two, or three on your collar…doesn’t mean you have to be rude to people, think that its your way or no way….when your way isn’t right as well, and be open to new ideas! And above all know your job…..and be qualified for it! lord knows we have all seen people get promoted that didn’t hold the qualifications for their job title! If this offends people that read it……then obviously you need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions…..and maybe apply for a new outlook on life…..and a better attitude! And don’t treat people that were your “friends” on the floor like crap…..they may be your best asset one day!!!!!!

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    If being an Officer meant I had to change my character, honor, pride, or integrity doing the job I love, I would have stayed on the step! Being a Boss can be difficult, yes, but that is why I took the test! Train your company to be the best they can be without being the Boss from h**l. Really it’s easy, if you are serious about the position, are you?

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    If being an Officer meant I had to change my character, honor, pride, or integrity doing the job I love, I would have stayed on the step! Being a Boss can be difficult, yes, but that is why I took the test! Train your company to be the best they can be without being the Boss from h**l. Really it’s easy, if you are serious about the position, are you?

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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Comments
Jim P.
The World is not on fire.
BRAVO. Very good observations. Thanks for writing this. Decisions/leadership based upon fear or lack of training is unacceptable. These things need to be said, to counteract the attitudes that are trying to influence future generations of firefighters.
2015-03-18 14:39:28
Ret. Capt.
The next big thing…or just another acronym?
I'm not sure how the Portsmouth, VA FD normally operates but that is an embarrassment. I am not understanding any part of why the hose team did not make entry while one other member broke out the window with an extension ladder to provide quick ventilation. From what is seen, and the conditions present, in…
2015-01-16 17:21:54
Met Fan
The next big thing…or just another acronym?
Actually it does not seem to raise the temperatures at the floor in most cases. Do you feel feel different after attack begins? Of course you do. Steam is produced when water hits the fire and you feel the humidity through your gear. This is going to happen regardless of whether the stream entered a…
2014-12-29 02:43:23
Ryan McGovern (Ladder Jack)
Ideology vs Philosophy: Are you Slicing or Dicing in the fire service trends
Marques, As I have been following this debate for the past few weeks, and looking for the best way to respond, I could find no "correct" way to join the conversation without maybe coming off as narrow-minded. The response you have here says exactly what I believe is the best way to approach the SLICER/…
2014-12-03 00:41:24
Fyrfyter19
The next big thing…or just another acronym?
Though hitting a fire from the outside lowers the temperature in the room, it raises it closer to the floor. I've been a firefighter for 14 years and work for an inner city department. You'd better be damn sure there are no victims in the structure anywhere near where those heated gasses are going to…
2014-11-24 17:54:49

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