Flashover Friday

We are asking the question do you think it is ok to hire line Company Officer’s from the outside into a department.If so why?

What should their Credentialing be?

Has your department done this and what was the outcome?

What message does this send to incumbent members of the department?

What does it say about the leadership or lack of leadership in the department?

1 Comment

  • Normally, I have a clear cut, black and white opinion. This time, I have to enter the gray area and say, “It depends”. Depends on what? Several variables.

    The initial paid department I worked for experienced tremendous growth, adding eight companies (including six EMS units) in three years. Besides company officers and station captains, FF/EMTs were being hired, sent through basic fire and EMS school, and dispatched to brand new companies (new buildings, engines, tankers, ambulances, etc). Experienced, qualified company officers and station captains were needed to help open the stations, assist newbies through the probationary process, and (at the same time) provide citizens with first rate fire and EMS services. Staff with the necessary credentials and experience within the ranks were difficult to find.

    Sometimes, the need for skills exceeds the organizations ability to provide qualified candidates. If this situation occurs, outside candidates may be an option. Our folks new the situation. We were happy as hell to have all the new equipment and facilities. Those meeting promotional criteria took the tests and oral boards. Many made it; rarely was there a need to bring in outside blood. We had a good group; fortunately, our call volume was low, allowing our newly promoted officers time to adjust to their positions and crews.

    Something I try to pass on to folks I see with the desire and skills for promotion is learn everything you can about the position you want to attain. Get the credentials specified for the position (Fire Officer I, II; Instructor I, II; etc). When opportunities are presented for you to assist those in the position you want, help them. This will give them additional exposure to the position and helps determine if they REALLY want the position before they HAVE the position. Nearly everything is attainable, if you’re willing to work for it.

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