Tag Archives: fire service leadership

Ten Lessons Learned During my First Year as Fire Chief, Part II

Be a leader not just a manager. Model the behavior you expect to see. Empower personnel to make decisions befitting their rank. When personnel and officers are given the freedom to do this with the expectation that they make decisions supporting the mission, vision, and values of the department and the town an amazing thing happens, they do the right thing every time.

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Looking Back on Leadership Beliefs

Now that I'm a grandmother looking back on my fire service career, I feel as if I have something to share that I believe will help other public safety leaders to never lose faith in people and their organization. This is the best job in the world and my enthusiasm 36 years later is stronger than ever! I'm going to speak from the heart because I've always been a compassionate person who loves people.

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The Genesis of a Fire Service Leader Network

With my acceptance into the program, I joined a cohort of 21 other members who are newly appointed fire chiefs and aspiring fire chiefs from around the nation. Before our first session in May, retired Fire Chief Mary Beth Michos, the coordinator for FSEDI, sent out biographies of each cohort member. As I read through the other 21 biographies, I was “floored”, awed, daunted, and honored. Impressive is an understatement for the biographies. I fumble to find the right word to describe the group of individuals I was reading about: remarkable, inspiring, extraordinary, amazing… No pressure.

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The Influence of Training

I believe it is safe to say there are not many emergency services personnel who would deny that training is paramount to successful operations on incidents. However, there are some whose actions would show otherwise.

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Thoughts on Changing Fire Service Culture

Changing our culture? I saw this piece from Chief Robert Avsec on LinkedIn and I couldn't help myself so I posted my comments on the LinkedIn Group. Chief Avsec (the author) contacted me and asked me to use my comments as a Guest Blogger, so here I am.

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Changing the Fire Service Culture

But changing a fire service organization’s culture is not as easy as changing the type of hose that your department carries on its fire apparatus. That’s because making changes to the culture—that mix of rituals, values, and traditions that defines a group—is tricky business and frequently messy. The current culture persists because it’s one of the main ingredients in the glue that holds the organization together. Culture exists in the “space” between people, not just in any one individual or small group of individuals.

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