Can you describe your defination of freelancing? As you know I'm from a small dept. When we arrive on scene at a structure fire or any other call. We don't have the man power for an officer to stand outside to give orders. Our first arriving officer is in the combative comand mode. For instance at a structure fire my officer is with the hose line. Me being on the truck, I make the dicision on wether to vent and how, search, or do anything I see fit depending on the circumstances that our before me at the time. I'm not an officer so technically am I freelancing?
In the area I work in, freelancing can be a routine part of a fireground, depending on the city or district. Speaking for my own department, freelancing is not tolerated. As an engine captain, it is my responsibility, to maintain crew integrity at all times, while operating at an incident. My company is my responsibility and if they run free, I hear about it, then they do. Good training prevents freelancing, before and during an operation. We talk about the incidents, together, regardless of the nature. If a company knows the expectations of the officer and visa versa, the chances of freelancing diminish greatly.
-I hear ya Jeff. But,sounds to me like you're doing a good job as company officer... supervision; keeping an eye on your people insuring their performance and safety.
Michael and Jeff
What size department do you guys have, how many on engine and truck. How many men on shift.
Michael Bricault said:-I hear ya Jeff. But,sounds to me like you're doing a good job as company officer... supervision; keeping an eye on your people insuring their performance and safety.
-James, I understand that operating in a smaller FD there may be times when the IC is not assigned or there is not a designated IC for whatever reason. That being said, that still does not excuse freelancing on the fireground.
-Freelancing here is defined as a member operating on his own within the impetus of his own initiative AND without notifying anyone else of his actions.
-All members of a company should have an assigned function and all members should understand their function as well as everyone else's.
-Some smaller FDs, especially combination and volunteers FDs have even gone as far as having the job function written down and laminated in the apparatus so that each seat has an assigned set of tasks and the priority in which to perform said tasks.
-Without assigned functions there will be duplication of effort, as well as confusion on scene and a loose of speed which is key especially when performing search operations. No matter the size of the FD or the responding companies, there must be organization that all responding members understand. Otherwise it will be amateur hour.
-Professionalism denotes a level of service delivery. All firefighters, regardless of wether they are career or volunteer, must deliver professional level service. If this is not the belief then the member should be shown the door.