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95% of our time as officers is spent dealing with non-fire issues. How we deal with those often dictate how well we do on the fireground. Consider this situation and tell how you would handle it?
What solutions would you offer to address the issue and ensure it does not happen again? Look at the big picture Be safe

U R a new BC assigned as a shift commander.
Your department has undertaken annual hose testing. The BC who relieves you tells you that the Captain from Engine 5 has found that the apparatus is short 4 one hundred lengths of LDH. When he came in, the hose was on the floor, but the Captain on your shift did not tell him anything about it nor was there anything in the journal about it. Your Captain had to get to his other job. This type of misinformation has happened before among the shifts. What action will you take?

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I think an easy approach first should be taken. A simple, "is this job to tough for you to handle" to the Capt on my shift along with, "maybe an assingment to the HazMat rig would be easier for you". Something simple. If it happens again, I would pull him in the office and inquire what the deal is. Leaving equipment out because of his sider is not acceptable. A copy of the rules and regs in his in box for a refresher as well to help him get the point. If the problem persists, maybe a look into the promotion process and try to find out how he made it this far.
I would personally fix the situation on the Engine and talk to the Officer the next duty day. I would also let the person know that it has happened in the past and it is an easy fix to not let happen in the future. I would also be more cautious with apparatus checks because of the situations in the past. Todd McKee
Maybe just as simple as the Captain was in a hurry to leave and forgot to pass on information, even though not acceptable. No need to get heavy handed and make this an issue that isn't there...yet. Seems to be a situation that has been going on for a while already, better get both sides before making a quick decision with out all the facts, especially as a new BC. Have the on duty Captain contact the off going Captain and ask him if the hose had been tested and to inform him the information was not passed on. Until the off duty Captain is contacted replace the hose with 4 new lengths and get back in service. If the problem persists, as a new BC I would have to speak the the Captain in question and remind him/her of the critical need to pass on information and not leave an Engine essentially out of service. Don't get me wrong, it is a serious issue...being short 400' of LDH could affect operations if not caught by the crew at shift change.
First things first,get the engine back in full service, short 400ft of line is unexceptable. As the BC I would talk to the the Captain his next shift to get both sides of the story. If a secondary job is getting in the way of this Captain's primary job, we need to find a solution quickly. Is the hose the only place we are having a problem. It would be necessary to speak with the Captain in question's BC to see how things are conducted or if any problems exist on that shift. Did the on duty BC even know that company was minus 400ft. of hose? I believe both BC's should talk to the Captain, so everyone is on the same page. Safety is our # 1 priority. Communication is a big pet peeve of mine, we all need to have the best communication possible, to complete our goal and mission in the Fire Service. When the BC's talk to this Capt.let him know, communication and safety, or lack there of, will not be tolerated, for the sake of a secondary job.Hopefully the situation will fix itself, if not, further actions may be necessary.
I would likely fix it myself.. and then make sure that everyone involved knows the proper procedure for readying the engins for another run, and passing info through the proper chanels.Also apply further disaplenary action if it became aparent that it was needed.
Well I would tell the BC that i would investigate the incident and get back to him with a resolution. I would visit station 5 and speak to my Capt about the recent complaint of failing to pass along vital information to incoming crews. Because there seems to be a continuous break down in communications between crews at station 5 there could be personality conflicts going on. I would remind everyone about the importance of communication and providing the incoming crews with information that is vital to the operations of the department. I would speak to the members on both crews to find out why there seems to be this communication break down so we can resolve this issue. I would remind my Capt of his responsibilities as an Officer of this department and that he set an example for his crew and that it is his responsibility to relay information to incoming crews. If in fact it has been an on going issue I would issue a verbal warning and document such.
OK Here we go
Everyone did a pretty good job here -- the key is to get the facts B4 u jump to any conclusions. Two other things -- never fix it yourself -- that is baby-sitting and u will never develop or cause your subordinates to be accountable -- your job is to make them do thiers. Also, transfers never solve anything, not as a first action anyway. Your job is to fix this while remaining firm, fair, and friendly.
The issue regarding the relieveing capt is that he must make it right and then report it. If he does not, he is as guilty as the guy he relieves. If it is handled in house, then it is over, but our scenario has BC's involved, so the in-house solution is moot. We are more interested here in the actions of the off-going officer.
Some basics -- first and foremost -- get reports from all parties involved. This is the #1 task in any investigation. If you as a BC are now involved, u own it
Do some investigating as to what your Captain has been doing with his time - check the records on training, activities, dept. policies regarding the issue (hose-testing procedures, shift transfer), and the House Journal. Ultimately it is your fault so as a BC, u better learn to accept it -- you might not have been supervising properly and u now own it. Anyway, if u research properly, u will have all the answers B4 u even meet with the Capt.
Whether or not discipline is metered out depends on what u find so we will not address that here. The key is to fix it so it does not happen again. Job responsilities should be addressed and the consequences of the actions (or non-actions).

There was a clue in the scenario -- it has happened before among the shifts so we need to look at a bigger picture to ensure this does not happen again. Does the dept. have a policy on shift change activities and pocedures? If not, it is time to put one in place. This is where, as a BC, you will be developing your subordinates as well as your leadership and delegation skills. I would have the captain put together a policy (a draft) on transfer of command at shift change and what must take place B4 one shift is relieved and the other takes over. Of course, the other shifts should be consulted to get everyone's input. This policy should include a verification portion where the off-going officer verifies in writing in the Journal that the transfer of company command has properly occurred. The on-coming officer would then acknowledge the proper company transfer by verifying with his signature.
We use this in NH b/c an incident similar to this occurred. Before leaving the offgoing officer writes in the Journal: "I certify the forgoing to be corrrect" and signs it. On the next line, he writes, "Company Command properly transferred by _(his name)____ and then signs it next to that. The on-coming CO then writes on the next line, "Company Coomand properly rec'd by __(nis name)__ and signs it. It is not perfect, but it assigns accountability for the information that must be passed.
Does anyone have anything similar to this?
Are shift transfer info-passing a problem? How has it been solved?

Happy and healthy NY to all
Be safe


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