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On page 5 of the Second edition, I discuss the basic premise behind IMS. The first is that one and only one person will be in charge of every incident that we respond to. The "person" filling the role can change (first arriving officer to first arriving chief officer etc.) but the first key that makes it work is only one person in charge. Is that ever a problem for your department and if not, how does your department do it?

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I think generally this works well, the problem is when you have task level personnel addressing both the IC and OPs on the radio, just a training issue but could be a problem in the long run.
Brandon,
We had that problem at second alarm adn higher fires in Toledo. That's generally when we established an Ops Chief. I almost always had Ops next to me at these fires and would tell him to ansewer the call from a task level officer. After a few times they got the idea. I agree, It's simply training. What screws it up is when Command and eventually the Administration constantly allow it to happen. It sends mixed signels and one thing firefighters don't need any more of is mixed signals.
I discuss passing (transferiing) command later in the book but my rule of thumb is "command need not be transferred unless command can be imporoved:. Leave the ego's in the office. If an officer's doing everything that needs to be done and staffing is not an issue, why take it from him or her? Use it as a learning tool.
I agree. The ego part of the service is a double edged sword. It drives us as firefighters and helps us to excel in certain areas, but it can become very problematic on the fire/rescue/medical call and result in an inefficient/ineffective scene.

If an officer (any qualified officer) has command on a scene and it's running well, I'd allow that person to continue to run the call. This is how we "grow our own" and show that, as a chief officer, we can release the "control/ego factor" and allow others to function.

I appreciate a regimented department and "chain-of-command" communications, but allowing others to run incidents should be viewed at as strengthening the department and not as a personal threat on a chief officer if a LT or Capt. happens to run the scene.


Skip Coleman said:
I discuss passing (transferiing) command later in the book but my rule of thumb is "command need not be transferred unless command can be imporoved:. Leave the ego's in the office. If an officer's doing everything that needs to be done and staffing is not an issue, why take it from him or her? Use it as a learning tool.
What i try to do is assume command once i have been briefed , there those calls that i allow the Officer to handle to get used to being in charge , i am there to guide them at these calls.

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