On September 11th of this year I had the honor of climbing the Quest Tower building twice with 342 firefighters, most in much better shape than I. Those in the fire service understand why we still have heavy hearts on that day. I must admit, I was glad when we got to floor 110. Whenever I thought I was to exhausted to continue, I looked at the picture I had of Billy. Billy is FF William R. Johnston. He was a station member of a longtime family friend of mine, Uncle Patrick. I was overwhelmed to hear that I could carry him up the stairs with me. I was honored just to be there, much less carry someone I was familiar with.
That night I had the honor of delivering a bell ceremony at the Celtic House Pub, the site of many an Honor Guard meetings, birthdays, promotion parties, memorials, and so on. There is no greater honor that the honor of paying tribute to those who gave so much.
To the 343: You are always in our thoughts, you will forever be in our prayers; we shall never forget the sacrifice you have made. God bless you, your family and your Brothers!
Scott, I believe the most significant roadblock to team building is communication. Communication is a requirement to ensure all members involved want to be there. Any good team must have a good leader. Too many times a teams are formed utilizing personnel already present with little or no communication of the change beforehand. This can create animosity on the part of members resistant to change usually due to feelings that they are being roped into something. Communication is key for presenting expectations in the form of goals to a team. It also aids the group in developing sound strategic objectives. Reading some of the other posts, it is true that everyone involved must buy into the idea of a team concept for it to be successful. This falls on the team's leader to ensure the lines of communication remain open in order to recruit and retain the most talented personnel. There are two other primary causes that contribute to the demise of a team. These are trust and respect. Members must be able to trust each other as well as respect the many differences brought to the group. Leaders must keep this in mind when initially forming the team. Any way you slice it, there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. The team's leader will be the most visible person in the department if the group fails to perform, but the team will be the most visible in the case of a job well done. I hope this is of some use to you, good question.
So there I was, browsing through leadership discussions and I came across one that caught my eye. The subject of this discussion was the lack of leadership of a volunteer department. first, I would like to say, my helmet is off to the firefighter that started the discussion. It seems this is a problem he was frustrated with for a long time. He encountered several roadblocks; many individuals weighed in with great advice, hats off to them as well.
The overwhelming feeling I took away from the discussion reaffirms to me, that communication, in many forms is needed to ensure a team moves forward. Talking thing over, openly and honestly is a good start. In this case, the firefighter tried, several discussions with the chief, and the B of D, to no avail. One discussion participant suggested the adage that: many times we hear the complaints and bad things. What we need to hear is issues AND potential solutions. Sound advice!
In this situation, the firefighter was encouraged to get with the key personnel. I call them the 10% of the 10/80/10. the first 10% of this fraction is the 10% that create 80% of the issues needing attention. The other 10% are the "go-getter" type in the department. the core group of doers that get things done.
If you find your team is a situation where roadblocks get in your way, find that core team within your organization and work together to develop programs to overcome! Whether it is policies and procedures, SOGs, FOGs, etc. or it is leadership and training. Every emergency services organization has this core group, that is why many of us found this calling. Additionally, there are many resources right here on the Community FE page. Many of the programs already exist and we are all willing to PASS IT ON!
God bless you all...BE SAFE!
It has been a while since we have opened up this question for duiscussion. We have many new members to the FE Training Community as well as many new experiences from those who have been a part of this discussion.
If you are new to the community, or this discussion, welcome! whether you are new or have been here before, please give us your thoughts on the question:
What do you feel is the most significant roadblock to building a team, any team. From an engine or truck company, station crew or battalion to a special operations team such as hazardous materials or technical rescue?