Acting Officer Information
In general try to simply maintain the current culture of the station. Do not try to change things for the sake of making an impression; it usually does not go well. The crew is highly trained and well disciplined. The goal of the acting officer is to fit into that unit. Rely on the crews to help answer any questions if you are not sure about the day to day operations. They will not take advantage of you.
Know that the crew has my full support and I will rule in their favor unless there is compelling evidence otherwise. The mindset is that you are here to temporarily provide oversight and direction for a short period of time (24 hrs at a time). If you look for opportunities to lead, you will miss opportunities to gain their respect. If you look out for the best interest of the crew, then they will make sure that you look good. This crew is tight and you are joining them. You will enjoy them.
This is a general rule to be used when no written or communicated expectations are available.
The Mission, the Men and then Me
Is it right for the mission? If yes, do it.
Is it right for the Men? If yes, do it.
Is it right for Me? If it meets the above two and does not meet this one you should still do it.
Learn to recognize the difference between static and dynamic situations. If the situation is static then you have discretionary time, use it. If the situation is dynamic it calls for quick decisions and actions. You must make those decisions and place the crews into action. If you hesitate there is a strong chance that the crew will begin to act independently.
Mistakes of Omission and Commission
Mistakes of omission are simply mistakes that no decision was made, or it was done without any explainable reason. This will not be tolerated. Mistakes of commission will be tolerated. This means that you made a decision but perhaps the outcome was not positive. We will work on the decision making process through training but at least you made a decision.
Tactical Decision Making
Unless there is compelling evidence against it- RUN the play. We have prepared for the event, trained for the event, now we must execute at the event. Do not look for reasons to not act or not deploy the crew. Lean forward. Take time to ensure that your decisions are sound. Put in the time.
The shift before
- Check to make sure that all positions are filled: FF, FFPM, Hazmat etc. Be sure to check the staffing and notes section for trades, time off, special meetings etc.
- Check training times and make sure that you are prepared with all the information that you will need to be successful.
- Check who is responsible for dinner and ensure that they have it handled.
- Check to see if anyone is coming in late (holdover less than two hours).
The morning of
- After 0700 check to see if the current Telestaff calendar reflects sick leave call outs. Make adjustments as necessary with rig assignments.
- Print three copies of the Telestaff calendar. One for the desk to take ‘pass on’ notes, one for the engine and one for your pocket. Make sure that you take the time to acknowledge and commit to memory who is on the rigs. Knowing who is coming in behind you on calls will help keep track of them at scenes.
- Enter the required data into Sunpro. Place all members with appropriate pay codes onto the correct rigs. Remember to do split assignments and special pay codes.
- Make sure crew is at the station dressed and in good health around 0745. Shift relief is around 0745 as a courtesy to the off going crews. The daily calendar will be filled out and members will know their assignments prior to coming on shift.
- Gather pager and knox keys from off going officer. Have the office version of the calendar with you to write down any relayed pass on information. If no pass on is relayed be sure to ask the questions: Is everything good with the engine, medic, hazmat and station? At least you will have asked.
Morning crew meeting
- Can be as short as you need and still ensure everyone knows what the day holds.
- Plan out the times for departure to make it to schedule events on time. Use 15 minutes as a safe travel time to station 51 and 20 minutes to station 50.
- Ask if crews have any special projects or needs.
- Get input from crew on how the day can go. I.E. When do you guys want to drill, do the weekly etc. You can ask in a way that offers times and direction just avoid sounding like a dictator.
- Ensure the drivers know where they are going. Do not let them get rushed.
- Call units responding and provide direction and oversight at alarms.
- Set the example regarding PPE, it is about professionalism not style.
- Ask for feedback after the alarm. Especially the first year you are with a crew ask after every call. What went well? What could have gone better? Ask for feedback and be willing to hear it. I will be asking the same questions when I get back from being off. The crews will know that I want input on how things went when I was gone. This is our house but there is only one supervisor.
- Make sure units are in service after calls and equipment is ready for use.
- Keep good track of the day. I will ask for a run down of how things went. I will be looking for details, not just “It was good”. Expect to have opportunities for growth early on. Learn from them; learn personalities, lean on them if needed. Be honest with them because trust is everything. If they do not trust you, you will fail.
- Make sure that all training is in Sunpro.
- Make sure that all EMS runs are in Sunpro.
- Read and be familiar with.
- Follow as a guideline, the crews will expect this.
- Use crews as a resource if needed.
- Be fair.
- Be consistent.
- Be early, stay late.
- Leave drama and distractions at the door.
- If you are not ready to give your all, stay home.
- Every day Expect Fire, Every Fire Expect Rescues, Every Rescue expect that you can and WILL save everyone. When the shift proves otherwise take a day off to mentally reset. Start the same process again next shift. You will never be caught off guard.
- Never justify why you failed.
- Never justify why you should not do your duty.
- Be Honorable. Be Truthful. Be Faithful.
- When in doubt, LEAD.