(I'm assuming there's no doubt in a paid dept.)

I have always called ours "Chief". In the station, on the phone or if we meet at the grocery store. As in "Chief, can I do this?", or "Sure, Chief, I'll take care of it." And I say to other firefighters, "Hey, the Chief wants us to clean that." I call our two assistant chiefs "Chief" unless it's third person and I say "Car 2 wants that bay cleaned."

Anyway, the other day, one of our new 19-yr olds said to me, "Dave told us to do this", and I hear them go to him and say, "Hey, Dave, can I do this?" And it drives me crazy even though he never seems to care. Now I know a lot of the older guys knew the Chief when he was just young Davy and I give that some leeway. But it just seems to me that in an organization like a fire department, the Chief should ALWAYS be "Chief", and not Dave, until he's not Chief any more. I about bit my tongue in half not jumping on that young FF the other day.

So here's the question - is it just me? Is it just the unreasonable side effect of 22 years in the Army, and something my sore tongue will have to get used to or, just maybe, could I be on the right track?

Views: 285

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

at our dept it is bill. we only call him chief everyonce in awhile, or if we are telling someone something he said for emphasis on the importance of the task. usually if you want to get his attention you have to call him bill. on the fire scene everyone calls him bill because if the media is there he doesnt want them to overhear that he is chief and interview him.(he doesnt want to say the wrong thing and they report what they want anyway so he has a asst. chief talk to the media)
I will echo the sentiments of several who have indicated that titles are earned and deserve to be used.... (This is also from a Chief) and when we are operating I will always address my Officers and Staff Chiefs by title or unit number. My Staff Chiefs and senior Captain and I have been together as a team since 1995 and we were going up through the ranks for many years prior, and we often address each other by first name in private, but always with respect and title in "The House" or when operating. The remainder of our Company Officers have a bit less seniority, but I address them by their earned rank. It simply sets a good example for the troops, and yes, professionalism is contagious. The firefighters treat their officers with respect as well. If not, a little education and counseling usually does the trick.

Regarding the Chief's or any other Officer's behavior, but mine especially, I will agree that department members and the public expect you to conduct yourself as the Chief either on or off the job, in or out of the station. This applies to department social functions, picnics, fundraisers, whatever. You are the spokesman and point man (OR woman) for your agency, and your behavior shapes the behavior of your agency as well as the public's perception of it.
Chief is chief, Asst. chief is chief or first name, Lt. is Gramps one of them bandanna wearing type "old Tymers", Captian is Cap or captian sometimes by first name but I dont know if he likes it but it happends.
I beleive any person who holds the rank Chief should be addressed as Chief. I have seen him after hours or away from the station. I feel uncomfortable calling him by first name and I beleive I do this out of respect for who he is. I'm 50 yrs old and reentering the service and I'm from the old school.
we call are cheif by his name but what ever you and he feel comfortable with but they definately have earned the right to be called cheif
His name!
I call all chiefs there rank regardless if they are no longer that rank or what. The only one chief that I dont call chief is the chief at my volly house. I call him Chuck, cause he is my younger brother!!! HAHA!! Regardless of what you think of a chief, They still earned that rank and earn the respect that goes with it. I only reached the rank of Capt in the volly house but when one of my old rookies saw me ,He addressed me as Capt. even thou I wasnt still. Andy, Even if the chief isnt one any more he still deserves the title Chief. I have know several of them that have retired and I still call them chief. So you aint the only one that feels that way!!
In my military dept. its Chief in my volley houses its by there first name. When i joined my volley houses my chiefs weren't the chief at the time and its just habit to call them by there first name. I call my deputy senior in my military dept. (he's a senior master sergent in the air force). and my a/c sergent. and all the other chiefs in my volley houses by there first name. it all depends on the chief if they want to be called chief then by all means say something but if they don't mind being called by there first name then don't worry about. but were not there so you do what you have to do and they'll do what they have to do.
My chief is also my best friend. This having been said if I am not calling him a pain in my ...left toe.. I refer to him as "chief", both at the station and often in civilian life. ALWAYS on a scene. This is a title that is dedicated to him and the old timer who was the first chief of our department 58 years ago. Any one else, including asst chiefs are dubbed some other term, often 58 adam, baker, or charlie or sometimes dropping the 58. I agree that these individuals have earned the respect and should be addressed with our respect. I also see, especially from the younger guys, that respect goes out the window. It is a sad state of society. My sons, who have grown up in the department, address my guys as "uncle" if they do not use the proper name of "Mr. so and so", they would never think to call any of them by their first name.
We say Chief as well but among our veterans and small groups his first name but on scene and with probies about Chief

Reply to Discussion


FireRescue Magazine

Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2020   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service