I was looking for opinoions as to when a person should be allowed to run for a position and what type of experience should they have. My department requires that for you to run for a LT you have to be off probation for a year and then voted in by your company members.


2/27/10: I want to thank all of you who have responded to this. I am finding the information that I am given very helpful. I respect all opinions and advice that I have been receiving. I know that I still have a ways to go in the fire service, been in for 2yrs but EMS for 15yrs, and know that there is still alot of learning to do. I try to take courses to educate myself so if there are any out there that you would think is beneficial I would love to hear about them.  Thanks again.  Kathy

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I am also part of a fire force in NZ.

However I am entrigued to find out what station you are at?

Im interested to know if you have done the OIC course?
Because it seems from my understanding that you haven't?

Don't get the feeling im batting you, im just curious :)
Kathy...I admire your desire to improve both yourself and your Department.....Taking that next step can be both a hard decision and intimidating...You have to ask yourself some hard questions.....Do you feel that you are up to it...? Can you make the "hard calls" when needed regardless of comments and criticism from others....But to me the most important...Can you lead by example...? Can you comfortably go from being one of the crew to being that S.O.B. (that's what most "leaders" are called from time to time...LOL) Only you can answer that one....I know people that have been in Departments for only a year or two and are excellent leaders...I know some that have been in for 40 years and couldn't lead a horse to water in a desert.....Good luck in your decision.....PS there are 2 courses that come to mind....Intro to Fire Officer and then Fire Officer I....(took them a year or so ago myself)
Yes.That is exactly what is going through my mind right now.
We hold a promotional test every two years since its actually quite an in depth process over here. When it's held there are hundreds of guys that go to take it. They have a cut off score based on the overall performance. Then those that pass go to the assessment center where you are given scenarios in person. This is run the same for all officer positions(Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain). You need at least 5 years on to test for Sergeant. So this means depending when you are hired, it may take 6 years to test since they only do it every two years.

We do get extra points for education and time on the job which is added on if you make the final list. Then there are rankings and that's where people are pulled from when needed.

Taking something like Fire Officer 1 and 2 aren't going to hurt, but they really don't mean too much here. In my opinion those classes help with certain issues when becoming an officer, but they don't mean you are able to do the job. I'd much rather have a guy with time on and a ton of real life experience over someone that read a book.
It depends on your call volume and experience. If your department does 200 calls a year, how many calls does a guy actually go to with 12 months experience (off probation). hardly enough to understand where to sit on the truck never mind running a call and making life or death decisions.
Every dept. in this area does it different.My dept. elects the chief and 2 assistant chiefs then the chiefs have a meeting and discuss some folks who might be good officers.Sometimes it works good,and sometimes it doesn't.Occassionally turns into a popularity contest,which does not do anybody any good.
I was appointed Lt. my third year or so and now that I look back on it,it was a good learning experience but at the time I was not experienced enough,in my mind,to be an officer.Now that I have some time in (15 years)I look at training,experience,integrity,a cool head,and somebody who can roll with the punches.Then I'll recommend somebody for a position.There's a lot of responsibilty that goes with the job and it isn't always fun.You have to be able to seperate personal feelings and your responsibilities to the dept. and the community.Like I said before,it isn't always a walk in the park but it can be really rewarding too.
yes i have been tghinking alot of this because elections are coming up again...i definitely want to take the officers classes. I took and got my Heavy Rescue Certification (the company i'm in) and feel alot more confident with the tools on my truck. I do have alot of guys in my department that are very willing to help me improve my skills also. I'm pretty use to making split second decisions and be able to give orders (i work in a semi busy ER as a RN and have been in charge plenty of times and a good few times when we have no beds available n ambulances are still coming in plus making decisions for pt treatment and telling MDs what i need. I do realize that this is different than a fire scene). I do appreciate your response and any advice you have for me im willing to take

thanks and be safe
I just took the NFA course Preparing for Initial Company Operations (PICO) designed for company officers (or those filling that role) and it focuses on managing a single fire company at an incident. Good course for a new officer. One of the hardest things for me, is to manage without jumping in there yourself and taking part of the operations. Good luck!

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