i think i posted this to the wrong area so doing it here..."Are secretaries/fundraiser considered officers? And can they go into the field and order firefighters and override Lieutenants?"

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hi my name is doug hudson and im with ower local fire dept and i have been the secretary for ower dept for the last 5 yrs and yes im an officer but on a scene no i can override a lieutenant, but the way things go here is that if i have athority on scene and im ic then yes i can override the LT.


The dept.I serve with I am the president and on a scene I cannot override an officer.

I think thats what Doug was trying to say?

In my dept we have business officers and line officers.

  My mind is completely boggled by this question.  I know I will regret asking, but I must.  Why are you asking this question?

I agree with 55 Truck here, why are you asking this question?


To answer it, NO.

If the Secretary is that of a dept administration position, they are just that, they have no fireground experience nor authority. If anything such a person MAY be on a large fire incident to provide a logistics position where one keeps track of finances, fuel, contractors, resources etc......but in no way are going to dictate tactics or override fireground officers etc.


The other secretary position I can thinkof is in regards to an association, union, or volly board member. Such a person tends to most likely be a FF, but their position within such an organization holds no water over a fireground position. So say the secretary of the FD and fundraising association is a FF and that a LT is a member of the association.........on the fireground, the authority lies with the rank position. The secretary is just another FF, despite the position n the organization.



Again, seems like a silly question and the reason for asking is curious.

If you were to look at my vol fire company, the elected President of our dept is also the elected  Assit Chief. He can not hold Deputy Chief or Chief because they make up part of the Borad of Directors of our dept. Other members of our administrative officers can hold a elected  line officer or appointed line officer (Sgt) or administrative officer position like Fire Marshal, Property Officer or Engineer and be elected, President, VP, Securtary and Treasurer. The only position that can not hold a officers position is a Member At Large or Trustee what ever you want to call it.

Now years ago a Chief of our dept made a by law change to put the Engineer over the Sgt as a line officer because the Sgt was a younger person and the Chief felt he was not responible enough to be Sgt. even thou the Chief appointed this person Sgt which makes you think did this Chief really think it through what he did. 

Sorry about the spelling for Secreatary.

I wanted to add the only time administrative officer could rule over a line officer would be if a dept rule, by law or actions that could put anyone in front of a trial board.

because  she claims to be an officer  and   i wanted to make sure before i told her so. She told the lieutenant  she was over him..That surprised me   and everyone else. we are a small dept.And i needed to know  from you guys.. and i thank you..

our secretary doesn't fight fires..

i was just wondering ok.. thank you

Being a secretary in an adminid=stration is NOT an officer by any means. This doesn't mean she may not have some say on things, but she does not hold a rank and should not be telling people what to do as if she did hold a rank.


Some of the questioning goes off how things are worded and you have to be a bit more clear Melissa. There is the daily office duties and there is the fireground. These are two completely different work environments.


Those who think this person is claiming to be a rank position and can override LTs, or other officers on the fireground is absolutely absurd. I sure as hell won't listen to anyone without a rank position on how to employ tactics. The mayor of the city (and most others) is the person basically in charge of the police and fire depts, but if a mayor came up and tried to tell people what to do on the fireground, he would be told to leave.....same concept.


The only time such a person would be utilized on a fireground would be for logistics as a part of incident command......but they are by no means dictating tactics or overriding officers.



If the aspect being discussed is about daily operations, then such a secretary "may" have some say. This would be more with doing paperwork, handling expenses, etc. Such a secretary may be involved with purchasing etc and say an officer at a station wants such and such contractor to fix some station repair....the officer really wouldn't have the say.....the chief does. And THAT may be something that could be confused is if a secretary is relaying the message from the chief.


In the end, I have never heard of, nor seen where a secretary within the dept held an officer spot.....especially if they have no fire background. For such a person to believe they could walk on the fireground and override an officer is ridiculously absurd and blatantly out of touch.........Because quite simply if such a person with no fire expierence believes they can order, or override officers, and what they are ordering contridicts safety....who is liable?


Quite frankly I would tell such a person to get off the fireground....if they refuse, I would have PD arrest them. Such a person with such a mindset is a liability on the fireground, not an asset.

I was wondering. Did this person ever take any training to be a member of the dept or have to keep up training to keep their position? I would believe someone would have gone to the officers higher than this person and asked what gives them the right to act on a incident the way they are. If they are a older member (With Age) maybe they feel they shouldn't be doing things younger members are doing.

If they are young person that they are letting their position go to their head than they need a attitude adjustment by those above them.

I hope they are not doing this because they are someone's family or best friend because that has happen before in some depts.



Well said, and thank you again,, Our secretary  Was on the fire dept years ago and was a firefighter and  first responder..   about ten  or so years ago. We have been short of firefighters and first responders and  so the secretary has had to go on med calls and some fires  with us(she sats in the fire truck). The other  day there was a bad wreck and she  was told to go to the scene and help out.. The man was critical  and  my asst. chief told me to take some  ff  and  set up a LZ for med vac(i am the Safety officer and ff) No one recognizes that fact,another story. ,  We get in the area for the LZ;s and i set it up. The other FF were taking orders from me  because they didn't know how it was done.(all new) but one JR. No one was there yet . and the LT  showed up with the ambulance. And the secretary. showed up after that. Well we dont get many med vacs coming out, so i couldn't remember  if  we leave the light's  after dark before the helicopter comes or not. So i told the JR to go ask the LT. Well when he went to ask The secretary butted into the conversation and said" I told you to stay at the lights"So that is what we did. I didn't know the secretary gave the order's. Come to find out we should have gotten off the field before the med -vac landed..They have to look for us and the lights .Her job has really   gone to her head! they said it did before too" Our Chief  was out of town..thru' all this..

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