My company elects its line officers (Chief, 1st Asst Chief, 2nd Asst Chief, Captain, 1st & 2nd Lieutenant), our elections are the 1st Week in April.  After 6 years I, am almost certain I am landing myself into the 1st Lieutenant spot.  Anyone have good advice, for a Lieutenant.  What role do your Lieutenants play on calls, on drills, in house? I enjoy and take my volunteer career seriously as if where my personal job, and want to be able to do everything a good Lieutenant should.  
Thanks for any and all advice

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I hate to speak the obvious, but if you don't really understand the role, then why are you vying for the job?

John, John, John, JOHN, JOHN!!

How dare you attempt to inject logic into this topic. 

I have to say though I wondered the same thing but then I looked at the post again and wondered if what he said is what he really meant.  I think he is wondering what LTs do on other FDs as a comparison to what his FDs LTs do.  BUT I could be 100% wrong in that ascertation.

Ok! Guess i wasn't fully clear I.

I am trained and have been working closely with all line officers since January when I knew I was interested.   I do have the basic understanding of the role, to my Company's standards.  I was looking for advice, to incorporate into the role, and successfully complete it.

Here's some advice:

1)  Be honest with your firefighters.

2)  Be consistent in how you handle ALL of the firefighters under your command.  Favoritism creates dissension.

3)  Don't ask your guys to do something you haven't done or won't do.

4)  KEEP LEARNING!  Everyday try to pick up something.  Read the periodicals, buy some tactics books, search the internet, go to classes.  Being a lieutenant doesn't mean learning stops, it means it accelerates and becomes even more important because you have your crew's life in your hands.

5)  TRAIN!  TRAIN!  TRAIN! your firefighters.  Make it clear what you expect and that less than that committment is not acceptable.

6)  Coach your firefighters, use positive re-enforcement to build confidence.

7)  Praise in public, punish in private.  People do not like to be berated in front of their peers.

8)  Admit when you are wrong or made a mistake.  This buys credibility.


That should give you some things to chew on for a while.


Very well said Don.

Thank you!   I appreciate your input!


It may help that I am currently teaching a Fire Officer 1 course!!  LOL!!


 I do plan on taking the next available Officer course,  I try to keep my eyes on new training that become available. 

A little bit more on Don's item number 5: TRAIN! TRAIN! TRAIN!

If you haven't already take the NFA courses "Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations" and "Fire Officer I" and then any fire service leadership classes you can get into.

Good luck and stay safe.

Pay particular attention to building constrution.  The stuff they build today is NOT at all like buildings of the past and they burn faster and fall down quicker.  Learn about things like trusses, gang nailed and now GLUED only, look at the new I-stair systems, learn about TGIs, and all the rest.  Learn about reading smoke and what it can tell you about what is burning inside the building.

Kevin, Not sure what new training you have taking. In our department you would not be able to run for a line officer postion. In the department i belong to you need FF1, FF2, EVOC, Pump ops, FF survivol,Vechical extercation and helps to have some sort of fire officer class. Being a lieutentant myself i will tell you that you better be prepared to change your why of thinking and doing things. You are no longer one of the boys you are the one they are going to be looking up to. Your firefighters will want you to be a leader, teacher and mentor. Don has giving you some of the best advice there is. You should be able to take charge of a call and be able to run it. In my part of the world it is not uncommon for a lieutenant to be the senoir officer on a call or running a training drill. So if you don't have more then just FF1 and  you decide to go for a postion and get it i would say get these other classes as soon as possible. The more you know and learn the better off you are going to be. This is a big responsability you have a lot of peoples lifes in your hands and your decisions will inpact them either for the good or bad. Do not want to discourge you but these are the facts of life. Good luck to you and stay safe. 

Everything said prior to this is all great advice. A couple of things that I see new officers struggling with are 1) You need to turn the corner in your mind that you are going from a job that requires you to be good at tasks; to having to be good at human relations. You shouldn't be the guy forcing the door or cutting the hole in the roof. You need to be the guy directing those operations, getting 2-4 other people to actually perform the task in a manner that is acceptable to you and your department standards. (the last part goes back to train, train, train). and 2) You are not, for the most part, one of the guys anymore. You are held to a different and higher standard. Period.

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