We have a very small dept and we have chief, asst chief, treasurer and secretary.  Wondering about having Capt and a LT. Is there set requirements or what is the deal with those postitions? Can we have our own rules for who can have those positions?

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Comment by Timothy John Dodson on March 7, 2013 at 12:22am

Our department has 8 officers: Chief; Asst. Chief; 3 captains; 3 lieutenants. We elect officers annually in December, as opposed to every 2 years. Our total membership is approximately 16 members.

Comment by Ron King (Fire Chief) on March 6, 2013 at 11:04pm

Chris, You sure can. This can be setup in your Fire Department By Law's. and your SOP's. Has your Department grows you will need these Officers. These people should have the most training in the department. And good leaders that the members will work with well. In most Vol. departments they are voted on every two years.

Comment by Chris Tool on March 4, 2013 at 6:02pm

we only have 7 on the dept, I said it was small, this was more a curious question really, something just got me to wondering how something like that would work if we got bigger as we are wanting to.

Comment by Robert Bates on March 3, 2013 at 3:21pm

How many firefighers do you have in the department?  

Are the listed officers (secretary and treasurer) part of the normal command structure? 

Typically a normal chanin of command has no more than 5 - 7 personnel under the control of a single officer.  Thereby the Chief and Deputy would have 5 - 7 oficers under them who report to and take orders from them.  Then those 5 - 7 Officers would have an equal number of firefighters under them.


Does that make sense?

Comment by Timothy J. Gaffney, Jr. on March 1, 2013 at 8:06am

Line officers (lieutenants and captains) are up to the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).  Need to check on what your state requires or if it requires fire departments to have line officers and type of training and qualifications to have.  Per NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications it states that the pre-requisite for Fire Officer 1 are Firefighter 2 (NFPA 1001) and Instructor 1 (NFPA 1041).  Granted it's only a standard (recommendation) but this could be used in a court of law.  It's up to the fire department to decide on line officers and their duties and responsibilities handed down from the chief officer. 


It's nice to have line officers to help give supervision and lead the firefighters in any emergency.  The chief can't be doing everything and might not be able to make it to every call.  So the line officer is truly the front line officer/supervisor for the firefighters to assure life safety. 


Make sure you plan everything out accordingly and do your homework thoroughly too.  Don't need any liabilities and assure everybody goes home.

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