We all know the politics of rank and how it can work its way into the chain of command. However, there are decisions that are better left to people who are trained, equipped and inclined to handle potentially dangerous situations appropriately. Whether or not a bomb was present or detonated is not the most important factor in justifying your decisions after an incident is over.
FIRE POLITICS >>> By DENNIS COMPTON Where Ignorance Trumps Safety The Politics of Rank in the Overall Firefighter Safety Equation I n recent years, the U.S. Fire Admin- during the day. City employees and mem- driver to do the same thing he had instruct- istration (USFA), fire service orga- bers of the public were in the building when ed the company officer to do. The driver nizations and local fire departments the threat came in. The fire department dis- refused, for the same reasons, and was also have increased their efforts to reduce the patched an engine company to the scene relieved of his duties by the director. The number of firefighter injuries and line- with a staffing level of four personnel. Upon director has reportedly ordered an internal of-duty deaths. The issue is all over web- arrival, it is reported, the investigation into the ac- sites, and you can’t go to any conference, seminar or other forum intended for city public safety direc- tor, whose office is in the Sometimes, the tions of the company of- ficer and the driver with learning and not hear somebody con- ducting a session on this subject – and facility involved, ordered the company officer politics of rank can the intent of bringing dis- ciplinary action against that’s exactly the way it should be. As more emphasis has been placed to use the fire crew to search the exterior of the inappropriately them for insubordination. It’s going to be interesting on firefighter safety, we have learned a great deal about the role of leadership in building and the roof in an effort to find a bomb. impact those who to see how stupid this gets in the end. the overall safety equation. Therefore, a lot of the safety training today focuses The company offi- cer refused, and advised are in positions We all know the politics of rank and how on decision-makers – those who are as- signed to be in charge during emergency the public safety direc- tor that the fire depart- to make critical it can work its way into the chain of command. incidents. It’s been an uphill climb, but most would agree that progress is being ment personnel were not trained to do such a decisions at However, there are deci- sions that are better left made, at least as it relates to awareness. Then something happens that just leaves
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