OK, I need some help here. I’m currently Acting Fire Lieutenant on various line companies in my city. I’ve been around enough officers to see what kind of leader I am and what type of officer I want to be. But many questions have arisen during this acting time.
Just a few things for background information. In my city an acting job is not a guaranteed position, nor is it a promise of promotion. I could do 2 weeks in a position and get sent back to my company or I could get sent around the city as the replacement for officers on vacation. I’ve been to a few different companies now and currently try to lay low and not start any extra activities with the crew.
Usually the first thing I do is see who I have and who I am familiar with. It is their house and I am a visitor so I let them do their job, or do what they would normally do. I watch the Operator check the truck and all the equipment and ask questions about equipment if I think something was missed or needs attention and then help wash the piece.
The problem with the acting officer job starts when we get a call and there is an obvious skill area that needs attention, Or a total break from common sense. Do I drill on these items as if it was my own company so we can do it better next time? Do I just have a word with the individual, or the whole crew? If I do anything would it appear that I have a superiority complex that would then precede my arrival at any other acting job?
A couple of examples are:
1. A firefighter jumps off the truck at an alarm and runs in without his gear and goes straight to the alarm location without a tool, a partner or letting anyone else know what is going on.
2. Firefighter is incapable of strapping a patient to a back board.
3. Firefighter just does not want to work at all.
My current approach is to ask the guy, in private, what’s going on without being judgmental. Any better Ideas?