Like many corporations, we have two distinct yet tightly integrated units of our organization – an administrative arm and an operations arm. The administrative unit is lead by a president, vice-president, recording secretary, treasurer, financial secretary and a board of directors. The president serves as the CEO – Chief Executive Officer of the fire company.
The operations division of the fire company is lead by the fire chief. He serves as the COO or Chief Operating Officer of the corporation. He oversees what is called the ‘chain of command.’ This chain of command is very important in that it provides clear direction, lines of communications, and accountability for everyone involved in the chain.
On an incident scene, the chain of command provides for identifying areas of responsibility and accountability for the personal safety of every individual working within the incident command system.
Under this system, each level only reports to one supervisor. Firefighters report to a Lieutenant, who then reports to a Captain. The Captains report to the Assistant Chiefs, who are responsible to the Fire Chief.
Teamwork is the foundation of our success – during an emergency and back at the station. Before you can become a good leader, you need to learn to be a good follower. Knowing and understanding how you fit into the chain of command will be one of the most important lessons you can learn. Know your position and play it well.
You will receive a copy of our current organizational chart – or chain of command – during your new recruit orientation.