This forum case study comes from Chapter 6 Page 99. A newly promoted officer is assigned to a very busy engine company and on the first day, is greeted by an energetic crew of three firefighters who seem pleased with their new officer.  In reviewing personnel files and contacting the previous officer, the new officer has acquired some background information on the crew and is assured that they are aggressive firefighters who know how to put a fire out. Before the morning coffee is finished, the company is dispatched to a reported fire in a single-family dwelling.  The officer did not get a chance to explain any expectations or preferred procedures for emergency incidents and assumed that the crew would follow departmental SOP’s.  When the company arrives, it is clear that this is a working fire.  Because it is a daytime incident, the officer is relatively confident that the dwelling is unoccupied. Before the officer can make a brief size-up, the crew goes into action.  Two firefighters pull the 150-ft, 1.75-in hose line and extend it to the side door (the fire can be seen coming out the windows near this door).  Before the officer can join the two firefighters extending the hose line, they have forced the door and entered the house.

 

When the officer catches up, one of the firefighters has gone off on his own to search for victims.  The fire was confined to a room and its contents and is extinguished using a few gallons of water.  After the fire, the two firefighters discuss with pride their ability to get in fast and put the fire out before anyone else can arrive on the scene.

 

After reading Chapter 6 in your textbook, which you did in Week 3, as well as the above scenario, and the supplemental reading, Trouble Tactics, write a post that answers the following:

 

1. Describe any potential disciplinary actions in reference to safety or SOPs that would be apparent in your department.  If you are not with a department, discuss the disciplinary actions you think would be apparent?
2. Discuss your own personal thoughts about the situation.
3. In a similar situation, how would you instruct your crew in their actions during emergency operations? Be specific.

 

 

 

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#1

 

 

 

 

 

1. Describe any potential disciplinary actions in reference to safety or SOPs that would be apparent in your department.  If you are not with a department, discuss the disciplinary actions you think would be apparent?

 

 

 

I would think verbal and written counseling would be the first phase of disciplinary action. I like the idea of progressive discipline which can incorporate training to correct the error. If the offense is repeated, then it will sent higher ups to decide what route to take. Suspension, transfer, and termination will be the final phase in disciplinary action.

 

 

 

2. Discuss your own personal thoughts about the situation.

 

 

 

I felt that it was unsafe for the firefighters to enter the dwelling. Something could have went wrong and the officer would catch the heat for it. I believe the officer should present his expectations to the crew clearly and ask what normal operations consist of. As for the firefighters, they should know better being that there are SOP’s when responding. If there are none, then the SOP needs to be revised to incorporate rules and regulations regarding chain of command, safety, and disciplinary actions. If for some reason, this could not be done before the call, the officer should hold an after action brief to inform the crew of his concerns so they will all be on the same page.

 

 

 

3. In a similar situation, how would you instruct your crew in their actions during emergency operations? Be specific.

 

 

 

First, I would be firm and address everyone on how things are going to be done before going in to ensure the crew can operate safely and efficiently. If a crewmember has a concern or some feedback, I will take into account their opinion because it offers variety and maybe a better way of conducting operations. I would ensure that a proper ICS system will be in place to avoid confusion on who will report to who. On this incident, it would be myself. I would keep constant communication on the status of each member’s task and how they are doing in case I need to call for more resources.

 

 

 

Reference:

 

 

 

Cornell, J. (2006). Trouble tactics. Fire Chief, 50(4), 82-87. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/216119371?accountid=8289

 

 

 

#2

 

 

 

This week’s subject is one that crosses all lines with types of work and employment situations. Employee discipline is a complex issue that often involves many underlying issues, including personal political and mental health problems. In the supplemental reading, most departments are equipped for dealing with basic work place discipline issues, yet are not effectively deploying the tools to do so. Some are outright unwilling to do so (Cornell, 2006). In Trouble Tactics,the author describes designing, implementing and controlling discipline in much the same way that the Incident Command Systems (ICS) are organized. I agree that this would help in that most are familiar with the structure and functioning of the ICS, so no need to reinvent the wheel everywhere. 

 

   

 

With the massive investment that each team member represents, it is important to protect each one to prevent the kind of dissatisfaction that leads to discipline problems or an unwanted departure. Scoffing at a complaint, ignoring a request for help or otherwise not acting on a discipline issue, can lead to even greater monetary problems with law suits. The issues of diversity, shaming, and sexual harassment are deeply rooted in one’s psyche and it’s not advised to treat these lightly. When it is, you are more likely to lose that individual as well as become involved with paying to see them go. 

 

   

 

In our Week 4 Forum Assignment, the issues that arose while deploying with a crew that was new to the fresh-arrived officer, it would have to be considered what has, and what has not been discussed between the crew and the officer. We cannot see that the crew has been read-on to any disciplinary policies, so the first advice I would offer is that the new officer tread lightly. He must first learn if the crew members have been briefed on these types of operations, their actions, and the disciplinary policies, if any. It is obvious that they did move in an unsafe manner in that they did not inform Command where they were going and to do what, with one of the crew doing his best “cowboy” imitation by freelancing a search operation. The officer should conduct his information gathering then setup a group discussion to speak to the team on expectations. Afterwards, if it seems to be justified, talk to the individuals separately to discuss each action and the corrective actions expected. The possible ramifications of these mistakes can be discussed in both types of meetings. All of these interactions should be recorded and submitted in accordance with the department’s policies.

 

 

 

Cornell, J. (2006). Trouble tactics. Fire Chief, 50(4), 82-87. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/216119371?accountid=8289

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