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The Hat Dance: Realities of the Short Staffed Company Officer

Friday, April 19
Classroom Session
Company Officer

With adequate staffing continuing to be more of a fantasy than a reality for many departments, the modern company officer is asked to wear many hats ranging from tailboard firefighter to command level officer. With a strong company officer often being the difference between fireground failure and success, we must reconsider what we are asking of our company officers and how they carry out their duties. This class aims to empower and encourage company officers battling the realities of limited staffing armed only with strategies found in formal training and education designed for staffing models that are no longer realistic for the average fire department. We will break down how to balance firemanship and leadership, adapting leadership and managerial responsibilities to low staffing environments, the delicate balance of mentor and boss, proper approaches to delegation, the importance of humility, and strategies for accomplishing mission-critical tasks early in the incident without the staffing to do so. By bridging personal and departmental expectations with the realities of limited staffing, current and aspiring company officers will leave with the tools and attitudes necessary to successfully lead their teams both on and off the fireground!

Marc Aloan, Battalion Chief - West Columbia Fire Department