Our job entails more than just responding to emergencies. It entails responding to community needs and assisting our neighbors. That assistance comes in many forms, but the agencies who get it will be survivors, and those who don’t, well, I think you can figure that out yourself. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.
I am a firefighter because I literally grew up in a firehouse. My grandfather was a firefighter’s firefighter. His nickname was “Smokey”. He was the Chief Fire Marshal in Montgomery County, PA up until his death in 1981. My uncles and my father all became firefighters as a result of his influence; not just firefighters but leaders in their field. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be.
If your small unit leaders aren’t on board with organizational vision, don’t count on the personnel they supervise joining in to resist them in carrying the desired vision out. It will be much easier on those troops if they can get along with their misdirected officer than if they embrace the change, so you can count on the message not getting through when it is most needed.
Don’t waste your time thinking that opportunity is going to come find you. The chief of department, when he has a sexy project, isn’t going to come hunting you down unless he is familiar with your track record. If you want those good assignments, you are going to have to sniff out and handle some unpopular ones first.
Every community must understand its vulnerabilities and the potential for disaster, and plan accordingly. The caveat to this is, that despite the presence of a written plan, you can have every contingency covered and discussed, if you don’t understand and practice the plan, it isn’t worth the paper it is written on.