15 traits that make a great fire chief

Asked what characteristic a fire chief must have, FireRescue1 readers came up with some interesting traits


Unlocking the keys to great leadership has always been much sought after and somewhat of a moving target. So we put it to our readers what one characteristic a fire chief should possess.

While honesty, integrity and courage were the most often cited traits, below are 15 interesting and thought-provoking characteristics our readers named. See some that were left off? Jump in the discussion in the comment section below.

1."The ability to attract and guide a staff better than him/herself." — Josh Webb

2."Loyalty to his men and women under his command before politicians and citizens." — Pete Paolillo

3."Honest during open door and honest behind closed doors." — Owen Valuch

4."A good mustache." — Nick Nazar

5."Field experience and an open mind." — Gianni Valsecchi

6."Humility." — Gregory Atwood

7."Servitude. A fire chief's job is to ensure his men have what they need to get the job done." — Travis Bearden

8."Not letting his ego get in the way of making a good department a great one." — Tony San Felippo

9."A sense of humor." — Chris Doyle

10."Consistency in decisions and policies so everyone knows where they stand." — Roger W. Coates

11."Someone who puts the safety of the firefighters in their command first and foremost." — Jeffrey Lorentz

12."Someone who is approachable, yet stern when it comes to fire safety. You have to be patient with new firefighters and be understanding that it takes time to become a good firefighter. Every fire should be a learning experience." — Cindy Harris

13."Sobriety." — Mike Taylor

14."Run the fire department as a firefighter not as a politician or political puppet." — Dustin Palmer

15."A chief should be willing to fight fire with his firefighters and not just stand outside and talk on a radio. A chief should be able to do both and not worry about a title." — Michael Paul Deidrich

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