9 essential fire company leadership qualities

These characteristics mark company officer successful in achieving the No. 1 goal: the success of their firefighters and their company

Leadership – it’s a word used often and broadly in both the private and public sectors. It’s a word that gets a great deal of use in the fire service, particularly where leadership pertains to a fire department’s upper management. In this article, I’m going to discuss those leadership qualities that every company officer needs to be successful in their primary goal: the success of their people and their fire company.

For starters, I’m talking about the role of a leader from the perspective of a fire officer with management responsibilities for a group of firefighters – which may be an engine or truck company in a career department, or a small volunteer-staffed department. Bottom line is that it involves leadership for a small group at the tactical level of a fire department, where the rubber meets the road.

Consider what follows to be an evaluation tool for your personal growth and development as a company officer. Use it as a baseline to evaluate your current level of leadership and then use it to develop those areas where you see room for improvement.

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