5 bosses you'll have in the fire service

If you are a boss and are offended by any of the following, well I'm sorry for that

By Billy Galvin

Bosses are like snowflakes, and I have seen many thus far in my career.

Now let me get this straight, I'm not saying these are my bosses or bosses in my department. Rather, this list is a compilation of stories and eye witness accounts. If you are a boss and are offended by any of the following, well I'm sorry for that.


1. The Screamer

Ahhhhhh! This boss is going to yell that fire out. He has a game plan the second the bell hits and that game plan is "ahhhhh!" If something needs to get done he'll let you know by throwing orders directly in your eardrum at a high volume. The Screamer can sneak up on you as well. He seems calm and cool in the firehouse, but on scene transforms like the Incredible Hulk. Barking orders, demanding immediate results — the intensity rising with the integrity of the scene.

My favorite thing about The Screamer is they are always yelling the most obvious shit. For example: "We need to get water on this fire!" What would we do without that order? Oh my God, I was going to use gasoline until you told me to use water. I always end up feeling bad for this boss because sometimes they are cool guys, but they just lose it. I often wonder if they even remember what happened at the fire. Do they wake up like a werewolf the next morning, unaware of their actions the night before? I don't know ... it's a crazy thing.

2. Cool Hand Luke

This boss never gets rattled, no matter what. He acts like he knows what to do even when he doesn't. These guys don't grow on trees. They are a rare breed and if you got one, do everything you can to hold on to him.

Cool Hand Lukes lead by example and experience and they generally care about their men. They are the bosses we all strive to be someday, forged by heat and knowledge of the job.

3. The Buddy Boss

This boss wants to be your buddy. He won't ruffle anyone's feathers, just wanting us all to get along. Well, in a firehouse that's impossible. That would be like asking a Michigan and Ohio State fan to go camping for a weekend. It'll always end in bloodshed.

The Buddy Boss wants to be your shoulder to cry on, someone you can joke with, cry with, and so on. Unfortunately, when this boss needs to drop the hammer he ain't carrying a 15-pound sledge. He's got one of those jeweler's hammers. Nice guy, but doesn't get the best results.

4. The Hammer

Well, he's the opposite of the buddy boss. We all got one, we all know who he is, and what he likes or doesn't like. If I ever turn into this boss, I will hang my boots up for good.

I wonder if something happened to make them that way? If he's not happy, neither is the crew.

5. The Indecisive Boss

This guy can't decide if he's aggressive or passive, coming or going. He gives orders that sound like questions, he lacks confidence, and he's sometimes painful to watch. "Get in there! Get out! Hold at the porch!" ... "Were still holding!" ... "Go ahead and keep holding" ... "Okay, go in!"..."No, I mean hold!"

You want to be like, "Make a decision," but you can't because he's your boss and you like your job.

One of the coolest things I ever heard a chief say was, "The grunts don't work for me, I work for them." Wow, what a thought. I have had great and terrible bosses like everyone else in the fire service. But one thing remains constant — it's in the trenches where the battles are won or lost. And bad boss or good boss, we all find a way to work together and get the job done. Be safe out there.

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