I’ve been up since about 5:30 this morning and am (past) ready for bed. But, real quick, I wanted to touch on something that Michael ‘Mick’ Mayers (of FirehouseZen) briefly mentioned in the google hangout I joined (listened on). Perhaps he can expand on this “quick” post with more insight.
I’m not going to try and quote as this was several hours ago (and, as I just mentioned, I’ve been up a number of hours already) and chances are I wouldn’t get it just right. The gist of it was the mention that as a Battalion Chief (am I getting that right Mr. Mayer) when he comes up on scene he doesn’t just go up to whomever has been “In Charge” and simply jump in an take over, he asks what they need…. Asks if they have everything under control. In doing so he gives the Younger/Newer Folks (Captain, etc) a chance to get their “feet wet”.
He makes a good point here. How can those who are newer to “command” hope to learn if they are never given the chance. After all you can read all the texts in the world…. But it’s “nothing like the real thing babyyyyy…….” (sorry had to throw that in their…. Ok back to seriousness. It (the textbooks/classroom learning) really isn’t like it is in real life. The best teacher is experience and you (or rather they) can’t hope to gain experience if you are jumping in and taking over command with out giving the newer, less experienced a chance to learn.
I know one thing that really pisses me off is when people jump in and try to take over something I’m trying to figure out and not give me the chance. I mean I can understand if it’s life and death and there isn’t time to “figure things out”, but otherwise…. GIVE ME A CHANCE. Same thing could be said of those below you in the Fire Service. GIVE THEM A CHANCE.
Now does this mean that you just walk away and leave them hanging without a safety net? NO!!!! Be available to give advice and to help with decisions making if a “helping hand” is needed….. And, of course, be available to take command if things get dicey (or as Mayer puts it “hairy”.