Leadership
Written by Don Jolley
Volunteer and composite fire services respond to a very high percentage of fire alarms that are unwarranted or false. Responding to these incidents can negatively impact a department by creating increased call volume, higher enforcement costs, increased cost of paid on-call wages, inconvenience to volunteer firefighters, among other issues.
Written by Dave Balding
I was recently asked by some of my firefighters why I chose to ride in the rear seat of our rescue truck during a motor vehicle incident (MVI) response in early September rather than taking my usual command vehicle. Sure, I could have jumped in the front seat, but I left that role open to an up-and-coming member. Once on-scene, the incident was straightforward and command clearly had the situation under control, so why wouldn’t I make myself available on the tools?
Written by Matt Pegg
Whether we like it or not, one of the main responsibilities of every leader, especially for chief officers, is to deal with problems. In fact, I spend the majority of each day dealing with problems, issues and challenges as they arise.
Written by Len Garis
Fire-service professionals must often make difficult decisions on the job. But how many of these decisions can stand up to scrutiny?
Written by Bill Boyes
In past columns, the discussion has focused the importance of career development and the changing role of a chief officer. When considering such a broad topic, it is important to recognize the diversity of Canada’s fire services in the context of developing continuing education and leadership programs that are affordable and accessible.
Written by Dave Balding
Are some of us of doing a disservice to one of our greatest resources – young firefighters? I’m fortunate to connect with many leaders at conferences, while presenting or attending training. Despite the uniqueness of every department, common themes often arise.
Written by Matt Pegg
I am a firm believer that leadership is a combination of skills, competencies and abilities that can be learned, shared, developed and honed. Over the course of my career, I have witnessed many outstanding examples of exceptional leadership. I am blessed to have a few amazing mentors who are forever helping me become a better leader.
Written by Don Jolley
In recent years, there has been a renewed focus toward strengthening the relationship between local government and the fire service in British Columbia. In order to do this, a program was created called “Working together: effective fire service administration for fire chiefs and local government chief administrative officers.”
Written by Dave Balding
When I became a fire chief, now-retired Fire Chief Bob Claus from Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island (a friend and colleague of mine), advised me to become engaged with chiefs associations and other organizations in the fire service.
Written by Bill Boyes
As chief officers retire, a void in fire leadership is expected to materialize within the next few years. However, this is entirely avoidable if we prepare the next generation to take over our positions.
Written by Denis Pilon
"I would like to retire, but there is no one to take my place.” Have you heard this comment? It is likely you have said something similar or have overheard it in your department. Whether you work in a volunteer or a career department, statements like this are common.
Written by Lyle Quan
I have written columns about topics ranging from strategic planning to change management, and embracing uncertainty in our personal lives. I have written on such a variety of subjects because I believe leadership requires a wide range of knowledge.
Written by Matt Pegg
Are you a reader?
Written by Gord Schreiner
Like many kids who grew up in Canada, hockey was a big part of my life (and still is). I started playing when I was five years old and played for almost 50 years. When I joined the fire service, I noticed similarities between a hockey team and a fire-service team, from pride to hard work, fun, and the desire to become a better team. Hockey night in Canada is part of our culture. In many mid-size to small towns, so is fire practice night.
Written by Jay Shaw
Are you tired of firefighter leadership discussions, blogs, social-media posts and conference sessions? Tired of being told you need to manage better, lead better, lead more and build your teams more effectively? How about all of those top-five lists? The seven best tactics?
Written by Matt Pegg
You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweaty palms and the voice in the back of your head asking you if you are sure that you know what you are doing?  The not-so-quiet desire to run away and head straight back to where you came from?  Me too. These are but a few of the symptoms that occur when we are outside our comfort zones.
Written by Bill Boyes
A year has passed since my last column and I want to discuss some interesting lessons learned as a senior officer. In January 2016, I was promoted to director of emergency services – fire chief – from deputy chief in Barrie, Ont.
Written by Lyle Quan
A topic that comes up quite a bit during the fire-officer courses I facilitate is the challenge of getting people to embrace programs that need to be implemented, therefore ensuring that the department meets the needs and expectations of the community.
Written by Len Garis and Larry Thomas
An emergency responder called in to assist at a major fire arrives to find a sea of dark shirts. Who is in charge? This scenario is a common occurrence across North America, where many fire and police chiefs have swapped their white shirts for dark blue or black.
Written by Matt Pegg
During my career in the fire service I have heard many hours of debate and discussion about what it takes to be prepared for promotion. In my inaugural column in November I discussed the fact that luck happens when relentless preparation meets opportunity. Now I will delve into the concept of preparation.
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