Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Officer Responsibility, Accountability, Complacency and Expectations

By now many of you should have seen the reports making their way around the internet circuit relating to the regrettable circumstances in DeKalb County, Georgia and the level of omissions that apparently was exhibited at an alarm response that had tragic repercussions based upon those actions. If you haven’t caught up on the incident particulars then check out these links, HERE, HERE and HERE for starters. In addition, in the immediate days following the incident four fire officers were terminated based upon allegations of negligence and disregard to duty, HERE. This was quickly followed by the resignation of the Fire Chief, HERE.

Company and Command Officers should be highly accountable and highly responsive to the demands and duties that come with that rank and the inherent responsibilities that are intrinsic, fundamental and vital. The Company Officer fulfills a mission critical role within the fire service that directly affects personnel and public safety and community accord. The title carries with it the opportunity to ride the “front seat” and be in charge of a company responsible for addressing incident operations and service demands dictated by the company’s function, responsibility and task assignment. The DeKalb County incident clearly illustrates when those fundamental and inherent responsibilities are allowed to be diminished, neglected or deliberately forsaken; the results can be pronounced with detrimental results on a variety of levels. Read the Report HERE.

However you may have assumed your present rank and title as a Company or Command Officer recognize this; YOU have an immense responsibility, obligation, duty and accountability. There is a fundamental premise for Company and Command Officer’s and that includes; Responsibility, Accountability and the issues affected by Complacency. After reading the DeKalb Report, think about these three functional areas of Responsibility, Accountability and Complacency. There certainly shouldn’t be a need for a long dissertation on the meaning and relationships of these words and their relationship to any Company or Command Officer.

IF, you understand your job, your duties; responsibilities and accountability to your company, your organization and the citizens you protect, THEN Accountability is a natural extension of everything. Oh, one more thing, let’s add Expectations to the basic mix; fundamental towards carrying out our sworn duties. What are your thoughts on Officer Responsibility, Accountability, Complacency and Expectations? Have you found yourself “RACEing” through an incident for all the wrong reasons? Think about the RACE on your next alarm....
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