“Submit a discussion of the management style of your department. Include in this posting how that management style impacts the relationship between the senior level personnel and the department personnel. Expand on that to discuss the relationship between and among the department, the local jurisdiction (The AHJ – Authority Having Jurisdiction) and the community. What is the opinion of the community at large of your department and the service you provide?
My department is comprised of 61 military and civilian personnel who work seamlessly to deliver emergency services to the installation that it serves. The management style of the department varies from the top down, but consistently produces optimal results. The fire chief is considered to be the senior management official, who is directly responsible for ensuring that every facet of our department is being run as efficiently and effectively as possible. The chief’s particular management style would commonly be considered as laissez-faire, as his hands-off leadership approach allows his subordinates the freedom to execute their own strategy to fulfill his vision. This is possible due to the incredibility talented pool of individuals he has surrounded himself with during his short reign. This affords him the freedom to explore strategic initiatives that will inevitability pay huge dividends for his department in the foreseeable future.
A lion’s share of the day-to-day responsibilities falls to assistant chiefs, who employ a persuasive management style that motivates employees to execute the orders that they’ve been given. These two individuals use an authoritative approach, but work hard to preserve the overall morale and welfare of their respective shifts. They also use an employee recognition program to reward department personnel for their hard work and dedication, which tends to motivate and inspire individuals to work even harder. This is where the management style of our department comes full circle, as the fire chief is the one who announces the recipients of these awards in front of their peers and subordinates.
The authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) for our military and civilian members tends be to the installation commander, but he/she can delegate this authority to subordinate officers based on the situation at hand. Unfortunately, base leadership tends to change every couple of years and leads to an air of uncertainty during the transition period. However, the department has well documented plans and procedures in place to ensure safety of the base community. This dedication to service, coupled with various outreach programs, has helped the department to win the hearts and minds of the base community.
I don’t work in a fire department but we do have one on our fuel terminal and they work alongside us military personnel. I will say that seeing the Fire Chief and talking to the Japanese fire fighters he is relaxed and lets them train and do their thing around the fuel terminal. I know from when we run drills he in control and no one does anything without his permission. When I look at the military side when we have to dress up in fire fighting equipment we have our chain of command as well. We have a Senior Chief who is the acting Fire Chief you will say and I’m his assistant Fire Chief since I’m right under him as the rank of Chief. He is a hands off kind of guy but is always willing to step in and help if he deems we need it. I’m more of a hands on kind of guy and the crew likes our style. We have three other more senior personnel on our fuel terminal and they are hands off completely. They just want to be informed and have all our paperwork in order. They review our fire plans and see if everyone is qualified to do the job. We keep them happy and everyone stays trained up. I believe you need multiple roles of people to keep a fuel terminal and fire department running well. Some time you need to be hands on and hands off as well. Give opportunity for the junior guys to grow but be willing to step in and correct things on the spot as lessons. This in the long run will make better fire fighters and build trust in the working environment and have everyone happy and home safe at the end of the day.