Column: The biggest mistake a fire chief can make

  • Source: FireRescue1
  • Published: 04/29/2019 12:00 AM

One day, a fire chief who is a good friend called me to talk, either for therapeutic reasons or validation that he made the right decision about something. In the end, the phone call may have been therapeutic, but he had certainly not made the right decision. He had reacted emotionally to a situation and felt he had to make an immediate decision. He made his decision without talking to anyone else or the parties involved to get more information. But how did he get into this situation? This fire chief’s brain had been trained over the years to make immediate decisions. After all, that is what we do as firefighters, company officers, chief officers or fire chiefs. On emergency scenes, there may not be time to consult, research, discuss or investigate all the possibilities and solutions. As such, our brains have become accustomed to quickly assessing the problem, devising the best solution, and making an immediate decision. Unfortunately, for some of us, this overlaps into our administrative responsibilities, and we sometimes make hasty and uninformed decisions before we have all the facts.


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