The Hat Dance

Marc Aloan

The Hat Dance

As adequate staffing continues to become more of a fantasy than a reality for many departments, the modern company officer is asked to wear many hats ranging from tailboard firefighter to command level officer. With a strong company officer often being the difference between fireground failure and success, we must reconsider what we are asking of our company officers and how they carry out their duties. This class aims to empower and encourage company officers battling the realities of limited manpower armed only with strategies found in formal training and education designed for staffing models that are no longer realistic for the average fire department. We will break down how to balance firemanship and leadership, adapting leadership and managerial responsibilities to low staffing environments, the delicate balance of mentor and boss, proper approaches to delegation, the importance of humility, and strategies for accomplishing mission critical tasks early in the incident without the manpower to do so. By bridging personal and departmental expectations with the realities of limited manpower, current and aspiring company officers will leave with the tools and attitudes necessary to lead their teams to victory lane.