Wednesday, November 3, 2010

in charge

Well, ran my first call and Incident Commander..... lol. Now it's not as 'official' as it sounds. What happened was that we had a rush of calls that weren't too serious in nature so my Captain, on the way to a grassfire said 'Here's the radio, you're in charge and get to it'. So I did. :)

I took command and hit the appropriate benchmarks and when all was said and done, terminated command. Only stuttered maybe once or twice. I think the most nerve wracking thing was talking into that blasted radio. I've done it a million times as a driver but it's different when you're at the helm and dispatch is hanging onto every word. Also knowing that my colleagues and any member of the public with a scanner can listen in on the call gave me a bit of stage fright. But my crewmates were really supportive and I'm just happy that my Captain gave me the opportunity to practice taking command. Just like becoming a firefighter, becoming an officer doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, experience and a support network of great mentors. I realized one thing at this call as an 'officer' that it's really hard to step back and just take charge of the call without doing the grunt work. I kept wanting to jump in to hit the hydrant, pull the hose, grab a shovel. But I didn't because it's impossible to oversee the entire situation that way. It made me realize how different that position is and that if I ever do get to that point of sitting in the front seat, how much I will miss being a 'boot'. But in the meantime, it's nice to have a taste of 'the other side'..... gives me whole lot of respect for the Captains who keep us safe at calls. Especially at those calls where everything seems to be blowing up simultaneously.

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