January 4th deadline for NFPA 1021 public comments

Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications

The committee process to update existing NFPA standards has started for NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications (2020). You have two opportunities to provide input to the technical committee.

From the NFPA “How the process works”

The NFPA standards development process encourages public participation in the development of its standards. All NFPA standards are revised and updated every three to five years, in revision cycles that begin twice each year. Normally a standard’s cycle takes approximately two years to complete. Each revision cycle proceeds according to a published schedule which includes final dates for each stage in the standards development process. The four fundamental steps in the NFPA standards development process are:

  1. Public Input
  2. Public Comment
  3. NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session)
  4. Standards Council Action (Appeals and Issuance of Standard)

If not an existing NFPA member, you will need to create a free account. The first round of public comments close January 4th. You can start your public comment process here.


Excuse the Electronic Mess

Company Commander is getting updated and refocused for 2018. Don’t mind the chaos.

The process is starting to revise NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications that will be released in 2020.

We will be focusing on the needs of the Fire Officer I and II. Depending on your department that represents the ranks from Sergeant to Battalion Chief.

I am in the process of adding features, there is going to be some electronic chaos as I add features and work out some bugs … like the current one when you attempt to sign up.

Appreciate your patience.



The Battle over Kentland Ambulance 339

I did not join the VFD to ride an ambulance!

I was working as an Assistant Professor at The George Washington University in the Spring of 2007. There was a war developing between the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department and the county fire agency.

This fascinating story evolved into an EMS Management case study. The county battles a high profile VFD over ambulance staffing … but ambulance coverage was not the real issue

Kentland VFD prevailed in their court case that was in progress when I completed this study. Ambulance 833 is in service at Kentland, staffed 24/7/365 by county firefighters.

While “ancient,” this report continues to get dozens of downloads from an academic research site. I am withdrawing the case study from that site and posting the report here.

You can access this report by signing up to be a Company Commander subscriber.

Let’s try this again

Time to make this blog work

Fifteen months ago I started setting up this blog site for fire and ems leaders.

Then I was asked to run a hospital-based EMS service in the southeast. Those assignments require long days and little time for anything else.

My assignment is done and I am  picking up the pieces, trying to recall passwords and developing a work plan for the next edition of Company Officer and some other items.

Will be posting soon.


Los Angeles County reduces Squad automatic responses

Paramedic Squad not dispatched to "Sick-BLS" and "Injured-BLS"

Prior to July 1, 2016, every 9-1-1 EMS response in Los Angeles County would include a two-paramedic non-transporting squad along with the nearest fire company and private ambulance.

Goal 4: Operational Effectiveness of the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan included this:

Reduce the daily number of advanced life support/paramedic responses by correctly aligning the need with the appropriate resource through tiered dispatching of two Dispatch call types, “sick” and “injury.”  (page 8)

This was not done in isolation, the May 2o16 message from Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby included this:

Among those achievements, the Department hired a permanent Medical Director, improved relations with the EMS Agency, implemented electronic patient care records, revamped the quality improvement program, completed back-logged EMS report scanning and became the first fire department to go live with the implementation of the Safety Intelligence Risk Management Software tool.

The department noted that EMS calls increased 12.8 percent between 2013 to 2014, totaling 277,122 incidents, representing 73% of the fire department responses.




Preparing the next generation of commanders

Preparing for the 4th edition of Fire Officer

I have been fortunate to contribute to our sacred profession of fire and rescue through the writing of a textbook that covers the NFPA 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Standard covering Fire Officer I and II.

The first three editions of Fire Officer: Principles and Practice benefited from participation in discussion boards and blog sites and the mandatory annual working “vacation” at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference.

The next edition of NFPA 1021 is scheduled for 2020, with the public input into the standard opening now.

It was hard writing the 1st edition. Took three rewrites and a lot of help from Gordon Routley. During that time I was an active participant on The WatchDesk – a Washington DC based discussion board that provided stimulating conversation, feedback and entertainment.

It is time to start working on the 4th edition. One purpose of this blog site is to work out ideas, concepts and practices for the person preparing to be a fire company supervisor (Lieutenant) or manager (Captain/Battalion Chief) for the 2020’s.

Come on along, it is going to be interesting!