Shift Commander Case Study

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The job I currently hold is the rank of Shift Commander for the Collinsville, Illinois Fire Department. This rank comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and authority. Moreover, the role of a Shift Commander requires accountability and the ability to delegate tasks. We, in the fire service, use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which uses a standardized incident command system (Rausch, 2008). In this system the span of control is limited to 3-5 persons or units. As the need arises for more layers, a division of labor occurs. For a small scale incident the incident commander can direct 3-5 fire companies, with each fire company directed by a company officer who directs 3-5 firefighters (figure 1). If the fire incident grows larger, the command structure adjusts and the incident is divided into sections or divisions. These sections or division can be divided based on geographic location or task based objectives. The incident commander has the span of control of 3-5 sections, which have the scan of control of 3-5 fire companies, followed by the company officer who has the span of control over 3-5 firefighters (figure 2). This division of labor allows for an expansion and contraction of the organizational structure to fit the emergency…show more content…
As a Shift Commander a myriad of tasks must be completed every day, with additional tasks added during emergency operations. These tasks require delegation to my subordinates thereby working within the span of control my organization has established. Furthermore, delegation allows for leadership development within the organization below my rank. This benefit gives the younger, less experienced fire officer an opportunity to sharpen his skills as a leader while still having a senior officer for direction. Moreover, this will serve as an advantage when the junior fire officer becomes the top of the organizational

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