Rotator Placeholder Image

2A Shift On Today
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Upcoming Events

09/25 - Yom Kippur

Join Our Newsletter
Union Web Design for Union Firefighters!

Chicago Fire Officers Association

Competency vs. Complacency

To all executive board members,

                 The May Meeting of the Chicago Fire Officers' Association executive board will be changed from  Tuesday May 26th 2015 at 7:00PM to Wednesday May 27th at 7:00 pm. It will  be the last one of the season before the summer break so I hope you all can make it.


Notice: Due to the Chicago Fire Dept's new sharepoint program, all pertinent General Orders, Memos, Directives etc. can be accessed online through the city's website and will be current. Therefore it is no longer necessary for the Chicago Fire Officers' Association to continue to upload them to our website.

All older orders, tranfers, memos, directives, etc. will be available online as an archive but may not be current. Thank you.... the Board of Directors.


Competency vs. Complacency
By Gene Callahan

In this day and age with the abundance of technology (omnipresent television, cell phones, internet, PDA's, GPS, etc) and the speed of everyday life, we have created a society where doing enough to get by has become the standard mode of operation. There is too much to do and too little time for reflection on how to become better as a team or as an individual.

I have been retired now from the CFD for more than 10 years, and as I reflect back upon my time on the job I find myself contemplating two words which are critical to defining the future of the CFD, competency and complacency.  When I consider the word competency, I wonder if we ask ourselves often enough if we are competent in our particular role on the CFD.  The CFD is one of the world's leading fire and rescue services because our committed members have repeatedly asked how we can grow; improve and become more proficient for our community's safety and security. Complacency can also play a major, albeit negative, role in the future of the CFD.  Just as we must continually ensure that we are growing more skilled everyday, equally important we must protect against becoming too content with performing our duties. 

Questions to ask ourselves

  • Do I follow the SOPs set forth by the CFD?
  • Do I listen and consider others alternative ideas, instruction and suggestions?
  • Do I offer alternative ideas and suggestions based on the knowledge I have acquired on the job?
  • Do I learn from watching others' successes and failures?
  • Do I take the time to share what I have learned openly and unselfishly with others?

Based on your response to these questions, you will quickly be able to gauge if you are improving the CFD and leaving behind a legacy for others to follow. 

An incident from many years ago illustrates the role competency and complacency play in the CFD.  A tanker of gasoline developed a large leak of its product.  The CFD responded and immediately lead out a 3" hose line as a watch line to keep the product flowing away from the tanker.  A chief officer arrived on the scene and, listening to subordinate suggestions, agreed to implement a unique solution. A blue shirt suggested pulling the tanker over to a gas station located about 100 yards from the scene and emptying its product into its underground tanks.  With the owner's permission, they moved the tanker to the gas station.  When they got to the site, the fittings were not compatible.  They used one of the street pylons (used for holding traffic up) as a funnel and were able to empty the product into the underground tank until the leak was repaired, keeping the 3" watch line in place until the operation was completed.

Now, I ask you, would this chief officer have been more competent by implementing his own plan without regard to others' ideas? Would the blue shirt have been more competent by remaining silent instead of sharing an innovative solution to the situation? This example shows that the most competent are those who are not complacent and are willing to make changes and grow for the betterment of the current situation and the long term reputation of the organization.

As I reflect upon the fine men and women of the CFD in my retirement, I am reminded of the late John F. Kennedy asking, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."  To spin this phrase, I ask, "Ask not what the Chicago Fire Department can do for you, ask what you can do for the men and women of the CFD."

[*]share |


Wash. Lt. Charged With Having Sex With Underage Fire Student
Bail was set at $200,000 for a Yakima fire lieutenant accused of having sex with an underage girl he was teaching.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:45:14 GMT

N.C. Firefighter Released From Hospital, Funeral Set for Colleague
As one injured Burlington, firefighter has been released from the hospital, funeral arrangements have been set for another.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:28:36 GMT

Seattle Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Apt. Fire
Seattle battled a two-alarm blaze in an apartment house in the Queen Anne neighborhood.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:24:24 GMT

News Crew Crashes Van Responding to Calif. Wildland Fire
A KTVU news van covering a fire in East Bay Hills rolled into a ditch. No one was injured.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:19:32 GMT

World Police and Fire Games Competitor Killed in Va. Bike Crash
A competitor in the World Police and Fire Games died Thursday evening after he was hurt in a cycling crash Thursday afternoon in Prince William Forest. Two others were critically hurt.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:07:51 GMT

Calif. Captain Continues to Recover From Burns
Fresno Fire Captain Pete Dern is recovering from the latest surgery that uses his own grafted skin to cover his injuries. He was severely burned when he fell through a garage roof.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:40:57 GMT

Human-Caused Wash. Wildland Fire, 29 Homes Destroyed
The investigation continues on the 2,950-acre blaze in Sleepy Hollow that burned 29 occupied homes.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:22:27 GMT

Heroic N.H. Fire Rescue Sparks Staffing Concerns
Manchester firefighters are concerned about staffing after a heroic rescue left three firefighters injured.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:14:23 GMT

Fireworks-Filled Van Explodes, Traffic Clogged From L.A. to Vegas
The van was a total loss, but "psychedelic explosions" entertained motorists for about a half hour in Ivanpah.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:37:06 GMT

Retired FDNY Firefighter Who Responded on Sept. 11 Wins $5M
The retired firefighter won $5M on a scratch ticket. He hopes to buy a Disney vacation home.
Posted on Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:21:33 GMT

Photo Story: Two Extricated from Ohio Crash
One victim transported by helicopter after a two vehicle crash with rollover in Miami County.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:42:06 GMT

Thief Steals Equipment from Rural Ind. Fire Station
An AED, portable radios, and other gear was stolen from Coolspring Township Station #2.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:38:43 GMT

Flames Devour Grand Rapids Salvage Business
Crews tackled a large fire at a northwest Grand Rapids demolition and salvage business Wednesday night.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:11:31 GMT

Seven Hurt in Explosion, Fire at Neb. Petroleum Center
Two of the workers hurt are in critical condition.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:44:54 GMT

Baltimore CVS Arson Suspect Nabbed

Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:06:10 GMT

Footage Shows Bicyclist Struck by Car
A young boy riding his bicycle was struck by a vehicle two weeks ago in Reseda, and on Tuesday night, the driver accused of leaving the scene spoke to a reporter.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:54:28 GMT

Prison for Former N.H. Chief for $216K Theft
Ex Farmington Fire Chief Richard Fowler admitted bilking money from the department.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:44:23 GMT

Conn. Rookie Delivers Big 10 Minutes Into First Shift
New Haven Firefighter Jack Erickson graduated from the academy on Tuesday.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:30:59 GMT

Pa. Firefighters Fuming Over Welded Hydrants
Franklin Fire Chief Mark Trace said the water authority didn't consult them before welding the largest connections on the plugs.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:14:50 GMT

Maine Fire and Rescue Departments Merge
Staffing will be boosted with the consolidation in Lebanon.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:08:07 GMT

Derailment, Fire Prompt Evacuation in Tennessee
The train was carrying a flammable and toxic substance.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:16:49 GMT

Lightning Damages Conn. House

Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:34:00 GMT

Perlman Architects
Perlman Architects of Arizona is an award winning, full service Architectural and Planning firm specializing in Fire Department and Public Safety projects.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:56:48 GMT

Perlman Architects
Our goal is to provide quality designs that balance function, cost and aesthetics while creating an environment that enhances the quality of life for those it serves.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:48:52 GMT

Apparatus Struck by Tractor-Trailer

Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:44:53 GMT

Photo Story: Calif. Crews Contain Brush Fire
Firefighters battled a brush fire for about three hours near Rincon Beach in Ventura County.
Posted on Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:35:55 GMT

Rescue Equipment Plant Burns in Ohio
Investigators are probing the cause of the fire at Genesis Rescue Systems.
Posted on Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:42:51 GMT

The First-In Turnout Timer is part of the First-In Fire Station Alerting System. It provides a visual readout of the time elapsed since the call was received at the fire station.
Posted on Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:38:07 GMT

Ohio Firefighters Tackle Fire at Genesis Rescue Systems
The scene is in the 2700 block of Culver Avenue north of East Dorothy Lane.
Posted on Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:46:46 GMT

Gear Guard
New Gear Guard by Ready Rack stops UV damage to PPE
Posted on Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:26:50 GMT

Member Login
Apply for an Account | Remind Me!
Copyright © 2015 Chicago Fire Officers Association - All Rights Reserved.
Webmail Login
| Cloud Hosting & design by