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Chicago Fire Officers Association

  Meeting date change for March!!!

The regular meeting of the Chicago Fire Officers' Association is changed from Tuesday March 28th to Wednesday March 27th at 7:00PM. Hope to see you there.


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."

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The court denied the former Danvers chief's request to examine more evidence in the case that lead to his firing.
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:45:09 GMT

Lightning Strike Destroys Famous Racing '69 Camaro in NC
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:34:54 GMT

CT Condo Complex Heavily Damaged by Fire
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:30:49 GMT

NY House Fire Does $1M in Damage
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:16:09 GMT

MA Fire Chief Calls Crash Damage 'Most Destructive' He's Ever Seen
A 22-year-old man crashed his car into four utility poles in Stoneham, downing wires, and creating a messy scene.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:40:53 GMT

Alabama Plane Crash Kills Two Adults, Two Teens
Authorities in Alabama say two teenagers and two adults have been killed in a small plane crash.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:28:31 GMT

OH Fatal Fire Takes Emotional Toll on FFs
A fatal fire in Warren killed a 46-year-old woman.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:14:46 GMT

SC Business Damaged by Fire
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:55:16 GMT

Fire Breaks out at Vacant WI Warehouse
Cudahy fire department is investigating a fire at a vacant business.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:47:18 GMT

CA Apartment Complex Fire Goes to Four Alarms
Oakland firefighters are battling a massive apartment fire where seven residents were rescued and one person may have died.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:36:33 GMT

Massive Fire Destroys CA Apartment Building
One person may be dead after a four-alarm fire in Oakland destroyed a large apartment building.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:34:45 GMT

CA Fire Dept. Struggles to Survive with Just Four Volunteers
Knights Valley Fire Co. has just four remaining members to cover emergencies in a 54-square-mile area.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:31:20 GMT

WI Firefighters Deal with Spilled Milk after Interstate Wreck
A tanker truck spilled thousands of gallons of milk after overturning on I-90 near Janesville.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:12:57 GMT

Four Dead after Plane Falls from Sky over AL
Officials are trying to determine what led to a plane falling apart in the sky after leaving a FL airport.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:06:35 GMT

NY Fire Dept. Wants to Take Over EMS Responsiblities
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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:02:13 GMT

KS Fire Officials Work on Plan for Wildland Fire Season
Kansas officials are looking for better ways to stage resources to get head of potential large wildland fires.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:53:52 GMT

Chicago Firefighter Injured in Vacant Building Fire
The firefighter was treated for minor injuries following a box-alarm fire in a vacant building.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:24:40 GMT

MA Apartment Fire Injures Two
A kitchen fire at a Worcester Housing Authority apartment complex sent two people to the hospital.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:09:02 GMT

PA FF Calls Mayday after Fire Separates Him from Crew
An assistant chief spent a few tense minutes hanging from a third-floor window during a Butler City fire.
Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:53:24 GMT

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Lookout Towers Still used in PA
Officials are planning to replace several outdated lookout towers in several counties.
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Future of EMS Service for IN Community Unknown
A neighboring fire department will cover EMS calls in Osceola for two weeks after a service contract was not continued.
Posted on Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:16:42 GMT

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