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Crew Commander Promotion


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Seems like I’ve been successful in being promoted to an RDS crew commander position. I’m really looking forward to it, but also mildly terrified (that the first job will be a major incident) especially as I get let loose after an single afternoon session and I’ll get put on an incident command course (when they get round to running one…)

Casting your minds back to when you moved to the front, what advice does anyone have? 

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Remember the effect that your attitude has on your crew, especially the newer ones. Moderate your voice, look calm, and don’t run. I’ve worked with officers at both ends of this scale and the calmer ones are better to work with by a mile.


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Don't be afraid to ask for help, learn from others, seek feed back at every opportunity,  write things down...you have a note book for reason! And the best peice of advice that was given to me when starting my career progression..Don't be a cock. lol

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Congratulations!! My advice would be, don’t be afraid to ‘make up’ jobs, resources can be stood down if you’ve miscalculated but it is always better to go too big and not need it than too small and need it in a hurry. find your own style and don’t stress if it takes you a while to find it. don’t panic if you get a major incident stick to the basics, lay the foundations for the rest of the incident and try and keep everyone within the acceptable safety margin. Good luck. 

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Whilst you’re the one with the stripes, always remember you don’t know it all. Undoubtledly you will make mistakes, its important that you learn from them

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18 hours ago, Matt said:

Take it you haven't done any acting up before?

No, as RDS we’re not allowed to do that. 

Thanks all. That’s all very useful. 

looking forward to it. Just want to get on with it all now. 

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Some great advice above.  For me, it would be

  • information is power - take the time to ask the important questions on arrival 
  • try to look and sound calm,.  Your brain will be running at full pelt, but remember to breathe,
  • get a decent informative message away as soon as possible.  It helps distill your thoughts on what you have, and what you plan.  It also gives others a bit of confidence that you have things under control.
  • Concentrate on getting the basics in place early on, if you put a solid platform in place then the rest usually follows,
  • use the skills, knowledge and experience of your crew to your advantage.  They will have their own specialisms in life and that extra knowledge often comes in very handy.
  • Debrief your actions and decisions but don’t be overly critical- I have been doing this 20 years and I haven’t run a single incident perfectly yet but hopefully I don’t make the same mistakes again and again.

Your target to beat on that first job is avoiding the million pound (and some) fire loss I suffered on my first job as a Watch Manager.  Was nothing I could have done about it mind, the job was lost before we arrived.

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Firstly, congratulations!

It is daunting the first time you sit in the front and turn around to see the faces looking back at you, but you get used to it!

Never act like you know it all, whether you're experienced or just starting out there's not many incidents that you don't learn something from whether operationally, or about your crew.

Know your crew. Their skills, weaknesses, primary employment and family pressures with being on call as you are RDS and the way you manage them will more often than not shape how successfully the incident is resolved, and life on station in general and the way you are received as a JO.

You obviously know what you're doing, otherwise you wouldn't have passed so don't doubt yourself. Follow your gut instinct and if there's one person to lean on i'd say go to your driver- more often than not they will be one of the more experienced members of your crew although it doesn't always guarantee they'll be useful to you 😂 Failing that pick the phone up contact control and ask the duty station manager or equivalent for advice, it's not a sign of weakness if the alternative is getting a key decision wrong.

Lastly, enjoy it! There will be some incidents you come away from feeling down thinking you could have done things differently, learn from them. Enjoy the ones where you come away knowing you've done a good job and you can do the role! And treat your crew and people you come across as you would have liked to be treated and spoken to.

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All very wise advice given, especially relating to your 'fear' of the first job being something significant 

But prepare yourself to see bread and butter /routine jobs in a different light when it's YOU in charge.

An unidentified smell of burning. How long do you search before walking away?

Similarly a chimney job. Is it really out?

Just take your time. Check and check again. If you arent 99% sure, then keep going. It's this sort of job that will trip you up

You will presumably be working with your same colleagues. Hopefully they will be supportive,  but sometimes you might get the odd sigh or remark about how long it's all taking 

The truth is, it will take longer while you are finding your feet. Take your time, do it right ..........but above all, bloody well enjoy it 👍 

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