Friday, February 4, 2011

The Engine Captain's Attention to Details

For some, 1984 may seem like a long time ago; but my memories of beginning my career in wildland fire began that summer on a BLM district in South Central Idaho where engines ruled supreme. I recall one engine captain (crew boss during those days) whose attention to detail was exemplary. Fred's engine was immaculate, his recordkeeping for his engine and crew thorough, and his leadership strong. He set the example of what right looks like to be a BLM engine leader.

In "The Little Things," an article written for Wildfire, Steve Fraidenburg addresses leadership for the engine captain. He says, "For newly instated engine captains, wildland firefighting requires attention to detail and a regard for experience--both yours and your crew's." Steve's perspective is insightful and a must read for engine leaders.

For over 10 years I've had the privilege to work with Al Olson, BLM Fire Training Unit and Project Leader for the BLM Engine Operator course, and numerous BLM engine leaders across the nation. Their commitment to the Engine Operator course is a testament to ensuring that an attention to detail becomes second nature to engine operators.

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