Covering bosses

lfdlt31

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Nov 28, 2011
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I have a few questions I have been thinking about for some time and hopefully the amazing brains here can help me out.

My questions are regarding promoted but not yet assigned bosses. I understand that unlike many depts FDNY does not use acting officers. They use covering bosses for things like vacation. How does it work when it is just for one tour due to calling in sick or something like that? What happens when there are not enough covering bosses to fill vacancies? I would assume other bosses would get OT? What happens when there are too many covering bosses and there are left overs after all the spots are filled?
 

GeoC

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Bottom line is if there is an opening due to Medical Leave, Emergency Leave etc the Officers spot is usually covered by OT Officer from within the Division.
Vacation spot or long term vacancy is covered by a ‘Covering Officer’ from the surplus pool of Officers, usually from within the Division. But could be from the whole city. I remember ‘bouncing’ around the city when I was surplus within the Division.
By the way it’s always rank to rank, ie Lieutenant-Lieutenant, Captain-Captain. The only change is when the opening happens after the tour started and no Officers are surplus than a Firefighter could be made Acting Lieutenant.
Very regulated by Union Contracts.
 

lfdlt31

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Also how do mutuals work with covering or OT officers? Do they just work according to the chart?

What happens when there are more surplus then there is spots to put them? or does that never happen?
 

skiLB

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Bottom line is if there is an opening due to Medical Leave, Emergency Leave etc the Officers spot is usually covered by OT Officer from within the Division.
Vacation spot or long term vacancy is covered by a ‘Covering Officer’ from the surplus pool of Officers, usually from within the Division. But could be from the whole city. I remember ‘bouncing’ around the city when I was surplus within the Division.
By the way it’s always rank to rank, ie Lieutenant-Lieutenant, Captain-Captain. The only change is when the opening happens after the tour started and no Officers are surplus than a Firefighter could be made Acting Lieutenant.
Very regulated by Union Contracts.
Very true. As a Division aide a covering officer will be put in group chart number and placed in an opening (firehouse) for that tour & we try to keep in division unless needed else where in the city. If covering a vacation spot or medical leave will change his group number so he lines up with assigned officer so they can do mutuals. As per Division Commanders ok. As GeoC said regulated by Union contracts.
 
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XPFD3

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At one time weren't there two different terms used for officers assigned to Divisions and Battalions? One for the officers who followed a route and worked in the same companies every time the assigned officers group was off and another for the officers who filled in for officers who were off on vacation, medical, long term detail, etc.
 

lucky

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They had covering relief officers. The four regular officers covered their unit 24 of the 25 days and night tours. A covering relief officer was assigned to the unit for 1 day and one night tour every 25 days. The job worked the groups out so that most of these relief officers worked in the same five or six units every 25 days. If they didn't have six units to cover, they could be sent anywhere in the city. The Division aides, however, would first try to get them an open assignment in the Batt. or Division to which they were assigned.
 

GeoC

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Also how do mutuals work with covering or OT officers? Do they just work according to the chart?

What happens when there are more surplus then there is spots to put them? or does that never happen?
Mutuals between Covering Officers and Regulat Assigned Officers are treated the same as any other Mutual. Each party takes the spot of the other as assigned by their group number nd assignments.
I was ‘surplus’ on one occasion in the 15th Division and it was on Labor Day. I believe I was supposed to report to the Division and do ?? There were good Aides in the Division then and I assume now. So I was told to just keep checking in by Telephone ( you remember those old wired type). Well I ended up in Breezy Point, small gated community of mostly cops and a Firemen, at the UFOA Presidents house (Richie Brower). By this time I don’t think they would want me to report, it was hot and late and I had a few cold ones. I was told to forget about calling in and good night.
Another point about contract provisions. I had an occasion where a Chief was injured and went on Medical Leave during a tour. I was assigned as Acting Chief, the Lieutenant in the adjoining Engine Company took my position and was made Acting Captain and a fireman was made Acting Lieutenant in the Engine Company. $$$
 
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Mutuals between Covering Officers and Regulat Assigned Officers are treated the same as any other Mutual. Each party takes the spot of the other as assigned by their group number nd assignments.
I was ‘surplus’ on one occasion in the 15th Division and it was on Labor Day. I believe I was supposed to report to the Division and do ?? There were good Aides in the Division then and I assume now. So I was told to just keep checking in by Telephone ( you remember those old wired type). Well I ended up in Breezy Point, small gated community of mostly cops and a Firemen, at the UFOA Presidents house (Richie Brower). By this time I don’t think they would want me to report, it was hot and late and I had a few cold ones. I was told to forget about calling in and good night.
Another point about contract provisions. I had an occasion where a Chief was injured and went on Medical Leave during a tour. I was assigned as Acting Chief, the Lieutenant in the adjoining Engine Company took my position and was made Acting Captain and a fireman was made Acting Lieutenant in the Engine Company. $$$
I understand the whole concept of a Lieutenant being bumped up to cover a Captain, or a Captain to Battalion, etc. I am just surprised that a Firefighter would be assigned as an Acting Lieutenant. It would seem to me that how would he/she know how to use the MDT and all the other things taught in the Lieutenant's Training which is basic stuff that every officer has to know. I always thought that if a company's officer left during a shift and they couldn't find anyone to cover, that the company was shut down and the firefighters detailed out to other companies (much like they do for medicals... the company just closes down for the shift). Of course if it's a must-fill, like Engine 70, they would relocate a company there.

But you guys do it, so you know... it just surprised me.
 

mac8146

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There is a criteria for making an acting Lieutenant, first choice would be a member already on promotion list then it would go to seniority. Most chauffeur’s have basic knowledge on using MDT and department radio for transmissions. If there is another officer in company in quarters that boss would assist the acting member. Usually acting Lieutenant will be put into engine company and the truck in quarters will have the officer.
 
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There is a criteria for making an acting Lieutenant, first choice would be a member already on promotion list then it would go to seniority. Most chauffeur’s have basic knowledge on using MDT and department radio for transmissions. If there is another officer in company in quarters that boss would assist the acting member. Usually acting Lieutenant will be put into engine company and the truck in quarters will have the officer.
That is great feedback and it does make sense. Thanks for explaining it. I forgot about the chauffeur being up front and using the radio/MDT when he replays stuff for the officer back to the borough. I like it when the borough asks the engine or ladder a question and the officer is out of the vehicle and the chauffer responds, "Stand-by, let me check with the boss." (y)
 
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And the last thing you would want to do is close a company. There might be a few reasons why but it would be a last choice
I was surprised when I first started following FDNY that companies were out of service for education day or medicals, etc. I remember listening to a fire on City Island where Engine 70 was at medicals and a covering engine caught the job. Question: When a company goes for medicals, I assume they report directly to the medical office. So what happens to the engine (say E70) when the guys aren’t there? I’m guessing it stays in the firehouse. But then where does the covering engine park? Dumb question, but I don’t know!
 

lucky

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There were times when the apparatus remained in quarters but now a mechanic picks it up and and the rig undergoes inspection, oil change, and minor repairs. We used to do some training at the academy while the rig was being worked on.
 

mac8146

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The company apparatus is taken for PMP as per schedule, when PMP is not needed usually the companies apparatus is parked safely outside of quarters while relocating unit goes indoors.
 

t123ken

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The company apparatus is taken for PMP as per schedule, when PMP is not needed usually the companies apparatus is parked safely outside of quarters while relocating unit goes indoors.
I always heard the in service rig is outside with the OOS rig inside, just like the case of a unit on R&R with a relocator. The relocated unit can keep an eye on its rig outside and when it gets a run the OOS is not left unguarded out of quarters.
 

3511

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With regard to Acting Lieutenants:

If an opening occurs in a single unit a Lt. will be detailed to that unit from a double house . No house is ever left without an officer.
That is a looong standing rule in the Department. I recall the 18th battalion in the Bronx in the years after World War II, then comprised of Es 42, 45, 46, 48, 88, and 96, but only Ls 27 and 38. That was four single engine companies but just two double company (46/27, 88/38) houses, one of which my father was assigned. He spent a lot of time detailed around the Battalion to cover vacancies in the single engines. I knew to ask him when he returned home where he had spent his tour.
 

EdMc

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In each Battalion, when you look at the group charts as a whole you will notice that the officer groups are different in each company, meaning not all Lt. are in groups say 1, 7, 20 whatever. And the Capt. are not in the same groups. This is to make sure that the open group is not the same in each company at the same time, that a covering Lt in the Batt can cover those openings each time in different companies. The same would be said for Capt. open groups in the Division, the covering Capt can cover those open groups in different companies within the Division. Also, if the need arises to move guys up in rank during the tour to make Acting officers then there is always an officer in each rank available to do this, in theory.
 

lfdlt31

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In each Battalion, when you look at the group charts as a whole you will notice that the officer groups are different in each company, meaning not all Lt. are in groups say 1, 7, 20 whatever. And the Capt. are not in the same groups. This is to make sure that the open group is not the same in each company at the same time, that a covering Lt in the Batt can cover those openings each time in different companies. The same would be said for Capt. open groups in the Division, the covering Capt can cover those open groups in different companies within the Division. Also, if the need arises to move guys up in rank during the tour to make Acting officers then there is always an officer in each rank available to do this, in theory.
Who decides who is in which group? How often to group assignments change?
 
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