Control Measure Knowledge

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Leadership Framework sets out the importance of leadership in the broad context of achieving a healthy, enjoyable workplace culture and managing performance to improve service delivery. The framework consists of four quadrants of leadership; personal impact, outstanding leadership, service delivery and organisational effectiveness. Fire and rescue service leaders are expected to be capable of:

  • Engaging others
  • Leading across boundaries such as functions and other organisations
  • Adapting to change
  • Using their emotional intelligence
  • Dealing with the present and anticipating future trends
  • Empowering leadership at all levels
  • Promoting and fostering a learning organisation
  • Embracing inclusion, diversity and innovation
  • Demonstrating compassion while ensuring accountability and improvement

The framework is based on operational and professional expertise. Incident commanders are leaders of the operational response to incidents. Leadership in the context of incident command is about the difference made to people affected by the performance and outcomes of the decisions, actions and behaviours of an incident commander.

Fire and rescue services should consider their organisational culture and its influence on incident command, as the leadership relationship begins prior to attending an incident. The organisational culture can influence behaviours on and off the incident ground. This may affect the way in which incident commanders lead the incident to a resolution and the way in which personnel respond. Services should also ensure relevant policies reference the factors of leadership.

An effective incident commander should understand the influence of the following factors on their leadership:

  • Self-awareness of personal limitations
  • Valuing and supporting others
  • Displaying and instilling confidence
  • Demonstrating and fostering trust
  • Fostering open, two-way communication
  • The use of authority and different styles of leadership
  • Setting expectations and standards
  • Safety leadership
  • Competence

Successful leadership means:

  • Adopting the appropriate leadership style to suit the situation
  • Having the courage and ability to make decisions with incomplete or ambiguous information when under pressure
  • Using technical knowledge and interpersonal communication skills to gather and understand information, to develop and maintain situational awareness
  • Using technical knowledge and interpersonal communication skills to develop and implement an incident plan
  • Forming teams of the right people with the right expertise to safely resolve an incident
  • Using interpersonal communication skills to establish trust between a commander and the people and teams they engage with
  • Using technical knowledge and interpersonal communication skills to inspire and motivate others
  • Collaborating and co-operating effectively with others
  • Valuing the contribution of others and looking after their welfare
  • Demonstrating safety leadership by setting standards of performance and behaviour
  • Displaying confidence and using personal resilience skills to effectively manage stress and fatigue
  • Being responsible and accountable for decisions taken and plans implemented when in command
  • Not being afraid to make or highlight mistakes and using them to learn and improve

Further information may be found in Incident command: Knowledge, skills and competence: Leadership.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions