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Fire Department Major

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Reviewed Date: January 13, 2017

Original Author: 
Wolf, Dennis
Date of Material: 
Aug 27, 2003


Fire Department Major

A job description for the position of Fire Department Executive Officer with the rank of Major.

Fire Department Executive Officer
(Rank – Major)


This employee is responsible for the protection of life and property of the citizens of the City. This employee is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the fire department and is under the direct supervision of the Director of Public Safety. The employee is expected to perform his or her duties according to state laws, city ordinances and the policies and procedures of the fire department. Directions to the employee are somewhat general in nature, but many aspects of the work follow standardized guidelines. However, the employee is frequently required to use independent judgment in order to complete tasks.


The employee shall support the members of the fire department by providing administrative, management, and operational expertise as directed by the Public Safety Director. The employee may supervise the operation of and operate fire-fighting equipment to include: nozzles, hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, power saw, pumps, and generators. The employee must be able to wear self-contained breathing apparatus. The employee will operate a computer; fax machine, copier and other office equipment.
The employee will operate an automobile or truck with radio transmitting and receiving capabilities for constant communication access. The employee's work shall expose him/her to high places, dangerous machinery and its moving parts, sharp tools, fumes, smoke, chemicals and toxic substances, extreme heat and cold. Performance and supervision of all fire fighting and emergency operations must be performed during all kinds of weather conditions. The employee will work both indoors and outdoors.
The demands of this position can be stressful both mentally and physically. The employee may be required to run, jump, bend, climb, crawl, squat, lift and carry heavy objects.


1. Supervises Shift Commanders, career firefighters and volunteer firefighters.
2. Directs the operation of the fire department through subordinates.
3. Reviews, completes, analyzes and enters fire reports.
4. Coordinates HAZMAT and right-to-know requirements.
5. Under the direction of the Public Safety Director, coordinates the assignments, utilization, and discipline of fire department personnel.
6. Directs the maintenance, and repair of fire fighting equipment.
7. Keeps records and prepares reports including personnel reports.
8. Assists with the preparation of department budget requests and tracks expenditures of the fire department.
9. Understands and uses the Incident Command System of the department and sees that all subordinate officers also use the ICS.
10. Reacts quickly and calmly in emergency situations and determine proper course of action.
11. Maintains an effective working relationship with the employees of the fire department, the public and other departments and agencies.
12. Deals with citizen complaints regarding the Fire department or its procedures.
13. Prepares reports, does research, and coordinates special projects as directed by the Public Safety Director.
14. Functions as a spokesperson for the Fire Department in the absence of the Public Safety Director.


Assists the Public Safety Director in administration of the fire department. Appraises work of personnel and working conditions and takes necessary steps to improve operations in cooperation and coordination with the PSD. Cooperates with county, state, and federal officials. Works to insure that all fire personnel have formal and in-service training programs for personnel as directed by the PSD. Testifies in court and legal proceedings regarding fire department issues. Keeps records and prepares reports. Provides specialized instruction and makes presentations to school classrooms, community groups, and others. Performs other duties as assigned.


1. Knowledge of personnel policies and procedures.
2. Knowledge of the principles and practices of modern fire suppression, administration, operations and supervision.
3. Knowledge of all legal regulations regarding employee health and safety.
4. Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of a variety of fire fighting equipment.
5. Knowledge of the use of fire records and their application to the solution of fire problems.
6. Knowledge of planning for emergency situations.
7. Ability to react quickly and calmly in an emergency situation and to determine the proper course of action.
8. Ability to operate a variety of fire fighting equipment.
9. Ability to initiate, plan, and carry out programs in fire administration.
10. Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, to groups and individuals.
11. Ability to maintain an effective working relationship with the employees and volunteers.
12. Ability to cooperate with other departments of the Town
13. Ability to deal with citizen complaints regarding Fire Department procedures.
14. Ability physically and mentally to climb to different heights and function in close quarter.
15. Ability to plan and direct the work of others.


Graduation from an accredited high school and have completed 60 semester hours from a college or university with major course experience in, fire administration, fire science, business administration, management or related field.
Completion of specialized course works in fire fighting principles, practices, administration and leadership with no less than an Instructor 1 and Fire Officer 1 certification from the Tennessee Firefighter Commission. (Fire Officer 2 and higher will be given preference.)
Considerable experience in firefighting, fire operations, planning, and fire department administration.
Must possess a valid Tennessee Operator's license.
Must pass a physical by licensed physician.


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