Crew Leader

What do Crew Leaders do?

Before you decide to become a Crew Leader, you may be wondering what Crew Leaders do.
Here are some things that Crew Leaders typically do at an incident:

  • Ensure the crew is ready to respond.
  • Brief the crew on the way to an incident.
  • Size up the incident upon arrival.
  • Assume CONTROL and/or command your crew.
  • Decide the most appropriate firefighting tactics to use on the fireground, sometimes under stressful conditions.
  • Communicate the overall strategy and tactics to the crew.
  • Task the crew and other units.
  • Adjust tactics and tasks if needed
  • Call for more resources if needed.
  • Handle crises and unexpected situations that arise on the fireground.

Crew Leader Wildfire (CLW)

Have Advanced Firefighter (AF) certification or equivalent. The course is designed to give trainees a range of knowledge and skills for leading a crew involving bush, forest, grass and crops. That is the knowledge and skills to size up the situation, determine tactics, implement appropriate strategies and procedures and issue appropriate orders so as to co-ordinate the work of firefighters.
Crew Leader certification is required for obtaining Deputy Captain, Senior Deputy Captain or Captain rank within the brigade with the appropriate brigade classification.

Crew Leader Village (CLV)

Have Village Firefighter (VF) certification or equivalent. The course is designed to give trainees a range of knowledge and skills for leading a crew with village fire incidents. While the types of incidents and tactics mentioned a re similar to those covered in Village Firefighter (VF), VF training focuses on the carrying out of actions by firefighters at incidents, whereas CL-V covers how the crew leader makes decisions at those incidents and leads those firefighters.

Crew Leader certification is required for obtaining Deputy Captain, Senior Deputy Captain or Captain rank within the brigade with the appropriate brigade classification.
For more information about training programs and courses in the RFS see the RFS Training area.

Crew Leader Supervision (CLS)

Have Crew Leader Wildfire (CLW) and/or Crew Leader Village (CLV) certification or equivalent, to be in line with your brigade classification. The course is designed to give trainees training in supervisory skills, such as leadership, operational management, Incident Control Systems (ICS), and safety.

The trainee has already received training in tactical skills to lead a single unit at wildfire incident in the CLW course. If the trainee is in a village brigade, the trainee should have received village tactical skills training in CLV.
CLS will enable the trainee to supervise small-scale operations, typically involving up .. to about 5 units in either situation and also assist the Group Captain when required at a single or multi agency response, with the ability to lead a Strike Team or Task Force or fill the role of Sector Leader.

Here are some other things that Crew Leaders who are Brigade Officers typically do when they are not at an incident:

  • Participate in hazard reduction activities
  • Help identify individual training needs of the crew
  • Help the crew prepare for incidents.
  • Conduct area and equipment familiarisation activities.
  • Conduct site inspections.
  • Build teamwork skills so that if something unexpected happens at an incident the crew knows what to do.
  • Supervise maintenance activities.
  • Help with brigade social activities.
  • Coach, mentor and support the crew, both professionally and personally.

Here are some things that Crew Leaders get involved in that you may not have known about:

  • Sort out disputes between members before they escalate to formal complaints.
  • Help deal with personal issues that members come to them with.
  • Represent the Rural Fire Service through community education activities (e.g. talk to scout groups or similar).
  • Administration (e.g fill in incident report forms).
  • Rostering and sorting out crew shortages.