Tips for fire and EMS managers

New Supervisors = New Risks

By The VFIS Team on June 11, 2024

Moving up in rank within your fire department is exciting—but with retirements flooding some agencies, promotions can happen before you're fully aware of all the responsibilities involved or the true gravity of what serving as a mid-level manager means.  

While the operational risks of inexperienced supervisors may be obvious, our claims data shows that breaks in communication at the mid-level manager level could lead to legal issues for your organization. That's why we're sharing a few basic tips, plus some additional resources, that can help new leaders guide members with confidence and instill a culture of safety.


4 Quick tips to share with your mid-level managers to help create a safe and functional work environment:  

  1. Decide to be a leader. We get it—going from being buddies with your team to becoming their supervisor can be a difficult change to navigate. But, for the good of your department (including your friends), it's time to assume the role.

  2. Never stop learning. Find a mentor, ask for help, lean on the more-experienced members and learn from your mistakes (we all make them).

  3. Take an active approach to leadership. When you're used to only being responsible for yourself—you may need to make a more active effort to delegate tasks, ask for feedback and keep open lines of communication.

  4. Avoid tunnel vision. Don't just fix problems as they arise—dig deeper, look for root causes and see if there's a different way of doing things that could lead to better outcomes.


More training + education for your managers

We wish you the best of luck in your new role and extend our heart-felt congratulations to you on your new position. You now have even more power to make meaningful changes within your organization and community—and we’re honored to be a small part of your journey and to see what’s next for you and your crew.

We hope to support you further with our resources designed specifically for fire and EMS leaders, including training programs that are designed to help you host trainings at your own station, regional in-person training opportunities covering a variety of topics (many of which are offered at the "student" and "instructor" levels, administration-focused bulletins, podcast episodes and online university (for VFIS and Glatfelter clients)

Through it all, know that we believe in you and are here to support you in any way that we can now and in the future. You got this!



How to partner with a reliable ally for hometown heroes

If you're interested in learning more about how partnering with VFIS to help protect your not-for-profit emergency service organization or with Glatfelter Commercial Ambulance to help protect your commercial ambulance operations could help make a difference in not only in your insurance protections but also your risk management efforts, education and training. Please have your local insurance agent reach out to our team!

The VFIS Team

VFIS is the largest provider of insurance, education and consulting services for fire departments, ambulance and rescue squads and 911 centers in North America, having pioneered the first tailored insurance package for this industry in 1969.


The information contained in this blog post is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace expert advice in connection with the topics presented. Glatfelter specifically disclaims any liability for any act or omission by any person or entity in connection with the preparation, use or implementation of plans, principles, concepts or information contained in this publication.

Glatfelter does not make any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the results obtained by the use, adherence or implementation of the material contained in this publication. The implementation of the plans, principles, concepts or materials contained in this publication is not a guarantee that you will achieve a certain desired result. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a professional advisor, architect or other expert prior to the implementation of plans, principles, concepts or materials contained in this publication.

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