Planning for success

Johnsonville Fire Brigade retains lifelong members through a strong succession plan which includes regular rotation of leadership roles and using past leaders as mentors.


Brigade member Jim Stewart and Captain Chris Seymour

Members of Johnsonville brigade have created a succession plan to make sure the brigade remains sustainable. The main concepts of the plan are:

  • past leaders help mentor new management team members
  • past captains are encouraged to take on different brigade management team (BMT) roles after they step down so they can mentor future captains
  • the BMT encourages members who show potential leadership qualities to nominate themselves for a BMT role
  • brigade members need to understand that the brigade captain role is a management position so members stepping up should be suitable for this position
  • the brigade continually updates its training methods to engage members.

The brigade tries to stick to a six-year management rotation. It encourages captains to step down to a lieutenant position to support and mentor others into new management roles, creating a handover for the BMT. The brigade also encourages the first lieutenant to step up to captain and the second lieutenant to step up to first lieutenant pending personal commitments.

The brigade feels that having a positive, welcoming environment is an essential part of keeping a brigade effective. Everyone is on a level playing field and the entire brigade membership is encouraged to step up and the leadership roles are spread equally across the BMT.

Author: Holly Penketh