National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2021 WOR Day 3: Leadership Level 2 New Leader (Convey Intent)

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Leadership Level 2 New Leader (Convey Intent)

A New Leader begins transitioning from a follower to a leader of small groups to achieve a common goal. They begin to implement team cohesion, accept responsibility for self and team, and apply effective communications.

Key elements related to operating at the New Leader level

Who in your group is currently at Leadership Level 2?

Thirtymile Fire – July 9, 2001, Initial Attack

Watch Learning from the Thirtymile Fire video from 25:00 to 57:12 minutes

At 2126 hours on July 9, 2001, a fire is reported near the road along the Chewuch River. The fire is about five acres with two spots ahead of it. An engine with three firefighters arrives just after 2300. One engine arrives just before midnight, and an Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) arrives at 0100 hours. By 0530 on July 10th there are seven spots covering about five to six acres. Two spots are approximately one acre each.

After getting the call to respond to a fire around midnight, a regular Type 2 Crew formed up into two utility vans and a pickup truck. Around 0300, they began the three-hour drive to the incident. At 0700, the crew is briefed at a ranger station prior to heading to the fire and is informed that they will be doing mop-up. They arrive at the fire at 0900. The assigned IHC leaves the fire for rest at 1100. Mid-morning, fire intensity increases with more frequent torching and increasingly longer spotting distances. By about noon, the crew is experiencing difficulties with the pumps and multiple broken handtools. Just after noon, the Incident Commander (IC) requests additional resources, including a helicopter.

A purple ribbon symbolizing remembrance of those who have passed away.Discussion Questions:

Use events described above and your experience to answer:

  • In what ways can we lead by example? How does this affect morale, team buy-in, and task accomplishment? How does leading by example change as you move through the Levels of Leadership?
  • How does a New Leader build cohesion?
  • How does a New Leader apply the Risk Management Process? At Thirtymile, the risk management decision was made to pull back and let the fire do what it was going to do. For firefighters with a bias toward action, it can be hard to sit back and do nothing. It’s easy to drift back into doing something. How can the New Leader resist this urge?  How can time spent not actively engaging the fire be spent productively?
  • How can Followers (Leadership Level 1) contribute to the development of a New Leader?


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2023

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