What makes an effective Fire Warden?
When choosing employees as Fire Wardens, you need to consider employees who appear to exhibit natural leadership characteristics, and an ability to make decisive choices in stressful situations.
The attendance of skilled and proactive leaders in the event of a fire can bring order and sanity to what can become a chaotic and panic inducing situation.
The investment in time to train an effective fire warden(s) in the workplace can reduce the risk fire, or other emergencies pose to the health and wellbeing of employees, as well as potentially saving a vast amount of damage to property.
The personal skills you should consider range from:
Leadership: An employer must assess a candidate’s skill in leadership before considering any
Calmness: This is a difficult quality to define in many people and some can make the mistake
of assuming that the supposed ‘macho type’ of individual can be a superior person under stress than a say a small female. This can be proven to be totally incorrect when individuals are tested under severe crisis, witnessing the reverse to be true!!
During periods of severe crisis, large groups of people can often become prone to suffer mass panic or hysteria, with individual’s feeding from the fear they witnes in others. A fire warden must therefore be able to exhibit a calm, collected but quietly assertive demeanour to reduce this tendency of group’s to panic and become impulsive during high stress situations.
Trustworthiness: Candidates must also be trusted and respected by their colleagues so that decisions made by them in their extra capacity of a fire warden is similarly trusted and respected.
Responsible: A fire warden’s responsibilities extend beyond just making positive leadership decisions during a fire; they also extend to training in fire risk assessment.
Attention to Detail:
A candidate for fire warden training must necessarily possess a high awareness of detail as well as strong organizational and interpersonal skills. This person must also be able to maintain these characteristics during times of fire emergency.
It is the fire warden’s task to be:
Physical fitness is also an essential quality required of a fire warden, for in a fire high levels of stamina and strength can be instrumental to survival, and may be required to physically help others who are disabled or injured.
When faced with a life threatening situation, a trained fire warden will be called upon to show leadership by making swift and decisive decisions, maintain composure during times of potential panic and lead colleagues to safety. So be careful when selecting staff for this vitally important position.