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Leadership Traits

Some people like to debate whether leaders are made or born. The most likely answer would be that some true leaders are born, but most are made – “self-made”. A smart fire officer will concentrate on developing the leadership qualities and traits that are necessary for success. For the most part, leadership traits in any profession are universal. In the fire service, however, there are specific qualities that an officer absolutely must possess. In this article, we are going to discuss 12 leadership traits that firefighters – and the public – look for in a fire service leader.

Leadership Traits

Deputy Chief Frank Viscuso


Frank Viscuso is a career deputy chief from Hudson County, NJ, one of the most densely populated counties in the country. He is a contributor to Fire Engineering magazine and the author of five books including the best-selling tactical textbook Fireground Operational Guides (with Mike Terpak), and his popular leadership development book titled Step Up and Lead. Frank is also a certified fire instructor and highly sought after speaker. Over the past decade he has spoken to audiences in and outside the fire service on many topics that include leadership, team building, officer development, and customer service. His Leadership Development program is designed to introduce people to the top traits associated with fire service leaders and to equip them with the skills needed to lead, inspire, and motivate their teams. These traits and skills are featured in his book, Step Up and Lead.

Frank resides in New Jersey and can be reached by cell: (973) 981-1505, email:, or through the website

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