Week 7 Forum – Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is normally conducted at the fire department level. This type of planning identifies the department’s vision, mission, and strategies.
After reading Chapter 12 in your textbook as well as the supplemental reading, Bridge the Gap, and completing your own research, write a post that answers the following:
1. Conduct an Internet search for a fire departments Strategic Plan. There are many of these strategic plans on the internet. Typing in a few key words into your search engine such as Fire Department Strategic Plan, will bring you to these sites. Please try not to use the same department as other students in the class if at all possible.2. Write the department’s mission statement.3. Discuss at least two strategic initiatives or strategic priorities (the wording may vary), and at least two of the goals and/or objectives listed under the strategy.
4. Post the link to the departments Strategic Plan webpage so that your classmates can view it.
For this assignment, I used the Strategic Plan for the Burbank Fire Department, able to be found here: http://www.burbankfire.us/home/showdocument?id=28
Their mission statement is:
To protect lives, property, and the environment, while enhancing the quality of life and safety through values-driven service (BFD, 2016).
Their first goal is “Provide excellent All-Hazards Service Delivery, and Evaluate Organizational and Process Improvements” and this works as an excellent starting point. The fire service is truly now an all-hazards service. We get called to just about anything and everything that is not obviously a police issue and even then we still have a role. We provide the jack of all trades roles while being expected by the public to also be a master at all of them too. This provides quite the challenge to the fire service because we must meet what is expected of us while doing the seemingly impossible- being an expert at each thing we do. This, to me, is why it is so important that we have the different things we need to get done in terms of the division of labor and roles. HazMat teams are a great example. They need to be experts on HazMat and allowing such an assignment not only provides this to the area, but it also ensures that the excellence factor is being met. I also like that they identify the growth room needed to continuously evaluate where things can be improved for the betterment of all involved (BFD, 2016).
Their next goal is: “Maintain Highly Skilled, Accountable and Resilient Workforce”. I love that they recognize that all three of these things go together. Highly skilled is a simple matter of training and education that empowers the firefighter to be that expert the public expects in all of the things they may be called to do for the community. Being accountable establishes the need to maintain these skills in a manner that keeps them sharp enough to do the job when needed. And resiliency is also important. Just because the capabilities are there, does not mean that the ability is peak. Maintaining the other factors that are not found on the training grounds or in the books helps tremendously. Vacations for firefighters can save lives! (BFD, 2016)
BFD (2016) Strategic Plan (Retrieved from http://www.burbankfire.us/home/showdocument?id=28) BFD
For this week’s topic, I looked at Carmel Indiana fire department. According to department, their mission is “Be Courteous, Be Courageous, Be Safe”, and the department’s mission vision statement is “It is the vision of the Carmel Fire Department that within the next five years, the Department will provide the highest quality customer service of any Fire Department in the State of Indiana.”
The department listed a few goals for their four year plan. These goals range from better training for members to better relationships with the community. Goal 2 is to build and improve relationships between the department and citizens by forming a community outreach and awareness program. The department plans to organize an EMS outreach program and host special events by the second year of the plan. They plan to promote the American Heart Association at public events and integrate CPR training into high school curriculum, and use the local television channel for public service announcements and information. Goal 4 is to create a 21st century fire department. To achieve this goal, the department plans to replace their existing training facility with a state of the art training grounds at a cost of $4,540,200.00. The plan is to have the construction phase start by the second quarter of the second year of the plan. The department also plans to go paperless in regards to inspections and preplanning by utilizing New World Computer Aided Dispatching System, and create their own app for better communication with members and citizens (Carmel FD, 2013).
If the department can truly put these changes into effect by the end of the four years, I applaud them. They are taking on a sizable challenge, that if completed will make the department a better place to work and the community a better place to live.
Carmel FD. (2013). CARMEL FIRE DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC PLAN. Retrieved from http://carmel.in.gov/home/showdocument?id=3968.