Firefighting

Command structure essential in fire service

Issue 9 and Volume 149.

Command structure essential in fire service Terry Reisinger Firefighter/EMT Landisburg (PA) Fire & Rescue Those who make the decisions in Orange County, Florida (News in Brief, January 1996), obviously are not students of business. Had they been, the men and women of the Orange County Fire Department (OCFD) might still be on the job. Eliminating the command structure of a fire department in favor of a “flat” organization goes against the most basic management principles. Flat, responsive organizations are the buzzwords in today`s business world, and for good reason. This type of structure allows firms to adjust quickly to a rapidly changing environment. Companies active in telecommunications, computer and software production, and other high-tech industries favor this structure for its adaptability, hence the layoffs at IBM and AT&T. So what`s the problem? For starters, flat organizations are tailor-made for firms in a highly competitive, rapidly changing business environment where being…

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