Firefighting

FRONT LINE PRODUCTIVITY: A PLAN FOR EFFECTIVE EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Issue 6 and Volume 153.

As the fire service moves into a new cen-tury, it can expect a demand to improve performance. This harsh forecast applies to all fire departments regardless of size, type, or funding source. In this decade, battling to maintain a suitable budget will be like fighting a major fire without an adequate water supply-difficult, but not impossible. Certainly in either scenario, firefighters will be required to “do more with less” and possibly endure undeserved criticism. In any community, there is the potential for serious conflict between those who establish public policy (set taxes and create fees) and those who manage public programs (procedures and practices). One solid offensive strategy to avoid the “politically correct, across the board” funding ax is to create a realistic productivity plan before coming “under fire” by elected officials. A fire chief who takes the initiative to gather support during the budget development phase and is active…

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