Firefighting

MANAGING CHANGE

Issue 8 and Volume 159.

BY STEVEN MILLS Managing change in the fire service can be challenging considering the role tradition plays. Tradition has deep roots within the fire service and is evident in everything we do. Firefighters take great pride in their past, because it allows us to identify with our history and those who came before us. This history has also exposed the public to those distinctive symbols representative of our profession and the past sacrifices that have been made. These longstanding customs, beliefs, and methods can make it difficult to introduce change. When organizations do not change, they lose their ability to adapt and, therefore, they become stagnant. On the other hand, organizations that seem to be in a constant state of change become chaotic and lose their effectiveness. Finding a balance that will make it possible to implement the needed changes and to preserve history and tradition is essential for fire…

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