Firefighting, Leadership

Adaptive Culture: A Lesson from History

Issue 6 and Volume 171.

By DENNIS MERRIGAN Philadelphia (PA) Fire Department Former Commissioner Harold Hairston once said, “You can’t do more with less; you can only do less with less.” Like every government department or bureau in existence, the fire service is perpetually dealing with budget issues that are often a source of compromise within an organization. Budget constraints drive and affect performance and service delivery in many ways. From apparatus and equipment to staffing and training, funding drives the agenda. Inadequate funding or funding reductions without corresponding service reductions create pressure to keep fire service delivery at precut levels—the proverbial “do more with less” mentality. In an organization like the fire service, this ill-advised drive to do more with less is often at the root of unsafe practices. This article examines how issues relating to your budget can negatively impact safe operations. Managing the Aggression Typically, firefighters are “Type A” people. Very little…

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