Alkonis: Accountability Starts with Me

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“Peak performance doesn’t happen by chance. It is achieved through a process that includes making personal decisions and holding oneself accountable.” This was the gist of the message Assistant Chief Derek Alkonis, Los Angeles County (CA) Fire Department, relayed to the audience in his keynote address at this morning’s General Session. Alkonis then proceeded to explain what constitutes ‘peak performance’ and some ways fire service members can prepare themselves to make those quality decisions that will “determine the future effectiveness of their departments.”

“Right now–you and I can decide to be better, to be better learners, to train more effectively, to look for better ways to do everything, to hold ourselves accountable,” Alkonis asserted. “Why continually strive to be better? We do it for the public we serve. All around us, we respond to people in their times of distress and tragedy. They depend on us. They trust us and our decisions. We need to trust our training,” he explained.

This preparation, Alkonis said, involves making the best use of your time and finding ‘real’ solutions for problems in your department. He challenged attendees to begin the process while at FDIC International 2016. “Identify a specific problem; stay focused on finding a solution, and identify an implementation strategy,” he suggested.

He related how he had used this approach at a previous FDIC to facilitate delivering a consistent training message within his department, which is spread out over 2,300 square miles with some stations almost 100 miles apart.

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