As a New Fire Chief
If any organization aims to have real accomplishments, they will be achieved by having a clear understanding of the common values shared by its current and future members. In relation to this, although thinking in a linear path while developing a vision creates some difficulties, it is very crucial to create a vision of an ideal future. Strategic planning and creating a vision are based on dynamic complexities and require parallel consideration at every stage. Considering this idea, it becomes significant to refine and refocus on the vision while moving forward with strategic planning. Placing particular emphasis on this, a vision cannot be put into practice without changes that will lead to creating vitality within the organizational fire department. Additionally, the right vision results into great enthusiasm and commitment to the goal. However, if it is not consistent with the core values of a particular department, the result will be cynical. Emphatically, it will be a result of dreams in action. There must be willingness to change efforts made in realizing the vision. In relation to this, the fire chief will face the challenge of developing a cost-efficient organization, which is effective in promoting the safety of citizens and firefighting personnel.
In most fire departments, changes made over time are relatively safe. However, this is not always the case. The majority of fire departments cannot be described as change-friendly organizations because of the difficulties associated with implementing changes (Windisch & Crosby, 2007). Currently, the fire service faces a number of challenges that include demands of new services delivered at a high level, technological advancements, and an economic crisis. The fire service must ensure that its basic skills and core competencies are relevant. The core value of the fire service goes beyond the ability to respond to an emergency once the alarm has sounded in a firehouse. Fire chiefs should be logical in designing and implementing rational changes to improve safety in their fire departments. It remains important that any type of planning without a resulting change is futile. Moreover, dealing with organizational changes poses significant levels of challenges and frustration among the leadership in the fire service, yet it can be the most rewarding. Therefore, to make real changes, some issues must be understood. A change is short-lived if there is no consequence of failing to change. In efforts to make a change real, the chief heading the fire department must at some point reward workers who are performing in accordance with the desired change and vision and take measures in regard with those who do not comply. At some point, the enforcement of a new reality is required. Cautiously, it should not be enforced until members of the fire department have had sufficient time to adjust to a new environment (Bruegman, 2011).
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Changes follow a definite learning curve and require time and practice in order to be implemented. Going through any major change is a certain challenge, and therefore, every member within the fire department achieves competency when making a change in his or her personal behavior or job.
Disaster education programs can be a valuable tool in community disaster preparation. They can motivate people to prepare for disasters. As a new fire chief, I would implement changes that will make the department deliver a distinct service that involves arming the community with the skills necessary for preparing for and surviving a disaster (Rausch & Carter, 2007). Educating the public involves developing literature and classes that will give the appropriate knowledge and teach people on the ways of behavior during an emergency. Proper planning improves the community’s ability to respond and recover from fire-related emergencies. By anticipating what may happen and preparing an appropriate response plan, fire departments will be better prepared to help citizens deal with situations occasioned by both natural and human actions. These aims are achieved by providing logistical support and assisting with personnel and equipment at the recovery phase.
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Further, the fire chief can stimulate interaction among citizens and fire department officials to improve responsiveness during times of a crisis. Response plans can define roles and relationships, provide coordination during emergencies, and identify challenging areas. All of these nonemergency tasks will improve a community’s reaction to emergencies (Rausch & Carter, 2007). Additionally, as a fire chief I would promote EMS management that will assist in obtaining the knowledge of the current and future issues. Over time, the fire department will be routinely involved in medical services, such as emergency ambulance, advanced life support services, and EMT-paramedic ones, which operate within procedures outlined in protocols by their medical director and may be employed by the fire department. These important practices in the culture of safety will help firefighters take measures necessary for avoiding negative publicity connected with disasters. A majority of fire services put a lot of efforts to reduce negative aspects related to the unpredictability of safety issues (International Association of Fire Chiefs & National Fire Protection Association, 2009).