5 ways fire departments can partner with the community
It is imperative that leaders of the fire service work to be more visible on a daily basis as a true partner with the community
By James McLaughlin, alumnus, Emergency & Disaster Management, American Public University
Other than an emergency situation, one of the few times the community interacts with its fire department is at city or town council meetings during budget season. During these meetings, the fire department is often making requests for equipment and apparatus purchases, discussing code enforcement issues, or addressing citizen complaints.
While these meetings often deliver important information to the community, the level of transparency remains limited to certain city officials and the few community members in attendance. Such public meetings do not enable a department to reach the majority of residents; it is therefore imperative that leaders of the fire service work to be more visible on a daily basis as a true partner with the community.
Fire Departments Need to Share Information Beyond Meetings
It’s important for fire chiefs to make an effort to share information about the department’s activities. Data, such as the volume of calls, types of calls and services performed, promote the value of a fire department. Fire departments should make this information more accessible to members of the community, whether through direct mailings or postings on a website.
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