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‘Push the gate’: Chief Kris Blume on mission-drive culture in action

The Meridian, Idaho, chief shares powerful stories that highlight the impact of fire department culture on the entire community

“Does the job serve you, or do you serve the work?” Meridian (Idaho) Fire Chief Kris Blume wants us to consider our opportunity to serve the work every day, doing the things that don’t always get noticed because it’s the right thing to do in order to be excellent at the craft. But how do you engrain this mindset in the membership? It all comes back to culture. Blume talks all things culture change: the fire department culture diagnostic, the speed of change (from turning around a battleship to maneuvering a speedboat), and the role of mission-driven culture in empowering members to make smart decisions rooted in reason, not fear of reprimand.

Plus, we dig into all this:

  • The book Blume deems the most important for the fire service;
  • 3 ways to embrace an “upstream mindset”;
  • Blume’s passion for strategic, integrated CRR; and
  • The journey from “burnout medic” to passionate fire chief – and how he’s paying it forward now.

Read more from Chief Blume about adaptive leadership, psychological safety, mentorship, eliminating silos, culture change and much more.

This episode of the Better Every Shift Podcast is sponsored by TheFireStore. Learn more about getting the gear you need at prices you can afford by visiting TheFireStore.

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