Fire and Emergency Services Administration Unit 5

There are 2 questions to answer with this post.Please us APA Format. QUESTION 1 The Fire Chief has informed you that the fire prevention bureau has exceeded its budget and has no funds available to implement an important fire prevention program which targets at-risk populations. Plans call for the program to be implemented during the national fire prevention week, which starts in two weeks. Review the list below and identify at least one stakeholder/customer (be specific) from each group within your community: A civic or community association/groupA local government agency/department, other than the fire department for funding.A not-for-profit groupA fraternal organizationA political group Discuss how you, as a chief officer, use the inner workings of the political process to address the necessary funding for this important program. Also, identify which of the 16 life safety initiatives are applicable to this assignment. Your response should be a minimum of 500 words (not including the identification of life safety initiatives). You are expected to use information you learned from this course. You are also encouraged to supplement your personal experience.You are expected to use information you learned from this course.You are also encouraged to supplement your personal experience. QUESTION 2 Assume your department’s Standard Operating Guidelines lack information for addressing complaints from outside the department. Develop guidelines for your department members to address complaints. Also, identify which of the 16 life safety initiatives are applicable to this assignment. Your response should be a minimum of 200 words (not including the identification of life safety initiatives).
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UNIT V STUDY GUIDE
Positively Influencing Community
Leaders
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Identify steps to address department complaints.
2. Discuss the need for chief officers to understand the political process and the legislative process.
3. Identify which of the 16 life safety initiatives are applicable to the fire department’s role in influencing
community leaders and groups.
Reading Assignment
Chapter 5:
Intergovernmental Relations
Chapter 8:
Strategic Planning
Unit Lesson
As a chief officer, you are expected to understand your local, regional, and state political environment.
However, it is generally accepted that chief officers should not engage in partisan politics or lobbying within
their community. Many chief officers find this to be a challenge. Sometimes an elected official, such as the
mayor, may request the chief officer to be present during an event that occurs during the election campaign.
Sometimes chief officers are faced with a dilemma. “How will my involvement in the campaign event be
perceived by the next mayor?” This is assuming that the current mayor is not successful in seeking an
additional term. It is essential that chief officers remain neutral on political issues, focus on facts, and give
everyone a chance to express their own opinions and concerns openly.
Regardless of the funding methods, fire departments are very dependent on their local economies for staffing,
facilities, equipment, etc. Chambers of commerce, economic development authorities, business and trade
groups, and convention/visitor associations are key stakeholders in the local economy.
Keeping up with demographic changes is essential for effective decision-making. In general, the ultimate
authority of a public fire department rests with the citizens or residents. There are many ways citizens can
influence their fire department. Customers almost always remember how they were treated, much more than
the specifics of what was or what was not done for them. Chief officers should ensure that firefighters
consistently demonstrate a caring attitude, while providing excellent technical service. One particular fire
department has a very simple, short, and direct mission statement. Its mission statement is “Be Nice”.
Another particular fire department implemented a slogan that is displayed on the department’s vehicles. This
slogan is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. During the time the slogan was developed and implemented, the
fire department itself had just been implemented. In other words, this was a brand-new fire department which
began in 2012. Wow! What a way to introduce yourself to your customers.
At some point, all chief officers will have to address complaints from community members and other
government entities. However before complaints are received, chief officers should be thoroughly familiar with
department policies and procedures for handling complaints effectively. The chief officer should take every
complaint seriously and ensure they are followed up in a timely fashion. Every complainant should receive
feedback on the status and resolution of their complaint. Keeping your superiors informed is also very
important. Often there are other matters that may be affected by a complaint from a customer. The chief
officer may or may not be aware of all matters going on, and other complaints received.
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It is vital that chief officers learn how governments operate at every level. Simply
understanding
local
UNIT
x STUDY GUIDE
government operation is not enough. There are many areas of state and federal
government
operations
which
Title
directly affects fire departments. The key to influencing government lies in understanding how your local,
county, and state governments worked. When are the meetings? How long are legislative bodies in session?
Who are your local representatives? Are there scheduled opportunities for interaction and input? These are
just a few questions you, as a chief officer, should be able to answer. Some local governments have weekly,
biweekly, or monthly board meetings. Many chief officers ensure they are present during most of these
meetings, regardless if they are on the agenda. This may help ensure they understand the flow of the
meetings, personalities of the board members, and the general atmosphere of the gathering. During state
legislative sessions within some states, a specific day is recognized for a specific body. For example there
may be a “Firefighter’s Day, a “Nurses Day”, or even a “Farmer’s Day”. During this day many members of that
recognized body may make their presence shown at the state capital, or another location where the legislative
session is being held. Many chief officers are well involved in this process. Keep in mind that there may be
300 nurses present on “Nurses Day” and only 80 firefighters present on “Firefighters Day”. State elected
officials may be observant of this. Although the number of firefighters present may not be an accurate
representation of the concerned fire service, the state elected officials may easily remember “Nurses Day”
more than they do “Firefighters Day”.
The chief officer cannot influence anything if he or she does not learn how it works and who the appropriate
contact is. If possible, the chief officer must never miss an opportunity to represent his or her department to
the public and political leaders.
The political process uses a set of procedures to resolve important issues concerning a large number of
people. The chief officer should be proactive and study the system and understand which issues in the
political process are relevant to their circumstances. Keep in mind that during legislative sessions, the
momentum of these issues may change within a second, or overnight. A balancing act of the chief officer to
remain neutral in support, yet supportive of local officials who support the endeavors of emergency services.
To be effective, the chief officer must understand how ordinances, laws, regulations, and other operational
elements of government are created. It is important for the chief officer to understand that the political world
operates differently from the typical fire department world. Many younger fire fighters who aspire to be a chief
officer may state, “I want nothing to do with politics”. Chief fire officers may find it difficult to explain to younger
firefighters, the importance of understanding the political world.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard addresses the chief officer’s role in influencing
community leaders:
?
1021-6.6.3. Develop a plan for the agency, given an unmet need for resources that exceed what is
available in the organization, so that the mission of the organization is capable of being performed in
times of extraordinary need.
How students can apply this lesson to their department:
?
Learn more about demographics within your community.
?
Make plans to attend city council, county government, and state legislative sessions.
?
Network with state firefighter and fire chief association officers.
?
Attend fire service association conferences such as firefighter, Fire Chief, and fire prevention
conferences.
?
Become thoroughly familiar with your fire department’s procedures for addressing complaints. If
necessary, make suggestions to revise these procedures.
?
Volunteer to make a presentation during a meeting of a local group such as Chamber of Commerce,
Boy Scouts, or a home owner’s association group.
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Suggested Reading
? A National Approach to Fire Prevention
https://firechief.com/blog/national-approach-fire-prevention
UNIT x STUDY GUIDE
Title
? What Insurance Companies Can Offer the Fire Service
http://firechief.com/blog/what-insurance-companies-can-offer-fire-service
Key Terms
Refer to the key terms within your assigned reading in your textbook.
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3

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