Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Opportunity in Adversity

I was just reading a very interesting article, by Mike Ward of the Blog Firegeezer, about a fire department that is located next to mine. This combination department has been in the news quite a bit lately due to a variety of issues connected with the economic downturn we are all facing. For back ground, local ace reporter Dave Statter has been on top of this story from the start. Go to his STATter911 Blog for more info.

I found Mike’s piece fascinating as he laid out the case that this department is much like General Motors and their dealers. The title of the piece is: PG, the GM of combination fire departments.

Everyone should take a moment to read this Blog posting. After doing so, you should then take an honest look at your own department (no matter if you are career, combo, or volunteer) and ask yourself if your department needs to perhaps undergo a reorganization of sorts.

Is there a better way you can do business and more efficiently? Perhaps, as we are doing here in my department, you can civilianize a few positions in both Code Enforcement and our 9-1-1 Center to create a workable hybrid type of system. By doing this, we will be keeping the same amount of staffing yet showing an overall cost reduction.

We all need to be looking at every option openly and honestly and try to determine our own fate rather than allowing the politicians to do so. I do not know about all of you, but our budget prognosticators are already predicting a budget deficit for next year of $370M for our jurisdiction!

Tough times still lay ahead but sometimes there is opportunity in adversity!
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