Replacing the Tools

Published: 11/16/2011
Author: The International Association of Fire Chiefs

By Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department

Fire service organizations across the country are experiencing change at a more rapid rate than ever.  Many are being forced to rapidly downsize or in some cases completely change their delivery model.  The loss of tax revenue for fire departments simply means the jobs at every level of the fire service became more difficult —and the job of an ops chief much more complex. The timing could not be worse for our industry as we are constantly seeing a public outcry against government (sometimes focused at public safety), terrorist attacks and a high number of large-scale natural disasters—not to mention the ever increasing daily business and challenges which never seem to slow down or appreciate our dilemma.

Operations chiefs across the nation are being forced on a daily basis develop plans, implement directives and make decisions to manage risk to both our community and Firefighters.  Survival in this new environment, full of threats and an ever-challenging workload, requires that ops chiefs develop non-traditional tools that will help them succeed.  Communication, technology, collaboration and cooperation are not the traditional set of tools that the previous generation of ops chiefs carried or used on a daily basis, but they are the survival tools of today. OpsNetlink is the IAFC’s newest medium for ops chiefs that combines these tools for an ops chief’s survival into one location.  The location itself is one that is in a cloud environment which is easily accessible from any internet-ready device, anywhere in the world.  Ops chiefs now have the ability to collaborate with others in a way that encourages learning and proves to truly be a survival tool. 

Will Rogers said that “even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”  We cannot afford any more to be complacent and unwilling to adapt and survive.  In fact, the successful ops chiefs of this generation must crave survival more than they fear change or deviating from tradition, or they and their organizations are doomed to be run over. Join the OpsNetlink community to share, learn and find solutions. 


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