Standardization of Operations: Safe, Sustainable, and Smart

Published: 10/12/2011
Author: The International Association of Fire Chiefs

By: Nathan Trauernicht, MPA, CFO, MIFireE


Today's economic climate is driving significant change and innovation in America's fire service.  Most of us in some way are feeling the pinch to do more with less, and by doing so, opening our minds to new approaches to our daily operations.

Have you ever asked yourself the question: What is it that makes the field operations of fire departments so different?  Isn't a high-rise in one city fundamentally the same as a high-rise in another city located less than 20 miles away?  Aren't the risks associated with wildland-urban interface similar everywhere that such an interface exists?  The mechanics and outcomes of a vehicle accident in Sacramento are no different than those along the scenic byways of the Florida Keys aren’t they?

So why do so many of us operate so differently?  Especially those of us who share the same geographical region.  What are we risking?  What liabilities are we creating by not taking a more deliberate approach to standardize our responses across jurisdictional boundaries?  Given all the challenges our industry currently faces, there has never been a better time to expand mutual aid agreements and auto aid agreements then now.

The IAFC’s new resource center, OpsNetlink , provides chief officers responsible for operations with access to articles on operational issues, and ideas to tackle challenges like this one.  For more information and to subscribe, visit  









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