- Ed Richter Staff Writer
A group of community stakeholders recently participated in a brainstorming session about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges facing the Middletown Division of Fire in the future and have identified 13 goals to consider moving forward.
The community stakeholders included nearly three dozen local business people, educators, city employees, community leaders and fire personnel participated in last month’s brainstorming session.
Fire Chief Paul Lolli said his department is working to have to have a report ready for City Manager Doug Adkins by the end of 2017 on preparing the division’s strategic plan for the future.
The stakeholders focused on four areas that included service delivery, equipment/facilities/technology, human resources/professional development, and community outreach. The participants identified various issues and possible goals with the help of facilitators from the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association during the June 21 session that was held at Atrium Medical Center. Currently, the participants are reviewing and ranking proposed goals in advance of their next meeting scheduled for Aug. 2.
The four work groups also proposed 13 possible goals to consider. The list of possible goals to be ranked by the participants was released this week. Those goals include:
- Develop a comprehensive communication plan that addresses internal and external needs. (This would include after-hours access by the public, social media, web site and the internal telephone system).
- Develop a community outreach program. (Improve the division’s visibility and enhance their image; explore alternative methods and identify collaborative efforts to deliver community outreach).
- Develop a recruitment strategy that meets the needs of the fire department as evidenced by an increase in the number of qualified applicants.
- Improve annual employee retention rate.
- Develop a comprehensive program to enhance employee safety and well-being.
- Conduct a comprehensive, data-driven analysis to evaluate departmental inventories and develop appropriate replacement plans (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, communications equipment, Personal Protective Equipment, etc.)
- Evaluate current facilities and develop a plan to improve efficiency, safety and functionality.
- Ensure the new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is fully implemented to meet the needs and mission of the fire department.
- Conduct a station location analysis.
- Explore future funding sources and consider innovative alternative sources of revenue.
- Conduct a staffing and deployment analysis that examines the number and types of response equipment and staffing requirements that meets the needs of the community.
- Identify community risk reduction opportunities for non-emergent services that meet the needs of the community.
- Develop and enhance partnerships with commercial and industrial companies/occupancies in the community.
“I was extremely satisfied with the first session,” Lolli said. “We had very good facilitators and great community representatives from all walks of life. It opened a lot of eyes on how this gets done.”
He credited Assistant Fire Chief Tom Snively for spearheading the $9,000 project.
“With everything that will come out of it, it’s worth the expenditure,” Snively said.