EDMOND — Edmond firefighters are spending this week writing a five-year strategic plan, a process designed to drive fire service operations and provide a future course for the department.
Fewer than 10 percent of fire departments have a strategic plan, and not all of them do anything with the document once it is written, said facilitator Brian Dean, technical adviser for the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
This is the first time Edmond firefighters have created a five-year strategic plan.
“This is a big step for us to start the strategic planning process,” said Edmond's new fire chief, Jake Rhoades, who has been here just more than two months. “This is critical for us as we move forward as an organization to ensure that we are meeting the needs and the risks, both identified and unidentified, of the community as a whole.”
Rhoades said he has been talking about a strategic plan since his first day with the department.
The process started Monday when city officials, community leaders, business owners, medical staff and neighboring firefighters were invited to share their expectations, concerns and what they see as the strengths of the local department.
More than 50 people, called community stakeholders, were asked to rank the importance of fire suppression, prevention, safety education investigations, technical rescue, hazardous materials mitigation, emergency medical services and domestic preparedness planning and response.
Their opinions were turned over to a group of 36 firefighters, who will spend three days this week creating a plan that Rhoades said he will not put on the shelf and forget about it.