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Edmond firefighters are creating strategic plan

Members of the community are getting involved in writing a five-year strategic plan for the Edmond Fire Department. Firefighters are spending three days this week coming up with a plan.
by Diana Baldwin Published: January 15, 2013
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/articleid/3746166/1/pictures/1928168">Photo - More than 50 city and community leaders turn out to help the Edmond Fire Department work on a five-year strategic plan. From left, Ross VanderHamm, city finance director; Kevin Carr, city information technology supervisor; and Craig Dishman, city parks director, listen during a session to get the community’s input. PHOTOS BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN
More than 50 city and community leaders turn out to help the Edmond Fire Department work on a five-year strategic plan. From left, Ross VanderHamm, city finance director; Kevin Carr, city information technology supervisor; and Craig Dishman, city parks director, listen during a session to get the community’s input. PHOTOS BY PAUL HELLSTERN, THE OKLAHOMAN

“The 36 firefighters were chosen from all ranks in the department,” Rhoades said. “It is a diverse group that was selected by the command staff.”

A goal of the new chief is to get the department accredited. A strategic plan is part of the process. But Rhoades said accreditation is not the reason behind him wanting a strategic plan.

Throughout the process this week, Dean said, they will answer five basic questions:

• Why do we exist?

• Where are we now?

• Where do we want to be?

• How do we get there?

• How do we measure our progress?

“As with any session such as this, I hope to hear all of the good things that we are doing,” Rhoades said. “I expect to hear deficiencies, as well, that will be addressed through simple communication to ensure that the community knows why we operate the way we do, as well as through the strategic planning process.”

The Center for Public Safety Excellence was selected to help with the project because its focus is on community-driven strategic planning.

The city is paying $14,500 for the strategic plan.

“I am very supportive of his efforts,” City Manager Larry Stevens said. “It is a significant step forward for the fire department, and a good example for our organization.”

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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