Community Relations

VCOS VISION image

ESOs have not been particularly successful in developing an effective partnership with their communities. Many ESOs do not provide regular information to the community about the ESO's needs, abilities, and type and levels of service.

Without clear, comprehensive and consistent two-way communication between the ESO and the community misunderstandings can develop, the public will not be fully aware of the needs of the ESO, nor can the public fully appreciate the limitations on the service delivery capabilities of the ESO. Without an understanding of the delivery system, the public is not able to make informed choices about cost of service versus benefits received.

4 Tips for Using Social Media to Engage Your Community

Don't have a dept social media presence? If even one member of your dept does than you do!
  • Various social media brands

A Digital Toolkit to Help Your Department's "Do More with Less" Dilemma

Webinar: Tips for starting out in social media or using it to boost recruitment, including low-cost tools to help build success.

Building Sturdy Relationships with Elected Officials

Webinar: Tips for building solid relationships with your elected officials to benefit your department and your future as a leader.
  • My A-RIT

Chief's A-RIT (Administrative Rapid Information Tool)

Interactive, quick-start toolkit to help you understand and apply the non-operational aspects of running a volunteer fire department.
  • Resource

Communicating Your Passion

Webinar: Tips to help your members effectively tell others in your community how excited and proud volunteer firefighting can make them.

Company Officer Leadership: Reputation Management

Article written by Captain Mike Jaffa for IAFC On Scene.

Confronting Ethical and Moral Dilemmas in the Firehouse

An article from Firefighter Nation about how to manage dilemmas in the firehouse.
  • Resource

Cost Savings Calculator

A tool used to calculate the amount of money your department saves the community & resources provided for presenting to funding municipalities,

False Alarm Response Fees Feasibility Analysis (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

False Alarms: A Community Problem

City of Wichita document for the public giving tips for false alarm prevention.

Guide for Reducing Unwanted Alarms

Article from Occupational Health & Safety.
  • IAFC KnowledgeNet

IAFC KnowledgeNet

Discuss issues and solutions with other IAFC members online, share SOPs and other resources

IAFC Position: Consistency of Message to Federal Government

Policy on Consistency of Message to Federal Government To ensure the consistency of the IAFC message to both the administration ...

IAFC Position: Eliminating Unwanted and Nuisance Fire Alarm Activations

Unwanted and nuisance alarms are preventable; result in unneeded responses that negatively impact public & firefighter safety, local budgets.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Individuals` Rights to Serve Their Communities in Multiple Capacities

IAFC's statement supporting Individuals` Rights to Serve Their Communities in Multiple Capacities.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: National Drug Shortage

Fire departments and EMS agencies throughout the United States are experiencing critical shortages of drugs that are used to save ...

Impact of Unnecessary Response on Community Risk (EFOP, US)

Evaluating the relationship between unnecessary utilization of resources and its resulting impact on community risk.

Impressing the Community and Rallying Key Support

Webinar: In addition to optimizing organizational effectiveness, departments must communicate the value they provide the community.
  • Resource

IRS Fact Sheet: The Basics on Taxation and Fire Departments

This discussion addresses some of the common questions we receive from firefighters and their employing organizations.

Misuse and Abuse of 911

A guide from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. Background

Misuse of the 911 or Emergency Call System

City code from Edmonds, WA.
  • Various social media brands

Model Fire and EMS Department Social Media Policy (abstract)

A tool to develop a department position on the use and management of social media and provides guidelines on the administration and oversight.

Officer-Discretion Response Mode (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Prioritizing Emergency Calls (EFOP, US)

Prioritizing Emergency Medical Calls in Yakima County (WA) Fire District 12.

Reduce Unnecessary Emergency Room Use with Enhanced Primary Care Access

Policies/program example from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

Reducing Accidents While Responding (EFOP, US)

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Reducing False Alarms

Fire Industry Association Alarm recommendations.

Reducing Risk of Vehicle Collisions During Unnecessary Alarms

Aurora (OH) Fire Department. A research project submitted to the Ohio Fire Executive Program.

Reducing Risks from False Fire Alarms (EFOP, US)

Reducing risk from false fire alarms in Appleton, WI.

Reducing Risks While Responding (EFOP, US)

Reducing the risk from red lights and siren response in Watertown, South Dakota.

Reducing Unwanted Fire Signals (False Alarms) (UK)

Policies/program example from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue (UK).

Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Image (webinar)

Uses the companion guide to discuss how and why departments must take a proactive approach to reputation management.
  • Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Perception - See more at: http://iafc.matrixredesign.net/topics-and-tools/resources/resource/taking-responsibility-for-a-positive-public-perception#sthash.50dPeNyK.dpuf

Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Perception

A toolkit on how to promote a positive public image for fire/EMS departments.

The Total Cost of Fire in the United States

An NFPA report from 2014 written by John R. Hall, Jr. Page 28 discusses the value of donated time of volunteer firefighters.

Unwanted Fire Signals (UK)

Policies/program example from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue (UK).
  • VISION The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

VISION: The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

Resources that focus on specific areas of challenges relating to creating and sustaining viable emergency response programs

White Paper: Fire Service Reputation Management (Cumberland Valley)

Details the state of the reputation of the fire service and ways to maintain a positive reputation.
  • Chess pieces pawn and rook

Wicked Problems: Political Acumen

Webinar focused on developing a political mindset and working with elected officials.