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Fire & Life Safety: Equipping Ourselves Now for the Fire Service of Tomorrow

The foundation of our careers has come from influences inside and outside the fire service. Every inspection, plan review, investigation, emergency response and training session creates the baseline for our success as leaders.

This profession is constantly evolving; it requires a culture of training and an appetite for learning and education. Our participation in education and training programs demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our skills are ready for the demands the fire service has placed on us.

This participation demonstrates that at every level there must be a culture of training that allows staff to inquire and ask for guidance while serving to develop those below us. This important interaction is critical for our employees' development where we will ask our newest officers to lead in a dynamic and changing environment.

Our newest fire inspectors and company officers are subject to a fire service that many of us are just now experiencing as well. Their views will become the foundation for their leadership. They're expected to operate in our new normal as fire departments. Automatic mutual aid, company fire inspections, regional fire authorities, studies of fire development and 800mhz radios systems will be all they have ever known.

The IAFC's Officer Development programs demonstrate the changing demands on our frontline officers. Training on public education, structural firefighting, managing company inspections and understanding fire development are the baseline for progressive fire officers. Programs such as these provide the means to meet this baseline for success when leading tomorrow.

New company officers must learn the baseline tasks so they can develop leadership skills in management of department programs and eventually lead change in their organizations to meet the demands placed on us by our communities. With our various shrinking budgets, it's important to ensure training programs and opportunities exist that will develop our staff to lead in the fire service we're creating.

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