The IAFC has recognized the progression of leaders within the fire service and recognizes the benefits of beginning the leadership path starting with the aspiring company officer all the way through the fire chief.
Conducting a SWOT analysis of company officers within the IAFC, we can begin to build programs that allow us to move forward.
Thanks to the past three decades of progressive chiefs, our company officers are the most formally educated of any generation. This allows us to begin to be accepted as a profession. This is a great strength.
Our weaknesses involves our lack of experience operating in an environment that’s led by highly educated and analytical municipal managers in addition to a political climate within the United States that’s the most divided and prevalent we have ever noted within our profession.
Our united front allows us many opportunities, specifically more cross-sectional conversations among the levels of leadership within the fire service. No longer are we divided and conquered. We must meet our ever-changing profession with new ideas with all levels of leadership having input and buy-in.
Our threats involve our need to determine how we’ll transform our evolving profession. The fire and emergency service must include all-hazards response, but statistically we respond to more per-capita fires than in previous decades. As our community members age, service demands for both EMS and fire will increase, but due to budget constraints, these services must be provided with less funds.
We must begin to conduct crucial conversations and design programs that will allow us to operate analytically in a political environment. We have our work ahead of us.