Problem Identification:
The Department has little formalized management training for personnel serving in officer job classifications.

Recommended Action:
Provide lieutenants and higher-ranking officers with
management training.

Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Fire Department operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the impact of management training is difficult to quantify, officers that receive management training are more likely to be successful in identifying and implementing improvement projects and more effective and efficient in managing the Department’s limited resources.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Management training could be implemented with no additional cost through leveraging either existing management expertise from the ranks of the Department’s corps of currently serving and/or recently retired officers and/or from soliciting volunteers from the private sector and higher education community.

Barriers to Implementation:
Officers attending training create temporary vacancies in staffing posts that need to be covered. If management training could not be accomplished within the time constraints of the Department’s other regularly scheduled training efforts, the Department’s leadership would need to identify the times of the year when additional training sessions would create the fewest scheduling challenges.

Projected Implementation:
60 – 90 days

Next Steps:
The Fire Chief should convene a small group of experienced personnel to identify specific areas where formal management training could be beneficial to the Department’s cadre of officers (e.g., conflict resolution, logistics, and risk management). In instances where a particular management expertise does not already exist within the Department, requests should be made of recently retired fire officers, the business community, and higher education institutions for volunteers to conduct periodic seminars on pertinent management topics.

Firefighters are promoted to officer ranks as a result of reaching service time milestones and successful passage of Civil Service examinations. While years of work experience and a demonstrated proficiency on Civil Service examinations are two indicators that a firefighter might be prepared and well-equipped for an officer position, some members of the Department augment their training by taking community college courses, pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, and attending training at the National Fire Academy. These efforts, however, are not mandated. A structured approach to management training could improve the transitioning of Departmental personnel from firefighter status to officer and ultimately produce a workforce more likely to be successful in managing the Department’s operations and resources.