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Ellis County Fire Chiefs Strategic Plan 2014
Ellis County
Fire Chiefs
Strategic Plan

Table of Contents

Introduction, Priorities, Mission and Value Statements


Core Function


Organizational Chart




Emergency Management


Prevention / Public Relations






General Administration


Mutual Aid


Financial Support


Plan Management



Leadership Message

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I believe it can be generally agreed that all fire and emergency service personnel share two objectives: We are all dedicated to protecting the lives and property of those we serve, and we are equally dedicated to ensuring that at the end of the day everyone goes home. We are all experiencing challenges in our perspective organizations. Those challenges range from an erosion of staff and resources to keeping up with new growth and development of our communities with limited financial support.

Our departments may differ drastically in size, structure, resources, location, services offered, and financial capabilities. The bottom line is that despite our challenges and organizational differences, every day our departments find a way to get the job done. Working together in a collaborative effort will only make our organizations more effective in providing quality services to our communities.

We are now ready to launch our plan with specific goals to be addressed during the next few years. We intend this to be a beginning of a new era of responsibility, expertise and professionalism with the ultimate goal of assuring that our organizations are the best they can be. This plan is a starting point, not a culmination. We know that further dedication and commitment will be required to implement the goals, but we believe we can achieve this with your participation.

The process of arriving at consensus and determining the best method of implementation is challenging, but we hope this document will set the pace for future and will serve as a roadmap to the future for all of us.

Thank you for all the members who have supported these efforts and participated in the process. Most important is a thank you to our departments who continue to serve their communities with pride, duty, and commitment.


Leadership Message Dear Friends and Colleagues, I believe it can be generally agreed that all fire

Fire Chief, Eric Thompson Red Oak Fire Rescue President, Ellis County Fire Chiefs Association


Ellis County Fire Chiefs Association


The Ellis county Fire Chiefs Association would like to present our Strategic Plan. This plan is more than a blueprint for coordination and cooperation within the association. It represents the ideas and critical that our members have identified. This Strategic Plan is intended to be used as a guide for the executive board, committee chairs, and members of the association, as we attempt to meet the current and future challenges of our service.

Strategic Priorities

  • 1. Care for, train, and ensure the safety of our firefighters

  • 2. Be progressive leaders in the fire service

  • 3. Deploy and manage our resources effectively

  • 4. Reach out to our communities, instill professionalism, and be inclusive.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ellis County Fire Chiefs Association is to provide visionary leadership and cooperation through progressive planning while reducing risk to our communities and personnel.

Value Statement

  • 1. Our firefighters are our most valuable resource.

  • 2. Relationships with internal and external stakeholders is essential for our


  • 3. We embrace character, integrity and ethical behavior


Core Functions

Risk / Threat Assessment-Each jurisdiction measures the probability and severity of adverse effects that result from an exposure to a hazard, nature disaster, and potential act of terrorism.

Resource Management-Identify the apparatus, equipment, and manpower needs for Ellis County based on the results from an ongoing risk / threat assessment process and identify and seek various funding for such resources. Develop deployment concepts that utilize our resources to increase our response capabilities and safety of our responders.

Emergency Operations-Improve the quality of life to our citizens by delivery of premier services of EMS, Fire Suppression, Technical Rescue, and Emergency Management to our communities.

Professional Career Development Training-Deliver quality training opportunities to our members through cooperative training programs, establish common policies and procedures, conduct regular performance evaluations through combined drills from jurisdictions.

Administrative leadership-Provide leadership and visionary direction to our member departments. Ensure practices are in compliance of current regulations, standards, and issues of liability.


Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart Training 6



GOAL: To identify areas of need and develop training programs to assist our members to become more proficient in personnel management, professional leadership, emergency service delivery, fireground operations, and incident management.

Critical Task

Critical Task: Develop a training plan

  • A. System for regular evaluation of training needs and deficiencies

    • B. Adopt a common teaching curriculum for programs, and ID available programs ready for delivery.

    • C. Include a wide spectrum of topics including: Fire Suppression, Incident Management, Driver Operator, Officer Development, Wildland Urban Interface, and special operations

    • D. Develop on-line content to assist with the consistent distribution of material

    • E. Create high stress simulation opportunities to include real-world skills and scenarios

    • F. Performance standards

    • G. Utilize NFPA 1410, standard on training for initial emergency scene operations

    • H. Identify qualified instructors willing to participate, and partner with educational institutions

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Number of programs developed and delivered

  • b. Percentage of members participating in programs

  • c. Percentage of increase in credentials / certifications

Desirable Outcome:

Quality training that is readily available in form and format that

increases the knowledge and skill levels of our responders.

Emergency Management


GOAL: To ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to prevent disasters from occurring, minimizing the impact of those that do occur, and prepare the county and municipalities in the management of response and recovery operations for large scale emergencies.

Critical Task

  • A. Provide awareness of pertinent information pertaining to Emergency Management issues on the local, state, and federal level

  • B. Encourage NIMS compliance

  • C. Assist facilitate annual functional and or table-top exercises

  • D. Inter-action and assist each other on EMP maintenance

  • E. Regular evaluation of communication capabilities between EOC’s via radio, video conferencing, and telephone

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Increase percentage of NIMS compliance

  • b. Actual number of annual exercises

  • c. Exercises testing EOC functions / Capabilities

  • d. Increase participation with EMP activities

Desirable Outcome:

Increase the level of preparedness initiatives, and increase the understanding on process and procedures to manage and mitigate large scale incidents.

Prevention / Public Relations

GOAL: To prevent community and Firefighter risk, through the creation, implementation, and management of modern codes, and


effective community education programs.

Critical Task: Reduce firefighter and community risk

  • A. Promote the adoption of current model codes

    • B. Promote public safety, and community relations initiatives

    • C. Promote and support safety initiatives published by the fallen firefighter foundation

    • D. Encourage Adoption of practices from NFPA 921, 1033 standards

    • E. Seek opportunities to partner with other fire service organizations, stakeholders, and associations

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Actual number community programs and contacts made

  • b. Observe adopted code editions

  • c. Recognize partnering initiatives with stakeholder groups

  • d. Identify programs to reduce risk

Desirable Outcome:

Department leaders have the knowledge and tools they need to develop

effective risk reduction and awareness programs to their communities.


GOAL: To provide a mechanism for monitoring and reporting new standards, regulations, and issues of liability to the management of our member departments.


Regulatory agencies and associations to monitor

Texas Commission on fire Protection

State Firemen and Fire Marshals Association

National Fire Protection Association

National Institute occupational Safety Health

Occupational Safety Health Association

Fair Labor Standard Act

Critical Task

Critical Task: Exert a positive influence on the legislative and regulatory process

  • A. Establish communication with our legislators

    • B. Participate in legislative day at the Capital, partnering with TFCA, SFFMA, and regional associations on topics

    • C. Participate in TCFP, SFFMA advisory and commission board meetings

    • D. Partner with TFCA , SFFMA and TML legislative committee members

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Number of contacts with legislative members and stakeholders

  • b. Participation with legislative day

  • c. Number of issues identified for resolution

  • d. Number of issues resolved by legislative advocacy

Desirable outcome:

Fire service organizations are supported by consistent laws and regulations

at the Federal, State, and local level.


GOAL: Increase the patient survivability rate, reduce suffering, and speed the recovery from injury and illness, by delivering progressive basic and advanced life support services to our communities.


Critical Task: Evaluate the EMS service delivery system; submit recommendations that that provide for positive impact on our EMS service delivery.

  • A. Review contract conditions and terms with private providers

    • B. Evaluate response time compliance; identify service gaps.

    • C. Quality Assurance program, documentation practices, communicates documented areas of concern

    • D. Determine Survival Rate during emergencies involving cardiac arrest.

    • E. Continually evaluate the current system / practices.

    • F. Ratio between transfers to emergency incidents

    • G. Evaluate first responder programs, urban and rural departments

    • H. Establish performance standards / measurements for provider and FRO’s

    • I. Partner with TFCA EMS Committee

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Percentage of response time compliance and reduction of service gaps

  • b. Percentage of positive outcome on critical patients

  • c. Results of performance measures and protocol compliance

Desirable outcome:

To deliver consistent quality services and measure the impact on the patient outcome.

General Administration

Policy, Procedures, and Practices


1. Critical Task: Establish a dynamic process to establish / review regional SOP’s

  • A. Develop / Review selected policies and implement

    • B. Ensure policies are reviewed by all stakeholders before bringing for approval

    • C. Develop implementation process for new procedures

Performance indicators:

  • a. Identify a working committee

  • b. Identify the process for implementation and review

Desirable Outcome:

To have a dynamic work group to evaluate the needs, establish, and

recommend the implementation of regional procedures for consistent practices.

2. Critical Task: Develop, adopt and train on common regional SOP’s

  • A. Mayday

    • B. RIT

    • C. ICS

    • D. Communication / Terminology

    • E. Accountability

    • F. Special Operations procedures, Rescue, Haz Mat

Performance indicators:

  • a. Number of policy and procedures adopted regionally

  • b. Number of training opportunities for adopted policy and procedures

Desirable outcome:

To adopt common operational practices for consistent practices that will

increase fireground effectiveness and safety.


3. Critical Task: Provide effective communication and an inclusive professional image.

  • A. Produce a quarterly newsletter

    • B. Speak with executive board and committee chairs monthly

    • C. Meet with the entire membership quarterly

    • D. Publish agendas in advance for all formal meetings

    • E. Establish a strategic plan and utilize as a guide

    • F. Partner with other fire protection professionals, and organizations that will further the ECFCA strategic goals and objectives.

    • G. Continue to pursue interoperability

Performance Indicators:

  • a. Number of meetings and general information provided to the membership

  • b. Strategic plan adoption and implementation

  • c. Adoption of interoperability plan

Desirable Outcome:

Establish a means of consistent effective communication to all member

departments, and meet with membership to distribute pertinent information on initiatives and activities.

Mutual Aid

Critical Task: Establish response models and common alarm levels;


NFPA 1710, and 1720 as reference tools.


  • A. Structure Fires, urban and rural department models

    • B. Wildland Urban Interface, urban and rural department models

    • C. Grass Fires

    • D. Special operation responses, technical rescue, hazardous materials

    • E. Collaborate with Fire Departments on mutual aid, automatic aid or other working opportunities

    • F. Explore MOU opportunities with surrounding regional resources

Performance indicators:

  • a. Mutual aid agreements adopted

  • b. Response plans developed and implemented

  • c. Standardized responses

Desirable Outcome:

Departments are able to develop quality mutual / automatic aid agreements

with neighboring departments that encourage sharing of resources.

Financial Planning

GOAL: Develop and provide model financial tools that assist fire service leaders plan and determine the funding required for providing services at the level desired by their community.


Critical Task:

  • a. Identify best-practice case studies, and resources

  • b. Develop a tool or processes to assist departments identify revenue sources to meet funding needs.

  • c. Develop tools to assist the leadership to develop financial plans and conduct long-term financial forecasting.

  • d. Develop tools that support defining the level of benefit (return on investment) to be received from incremental improvements in service to the public.

Desirable Outcome:

Identify resources that will assist develop financial plans, and identify revenue opportunities to fund the delivery of quality services.


Plan Management

GOAL: To provide a mechanism for moving the Association forward with a common understanding of goals and objectives.

Successful implementation of the plan includes the need to track the progress and completion of the identified goals and critical task. These goals will not be achieved by a single player but by the membership working together as team.

The executive board and committee chairs should assume responsibility for monitoring the implementation through the development of a targeted work

plan for each task.

This work plan will be centered on the plan but will have

additional value; it will allow an easy view and accountability tracking to task

assigned to various committees and members. Having the ability to view progress allows participants, members, and stakeholders to be informed on what is going on within the association and to view status on particular projects. The transparency provided by the strategic plan and our tracking tools will make the association as a whole more accountable for both performance and outcomes.

Critical Task

  • A. facilitate regular committee meetings

  • B. Develop a work plan

  • C. Facilitate regular membership meetings

Desirable Outcome:

Establish transparency in the process and have the ability to measure our progress towards achieving our goals.